Blog Profile / The Baseline Scenario

Filed Under:Business & Finance / Economics
Posts on Regator:514
Posts / Week:2.1
Archived Since:February 8, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Who’s Afraid of Larry Lessig?

By James Kwak Larry Lessig is running for the Democratic presidential nomination on a single issue?—?political equality?—?and a promise to resign as soon as Congress passes a bill that would help level the electoral playing field, end partisan gerrymandering, make … Continue reading ?

The Only Two Things That Matter: Why I’m Supporting Larry Lessig

By James Kwak We have lots of problems: Expensive yet mediocre health care. Lack of retirement security. Out-of-control megabanks. Inequality of opportunity. And, of course, climate change. At the end of the day, though, there are only two things that … Continue reading ?

Bernie Sanders Wants to Spend $18 Trillion: So What?

By James Kwak The front page of yesterday’s Wall Street Journal featured an article claiming that Bernie Sanders wants to increase federal government spending by $18 trillion over the next ten years—an increase of about one-third over that time period. This … Continue reading ?

Alphabet: Less Than Meets the Eye

By James Kwak The reorganization of Google into Alphabet means … well, not very much, at least for now. Instead of everything being inside one big corporation called Google, now there will be a bunch of corporations (one of them called … Continue reading ?

So Tom Hayes Is Guilty. Who Else Is?

By James Kwak Tom Hayes was a trader at UBS and Citigroup who was very, very good … at rigging LIBOR. This week, he was convicted in the United Kingdom of conspiring to manipulate the benchmark interest rate and sentenced to … Continue reading ?

More Misinformation about Banking Regulation

By James Kwak “Fed Tells Big Banks to Shrink or Else,” the Wall Street Journal proclaimed in the headline of its lead story today. If only. What the Federal Reserve actually did is impose new, additional capital requirements for the … Continue reading ?

Friedrich Hayek Supported a Guaranteed Minimum Income

By James Kwak “We shall again take for granted the availability of a system of public relief which provides a uniform minimum for all instances of proved need, so that no member of the community need be in want of … Continue reading...

I Agree with Milton Friedman!

By James Kwak In Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman asks what types of inequality are ethically justifiable. In particular (pp. 164–66): “Inequality resulting from differences in personal capacities, or from differences in wealth accumulated by the individual in question, are … Continue reading ?

What Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Really All About?

By Simon Johnson The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and 11 other countries.  It is comprised of two main parts: reductions in tariffs (and related non-tariff barriers), of the kind typically … Continue reading ?

Over at Medium: Geo-Engineering Doesn’t Reduce Long-Term Risk

By James Kwak Mark Buchanan?—?who is actually a physicist, after all?—?makes a compelling argument against relying on geo-engineering to deal with our climate change problem. For one thing, some of the proposed technologies simply won’t work, because they do nothing … Continue reading ?

Over at Medium: Organized Crime on Wall Street

By James Kwak One of the central dramas of the early seasons of The Wire is the cat-and-mouse game between Avon Barksdale’s drug operation and the detectives of the Major Crimes Unit. The drug dealers started off using pagers and … Continue reading ?

Why Is The White House Threatening To Veto An Imaginary Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)?

By Simon Johnson At today’s daily briefing, White House spokesman Josh Earnest communicated the president’s threat to veto any trade promotion authority (TPA) that “could undermine the independence or ability of the Federal Reserve to make monetary policy decisions”.  (The … Continue reading ?

Over at Medium: “Payout Baby!!!”

By James Kwak “In my many years of experience working in compliance, do you know how many fixed and variable annuities I’ve seen being invested in IRAs??? Countless. “Investing a tax deferred investment within a tax deferred account simply does … Continue reading ?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): This Is Not About Ricardo

By Simon Johnson and Andrei Levchenko The Obama administration is lobbying hard for Congress to pass a trade promotion authority (TPA) and to quickly approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade agreement that is on the verge of being … Continue reading ?

Preventing Currency Manipulation

By Simon Johnson As Congress debates the trade promotion authority, TPA, the issue of currency manipulation remains firmly on the table.  The administration and Republican leadership insist that language discouraging currency manipulation should not be included in the TPA (and … Continue reading ?

Over at Medium: The Importance of Taxing Capital

By James Kwak “At present, when zero interest rates make capital costs as low as they have ever been but corporate profits are at record levels, there needs to be much less concern with capital costs and more concern with … Continue reading ?

Why Your Wages Aren’t Going Up

By James Kwak Unemployment is down to 5.4%! Yay! That was the summary of last week’s unemployment report. Yet the two-track “recovery”?—?about to enter its seventh year?—?continues. Average hourly wages increased by only 0.1% in April and 2.2% for the … Continue reading ?

Greg Mankiw Forgot What He Teaches

By James Kwak I’ve written several times about what I call the Economics 101 ideology: the overuse of a few simplified concepts from an introductory course to make sweeping policy recommendations (while branding any opponents as ignorant simpletons). The most … Continue reading ?

The Dysfunctions of Sodor Railways

By James Kwak The neolithic political ideology of Thomas and Friends is so overbearing and obvious that it’s not worth writing about (except in parody, which I won’t attempt here). Duncan Weldon has taken up the more interesting question of … Continue reading ?

Say It Ain’t So, Ben

By James Kwak Is it the money? No. Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, the man who saved the global economy, is becoming an adviser for Citadel, a hedge fund management company. Bernanke will provide advice to Citadel’s fund managers and … Continue reading ?

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