Thursday, May 31, 2012

simon on ace on governing for and against elite extractors

"when elites are held in check, typically by effective legal mechanisms, everyone else in society does much better and sustained economic growth becomes possible. "

"But powerful people – kings, barons, industrialists, bankers – work long and hard to relax the constraints on their actions. And when they succeed, the effects are not just redistribution toward themselves but also an undermining of economic growth and often a tearing at the fabric of society"

take another look at simplex simons barn burner

Simon Johnson
" In every economic crisis there comes a moment of clarity. In Europe soon, millions of people will wake up to realize that the euro-as-we-know-it is gone. Economic chaos awaits them.
To understand why, first strip away your illusions. Europe’s crisis to date is a series of supposedly “decisive” turning points that each turned out to be just another step down a steep hill. Greece’s upcoming election on June 17 is another such moment. While the so-called “pro-bailout” forces may prevail in terms of parliamentary seats, some form of new currency will soon flood the streets of Athens. It is already nearly impossible to save Greek membership in the euro area: depositors flee banks, taxpayers delay tax payments, and companies postpone paying their suppliers – either because they can’t pay or because they expect soon to be able to pay in cheap drachma.
The troika of the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB), and International Monetary Fund (IMF) has proved unable to restore the prospect of recovery in Greece, and any new lending program would run into the same difficulties. In apparent frustration, the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, remarked last week, “As far as Athens is concerned, I also think about all those people who are trying to escape tax all the time.”
Ms. Lagarde’s empathy is wearing thin and this is unfortunate – particularly as the Greek failure mostly demonstrates how wrong a single currency is for Europe. The Greek backlash reflects the enormous pain and difficulty that comes with trying to arrange “internal devaluations” (a euphemism for big wage and spending cuts) in order to restore competitiveness and repay an excessive debt level.
Faced with five years of recession, more than 20 percent unemployment, further cuts to come, and a stream of failed promises from politicians inside and outside the country, a political backlash seems only natural. With IMF leaders, EC officials, and financial journalists floating the idea of a “Greek exit” from the euro, who can now invest in or sign long-term contracts in Greece? Greece’s economy can only get worse.
Some European politicians are now telling us that an orderly exit for Greece is feasible under current conditions, and Greece will be the only nation that leaves. They are wrong. Greece’s exit is simply another step in a chain of events that leads towards a chaotic dissolution of the euro zone.
During the next stage of the crisis, Europe’s electorate will be rudely awakened to the large financial risks which have been foisted upon them in failed attempts to keep the single currency alive. If Greece quits the euro later this year, its government will default on approximately 300 billion euros of external public debt, including roughly 187 billion euros owed to the IMF and European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).
More importantly and currently less obvious to German taxpayers, Greece will likely default on 155 billion euros directly owed to the euro system (comprised of the ECB and the 17 national central banks in the euro zone). This includes 110 billion euros provided automatically to Greece through the Target2 payments system – which handles settlements between central banks for countries using the euro. As depositors and lenders flee Greek banks, someone needs to finance that capital flight, otherwise Greek banks would fail. This role is taken on by other euro area central banks, which have quietly leant large funds, with the balances reported in the Target2 account. The vast bulk of this lending is, in practice, done by the Bundesbank since capital flight mostly goes to Germany, although all members of the euro system share the losses if there are defaults.
The ECB has always vehemently denied that it has taken an excessive amount of risk despite its increasingly relaxed lending policies. But between Target2 and direct bond purchases alone, the euro system claims on troubled periphery countries are now approximately 1.1 trillion euros (this is our estimate based on available official data). This amounts to over 200 percent of the (broadly defined) capital of the euro system. No responsible bank would claim these sums are minor risks to its capital or to taxpayers. These claims also amount to 43 percent of German Gross Domestic Product, which is now around 2.57 trillion euros. With Greece proving that all this financing is deeply risky, the euro system will appear far more fragile and dangerous to taxpayers and investors.
Jacek Rostowski, the Polish Finance Minister, recently warned that the calamity of a Greek default is likely to result in a flight from banks and sovereign debt across the periphery, and that – to avoid a greater calamity – all remaining member nations need to be provided with unlimited funding for at least 18 months. Mr. Rostowski expresses concern, however, that the ECB is not prepared to provide such a firewall, and no other entity has the capacity, legitimacy, or will to do so.
We agree: Once it dawns on people that the ECB already has a large amount of credit risk on its books, it seems very unlikely that the ECB would start providing limitless funds to all other governments that face pressure from the bond market. The Greek trajectory of austerity-backlash-default is likely to be repeated elsewhere – so why would the Germans want the ECB to double- or quadruple-down by suddenly ratcheting up loans to everyone else?
