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

Consensus among economists ?

Dan here…. Jonathon Chait writes in the NYT Paul Ryan: Obama Refuses to Endorse Tax Fairy. Lifted from Robert’s Stochastic Thoughts on journalistic rhetorical language and consensus: on Chait there’s not really a growing consensus that tax reform is good. The consensus has existed among economists forever where he defines tax reform as closing tax […]

Krugman and Waldmann

Paul Krugman notes Angry Bear Robert Waldmann in the micro/macro conversation in the New York Times: There has been an ongoing discussion in the econoblogosphere about the usefulness or lack thereof of “microfoundations” in macroeconomics, which in practice means trying to write down models in which aggregate behavior is justified in terms of the actions of […]

Refinancing bad for business?

Robert Waldmann comments on the Freddie Mac story recently in the news (lifted from Stochastic Thoughts): Freddster (noun): Fraudster who profits from conflict of interest at Freddie Mac (the knife). Jesse Eisinger, pf ProPublica and Chris Arnold, of the public sector NPR News have the most interesting article about ruthless greedy uh socialism I guess at […]

The Presidential Campaign has Been Going on too Long

Lifted from Robert’s Stochastic Thoughts: The Presidential Campaign has Been Going on too Long I read “MIT” as “Mitt” at this article MIT’s Light Speed Camera Captures Photons Moving then I immediately thought that, maybe with this new miracle technology they can freeze Romney’s policy positions and capture him mid flip flop.

Rick Santorum and the Australian school

Sort of lifted from Robert’s Stochastic Thoughts: Rick Santorum has no use for the Ivy League, or the economists produced therein. (He also expressed doubts about the Republican reliance on economists from the “Australian school.”(Johannas von Quiggin take note) Likely he meant the “Austrian school”. Read more here . Uh. … this isn’t one of […]

Comments on Inequality, Leverage, and Crises

Clifford Clark’s post at ataxingmatter* is worth a more complete look. This also brings to mind Steve Keen’s work on private debt and the economy on his blog Debt Watch as well as Lane Kenworthy’s exploration of poverty and severe poverty at Consider the Evidence, and Angry Bear Robert Waldmann’s recent posts here and here. […]

How can the Fed precommit to a permanent expansion of the money supply ?

A challenge for monetary authorities in a liquidity trap is that it is hard convince people that they won’t reverse expansionary policies as soon as the economy leaves the liquidity trap. The other problem is that they can’t do much other than affect expectations while the economy is in a liquidity trap. This suggests that […]

Record Severe Poverty II

The Census Bureau has released estimates of poverty in 2010. Coverage focused on the headline poverty rate which is horrible enough. Much worse, 6.7% of people in the USA suffered severe poverty, that is lived in households with income less than half the poverty line. This is the highest severe poverty rate on record (the […]

Get the Lead Out II

There is an absolutely serious hypothesis that the sharp drop in violent crime in the USA since the early 1990s is due to the EPA and, in particular, to the shift from leaded to unleaded gasoline roughly two decades earlier. Kevin Drum notes that James Q. Wilson ascribes about half of the total decline to […]