I was fortunate to be part of a panel yesterday at the Economic Policy Institute commenting on Robert Kuttner’s important new book, “Debtors’ Prison.” Here’s the video of the event though for some reason the sound doesn’t start until about six minutes in—here’s a written summary. Bob also gives a fine summary and I very [...]
Had a rousing debate on Kudlow tonight about the Fisker story that’s got a lot of folks like Larry K crying “Solyndra squared!” Not so fast, dude. Brad Plumer covers the details here, but Fisker Automotive is a small company that has been trying to break into the electric car market but now teeters on the [...]
I just read that Goldman Sachs posted a profit of $2.2 billion in the first quarter, “…driven by strength in its investment banking business as well as its investing and lending unit.” And they’re mere pikers compared to their banking brethren: Across Wall Street, banks are showing signs of strength. Last week, JPMorgan posted a [...]
A quick note on an aspect of the recent stock market melt up that’s gotten some, though maybe not enough, attention. As I and some others stress here the recent rise in stock prices is largely a function of historically high corporate earnings (derived in part by squeezing workers and their wages) and very low interest rates, courtesy [...]
He has a featured piece in today’s NYT which, while about 11.8% absolutely and totally on target, is mostly a horrific screed, an ahistorical, dystopic, Hunger-Games vision of America based on debt obsession and willful ignorance of macroeconomics and the impact of market failure. The first sign of a problem here comes from a mash-up [...]
If Chairman Mao said, after two centuries, that it was still too soon to judge the impact of the French revolution, it’s probably a bit premature to learn much from the ongoing Cyprus bank debacle. That said, we at OTE are obliged to briefly speculate: #1: OK, I’m gonna go out on a limb on [...]
One way I get a bead on what folks are thinking about is when lots of people start asking the same question. Well, over the past week, a lot of people have been asking about the relationship between a country’s debt level and its growth. This seems to have been precipitated by a couple of [...]
That’s Greek for “economic policy.” Look, long-time readers know that I’ve been relatively hesitant to lash out against European economic policymakers. Life is a lot harder when you’ve got a currency union that’s neither a fiscal nor a regulatory union. And the inability to devalue the currency—because it’s not yours alone—means a key exit ramp [...]
Over at MSNBC.com.
Here’s a neat figure from Wonkbook today, showing the difference, in CBO’s opinion—one that matches mainstream econ—between the deficit’s impact on growth in the near term vs. the long term. In the near term given current conditions here and in most of Europe, deficit reduction is contractionary; in the longer term, lower deficits lead to [...]
Jim Parrott, a friend and former colleague, recently left his position of senior advisor for housing policy at the White House. He and I sat down to talk about the recent history of the housing bust, focusing on the government role in meeting and dealing with this massive market failure. Jim was there from the [...]
Update: you can see the full interview with Jim here. Jim was, until a few months ago, special advisor for housing policy at the White House. The full interview is in the pipeline and should be ready later this week.
Had great fun co-hosting the Larry Kudlow show last night—yes, it was fun and interesting (though way, way too much of the Republican talking point: it’s Obama’s sequester! That part was pure nonsense). Anyway, check out this segment on the pay of finance CEO’s. There you learn that as penance for his lack of oversight [...]
My CBPP colleague Chuck Marr has a nice little post up on where some of the revenues might come from in this next round of fiscal negotiations. …policymakers could reform or eliminate many costly tax breaks as part of a balanced long-term deficit-reduction package — or as part of a balanced short-term package to pay [...]
Played chin music all day on the jobs report and stumbled on a number of good and no-so-good points made by various peeps throughout the day. –With the revisions to last year’s payroll numbers, job growth in the last few months of 2012 was pretty strong, at least by recent standards—about 200k in Nov and [...]
Two points leading to two conclusions: First, as I said before, and Paul Krugman said today, as far as the actual numbers go, there’s no need to be in fiscal crisis mode. It would take $1.4 trillion to stabilize the debt-to-GDP ratio over the next decade, which in functional times would not be a particularly heavy lift. Second, [...]
I’ve been pretty committed to NOT writing about the debt ceiling debacle. Not that it isn’t portentous—for the US government to default, either on its sovereign debt or any other of its contractual obligations would be a disaster, a much deeper self-inflicted wound than the fiscal cliff. But it’s another massive key-dangle, ye olde magic [...]
We discussed the President’s pick for Treasury secretary on the Newshour last night. Covered lots of ground but I didn’t get a chance to weigh in on the unemployment question, so allow me to do so here. As I stressed, my experience with Jack leads me to believe he’ll be vigilant regarding the implementation of [...]
After trending up nicely, the MI survey of consumer sentiment tanks in Dec thanks to the self-inflicted wounds around the cliff. Source: Univ of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey Markets slumping today as their priced-in solution ran into the buzz saw of House R’s. Source: MarketWatch
A number of progressives are scratching their heads over why the President would be interested in pushing a debt ceiling showdown with Republicans down the road a year or two. Jon Cohn (and link to Brian Beutler): As recently as a few days ago, the administration was refusing to negotiate with Republicans about the debt [...]
Masterful piece of writing in today’s NYT by editorial board member Teresa Tritch on the job description of the new Treasury secretary. Secretary Geithner was met at the door in January of 2009 by a financial market meltdown and correctly undertook reversing that as his first job. As the figures below reveal—graphs I’ve chosen to [...]
That’s the question I explore over at MSNBC.com…check it out.
I was on a panel the other day exploring the idea of a financial transaction tax, or an FTT (here’s the video). Much of the discussion focused on the attributes of the idea, riffing off of the bill by Sen Harkin and Rep DeFazio for a small FTT on stock, bond, and derivative trades. Whaddya [...]
OTE readers know I worry about the advent of the “shampoo economy:” bubble, bust, repeat. The last few business cycles both here and in other advanced economies have been characterized by this pattern. To be clear, economies are cyclical…that’s a given. But nowhere is it written—well, outside of Minsky—that the cycles have to be driven [...]