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Department of Analytical Tools

madamab's picture

Choosing Our Fights Wisely

Every day, calls to action arrive in my mailbox. Some of them make it onto this blog; most of them don't. And now, I'm questioning each one even more closely. Read more about Choosing Our Fights Wisely

Dr. Grumpy strikes again


Dr. Grumpy treats us to another vivid illustration of the delusion level of "those of you who believe there aren't bureaucrats between you and your doctor."

For the sensitive, this story has a relatively happy ending. Read more about Dr. Grumpy strikes again

Watch Yves on BNN!


Yves's appearance on After Hours had me blowing kisses at the screen. Commentary includes Obama (shocking indifference to unemployment, for a Democrat--if you think he is a Democrat), unions (why generalize from the Teamsters to all unions, when we don't generalize from Massey to all corporations), inflation (just not an issue right now), and more. Read more about Watch Yves on BNN!

Stirling Newberry's picture

A Bender of an Era: Bush made Iraq so big he couldn't lift it

The essential problem of the neo-liberal era is a broken triangle:

1. It has to have low inflation and volatility in the real economy, as well as in the macro-economy, otherwise, those who generate excess profits will not put them back into circulation as liquidity.

2. It has to have low interest rates and low liquidity preference by a sizable share of consumers.

3. It has to have greater volatility for individuals. Read more about A Bender of an Era: Bush made Iraq so big he couldn't lift it

letsgetitdone's picture

Deficit Doves Vs. Deficit Owls at ND20: Part Two


The debates between the deficit doves and the deficit owls continued at New Deal 2.0 (ND20) today. Jeff Madrick, a dove, gives us a post entitled: “Stimulate Now: On Inflation and Deficits.” In this post, I'll evaluate Jeff's views paragraph by paragraph.

Jeff says:

”Some have suggested that if a country nears the point that it must consider default, that is, it can’t generate enough tax revenues to pay debt and meet other minimal commitments, then all it need do is create reserves if it has a sovereign (aka ‘fiat’) currency.”

Maybe Jeff is right that “some have suggested . . .” the above, but I've never seen anyone do that. The economists I read who write about the capabilities of Governments sovereign in their own currencies say that such countries can't be forced to default, that they can only do so voluntarily, and that if they do, it's only because their decision makers don't understand that they can't be forced into default by international markets any external authorities. Read more about Deficit Doves Vs. Deficit Owls at ND20: Part Two

letsgetitdone's picture

Deficit Doves Vs. Deficit Owls at ND20


New Deal 2.0 (ND20) is, well, more New Dealish than other web sites, so instead of the usual conflict between deficit hawks and deficit doves, we might see at, say, the New York Times. Here things are shifted to the left, and we see a debate between the deficit doves and the deficit owls. The doves and owls have posted there for awhile without really engaging one another. But recently, the appointment of Jack Lew as OMB Director and the Statement/petition by Sir Harold Evans called “Stimulus Now,” has ended an uneasy truce between these groups. Paul Davidson, Sir Robert Skidelsky, and Jamie Galbraith replied to the Evans petition with a refusal to sign it and an explanation of the deficit owl position. At about the same time, there was an exchange at Paul Krugman's blog between deficit doves sharing Paul's position on the deficit and deficit owls, who don't agree with the deficit dove prescription of short-term deficits until we get a strong recovery and then a “pivot” to deficit reduction eventually resulting in a surplus when times get really good. The deficit owl prescription is to increase Government spending on programs directed toward the public purpose, until all excess productive capacity in the US economy is used, and then cut back on less valuable spending, or raise taxes as necessary to avoid inflation. Deficit owls also believe that there is no need to worry about deficits as long as Government spending hasn't helped to created enough aggregate demand to use excess productive capacity, and that thereafter, aggregate demand needs to be cut either by reducing spending, raising taxes or both, not in order to reach some arbitrary deficit or surplus number, but rather to achieve the specific goal of avoiding inflation. Now, at ND20, blog posts have begun to appear where deficit doves and owls have been exchanging points of view. Read more about Deficit Doves Vs. Deficit Owls at ND20

dontpaycreditcardsdotcom's picture

The Fed won't allow the US to issue currency


There is a war in finance. This war is not a war of a good guy versus a bad guy. This is a war of two bad guys, a war of Titans who could destroy each other and the financial system.

The old world European Titan is the central bank complex, made up of the Fed, the central banks of Europe, and the Bank of International Settlements/IMF/World Bank.

The new Titans are the hedge funds and Goldman Sachs, who seek to profit in good times and bad. These do not war against the central banks out of a sense of right and wrong, but rather out of a sense of greed. Read more about The Fed won't allow the US to issue currency

chicago dyke's picture

Why Do You Consume It?

Heh, look at me. It's like I'm a real blogger again or something. I blame all that rain we had; there was no way I was getting squat done in the garden this past week. But clearly my old addiction was just masqued by planting; I admit that and this post is as much to myself as it is to you all. Read more about Why Do You Consume It?

letsgetitdone's picture

Paul Debates Jamie and MMT


Paul Krugman, well-known for his opposition to the austerity concerns of the deficit terrorists and his advocacy of additional Government stimulus to lower unemployment and end the recession, just ignited a paradigm conflict which promises to clarify for many, the issues dividing “deficit doves” like Paul, from economists who take a Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) approach to economics, which holds Read more about Paul Debates Jamie and MMT

Comment of the Day


In a thread entitled Goldman's Win (Felix Salmon), a DUer reminisces about her husband's gig there:

True story about Goldman-Sachs
Posted by LiberalEsto

My husband worked as a computer consultant Goldman-Sachs in Manhattan for 2 months back in 1990.

The first day, someone stole his new raincoat out of the office closet.

The second day, someone stole his umbrella.

The third day, someone stole MY umbrella, which he had borrowed.

It's a fucking den of thieves.

a little night musing's picture

David Harvey on Crises of Capitalism

Power law

The power law is a very important analytical tool, and though Shirkey's article on it is from 2003, Brad DeLong links to it today, for some reason. Read more about Power law

Tony Wikrent's picture

Recessions help the wrong-wing not the left


Previously, I have quoted Lawrence Goodwyn's from his 1978 masterpiece, The Populist Moment: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America about how unlikely are popular democratic uprisings in advanced industrial societies. Even in times of economic distress, it's very rarely that a democratic mass movement arises. Read more about Recessions help the wrong-wing not the left

letsgetitdone's picture

G20 Says Expansionary Fiscal Policy Not Sustainable


Warren Mosler

With permission of the author

The G20 has dropped its support for fiscal expansion. The deficit hawks are prevailing. But why is that? We all either know or should know that operationally Federal spending is not constrained by revenues, as Chairman Bernanke stated last year, when asked on '60 Minutes' by Scott Pelley where the funds given to the banks came from:

"...we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed."

We know that when the Fed spends on behalf of the Treasury it simply credits a member bank or foreign government's reserve account at the Fed. Read more about G20 Says Expansionary Fiscal Policy Not Sustainable

Tony Wikrent's picture

Can we please bury Marx once and for all?


I’m on the road again, this time for the big artist-blacksmiths’ conference in Memphis, which is held only once every two years.

But there’s something I noticed on the tubez in the days and weeks just before I left that is really needling me. There are a number of otherwise very smart people, some whom I deeply admire, who have begun promoting the ideas of Karl Marx, and the application of Marxist critique to the current socio-politico-economic situation in the United States. Read more about Can we please bury Marx once and for all?


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