The most likely scenario is that the ECB will reluctantly and haltingly provide funds to other nations – an on-again, off-again pattern of support — and that simply won’t be enough to stabilize the situation. Having seen the destruction of a Greek exit, and knowing that both the ECB and German taxpayers will not tolerate unlimited additional losses, investors and depositors will respond by fleeing banks in other peripheral countries and holding off on investment and spending.
Capital flight could last for months, leaving banks in the periphery short of liquidity and forcing them to contract credit – pushing their economies into deeper recessions and their voters towards anger. Even as the ECB refuses to provide large amounts of visible funding, the automatic mechanics of Europe’s payment system will mean the capital flight from Spain and Italy to German banks is transformed into larger and larger de facto loans by the Bundesbank to Banca d’Italia and Banco de Espana– essentially to the Italian and Spanish states. German taxpayers will begin to see through this scheme and become afraid of further losses.
The end of the euro system looks like this. The periphery suffers ever deeper recessions — failing to meet targets set by the troika — and their public debt burdens will become more obviously unaffordable. The euro falls significantly against other currencies, but not in a manner that makes Europe more attractive as a place for investment.
Instead, there will be recognition that the ECB has lost control of monetary policy, is being forced to create credits to finance capital flight and prop up troubled sovereigns — and that those credits may not get repaid in full. The world will no longer think of the euro as a safe currency; rather investors will shun bonds from the whole region, and even Germany may have trouble issuing debt at reasonable interest rates. Finally, German taxpayers will be suffering unacceptable inflation and an apparently uncontrollable looming bill to bail out their euro partners.
The simplest solution will be for Germany itself to leave the euro, forcing other nations to scramble and follow suit. Germany’s guilt over past conflicts and a fear of losing the benefits from 60 years of European integration will no doubt postpone the inevitable. But here’s the problem with postponing the inevitable – when the dam finally breaks, the consequences will be that much more devastating since the debts will be larger and the antagonism will be more intense.
A disorderly break-up of the euro area will be far more damaging to global financial markets than the crisis of 2008. In fall 2008 the decision was whether or how governments should provide a back-stop to big banks and the creditors to those banks. Now some European governments face insolvency themselves. The European economy accounts for almost 1/3 of world GDP. Total euro sovereign debt outstanding comprises about $11 trillion, of which at least $4 trillion must be regarded as a near term risk for restructuring.
Europe’s rich capital markets and banking system, including the market for 185 trillion dollars in outstanding euro-denominated derivative contracts, will be in turmoil and there will be large scale capital flight out of Europe into the United States and Asia. Who can be confident that our global megabanks are truly ready to withstand the likely losses? It is almost certain that large numbers of pensioners and households will find their savings are wiped out directly or inflation erodes what they saved all their lives. The potential for political turmoil and human hardship is staggering.
For the last three years Europe’s politicians have promised to “do whatever it takes” to save the euro. It is now clear that this promise is beyond their capacity to keep – because it requires steps that are unacceptable to their electorates. No one knows for sure how long they can delay the complete collapse of the euro, perhaps months or even several more years, but we are moving steadily to an ugly end.
Whenever nations fail in a crisis, the blame game starts. Some in Europe and the IMF’s leadership are already covering their tracks, implying that corruption and those “Greeks not paying taxes” caused it all to fail. This is wrong: the euro system is generating miserable unemployment and deep recessions in Ireland, Italy, Greece, Portugal and Spain also. Despite Troika-sponsored adjustment programs, conditions continue to worsen in the periphery. We cannot blame corrupt Greek politicians for all that.
It is time for European and IMF officials, with support from the US and others, to work on how to dismantle the euro area. While no dissolution will be truly orderly, there are means to reduce the chaos. Many technical, legal, and financial market issues could be worked out in advance. We need plans to deal with: the introduction of new currencies, multiple sovereign defaults, recapitalization of banks and insurance groups, and divvying up the assets and liabilities of the euro system. Some nations will soon need foreign reserves to backstop their new currencies. Most importantly, Europe needs to salvage its great achievements, including free trade and labor mobility across the continent, while extricating itself from this colossal error of a single currency.
Unfortunately for all of us, our politicians refuse to go there – they hate to admit their mistakes and past incompetence, and in any case, the job of coordinating those seventeen discordant nations in the wind down of this currency regime is, perhaps, beyond reach.
Forget about a rescue in the form of the G20, the G8, the G7, a new European Union Treasury, the issue of Eurobonds, a large scale debt mutualisation scheme, or any other bedtime story. We are each on our own."

a system to create wants not fulfill needs

"...our age of plenty does not resemble the age of leisure that was being predicted just as plenty’s threshold was being crossed, back in the 50s and 60s."

