The Institute Blog

Berlin Conference in the News

INET's Berlin Conference, "Paradigm Lost: Rethinking Economics and Politics," opened yesterday and continues to receive enthusiastic coverage from both local and international press. Below is a sampling of conference editorial coverage:

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13.04.2012

"Iche Konnte es nicht etrragen" [an interview with INET Executive Director Robert A. Johnson]
Die Zeit

DIE ZEIT: Herr Johnson, als Manager des Soros Fund waren Sie Teil eines Finanzsystems, das Sie heute kritisieren. Was hat Sie vom Spekulanten in einen Systemkritiker verwandelt?

Robert Johnson: Die Finanzkrise. Ich sah die Rettung der Banken durch den Staat und wie die Banker sich weiterhin Boni auszahlen. Ich konnte einfach nicht mehr ertragen, wie miserabel die Politik auf die Krise reagiert hat. Und es hat mich unglaublich geärgert, wie ausgerechnet die Lobbyisten der Branchen, die immer mit Effizienz und Markt argumentierten, in der Krise dann die Hilfe des Staates forderten und bekamen.

ZEIT: Und das hat Sie dann einfach...

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13.04.2012
Occupy Harvard
Süddeutsche Zeitung

Cambridge – Kann es einen idyllische- ren Ort zum Studieren geben? Am Ufer des Charles River liegen Studenten im Gras. Sie schauen den Ruderbooten zu, die unter den Backsteinbrücken hin- durch gleiten, und blinzeln, wenn die Sonnenstrahlen    auf    den    W ellen    tänzeln. Es ist einer der ersten warmen Tage des Jahres auf dem Harvard Campus. Haus- arbeiten, Klausurvorbereitungen, Bewerbungsschreiben – all das...

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13.04.2012
Austerity, Social Unrest, and Europe's 'Lose-Lose' Proposition
Zero Hedge

The link between government spending cuts and social unrest is highly non-linear and extremely troublesome. We first noted the must-read quantification of the relationship between so-called CHAOS of social unrest and spending cuts back in early January and this brief lecture reiterates some of the frightening conclusions. Critically, small spending cuts impact social unrest in very marginal ways but once the cuts begin to rise to 2-3% of GDP then the probability of considerable and painful social unrest becomes much higher. As Hans-Joachim Voth points out in this INET lecture, analogizing between...

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12.04.2012
George Soros; Eurozone Crisis Has Entered "A Less Volatile but Potentially More Lethal Phase"
Naked Capitalism

As the next INET conference begins in Germany, one topic of conversation is sure to be George Soros’s piece discussing the Eurozone crisis.  He points out that the Eurozone has been quietly restructuring its financial arrangements along national lines, ending an era of co-mingled assets and liabilities across national borders.  This is something I hadn’t realized, but it presents, as he shows, other dangers...

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12.04.2012
When Monetary Policy Needs to Incorporate Fiscal Policy
Reuters

I’m in Berlin this week, at the annual INET meetings, where the big theme this year seems to be an attempt to rope in everyone from anthropologists to neuroscientists in an attempt to solve the big economic problems which are proving intractable to economists. But still, it’s the economics and finance folk who are top of the agenda. And since George Soros is footing a large part of the bill for this conference, he and his latest op-ed are getting star billing. Sadly, however, most of the delegates have been at the conference all day and therefore haven’t had the opportunity to read Mohamed El-Erian’s speech in St Louis, which is equally germane.

The two, in fact, complement each other quite nicely. El-Erian’s main point...

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13.04.2012
New Economic Thinking vs. Ordnungspolitik
The Atlantic

German Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schäuble in his welcome note to an Institute of New Economic Thinking convening of some of the world's leading economic theorists and practitioners in Berlin this week wrote:

"I would also like to point out that it is not just new thinking that we need.  Rather, it is often equally important to recall older ideas and approaches that may have fallen out of the limelight in the meantime.  For example, we in Germany have sharpened our focus on the necessity of pursuing economic and fiscal policies that are consistent with the principles of markets and competition -- what we call Ordnungspolitik.  This approach..."

