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25 апреля, 20:15

Без заголовка

**Must-Watch: Trade, Jobs, and Inequality** : "CUNY :: The Graduate Center :: 365 Fifth Avenue :: C200: Proshansky Auditorium :: April 26, 2017: 6:30 PM ... >..._New York Times_ columnist Eduardo Porter (Economic Scene) hosts a panel of experts on the complex interrelationship between trade, jobs, and inequality. Participants: * Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize-winning economist, New York Times columnist, and distinguished professor at the Graduate Center. * David Autor, leading labor economist; professor at MIT, where he directs the School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative; and editor in chief of the _Journal of Economic Perspectives_. * Brad DeLong, economics professor at U.C. Berkeley; weblogger for the Washington Center for Equitable Growth; and former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of the treasury, in the Clinton administration. * Anne Harrison, professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; former director of development policy at the World Bank; and author of Globalization and Poverty...

24 апреля, 17:32

Paul Krugman: Zombies of Voodoo Economics

"Because it offers a rationale for lower taxes on the wealthy": Zombies of Voodoo Economics, by Paul Krugman, NY Times: According to many reports, Donald Trump is getting frantic as his administration nears the 100-day mark. It’s an arbitrary line...

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24 апреля, 15:21

Wait, Seriously, Paul Krugman Just Used This Argument Against Zombie Supply Side Voodoo?

The claim that any tax cut, from any level of taxation, will lead to such economic growth that tax cuts will pay for themselves is untrue, clearly so. But the opposite claim that it can never happen is also untrue. We'd do better if we all agreed to that at the beginning of the argument

24 апреля, 00:00

Zombies of Voodoo Economics

Paul Krugman, New York TimesAccording to many reports, Donald Trump is getting frantic as his administration nears the 100-day mark. It’s an arbitrary line in the sand, but one he himself touted in many pre-inauguration boasts. And it will be an occasion for numerous articles detailing how little of substance he has actually accomplished.

23 апреля, 15:51

Links for the Week of April 23, 2017

**Must-Reads:** 1. **Kevin Drum**: _We're Now In the Second Biggest Housing Boom of All Time_: "The most remarkable feature of this chart... 2. **Òscar Jordà, Moritz Schularick, and Alan M. Taylor**: _Monetary Policy Medicine: Large Effects from Small Doses?_: "How do we know that higher interest rates will bring prices under control?... 3. **Rick Perlstein**: _I Thought I Understood the American Right. Trump Proved Me Wrongs_: "Direct-mail pioneers like Richard Viguerie created hair-on-fire campaign-fund-raising letters... 4. **Financial Times**: _Donald Trump Beats a Retreat_: "Another week, another series of flip-flops by America’s president... 5. **Ezra Klein**: _The GOP’s problem on health reform is they’ve spent years hiding their real position_: "The most interesting policy argument... is the debate between conservatives’ real position on health care and their fake position... ---- ---- **Should-Reads:** * **Fatih Guvenen and Greg Kaplan**: _Top Income Inequality in the 21st Century: Some Cautionary Notes_: "IRS and SSA data reveal diverging patterns in top income shares... * **Chris Hayes**: _On escaping the “doom loop” of Trump's presidency_: "I tend to think of it in terms of my own behavior... * **Hyun Song Shin**: _Accounting for global liquidity: reloading the matrix_: "In emerging market economies especially, a weakening of...

22 апреля, 11:00

Как ФРС управляет экономистами?

Расследование, проведенное Huffington Post, выявило, что Федеральный Резерв (ФРС, Фед), посредством обширной сети консультантов, посещающих ученых, выпускников и штатных экономистов, настолько основательно доминирует в сфере экономики, что реальная критика центрального банка стала для членов профессии препятствием к карьерному росту. Это влияние помогает объяснить, как, даже после того, как Фед не сумел предвидеть величайший экономический крах […]

21 апреля, 17:23

Paul Krugman: The Balloon, the Box and Health Care

If they persist in trying to fit the balloon in the box, eventually it will pop: The Balloon, the Box and Health Care, by Paul Krugman, NY Times: Imagine a man who for some reason is determined to stuff a...

21 апреля, 00:00

The Balloon, the Box and Health Care

Paul Krugman, New York TimesImagine a man who for some reason is determined to stuff a balloon into a box — a box that, aside from being the wrong shape, just isn’t big enough. He starts working at one corner, pushing the balloon into position. But then he realizes that the air he’s squeezed out at one end has caused the balloon to expand elsewhere. So he tries at the opposite corner, but this undoes his original work.

20 апреля, 01:52

Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Problems: At Project Syndicate

**[Over at Project Syndicate][1]**: Former U.S. Treasury Secretary [Larry Summers][] is fencing with current U.S. Treasury Secretary [Steve Mnuchin][] about "artificial intelligence"--AI--and related topics. [Larry Summers]: https://www.ft.com/content/a6299223-93c3-3e24-8477-59f69f1295dd [Steve Mnuchin]: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/24/mnuchin-treasury-secretary-ai-automation-comments.html Most of their differences are differences of emphasis. Mnuchin is drawing the issue narrowly: the particular technologies called "Artificial Intelligence taking over American jobs". And he is, at least as I read him, is elliptically criticizing high stock market values for "unicorns": companies with valuations above a billion dollars and yet no past record or clear future path to producing revenues to justify such valuations. [1]: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/mnuchin-automation-low-skill-workers-by-j--bradford-delong-2017-04 Summers is drawing the issue broadly: "the... impact of technology on jobs". And he points to valuations for the proven and highly profitable tech giants Google and Apple that seem no more than fair. I think that Summers is right on the rhetoric--a Treasury Secretary cannot answer questions narrowly, for even his most careful and narrowest answers will be heard to have broad implications. How to handle the coming of information technology is a major issue. Discouraging investment in high tech is not wise from society's point of view. Yet I have great sympathy for what Mnuchin is trying to do as well....

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19 апреля, 19:09

Krugman: Elizabeth Warren Lays Out the Reasons Democrats Should Keep Fighting

Paul Krugman reviews This is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class, By Elizabeth Warren, Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt & Company: Elizabeth Warren Lays Out the Reasons Democrats Should Keep Fighting: ...Elizabeth Warren ... brings an edge to her...

19 апреля, 05:01

Procrastinating on April 18, 2017

**Over at [Equitable Growth](http://EquitableGrowth.org): Must- and Should-Reads:** * **Nick Bunker**: _U.S. income inequality trends in the 21st century | Equitable Growth_ * **Kavya Vaghul**: _A few graphs for Tax Day 2017 | Equitable Growth_ * **Financial Times**: _Donald Trump Beats a Retreat_: "Another week, another series of flip-flops by America’s president... * **Ezra Klein**: _The GOP’s problem on health reform is they’ve spent years hiding their real position_: "The most interesting policy argument... is the debate between conservatives’ real position on health care and their fake position... * **Paul Krugman**: _On Twitter: "The CA/KS comparison_—Brown and Brownback took office same time—never gets old, because the derp keeps coming..." * **Willa Friedman et al.** (2011): _Education as Liberation?_: "We assess the political and social impacts of a randomized girls' merit scholarship incentive program in Kenya that raised test scores and secondary schooling... ---- **Interesting Reads:** * **Dietrich Vollrath**: _Aggregate Productivity versus Aggregate Technology... Again_: "Measured aggregate TFP growth is like a trash can... includ[ing[ aggregate technology (which got tossed in there by accident while cleaning up kitchen), but also all sorts of other junk (like leftover coffee grounds)..." * **Matthew Yglesias**: _Donald Trump’s big problem is he doesn’t know what he’s...

