Archive for the ‘Political Economy’ Category

“toxic and destructive” Goldman Sachs and the Obama administration

March 15, 2012 13 comments

from Edward Fullbrook

As you may have heard in the news, yesterday one of the key directors of Goldman Sachs, Greg Smith, published in the New York Times his long letter of resignation.  It begins:

TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.

Given the degree of attention that the international media is today giving this mini event, it seems appropriate to republish here a table from my RWER paper, published on Monday, “The Political Economy of Bubbles”.  The table below, which is largely based on an article by fflambeau, details 32 relationships, financial and otherwise, between Goldman Sachs people (“morally bankrupt” says Smith) and the Obama Administration. Read more…

The Plutonomy Reports

March 14, 2012 1 comment

from Edward Fullbrook

On this blog, posts dealing with plutonomy have consistently been the most heavily viewed. Given this interest, here is one of several sections on plutonomy from my paper “The Political Economy of Bubbles” in the new issue of Real-World Economics Review. It is centered on the three Citigroup Plutonomy Reports. Read more…

Why Free-Market Economics is a Fraud

December 18, 2011 33 comments

from Ian Fletcher

If there’s one thing everyone in America knows, it’s that free-market economics is true and free markets are best. 

After all, we’re not communists, are we? They starved and lost the Cold War because they believed otherwise. And their watered-down European cousins the socialists? More of the same, only less so. Even liberals get this nowadays. All hail the free market! 

Trouble is, things “everyone” knows are often wrong. And this is no exception.

It’s time to start getting honest about a very simple fact: Nobody, but nobody, really believes in free markets. That’s right. Not the Republican Party, not the libertarians, not the Wall Street Journal, nobody.  Read more…

Regime change (Gini chart)

December 15, 2011 1 comment

from John Schmitt

Over the last decade, as economic inequality in the United States was growing, income inequality was on the decline in most of Latin America. In March, economists Darryl McLeod and Nora Lustig circulated a working paper (pdf) arguing that, in Latin America, the “social democratic regimes in Brazil and Chile were more successful at reducing inequality and poverty than the so-called populist regimes of Argentina, Bolivia, and Venezuela.” Read more…

Politics Matter

November 23, 2011 3 comments

from John Schmitt

In a new CEPR report (pdf), Alexandra Mitukiewicz and I argue that the national political environment, not globalization or technology, is the most important factor driving long-run changes in unionization rates in the United States and other rich economies.

Since 1980, changes in union coverage (the share of the workforce covered by a collective bargaining agreement) are strongly correlated with a country’s postwar political tradition. Read more…

European Foolishness

November 16, 2011 7 comments

from Peter Radford

There isn’t much to say: anyone who thought that the appointment of a couple of tired, traditional, economists as heads of Greece and Italy respectively would cure anything was decidedly deluded. Lucas Papedemos and Mario Monti are not elected, so they have little, if any, democratic legitimacy and yet will implement drastic revisions to the social contracts and institutions of their nations. In my opinion this rule by technocrats is just another example of the attempt by a failed elite to impose its unpopular vision on Europe. Read more…

#OccupyWallStreet: The Real Tea Party

October 20, 2011 16 comments

from Dean Baker

Many people have forgotten that the Tea Party movement had its origins in the anti-TARP protests in the fall of 2008. Millions of people across the country were outraged that the government was going to loan hundreds of billions of dollars to the banks that had brought themselves and the country to the brink of ruin through their own greed and incompetence. Just as these people feared, the bailouts saved the banks, leaving their high-flying executives largely unharmed, but did little to get the economy back on its feet. Read more…

The 99 Percent Movement: Tactical Briefing #15

October 18, 2011 9 comments

from Edward Fullbrook

It was the people at Adbusters who conceived and launched the Occupy Wall Street Movement, which now that it has gone global is more generally known as the 99 Percent Movement.  Below is Adbusters latest tactical briefing.  Read more…

Links for following the 99 Percent or Occupy Wall Street Movement

October 15, 2011 1 comment

from Edward Fullbrook

For following the 99 Percent or Occupy Wall Street Movement, I recommend these Aljazeera links: Read more…

US corporate profits after tax 1990 to 2011

September 27, 2011 6 comments

from David Ruccio

US corporate profits after tax 1990 to 2011 Read more…

“The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive”