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13.04.2012
Only a Matter of Time Before ECB Forced into Massive QE
The Telegraph, Finance Blog

If I read my Twitter feed correctly, Jorg Asmussen, the German representative on the European Central Bank's executive board, thinks that the ECB has already played its part as far as saving the euro is concerned with last December's LTRO intervention; it's now up to national governments to complete the process, he says, by undertaking the necessary structural reform (Mr Asmussen has been speaking at the Institute for New Economic Thinking conference in Berlin). As is becoming ever more common when it comes to euroland, it's a view which is quite at odds with the facts. True enough, the ECB's...

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13.04.2012
AWESOME: Brand New Richard Koo Presentation on the Global Balance Sheet Recession
Business Insider

He's back!

Nomura economist Richard Koo is out with a new presentation given at the Institute For New Economic Thinking in Berlin.

Koo is, of course, an expert on the great lost decades of Japan, and he's broken new ground in understanding the unique nature of balance sheet recessions.

His new presentation looks...

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13.04.2012

This Chart Predicts Rising Violence and Unrest Around the World

Business Insider, via Yahoo! Finance

Spanish economic historian Hans‐Joachim Voth has discovered a stronger link than anyone realized between austerity and civil unrest. Which of course is terrifying as we enter the Age of Austerity.

In a presentation at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Voth compared historical changes in government spending to an indexed measure of "Chaos"—anti‐government demonstrations, riots, assassinations, general strikes and attempted revolutions. He found that declines in government spending lead to chaos.

This link threatens to embroil countries...

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13.04.2012

Angela Merkel will den Euro nicht zerstören

Die Zeit Online

Das gläserne Gebäude einer Bank am Pariser Platz in Berlin. Im Untergeschoss sitzen Ökonomen aus aller Welt zum Mittagsessen. Das Institute for New Economic Thinking hat zur Konferenz gerufen: Es soll darüber nachgedacht werden, was die Ökonomie aus der großen Krise lernen kann. Auch deshalb ist George Soros, einer der Gründer des Instituts, in der Stadt. Soros, 81, ist der wohl bekannteste Investor...

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12.04.2012
Interview: OECD White - Austerity Goes Too Far in Greece
Wall Street Journal, European Edition

-- White says euro zone must focus more strongly on boosting growth to overcome the debt crisis

-- He warns that austerity measures in Greece go too far and make the situation worse

-- Says cuts might also go too far in Spain

BERLIN (Dow Jones)--The euro zone must focus more strongly on boosting growth to overcome its debt crisis because austerity measures such as those in Greece are going too far and won't generate the desired result, said William White, one of the few policy makers to correctly predict the onset of the financial crisis.

Speaking to Dow Jones ...

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12.04.2012

Soros: EU Survival Requires More German Pragmatism
Wall Street Journal, European Edition

BERLIN (Dow Jones)--The European Union is unlikely to survive the current euro-zone debt crisis without more pragmatic German policies, billionaire investor George Soros said Thursday.

"Europe is facing a long period of economic stagnation or worse," Soros told a conference in Berlin today. German authorities, notably the Bundesbank and the constitutional court, ...

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12.04.2012
Interview: OECD White - Austerity Goes Too Far in Greece
Wall Street Journal, European Edition

-- White says euro zone must focus more strongly on boosting growth to overcome the debt crisis

-- He warns that austerity measures in Greece go too far and make the situation worse

-- Says cuts might also go too far in Spain

BERLIN (Dow Jones)--The euro zone must focus more strongly on boosting growth to overcome its debt crisis because austerity measures such as those in Greece are going too far and won't generate the desired result, said William White, one of the few policy makers to correctly predict the onset of the financial crisis.

Speaking to Dow Jones ...

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11.04.2012

Not Their Father's Economics
LA Times, Op-Ed

There is a growing student protest movement against orthodox economics that could change the field as we know it.

If it is sustained, historians likely will cite Nov. 2, 2011, as the start of the revolution. On that day at Harvard University, roughly 70 students organized a walkout of an introductory economics class taught by N. Gregory Mankiw.

Mankiw is the former head...

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