18 апреля, 23:51

Без заголовка

**Should-Read: Paul Krugman**: _On Twitter: "The CA/KS comparison_—Brown and Brownback took office same time—never gets old, because the derp keeps coming..." **Middle Class Political Economist**: _How wrong is IBD on California? Let us count the ways_ : "Investor's Business Daily has a hit piece out on California... >...Amazingly, the editorial does not mention regulations once, though it did get around to the "job-killing $15-an-hour minimum wage" recently passed.... The article calls California "the highest-tax state in the union." If that's so, it's just another example of the false claim (popular also with Arthur Laffer and the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council) that high taxes always mean bad policy outcomes. (FWIW, according to Forbes, California only has the sixth-highest state and local tax burden.) So what have been the consequences of all of California's tax increases? According to IBD, "Since 2004, California has lost more than 1 million people, representing a $26 billion net income loss." >Of course... California's population grew by almost exactly 4 million between 2004 and 2016, from 35.25 million to 39.25 million.... Interstate immigration is only one element of population change, and IBD conveniently omits the rest. And the $26 billion alleged income loss due to interstate...

18 апреля, 00:00

Why Don't All Jobs Matter?

Paul Krugman, New York TimesPresident Trump is still promising to bring back coal jobs. But the underlying reasons for coal employment’s decline — automation, falling electricity demand, cheap natural gas, technological progress in wind and solar — won’t go away. Meanwhile, last week the Treasury Department officially (and correctly) declined to name China as a currency manipulator, making nonsense of everything Mr. Trump has said about reviving manufacturing.

17 апреля, 23:36

Procrastinating on April 17, 2017

**Over at [Equitable Growth](http://EquitableGrowth.org): Must- and Should-Reads:** * _Shaken and Stirred: Weekend Reading: Hoisted from 2005 | Equitable Growth_: "..." * **Nick Bunker**: _U.S. income inequality trends in the 21st century | Equitable Growth_ * **Nick Bunker**: _Weekend reading: “This post has intangible assets” edition | Equitable Growth_ * **Tony Nog**: _On Twitter: "18) This may explain why Brexiteers are in this unhappy cycle._ The 'intellectual' basis for Brexit has collapsed. But no one told them..." * **Seshat**: _Global History Databank publishes first set of historical data_: "Can be accessed at ... * **Simon Wren-Lewis**: _Henry Farrell on economists and austerity_: "as [Kevin] Drum says, it is not all gloom for economists... * **Ernest Gellner** (1990): _The Civil and the Sacred_: "The history of the Soviet Union... falls into two main periods: Terror and Squalor... * **Josh Marshall**: _Trump and The Problem of Militant Ignorance_: "President Trump is a deeply ignorant man... ---- **Interesting Reads:** * **Pedro Nicolaci da Costa**: _Fed Minutes Preview, March 2017 * **Paul Krugman** (2014): _Why We’re in a New Gilded Age_ * **Allen Lynch** (2012): _Deng’s and Gorbachev’s Reform Strategies Compared_ * **Alan Kay**: _What made Xerox PARC special? Who else today is like them?_:...

17 апреля, 23:09

Links for the Week of April 16, 2017

**Must-Reads:** * **Seshat**: _Global History Databank publishes first set of historical data_: "Can be accessed at ... * **Barry Eichengreen and Brad DeLong** (2013): _New Preface to Charles Kindleberger, "The World in Depression 1929-1939"_: "Anyone fortunate enough to live in New England in 1970-1985 or so and possessed of even a limited interest in international financial and monetary history... * **Dani Rodrik**: _A Foreword to Kari Polanyi Levitt_: "I first encountered Karl Polanyi as an undergraduate, in a course on comparative politics... * **Christina Starmans, Mark Sheskin, and Paul Bloom**: Why People Prefer Unequal Societies : "There is immense concern about economic inequality... * **Pedro Nicolaci da Costa**: Lacker's resignation raises big question about the real Fed leaker : "Despite appearances to the contrary, we also don't know who the actual leaker was... ---- **Should-Reads:** * **Tony Nog**: _On Twitter: "18) This may explain why Brexiteers are in this unhappy cycle._ The 'intellectual' basis for Brexit has collapsed. But no one told them..." * **Simon Wren-Lewis**: _Henry Farrell on economists and austerity_: "as [Kevin] Drum says, it is not all gloom for economists... * **Ernest Gellner** (1990): _The Civil and the Sacred_: "The history of the Soviet Union... falls into...

17 апреля, 15:41

Paul Krugman: Why Don’t All Jobs Matter?

"Why aren’t promises to save service jobs as much a staple of political posturing as promises to save mining and manufacturing jobs?": Why Don’t All Jobs Matter?, by Paul Krugman, NY Times: President Trump is still promising to bring back...