"  It’s comical now to remember the promise that people in ‘the year 2000’ would only work two or three hours a day, and would need to fill the remaining hours with a glorious efflorescence of golf-playing, symphony-composing, helicopter-piloting and basket-weaving. "

"It isn’t that the wealthy future turned out less wealthy than the futurologists of 1960 imagined. On the contrary, a range of self-indulgences exists now that they never even dreamed of. Parascending, anyone? Karaoke? Broadband on-line wargaming? "

"It’s that the structure of our wealth forbids us to run any slower. And, to keep us consuming at the rate we need to in order to expand our plenty (which is to say, to maintain it) the persuaders labour night and day to keep us dissatisfied. We are more advertised at than anyone in history, because it is so vital that we shouldn't fall into happy, non-buying repletion."

faust as a card carrying member of the booboise

why won't these fools listen to me and obey

paine said in reply to Justin Cidertrades...
you are clearly in thrall to a socially constructed illusion
federal debt costs nothing to generate and nothing to liquidate
if its held by the fed
the fed can buy it all if it so chooses and with money it creates at zero cost
what is your problem with this ?
now you are shown one possible outcome
the extreme outcome
how is this frightful to u ?
my guess you suffer from a second socially constructed illusion
hyper inflation
do you toy with owning gold bought at 1k or more an ounce ?

DrDick said in reply to Min...
Exactly and they are willing to destroy the country (perhaps the whole world) to gain power.

Bryan Willman said...
Focusing on either party per se misses a more important issue - there are actually serious divides in the electorate.
For example, it appears that a plurality actually oppose "obamacare" - were this not so, the GOP wouldn't be making an issue out of it.
You will never have "certainty" while two large mind-sets (which we might call "more" and "refuse to pay for it") are at odds. Until there is a lasting consensus on the total size and structure of government (inclusively defined) there cannot be "certainty".
The real roots of the difficulty of governing in the US have to do with the near even split on profound issues throughout the electorate.

blah said in reply to Bryan Willman...
Do they oppose Obamacare or do they believe they should oppose Obamacare because that is what they are told from their news sources and politicians? Wasn't there some other data point that said most Americans (on both sides) favor Obamacare if you present it by key elements?
My understanding of reality is that one party is dominated by belief, the other by facts. Unfortunately for all of us, the machinations behind the former have discovered that this truth exists and now exploit it to no end.

DrDick said in reply to blah...
From the polling data I have seen, while most people oppose "Obama Care", they actually support most or all of its central provisions.

JeffF said in reply to DrDick...
People do oppose the mandate part.
Of course that part is the one that i supposed to make the whole scheme workable (though I have my doubts that the individual mandate provisions are as important as they are made out to be).
Still, that's mainly the usual free-lunch-ism. Support the benefit, oppose the cost.

DrDick said in reply to JeffF...
IANAE, but all of them who know about this say that the free rider problem would kill it if the mandate was not there. The public antipathy toward being forced to buy a product (along with feeding the glutinous and inefficient insurance industry) is a big reason I though the public option was preferable.

paine said in reply to JeffF...
"I have my doubts that the individual mandate provisions are as important as they are made out to be"

i agree one thousand percent
if the uncle subsidies are generaous enough
no need for a mandate
let a few million youths gamble
the mandate is really about forcinbg these youths to pay into a fund they are a good bet not to need
the insurance crowd and the pharma crowd and the hospital equipment and supply crowd
they want more outside non gub dollars pumped into the sector

paine said in reply to paine...
the key provisions the cost cutting provisions are delayed and really not strong enough
lobby finger prints all over that too just like the mandate

ezra abrams said in reply to DrDick...
yes, you go guy
The point you raise is to me compelling evidence that for some reason, bizarre as it sounds, Obama is totally inept at getting his message out.
About a year or ago now, the provision that allows kids to stay on their parents plan became effective.
And you would think that any rookie PR person would have linedup on the white house lawn 50 pathetic sick kids, with the bankrupt parents, one family per state, and Obama looking stern for the TV saying, bankrupt sick kids are the GOPs America; not mine
Instead, that days news cycle was dominated by contract with america II
And you could go on; if Obama had half a brain, the no lifetime cap would beocme effective the day before the GOP convention, and he would have 50 families on teh whitehouse lawn....
but no, for some bizarre reason he is so inept, he has let he GOP dominate the media with mandate (despite polling showing that most americans will pay more taxes for better social security etc)

DrDick said in reply to ezra abrams...
Have to agree with that assessment. Obama has been singularly inept at messaging throughout his tenure as POTUS. Rather remarkable for someone who was so good at it during the compaign.

