Must reads for the day

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/21/cyprus-the-sum-of-all-fubar/: Excellent summary.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2013/03/britains-budget: If anyone doesn’t believe that austerity is harmful when output is depressed, the UK vs. US situation over the last few years is an extremely good natural experiment.

http://economistsview.typepad.com/timduy/2013/03/the-recovery-is-real.html: A rather cheery post from Tim Duy; its really quite a shame that fiscal policy has been so backward for the last 3 years; if we had even moderate growth in government spending (as opposed to fairly dramatic cutbacks at the state and local level with no compensatory increase in federal expenditures) we would be pretty close to an economy operating at potential.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/03/21/paying_college_basketball_players_nothing_amateur_about_the_ncaa_tournament.html: I rarely disagree with Matt Yglesias, but I don’t think he is correct here: while the NCAA does make a ton of money from March Madness, basketball players aren’t working totally for free–many of them do get partial or full scholarships to play for their schools. Depending on where someone goes to school, that could be worth upwards of $50,000 a year, which is more than many minor league athletes end up making. Additionally, offering these scholarships allows players to simultaneously pursue a college degree, which, on average, will significantly boost their lifetime earnings (provided they would not have gotten a college degree without the basketball scholarship because of the cost of tuition). I’m well aware that many college basketball players do not receive any scholarship money (and, given the amount of revenue the tournament produces, I think that is an absolute travesty), but many of them are saving a significant amount of money on tuition each year, which functionally amounts to a form of payment.

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