17 апреля, 13:01

Why The Affordable Care Act Hasn’t Gone Far Enough

In this week’s episode of “Scheer Intelligence,” Robert Scheer interviews Dr. Paul Song, a radiation oncologist and an outspoken critic of the current U.S. health-care system. Read the full transcript of the conversation below. Song argues that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, does not go far enough in insuring Americans and keeping health-care costs down. “It did do a tremendous amount of good, but we need to take one step back to realize that there were 3,300 registered health care lobbyists for the 535 members of Congress, and more was spent in the run-up to the Affordable Care Act than what was spent on the Bush-Kerry election,” Song explains. “That’s why large parts of the Affordable Care Act look like [they were] written by the private insurance industry or the pharmaceutical industry.” Song, who supported Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential election, explains how he has seen many patients go bankrupt because of high health-care costs under the “corporate welfare” of the ACA. He adds that it’s “encouraging” that many senators now support Medicare-for-all legislation. “The insurance industry hires so many people with the explicit mandate to deny people care,” Song tells Scheer. “If we were able to take that element out, and basically just have one universal payer that handled all the claims—but with the idea that they’re not here to make profit, they’re here to pay for correct treatment ... that type of system would actually increase coverage for everyone.” Adapted from Truthdig.com Scheer Intelligence is also available through iTunes. Click, Share, Subscribe. Full transcript: Robert Scheer: Hi, this is Robert Scheer with another edition of Scheer Intelligence, where the intelligence comes from my guests, I hasten to add. In this case, it’s Dr. Paul Song, an oncologist of 20 years’ experience, radiation oncologist. But probably best known to listeners here as somebody who has been an advocate for a robust public option in health care, was a key adviser to Bernie Sanders, spoke often during his campaign on the need for a stronger system of control of prices and benefit for consumers, and what was developing under the Affordable Care Act. But the reason I wanted to have you come in here is that everyone I know is saying it’s just horrible that the Affordable Care Act is actually being revisited and maybe wrecked, and so forth. And I, while I feel it’s an improvement—we took in people who had preexisting conditions, and more aid to poorer people who didn’t quite qualify for Medicaid, and so forth—but it seems to me that there’s also an exaggeration of the benefit of this plan. And so I read a piece that you wrote called “The Real Healthcare Debate Democrats Should Be Having.” And I thought it was the best single thing I’ve read on this whole issue. And let me just say something, every once in a while in these interviews and in other things I do, I run into trouble; I say I would love to be on Medicare, all the doctors I know want me to be on Medicare, but unfortunately I still teach full time and I have the university health care. So I can use Medicare, I guess, when I go into the hospital, but the rest of the time I can’t. And I’m one of those people who’s paying the $800 for, you know, particular tests, of my portion, and hit with these big bills and everything. And so you know, I’m looking forward to when I can be. So when I read your proposal, basically Medicare for all, but certainly they could have lowered the age of eligibility for Medicare as a start, if they wanted to be more pragmatic. I thought, this guy is right on target, and Bernie Sanders has now reissued some of that appeal. And so just to summarize for listeners what’s the objection of folks like myself and I guess Dr. Song, is that there is no cost control built into the Affordable Care Act, and that’s why it’s unpopular with so many people. You know, the Republicans would not be calling for repeal if the thing was wildly popular. They don’t touch Social Security and they don’t touch Medicare. So why don’t we begin there? Paul Song: Well, thanks for having me on, and that’s a really great introduction to a large part of the dilemma in our health care and the Affordable Care Act. And as you mentioned, it did do a tremendous amount of good, but we need to take one step back to realize that there were 3,300 registered health care lobbyists for the 535 members of Congress, and more was spent in the run-up to the Affordable Care Act than what was spent on the Bush-Kerry election. And that’s why large parts of the Affordable Care Act look like it was written by the private insurance industry or the pharmaceutical industry. Most notably, there’s no insurance rate regulation, so that’s where, as you mention, premiums have continued to climb. Here in the state of California just this last year, the exchange Covered California, premiums went up three times as much as they did the prior several years before that. There’s no prescription drug pricing controls. So in terms of how people who may have benefited by the Affordable Care Act still feel the pain on a daily basis, it’s when you go to fill your prescriptions. You know, one out of 10 seniors can’t afford to buy the medications they’re prescribed, because they are so expensive. So there are a lot of real, inherent problems, and that was where the Republicans rightfully seized upon that. Unfortunately, the solutions that they had would have made things worse. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that the Affordable Care Act did fall short in many regards, despite the good that it did.  The other thing I would say is, 29 million Americans still remain uninsured in the United States, even if the Republicans don’t touch the Affordable Care Act at all. Here we have over 3 million in California, of which 250,000 are kids. The other thing that’s really important to recognize is that, you know, having insurance—so even though 20 million people gained insurance under the Affordable Care Act, doesn’t mean necessarily that that was having great access to care. Because one-third of all those people that got insurance under the Affordable Care Act have what we call underinsurance. Meaning that the copays or deductibles are so expensive that it sort of discourages them from seeking care. These Bronze Plans, which I think are kind of a scam, which are the cheapest plan that you can purchase under the Affordable Care Act—they have a $6,500 deductible before the insurance starts to kick in. Most people are barely struggling to pay the premium to buy the Bronze Plan, but then when they have to realize that the first $6,500 of any care that they go to get has to come out of their own pocket, they can’t afford that. So we’ve seen, still, continued medical-related bankruptcies, which is the number one cause of bankruptcies here in the United States; we’ve seen people who, quote, got coverage, but they don’t go to see a doctor because they just can’t afford it. And now we’re seeing, even after the Affordable Care Act, more people having trouble paying their premiums each month than prior to the Affordable Care Act. So as I say, it’s done some good, but I really look back on this and I think part of the reason the Republicans kind of punted on this—privately, they realize this was a Republican plan. Remember, this was instituted in Massachusetts by Governor [Mitt] Romney; before that, the individual mandate was initially proposed by Richard Nixon as sort of a foil to Ted Kennedy’s universal health care plan many, many years ago. This idea of tax credits and personal responsibility, quote, the individual mandate. But now what’s happened is because, again, it was proposed by a Democrat or even, I would even go as far to say, an African-American, they couldn’t get behind it. RS: Well, and one of the points you’ve made is that when he was a state senator, before he was in Congress, Barack Obama said he was in favor of a public option. And it’s interesting, you mention Ted Kennedy; I knew Ted Kennedy quite well, and interviewed him frequently. And he was very much devoted to having something like the system you have in most advanced countries. And he knew you could not leave it up to the tender mercy of the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies; he understood the lobbying. And the statement that got you into trouble when you were a key adviser to Bernie Sanders is when you were referring—they said you were referring to Hillary Clinton, but you really were referring, in the plural, to the Democratic Party, to many people in the Congress. And you said “whores for”—I forget the sentence— PS: So, well first of all, I just want to point out that I was not a key adviser to Senator Sanders; I was a surrogate for the campaign, but not for, I was not actively advising him. But what I said was, I used the unfortunate term “corporate Democratic whores.” RS: OK. So let me, I know, I’ve read your apology and so forth. So I think, you know, “corporate whores” is a very good description for Republicans and Democrats who’ve prevented us from having sensible health care. And to the degree that Hillary Clinton—not because she’s a woman, but because she’s one of those Democrats who played up to corporate power, whether it’s on banking deregulation or on the health care plan she devised—the whole emphasis was to have win-win. Get the big, rich companies, the big powerful interests to be on your side; get the lobbyists on your side. And you go to them and say, what can you live with. Well, what they can live with is not necessarily what ordinary people can live with. And to my mind, the key thing in Trump being able to get away with denouncing this plan—if in fact it had been a better plan, they wouldn’t be able to get away with denouncing it. American people want sensible health care. And what Obamacare did, as far as I can see, is give it a bad name—for many people, not for everybody; it works out well for people who have preexisting conditions and so forth. But I think the key thing here is something you’ve written about and spoken about very eloquently; Democrats and Republicans both let the corporate lobbyists write these bills. And I want to get to one question that’s always raised—well, it was a start, it was a start. Well, if we had lowered Medicare eligibility, that would have been a big start. Let’s say you lowered it by five years, OK, and see if it works. I think it would become like Medicare itself or like Social Security; people would say, hey, I want that, lower it even more. OK? Because you make a very important point that is often missed in the debate. You say, it’s not a question of the free market versus a government monopoly or something. There is no free market, because there’s concentration of ownership in the medical insurance industry, and you’re going to end up with very few players, so it’s going to be a tightly—it’s the old cartel model—tightly concentrated ownership. And then the consumers have to deal with that, and hopefully government is a bit on their side; but government just opted out of controlling price, controlling costs. So the way you’ve posted it in speeches that I’ve heard by you, you say look, it’s concentrated power; the question is, is government preferable, where at least we get to throw them out of office and vote for them—isn’t that better, which is what we have with Medicare—or do you want to have the insurance companies have this concentrated power. Isn’t it—and so, I mean, Bernie Sanders seems to get that, right? PS: Mm-hmm. RS: And that’s what Ted Kennedy understood. Did you have any pushback from Senator Sanders on this stuff? PS: No, Senator Sanders is actually championing, now, reintroducing a Medicare-for-all bill in the Senate. As you know, John Conyers has been introducing a bill in the House, HR-676, for probably the last 20-plus years. It’s encouraging to know that this year there are more sponsors in the House than there have ever been, which is a Medicare-for-all bill. As you mentioned, Medicare, despite the fact that it takes care of an older, aging population that has more preexisting conditions, most of the people are on numerous medications, still is much more cost effective than the private insurance market. Because, again, their interests are aligned with patients’. The private insurance industry, you know, they only make money by denying care. So one of the things that I say about the Affordable Care Act, it wasn’t really welfare for people to buy health care; it was corporate welfare. It was basically using tax dollars to give to people to mandate that they buy a product for a for-profit entity that only makes money by denying care. Had we been able to eliminate the middleman or the insurers from this, that’s where the real cost savings of a universal health care system would have happened. By doing that, you know, the insurance industry spends so much money hiring people with the explicit mandate to deny care. That’s why we have this explosion of administrators and people on the phone who make your life, your physician’s life, your hospital’s life, miserable in terms of denying care; even the pharmacies that you go to fill your prescriptions, oh, they won’t cover this one. That is all designed to maximize their profits. And in doing so, that takes about 25 to 30 cents of every health care dollar away from actual patient care, that is going to basically fight to just generate more profit for themselves. If we were able to take that element out and basically just have one universal payer that handled all the claims—but with the idea that they’re not here to make profit, they’re here to pay for correct treatment. And whatever treatment that is paid for, that money—or saved—that money left over is basically designed to take care of more people. That type of system would actually increase coverage for everyone. You mentioned Medicare; right now Medicare only covers 80 percent of outpatient services, but this would cover everyone, do away with copays and deductibles; it would help, allow us to take care of our undocumented brothers and sisters as well as everyone else. Because one way or another, we pay for that. RS: You know, this whole show that I do here, this is to find American originals. And as I usually say, the crazy-quilt of immigration and different religions, ethnicities, produces interesting people. So to my mind, you’re one of the most interesting doctors we have in this country, not for your medical research because I don’t know anything about it, or your practice, but for [being] willing to stand up and challenge, you know, the profit model of the industry. So, take me through your own personal journey in this regard. PS: So my mom actually came as a refugee to the Korean War. Her sister was a student here that was speaking out, because she was well-spoken in English and she was one of the few Koreans that was living here. And when she was speaking in New York to various women’s organizations and churches, people said well, what about your family? And [she] said oh, my sister is stuck in a refugee camp in Busan. And somehow some women got together and raised enough money to have her come to the United States. Fast forward, she graduated from Columbia Teachers College and during her last year, she was working as a student teacher in Harlem. And the parents in that community really took to my mom, and they went to the director, who at the time was Shirley Chisholm, before Shirley Chisholm ran for Congress. And they said, we would really like Grace Kim to become a teacher here after she graduates. So Ms. Chisholm went to my mom and said, the parents really love you; would you consider working in Harlem? So here’s my mom, a Korean immigrant, about to lose her student visa to go back, and my mom