Min said in reply to DrDick...
IMO, Obama is not inept at messaging. The conclusions to draw from that are disquieting. :(

Julio said in reply to DrDick...
I think during the campaign he was good at giving speeches, but not at messaging.
How many people got the message that he wanted to increase the size of the army?

paine said in reply to Julio...
speaking speech to people
while speaking message to power

his speehes had to be silver bells of no specific substance
or he'd get caught speaking lies to people
a conscience liberal no no
GOP types like Romney just
flat out lie
lies are smarter politics
their like talking budget balancing
while cutting taxes and monetizing the deficit

Min said in reply to Bryan Willman...
"Focusing on either party per se misses a more important issue - there are actually serious divides in the electorate."
Not so much, according to polls. For instance, the most pressing problem for our country that most people see is unemployment. The debt ceiling is way, way down the list. Our politicians have had almost four years to address the unemployment crisis, and have accomplished next to nothing. Time to clean house. Throw the bums out!

kharris said in reply to Bryan Willman...
Interesting. A "plurality" opposes "obamacare" (sic).
- Not a majority but a plurality, and the statement leaves out the other choices that are offered.
- It is simply not true that Republicans only back policies that the majority support, since the majority (not a plurality) supports higher taxes on millionaires and the GOP does not. On birth control and abortion issues, the GOP has been at odds with the majority in the US for a very long time.
- Citing opposition to "Obamacare" is a bit tricky, since we know that major components of Obama's health care package are very popular with the electorate. Making sure that those with pre-existing conditions get coverage has majority support. Giving children access to their parents coverage up to age 26 has majority support. (That word "majority" just keeps coming up.) Getting rid of the Medicare donut has majority support. It is not "Obamacare" that people oppose. They're afraid of the boogey man, and the GOP has made mandatory enrollment the boogey man.
Now, about that "certainty" argument you offer. Bunk. What the post deals with is greater and lesser certainty. What you write about is the unicorn notion of perfect certainty - all of us agreeing on what we want so that democracy will provide it, with certainty. That ain't the way the real world works. Strawman. 'Nuff said.

paine said in reply to kharris...
excellent !!!

Winslow R. said...
It makes for interesting theater.
Since Oct. 2011 we have long-term rates continuously reaching new lows which is goosing the housing market since middle America doesn't pay much attention to what is going on beyond its borders.
The stock market is paying attention to Europe, but the stock market also pays attention to the long bond. It looks like European concerns are winning out. If the crisis is resolved, I'd expect a significant boost to the stock market, at least until the long-bond rate rises to its historic trend.

Two groups of my related family are vacationing in Europe this summer (planned months ago) with no idea of what is happening there. The Euro/dollar exchange rate is truly an unexpected bonus.

tagyoureit said...
This reminds me of a scene in the Frontline story about Al-Qaeda in Yemen. There we're a group of men with guns addressing other group of unarmed men about why they were fighting. The armed man stated "We institued Sharia law", then asked, "Don't you want Sharia law?"
Don't you want austerity? Don't you want gridlock?

tagyoureit said...

Matt White said...
The debt ceiling debacle probably did hurt the economy. But, this is the type of thinking you get from the two authors. Both liberal academic professors, government insiders, Stevenson @ the labor dept, big government solves all problems, blame it on the GOP. Yet, there is blame enough to go around. The keep spending, borrow it from China at all costs is not mentioned, never mind the Democratic Senate with no budget for 4 years!! No it's all the GOP! This is why this country is going downhill! Pople like these two bound by their ideology vs the good of the country!

Goldilocksisableachblonde said in reply to Matt White...
I'm a fan of good sarcasm.

kharris said in reply to Goldilocksisableachblonde...
I second that emotion.

paine said in reply to kharris...
tens of millions running around with matt's cock sure ignorance is a bigger menace
example today:
".. keep spending, borrow it from China at all costs ...."
double play there

1 keep spending oughta be more spending
2 china isn't lending its forex fiddling
the attendant benightedness are endless
but that pair are a start
to be scrupulously faqir this is accurate ...stand alone
"there is blame enough to go around" for both big party cores
and yes throwing them all out would be refreshing
but matt white and his ilk haven't a clue
what needs to be done
what can be done

Goldilocksisableachblonde said in reply to paine...
" sure ignorance is a bigger menace "
Well , I agree that ignorance is a menace , but I don't see what that has to do with matt's ..... oh , never mind.

paine said in reply to Goldilocksisableachblonde...
seems you and harris
as a team doubled down
with your deft cloaks of risibility
where lumbering i
blunt ass as i an
simply took a shit on poor matt

Second Best said...
Out of sight is out of mind. Regulations that increase transparency increases uncertainty due to observable fear. Bring back the shadow banking industry as a Black Ops program to insure complete invisibility.
Stamp out all fear of uncertainty. What cannot be seen at all cannot be feared or stoke fear of what could be there since it doesn't exist. Once the private sector realizes that uncertainty has been eradicated permanently and all risks are zero spending will be restored.
I'm Flim the Finance Flam and I approve this message since it's prepaid to avoid the uncertainty of a voided transaction.

