Tag Archives: Paul Krugman

Since I was at Krugman’s blog

Ahem, look what the Professor has introduced:


Who is authoring this new character, “Joe Scarborough”

In the last recent months, credible media have begun treating Joe Scarborough as a serious thinker with something to say. He’s penning op-eds in The New York Times and The Washington Post and appearing on Sunday news (not a high standard, but he’s there).

joe scarMost recently he engaged in an infamous exchange with Paul Krugman on the Charlie Rose show where, as if hosting the Tim Matthews Memorial Wanna-Be Gottcha’ Competition, he went after Krugman in an unusual and nearly hostile exchange. (Rose usually keeps that sort of argument from developing because his audience isn’t into it. But he didn’t that night.)

I watch Morning Joe if I watch morning TV (hey, it’s a step up from Honey Boo Boo, so give me credit for that). What I’ve seen, regularly, is the Scarborough routine wherein he instantly adopts as his own whatever his guest has just said. He does this almost every day. And heads around the table nod. Irksome.

And now this escalation, so I ask: what outside entity is creating this new persona. Who is crafting – maybe for network TV, maybe for politics yet again – the 2013 edition of Joe Scarborough? Because I don’t think he’s steering that ship.

Dorgan, Sanders, Durbin, Krugman – guess who was right. They were.

Terrific post yesterday about the banks and our Congress at The Erstwhile Conservative. Duane over there does – as I told him – the ‘heavy lifting’ while I occupy myself with Maru and oldies.

He points us to a warning from Sen. Byron Dorgan [ALERT: NY Times link] in 1999 about the dangers of repealing the Glass-Steagal Act, but they did it. They:

[Duane] . . . passed the Financial Services Modernization Act, which finally allowed commercial and investment banks and securities and insurance companies to stop slyly shacking up with each other and unite in unholy but legal matrimony.

[Dorgan in 1999] I think we will look back in 10 years’ time and say we should not have done this but we did because we forgot the lessons of the past, and that that which is true in the 1930′s is true in 2010…We have now decided in the name of modernization to forget the lessons of the past, of safety and of soundness.

Duane quotes two more Democratic Senators:

[Sen. Bernie Sanders today] Let me just say again what many people will not be happy to hear. Wall Street is extraordinarily powerful. Congress doesn’t regulate them, the big banks regulate what Congress does.

[Sen. Dick Durbin three years ago]…hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place

Let me, Moe, add another quote, a more recent one, from Bush 43’s speechwriter, David Frum:

Imagine, if you will, someone who read only the Wall Street Journal editorial page between 2000 and 2011, and someone in the same period who read only the collected columns of Paul Krugman. Which reader would have been better informed about the realities of the current economic crisis? The answer, I think, should give us pause. [Note from Moe: Krugman warned constantly about repealing Glass-Steagel; the WSJ supported it.]

Sunday gasbaggery

Damn librul media. Here’s tomorrow’s lineup:

  • Face the Nation: Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman
  • Fox News Sunday: Dick Cheney
  • State of the Union: Sen. DeMint, Sen. Lieberman, Rep.
    Rogers, James Hoffa
  • This Week: DeMint
  • Meet the Press: Rep. Maxine Waters, Tom Friedman, Mark
    McKinnon, Paul Gigot, Doris Kearns Goodwin

Jim DeMint twice?  And I don’t see anyone from labor or even from one of the gajillion jobs councils.

Oh my holyrollers! Here’s an update on the schedule. I guess John McCain wasn’t available to fill out the hour.


Being right doesn’t cut it cuz he’s ‘shrill’ dontcha’ know

Krugman blog today:

Once again: S&P declared that US debt is no longer a safe investment; yet investors are piling into US debt, not out of it . . . amounts to a massive market rejection of S&P’s concerns.

. . . that downgrade will bully policy makers into even more deflationary, contractionary policies than they would have undertaken otherwise, which has the perverse effect of making US debt more attractive, since the alternatives are worse.

. . . to those claiming that falling stock prices somehow validate S&P: hey, guys, these people weren’t rating stocks, they were rating US debt — and the price of that debt has gone UP.

Krugman: “got that 30’s feeling”

A post from Krugman’s blog today.

