A few more links

1. Robin Hanson examines why betting isn't more common.  All of these issues he brings up seem relevant, but the introduction of money into the equation seeming rude and highlighting power differences outside the conversation is probably the most important.  Maybe that's why my friends won't make many bets with me... or maybe that's why I don't have more friends.

2. This ghost city, an attempt to replicate Manhattan, in China will be relatively easy to find, or at least recognize.  The story is funny because it combines many of the common worries about China: It covers their over investment in real estate, willingness to directly copy the west and the increasing problem of bad debt.

3. An interesting perspective on the pre-access to consumer confidence survey data provided by Reuters.  In the end, what Reuters is doing is just selling private research. If providing early access to market moving research is disallowed completely that will have some very strange repercussions.  And traders not involved in the HFT game should know enough not to be trading during this time period anyway. (Unfortunately, when I looked at execution algorithms provided by major I-banks they didn't specifically step away from the market, but they would usually stop trading when volume dried up as they often do before economic releases.)

4. Matthew Yglesias almost endorses mercantilism.  The idea that when it comes to mercantilistic policies the public choice critique is generally better than the Ricardian/comparative advantage critique is an important one.