"Once the crisis started, he took charge in a way that was unprecedented," said Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), during the Senate debate. "I believe when the history of this period is written . . . Bernanke will prove to have been one of the heroes." ... http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/28/AR2010012800103.html?hpid=topnews
One of the principal aims of the current health care legislation is to improve the quality of care. According to the President and his advisers, this should be done through science. The administration's stimulus package already devoted more than a billion dollars to "comparative effectiveness research," meaning, in the President's words, evaluating "what works and what doesn't" in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
But comparative research on effectiveness is only part of the strategy to improve care. A second science has captured the imagination of policymakers in the White House: behavioral economics. This field attempts to explain pitfalls in reasoning and judgment that cause people to make apparently wrong decisions; its adherents believe in policies that protect against unsound clinical choices. But there is a schism between presidential advisers in their thinking over whether legislation should be coercive, aggressively pushing doctors and patients to do what the government defines as best, or whether it should be respectful of their own autonomy in making decisions. The President and Congress appear to be of two minds. How this difference is resolved will profoundly shape the culture of health care in America.
The field of behavioral economics is rooted in the seminal work of Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman begun some three decades ago. Drawing on data from their experiments on how people process information, particularly numerical data, these psychologists challenged the prevailing notion that the economic decisions we make are rational. We are, they wrote, prone to incorrectly weigh initial numbers, draw conclusions from single cases rather than a wide range of data, and integrate irrelevant information into our analysis. Such biases can lead us astray. ... http://www.nybooks.com/articles/23590
Two months later, it said it would replace accelerator pedals on 4.2m vehicles. Earlier this week it said that further investigation had revealed "there is a possibility that certain accelerator pedal mechanisms may, in rare instances, mechanically stick in a partially depressed position or return slowly to the idle position".
The parts are supplied by Indiana-based CTS Corp, whose shares were down 16 per cent in early afternoon trading. However, Toyota said that it accepted full responsibility for the parts. ...