Sweden

Portents
November 10, 2009

Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West By Christopher Caldwell (Doubleday, 422 pp., $30)   As its subtitle makes clear, this is a book about immigration, Islam, and the West. But at the same time this is also a book about a particular moral culture, a set of attitudes, habits, and beliefs that has developed in Western Europe over the past sixty years. There isn’t a good shorthand way to describe this moral culture. Sometimes it is called “political correctness,” though politics as such does not define it.

On the Social Status of Swedish Doctors
October 01, 2009

Just a quick coda to my earlier post about the debate Megan McArdle and I had over Obamacare and doctor shortages. At one point in our back-and-forth (about 2:35 in) Megan claimed that people would choose not to become doctors if salaries started to fall post-health care reform.

The Stockholm Syndrome
September 18, 2009

When Zvi Mazel was summoned to the Swedish Foreign Ministry back in January 2004, he knew he was in trouble. As Israel’s top diplomat in Stockholm, the 64-year-old had just done something markedly undiplomatic--not exactly rare for Israeli envoys. No, he hadn’t remarked upon the “yellow skin and slanted eyes” of Asians. No, he hadn’t taken part in a child-pornography ring.

A Letter From a Swedish Friend On the Blood Libel
September 01, 2009

“Well, it is blood libel isn't it? Of the most horrendous sort. It is also odd. Aftonbladet is a tabloid owned by the Social Democrats (I can't quite remember how, via a union perhaps, or trust). They have usually been quite pro-Israel. And traditionally in Sweden, while there was a huge degree of racialist nonsense in the interwar period, it was not directed towards the (800-odd) Jews. I know because I read the literature for an academic article I wrote.

Little Simon of Trent, Murdered in 1475, And Now Other Victims of the Jews
August 20, 2009

If Mary Robinson is entitled to the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Swedes are certainly entitled to refabricate one of the great libels in European history. The very leftist Aftonbladet, the most popular evening tabloid in Sweden, has published a story, "They Plunder the Organs of Our Sons," accusing the Israel Defense Forces of seizing Palestinian young men and then returning them to their families without crucial and transferrable parts. (The two stories in Ha'aretz unveiling this vile piece of journalism are here and here.) Mrs.

The Trouble With Negative Interest Rates
July 17, 2009

As you might remember, Sweden's Riksbank is now charging a negative interest rate (-0.25%) on excess reserves. But Scott Fullwiler thinks that this won't have the intended effect of moving cash into circulation: Instead of providing an incentive for banks to lend, banks instead will have an incentive to rid their balance sheets of reserve balances. ...

What That Swedish Model Actually Looks Like
February 24, 2009

Not quite as buxom or blonde as you might think, but not bad either... Swedish economist Anders Aslund has a very helpful post over at the Peterson Institute blog: Sweden did not nationalize its banks. It was Norway that did so, which is an alternative model. In Sweden, a temporary emergency bank authority was set up on the model of the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. ... The banks were forced to write off their bad debts and transfer them to bad banks. Sweden had no aggregator bad bank and the bad banks were not nationalized. Each big bank set up its own bad bank. ...

What That Swedish Model Actually Looks Like
February 24, 2009

Not quite as buxom or blonde as you might think, but not bad either... Swedish economist Anders Aslund has a very helpful post over at the Peterson Institute blog: Sweden did not nationalize its banks. It was Norway that did so, which is an alternative model. In Sweden, a temporary emergency bank authority was set up on the model of the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. ... The banks were forced to write off their bad debts and transfer them to bad banks. Sweden had no aggregator bad bank and the bad banks were not nationalized. Each big bank set up its own bad bank. ...

Stick Stuck
February 18, 2009

ONE OF THE items in “Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling,” the exhibition recently at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, was a short film, made in 1930, called “Houses While You Wait.” A grainy black-and-white screen opens up with a view of a vacant suburban lot. A delivery truck rolls up, filled with wall-size metal panels and other materials. A retinue of somewhat scruffy white men in baggy pants unloads the cargo and deposits it on the site. They scurry around at that ridiculous, fast-forward silent-film speed.

Will Cell Phones Kill You?
April 09, 2008

The Secret History of the War on Cancer by Devra Davis (Basic Books, 505 pp., $27.95) I. In 1775, Percivall Pott, a surgeon at St. Bartholemew's Hospital in London who gave his name to several diseases and conditions, published Chirurgical Observations. Although he had treated such distinguished personages as Samuel Johnson and Thomas Gainsborough, his treatise focused on the lowliest of the low. In so doing, he became the first to hypothesize what is now a widespread notion: that cancer can be caused by environmental exposure.

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