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Tag Archives: austerity

When populism fails

At the Battle of Ideas last Saturday, a panel on "populism" spent an hour and a half discussing everything except economics. Sherelle Jacobs of the Telegraph called for the Tory party to replace what she called a "twisted morality of sacrifice and dependency" with the "Judaeo-Christian" values of thrift and personal responsibility. And when a brave audience member asked "shouldn't we be discussing economics?" Tom Slater of Spiked brushed him off and carried on talking about cultural issues....

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The dismal decade

Earlier today, the Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, gave a speech at the Resolution Foundation outlining the nature of the Covid-19 crisis and the challenge that it poses for monetary policy. But as his speech progressed, it became clear that the Bank faces a much larger challenge. Covid-19 hit the UK economy at the end of a dismal decade. Returning to "where we were" before the pandemic won't be good enough. Just how dismal the 2010s were is evident in this chart from Andrew...

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Intervista su Brave New Europe

    Thanks to my friend Mathew Rose, uno strano americano a Berlino. Interview with Sergio Cesaratto: Draghi and the Italian Melodrama Brave New Europe, February 7, 2021 Sergio Cesaratto is Professor of Growth and Development Economics and of Monetary and Fiscal Policies in the European Monetary Union, University of Siena. Many of the topics of this conversation are developed in his latest book: Sergio Cesaratto, Heterodox Challenges in Economics – Theoretical Issues and the...

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The Next EU Degeneration

Pubblicato da Brave New Europe, a breve la versione italiana. Sergio Cesaratto – The Next EU Degeneration February 2, 2021 Austerity, Economics, EU politics, EU-Institutions, Finance, Inequality, National Politics, Neo-Liberalism in the EU, Regulation, Solutions The Next Generation EU programme is full of pitfalls for many EU nations, as here in Italy. Sergio Cesaratto is Professor of Growth and Development Economics and of Monetary and Fiscal...

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Some brief thoughts on the Great Shutdown

First GDP numbers of the Great Shutdown were out yesterday. As it can be seen in the graph, GDP shrunk by about 4.8%. The data reflects only the first weeks of the stay at home lockdown of the economy in March, as the BEA report points out. Numbers will get considerably worse. You must add to this the increase in unemployment insurance claims, which since the crisis started has gone up by more than 26 million, as reported by the Labor Department. Note that the unemployment rate is still...

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Shut down the ratings agencies

Remember Friday Night Is Downgrade Night, from the Eurozone crisis? It's back. Last night, Fitch Ratings downgraded the UK to AA-, negative outlook. Here's their rationale: The downgrade reflects a significant weakening of the UK's public finances caused by the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and a fiscal loosening stance that was instigated before the scale of the crisis became apparent. The downgrade also reflects the deep near-term damage to the UK economy caused by the coronavirus...

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Shut down the ratings agencies

Remember Friday Night Is Downgrade Night, from the Eurozone crisis? It's back. Last night, Fitch Ratings downgraded the UK to AA-, negative outlook. Here's their rationale: The downgrade reflects a significant weakening of the UK's public finances caused by the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and a fiscal loosening stance that was instigated before the scale of the crisis became apparent. The downgrade also reflects the deep near-term damage to the UK economy caused by the coronavirus...

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Pete Buttigieg and the Myth of Deficit Responsibility — Luke Darby

Stony Brook University economist Stephanie Kelton is a proponent of something called modern monetary theory (MMT), a new school of economics that argues that as long as a country is in charge of issuing its own sovereign currency, it can't "run out of money." According to MMT, if Greece were still using its own currency, the drachma, instead of the euro, then it could have printed more money to pay off its debts, especially if inflation was low to begin with. Instead, as part of the...

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Pete Buttigieg’s Vow to Cut the Deficit Is Fiscally Irresponsible — Eric Levitz

“Fiscally responsible” is one of the more Orwellian phrases in American politics. Lawmakers earn that coveted title by affirming the three tenets of the Beltway’s official budgetary orthodoxy: (1) Deficits are inherently undesirable, (2) all new spending (on things that cannot be used to kill foreigners) should be fully offset by new taxes, and (3) reducing America’s existing national debt should be a top-tier policy priority. But these premises are rooted less in economic science than...

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Ten things to know about the 2019-20 Alberta budget

I’ve just written a ‘top 10’ overview of the recent Alberta budget. Points raised in the post include the following: -The budget lays out a four-year strategy of spending cuts, letting population growth and inflation do much of the heavy lifting. -After one accounts for both population growth and inflation, annual provincial spending in Alberta by 2022 is projected to be 16.2% lower than it was last year. -Alberta remains Canada’s lowest-taxed province. It also...

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