said sure. So Ms. Chisholm wrote all the paperwork to get my mom her green card, and my mom became a teacher at this preschool in Harlem. When Ms. Chisholm decided to run for Congress, she asked my mom to consider a job in Newark; Newark, New Jersey, was looking for—Head Start was just really developing, and they were looking for their first educational director. And lo and behold, Ms. Chisholm said, I think you’re ready; I’ve been training you. And then my mom became the director. From that, my mom used to take my sister and I to the Newark preschool system during our breaks in summers, because she really wanted us to interact with all kids. And she also wanted us to see that, you know, the only difference between those kids and my sister and I were that we had, we were luckier to have more things, sometimes have two parents versus one, but that we were no different than those kids. And that’s really sort of what was embedded in us. The other thing is, with my grandfather, so he fought the fight against the Japanese occupation, when Korea was under the Japanese occupation. And then, very much like we installed Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan, the U.S. government installed a very corrupt person in Korea, after Korea gained its independence, Syngman Rhee. And Syngman Rhee was very much like Karzai, very—consolidation of power, enrichment for his friends and family, but very corrupt. And ultimately there was a student uprising, and then they had the first democratic elections. And my grandfather became the first elected mayor of Seoul, popularly elected mayor of Seoul. Shortly after that, there was a military coup d’etat and he fought for democracy up until his death. So we were exiled; we were, the reason I was actually born in the United States was because my family wasn’t allowed to go back to Korea until 1992. RS: [omission] Well, we’re back with my guest, Dr. Paul Song, a radiologist, oncologist and a leading advocate for health care reform who was a surrogate for Bernie Sanders during the campaign. Why were undocumented people left out of a major health care initiative, since the well-being of undocumented people living among us is a threat or a concern, right, to the rest of us? We’ve had periodic scandals—I remember at the L.A. Times that we had a headline, leprosy spreading because we have refugees bringing it in. I called Shirley Fannon here, who was the medical director, and I said, is this really true? And she said, no! And it turns out [laughs] you don’t spread leprosy that way; this is all phony. It was the banner headline in the L.A. Times. But they made a good point: if undocumented people are cooking your food, taking your children to school, raising them, in your home cleaning and so forth, don’t you want them to have health care? And did it come up at all in the proposal for the Affordable—? PS: So that’s what’s the most scandalous part, to me, about the Affordable Care Act, is that the Democrats—remember, when they started this they had a clear supermajority; Ted Kennedy was still alive. They only lost that when Ted Kennedy—Max Baucus dragged this on so long that Ted Kennedy succumbed to his brain tumor. But they— RS: And Max Baucus is one of those people you would call a corporate whore, who really blocked any sensible health care and took a lot of money.  PS: Absolutely, he took the most money from pharma and the health insurance industry in the run-up to the Affordable Care Act; he was head of the Senate Finance Committee. But what people need to realize is, you know, Republicans are clear in terms of what they’re going to say and do, right? They were against the expansion of health care; they were against undocumented people gaining coverage; that was the whole [Rep.] Joe Wilson [yelling] “You lie” to President Obama in the State of the Union. But we didn’t need one Republican vote. If we had gone through this and said, we are going to cover our undocumented brothers and sisters, it could have been done. But that was the only part of the Affordable Care Act where Democrats and Republicans agreed, which was to exclude our undocumented brothers and sisters. And here’s the insidious part to that: one way or another, we are paying for their health care. When you go to Cedars-Sinai or any of the hospitals, and they charge a ridiculous amount of money for an appendectomy, maybe twice as much as what it really costs, they justify it in terms of, well, we have to charge more so we can cover our uncompensated care. And that’s why all of us have this hidden tax, in terms of higher premiums, higher costs, because we’re excluding certain people from our health care system. So when an undocumented person does use our emergency rooms, obviously many times they can’t pay for that, and then we end up—meaning those of us who have insurance—subsidizing that in terms of higher premiums or higher hospital charges. RS: And at the point when they’re most expensive, because if they’d had any of the preventive care, or any of the earlier treatment, it would be much less costly. PS: Absolutely. And here’s the other part that I think has completely misled the public, is that the undocumented population are all takers—they actually, a lot of them pay taxes; they just don’t realize the benefits of that, right? They have to—wages—when they work for a company and they get their payments, Social Security tax is taken out of there; Medicare tax—even though they cannot qualify for those things, they’re taken out of it. So it’s estimated that, you know, the billions of dollars that the undocumented community pays in taxes here in the state of California, and then nationwide—they are entitled to health care as much as anyone else. RS: I want to talk about the medical profession. And you’ve spent your life as a good guy, OK, and trying to make sense. And all the doctors I know—I once spoke for Physicians for Social Responsibility; I went around the country, their international group won the Nobel Prize; marvelous people, the doctors who picked me up at the airport or introduced me, great people. And then I wondered, where—but they were so exceptional—I wondered, where were the other doctors? You know? And what’s going on here? You know, these people—and this includes the professionals in the insurance companies, and the pharmaceutical, and so on—they know the thing doesn’t work, the current system. Even with the Affordable Care Act, what is the percentage of our GDP which we pay for medical? PS: About 18 percent. RS: Yeah. That’s enormous. And we’re not getting this quality service that everybody agrees we need. And so where are your colleagues? OK, we understand you; you’re the oddball Korean who, you know, OK, had a history of human rights struggle, and you’re the exception. But what do they teach in medical school? Who are these people? Why do they go with the lobbyists? Why—I mean, what’s going on? PS: So I will say this: that I am very encouraged now by the new wave of physicians that are going into medical school and coming out of medical school. A lot of them think far more than about themselves. I will say when I was in medical school some 30 years ago, it was a lot more, it was a time when Reagan was president and some people were going into medicine because they felt it was a lucrative field. Nowadays, the people that are going into medicine, you really have to want to go into medical school and into medicine for the right reasons. It’s $70,000 a year tuition; sometimes even more, and then the reimbursements are such, and the bureaucracy and all the headaches, so it’s something you really have to want to do. So I’m very encouraged. When I go and speak to medical students throughout the state of California or elsewhere, a lot of them are all big, already, Medicare-for-all activists. Because they don’t, they’ve never practiced in a system when it was, quote, the good old days, when they could charge whatever they wanted, have nobody telling them what they could do. But that’s what’s changed, certainly, that I think, the people that are going into medical school now. The older population, a lot of them practiced at a time when the doctors were king. That they could do anything without any accountability. And that was really one of the reasons that led to the HMO movement here in California, is you had doctors, unfortunately, who were milking the system and, you know, extracting every bit of profit out of it. So I think doctors have [had] as much of a blame in the health care woes as anyone else for a period of time. Now I think the insurance industry has become all too powerful, and really dominating any sort of discussion in the way patients are treated. But I would say in the run-up to the HMO movement, particularly here in California, you had a lot of doctors that were being quite excessive. I think that population is bitter and angry and really in it for themselves, but now you have this newer wave. RS: When you say “in [it for] yourself”—I mean, you’re a radiation oncologist, and you’ve talked about cancer patients and so forth who go bankrupt trying to stay alive. And so don’t these people have a heart, I mean, these other doctors? I mean, don’t they see that, don’t they know that there are people suffering, and their patients? Who are these people? PS: I wonder. Because I wonder how you can practice for a long period of time and become numb or blind to that, or just, you don’t care. Because what it came, what happened to me was, you know, over the years of taking care of patients, you get to know these patients really, really well. And particularly those patients that have long, year-long battles with cancer, and you see each time the emotional toll, the physical toll, but then you see the economic toll and you say, wait—you have insurance, why are you going bankrupt? You can’t then go home and just get on with your life; it was too upsetting to me to see that. So I personally experienced it, and that was my epiphany, to see my own patients that I had been fighting and caring for. And I think it goes against our whole Hippocratic oath, which is to really look out for our patients, do no harm, but also not allow our patients to participate in a system that is mischievous or deleterious. And I think our system truly is all those things. So for those doctors who think the system is fine, or believe in more privatization and more free market—um, I think that’s political ideology that is blinding what’s really happening in the real world. RS: So in terms of this real world, we don’t know what’s going to happen with—I mean, here’s a guy, Trump, who got elected saying he was going to get rid of this thing. However, cooler heads prevailed, even in Republican Party and maybe around Trump, and said, you’ve got to replace it with something. Is this an opportunity, in a way? I mean, you know, clearly there’s a message for the Democrats who think Obamacare has just been the greatest, and that’s if you can’t control costs, you’re not going to have the people with you. That—I don’t know why that was lost; maybe some people have a lot of income and they don’t worry about it. But I mean, I, you know, I’m an older guy, so I’m in a lot of these places getting health care. [Laughs] I’ve had a few operations and so forth. I hear a lot of talk, and most people I run into who, you know, are on private health plans or currently now on Affordable, they talk about those deductibles. And I keep getting back to that point: Obamacare would not be, or the Affordable Care Act would not be, in trouble if it had addressed cost. I think that’s the key thing. So why did someone like Paul Krugman, who people think is a well-intentioned, liberal guy and all that, why does he say—when Bernie Sanders came out for, you know, very into Medicare for all, why did he denounce it as unrealistic? PS: Well, I think there are two arguments. Ah, you know, and I took exception to Krugman’s statements, too. There’s the political reality, which I get; you know, with a Republican Congress and Senate— RS: Well, let me ask you, then; now, why is that true? Because, for instance, right now you have to be, you know, of a certain age to get Medicare. So you’re going to tell me that if they had lowered that by five years that that would be so difficult politically? You’d suddenly hear from a lot of people who said, that’s good—and everybody should remember, by the way—you know, again, I had a birthday yesterday. I’m now 81, full confession, I’m working like a dog at five different jobs including this one, teaching full time and everything else. But as I point out to my children and even my grandchildren, if I didn’t, you know, have health care, if I didn’t—I’d be a burden on you. Hopefully you’d still care about me, right? So you know, my children would be—they wouldn’t have so much disposable income. They would be worried, how do you keep grandpa alive, OK? So Social Security—I remember this, because I took care of my mother and my father; they were working-class people. If they didn’t have Social Security, if they didn’t have some kind of medical coverage coming in, I remember in my father’s case, you know, I would think—well, where would I be? You know? I couldn’t have gone to graduate school, I couldn’t have done any—or I could have been heartless and said, OK, you know, go live in some, I don’t know where, skid row or something. So I just don’t get why Medicare for all is not a practical—how can they just dismiss it? PS: What the facts show—and I think every one shows Medicare for all is much more efficient; in the countries that are doing it, there’s proof that it works— RS: What countries are doing it? PS: So, Canada has a Medicare-for-all system; Korea has a Medicare-for-all system; you know, more of the other countries like Denmark and the U.K. have socialized medicine, where it’s not just [that] the government runs the insurance aspect, but they own the hospitals and employ the doctors and such. But the idea is that in all of those countries, no one ever goes bankrupt because they get sick. Here, you know, the medical-related bankruptcies are the number one cause of bankruptcies, and two-thirds of the people that go bankrupt due to an illness actually have insurance. So how is that supposed to happen when you have—insurance is supposed to protect us, right, from catastrophic illnesses and issues and expenses. But that doesn’t, that doesn’t occur. So getting back to the argument, I think that, so if you try to argue just the nuts and bolts of single-payer, there is no defense that you can say that it’s not better. That’s where I was saying with Krugman, I think if he has any legitimate argument, it may be that the political will is not there. And I will say, the political will is not there because it gets back to the whole corporatist agenda. You have people on both sides of the aisle that are beholden to the pharmaceutical industry, insurance industry. You know, when Senator Sanders recently introduced an amendment to allow reimportation of drugs from Canada, 12 Republicans actually voted in favor of that, but 13 Democrats voted no. And those 13 Democrats were the highest group of people that receive money from the pharmaceutical industry. So it gets back to the idea that you have Democrats and Republicans, and then you have corporatists that will block any meaningful legislation. RS: Well, I want to thank you for being with us, Dr. Paul Song. And [he] brings great authority to the subject, but I think more important, brings great humanity; worry about the patient, worry about the people who don’t get coverage. Our producers have been Josh Scheer and Rebecca Mooney. Our technical staff engineers, brilliant engineers, are Mario Diaz and Kat Yore. This is another edition of Scheer Intelligence, back next week with another informative guest. Thank you. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