Goldilocksisableachblonde said in reply to Second Best...
That was good , too , but I think Matt has you beat.

paine said in reply to Goldilocksisableachblonde...
nope second best by far
matt white is playing sledge head
flat footed easy chair blow hard
as if dueling ideologies is our national curse
not a majority making middle class
with a media fed conflicted confused and angry ignorance

they need to figure out
just who is screwing them around here
if his screed is intended to by ironic
he's too inept at signaling that intention
unlike second best

Goldilocksisableachblonde said in reply to paine...
"if his screed is intended to by ironic
he's too inept at signaling that intention
unlike second best"

I think my signalling skills must be pretty weak , too.

paine said in reply to Goldilocksisableachblonde...
i just wanted to bop matt white

paine said in reply to paine...
i might suggest a certain twist toward the absurd does help
trompe l'oeil requires much more text to reveal
by sly unfoldings
a disguised intent

paine said in reply to Second Best...
stiglitz likes to say
ignorance may not be bliss
but it is a local maximum

jonathan said...
The uncertainty argument is fascinating. Not for its content but for the careless way it is used. For example, that the small business survey says about 10% are concerned about taxes and regulation is used to say uncertainty is a huge problem, even though that percentage is the same as it always is and the only change has been a huge increase in the percentage worried about sales. If you believe in expectations theory at all - which seems to be everyone - then clearly the uncertainty caused by the debt ceiling debate has current consequences.

paine said in reply to jonathan...

rjs said...
what we really need is a dictator...we wouldnt have much economic uncertainty with a dictator...

save_the_rustbelt said...
I wonder if the authors actually talked to any business executives or owners?
Not likely.
Stay in the office, crunch the statistics, draw conclusions.
Actually, the TAs probably crunched the statistics.

Davis X. Machina said in reply to save_the_rustbelt...
"I wonder if the authors actually talked to any business executives or owners?"
No, but I did. To a man -- none of them are women, they're not cut out for such things -- they told me "Get that awful Negro out of the White House. *Then* we'll talk."

save_the_rustbelt said in reply to Davis X. Machina...
I think you are being sarcastic.

ezra abrams said in reply to save_the_rustbelt...
Think you are onto something.
Our weekly staff meetings, after that small stuff like sales, delays in new product launchs, problems iwth shipping to distributors, need to find new employees - after all that small stuff, our companys senior staff spent a lot of time worrying about boehner and obama and the debt ceiling.
I mean, compared to the loss of a critical sole source part from a fukushima earthquake damaged plant, debt ceiling stuff is way way more important to our sales this week.

save_the_rustbelt said in reply to ezra abrams...
That is what I have heard from executives in about 30 states.

paine said in reply to save_the_rustbelt...
anyone that can't tie their problems to this is an idiot
" domestic sales suck"
credit is either not needed or they don't qualify ?
and yes there are logistics isssues
but they are overwhelmingly
low demand based in the end
the debt ceiling was probably a nice escape cartoon for any real bizz whizz guys

"Republicans have also vowed to privatize Medicare"
This is clearly a good things!! Most developed countries have already done this including Australia...The U.S is soo far behind and soooo inefficient when it comes to can you not see this as a net positive?!

DrDick said in reply to Bank Exchange Rate...
Ummm. Much of he OECD, including Australia, has a nationalized health insurance system run by the government, not a privatized one run by corporations.

paine said in reply to DrDick...
i think bank exchange here
typed the above at macdonalds free wi fi

Joe Smith said...
I am just a self made millionaire, self employed kind of guy - not an economist or political activist. During the debt ceiling debate I concluded that the Republicans were insane, sold most of my American equities, shorted the index and made money.
I have not gone back into the American equity markets since then. The Republicans are too f**king dangerous for me to make investments. Its like watching psychotics juggling hand grenades.

DrDick said in reply to Joe Smith...
And that is on their good days. On the bad days, it is H-Bombs.

paine said in reply to DrDick...
playing pocket pool with his portfolio
needs to step back and figure something out

he's part of the problem
a very small part no doubt
the sloshing about
of the global securities oort cloud
is at least a waste
at times a hazard
and always rewarding
the wrong players
for doing gainful anti social things
of course roughly half of america's voters
seem to want a vulture in chief next january
not four more years of a sophist in chief
is that justice or wacko irony

Bryan Willman said...
There is some theater, since of course spending is in many ways controlled by the house (consitution explicitly grants them some powers, others they hold as a matter of course.)
In short, it's not necessary to have theater over the debt ceiling (but apparently politically useful to do so), since the same actors can (and will) force the issue via direct means anyway.
And for those who might which for a more parlimentarian system, keep in mind that in such a world Mr. Bohner is the prime minister and Mr. Obama's role is to serve tea at the meeting where the repeal of Obamacare is announced.
In short, when complaining about gridlock, be careful what you wish for....

havnaer said...
Go ahead, Boehner. Make my day.

