Monthly Archives: September 2013

Fall Colors, Climate Change, and Planetary Governance

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Planetary. He said planetary. OK, OK! The Episcopalians have a liturgy that, back in my day, was called “Star Trek”; it includes the beautiful phrase “this fragile earth, our island home” [warbling and woo-wooing noises under the rubric "optional"]. But bear with me. I’ll start with the leaves, and we’ll get to some ideas on governance from there, based on experience with landfill, land use, and fracking activism.


The Emerging Left in the “Emerging” World: More Threads

By Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics and Chairperson at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. Originally published at Triple Crisis.

Editors’ note:  This is the third part (of four) of “The Emerging Left in the ‘Emerging’ World,” by Triple Crisis founding contributor Jayati Ghosh, originally delivered in 2012 as part of the Ralph Miliband Lecture Series at the London School of Economics. We posted the introduction two weeks ago (here), and the second part last week (here). In this week’s post, Ghosh discusses five more “common threads” of the emerging left: private property, “rights,” class and identity, gender, and the environment. We will post the conclusion to the lecture next week.


Yanis Varoufakis: What Merkel’s Third Term Means for Europe

Yves here. Varoufakis gives a high-level overview of the political and economic constraints on Merkel in dealing with the festering Eurocrisis. While many of the political issues have received decent coverage in the English language press, the nature and severity of Germany’s economic challenges have gotten scant notice.


ObamaCare’s Shameful and Lethal Three-Year History — and Future

By Joe Firestone, Ph.D., Managing Director, CEO of the Knowledge Management Consortium International (KMCI), and Director of KMCI’s CKIM Certificate program. He taught political science as the graduate and undergraduate level and blogs regularly at Corrente, Firedoglake and Daily Kos as letsgetitdone, and Lambert Strether, who blogs at Corrente. Joe did the heavy lifting on this!

Many people, and especially Obama supporters, characterize the ACA (ObamaCare) as “just starting” or a “work in progress” and then go on to urge that the program will have “glitches,” needs to be “tweaked,” isn’t yet “fully implemented,” and so forth. We think it’s a mistake to see the ACA as just starting. We also think it’s a mistake not to weigh the costs of ObamaCare’s stately three-year progress toward partial coverage for the the American people, and just as important to weigh the opportunity costs.


Where unethical corporate culture comes from

By Lee E. Biggerstaff, PhD Candidate, University of Tennessee, David Cicero, Assistant Professor of Finance, University of Alabama, and Andy Puckett, Associate Professor anf the Massingale Scholar in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee. Originally published at VoxEU.

Curbing corporate misbehaviour is a key policy goal but fixing the problem requires an understanding of what causes it. This column develops an innovative empirical approach that identifies unethical CEOs as an important cause of unethical corporation behaviour.


Anat Admati: The Failure of Financial Regulation

Anat Admati is the George G.C. Parker Professor of Finance and Economics at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. Here she is interviewed by Marshall Auerback, the Institute for New Economic Thinking’s Director of Institutional Parternships.

Lambert here: Since it’s the weekend and nobody’s watching, I’ll dip my toe in the waters of finance; maybe at some future point I’ll actually wade into the shallow end of the pool! This interview contains an interesting, nuts and bolts discussion of the Cyprus and London Whale debacles, and it’s worth a listen to see how a finance professional recapitulates them; I found it interesting that Admati uses the phrase “political economy” unapologetically.


The Regressive Politics of Quantitative Easing

From Unconventional Economist, who has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs. Cross posted from MacroBusiness, originally published at The Conversation.

When financial markets stood on the verge of collapse in the summer of 2008, two of the world’s most important central banks, the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, began considering unorthodox policy measures. They turned to Quantitative Easing, or QE: injecting money into the economy by purchasing assets from the private sector, in the hope of boosting spending and staving off the threat of deflation. These were desperate measures for desperate times.

With signs of a fragile economic recovery gathering enough momentum to reassure policymakers in the US, the policy was expected to be wound down. But in a move that caught commentators off guard, the Fed instead committed to continue with its existing level of asset purchases. For the foreseeable future, at least, QE is here to stay. What began as a short-term crisis measure has now become a key component of Anglo-American growth strategies. It’s important, then, to take stock of QE and the central role it has played within the Anglo-American response to the financial crisis.


Taibbi on How Wall Street is Looting Public Pension Funds

You must go, pronto, and read Matt Taibbi’s latest expose, on how hedge funds are plundering public pension funds, meaning pension funds managed on behalf of government employees like policemen, sanitation workers, and teachers. Taibbi describes how a concerted PR campaign has made workers the scapegoats for large pension shortfalls when in fact public officials and unscrupulous financiers (both through their machinations with these funds and via damage done by the global financial crisis) are the real perps.