Posts Tagged ‘crisis’

One act of censorship overcome

December 15, 2009 Leave a comment

Clive Spash’s paper “The Brave New World of Carbon Trading”, which the Australian authorities suppressed, is now available at: 
For background see:
Censorship of Critique of Emissions Trading and Carbon-Offsets Schemes
Update on Censorship of Critique of Emssions Trading Schemes

Carbon credits: Britain’s richest man cleans up

December 7, 2009 2 comments

The climatologist James Hansen opposes the cap and trade scenario being considered at Copenhagen on two grounds: one, at the real-world level it is essentially a programme for fraud and corruption, and two, it is essentially greenwash and thus serves to postpone, yet again, serious attempts at carbon reduction. Yesterday’s Sunday Times provides supporting evidence for Hansen assertion that cap and trade is a system for “paying off numerous special interests”.  Read more…

Cleaning house at the WTO

(with Timothy A. Wise)

This week, the 10th anniversary of the infamous “Battle in Seattle,” ministers assembled in Geneva with renewed hopes of reviving world trade talks. To dampen expectations, World Trade Organisation chief Pascal Lamy bills the event as a mere “housekeeping session,” rather than full-fledged negotiations.

There is no question the WTO needs to clean house. The organisation charged with developing a fair and legitimate multilateral trading system has been left in the dust of world economic events. Read more…

Banking on Heaven

November 29, 2009 1 comment

Banking on Heaven: economics as confessional

 Jamie Morgan

‘I should like,’ said young Jolyon, ‘to lecture on it: “Properties and quality of a Forsyte. This little animal, disturbed by the ridicule of his own sort, is unaffected in his motions by the laughter of strange creatures (you or I). Hereditarily disposed to myopia, he recognises only the persons and habitats of his own species, amongst which he passes an existence of competitive tranquillity.”’ John Galsworthy, The Forsyte Saga.

The recent comment in the Sunday Times (8/11/09) by the Goldman Sachs CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, that banks serve a ‘social purpose’ and do ‘God’s work,’ was a controversial one. Reference to the Almighty in business and banking often leads to satirical exegesis. Many might respond that the liturgy of banks is public worship of quite another kind than might be ascribed to a divine being. Others might suggest that Read more…

Student protests against the effects of the economic collapse are spreading

November 25, 2009 3 comments

A wave of student protests, reminiscent of the 1960s, has swept across California’s university system.  Students have wagged, teach-ins, class walkouts, rallies, demonstrations and sit-ins after the state government announced Read more…

Reviews of Paul Davidson’s new book

November 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Here are some review comments on Paul Davidson’s new book The Keynes Solution: The Path to Global Economic Prosperity [only $15 from Amazon US]. The first is from The New York Times.

“A true believer, Mr. Davidson lays out Keynesianism in easy-to-understand language and makes a strong case that it is just as relevant today. There are some doubters who fear that Keynesian spending is dangerous because it produces unbalanced budgets. Mr. Davidson responds that deficits in times of crisis lead to prosperity when the economy recovers. The most tantalizing part, however, is the appendix, entitled “Why Keynes’s Ideas Were Never Taught in American Universities.” Mr. Davidson writes Read more…

Are they predicting a V or a W?

November 19, 2009 3 comments

Over the past six months we hare repeatedly reminded ourselves, as well as non-economists, that although recessions/depressions are usually V-shaped, sometimes they are W-shaped (double-dipped). Time has now come for high-profile economists to give us their predictions as to the shape of the one we are living through.

Yesterday Read more…

Political documents vs. scientific ones

November 13, 2009 5 comments

Tuesday the International Energy Agency released its annual “World Energy Outlook” report, in which it forecast that by 2030 world oil production would increase from the current 85 million barrels per day to 105.  But yesterday the Global Energy unit at Uppsala University in Sweden issued a report “The Peak of the Oil Age” which claims oil production is more likely to be 75 million barrels a day by 2030.  The diagrams below, from the Guardian, illustrate the radical difference between these two views of our next twenty years.   Read more…

A question regarding comparability of unemployment rates

November 6, 2009 2 comments

The just announced 10.2% current unemployment rate for the US is one of six unemployment rates, known as U1 – U6, that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics computes.  Today’s 10.2% figure is the U-3 rate – the one that the media almost always uses but never specifies.  U-4 includes, in addition to persons unemployed and currently actively looking for a job, persons who have given a job-market related reason for not currently looking for a job.  U-5 counts, in addition to those included in U-3, persons who currently are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the recent past.  U-6 includes U-5 persons plus those employed part time who want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule.  

At any point in time large differences exist between these rates.  For example, today’s announced unemployment rates for October 2009, in addition to U-3, are U-4 = 10.7%, U-5 = 11.6% and U-6 = 17.5%.  My question is: when we are told that at some point in the Great Depression the unemployment rate was x%, which of the four unemployment concepts that I have described is the most comparable?

Happy Anniversary Wall Street

November 1, 2009 7 comments

If I was asked to nominate the wisest aphorism of all time, Mark Twain’s “History doesn’t repeat, but it sure does rhyme” would definitely be one of my top two candidates.

On song, today Wall Street is replaying the 1930s, but to a slightly different meter. With the 80th anniversary of  the Great Crash of 1929 falling on October 29th of this year, Wall Street is celebrating in characteristic style–with a euphoria-led bubble that now appears to be crashing up against economic reality. Read more…

Trading on Thin Ice

As negotiated by the Bush administration, the United States-Colombia Free Trade Agreement could cause or accentuate a financial crisis. Such a possibility would not only harm Colombia‘s development prospects and further politically destabilise an important US ally, but also jeopardise the very US exporters and workers that the agreement at least in theory would boost.   Read more…

the crisis and the culpability of macroeconomic theory

October 27, 2009 8 comments

It is the ideas at the heart of modern macroeconomics which provided the intellectual justification of the economic policies of the past 10 to 15 years.  They bear a direct responsibility for the serious nature of the crash.   Read more…

The Keynes Solution

October 24, 2009 32 comments
Below is a letter I set to the letters to the Editor Department of THE  ECONOMIST to respond to an unfair comment that the book reviewer made regarding my book, THE KEYNES SOLUTIONRead more…