Fear

Let’s Not Panic About Syrian Refugees

Much to the disappointment of many of my friends and readers, I tend to be a rational person. I don't panic at the latest media or twitter hype. As long as I'm not in danger of a head-on collision requiring immediate action, I like to think about things a bit before I draw any conclusions. The horrific terror attacks in Paris, have fueled fears about Syrian refugees entering the U.S.. I understand the immediate gut reaction, I had it too, then I started thinking about it and exploring the data. One of the keys to quelling these fears is to understand the difference between asylum seekers and refugees. The risk of radical Islamists entering Europe are high because their geographic location leads to asylum seekers, who are arriving unscreened and in large numbers. But refugees are highly screened and take years of processing before they are allowed to enter a country.

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Wiki

…and then one morning you wake up and you’re a reference on Wikipedia

Life is weird sometimes. I had a pretty great week last week. I got to go to Chicago early in the week to speak at a conference on high-frequency and algorithmic trading and meet a lot of interesting--and frighteningly smart--people. I always enjoy getting my nerd on with other academics and policy wonks especially when combined with industry experts and a guy who started university at 14 and now builds neural networks to create artificial intelligence-type systems to trade stocks. For about 2 1/2 minutes I was even able to hold my own in a conversation with him about how his systems handle outliers in their outputs. Being in Chicago also allowed me to enjoy their freakishly warm 70-degree temperatures while Alaska was experiencing slick roads due to freezing rain and snow. Upon returning home I received another speaking invitation and an offer to be a guest on Reuters Global Markets Forum.

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Macroeconomics

One Reason Our National Economic Policy Stinks

<a href="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/ID-100332225.jpg"><img class="wp-image-2757 alignleft" src="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/ID-100332225-300x300.jpg" alt="Macroeconomics" width="276" height="276" /></a>Every year I attend a major economics conference to geek out with and learn from a significant collection of global economists. While just breathing the air at such an event can be inspiring, talking to people often leads to sheer terror about the future of our national and global economy. Last year’s event was no exception. At one of the many receptions I attended, I was nibbling hors d'oeuvres & sipping a glass of wine surrounded at the table by young professionals. About half worked for government agencies and the other half were PhD Students. One of the PhD students, we’ll call him Frank, was getting ready to graduate from a prestigious university in a few months with a degree in Macroeconomics and Econometrics and move to a job at the Federal Reserve. Frank fancied himself an expert on inflation targets and monetary

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Denali II

The Positive Side of The President’s Visit to Alaska

The President’s recent visit to Alaska was in many ways controversial, but there was one<a href="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_4392.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2747 alignright" src="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_4392-225x300.jpg" alt="Denali" width="225" height="300" /></a> positive aspect to it: It has inspired me to start blogging again. While I realize this excites some, frightens others, and disinterests most, there were so many things I wanted to blog about during the President’s visit, that I had to give the blog a facelift and return the hamsters to the power wheel. So where have I been and what have I been doing? Writing for money primarily, but that kind of writing doesn’t really let me fully express myself. It’s like a perpetual job interview in which you have to keep editors happy and manage your emotional outbursts. You have no idea how badly I want to overuse exclamation points!!!!!! Phew, that’s better. Since the President is gone and discussion of his trip is mostly over,

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Medicine

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to Old Age…

<a href="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/ID-100102398-23.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2741 alignright" src="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/ID-100102398-23-200x300.jpg" alt="Medicine" width="200" height="300" /></a>My doctor of many years decided he’d rather spend his days hiking than playing ‘identify this rash’ twelve times a day and retired a few months ago at the age of 71. This left me, for the second time in my life, with the reluctant task of replacing a retired doctor. I hate finding new doctors. When my very first doctor retired, the only physician in my small town who was taking patients was an osteopath. I didn’t care much for him. I felt like he was always treating me with special herbs and spices instead of practicing medicine, yet he looked great by comparison to the doctor I ended up with in the next city I moved to. When we got to Alaska, we asked some of the doctors we knew from our neighborhood and civic organizations who they would see for

