Economic Policy

The Crisis of the Export Led Model in the EMU Countries and Its Monetary and Financial Consequences on European Integration

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"...Considerable agreement exists in Continental Europe on the fact that it was the US authorities’ thoughtless financial liberalization policy over the last two decades at least, and therefore bipartisan, to have brought about the subprime disaster and, furthermore, that it was the US authorities’ decision to sink Lehman to start the chain reaction that brought the international financial system to paralysis from Sept.15th, 2008 to the spring of 2009..."

Paper given at the Conference @ King's, April 8th-11th, 2010. Read more

Inequality and Economic and Political Change: A Comparative Perspective

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Paper given at the Conference @ King's, April 8th-11th, 2010.

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Economic Policy Challenges in the Post-Crisis Period

"...The global financial crisis—and the Great Recession that followed—have inflicted tremendous economic and social damage across the world. Thankfully, we now appear to be on the path to recovery—though it remains sluggish and uneven, and in need of continued policy support in many advanced economies. Moreover, the costs of the crisis—lost growth, high unemployment, and sharply higher public debt—will take many years to overcome.

The crisis has also laid bare some fundamental weaknesses in the economic and financial policy framework. Our confidence in markets, institutions, and the status quo turned out to be complacency; we learnt how fallible, fragile, and interconnected we are..."

Transcript of a speech given at the Conference @ King's, April 8th-11th, 2010.

Mathematical Formalism and Political-Economic Content

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Paper given at the Conference @ King's, April 8th-11th, 2010. Read more

Economics, Conventional Wisdom and Public Policy

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"...We have been through a severe financial crisis, which has done great harm to human welfare. But it could have been far worse if authorities across the world had not taken exceptional actions to underpin financial systems and prevent a collapse of nominal demand. And they were confident in taking those actions because economic theory does provide some compelling insights, and because the economic history of the Great Depression told us what not to do..."

Speech given at the Conference @ King's, April 8th-11th, 2010.

Networks Origins, systemic risks, public policy

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Presentation given at the Conference @ King's, April 8th-11th, 2010.

The Age of Balance Sheet Recessions: What Post-2008 U.S., Europe and China Can Learn from Japan 1990-2005

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Presentation given at INET's Conference @ King's, on April 8th, 2010

Presentation given at INET's Conference @ King's, on April 8th, 2010

Fred Block: In Tech, Reagan Had It Backwards

Government is Not the Problem But the Solution When it Comes to Developing Technology Through Its Crucial Early Stages

Ronald Reagan famously framed government as not the solution but the problem. When it comes to developing fundamentally new technologies, that line was not true in Reagan’s time, nor is it true today. Not then. Not now.

At least that is the argument of Fred Block, the editor of the book State of Innovation: The US Government’s Role in Technology Development, and the subject of the new INET video interview.

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Saving the (international) dollar

A money view of the commodity bubble

Today’s Financial Times articles:  Currencies:  Strength in Reserve (Feb 8, 2011), Long-term investors shun Treasuries sale (Feb 8, 2011), Fuelling corn’s relentless rise back toward record levels (Feb 10, 2011)

Calls for a new Bretton Woods, a grand international monetary realignment away from the dollar, have come to little, so says the FT.   No alternative national currency is a plausible contender, given the “Triffin dilemma”, and potential supranational contenders such as the IMF’s SDR or gold have their own drawbacks. Read more

CDS Deja Vu

Speculation, stabilizing or destabilizing?

Today’s Financial Times articles: US muni smackdown (Feb 2, 2011), Wall St looks to boost market in US muni CDS (Feb 6, 2011)

“Muni veterans are from Mars, Meredith Whitney is from Venus,” so says Lex, commenting on the wide divergence in current views about the future of the US municipal bond market. Whitney sees a coming wave of defaults; veterans see municipal debt/income ratios far below those that sovereign states routinely bear.

Lex frames the divergence as a matter of political judgment. Municipalities have made promises to bond investors, but they have also made promises to public sector unions in the form of wage and pension contracts. When the numbers do not add up, which promises will wind up being honored and which breached?

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