Darryl FKA Ron said...
Economic uncertainty has always existed due to externalities. It was Joe Schumpeter that convinced democratic capitalism to institutionalize economic uncertainty into the internal economic processes of finance and capital in order for bigger highs and more disastrous lows to keep life interesting. It was sold as a formula for economic growth and it worked like steroids, with many unpleasant side effects and shortened life expectancy.

Darryl FKA Ron said in reply to Darryl FKA Ron...
The uncertainty of the oligarchs is about how best to survive these mistakes. Survival of the middle class does not fit into all of their plans.

paine said in reply to Darryl FKA Ron...
tinbergen discusses some where to uncertainties
those that are part of god's creation
and those that are purely man's creation
jan of course recommended we try to minimize the second sort
looking at any uncertainty
over the debt ceiling its obvious
boner's boys prefer to maximize it

Darryl FKA Ron said in reply to paine...
"looking at any uncertainty
over the debt ceiling its obvious
boner's boys prefer to maximize it"
Yeah, I know. They are just playing politics with our economics. I can't help that. I like to play with the trade-offs of creative destruction.
There was an unreconcilable dichotomy floating around in Schumpeter's theory and I am trying to understand how he thought about it. Did Ol' Joe agree with this (or just Mickey Low)?
"A significant characteristic in economic development process is mobilization of production factors and not to increase new accumulated capital."
Joe's entrepeneur does not really get along too well competing with Joe's monopoly rent seeking mega-corporations either. He is held in such high regard somehow despite some pretty big contradictions in his theory of growth and development. Considering the proof in the pudding, then one of the ingredients in the recipe is way out of proportion. I have been sure since the seventies that was the capital returns driving equity consolidation and financial speculation. I first got suspicious of this in the mid-sixties. Maybe I just have commitment bias.

On Jan Tinbergen - which one?
Centralization and Decentralization in Economic Policy. Westport: Greenwood, 1981. ISBN 0-313-23077-3.
Der Dialog Nord-Süd: Informationen zur Entwicklungspolitik. Frankfurt am Main: Europ. Verlagsanstalt, 1977. (not my lingo)
The Dynamics of Business Cycles: A Study in Economic Fluctuations. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1974. ISBN 0-226-80418-6.
On the Theory of Economic Policy. Second edition (1952) is Volume 1 of Contributions to Economic Analysis, Amsterdam: North-Holland.
Economic policy: Principles and Design. Amsterdam, 1978. ISBN 0-7204-3129-8.

Goldilocksisableachblonde said in reply to Darryl FKA Ron...
"I have been sure since the seventies that was the capital returns driving equity consolidation and financial speculation. I first got suspicious of this in the mid-sixties.'
Your suspicions were justified , apparently. According to the graph in this piece , around 1959 the share of income going to economic rents started growing faster than the share going to productive activity :
Had the economists of the time focused on reversing destructive trends like this one , rather than fixing a bunch of problems that weren't problematic , we could have avoided a lot of grief.
Of course , avoiding the grief of the masses was never their concern. They executed their intended plan , and rationalized it with Big Lie economic scribblings.
And they're still at it today. It's surreal.

Darryl FKA Ron said in reply to Goldilocksisableachblonde...
In 1954 the dividends tax credit for the amount of the issuers taxes paid on the dividends was rescinded. It had once before been rescinded (1936-1939) and then re-instituted. Eliminating this tax credit might just be seen as raising taxes on the wealthy, but it also increased the shareholders prefence for capital gains. The first LBO was in 1955 (two of them). With equity returns on capital concentrated in capital gains, then every systemic effort to support price in equity was directed at lower capital gains tax rates and/or discount holding terms. Since retirement funds depend quite a bit on equity price to create retirement income, then anything that was good for speculators and buyouts (need sell-outs) was good for retirees and future retirees watching their fund investments. Speculation on volatile markets, mergers, and buyouts are great sources of rent extraction. Wages and internal investment suffered under this regime, but if you want to consolidate wealth then it was the ticket.

