‘Other Voices’ Archive

A China Meltdown? No.

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

Many of the world’s economies are struggling to continue growth, and some have slipped into recession. In particular, the huge and famously fast-growing Chinese economy looks wobbly, and it has a lot of debt. Could a recession in China cause another debt meltdown like 2008?

 from Bloomberg Businessweekgives us a good analysis:

The World’s Debt Is Alarmingly High. But Is It Contagious?


“You shouldn’t think, ‘Oh my God, this is all going to collapse and China is going to default on itself,'” says Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute. “Instead, you should think, ‘Oh my God, what a colossal waste of money.'”

Click the title link above to read the whole article.

A Quick Summary of the Greek Debt Crisis

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Seven pages counts as “quick” for a topic as complicated as this. It’s a very readable and good summary, in that it touches on blame for all, not just for one.

  • Yes Greece did borrow too much for too long.
  • The 2010 “rescue” of Greece actually rescued the non-Greek (mostly French and German) banks. Greece remained insolvent and should have defaulted then.
  • Economic concessions Greece made then have made the situation worse, decreasing GDP by 25%
  • Greece really can’t pay the all the debt back on anything like the schedule that the European hardliners are demanding. Really, can’t. Not possible.
  • It’s not clear what’s next.

A Primer on the Greek Crisis: the things you need to know from the start until now

by Anil Kashyap; University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

June 29th, 2015

How Tax Cuts Could Help

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

New news from the “Isn’t Actual Data Wonderful?” department:

Pedro Nicolaci Da Costa posted on the Wall Street Journal’s Capital Markets column, saying in part:

Tax cuts are an effective way to bolster a weak economy and create jobs—as long as they are targeted at the bottom 90% of income earners.

His position is amply supported by empirical data.

The reason for this effect is simple enough: the bottom 90% of earners are most likely to spend the windfall, creating the virtuous cycle of increased demand begetting new investment in supply. It has to start with demand, though. Businesses know perfectly well that if people can’t buy, there’s no point building another factory or retail outlet.

You can read the article and follow the links to the supporting data at:

Tax Cuts Boost Jobs, Just Not When Targeted at Rich

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A Summary of the Crisis

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman has written a review of fellow-economist Martin Wolf’s newest book. The review serves as a very readable summary of our latest financial crisis.

He covers where the crisis came from, what we’ve done, and what we haven’t done but should.

From the October 23, 2014 issue of The New York Review of Books, reviewing
The Shifts and the Shocks: What We’ve Learned—and Have Still to Learn—from the Financial Crisis. Click to follow the link:

Why Weren’t Alarm Bells Ringing?


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