Sunday, August 7, 2011
Another interesting comparison is IQ. Again we do not seem to be doing any better than the Indians. One must keep in mind that the Math Olympiad is about selecting the best in a country. The National IQ measure is for the country as an whole. India with half its population being illiterate still has an IQ quotient comparable to Sri Lanka. Does that mean Sri Lankans are not as smart as we think or they are just smart alecs who cant be bothered with IQ tests. Steve Sailer comments that new study of Sri Lankan IQ is warranted because it is highly literate, low malnutrition, similar racial makeup with South India...and the only study we have is one way back in 1954 with a sample size of 46, that too on eight year olds, when IQ is not very heritable. The IQ of 79 for Sri Lanka is quite meaningless in the present context
There is an whole discussion on Indian IQ over here. This location has a summary of the Lynn and Vanhanen study of IQ and the Wealth of Nations. This is the wiki with data of the controversial 2006 book by psychologist Richard Lynn and political scientist Tatu Vanhanen IQ and Global Inequality
Saturday, August 6, 2011
b) Decrease less risky assets
Apparently the Federal Reserve says to disregard this rating to govt agencies. Nice, forget about ratings when it does not suit you.
Earlier today, Standard & Poor's rating agency lowered the long-term rating of the U.S. government and federal agencies from AAA to AA+. With regard to this action, the federal banking agencies are providing the following guidance to banks, savings associations, credit unions, and bank and savings and loan holding companies (collectively, banking organizations).
For risk-based capital purposes, the risk weights for Treasury securities and other securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, government agencies, and government-sponsored entities will not change. The treatment of Treasury securities and other securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, government agencies, and government-sponsored entities under other federal banking agency regulations, including, for example, the Federal Reserve Board's Regulation W, will also be unaffected.
Well, so much for the conspiracies. S&P has just released a scathing critique of the total chaos that this country's government has become. "The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America's governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy. Despite this year's wide-ranging debate, in our view, the differences between political parties have proven to be extraordinarily difficult to bridge, and, as we see it, the resulting agreement fell well short of the comprehensive fiscal consolidation program that some proponents had envisaged until quite recently. Republicans and Democrats have only been able to agree to relatively modest savings on discretionary spending while delegating to the Select Committee decisions on more comprehensive measures. It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options. In addition, the plan envisions only minor policy changes on Medicare and little change in other entitlements, the containment of which we and most other independent observers regard as key to long-term fiscal sustainability." What to expect on Monday: " it is possible that interest rates could rise if investors re-price relative risks. As a result, our alternate scenario factors in a 50 basis point (bp)-75 bp rise in 10-year bond yields relative to the base and upside cases from 2013 onwards. In this scenario, we project the net public debt burden would rise from 74% of GDP in 2011 to 90% in 2015 and to 101% by 2021." And why all those who have said the downgrade will have no impact on markets will be tested as soon as Monday: "On Monday, we will issue separate releases concerning affected ratings in the funds, government-related entities, financial institutions, insurance, public finance, and structured finance sectors." Translation: unpredictable consequences: you are welcome!
Presenting the joint statement by The Fed, the FDIC, NCUA, OCC. In essence: the Fed tells S&P to go fornicate itself. And for your corresponding pleasure, below are the media contact of note: Federal Reserve Susan Stawick (202) 452-2955; FDIC David Barr (202) 898-6992; NCUA David Small (703) 518-6336; OCC Bryan Hubbard (202) 874-5307
Peter Barnes “Is there a risk that the United States could lose its AAA credit rating? Yes or no?”
Geithner’s response: “No risk of that.”
“No risk?” Barnes asked.
“No risk,” Geithner said.
USSAAA - S&P Reconsiders Downgrade After White House Challenge
Friday, August 5, 2011
As of Jan 2014 (and earlier) the Southern Highway Buses run only from Maharagama . The fare is LKR 500. Journey is one and half hours (none rush hours) from Maharagama to Galle. It seems like the private buses have less air conditioning compared to the SLTB buses.
The worst public bus station toilet is in Maharagama. Much worse than Chilaw which is quite bad to start with. Surprised no one has complained.
Check with Pettah Central Bus Stand (+94) 11 2329604-5 about changes.
Info on Katunayake/Negombo to Pettah Highway service.