The recent David Letterman scandal is renewing interest in the old (but still interesting) question of why blackmail is illegal. Lizzie Widdicombe takes up the case in The New Yorker, interviewing law professors, economists, and other theorists.
How economist Richard Rahn recently had a segment on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer canceled, not because he had the wrong point of view, but because the show found another economist prepared to make his points on John Maynard Keynes in the form of rap. (HT: Andrew Sullivan)
Paul Caron picks apart the Princeton Review rankings in a series of posts.
From the FT, Asia’s richest man takes 66% pay cut: “Mukesh Ambani who is spending about $1bn to build a lavish 27-storey house and buy his wife a luxury Airbus jet, this week gave himself a 66 per cent pay cut ‘to set an example of moderation.’”
Also from the FT, Bonus hopes lift top properties: “City bankers confident of bumper bonuses this year have descended on London estate agents hoping to snap up multimillion-pound homes, with Goldman Sachs employees among those leading the charge.”
Reviews of SuperFreakonomics are trickling out now. Here’s a roundup of review links from Freakonomics. Ezra Klein is much more negative, and Brad DeLong is annoyed at the publisher, because he has to rely on second-hand reviews, rather than the book itself. See this exchange between Dubner and DeLong.