16 апреля, 18:34

Does trade with China cost jobs?, by Scott Sumner

Trade with China undoubtedly costs jobs in specific industries. However there is no evidence that it has any impact on the overall number of jobs in the US. Last year I did a number posts criticizing a study by Autor, Dorn and Hanson, for drawing aggregate conclusions from cross-sectional data. Later Paul Krugman made the same criticism: OK, what about the effect on overall employment? In general, you can't answer that with a similar computation, because it all depends on offsetting policies. If monetary and fiscal policy are used to achieve a target level of employment - as they generally were prior to the 2008 crisis - then a first cut at the impact on overall employment is zero. That is, trade deficits meant 2 million fewer manufacturing jobs and 2 million more in the service sector. . . . Up through 2007 we basically had a Fed which raised rates whenever it thought the economy was overheating; in the absence of the China shock it would have raised rates sooner and faster, so you just can't use the results of the cross-section regression - which doesn't reflect monetary policy, which was the same for everyone - to predict how things would have turned out. Since then a number of papers have provided support for the Sumner/Krugman critique. First there was one by Jonathan Rothwell, and more recently by Ildikó Magyari. Notice how Magyari distinguishes between microeconomic and macroeconomic effects: What is the impact of Chinese imports on employment of US manufacturing firms? Previous papers have found a negative effect of Chinese imports on employment in US manufacturing establishments, industries, and regions. However, I show theoretically and empirically that the impact of offshoring on firms, which can be thought of as collections of establishments - differs from the impact on individual establishments - because offshoring reduces costs at the firm level. These cost reductions can result in firms expanding their total manufacturing employment in industries in which the US has a comparative advantage relative to China, even as specific establishments within the firm shrink. Using novel data on firms from the US Census Bureau, I show that the data support this view: US firms expanded manufacturing employment as reorganization toward less exposed industries in response to increased Chinese imports in US output and input markets allowed them to reduce the cost of production. More exposed firms expanded employment by 2 percent more per year as they hired more (i) production workers in manufacturing, whom they paid higher wages, and (ii) in services complementary to high-skilled and high-tech manufacturing, such as R&D, design, engineering, and headquarters services. In other words, although Chinese imports may have reduced employment within some establishments, these losses were more than offset by gains in employment within the same firms. Contrary to conventional wisdom, firms exposed to greater Chinese imports created more manufacturing and nonmanufacturing jobs than non-exposed firms. But the media loves a good story, and the "China stealing American jobs" meme just won't go away. Here's a recent article from The Economist: Since relatively few industrial robots are in use in the American economy, the total job loss from robotisation has been modest: between 360,000 and 670,000. By comparison, analysis published in 2016 found that trade with China between 1999 and 2011 may have left America with 2m fewer jobs than it would otherwise have had. Yet, if the China trade shock has largely run its course, the robot era is dawning. That's very misleading. It's possible that there are 2 million specific workers who lost jobs because of Chinese trade. But there is no evidence that the net number of US jobs was reduced at all. Fortunately, the public doesn't seem to be buying all this gloom and doom, as support for trade is soaring dramatically higher. And Trump seems to have abandoned his proposal for 45% tariffs on Chinese goods. PS. I am on vacation, and my comments will be few and far between. (13 COMMENTS)

