"It is easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor."
- Tyrion Lannister

"Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that's ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."

- Daenerys Targaryen

"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"

- Tyrion Lannister

"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."

- Jorah Mormont

"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."

- Tyrion Lannister

"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."

- Michael Barone

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Game of Thrones

new excerpt from The Winds of Winter

global secstags or no?

Secular stagnation and capital flows - can capital flows mitigate or even eliminate the problems generated by secular stagnation? by Jérémie Cohen-Setton on 7th April 2015

Do You Really Want to Know How Ben Bernanke Thinks? Also Larry Summers and Paul Krugman by DeLong (April 5, 2015)

Germany's trade surplus is a problem by Ben Bernanke (April 3, 2015)

The global secular savings stagnation glut by Ryan Avent (Apr 3rd 2015, 16:23)

The New Job Figures and Secular Stagnation by John Cassidy

Larry Summers and Ben Bernanke are having the most important blog fight ever by Matt O'Brien (April 2, 2015)
Ben Bernanke and the "Ask Nicely" Strategy for the Trade Deficit by Dean Baker (April 2, 2015)

Bernanke Says Global Imbalances Bedevil the World Economy. Discuss. by Josh Barro (April, 2, 2015)

Krugman and Summers Versus Bernanke on Secular Stagnation by Dean Baker (Thursday, 02 April 2015 05:29)

Full Employment, Trade Deficits, and the Savings Glut: A Fascinating Debate in the Macro Blogosphere by Jared Bernstein (April 2nd, 2015 at 9:29 am)

Liquidity Traps, Local and Global (Somewhat Wonkish) by Krugman (April 1, 2015 6:12 PM)

Economist's View discussion

Why are interest rates so low, part 3: The Global Savings Glut by Ben Bernanke (April 1, 2015 11:00am)
On Secular Stagnation: A Response to Bernanke by Larry Summers (April 1, 2015 7:30am)
link to Summers's website

Why are interest rates so low, part 2: Secular stagnation by Ben Bernanke ( March 31, 2015 11:00am)

I think Krugman and Summers are saying that even if we eliminate the trade deficit, we'd continue to stagnate and private investment levels would continue to shrink.

What is the level of world savings and investment? Who is saving too much? Look at Bernanke's third entry.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Better Call Saul

AV Club reviews Better Call Saul, “Pimento” 

“They call it the caviar of the South.”

Barney Frank, Obama, TARP and homeowner relief

Question for Brad DeLong and the Debt School of the Downturn: What Would Our Saving Rate Be If We Didn't Have Debt? by Dean Baker, Monday, 01 December 2014 05:32

via DeLong

David DayenBarney Frank Explains the Financial Crisis: “The TARP legislation included specific instructions to use a section of the funds to prevent foreclosures…
…Without that language, TARP would not have passed…. The Bush administration… used none of the first tranche on mortgage relief, nor did Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson use any leverage over firms receiving the money to persuade them to lower mortgage balances and prevent foreclosures. Frank made his anger clear over this ignoring of Congress’ intentions at a hearing with Paulson that November…. Frank writes, ‘Paulson agreed to include homeowner relief in his upcoming request for a second tranche of TARP funding. But there was one condition: He would only do it if the President-elect asked him to.’…
Obama rejected the request, saying ‘we have only one president at a time.’ Frank writes, ‘my frustrated response was that he had overstated the number of presidents currently on duty’…. Obama’s unwillingness to take responsibility before holding full authority doesn’t match other decisions made at that time. We know from David Axelrod’s book that the Obama transition did urge the Bush administration to provide TARP loans to GM and Chrysler…. It was OK to help auto companies prior to Inauguration Day, just not homeowners. In the end, the Obama transition wrote a letter promising to get to the foreclosure relief later, if Congress would only pass the second tranche of TARP funds. Congress fulfilled its obligation, and the Administration didn’t….
Frank… first leveled [this] in May 2012 in an interview with New York magazine. Nobody in the Obama Administration has ever denied the anecdote…. I suppose those reviewing ’Frank’ can offer an excuse about this being ‘old news’…. The political media’s allergy to policy is a clear culprit here. Jamie Kirchick’s blanket statement in his review of ‘Frank’ that ‘readers’ eyes will glaze over’ at the recounting of the financial crisis is a typical attitude. But… people [who] suffered needlessly for Wall Street’s sins… would perhaps be interested in understanding why…

Monday, March 30, 2015


Former Federal Reserve Board Chair Ben Bernanke gave the keynote speech at a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities forum on policies that promote economic growth and employment.


Destroying the Greek economy in order to save it by Mark Weisbrot
It could hardly be more obvious that this is not about money or fiscal sustainability, but about politics. This is a government that European authorities didn’t want, and they wish to show who is boss. And they really don’t want this government to succeed, which would encourage Spanish voters to opt for a democratic alternative — Podemos — later this year. 
The IMF projected the economy to grow by 2.9 percent this year, and until the last month or so, there was good reason to believe that — as in 2014, after years of gross overestimates — its forecast would be on target. This growth would likely have kept Syriza’s approval ratings high, together with its measures to provide food and electricity to needy households and other progressive changes. The ECB’s actions, by destabilizing the economy and discouraging investment and consumption, will almost certainly slow Greece’s recovery and could be expected to undermine the government’s support. 
If carried too far, European officials’ actions could inadvertently force Greece out of the euro — a dangerous strategy for all concerned. They should stop undermining the economic recovery that Greece will need if it is to achieve fiscal sustainability.

Bernanke, Krugman, Piketty, and Stiglitz

Why are interest rates so low? by Ben Bernanke

video of "Thomas Piketty, Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz: The Genius of Economics"