Given a crisis that should have been relatively easy to solve — and, more than that, a crisis that anyone who knew macroeconomics 101 should have been well-prepared to deal with — what we actually got was an obsession with problems we didn’t have.

He points to ‘intellectual failure’ among the ruling classes, and not just here in the U.S.

Fears of far-right rise in crisis-hit Greece

ATHENS, Greece — They descended by the hundreds — black-shirted, bat-wielding youths chasing down dark-skinned immigrants through the streets of Athens and beating them senseless in an unprecedented show of force by Greece’s far-right extremists.

In Greece, alarm is rising that the twin crises of financial meltdown and soaring illegal immigration are creating the conditions for a right-wing rise — and the Norway massacre on Monday drove authorities to beef up security.

The move comes amid spiraling social unrest that has unleashed waves of rioting and vigilante thuggery on the streets of Athens. The U.N.’s refugee agency warns that some Athens neighborhoods have become zones where “fascist groups have established an odd lawless regime.”


Students need projects

And an enterprising group at Hamilton College undertook to look at how our public prognosticators are doing with their predictions.

. . . analyzed the predicts of 26 pundits — including Sunday morning TV talkers — and used a scale of 1 to 5 to rate their accuracy. After Paul Krugman, the most accurate pundits were Maureen Dowd, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “The Bad” list includes Thomas Friedman, Clarence Page, and Bob Herbert..

It’s cool that Krugman was rated most accurate. They rated syndicated columnist Cal Thomas the least accurate.

As for the ‘bad’ list, I really admire Page and Herbert and am disappointed to see them there. But Thomas Friedman? Delicious! Durng the Iraq War he opined for a few years that ‘the next six months’ would resolve matters one way or the other. And he said it over and over and over for so long that a period of six months came to be known as “a Freindman unit” or just ‘an FU”.

But this has to be my favorite line from the story.

Finally, those prognosticators with a law degree were more likely to be wrong.

Toxic people


Paul Krugman answers David Romer’s question from the recent IMF macroeconomic conference: Why the silence surrounding the dismal employment outlook in the advanced economies? Says Romer, “I find this complacency in the fact of vast, preventable suffering and waste hard to understand.

Krugman analyzes the JOLTS (job offerings and labor turnover) data:

Although unemployment remains very high, at this point that’s mainly due to lack of hiring; layoffs are quite low. This means that people who still have decent jobs aren’t feeling much at risk of losing them. So any urgency would have to come from concern about those who don’t have jobs — those who lost them in the slump, and of course young people trying to get started on their working lives.

And those people — at least one in six workers, judging by U6 — don’t seem to have much political or psychological visibility. In effect, they’re being written off.

One in six adds up to a pretty big number. Organized, energized, and active, this group could attain not just visibility, but has the potential to become a potent political force.

Is he still considered to be ‘the shrill one’?

Paul Krugman is often the best practitioner of the succinct summary. Today he writes about the moralizers who want to punish debtors (individuals, not the financial institutions so much). And after a brief summary of how an economy works and making a case – yet again – for increased government spending (around the world by the way) . . . well, here he is:

“And if you point out that their arguments don’t add up, they fly into a rage. Try to explain that when debtors spend less, the economy will be depressed unless somebody else spends more, and they call you a socialist.”

Let the grandkids worry about the blanking infrastructure

After all, who needs infrastructure? A single hundred year old tunnel should be good enough to service 4 or 5 million people. Whiners, always want more. But Gov. Christie set them straight. No new tunnel for New Jersey. Can’t afford it he said.

” [now] by any rational calculation, would be an especially good time to improve the nation’s infrastructure. We have the need: our roads, our rail lines, our water and sewer systems are antiquated and increasingly inadequate. We have the resources: a million-and-a-half construction workers are sitting idle, and putting them to work would help the economy as a whole recover from its slump. And the price is right: with interest rates on federal debt at near-record lows, there has never been a better time to borrow for long-term investment.

But American politics these days is anything but rational . . .

It was a destructive and incredibly foolish decision on multiple levels. But it shouldn’t have been all that surprising. We are no longer the nation that used to amaze the world with its visionary projects. We have become, instead, a nation whose politicians seem to compete over who can show the least vision, the least concern about the future and the greatest willingness to pander to short-term, narrow-minded selfishness.”

That’s what Paul Krugman says.