"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

Sunday, October 02, 2016

fiscal policy, DeLong and Ip

Must-Read: Five years late, and many trillions of dollars short. But still...

Greg Ip: Fiscal Policy Makes a Quiet Turn Toward Stimulus:
Now... fiscal policy across the developed world is collectively turning more stimulative for the first time since the end of the recession... 
...This may be the most underappreciated economic development of the year. While the scale of the stimulus is modest in dollar terms, it signals a more profound shift in the political winds. Globally, the rise of political populism has pushed deficits down the list of priorities while elevating tax cuts and benefits for the working class. With enough critical mass, such measures could persuade central banks to rethink their own super-easy monetary policies, which would undermine the case for today’s rock-bottom bond yields and pricey stocks. 
The fiscal shift is easy to miss, because rhetorically at least, governments remain devoted to cutting their debts. But numbers tell a different story.... The near-term catalyst for the fiscal turn was Britain’s vote to leave the European Union on June 23. Not only did the resulting uncertainty threaten global economic growth, it also alerted centrist political parties to how unhappy voters are with the economic status quo.... 
For Japan, the impetus was both Brexit and the Bank of Japan’s introduction of negative interest rates this year, which failed to work as planned; the yen went up and stocks went down. In August, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled a $73 billion package of infrastructure spending, cash handouts to poor families, and other stimulative measures. In the U.S., budget caps enacted in 2011 have already been loosened. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, is campaigning to boost spending on countless programs, from college education to infrastructure.... Mr. Trump’s rise demonstrates that austerity has lost the political energy it had in 2010.... 
Central bankers can take credit for the shift. As the benefits of zero to negative rates have shrunk and the side effects risen, they have exhorted finance ministers to take up the burden of supporting growth...

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What  DeLong and Ip don't tell us is that Hillary's plan of $275 billion over five years is too small. The Fed says it gave us the recovery it wanted for the most part.

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