14 апреля, 14:05

Paul Krugman: Can Trump Take Health Care Hostage?

With the extent to which Trump is cashing in on his presidency, I suppose we could say the buck stops at the White House. Trump doesn't seem to understand that's true more broadly: Can Trump Take Health Care Hostage?, by...

14 апреля, 03:04

Notes: Working, Earning, and Learning In the Age of Intelligent Machines

The key seems to me to build intelligent machines that will assist workers in labor-intensive industries, rather than build intelligent machines that will eliminate workers in capital-intensive industries. The first is a clear win. The second can be a major loss if the things made in capital-intensive industries are close enough substitutes for the products of labor-intensive industries to greatly drop their value. But what I have to say so far is limited. It is simply made up of: **Five Disconnected Points:** 1. Cast your mind back to 1999. All of this was then viewed not as a threat but as an opportunity. Few things can turn a perceived threat into a graspable opportunity like a high-pressure economy with a tight job market and rising wages. Few things can turn a real opportunity into a phantom threat like a low-pressure economy, where jobs are scarce and wage stagnant because of the failure of macro economic policy. 2. Those historical cases in which technological progress has been genuinely immiserizing have been relatively few. They have been confined to situations in which technological progress takes the form of greatly amplifying labor productivity in capital-intensive occupations. Those then shed labor massively, as those...

02 февраля, 14:18

7 самых успешных управляющих хедж-фондов

Лондонский фонд LCH Investments, подразделение Edmond de Rothschild Capital Holdings Limited, опубликовал свой ежегодный рейтинг 20 самых успешных фондовых управляющих 2016 г.

31 мая 2015, 21:21

новая норма от Лиссабона до Владивостока

Прочитав статью о плачевном состоянии экономики Финляндии, Пол Кругман предложил посмотреть в странах еврозоны на изменение ВВП на душу с 2007 года. Латвия, которую Кругман продолжает ошибочно ругать за якобы неправильную антикризисную политику, на фоне остальных стран с фиксированным курсом выглядит совсем не плохо. Но в целом картинка окончательной победы Европейского союза довольно депрессивная. Полная деградация стран победившего евро-капитализма, губят людей европейские институты...Не удивительно, что кризис еврозоны все еще продолжается, сохраняется недовольство Грецией, растет нелюбовь к трудовым и прочим мигрантам. Это экономика, а не российская пропаганда, виновата в росте противоречий и популярности евроскептиков. Многие сейчас ругаются и переживают из-за замедления экономического роста в России после 2008. На всякий случай глянул на регион от Лиссабона до Владивостока :) За базу выбрал не 2007, а 2008. Картинка игнорирует докризисные темпы роста, которые, например, у прибалтов, России и Беларуси были очень высокими, намного лучше, чем в Польше. За такой длинный срок правильнее было бы сравнивать ВВП на душу, как у Кругмана, но есть некоторые сомнения в точности данных по населению. Если считать на душу, то рост Турции, Узбекистана и Таджикистана, естественно, был бы поменьше. Украина выглядела бы получше, но все равно была бы последней в списке. Беларусь и Польша так и остались бы рядом, как близнецы. В общем и целом сокращение разрыва между доходами богатых и бедных продолжалось.

10 декабря 2013, 22:28

Почему должны расти зарплаты

Наступила пора развлечений – или, во всяком случае, пора провести время в торговых центрах. Также, по традиции, это время подумать о положении тех, кому повезло меньше – например, о человеке по другую сторону кассы. оследние несколько десятилетий были трудными для многих американских рабочих, но особенно тяжело пришлось людям, занятым в розничной торговле – это категория, включающая продавцов Walmart и сотрудников McDonald’s. Несмотря на остаточное действие финансового кризиса, Америка сейчас гораздо богаче, чем 40 лет назад. Однако зарплата неруководящего персонала в розничной торговле, скорректированная с учетом инфляции сократилась почти на 30% с 1973 г. Так можно ли как-то помочь этим рабочим, многим из которых, чтобы накормить семью, нужны продуктовые карточки (при условии, что они смогут их получить), и многие из которых зависят от программы Medicaid (опять же при условии доступа к ней) для получения необходимого медицинского обслуживания? Да. Мы можем сохранить и расширить продуктовые карточки, а не сокращать программу, как этого хотят Республиканцы. Мы можем обеспечить успешное проведение реформ в сфере здравоохранения, несмотря на попытки правых подорвать процесс реализации программы. И мы можем повысить минимальную зарплату. Для начала - несколько фактов. Несмотря на увеличение минимальной, национальной, зарплаты несколько лет назад, она все же остается очень низкой по историческим меркам, значительно отставая от инфляции и средних уровней зарплаты. Кто же получает этот небольшой минимум? По большому счету, это мужчины или женщины, работающие на кассе: почти 60% американских рабочих, получающих минимальную зарплату, занимаются продажей продуктов питания или оказанием сопутствующих услуг. Между прочим, это значит, что один из аргументов, часто выдвигаемых против повышения зарплат - угроза конкуренции со стороны иностранных компаний – в данном случае не убедителен: американцы не поедут в Китай за гамбургерами и картошкой фри. Тем не менее, даже если международная конкуренция – не проблема, можем ли на самом деле помочь рабочим, просто законодательно установив более высокую зарплату? Не нарушает ли это закон спроса и предложения? Не поразят ли нас боги рынка невидимой рукой? Но есть множество свидетельств того, что происходит при повышении минимальной зарплаты. И результат является положительным: повышение минимальной зарплаты мало влияет, или совсем не влияет, на занятость, при этом значительно увеличивает доходы рабочих. Важно понять, насколько можно доверять таким доказательствам. Обычно экономическому анализу препятствует отсутствие контролируемых экспериментов. Например, мы можем увидеть, что случилось с американской экономикой после внедрения стимулов, предложенных Обамой, но мы не можем оценить состояние альтернативной вселенной, в которой не было стимулов, и не можем сравнить результаты. Однако существуют примеры, когда один штат поднимал минимальную зарплату, а другой нет. Если бы что-то подтверждало значительное негативное влияние повышения минимальной зарплаты на сферу занятости, подобный результат был бы очевиден при сравнении штатов. Но этого не произошло. Так что повышение минимальной зарплаты помогло бы низкооплачиваемым рабочим, без особых негативных последствий. И мы говорим о большом числе людей. В начале этого года Институт экономической политики подсчитал, что повышение минимальной национальной зарплаты с 7,25 доллара до 10,10 доллара принесло бы пользу 30 миллионам рабочих. Большинство получило бы непосредственную выгоду, поскольку сейчас они зарабатывают менее 10,10 доллара в час; а остальные получили бы косвенную выгоду, так как их оплата на самом деле привязана к минимуму – например, управляющие магазинов быстрого питания, получающие немного (но только немного) больше, работников, которыми они руководят. Сейчас многие экономисты испытывают неприязнь ко всему, что связано с установлением цен, даже при наличии положительных последствий. Некоторые из этих скептиков выступают против всего, что помогло бы низкооплачиваемым рабочим. Другие утверждают, что мы должны обеспечить субсидии и расширить программу E.I.T.C. (налоговый зачет за заработанный доход), которая, в сущности, оказывает значительную помощь малообеспеченным семьям. Между прочим, я полностью за расширение программы E.I.T.C. Но, оказывается, существуют веские причины рассматривать минимальную зарплату и E.I.T.C. как дополнение друг к другу, а не замену. Следует увеличить и то, и другое. К сожалению, учитывая политическую реальность, нет никаких шансов, что Конгресс примет закон об увеличении помощи работающему бедному населению. С другой стороны, минимальная зарплата может быть повышена благодаря огромной государственной поддержке. Эта поддержка исходит не только от Демократов или даже самовыдвиженцев; за повышение выступает подавляющее большинство Республиканцев (57%) и консерваторы (59%). Словом, повышение минимальной зарплаты помогло бы многим американцам, и, соответственно, американской экономике. Пол Кругман Подготовлено Forexpf.ru по материалам New York Times

