James Pethokoukis

Winning the fight for the financial crisis narrative

October 21, 2009

In an FT piece, Daniel Yergin lists the many competing explanations for the financial crisis: 1) too much leverage; 2) rapid financial innovation; 3) wrongheaded or incomplete regulation; 4) government home ownership policies; 5) high US indebtedness; 6) too much greediness, not enough fear; 7) bubblicious easy credit; 8) hubris from years of global growth; 9) global securitization as a transmitter of crisis; 10) the oil spike; 11) intrinsic evil of capitalism.

Paul Volcker: Obama’s forgotten man

October 21, 2009

The most devastating part of the NYTimes piece on Paul Volcker’s lack of influence on WH economic policy comes into the very last sentence of the piece:

WH econ adviser: Job market is really bad

October 20, 2009

Listened to an interesting talk today by Jared Bernstein, chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden, at a New America think-tank conference on job creation. A few observations:

America’s banana republic economy

October 20, 2009

Is the decline in the dollar merely a “return to normalcy” story, as many bulls contend, and not a harbinger of a coming currency crisis?

Stealing from Social Security to pay for healthcare reform

October 20, 2009

Does BaucusCare raid Social Security to pay for healthcare reform? Sure seems like, according to Andrew Biggs of AEI:

Healthcare math doesn’t work

October 20, 2009

Ed Yardeni runs the numbers:

Nominal GDP rose at a compounded rate of 4.2% from 1999-2009. It isn’t likely to grow any faster over the next 10-20 years. However, extrapolating the same growth rate of per capita retirement spending (5.1%) and adding the higher projected growth of the senior population (3.0%) suggests that social welfare outlays might grow by 8%. That’s significantly higher than the likely growth of nominal GDP (say 5%). Since the tax base can’t grow faster than nominal GDP on a sustainable basis, something has to give on the per capita spending side.

US Chamber of Commerce and climate change

October 20, 2009

OK, here is the USCOC’s basic position on climate change from recent congressional testimony:

Closing the budget gap

October 19, 2009

TaxVox tells us why the budget deficit is much worse that what the government is projecting:

Healthcare reform effort stumbles over spending and taxes

October 16, 2009

The great Dan Clifton of Strategas Group nails the difficulties of paying for reform through spending cuts or tax hikes:

Follow the Japanese example on stimulus

October 16, 2009

The new Japanese government is redirecting the country’s stimulus plan (WSJ):