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

Patents, innovation, asset class, and weapon

While the issues involved are complex and also involve the use of government force to make it stick, and drug patents have a long and debated history, New asset class and much more at Dealbook points to a growing phenomenon for the global economy as well. Patents and innovation deserve a separate post, but the […]

Courts and intellectual property rights

Caught from the Washington Post…and also interesting knowing theTrans Pacific agreements allowing multinational CEOs and firms to sue in domestic courts: Apple patents were violated by Samsung, jury rulesApple won a sweeping victory in its landmark patent dispute against Samsung when a Silicon Valley jury ruled Friday that a series of popular smartphone and tablet […]

WTO ruling: ‘free trade’ and ‘state capitalism’ needs broader discussion

A recent ruling on countervailing duties and anti-dumping duties by the World Trade Organization:(bolding is mine) Senior Economist Ian Fletcher for the Coalition for a Prosperous America offers one point of view: The American position is that we are entitled to apply what are called “countervailing duties” against products that are subsidized by foreign governments. […]

Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance and the Trade Deficit Both Increase

Mark Thoma at Maximum Utility has conclusions on the figures for creation of jobs and trend in trade deficits: (reposted with permission of the author) Figures on the trade balance and new claims for unemployment insurance are out this morning, and the news isn’t as good as hoped. First, initial claims increased: In the week […]

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 […]

WTO upholds tire tariff

The Washingtington Post notes: The World Trade Organization has upheld the stiff duties that President Obama imposed on car tires imported from China last year, an important victory released on the eve of trade talks between the two countries. A panel at the Geneva-based trade group on Monday said it agreed that the United States […]

Beyond tax cuts and stimulus

Marty Hart-Landsberg in Monthly Review states the issue of trade policy has a larger context than national economies. Reader juan adds his commentary to Marty Hart-Landsberg quotes (lifted from comments and slightly editied for readability): Most importantly, foreign capital now plays a leading role in the Chinese economy, especially in manufacturing.7 Its activity has transformed […]

Should we bemoan the fact that employment and earnings aren’t the key trickle-down mechanism?

Hat tip Economist’s View for Lane Kenworthy’s post on growing the GDP and distribution of the benefits. It is also related to concpts determining trade policies: None of these countries significantly increased the share of GDP going to government transfers. What happened is that some nations did more than others to pass the fruits of […]

Dual mandate of national trade policy

Purpose of trade policy in the summary Congressional Rsearch Service paper March 24 2010 caught my attention. U.S. trade policy is at a cross-roads as the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress face a range of policy issues and challenges. The future direction of trade policy and how the issues will be addressed are unclear […]