12 ноября 2013, 19:58

Бернанке, не Кругман

Пол Кругман предложил вниманию читателей свою лекцию (с двумя моделями ) о роли политики обменного курса и наличия собственной валюты во время кризиса. Он настаивает на том, что спекулятивный кризис доверия практически не возможен в развитых странах с плавающим валютным курсом. Эту ситуацию он противопоставляет "греческим" кризисам в странах еврозоны, повторяя свои обобщения о природе кризиса в странах валютного союза. На доброжелательных ирландцев повторение пройденного большого впечатления не произвело.  Одним из важных элементов в рассказе Кругмана является хорошо знакомая роль правительственных и частных займов в собственной валюте, а не иностранной. Ничего нового для знакомых с "первородным грехом" в экономике и тех, кто слыхал о работах Кармен Рейхарт с коллегами про "боязнь плавания" и "неожиданные астановки"... В дополнение к лекции, за последние недели Кругман разместил в своем блоге серию записей с атаками на Германию, защитой Франции и критикой ЕЦБ с евробюрократами. Большинство из этих нападок повторяют тезисы 2-3-4-х летней давности. Как будто бы за это время мы не узнали ничего нового. Версию о том, что кризис в еврозоне был вызван потерей конкурентоспособности стран периферии в пользу Германии, мы обсуждали в начале 2010 здесь, и потом часто (начиная с немцы против немцев). С тех пор ко многим экономистам пришло понимание природы кризиса в Латвии, затем в Ирландии, затем в Италии и Испании.  Как здесь уже записано, огромным, хотя и запоздалым, ударом по позициям Кругмана была недавняя статья Бланшара о кризисе в Латвии. Благодаря внимательному изучению опыта этих стран, понимание кризиса в еврозоне стало намного более глубоким. На версию о потере конкурентоспособности теперь приходится, быть может, процентов 10-20 его объяснения :), и она теперь годится разве что для лекции в сельском клубе... Лекция Бернанке (там же, интересно) о кризисе как классическом набеге на финансовый сектор и панике на финансовых рынках, важна для понимания уроков кризиса в США, в еврозоне и Великобритании.  В еврозоне эти моменты были особенно важны, потому что банки там были слабее, и механизмы защиты от паники были институцуионально не проработанными. Рассмотрение еврозоны Кругманом как одной страны граничит с профанацией анализа.  Ожидать от правительства Германии действий не в интересах экономики своей страны, а в интересах экономики Греции или Испании, мне кажется верхом наивности. Конечно, валютный союз накладывает дополнительные обязательства на правительства еврозоны, и за время кризиса они обсуждались, менялись, кодифицировались. Но национальные правительства там пока никто не отменял, и избирают партию Меркель граждане Германии, а не кругманы. Критика Кругманом денежно-кредитной политики ЕЦБ, как мне кажется, тоже несправедлива, но об этом лучше черкнуть отдельно. Большинству, наверное, давно не интересно разбираться в уже разобранном, но Кармен Рейнхарт не поленилась указать нобелевскому лауреату на его ошибочные комментарии к картинке про Великобританию. А о том, что "греческий кризис" был только в Греции, что еврозона не страна, похожая на США, и что банковский кризис в еврозоне многим отличался от механики кризисов в других странах, никто уже блогеру не жаждет рассказывать... Офтопик: Своими грубыми нападками, часто выходящими далеко за рамки приличий, Кругман удобен тем, кому выгодно атаковать ЕЦБ, Европейскую комиссию и антикризисную политику в Европе.  С одной стороны, Кругмана нельзя игнорировать, потому что блогер-экономист пользуется популярностью и авторитетом среди читателей и многих коллег. С другой стороны, отвечать ему грубостями не каждый захочет и не каждый может себе это позволить. Поэтому европейцы пытаются отвечать взвешенными заметками, как Бути и Падоан здесь и, в ответ Кругману, здесь.  Или как только что тужился сделать один из бывших лидеров ЕЦБ Смаги в заметке "Аскетизм и тупость" :) Народная мудрость: "Против лома нет приема, если нет другого лома".  Для ответа Кругману, наверное, нужен евро-Ильвес с большой командой неглупых экономистов :) Рогофф и Рейнхарт, как мне кажется, лучше других защищались от гадких наездов Кругмана. По крайней мере в среде профессионалов им удалось поставить Кругмана на место. Но в популярном сознании Рогофф и Рейнхарт все равно подозреваются в тяжких грехах.  Утешение атакуемых Кругманом в том, что люди, принимающие решения по антикризисной политике, слушают не Кругмана, а его оппонентов. И народ, который свои правительства избирает, этих людей поддерживает.

