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Blog Profile / The Baseline Scenario

Filed Under:Business & Finance / Economics
Posts on Regator:494
Posts / Week:3
Archived Since:February 8, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Rumsfeldian Journalism

By James Kwak I still have Nate Silver in my Twitter feed, and I used to be a pretty avid basketball fan, so when I saw this I had to click through: Just how bad were the @DetroitPistons‘ Bad Boys? … Continue reading ?

Defending Kickbacks

By James Kwak The Wall Street Journal reports that the SEC will soon decide (well, sometime this year) whether brokers should be subject to a fiduciary standard in their dealings with clients, as registered financial advisers are today. At present, … Continue reading ?

What Might Have Been . . .

By James Kwak I was reading the plea deal in the SAC case, which was approved by the judge yesterday, and then I started reading the criminal indictment filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. What I noticed was how relatively simple it … Continue reading ?

The Absurdity of Fifth Third

By James Kwak No, I’m not talking about the fact that a major bank is named Fifth Third Bank. (As a friend said, why would you trust your money to a bank that seems not to understand fractions?) I’m talking … Continue reading ?

Disability Insurance Basics

By James Kwak A while back I wrote a post critical of a Planet Money/This American Life episode on disability insurance. Among other things, I thought that the episode made too much of the fact that the number of people … Continue reading ?

The Too Big To Fail Subsidy Debate Is Over

By Simon Johnson No doubt there is still a lot of shouting to come, but this week a team at the International Monetary Fund completely nailed the issue of whether large global banks receive an implicit subsidy courtesy of the … Continue reading ?

More Pseudo-Contrarianism

By James Kwak I accidentally glanced at the link to David Brooks’s recent column and—oh my god, is it stupid. You may want to stop reading right here to avoid being exposed to it. Basically, Brooks says that the Supreme … Continue reading ?


By James Kwak One of the criticism’s of Michael Lewis’s book is that he gets his moral wrong. High-frequency trading doesn’t hurt the little guy, as Lewis claims; instead, it hurts the big guy. The explanation is this: people sitting … Continue reading ?

Citigroup CEO Named To “Key Administration Post”

By Simon Johnson Just a few short days ago, it looked like Citigroup was on the ropes. The company’s proposal for redistributing capital back to shareholders was rejected by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Given the … Continue reading ?

The Desperation of the Vanishing Middle Class

By James Kwak I recently finished reading Pound Foolish, by Helaine Olen, which I discussed earlier (while one-third of the way through). The book is a condemnation of just almost every form of personal financial advice out there, from the personal finance gurus (Suze … Continue reading ?

Perhaps The Most Boring Important Topic In Economics

By Simon Johnson International economic policy making is a contender for the title of “most boring important topic” in economics.  And within the field there is nothing quite as dull as the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  Try getting an article … Continue reading ?

The Chinese Boom-Bust Cycle

By Simon Johnson Should we fear some sort of financial crash in China, along the lines of what we saw in 2008 in the US or after 2010 in the euro area? Given the rate of growth in credit and … Continue reading ?

Stress Tests, Lending, and Capital Requirements

By James Kwak Despite the much-publicized black eye to Citigroup’s management, the bottom line of the Federal Reserve’s stress tests is that every other large U.S. bank will be allowed to pay out more cash to its shareholders, either as … Continue reading ?

A Book That Needed To Be Written

By James Kwak I have previously written about (here, for example) what I call economism, or excessive belief in the little bit that you remember from Economics 101. The problem is twofold. First, Economics 101 usually paints a highly stylized, … Continue reading ?

More on Wasting Shareholders’ Money

By James Kwak A few weeks ago I wrote a post about my most recent “academic” paper, on the issue of whether corporate political contributions might constitute a breach of insiders’ fiduciary duty toward shareholders. The thrust of that paper was … Continue reading ?

Stopping Russia

By Simon Johnson The rhetoric of confrontation with Russia seems to be escalating, including with the remarkable suggestion – from Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee – that the US provide “small arms and radio equipment” to Ukraine. Encouragement … Continue reading ?


By James Kwak There is a common phenomenon in legal disputes over the value of something, be it a company, a piece of land, or a person’s expected lifetime earnings. Each side hires an “expert” who produces an estimate based … Continue reading ?

Whiskey Costs Money

By James Kwak A few days ago I wrote a post that began with New York Fed President William Dudley talking tough about banks: “There is evidence of deep-seated cultural and ethical failures at many large financial institutions.” The thrust … Continue reading ?

There’s No Substitute for the Government

By James Kwak Mike Konczal wrote an excellent article for Democracy about the problems with a voluntary safety net and the superiority of government social insurance. The article draws on serious historical research (by other people) to prove two main … Continue reading ?

You Don’t Say

By James Kwak Last week Peter Eavis of DealBook highlighted a statement made last year by New York Fed President William Dudley (formerly of Goldman Sachs, then a top lieutenant to Tim Geithner): “There is evidence of deep-seated cultural and ethical … Continue reading ?

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