Monthly Archives: September 2012

Modern Money and Public Purpose: The Historical Evolution of Money and Debt

L. Randall Wray and Michael Hudson present at the Modern Money and Public Purpose seminars. L. Randall Wray is a Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Michael Hudson Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri (Kansas City), and President of the Institute for the Study of Long-term Economic Trends (ISLET).

This video is an hour and three-quarters long — half for Wray, half for Hudson — so I suggest you listen to it over your Sunday morning coffee instead of NPR. (And if you’ve been taking note of all the “tally stick” jokes in the threads lately, I’m guessing this video is where that comes from…)


The Data Don’t Support That The U.S. Bank Bailouts Were Better Than the Swedish Model

By Hugh, who is a long-time commenter at Naked Capitalism. Originally published at Corrente.

On September 24, 2012, Josh Lehner published a post comparing employment (jobs) and unemployment rates in and after various financial crises, including Sweden in 1991 and the US in 2008. Lehner concluded that the policy response to the 2008 financial crisis “compares pretty favorably” and that

While the initial path of both the global and U.S. economies in 2008 and 2009 effectively matched the early years of the Great Depression – or worse –the strong policy response employed by nearly all major economies – both monetary and fiscal – helped stop the economic free fall.

This has been used by some to argue erroneously that the Bernanke-Obama-Geithner-Bush-Paulson strategy of bank bailouts effectively proves the Swedish approach of resolving insolvent banks following the 1991 crisis was wrong. What is wrong is this assertion. It ignores Swedish economic history and the limitations of Lehner’s evidence.


Judges to Review Constitutionality of NDAA Military Detention Legislation

Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. His book War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. Here he’s interviewed by Paul Jay of the Real News Network.


O Frabjous Day! Callooh! Callay! A Jobs Story

By Hugh, who is a long-time commenter at Naked Capitalism. Originally published at Corrente.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced a 386,000 adjustment to its 2012 jobs figures, putting Obama in positive (+125,000) jobs territory for the first time in his Administration. This will no doubt make for good cheering material for the Obama campaign, but it rather misses the larger and far more important point that we still have a jobs deficit since the January 2008 jobs peak of nearly 11 million. That positive 125,000 is achieved by ignoring two major factors: job losses in 2008 before Obama became President (recessions are impolitic and don’t wait for Presidential Inaugurations to begin) and 4 1/2 years of population growth in the labor age population.


A Review of Occupy the SEC on the One Year Anniversary of OWS – One Working Group’s Effort to Serve the Interests of the 99%

By Occupy the SEC. Cross posted from their website

Contrary to critics, who seem to think that the only way for Occupy Wall Street to have an impact is by taking to the streets, the movement continues to focus on developing novel ways to reduce the power of a deeply entrenched, abusive financial services industry. One way is by serving as a people’s lobbyist to shine light on the way critical aspects of financial services regulation are negotiated, usually out of sight of the public.


Quelle Surprise! Mortgage Settlement Monitor Advocates Going Easy on Servicers Since We Don’t Dare Ask Them to Spend Money to Meet Their Contractual Obligations

The mortgage settlement looks to be every bit as bad as cynics predicted. The most exacting and detailed reporting on the settlement terms came from attorney Abigail Field, who undertook the painful process of reading the entire agreement and making sense of what the detailed terms meant. And the latest word from the settlement monitor Joseph Smith is yet another confirmation of the settlement process as enforcement theater.


Did Scott Brown Have Patient Zero of the Foreclosure Fraud/Robosigning Scandal, Lender Processing Services, as a Client?

Established Naked Capitalism readers may have noticed that I’ve avoided commenting on the Elizabeth Warren/Scott Brown race in Massachusetts. That’s largely because this is a finance and economics blog, and aside from the fact that the Warren candidacy has led lots of out of state financial firms to pour money into the Brown campaign, the discussion of issues in that particular race hasn’t entered into terrain that would merit a stand-alone post (and Lambert’s able campaign coverage has chronicled their noteworthy dust-ups). And we criticized her decision to run for the Senate; we’ve said repeatedly that there were better uses for her talents and access to media if she wanted to help ordinary Americans.

But in a new post, Adam Levitin raises an issue that warrants more disclosure from Brown.


The Value of the Revolving Door: Political Appointees and the Stock Market

By Simon Luechinger, assistant professor in economics, University of Lucerne and Christoph Moser, post-doctoral researcher at KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich. Cross posted from VoxEU

The presidential election campaign is in full swing in the US. Whoever wins the presidential race will face the challenge of filling top positions in the federal administration. Since some political appointees traditionally come from the private sector, allegations of conflicts of interest will emerge. But are connected firms really expected to profit?


On Manichean Worldviews and Effecting Change

Aside from the rise of concerted trolling (which Barry Ritholtz discusses in a post today), it has been hard not to notice what amounts to an increase in collective pissiness among the NC commentariat. One might ascribe it to a multitude of influences: elevated stress produced by a lousy economy, the utter distastefulness of the Presidential campaign, the offhanded corruption among our ruling classes and their minions, the nagging worry that another big shoe might be about to drop (Iran? Europe?).

I’m not about to tell you all to take Soma. But there are a couple of forms of argument that are destructive to the community here, as well as being just plain fallacious.