James Pethokoukis

U.S. trade thaw may leave China out in cold

September 30, 2010

The retaliatory China currency bill passed in the U.S. House helps brand this Congress as one of the more protectionist in years. The next one might switch gears and embrace trade by passing several stalled pacts. But Beijing shouldn’t expect that to translate into a friendlier Washington.

A pro-market, not pro-business, energy strategy

September 27, 2010

Here is my Reuters Breakingviews piece from last week:

General Electric boss Jeffrey Immelt last Thursday castigated Washington for neglecting the U.S. energy industry, calling current policy “stupid.” Sure, Immelt was talking his own book — a third of GE’s profit last year came from its power unit. But the lack of a comprehensive energy strategy is still an economic drag.

Can Obama be deprogrammed?

September 27, 2010

Some interesting stuff in this piece by Michael Lind:

Instead of the updated Rooseveltonomics that America needs, Obama’s team offers warmed-over Rubinomics from the 1990s. Consider the priorities of the Obama administration: the environment, healthcare and education. Why these priorities, as opposed to others, like employment, high wages and manufacturing? The answer is that these three goals co-opt the activist left while fitting neatly into a neoliberal narrative that could as easily have been told in 1999 as in 2009. The story is this: New Dealers and Keynesians are wrong to think that industrial capitalism is permanently and inherently prone to self-destruction, if left to itself. Except in hundred-year disasters, the market economy is basically sound and self-correcting. Government can, however, help the market indirectly, by providing these three public goods, which, thanks to “market failures,” the private sector will not provide.

What’s wrong with the U.S. economy in one chart

September 27, 2010

Tax rates matter. You tend to get the stuff you tax lightly and don’t get what you tax heavily. Wonder why America had a housing boom and why we are wallowing in debt? Here is why:

The House GOP ‘Pledge to America’

September 23, 2010

Here is my Reuters Breakingviews columntorial (half column, half editorial)  on the agenda from House Republicans:

Summers speculation roundup

September 22, 2010

Place your bets!

Reuters:

Following are economists that have been mentioned as potential replacements for Summers as director of the White House National Economic Council.

More on Larry Summers leaving the White House

September 22, 2010

A few additional thoughts about Larry Summers leaving the White House and going back to Harvard:

The departure of Larry Summers

September 22, 2010

So who is going to replace Larry Summers over at the White House? My Reuters colleagues list a number of options. I have come up with a number of my own over at Twitter. (The WH would love a female CEO as director of the National Economic Council, methinks.) Anyway, here is my Reuters Breakingviews column on the the impending Summers exit:

Obama vs. the hedgie

September 21, 2010

Here is a bit-o-goodness from my Reuters Breakingviews column on the Obama-CNBC town hall yesterday .