Reuters blog archive
"Reality is sticky." That was the core of Adam Posen's message to German policymakers on their home turf, at a recent conference in Berlin.
What did the former UK Monetary Policy Committee member mean? Quite simply, that the types of structural economic changes that Germany has been pushing on the euro zone are not only destructive but also bound to fail, at least if history is any guide.
Posen, who now heads the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, argued Germany's imposition of austerity on Europe's battered periphery is the product of an instinctive but misguided fear of an inflation "ghost" that has haunted the country since the hyperinflationary spurt of the Weimar Republic in the 1920s and 1930s. However, Posen offers a convincing account of modern economic history that shows inflation episodes are rather rare events associated with major political and institutional meltdown -- and not always around the corner.
The risks of inflation going up quickly, or in the long term, are smaller than are usually recognized in Germany. The issue is not that inflation is harmless; it certainly has its harms. The issue is, realistically, when you are facing choices, how much risk do you think there actually is of inflation occurring. I don't want to pretend that there is some kind of exact, scientific, precise answer, but there is more of a historical record to draw on than most people acknowledge. This historical record is not often taught to German economic elites. […]
from Photographers' Blog:
By Danish Siddiqui
Malajpur is a small but not ordinary village in central India. In fact it is probably the only village in India which has been hosting a ghost fair for the past several years. People from across the country come to this fair to get rid of ‘evil spirits’ that they claim to be possessed by.
As night falls on Paush Purnima (full moon night) the 'possessed' are taken to the local shrine to be exorcised. People who bring their relatives here feel the latter's bodies have been 'taken over by ghosts of the dead' and that exorcism is the only release for them. Interestingly, most of those who come here to be exorcised are women. When I asked the priest the reason he said, “They are emotionally weak and hence easy target for spirits."
(Photo: Halloween in Shanghai October 29, 2010/Aly Song)
Ghosts and goblins are more than Halloween decorations or costumes for many Americans who confessed they believe in the supernatural and returning from the grave.
Thirty-seven percent of 2,100 adults questioned in a Zogby Interactive poll said they think ghosts are real, and 23 percent believe they have been visited by a deceased relative or friend.
from Fan Fare:
Vampires may be one of the most popular current themes in entertainment, but movies that feature exorcisms and Satan give audiences the biggest scare.
With Halloween fast approaching, a poll on website Movies.com found that vampires give moviegoers less of a fright than creepy kids or Zombies.
Although most Americans are Christian and many are devout, that hasn't stopped some members of the flock from believing in astrology, reincarnation or the ability of trees to trap spiritual energy.
A new poll by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life shows a surprising number of U.S. adults claim to have had supernatural experiences such as ghost sightings or hold beliefs associated with the New Age movement or Eastern religions.
from Oddly Enough Blog:
Blog Guy, Barack Obama seems to have created a monster with this Joe the Plumber guy. Is there a danger of that happening again?
I'm afraid so. Obama tries to engage as many voters as possible on the trail, but he's often too vain to wear his glasses.
from Oddly Enough Blog:
Quick quiz: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who now earns a living telling scary campfire stories for young and old and bills himself as "BOO-liani," is saying here...
"So the THUMP-THUMP-THUMP was his head, rolling down the old staircase!"
"Then he screamed, 'That isn't RAIN on my windshield, it's BLOOOOOOOD!'"
"Suddenly, she realized! The call was coming from INSIDE the mayor's mansion!
"If the capital gains tax is raised, we won't be quite as RICH!"
from UK News:
Authors Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson have written a county-by-county guide to the hundreds of tales that have been repeated down the years.