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Tag Archives: Fiscal Statements

A lying government pushing economy towards recession and greater inequality

It is highly surreal listening to radio/TV commentators talking about government financial affairs (fiscal balance etc). These so-called experts are paraded before the nation and the script is generally the same. The interviewer who knows virtually nothing but has the key triggers on hand (‘budget repair’, ‘ratings downgrade’, etc ad nauseum) asks the ‘well respected expert’ about the state of affairs and the answers are always the same – fictional....

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Australia – where victims become criminals

Last Monday’s blog – I, Daniel Blake – essential viewing – provided a review of the latest Ken Loach movie and put the institutional details with respect to the inhumane way the unemployment and sickness benefit support system had evolved in Britain in the context of earlier developments in Australia which pioneered this nasty ill-treatment of disadvantaged citizens. In today’s blog, I am updating the situation in Australia and discussing some recent (and shocking)...

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Our affect is driving us back to a need for continuous fiscal deficits

The field of psychology is usually ignored by mainstream economists, which, in its typically arrogant and closed practice, adopts a series of a priori assumptions about human behaviour – the so-called Homo economicus – where were are always rational and self-interested and, as a result, always make choices that maximise our present and future well-being based on available market signals. Real world forces that condition actual human behaviour, such as cognitive biases and...

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Poor fiction from the OECD – the organisation should be abolished

In assessing the role of the multilateral international institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank, and the OECD, one has to have an idea of what their purpose is. The IMF was created to provide funding support to nations under the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates when their trading accounts endangered their capacity to sustain the agreed parities. After the system collapsed in August 1971 (effectively), the IMF had no further purpose. It reinvented itself as a neo-liberal...

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Australia’s new central bank governor chooses to dissemble on fiscal issues

The new governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (our central bank) gave a speech in Melbourne yesterday (November 15, 2016) – Buffers and Options to the annual dinner of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA). CEDA is a seedy type of organisation that typically advances the neo-liberal agenda. Please read my blog – The CEDA Report – one of the worst ever – for more discussion on this point. But that is not the topic today. The new governor has already...

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When New is Old and just another exercise in denial

There is now a so-called “New View of fiscal policy”, which, in fact, is not all that different to the “Old View” although the proponents are hell-bent on convincing us (and presumably themselves) otherwise. The iterative bumbling along of mainstream economists, dammed by reality but steeped in denial, continues. The latest iteration comes from the Chairman of the US Council of Economic Advisors, one Jason Furman, who was supervised in his doctoral studies by Greg...

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Currency-issuing governments can keystroke their outstanding debt into oblivion

It is always a good sign when some fiscal deficit terrorist or another bleeds in the media that they’re not getting enough attention. Yesterday (October 12, 2016), the Forbes magazine published an Op Ed (although I wouldn’t call the content educational in any way) by a commentator with the Twitter username @bthebudgetguy – The Deficit Was A Big, Big Loser In Sunday Night’s Debate Between Trump And Clinton. It is not the first time the author has entertained this theme....

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When the term ‘progressive’ loses all meaning …

The UK Guardian newspaper began life as the Manchester Guardian in 1821 as an artifact of the cotton mill owners who were opposed to the reform movement (for parliamentary representation to alleviate the mass unemployment and poverty that followed the end of the Napoleonic Wars). The suppression of the reformist agenda culminated in the Peterloo Massacre the cavalry charged into around 80,000 protesters killing and injuring many of them. The police closed the newspaper (Manchester Observer)...

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Monetary policy has to work hand-in-glove with fiscal policy to be effective

In a paper – Fiscal Policy, Monetary Policy and Central Bank Independence – delivered to the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium, hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, last week (August 25-27, 2016), Princeton University academic Christopher Sims suggested that monetary policy effectiveness cannot be judged independent of the fiscal position taken by the government. He argued that the current reality has demonstrated that when central banks shift to very loose...

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Australia now on negative watch – so what!

I am here to report that the sky is still up there in the sky although a little cloudy today. The power is still on. The rivers are still flowing. And as far as I can tell, the Australian continent isn’t looking like sinking into the ocean on either side. But we have to be warned – that bastion of sagacity and purity Standard & Poor’s put our AAA government bond rating on negative watch last Thursday. The Government is claiming it has to increase the intensity of its...

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