Darryl FKA Ron said in reply to Goldilocksisableachblonde...
BTW, thanks for the link. Interesting that the origin and normalization is to 1954, but they make nothing of the tax changes made in that year. I have done a lot of research in this area and apparently I am crazy because everyone looks right over it. So much for behavioural economics. Incentives must be evaluated by type of transaction and in series of inter-related transactions (e.g., buy-out, downsize, strip, sell-off versus a monopoly seeking merger and downsize). Only Patricia L Bryan, a tax law specialist, has written anything in support of this view on the shareholders preference for capital gains influencing the merger and buyout rate, but the rest of the effect was off topic to her. Lots of papers reference the debt service tax exemption used notoriously by PE firms to extract rents from their targets, but the incentives to sell out for wind falls instead of hold for income is never discussed (unless you Google and find something I posted on a blog). Occasionally I find an economics article that admits there is actually a difference between productive investment and speculation or arbitrage (I not = S).

paine said in reply to Darryl FKA Ron...
this isn't calculated to make either of you two happy unfortunately
but i really see no reason to suggest the hi fi share as systemically parasitic
nor consequently its rising share of total earnings a sign of decay and atrification
the classic rentier sucks off the social surplus and spends it on his elaborate life style
smith wanted this surplus redirected into greater investment in productive capacity
the hi fi sector by its nature has no reason not to recycle their share of the social surplus back into the production platform
that the present hi fi sector does not do this
is only a lead not even a clue since it leads no where
recall funds that get stuck in the hi fi oort cloud are not wasted
as they would be if spent on lavish life styles
--remember here its a matter of consumption spending share versus productive spending share
so forget the tiny draw off
into hi fi millionaire-billionaire life style---
stuck in the oort cloud they may come down as productive spending elsewhere in another time
--this is a huge problem but regular corporations hoard earnings too up there in the oort cloud --
productive versus consumptive spending
by this institutional set up may well move
capital inter corporatively better then
a system with minimal hi fi mediation
i really can't get this to be convincing in short enough order
but think about it yourselves
form may not so strictly dictate function as you imaginnor sucking off earnings necssarily lead tg
less fruitful spending then if left inside the corporation controling some hunk of actual production

paine said in reply to paine...
the macronomics of this
is an entirely separate matter
after all malthus defended his patron class the
great landlords much as mandeville hadin grumblying hive
as spenders of great resort
i prefer to use the transfer system
even if js mill defended his better because they were societies life style vanguard

Darryl FKA Ron said in reply to paine...
"tinbergen discusses some where to uncertainties
those that are part of god's creation
and those that are purely man's creation"
Irony strikes again. When it comes to economic uncertainty it looks like man is more creative than God.... for now!!!???
:<) or maybe :<(
paine said in reply to PaulS...
"pushing some good ideas past all reason"
the essence of a wizard
when you feel like
"got the big answers"
they can drive you
right over the cliff edge
big ideas are quite intoxicating
one needs to constantly remind oneself
the invincible conviction of it all
is realy just one's facile neuron net cascading

the hypertrophogenic impact
of brain chemistry on meme webs
Mark A. Sadowski said...
Well, this is a blast from the past. I had almost forgotten all about Nassim Taleb.
This caused me to dig up a video of Nouriel Roubini and Taleb ("Dr Doom and the Black Swan") discussing the crisis on CNBC in early 2009. Note the competition to see who can have the thicker accent and more glum view of things:
I particularly love Roubini's reference to "severe U-shape" and "L-shaped" to describe the recession/recovery. I had almost forgotten about his use of such expressions.
Which reminds me, when did the use of V, U, L, W shapes became so widespread to describe recoveries? Who were the first to set the trend? The business economists or the journalists?
Well, first of all, I’ve obviously left off some of the other popular shapes, such as the bathtub shaped, the triple U shaped, the square root shaped, the inverted square root shaped, the N shaped, the O shaped (in circles, or what Republicans like to call “the Obama shaped recovery”), and the “Mickey Mouse shaped” recovery (lots of loop de loops due to invalid and irrelevant economic data).
There are also variants on these basic shapes. For example the L shaped recovery has variants such as the “lightning bolt shaped recovery” (courtesy of George Ulmer of the Online Investing Al Blog) and the “cursive L-shaped recovery” (I’m not sure who coined that, but think of Laverne’s sweater in “Laverne and Shirley”). The bathtub shaped recovery also has a much more pessimistic version known as the “Olympic-pool shaped recovery” (courtesy of Symantec CEO Enrique Salem). The O shaped recovery has a variant known as the “quadruple O-shaped recovery”. (This is the invention of David Levine, CEO of MB media, who said “the OOOO recovery could symbolize a recovery that happens as we transition to a society that legalizes and taxes marijuana and decriminalizes it during an economic recovery.”) There are also composites such as the “N-O shaped recovery” (up, down, up, then around and around, also known as “no recovery”).
My impression is that describing shapes of recoveries has a long history with very uncertain origin. The current long list of shapes has been raised by a wide variety of sources including professors, CEOs, traders, investment advisers etc. But I seem to remember that the number of shape descriptions this recession really mushroomed (as in a cloud) after Dr. Doom started to wax poetic in a thick accent about what we should expect next while making dramatic Rasputin-like hand gestures on TV.

