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Pelosi Pay-go and Republican Voodoo both wrongheaded

A New York Times op-ed by House speaker Nancy Pelosi  argues that the lack of  “paygo” principle (each spending increase must be “paid for”) in the Congressional budget violates an unstated budgetary mathematics which is purportedly the same as the one that applies to you and me. Hence, she opposes this budget, even though some

22 Mar 2016
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The Myth of the Lehman sisters? A debunker speaks

Evolutionary psychologist Cordelia Fine of Melbourne University is known as a keen debunker of myths. She was at the State University of New York at New Paltz’s Coykendall Science Building last night bringing her formidable abilities to bear on risky behavior in finance. Is it at least partly rooted in behavior by men that is

17 Mar 2016
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Outstanding corporate bond debt still trending upward

I’ve blogged before on the boom in bond issuance by the U.S. nonfinancial private sector. Here is a figure that uses data from the new (2015Q4) Federal Reserve flow-of-funds data release of this past week: Link to figure at St. Louis Fed site. https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/fredgraph.png?g=3M4g In the figure, the amounts outstanding are divided by nominal GDP.

13 Mar 2016
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Neat and on the web

Cool: On austerity: Elizabeth Warren supports increased Social Security at a new poverty policy site at the Center for American Progress, TalkPoverty. Signs of an austerity trap in the U.K. continue, with the FT reporting yesterday on an unexpectedly large budget gap in the U.K. after years of fiscal tightening. From Bill Mitchell’s Billy Blog:

12 Mar 2016
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Sanders’s economic plan: interesting questions remain, part 2

We continue our discussion of how big the effects might be of a large fiscal stimulus, inspired by the debate over Sanders’s plans and the realism of projected growth rates of more than 5 percent, which were called into question recently by economists Christina and David Romer. Is it dubious economics to suggest that a

08 Mar 2016
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The Sanders plan: interesting Keynesian questions remain

While we were away and then battling illness, New York Times columnist Justin Wolfers  called the debate on the effects of Sanders’s economic plans, which include expenditures on health care and other programs, along with efforts to redistribute income from rich to poor. Wolfers quotes a study by Christina and David Romer, who are not

07 Mar 2016
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More Sanders’s health care plan economics

More emerges on the dispute among left-of-center economists over the possible economic consequences of Sanders’s plan according to a study by G. Friedman of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. (New links follow below.) The key argument hinges on how low unemployment can get before hitting an inflationary barrier. In other words, the allegedly implausible argument

23 Feb 2016
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New controversies over health care finance

Paul Krugman has been pointing to the nuttiness of many Republican presidential candidates’ economic positions on the Presidential campaign trail: mostly he focuses on criticisms of expansionary monetary policy during times of high unemployment, which run up against the logic of standard countercyclical macro policy—lower stimulus in economic booms, higher stimulus in troughs. Following a

18 Feb 2016
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Department of cutting edge technologies

Department of the technological frontier: This highly praised New York Times bestseller, which actually came out in 2014, could turn out to be the finance book of the year some year. What will happen in the financial markets if telepathy is achievable using the same type of technology now being developed to help people share

05 Feb 2016
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Unshared income gains evident in data presented at conference

Above these words is a figure that is interesting and meaningful to many macroeconomists. It also happens to be from the conference session in honor of Middlebury economist Bob Prasch, who is among those who passed away last year. It is provided by the presenter, David Howell, an economist with the New School for Social

27 Jan 2016
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