June 2012

Director's Chair: Paul Davidson - The Keynes Solution and the Trouble with Economics

In this four-part INET “From the Director’s Chair” interview, INET Executive Director Robert Johnson talks with Journal of Post Keynesian Economics co-founder Paul Davidson about Davidson’s book The Keynes Solution: The Path to Global Economic Prosperity. Read more

BRIC Buddies – China and Brazil Agree to Currency Swap

In a show of good faith between two rising economic powers, China and Brazil have agreed to a bilateral currency swap.

The agreement, which was recently reported in the Financial Times, is the latest in what the FT calls China’s “aggressive campaign of ‘currency swap diplomacy.’” The newspaper points out that China has signed “about 20 such agreements over the past four years.”

The FT notes that these arrangements are “largely symbolic,” but this symbolism is important, representing another step forward in China’s march to internationalize the renminbi. Read more

German Orthodoxy Starting to See the Need for New Economic Thinking

While German economic policy makers continue to cling to neoclassical economic approaches, an increasing number of prominent economic figures are starting to accept the failure of orthodox theories to address the current crisis and are expressing the need to rethink fundamental economic concepts. Read more

Perry Mehrling’s New Economic Thinking Shakes Up Euro Debate

Germany has repeatedly made clear its stance on possible solutions for the euro crisis: no euro bonds, euro bills, or European deposit insurance.

Indeed, Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated this position on Monday. And the refrain shows little sign of changing. Yet finding a solution is more critical than ever. Read more

Higher education…or hired education?

What is the purpose of America’s universities today?

With many of our most prominent educational institutions increasingly behaving like large corporations, with the for-profit education industry booming, and with U.S. families facing growing mountains of student-loan debt, it’s fair to ask if our educational institutions are still serving their stated purpose.

That’s the question Simon Johnson bluntly poses in his recent op-ed for Project Syndicate called “Predators and Professors.” Read more

Which nation is the greatest threat to Europe?

After a three-month hiatus from writing, award-winning journalist and INET Governing Board Chairman Anatole Kaletsky is back at his computer and offering his searing and insightful take on global economics. 

Back in March, Kaletsky left his familiar perch at the Times of London and joined Reuters. The debut of his weekly column for the news service and for the International Herald Tribune was published on June 20. In the piece, Kaletsky posits that there is a single country that poses the deepest economic threat to the future of Europe. It isn’t Greece. It isn’t Spain. And it isn’t Italy.

Give up? You’ll have to read the story to find out which country Kaletsky has in his sights. And be sure to check back here for his future columns. INET provides a review of the column below Read more

World Bank President Zoellick: In Euro Crisis “Time Is of the Essence”

World Bank President Robert Zoellick is growing frustrated with the lack of urgency on the part of Europe’s leaders in responding to the financial crisis in the euro zone. Read more

Looking Forward By Looking Back: Axel Leijonhufvud Interviews Friedrich Hayek

INET Advisory Board member Axel Leijonhufvud has consistently pointed to the need for new economic thinking to grapple with the novel challenges of our recent economic crises.

In particular, Leijonhufvud has questioned the flawed fundamentals of economics. And he has explored the spread of contagion in undermining the web of contracts that are the basis for capitalism.

Time and again, Leijonhufvud has demonstrated the intellectual firepower to grapple with the world’s most pressing economic issues alongside some of the brightest economic minds on the planet. Read more

After the election, what’s next for Greece?

After the recent election brought a center-right coalition to power, what’s next in the Greek crisis? Are we finally in the clear? Not so fast, Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis says. Varoufakis explains the real outcome we can except after Greek voters’ “contradictory verdict,” where 55% voted for anti-bailout parties yet a pro-bailout government resulted due to the nature of Greece’s electoral system. Read more

Confidence Game: Simon Johnson on the Conflicted NY Fed

Have you ever heard the old adage about the danger of allowing foxes to guard the henhouse? Apparently the New York Fed hasn’t.

So says MIT professor and INET Advisory Board member Simon Johnson in a recent post on The New York Times’ Economix blog. Johnson blasts the New York Fed for the conflicts of interests inherent within its ranks. Read more