The Buzz

America's Nightmare: The Soviet Union's (Almost) Super Aircraft Carrier

Had she ever sailed, the Soviet supercarrier Ulyanovsk would have been a naval behemoth more than 1,000 feet long, with an 85,000-ton displacement and enough storage to carry an air group of up to 70 fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

With a nuclear-powered engine—and working in conjunction with other Soviet surface warfare vessels and submarines—the supercarrier would have steamed through the oceans with a purpose.

Namely, to keep the U.S. Navy away from the Motherland’s shores.

Beware: China Has Opened an Economic 'Pandora's Box'

There's a rule in economics called Goodhart's law: when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a useful measure. If a government chases a particular economic variable, then it becomes influenced by policy, and so loses its meaningfulness as an input. 'Information value' is lost in the interference. Because managing economies is hard and good information is scarce, that's a big problem.

The last few tumultuous weeks of action in Chinese financial markets shows Beijing struggling with Goodhart's law. 

No, China's Economy Hasn't Reached a Crisis...At Least Not Yet

I started my job at the Federal Reserve three weeks before Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy.

I wish I had kept a diary of my initial months at the Fed, so I could recall clearly what we thought was happening each day. I do remember there was a discrete point where suddenly everything felt like it was in free-fall. It brought to mind the comment of Don Russel, Paul Keating's economic advisor, claiming there was a moment in his office when he heard the Australian economy snap, sometime in late 1989. I think I heard the U.S. economy snap in my Washington office in 2008.

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