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HFT

HFT Regulation Requires Attention to Motives and Consequences

<h3 class="dek">What motivates countries to discourage HFT?<a href="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/ID-100173239.jpg"><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-2696" src="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/ID-100173239-300x211.jpg" alt="HFT" width="300" height="211" /></a></h3> <p class="dek">"While there are several empirically demonstrated benefits of high-frequency trading, including improved liquidity and reduced transaction costs, the current arguments against HFT are largely qualitative in nature. With that in mind, what are the drivers behind global HFT regulation, and do they suggest a market failure attributable to HFT?"</p> <p class="dek">My article, previewed above, is available at <a href="http://tabbforum.com/opinions/hft-regulation-requires-attention-to-motives-and-consequences" target="_blank">Tabb Forum</a></p> <h3 class="dek"><a href="http://www.professorhollybell.com">Return to homepage</a></h3>

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HFT Regulation

An Analysis of Global HFT Regulation

<h2 class="p1"><a href="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/ID-10068053.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-2692" src="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/ID-10068053-300x199.jpg" alt="HFT Regulation" width="300" height="199" /></a>Motivations, Market Failures, and Alternative Outcomes</h2> <p class="p1">"Recent market events like the “flash crash” of 2010, algorithmic failures at Knight Capital, and the <span style="font-size: 11.818181991577148px;">release of Michael Lewis’s book Flash Boys (2014)—with his claims that markets are “rigged”—have </span><span style="font-size: 11.818181991577148px;">heightened scrutiny of high-frequency trading (HFT) and increased demands for more aggressive </span><span style="font-size: 11.818181991577148px;">regulation. However, HFT has several empirically demonstrated benefits, and the current, largely </span><span style="font-size: 11.818181991577148px;">qualitative arguments against it call for careful scrutiny of proposed regulations.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span style="font-size: 11.818181991577148px;">In a new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Holly A. Bell and Harrison </span><span style="font-size: 11.818181991577148px;">Searles analyze the potential economic benefits of HFT and assess several proposed or adopted </span><span style="font-size: 11.818181991577148px;">regulatory schemes from around the world."</span></p> <p class="p2">The full study is available from the Mercatus Center by clicking <a title="An Analysis of Global HFT Regulation" href="http://mercatus.org/sites/default/files/Bell_GlobalHFTRegulation_v2.pdf" target="_blank">here</a></p> <p class="p2"><em>Holly A. Bell

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thoughts

Random Thoughts On Life’s Absurdities

<h2><a href="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/ID-100235783.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-2686" alt="thoughts" src="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/ID-100235783-300x300.jpg" width="300" height="300" /></a>Some deep and not so deep thoughts.</h2> <p>Every once in a while a blogger just needs to turn their brain inside out and shake loose some of the random thoughts floating around in their head. Here is where I subject you to mine.</p> <p>The upside of encouraging people to eat MORE fried foods is more recyclable cooking oil to power "green" vehicles. Life is full of tradeoffs and we need to decide if we want healthy people or cooking oil vehicles.</p> <p>Eating pita chips for dinner while standing in your pantry is not a sign of depression, it's a sign that you did not go to the grocery store. Not leaving your house to go to the grocery store is a sign of depression.</p> <p>Getting a puppy forces you to make snap decisions about which of your things are worth getting out of the chair

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pollution

Do U.S. EPA Regulations Actually Make Global Pollution Worse?

<h2>Exporting pollution, one factory at a time.<a href="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/ID-10043521.jpg"><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-2680" alt="pollution" src="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/ID-10043521-200x300.jpg" width="200" height="300" /></a></h2> <p>The Heritage Foundation recently published an article on how climate regulations designed to put an end to coal fired electric plants will significantly harm U.S. manufacturing (<a href="http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2014/03/epas-climate-regulations-will-harm-american-manufacturing">EPA's Climate Regulations Will Harm American Manufacturing</a>). This got me thinking, if EPA regulations drive manufacturing offshore, is it possible that by increasing environmental regulation in the U.S. and driving manufacturing to regions where little environmental regulation exists, is the EPA making global pollution worse overall?</p> <p>Another way to think about this is: Is there a regulatory "sweet spot" that is more likely to keep manufacturing in the U.S. while reducing overall global pollution? After all, pollution in China, for example, ultimately impacts the U.S.  (see <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/21/world/asia/china-also-exports-pollution-to-western-us-study-finds.html?_r=0">here</a>).</p> <p>The short answer to the question is "maybe". In theory this would appear to be true, however, finding publicly available year-over-year raw

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