Right and wrong ways to secure peace in the Western Pacific

Props to China and Taiwan for negotiating a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement

Boos to Republicans for pushing for more F-22s.

Besides being a moneypit, F-22s are an “uncertain weapon.” Because they can only be used in very bad situations, they are worthless for most of the negotiations that China and the United States will actually engage in. Building up our financial position and our economy would do far more to help us wrt China than more jet fighters.

Likewise, the China-Taiwan Free Trade Agreement does more to deter war between China and Taiwan (by economically integrating those two great Chinese-speaking countries) than any amount of F-22s we could buy.

Is financial innovation worth it?

Half Sigma’s post has face validity, but I am aware of my lack of knowledge of how the financial system works.  So instead of agreeing with it, I will ask for comments so I can learn more.

Government run industries tend not to be very innovative, but the only useful innovation to come out of the banking industry in the last century is the ATM machine. Otherwise, when banks innovate, that’s when it’s time to hold on tight to your wallet. Bank innovation tends to fall into two categories: (1) sneakier ways to trick people into getting into more credit card debt and pay more outrageous credit card fees; and (2) complicated financial products like mortgaged backed securities and derivatives which have led to the recent financial collapse which not only ruined that banking industry but took down the whole economy with it.

via Half Sigma: What’s wrong with nationalized banks?.