I’m still waiting for someone to raise the possibility of a hecatonicosachoronal shaped recovery but that would require us to visualize the recovery in four dimensions (or in any dimension at all).
paine said in reply to Mark A. Sadowski...
this mark
free of the burden of a higher truth is more engaging
but please restrict your self
to the two dimensions
of time and your beloved NGDP
complex n vector data is hard to work with
on TV
the goose egg recovery
is the generalized O recovery
the golden goose egg is the arbtrageurs
secret hand shake name for goose egg recoveries
the cheery O is one simply varient

btw u and scott sumner ..brace yourself
you third tier eureka wizards
the paine is coming for u !!!!
and he's gonna cut off your "nominals "
Goldilocksisableachblonde said in reply to paine...
" btw u and scott sumner ..brace yourself
you third tier eureka wizards
the paine is coming for u !!!!
and he's gonna cut off your "nominals " "

Will you be livestreaming this ?
paine said in reply to Goldilocksisableachblonde...
not a live stream
but a fitful tinkle
there were nights in my youth that i could only recall as a series of smokey stills the next day
me neuticalization of market montarism
in a series of episodic posts there
falls somewhere between a back ally rub down
and a surgical procedure on a pirate ship
Goldilocksisableachblonde said in reply to paine...
"not a live stream"
Too bad. I would have paid good money to see you neuticalize them in living color.
Peter K. said...
And now for something completely different: Slavoj Zizek on Europe and the Greeks:
"What seems like a fanciful Hollywood image is a reality in today’s Greece. At night, black-shirted vigilantes from the Holocaust-denying ne0-fascist Golden Dawn movement – which won 7 per cent of the vote in the last round of elections, and had the support, it’s said, of 50 per cent of the Athenian police – have been patrolling the street and beating up all the immigrants they can find: Afghans, Pakistanis, Algerians."
paine said in reply to Peter K....
Zizek comes from the crypto of baby fascisms
his transylvanian spook revolutionaries
need a constant supply of new outreaks
to produce the next horror show
anne said in reply to paine...
Zizek comes from the crypto of baby fascisms
his Transylvanian spook revolutionaries
need a constant supply of new outbreaks
to produce the next horror show
[What does this mean? I have no possible idea and find no reason for being cryptic on what could be an important criticism.]
paine said in reply to anne...
consider it for the low minded and the frivolous
not your cup of tea on either count
Dan Kervick said...
I suppose "fun" means fun for currency speculators. Not for like ... regular people.
paine said in reply to Dan Kervick...

the difference here as with all profiteering views
this is a-social non common "fun"
and quite possibly
anti social fun
anne said in reply to Dan Kervick...
A breakup of the euro “is not a big deal,” Taleb said yesterday at an event in Montreal hosted by the Alternative Investment Management Association. “When they break it up, there will be a lot of fun currencies. This is why I am not afraid of Europe, or investing in Europe. I’m afraid of the United States.”
[The comment is idiotic and mean-spirited, but possibly in keeping with what I find are the pretensions of Nassim Taleb.]
NancyinStL said...
Taleb is "furious" at Bloomberg for taking comments from a one hour lecture and turning it into an article that seems to give financial advice, according to Business Insider.
kharris said...
Whatever else may drive Taleb's thinking and speech, it's worth remembering his other profession, besides financial punditry. He's a hot money guy. The context of his comment was clearly about where to invest - like Europe, don't like the US. In that context, "fun currencies" is a very different soft of statement than if one were, say, a politician or a social worker...or a banker.
kharris said in reply to kharris...
"...SORT of statement..." Uck.
Lafayette said...
{But overall, I don't think economic upheaval is the path to "fun."}
Fun, me arse.
This guy has no idea of what it was like before the Euro. Perhaps he'd not yet been born.
There was the thing called the "snake" in which Europe tried to moderate great currency changes in order to not disturb inter-European trade as had been the case previously. (Most national export in Europe goes to some other country - the Common Market having been the precursor many years ago stimulating such trade.)
Really, nobody but a dimwit would want to see Europe go back to those "fun" times - fun for money traders, not for the rest of us.
Then, of course, was the tactic of any country leader to devalue (beggar thy neighbor) when necessary for purposes of repayment of the national debt to bankers.
And here we are again, facing the same culprit with the same problem. When, oh when, are we ever going to learn ...
paine said in reply to Lafayette...
i kinda think the process needed to stay at the snale stage for a few more decades
so going back to it....sounds like ...well
paine said in reply to paine...
"snale "
nice typo eh?
one imagines chimeras galore
part snail part deaf adder ?

as a former forex player
my fingers twitch at the thought of those hgood old days
of snake charming and turning a cobra into
a belt suitable for throttling whole nations