2. This is what looks like when some of the world's best development economists spar off in a blog post comment section.
3. Congress will grant trade promotion authority, conditional on labor and environmental standards. My sense has always been that economists are pretty unsure as to whether such standards actually help the developing world. Here, for example, is the first real piece of research on the effects of child-labor bans -- and the result is that the ban actually caused child labor to increase and child wages to fall. On the other hand, Nancy Birdsall argues that developing countries end up "importing" the environmental standards of their richer trading partners -- which makes you think that maybe these standards don't undermine developing countries.
4. I did not realize that Alan Greenspan wrote papers on how to measure mortgage-equity withdrawals. Makes you wonder how he missed the housing bubble, given that those withdrawals rose to 8 percent of disposable income in the 2000s.