Category: Political Economy

Crony capitalism and redistribution

Crony capitalism and redistribution

This is a thought piece. And so it’s going to be relatively) brief since I haven’t fleshed out all of my ideas here. But I want to run something by you based on a piece Matt Klein wrote over at FT Alphaville on macro policy. Let me point to the key extract from Matt’s piece on this: Here’s the gist […]

Read more ›
Germany’s coalition talks are sowing the seeds of the euro’s breakup

Germany’s coalition talks are sowing the seeds of the euro’s breakup

For years now within Germany’s policy circles, there have been many who have pushed for an ‘expulsion’ or ‘voluntary exit’ mechanism for the Eurozone. I am now hearing this position advocated by FDP head Christian Lindner, a potential finance minister in the new German governing coalition. I believe this affects Italy the most and sets up an existential crisis down […]

Read more ›
Trump’s working class sellout, tactical nuclear weapons, government shutdown, tax reform and immigration

Trump’s working class sellout, tactical nuclear weapons, government shutdown, tax reform and immigration

Since Donald Trump became president, his core economic agenda has been sidetracked repeatedly by so-called cultural issues. However, now the administration is stepping up its tax reform effort. Even so, other issues threaten to derail this agenda item too. Moreover, it’s not even clear we’re talking about tax reform here. Thoughts below

Read more ›
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he takes the stage for a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

On the coming failure of Trump’s tax plan

Recently I wrote that Donald Trump has failed to deliver any signs that tangible economic benefits are coming down the pike for his working class and blue collar base of support. It seems Trump has ‘sold out’ and is turning to corporate tax cuts at the expense of middle class tax relief. Some comments below

Read more ›

The failure of the Trump presidency

We are only seven months into Donald Trump’s presidency. And I think we can call it a failure. I’ll have a lot more to say on that momentarily. But I want to flag this as not being a dealbreaker for the US or global economy because people put too much emphasis on the political economy in Washington. But Donald Trump is failing.

Read more ›
The limits of monetary policy in today’s fiat currency world

The limits of monetary policy in today’s fiat currency world

As the Federal Reserve meets at Jackson Hole this week, I thought now would be a good time to talk about the limits of monetary policy – and why monetary policy alone cannot restore robust growth. And as I write this I want to make clear the goal of policy and the assumptions I am making.

Read more ›
How Brexit makes Britain poorer, forcing Carney to stay his hand

How Brexit makes Britain poorer, forcing Carney to stay his hand

The risk in the UK is an inflationary recession. For now, Mark Carney is resisting a rate hike. But how long will the Bank of England hold out? And how long can British consumers keep spending if real wages are falling? Two things would ease this pressure. One is some sort of fiscal support for real wages. The second is the fall in oil prices. As in the US, I see oil prices as key.

Read more ›
Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May delivers her keynote address on the second day of the Conservative party annual conference in Manchester, northern England September 30, 2013.  REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN  - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY) - RTR3FFSM

Why talk of a soft Brexit is misplaced

I have been hearing a lot of pundits talk about how the UK election changes the outlook for Brexit. And a lot of this stuff is misguided because the election doesn’t change the outlook in any discernible way. Here’s why.

Read more ›
Secular stagnation is a policy choice

Secular stagnation is a policy choice

In my most recent posts, I have been saying that bond markets are pricing in secular stagnation scenarios based on how shallow the yield curve is. But secular stagnation is a policy choice. And that is something I thought I should highlight in view of UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s change of heart in pursuing austerity. Some comments below

Read more ›
All politics are local: understanding Trump’s threats and misunderstanding Merkel’s disappointment

All politics are local: understanding Trump’s threats and misunderstanding Merkel’s disappointment

What Angela Merkel was doing this past weekend when she spoke of the need for Europe to “take our fate into our own hands” was using an international issue for domestic purposes.

Read more ›
The threat of an overheated German economy

The threat of an overheated German economy

The Eurozone economy is doing really well. Some data points to 3% growth. The German economy is doing even better – with some data pointing to 5% annualized growth. But there’s a downside – overheating. And with the ECB at negative rates and engaged in 60 billion Euros of QE to boot, overheating in Germany is a reasonable fear. Some thoughts below

Read more ›
Why Macron’s work was made harder by German regional elections

Why Macron’s work was made harder by German regional elections

Germany held elections in Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW) this past weekend. And the results, while encouraging for Angela Merkel’s CDU, point to difficulties that lie ahead for French President Emmanuel Macron’s reform agenda in Europe. This is negative for periphery bonds.

Read more ›