Peterson Thinks We Need Austerity While He Lives It Up!

By: Sunday March 9, 2014 1:05 pm

If we focus on Peterson’s faux problem and implement the policies that he and his allies advocate, then all that awaits us is austerity, periodic deeper and deeper recessions, and eventually a war of all against all, accompanied by lives that will be “nasty, brutish and short.”

 

A Plague on All Your Budgets

By: Wednesday March 27, 2013 7:07 pm

All four of these budget projections, if implemented could only correspond to a bleak, stagnating economic future for the United States, with the House Budget producing the worst result by far. I’m sure this analysis would be strongly objected to by the authors of all four budgets. But of the four, the most credible claims against what I’ve written would probably come from CPC neo-keynesian budget proponents.

Economic Theory for an Age of Ruin

By: Friday February 22, 2013 2:35 pm

As this financial disaster grinds through its fifth year, US economists haven’t seemed to change much about their analysis or explanations. The people who got it wrong continue to push their false theories, insisting that if we clap louder their reputations will be saved. It’s working for the hyper-rich.

Trillion Dollar Coin: Posts on Legality and Constitutionality

By: Saturday January 5, 2013 6:40 pm

Enthusiasm for using Platinum Coin Seigniorage (PCS) to produce a Trillion Dollar Coin, or coins totaling a few trillion dollars continues to increase. The twitterverse went mad two nights ago around #mintthecoin, a hashtag originated by MMT’s Stephanie Kelton, which by yesterday morning had become the 5th most highly trending topic on twitter.

Meanwhile, the blogosphere continued to produce more points of view on the Platinum Coin.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes L. Randall Wray, Modern Money Theory: A Primer on Macroeconomics for Sovereign Monetary Systems

By: Saturday January 5, 2013 1:59 pm

I am hosting the Firedoglake discussion of my colleague Randy Wray’s new “Primer” on macroeconomics. Macroeconomics is the study of the overall economy – economic growth, recessions, depressions, inflation, unemployment, and employment are big issues that macroeconomics studies. The key policies it addresses are usually divided into fiscal (tax and spending) and monetary policies (the growth of the money supply and setting interest rates).

The concept of monetary tools has broadened as we have seen the Federal Reserve change what had been a severely constrained “lender of last resort” function of the central bank into the most massive bailout program in history. Similarly, the central bank’s interest rate setting function that was long focused on short-term rates has expanded into large experiments that attempt to lower long-term interest rates (“quantitative easing”).

Krugman Goes Platinum!

By: Friday January 4, 2013 5:51 am

Another platinum coin surge in the Second Wave rippled through the mainstream media yesterday and this time hit the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Domenico Mantanaro of MSNBC kicked things off on one of the morning shows by mentioning the Trillion Dollar Coin (TDC) as a possible solution to the debt ceiling problem. Then, in the afternoon, on MSNBC’s the cycle, Krystal Ball, and Steve Kornacke, in discussing the coming debt ceiling conflict talked rather matter-of-factly, I thought, about minting some TDCs to get around the debt ceiling.

Then Paul Krugman blogged about platinum coins. In the context of answering a question about whether we can “print money,” to get around the debt ceiling, he answers no, and then says…

Bernanke: Economy Still Weak, No Time for Austerity

By: Tuesday November 20, 2012 7:05 pm

Ben Bernanke’s speech on the economy today offered no new information. It was more of an overview on the state of the economy, and it hit on many very familiar themes which Bernanke has expressed for a long time now, including the need to loosen lending standards in a type of reinflation of the housing bubble, which infuriates me. But give Bernanke credit for actually depicting the economy as it is rather than as someone hopes it to be; a weak economy with troublingly high unemployment. In other words, the wrong time to engage in a fiscal cutback through austerity.

Economic Indicators Still Point to Weak 2013

By: Tuesday November 20, 2012 7:33 am

Morgan Stanley continues to predict a weak 1.4% growth for the US in 2013. I assume some of this pessimism has to do with the potential for a nasty fiscal slope. But this forecast mirrors their previous forecast in September, so nothing has changed in their analysis in the two months where policymakers crept closer to the slope. In other words, there’s something more structural at work. You can see that in the sharp pullback in investment at the corporate level

Janet Yellen’s Game-Changing Speech for Monetary Policy

By: Wednesday November 14, 2012 6:10 pm

The President opened his press conference by designating the top two priorities as jobs and growth, and then spent the next 60 minutes answering questions about David Petraeus and Susan Rice and tax rates and Benghazi and deficit reduction. And Obama didn’t seek to break out of that constraint and suggest actual near-term job creation strategies. So it’s pretty clear that jobs are a dead end as far as the legislative process is concerned.

On monetary policy, however, things have suddenly become a bit more promising. Janet Yellen, the Vice-Chair of the Federal Reserve, delivered a speech yesterday that strongly endorsed the idea of “forward guidance” in the economy, tying monetary policy actions to a specific employment target. The idea was first brooched by Charles Evans, the President of the Chicago Federal Reserve, who because of the rotation of regional Fed Presidents on the Federal Open Market Committee, will actually get a policymaking slot in 2013.

Pressure Increases for a Grand Bargain Without Any Policy Rationale

By: Friday November 9, 2012 7:47 am

Chuck Schumer, obviously running point for Senate Democrats on fiscal slope negotiations, claims that a chastened GOP will be willing to deal. But the only party who has made any concessions on a deal has been Chuck Schumer, floating an extension of current tax rates for upper-income earners, accompanying a limit on deductions.

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