For further reading I recommend:
- Political Calculations update on a study that came out a few years ago showing that most rich European countries would only qualify as poor states on this side of the pond. (There is a link to the report which I read when it came out - I highly recommend it - and it is accessible even for non-academics).
- Econbrowser chimes in with a post that is optimistic about oil price volatility (if not so optimistic about oil prices).
- Lastly, Gill Blog drew my attention to a report from D.C. that the costs of an Avian flu epidemic in the U.S. would be about $700 billion - or 2 to 3 times the costs of Katrina.