Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Trade policy agreements and capital flows

Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism offers wise words regarding trade policy agreements and capital flows, in addition to pointing us toward a letter signed by several hundreds of economists regarding capital controls and government.: This letter is at odds with a longstanding project of major financial firms: to allow them to move money across borders […]

Confusions and policies…let’s keep the players in mind all around

Chinese Confusions by Paul Krugman These days, China seems to play the same role in much of our discourse that Japan did two decades ago. We look at our own follies — which are immense — and then look at the Chinese, and ascribe to them all the virtues of foresight and determination we lack. […]

China’s Industrial Policy vs. US Random Behavior…Firedoglake

Rdan Firedoglake presents a well written piece on US and Chinese trade policy: China’s Industrial Policy vs. US Random Behavior The U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission has issued its annual report {giant .pdf}. Robert Borosage of the Campaign for America’s Future hosted a conference call for the Co-Chair of the Commission, Carolyn Bartholomew, […]

Free, freer, and trade…what flavor cool aid?

rdan Trade policy and actual trade are related but different matters. This post from last year caught my eye, partly due to the discussion on tires from China. While any blog post has to be simplified due to the nature of a short post and comment format, such discussion at times seems amazingly simplified beyond […]

Travels of a Cheap Tire in the Global Economy

Tom Bozzo agrees with Ken (but observes that even Garth Brazelton falls for the ‘Pareto fallacy’ [*]), and sees Brazelton’s (so far) one anonymous comment, which takes issue with Brazelton’s hypothesis that the Obama administration is giving us a backdoor safety-enhancing Pigovian tax: This is probably incorrect. Tires like many other things need to meet […]

$295 Million Would Buy A Lot of T-Shirts

Ken Houghton notes that the first thing anyone learns from Pietra Rivoli’s The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade is how pernicious the U.S. subsidy of its cotton industry is.* Now the WTO has discovered the obvious: American goods will face [$294.7] […]

Trade policy debate to begin for mid-term elections?

rdan Trade policy debate begins in Pennsylvania? America’s economy is now struggling to recover from the Great Recession. But even when the economy was said to be humming, it did not work for most Americans. Wages were stagnant or declining and the costs of basics – health care, housing, college – were soaring. Growth was […]

"Battles" Does Not Mean What You Think It Does

Headline from the Christian Science Monitor: “As G-20 battles protectionism, a cautionary tale in Ecuador” [emphasis mine] Subhead for that same article: “The country has put steep tariffs on an array of goods. Seventeen of the world’s 20 largest economies have broken recent promises not to take protectionist measures.” [emphasis mine] Presumably, the other three […]

How many "Free Trade" Economists will thank the Union?

I’ve said before that the “Buy American” provisions in the stimulus bill were not exactly a major issue. (I believe the phrase was roughly, “could drive a broken Mexican truck through the holes, even if dead drunk.”) Many economists (hi, Barkley) disagreed, even while some acknowledged that the income effect from “buying American” would be […]