14 Jan 2011

The Anti-Regulators Are the “Job Killers”

The new mantra of the Republican Party is the old mantra — regulation is a “job killer.” It is certainly possible to have regulations kill jobs, and when I was a financial regulator I was a leader in cutting away many dumb requirements. But we have just experienced the epic ability of the anti-regulators to kill well over ten million jobs. Why then is there not a single word from the new House leadership about investigations to determine how the anti-regulators did their damage? Why is there no plan to investigate the fields in which inadequate regulation most endangers jobs? While we’re at it, why not investigate the areas in which inadequate regulation allows firms to maim and kill. This column addresses only financial regulation.

23
03 Jan 2011

How Did a Relatively Small Number of Subprime Loans Cause a Record Crisis?

A number of analyses of the U.S. and global crisis begin by attempting to explain what they assume to be a paradox – how could so small a market segment (subprime housing and CDOs backed by subprime) have caused (1) the largest financial bubble in history, (2) a U.S. economic crisis, and (3) a nearly global crisis? To these scholars the obvious answer is that subprime lending could not have caused this traumatic trifecta. If follows that the importance of subprime lending must be overstated and there must be other, more powerful causes of the trifecta. I will show that the focus on subprime loans was excessive and allude briefly to the points I have made in prior columns about the variant causes of the global crisis.

37
14 Dec 2010

Obama Haters Praise His Tax Policies Because They Believe Those Policies Will Make Him Fail

The ideal result for supporters of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy is to get them extended in a manner that allows Republicans to escape from the suicidal bargaining position they were in on holding taxes for 98% of American taxpayers hostage and blocking the extension of unemployment benefits, in a fashion in which the Republicans get to take primary credit for all of the tax cuts, and while causing the President to betray his campaign promises and launch an attack on his strongest supporters – an attack taken word-for-word out of the Republican playbook. That is precisely what they’ve achieved. They did not achieve the result through brilliance and they cannot achieve it without cowardice and ineptitude on the part of the Democrats.

0
14 Dec 2010

Obama Haters Praise His Tax Policies Because They Believe Those Policies Will Make Him Fail

The ideal result for supporters of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy is to get them extended in a manner that allows Republicans to escape from the suicidal bargaining position they were in on holding taxes for 98% of American taxpayers hostage and blocking the extension of unemployment benefits, in a fashion in which the Republicans get to take primary credit for all of the tax cuts, and while causing the President to betray his campaign promises and launch an attack on his strongest supporters – an attack taken word-for-word out of the Republican playbook. That is precisely what they’ve achieved. They did not achieve the result through brilliance and they cannot achieve it without cowardice and ineptitude on the part of the Democrats.

84
01 Nov 2010

If Obama Thinks the Response to the S&L Debacle Failed, Why Is He Adopting It?

Obama channels former Savings and Loan regulator Dick Pratt’s disastrous cover-up strategy.

0
01 Nov 2010

If Obama Thinks the Response to the S&L Debacle Failed, Why Is He Adopting It?

Obama channels former Savings and Loan regulator Dick Pratt’s disastrous cover-up strategy.

41
23 Oct 2010

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Raghuram G. Rajan, Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy

Dr. Raghuram G. Rajan, is a distinguished professor at the University of Chicago’s business school and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Readers familiar with Chicago school economics will see that the crisis has not led to a fundamental reevaluation of that school’s policy recommendations. The title of his book captures his thesis – Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures still Threaten the World Economy. Rajan writes clearly and his book is intended for the intelligent lay reader. His book contains no charts, graphs, or equations, doubtless at the urgings of the Princeton University Press. It is an ambitious book, for it seeks to explain the global crisis and different trends in the real economy and the financial sector in many nations.

0
23 Oct 2010

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Raghuram G. Rajan, Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy

Dr. Raghuram G. Rajan, is a distinguished professor at the University of Chicago’s business school and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Readers familiar with Chicago school economics will see that the crisis has not led to a fundamental reevaluation of that school’s policy recommendations. The title of his book captures his thesis – Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures still Threaten the World Economy. Rajan writes clearly and his book is intended for the intelligent lay reader. His book contains no charts, graphs, or equations, doubtless at the urgings of the Princeton University Press. It is an ambitious book, for it seeks to explain the global crisis and different trends in the real economy and the financial sector in many nations.

126
17 Jul 2010

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Richard D. Wolff, Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It

Dr. Wolff is a prominent Marxist economist who teaches at U. Mass and The New School. The book is composed of scores of short essays he did for Monthly Review beginning in 2005. The publicity blurb sent to potential reviewers states that Dr. Wolff “predicted the economic meltdown years ago.” The book does not contain specific predictions of the meltdown beyond the omnipresent Marxist prediction that capitalism is inherently unstable. Dr. Wolff’s articles take note of the bubble and nonprime assets in the articles in the book after the collapse of the bubble and after the crisis in nonprime assets were obvious. Readers interested in the scholars that predicted the specific crisis should consult Jamie Galbraith’s article.

Dr. Wolff’s emphasis is explaining his overall Marxist critique of capitalism’s defects. The articles can be read easily by the general reader. No economic expertise is required and Dr. Wolff writes in English without the Marxist jargon that non-specialists find confusing.

117
17 Jul 2010

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Richard D. Wolff, Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It

Dr. Wolff is a prominent Marxist economist who teaches at U. Mass and The New School. The book is composed of scores of short essays he did for Monthly Review beginning in 2005. The publicity blurb sent to potential reviewers states that Dr. Wolff “predicted the economic meltdown years ago.” The book does not contain specific predictions of the meltdown beyond the omnipresent Marxist prediction that capitalism is inherently unstable. Dr. Wolff’s articles take note of the bubble and nonprime assets in the articles in the book after the collapse of the bubble and after the crisis in nonprime assets were obvious. Readers interested in the scholars that predicted the specific crisis should consult Jamie Galbraith’s article.

Dr. Wolff’s emphasis is explaining his overall Marxist critique of capitalism’s defects. The articles can be read easily by the general reader. No economic expertise is required and Dr. Wolff writes in English without the Marxist jargon that non-specialists find confusing.

117