Sundry and miscellaneous

More on Tamiflu, the Phillips Curve, and Chairman Mao

Published September 7, 2006 4:22PM (EDT)

Extra, extra, get your updates right here:

1) Yesterday, in "Adventures With Tamiflu," I wrote that Taiwan was the first country to issue a compulsory license allowing domestic companies to manufacture generic versions of a patented drug. At the time, November 2005, this was widely reported to be the case. But this morning, reader Dan Rosan writes to say that, back in 2003, "Malaysia actually issued a 'government use' permit which is exactly the same as a compulsory license except they don't call it that. It ran for two or three years on some key AIDS drugs but the government let it expire when the prices fell." Mr. Rosan is correct.

2) Two days ago, in "Who Needs a Soft Landing?" I wrote that according to PIMCO managing director Paul McCulley, there is a growing consensus among economists that the age-old link between falling unemployment and rising inflation, known as the Phillips Curve, seemed to be weakening as a result of the competitive pressures unleashed by globalization. But today, the econoblogosphere and Wall Street are all abuzz about new reports that labor costs in the U.S. have risen unexpectedly fast over the last two quarters. Suddenly, inflation fears are stoking up again. So maybe the link isn't quite as weak as previously thought.

3) Finally, a little over a week ago, in "Mao, the Taiwan Story," I wrote about the dispute that had prevented the publication of a Chinese language version of "Mao: The Unknown Story." But this week, reports in the press are indicating that a new publisher has stepped in to replace the one that got cold feet. The book reportedly hit stores in Hong Kong, Taiwan and New York yesterday.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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Globalization How The World Works Inflation