26 апреля 2013, 12:44

Странглия, Мервин Кинг и Сергей Игнатьев

На графике ВВП Великобритании (картинка из свежайшей речи одного из лидеров Банка Англии, там другие есть). Красным показан докризисный тренд, а синим жизнь. Вчера все с напряжением ждали, объявят ли народу об уже ТРЕТЬЕЙ по счету рецессии, но бог миловал и объявили о небольшом росте в первом квартале. Почему нет роста в любимом россиянами Лондонграде и его окрестностях?Кругман, ДеЛонг и другие уверяют своих читателей, что это из-за бюджетной консолидации бюджетного аскетизма, как в России.  Они видят на этой картинке ошибку в статье Рейнхарт-Рогофф 2010 года, и письмо о бюджетной дисциплине, которое в феврале 2010 года подписал Кеннет Рогофф вместе с другими экономистами. Статья и письмо подтолкнули правительство Камерона на ужасную экономическую политику и лишили британцев благосостояния, измеряемого разницей между красной революционной линией и синей, преступной. Чтобы убедиться, что красная линия является для Кругмана и ДеЛонга критерием успеха, желающие могут почитать свежую заметку ДеЛонга про США или поискать его и Кругмана многочисленные атаки на Великобританию, а про Латвию с Эстонией я лучше промолчу.Вопрос на засыпку про бюджетный аскетизм упирается в Великобританию по ряду причин.  У страны своя валюта, которая, как постоянно повторяет Кругман и Ко. необходима для успеха.  С начала кризиса фунт стерлингов подешевел процентов на 20-25, что, по мнению Кругмана, должно было привести с скачку экспорта.  Инфляция была намного выше 2%, к чему тоже призывали Кругман и другие экономисты.  Много чего было в Великобритании в кризисные годы. А роста не было и пока нет.  Поэтому для Кругмана, ДеЛонга и их единомышленников  главным виновником преступления должен быть бюджетный аскетизм.  В Великобритании, по их мнению, нужен был значительный бюджетный стимул, достаточный для быстрого возвращения к красной черте.  На всякий случай напомню сразу, что дефицит бюджета в Странглии на автомате сразу скакнул к 10-11% ВВП (картинка).  Этого, по мнению борцов с бюджетным аскетизмом, было мало, надо было гораздо больше. По мнению Кругмана, инвесторы бы этого совсем не испугались, потому что никакой "Волшебницы доверие" нет (добавим от себя следствие: нет и "Волшебницы Недоверие").  Вот свежая заметка ДеЛонга, где он обвиняет Камерона и "правых" экономистов в попытке реализовать в Великобритании "стимилирующее сокращение" дефицита бюджета а ля Алесина.Как и в случае российских дебатов о замедлении роста, за более объективным мнением я обратился к уходящему руководителю центрального банка - Банка Англии - Мервину Кингу, коллеге Сергея Игнатьева. В своей январской речи Кинг подробно рассказывал о диагнозе, лечении и будущем экономики Великобритании.  Речь советую почитать. В отличие от Банка России, британцы публикуют речи своих руководителей, чтобы каждый желающий не гадал, какие у них мысли, а мог прочитать речь и поглазеть на иллюстрации к ней и даже почитать указанную дополнительную литературу.Кинг сразу же напомнил слушателям об избыточном докризисном энтузиазме:Much of this reflects the inevitable correction of exuberance on the part of borrowers and lenders, the conditions for which were created by the failure to tackle the global imbalances that left most major countries with unsustainable exchange rates, unsustainable paths of consumption, saving and borrowing, and unsustainably low long-term real interest rates.Затем отметил три фактора, сдерживающих рост, некоторые из них внутренние, некоторые внешние. Не буду пересказывать, но среди них упомянуты цены на еду и энергию.  Системный финансовый кризис привел к нарушениям в банковском секторе, толкнул банки к осторожности и затруднил доступ к кредиту, особенно для мелких и средних предприятий. Но среди причин анемичного роста у Кинга нет даже намека на излишний бюджетный аскетизм.  Единственное упоминание о бюджетной политике во всей речи сводится к ограничениям в ее использовании из-за большого госдолга:In many countries, including the UK, fiscal policy is constrained by the size of government indebtedness, and monetary policy has come to be seen as the only game in town.Нет бюджетного стимулирования и среди нескольких рецептов лечения (помимо денежно-кредитной политики КуЕ). Рецепта три, включая укрепление банков, увеличение экономического потенциала за счет структурных реформ и (все еще надежда на)  восстановление еврозоны и слабый фунт стерлингов/экспорт:What are those other policies? They come under three headings: restoring confidence in our banks, reforms to raise the future potential supply of our economy, and changes in the world economy and exchange rates.Этот диагноз, рецепты лечения и прогноз мы услышали от одного из сотен британских экономистов, которые в свое время в открытом письме возмутились преступным бюджетным аскетизмом Маргарет Тэтчер :). Кто-нибудь наверняка скажет мне, что старик Кинг кривит душой, что не хочет осложнять жизнь правительству Камерона. Но ведь он пожилой уже человек, ему нечего терять, кроме своего доброго имени. Не боится же он требовать значительного дополнительного увеличения акционерного капитала у всесильных банков, которые могли бы его подкармливать в старости. Неужели Кинг промолчал бы, если бы действительно верил во вред бюджетной дисциплины?Что такое ужасное делает правительство Великобритании, какой такой особый аскетизм в Лондонграде?  Смотрим еще раз на сокращение дефицита, ожидаемое в разных странах за три года 2011-2013, и видим, что у британцев сокращение дефицита очень похоже на небольшое сокращение в других странах, как у Франции или Бельгии, и меньше, чем в США, не говоря уже о больных еврозоны Испании, Ирландии и Ко., которым Кругман, кстати, тоже раньше регулярно предлагал активнее стимулировать экономику дополнительными бюджетными расходами (?!).Можно допустить, что сейчас, когда инвесторы успокоились после испуга 2008-2011 гг., британцы могли бы сокращать дефицит чуть медленнее, как это может себе теперь легко позволить Эстония или Латвия. Сейчас, а не в 2010, когда инвесторы, включая Билла Гросса, буквально тряслись от страха. И американцы могли бы сейчас дать слабину. Но надо же быть реалистами. К красной линии они бы все равно долго не вернулись. И Кругман с ДеЛонгом все равно будут ругать всех и вся во всю силу своих легких.  Никакого чрезмерного аскетизма в Великобритании нет, просто не нашли там вовремя сланцевый газ, банковский сектор там побольше и еврозона поближе. Разница между Великобританией и США еще и в том, что в Америке нет никаких бюджетных планов, а есть секвестр, знакомый нам по предкризисным 1990м. Там правит политический паралич. Планы же британцев известны заранее, и за выполнением планов уже давно следят специально обученные независимые люди в Офисе бюджетной ответственности, как и учил реалист Кеннет Рогофф.ДОП: Пока я кропал и выдергивал из интернета чужие мысли и картинки, появился пользительный пост zhu_s...Как я уже заметил в тексте, мы не можем ознакомиться с речью Сергея Игнатьева о причинах замедления роста российской экономики и посмотреть на познавательные картинки-иллюстрации к его увлекательному рассказу.  Но у нас есть zhu_s, который думает и пишет на эту важную для экономической политики тему.

28 февраля 2013, 20:13

Стимулирование или спад? МАКРОЭКОНОМИКА РЕЦЕССИИ

ДЕЛОНГ: Период между 1985 и 2007 – период «Великого Спокойствия» - Фед Резерв и Правительство США с одной стороны на Западе, а центральные банки и финансовые институты Евросоюза на востоке Атлантического океана обеспечили устойчивое макроэкономическое окружение в рамках которого частный бизнес сектор, рабочие и инвесторы могли реализовывать свои экономические устремления. В США в годовом выражении прирост номинального ВВП опускался ниже 4% только 3 раза в эти годы и превышал 7% только 2 раза в течение 22 лет, уровень потребительской инфляции был выше 5% 3 раза и падал ниже 2%  только 2 раза в течение этих 22 лет, а уровень занятости взрослого населения (отношение числа занятых к общей численности взрослого населения) колебался в границах 60-64%. Западная Европа переживала примерно такой же период «Великого Спокойствия» с низкой инфляцией, плавным ростом и снижающейся безработицей. Как говорил Роберт Лукас в эти спокойные годы: «проблема предотвращения депрессии была решена». Далее в 2008-2009-м гг. уровень прироста номинального ВВП в США рухнул к -3% - неожиданное значительное снижение для любого, кто ожидает «Великого Спокойствия» с прежним уровнем роста расходов, потребительская инфляция ушла в отрицательную зону (-2%), а занятость населения упала с 63% до 58-59%. В Западной Европе изначально рецессия была слабее, но последующая ситуация на рынке труда оказалась более разочаровывающей, так что в настоящий момент чистое снижение к тренду производства и занятости в Западной Европе превышает аналогичные показатели в США. Проблема предотвращения депрессии и её излечения не была решена. В этом контексте мы собрались обсудить следующие четыре вопроса: Может ли политика ФРС, ЕЦБ, государственных органов адоптироваться так, чтобы в короткие сроки вернуть уровень занятости к значениям которые мы в течение 1985-2007 считали «нормальными», а темпы роста занятости к уровням Рейгановского бума 1982-1989 гг.? Если может, какой должна быть эта политика? Если может, является ли эта политика приемлемой? Как ваше мнение на вопросы 1-3 отличается от мнения 6 лет назад?  Карло Коттарелли из Международного валютного фонда.