August 29, 2011 6 comments

In his new book, The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive, Dean Baker argues that progressives hurt their cause whenever they accept the conventional wisdom that conservatives are for the “free” market while progressives are for government intervention in the market economy.  In a much-needed counter-narrative, Baker stresses that this is both bad policy and bad politics.  He takes apart this fundamental misframing of economics and details how conservatives actually use the government to twist markets to their advantage and points out that they are just smart enough not to own up to it. Read more…

Another look at the European debt crisis

August 26, 2011 1 comment

from John Schmitt

Unless European officials can find a viable solution soon, the continent’s sovereign debt crisis threatens to derail the increasingly fragile world economic recovery. The conventional wisdom blames Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland — the poorer “peripheral” countries at the center of the crisis — for “living beyond their means.” In an important new paper, however, Vicente Navarro, professor of public policy at Johns Hopkins University, offers a compelling alternative explanation for the mess. Read more…

“Plutonomy” Update

August 14, 2011 7 comments

The Atlantic  – Sept. 2011

Can the Middle Class Be Saved?

The Great Recession has accelerated the hollowing-out of the American middle class. And it has illuminated the widening divide between most ofAmericaand the super-rich. Both developments herald grave consequences. Here is how we can bridge the gap between us. Read more…

Political economy and the outlook for capitalism

August 11, 2011 6 comments

Call for papers

The collapse of Lehman Brothers on 16 September 2008 has opened a new stage of economic history, ushering in the world’s worst recession since WWII. The trajectory of global capitalism has been diverse but, after three years of deep crisis, protracted economic problems persist and are even intensifying, notwithstanding accelerated growth in a number of large developing countries.  Read more…

Political economy of academic journal publishing

August 11, 2011 3 comments

from David Ruccio

The explosion of new scholarly journals, together with the shrinking of the number of academic journal publishers and the “qualification inflation” taking palce within the corporate university, poses important issues for scholars interested in where and how their work is published and disseminated. Read more…

Ha-Joon Chang explains the turmoil in global markets

from David Ruccio

Ha-Joon Chang [ht: ja] explains that the turmoil in global markets was not inevitable, and it won’t be fixed by controlling budget deficits. Instead, he argues, there’s an “urgent need to reform our financial system, whose dysfunctionality lies at the heart of this crisis.”  Read more…

Trichet to the European parliament: curb wages, not inflation!

July 5, 2011 6 comments

from Merijn Knibbe

M3-money growth, a target variable of the European Central Bank (ECB), is increasing again – though this increase is well below the +4,5% ECB target. Sluggish money growth (way below the increase of nominal GDP!) suggest that ECB policies should become more expansive, to accommodate economic recovery, surely when we take the present 9,9% unemployment rate into account. But 2% money growth  scares the pants out of the ECB and Trichet therefore desperately wants to curb inflationary pressures caused by rising energy prices and increasing VAT rates by curbing wages. To do this, he restricts his analysis to consumer price inflation instead of to an economy wide assessment of price changes which also includes house and other asset prices. More direct approaches to curbing economy wide inflation, like reigning in reckless lending by a German style saving/equity scheme for potential house buyers or a land tax, might do a better job to curb economy wide inflation than curbing wages but stay out of the ECB analysis.  Read more…

Right to rent: Will the Obama administration finally fix housing?

June 29, 2011 4 comments

from Dean Baker

The concept of “right to rent” has been floating around Washington for almost four years. Under this proposal , foreclosed homeowners would be allowed to remain in their house as renters paying the market rent, for a substantial period of time (e.g. five years) following a foreclosure.  While several bills have been introduced in Congress, President Obama may now have a new opportunity to take the lead on this issue.  Read more…

“The Plutonomy Symposium “, Citigroup

June 23, 2011 5 comments

Here is the copy from the cover of a 64 page report on plutonomy issued by Citigroup 0n 29 Spetember 2006.  

The Global Investigator

The Plutonomy Symposium — Rising Tides Lifting Yachts

Time to re-commit to plutonomy stocks – Binge on Bling.  Read more…

from November 2010: Citigroup attempts to disappear its Plutonomy Report #2

June 20, 2011 16 comments

Because this post from November 2010 on this blog has been viewed 8,000 times this morning, I am reposting it here.  I was told a few minutes ago that the reports are available (for the time being) here and here.

Citigroup attempts to disappear its Plutonomy Report #2
November 11, 2010 

from Edward Fullbrook

In 2005 and 2006 Citigroup issued two now notorious but highly significant reports for the exclusive use of its richest clients.  The first, from October 16, 2005, was “Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalance”. This 35 page report begins:  Read more…