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The Bottom Line


Cut to the chase, my brother; speak on it!


The Minyanville take on news, commentary and opinion from around the world:

In today's Wall Street Journal, Crandall and Winston, senior fellows in the economic studies program of the Brookings Institution in Washington, write, "there is a paucity of empirical evidence that more than a century of antitrust enforcement has provided benefits to U.S. consumers."

  • Bottom Line: Crandall and Winston - Makers of Fine Bowler Hats and Assorted Handsome Wear for the Dandy Fop Since 1834

Either Crandall or Winston

Japan resident, apparent deflation enthusiast, and Bloomberg columnist William Pesek Jr. writes, "While there's a universal sense here that all would be well if only Japan could end deflation, nothing could be further from the truth in an age of globalization. All deflation has done - and it's been a very mild bout - is make a wildly expensive country a bit less-wildly expensive."

  • Bottom Line: Exhibit 1A in Case Number 10291929, People v. The Monetarists:
    Deflation is about psychology and time preferences, not liquidity.

According to the New York Times, for the first time in 20 years, the number of cases of soda sold in the United States declined. "Coke's flagship brand, Coca-Cola Classic, was down 2 percent, and original Pepsi from PepsiCo was down 3.2 percent." Meanwhile, according to a Harris Interactive poll, "the proportion of adults 25 years old and over who are overweight increased to 83% this year, up from its highest previous measure of 80% in 2002 and 2003."

  • Bottom Line:
    Good News: Americans cut back on high-calorie, sugar-based sodas.
    Bad News: Americans increase consumption of Uncle Pappy's Double Gravy-Style Lard & Biscuit Shakes. Mmmm-mmmm goood!

According to investment banker and contributor J. Henderson, "The instigators of the current furor (over the Dubai Ports World deal), captive to anti-Arab stereotypes, seem entirely ignorant of reality in the city of Dubai, the second largest emirate within the UAE."

  • Bottom Line: Henderson may have a point. Let's look at his facts:

    "The city caters to five million upscale tourists per year from places like Russia, Germany and France."
    -Upscale tourists? I had no idea. That sounds pretty good.
    "The extravagant city is often compared to Las Vegas."
    -Just like Vegas? We love Vegas!
    "Dubai is a playground for the rich, with ultra-modern five-star beach hotels and sprawling duty-free shopping malls."
    -Wait, calling the wife here. We're packing the bags for Dubai, honey! Get your passport ready!
    "Dubai is a key center of hawala, an unregulated private system of payments and currency trading between the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia."
    -Tennis! Skiing! Shopping! Hawala! This is gonna be awes... What was that?
    "What was what?"
    -Did you say Jai-Alai?
    "Oh, no. I said "hawala," a system of unregulated exchange."
    -Whoa, wait a minute. I don't know. That sounds vaguely Middle Eastern.

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