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  • What if Money Managers Had to Work for a Living?

    The Times had an article this morning about the effort by stock exchanges to merge across international borders. At one point, it comments about fears that this trend could make it easier for companies to shop among stock markets in order to list their shares in the country with the least restrictive accounting and reporting rules. This is a reasonable concern. It is a safe bet that if companies can evade regulations that cost them money, they will. But, there is a very important implicit assumption in this story which is worth noting, that investors don't value the regulations that impose high standards for corporate accounting. This is probably an accurate assumption, but one that deserves to be examined more closely. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and other examples of regulatory tightening, was prompted by massive fraud at companies like Enron, WorldCom, and Global Crossing. These companies were able to get away with their fraud because money managers that control billions of dollars of...
  • JUST POSTED ON...

    JUST POSTED ON TAP: WHO�S YOUR DADDY PARTY. Francis Wilkinson �s cover article on the end of the GOP masculinity monopoly is now online. The rest of the June issue is also available, and subscribers who prefer to print out the magazine can download the PDF here . --The Editors
  • THE HORSE'S MOUTH....

    THE HORSE'S MOUTH. Fans of Greg Sargent 's contributions to Tapped, take note: As part of the Prospect 's ever-expanding blog empire, we're now hosting Greg's own blog on media and politics, The Horse's Mouth . You'll want to make it a regular part of your daily TAP online intake. (Greg won't be a stranger to Tapped, however -- have no fear.) Meanwhile, those Tapped readers who haven't yet made Midterm Madness a daily destination as well really need to consider doing so. There's great stuff over there, and when it comes to the midterms, they know what they're talking about a hell of a lot more often than us Tappers do. Just to recap: Tapped , Midterm Madness , The Horse's Mouth . All essential reads. Our blogs could be your life. --Sam Rosenfeld
  • THE RETURN OF...

    THE RETURN OF EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE. It's easy to forget how much of American medicine is a guessing game, how your treatments are a composite result of your doctor's experiences, biases, treasured anecdotes, and personal reactions to his own training. Most folks think medicine operates off a rigidly defined set of standards: If you have symptom A, your doc orders tests B, C, and D. Not quite. According to a new study , doctors are ordering useless tests for asymptomatic patients at staggering rates. Of tests that aren't recommended for patients with a particular batch of complaints, we're spending between $12 million and $63 million. Worse yet, for tests with risks that outweigh the benefits for certain patients, doctors are ordering them against recommendations over 40 percent of the time, for a total cost reaching into the hundreds of millions. And that's not even getting into the ricochet tests and expenses that come from false positives found by unnecessary diagnostics. The...
  • SHOW ME THE...

    SHOW ME THE BOOK! Lord am I tired of all this whining about how liberals aren't reviewing Ramesh Ponnuru 's book , The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life . I think Kevin Drum already wrote the definitive take on this, but I'll reiterate. On the one hand, at every possible decision-point the marketing here seems to have been designed to get liberals not to take this seriously -- from the title to the choice of publisher to the inside flap material. On the other hand, the topic chosen is one that's famous for not being amenable to interesting debates and discussions. On top of that , unlike Ann Coulter 's vile little rants, it's not really an interesting cultural phenomenon to learn that American conservatives think abortion is seriously wrong and also oppose "euthanasia, embryo destruction, even infanticide." But if everyone will promise to stop whining and, say, send me a review copy of the book (this is helpful in getting people to...
  • ISRAEL LOBBIES. Subscription-only...

    ISRAEL LOBBIES. Subscription-only CQ reports on the looming showdown between the House and the Bush administration over a draconian bill imposing across-the-board sanctions against the Palestinian Authority and limiting the president's waiver authority (which normally gives him some flexibility to override the directives). The administration has made clear that it opposes punitive sanctions of this scope, not merely on the grounds of executive prerogative (which is, of course, the par-for-the-course Bushian rationale for opposing congressional directives), but also because the extent of the restrictions the bill imposes -- related to both direct and indirect humanitarian aid and funding for any diplomatic contacts between American and Palestinian officials -- really does run counter to the substance of administration policy. Indeed, the bill appears to run counter to the policy of the Olmert government in Israel . Eric Alterman recently reported hearing an interesting tidbit from MJ...
  • THE HISTORICAL MOMENT?...

    THE HISTORICAL MOMENT? I think I agree with about half of Ezra �s post below. Just as the Democrats were purged of their southern roots in 1994, so too might an overdue regional realignment visit the northeast in 2006. If, for example, voters in Connecticut remove Chris Shays , Rob Simmons , and Nancy Johnson from office, then November 2006 could be the moment that future historians cite as when the bluing of blue America caught up with the reddening of the red states. To be sure, there are more congressional districts in the south than in the northeast, so I tend to agree with Ezra that it is still a stretch to think that we�ll hear the words �Speaker Pelosi � in November. Still, if nutmeggers purge themselves of congressional Republicans, and if Rhode Islanders dump Lincoln Chafee , then an historical moment this will be: The New Englandization of the Democratic party will all be all but complete. --Mark Leon Goldberg
  • AND I WOULD'VE...

    AND I WOULD'VE SUCCEEDED, TOO, IF NOT FOR THOSE MEDDLING SITCOMS. Stanley Kurtz 's hysterical post unveiling the "the entirely unsecret conspiracy against patriotism, tradition, and religion hiding in plain sight on our movie and television screens, in our universities, and on the pages of the mainstream press" is a peculiar piece of argument. Conservatives, he insists, need to watch out; their total defeat in the pop-culture arena means that "one big loss could easily turn conservatives back into a marginal cultural force for some time." For them, any hold on power is precarious, because "one cable news channel, talk radio, and the blogosphere do not an invincible army make. It only seems that way because we also have nominal control of the reigns of power." But doesn't that minor "controlling the reigns of power" thing sort of discredit Kurtz's point? After all, Democrats controlled all reigns of power in the early '90s, and the presidency between 1992 and 2000, yet the culture didn...
  • NEW COUNTRY ON...

    NEW COUNTRY ON THE BLOCK. It looks like we'll soon be welcoming Montenegro into the family of sovereign states. But don't believe everything you read in the newspapers: "For supporters of Montenegrin independence, the results, however narrow, are the fruition of a decade-long struggle to enable Montenegro to reclaim its status from 1878 to 1918, when it was a republic and an internationally recognized state." Nope. Independent Montenegro was a principality and then a monarchy under the rule of Nicholas Petrovic until the country joined up with Serbia and the rest of the gang after World War I to form the Kingdom of Yugoslavia under the auspices of the Serbian royal family. --Matthew Yglesias
  • CAN'T WIN FOR...

    CAN'T WIN FOR WINNING. LB is right -- the conventional wisdom is shifting against the Democrats. As today's Washington Post shows (and as Sam noted ), the GOP is setting up victory as merely keeping Congress in 2006. Of course, with gerrymandered districts and the natural benefits of incumbency, losing Congress is a virtual impossibility. The punditocracy, egged on by the example of 1994 -- not to mention the predictions of Newt Gingrich , Bill Kristol and a variety of other eminences from that most golden of ages -- have begun salivating for the drama and intrigue of a Democratic Revolution, but the Republican resurgence of a dozen years ago was a historical inevitability, a realignment of conservative Southern seats from a party that enjoyed their tribal loyalty but not their ideological allegiance. Those districts had long been teetering Republican, they just needed a sufficient gust of wind to push them over. Democrats enjoy no similar regional historical trend. The likeliest...

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