James Pethokoukis

Obama stimulus: promises vs. reality

September 4, 2009

This from the WaPo:

IHS Global Insight, an economic consulting firm, estimates that the stimulus has increased the 2009 gross domestic product by about 1 percent over what it otherwise would have been, with the benefit almost entirely in the second half of the year.

The Obama stimulus reconsidered

September 3, 2009

I listened to VP Joe Biden today talking abut the Obama stimulus package, aka, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. A few thoughts:

Did the Obama stimulus package actually slow the economy?

September 2, 2009

An interesting bit from the WSJ:

Dave Anderson, chief financial officer of Honeywell International Inc., said the stimulus package actually froze business activity at first as firms tried to figure out how they could benefit from the government spending. The $787 billion package “created actually a slowdown in order activity in terms of the flow that we would normally have anticipated,” Mr. Anderson said at a conference sponsored by Morgan Stanley. “We anticipate that that’s going to actually pick up in the second half of the year. I think it’s not unreasonable to see several hundred million dollars of orders.

4 reasons why a second stimulus is a bad idea

July 22, 2009

Wells Fargo/Wachovia economist John Siliva makes his case:

1) A second stimulus would add fuel to the already recovering economy and would create the false impression that all is now back to the “happy days” of an overleveraged consumer and strong growth. Therefore, estimates of top-line revenues are likely to overstate the true sustainable future pace of sales in a deleveraged economy.

A Chimerica stimulus policy?

July 13, 2009

David Goldman of the great Inner Workings blog loves the Chimerica concept, a furthering of the economic relationship between China and America. He even thinks it would make a great stimulus and long-term economic recovery program:

Is cap-and-trade a lump of coal for Democrats?

July 10, 2009

The wonderful Jennifer Rubin of the Contentions blog opines thusly:

By December we will see how attractive a massive energy tax would be. (Talk about a lump of coal in your stocking.) But Boxer is smart to shove this off to the side. Democrats who cast a hard vote in the House and are now being pummeled by conservatives, business and taxpayer groups, and potential opponents (as are the Republican Eight who are in the dog house with the base). Those who supported cap-and-trade despite warnings about job losses and the adverse impact on the already struggling economy (especially in energy-producing states) are finding little support for having placed a pet issue on the liberal wish-list ahead of their constituents’ economic interests. Then the G-8 didn’t help matters either. And really, if the EPA’s own administrator says it will have no effect on climate, what’s the point of the whole exercise?

More U.S. stimulus? Really?

July 10, 2009

Morgan Stanley economists Richard Berner and David Greenlaw on whether the U.S. stimulus package should have been bigger:

Study: Cash for clunkers won’t spur any net new car sales

July 9, 2009

The  $1 billion federal “Cash for Clunkers” program that will pay consumers up to  $4,500 for trading in aging gas-guzzlers for new, more fuel efficient models could be a big bust. Macroeconomic Advisers just completed a study on the program and found that it will bring forward future sales that would have happened anyway (though that could be good for cash-strapped companies). This is very similar to what economists have found with natalist policies that try to incentivize women to have more kids:

The econ chart that should worry David Axelrod and the Dems

July 9, 2009

Brad DeLong worries that the downturn in bond yields is hinting at an anemic economic recovery.

Fed study: Bailouts and stimulus plans can recessions into depressions

July 9, 2009

Some interesting conclusions from a Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank study of how country’s deal with financial crises. The White House might want to take a peak at the whole thing. Here is a bit of it (bold is mine):