House to Consider $8 Billion Highway Trust Fund Shortfall Remedy

From AASHTO Journal: House to Consider $8 Billion Highway Trust Fund Shortfall Remedy
“The House of Representatives is reportedly prepared to consider legislation Wednesday to transfer $8.017 billion to the Highway Trust Fund to offset a projected shortfall in Fiscal Year 2009.
Sources indicate that the House leadership plans to expedite the bill, introduced last Thursday, to a floor vote using a procedure known as suspension of the rules. Under such a maneuver, the bill can bypass a committee hearing and gain House passage if at least two-thirds of representatives vote “yes.” The procedure is commonly used in the House to pass noncontroversial legislation.”

Technion Prediction Tournament

How good a modeler are you?
The Technion Prediction Tournament seeks to find out …
“Motivation and the basic idea
Classical behavioral decision research focuses on counter-examples to rational decision theory (like the Allais’ paradox), and simple models of sufficient conditions to these counter-examples (like original prospect theory, Kahneman & Tversky, 1979). We believe that this focus was highly effective in establishing the importance of behavioral decision research; yet, the future of our discipline depends on our ability to advance beyond counter-examples (see Budescu et al., 1998.
The current set of competitions tries to take one step beyond counter-examples by focusing on well defined spaces of choice problems. The set includes three independent competitions that will focus on three distinct choice tasks:
One shot decisions under risk (like the situations studied by Kahneman and Tversky, 1979) – Condition Description
One shot decisions from experience (like the situations studied by Hertwig et al., 2004) – Condition E-sampling
Repeated decisions from experience (like the situations studied by Barron and Erev, 2003) – Condition E-repeated
We ran one set of experimental studies (the estimation set) and will soon run a second set (the competition set). Both sets focus on choice between two alternatives, a safe choice and a risky choice:
Safe: Medium with certainty;
Risk: Low with probability p; High otherwise”

Foreclosures down under

The foreclosure crisis hits Australia … Fuel prices hit homeowners, with record Brisbane defaults
“National Shelter chairman Adrian Pisarski said the figures demonstrated the compounding effect of high petrol prices on already financially stressed homebuyers.
“It always seems to be in areas poorly serviced by public transport,” he said.
“People there are double-whammied. Their housing costs are going up and their transport costs are very high because they are car dependent.
“I think many households would cope with one or the other, but not both.””