Sunday, August 28, 2005

Milken Institute - good organization

Beach blogging. No sailing since my wife is suffering major back problems. Mostly sunny and 15 mph plus winds. The Milken Institute is a think tank set up by Michael Milken. Milken enabled major new technology developments in the 1980s by inventing new financing tools - junk bonds enabled leveraged buyouts, most cell phone development. Read George Gilder's positive analysis of Milken. Yes, Milken was convicted of securities fraud and spent time in prison. Milken had cancer and fought it off. Now he is putting his talent and energy into the Milken Institute. Milken hosts an annual conference that attracts the brightest and best in economic development, new technology, financing, etc. The past two years he has hosted a panel in which the 3 other members are Nobel winning economists. I am impressed. Milken has a quarterly journal that is excellent. Accessing the articles requires registration, but you get a downloaded PDF file. The current issue highlights China. The World Bank's representative in China David Dollar writes that China's sprint to prosperity has left the country more vulnerable to stumbles that we would like to think. Worse, and more importantly, the global economy's success is now hostage to China's. If China fails to manage its financial system, to adjust to natural resource scarcity or to cope with its enormous air and water pollution problems will be felt by its neighbors, trading partners, that's us, and it geopolitical rivals - us again. I can't link to individual articles; here is the table of contents. Nuclear power is becoming the "energy source du jour." Rising costs for oil, gas and coal combined with fear of global warming lead to increased interest in nuclear. Nuclear produces no CO2 emissions at all. So it should be - should be - the environmentalists energy source of choice. The recent energy bill passed by Congress contained several incentives for nuclear power. I thought I blogged on it... But more is needed. The gigantic, decades-long effort to build a long-term storage for nuclear waste in the US has been way laid by a federal judge who insists on eternal perfection. Congress will have to overrule the judge and set a reasonable standard. Again, table of contents. Unfriendly to business - states Milken Institute analyzed how friendly state are to business. If they want jobs they need businesses to locate there and stay! But some states place huge roadblocks before businesses.
  • The worst by far - Hawaii
  • New York
  • Massachusetts
  • California
See the whole story and list

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