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Baseline Scenario

The Baseline Scenario is a blog created after the financial crisis in 2007-2008 by Professors Simon Johnson (MIT Sloan) and James Kwak (University of Connecticut School of Law). The blog examins issues that plague the global economy.

Letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen: In Support of a Price Cap on Russian Oil Exports

The Honorable Janet L. Yellen U.S. Department of Treasury 1500 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20220                                                                                                         October 11, 2022 Dear Secretary Yellen: We are a group of economists with expertise in oil markets, international trade, and political economy, writing to express our support for the proposed price cap on Russian seaborne oil exports. As envisaged by the G7,...

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Assessment: Stacey Abrams’ Budget Plan

By Simon Johnson, Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship, MIT Sloan School of Management The plan is based on sound economic and fiscal assumptions and allows for the implementation of policy initiatives without tax increases. This note provides my assessment of the financial viability of Stacey Abrams’ budget plan for the state of Georgia through fiscal 2028. This assessment was carried out at the request of the Stacey Abrams campaign for Georgia’s governor. Stacey...

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Imposing Sanctions on Russian Energy Exports

March 3, 2022: By Oleg Ustenko, economic advisor to the president of Ukraine, and Simon Johnson, MIT. Contact: [email protected] This post is taken from a one page memo, currently circulating. Sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are not degrading Russian energy production capacity or putting enough pressure on Russian financial markets. On the contrary, the price of Brent crude has risen from $80 at the end of 2021 to $90 pre-invasion and reached $113 per...

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Quick Housekeeping Note

By James Kwak I’ve been asked if you can sign up for email notifications when I write stories on Medium. Apparently you can, but the option is a bit buried. (One of the nice things about Medium is the clean interface. One downside of that clean interface is that sometimes you have to go looking for things.) If you’re on my main page (jamesykwak.medium.com), you have to click on About at the top. Then you get to this page, and at the bottom there’s a link to an email...

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Quick Housekeeping Note

By James Kwak I’ve been asked if you can sign up for email notifications when I write stories on Medium. Apparently you can, but the option is a bit buried. (One of the nice things about Medium is the clean interface. One downside of that clean interface is that sometimes you have to go looking for things.) If you’re on my main page (jamesykwak.medium.com), you have to click on About at the top. Then you get to this page, and at the bottom there’s a link to an email...

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Moving On

By James Kwak I’ve decided not to post on The Baseline Scenario anymore. I’ve thought about this on and off during the several years that the site has been mostly dormant, but I never pulled the trigger, mainly because this blog still has thousands of email subscribers and an unknown number of followers on Facebook. But I obviously haven’t been into blogging for a long time now, and it feels weird to continue using a platform whose peak was in 2010 and 2011 (when we were regularly...

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Moving On

By James Kwak I’ve decided not to post on The Baseline Scenario anymore. I’ve thought about this on and off during the several years that the site has been mostly dormant, but I never pulled the trigger, mainly because this blog still has thousands of email subscribers and an unknown number of followers on Facebook. But I obviously haven’t been into blogging for a long time now, and it feels weird to continue using a platform whose peak was in 2010 and 2011 (when we were regularly...

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Leverage

By James Kwak One of Congress’s top priorities this week and next is to pass some kind of funding bill that will keep the federal government operating past December 11. There are basically two ways this could happen. Option A is that Congress could pass a continuing resolution that maintains funding at current levels until, say, the end of January—that is, when we’ll have a new Congress and a new administration. Option B is to pass an omnibus fiscal year 2021 spending bill that...

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Leverage

By James Kwak One of Congress’s top priorities this week and next is to pass some kind of funding bill that will keep the federal government operating past December 11. There are basically two ways this could happen. Option A is that Congress could pass a continuing resolution that maintains funding at current levels until, say, the end of January—that is, when we’ll have a new Congress and a new administration. Option B is to pass an omnibus fiscal year 2021 spending bill that...

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The COVID-19 Economy: What Can We Do?

By James Kwak Today, the Washington Post’s Outlook section published my article on the future of the American economy in the wake of the pandemic. They invited me to write it because of my earlier blog post on “Winners and Losers.” (Hey, despite all appearances, maybe blogs are still worth writing.) Photo by skeezeThe article is pretty gloomy. The short summary is that the COVID-19 pandemic will accelerate and reinforce the two primary economic trends of our time: consolidation and...

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