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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Political Economic Analysis' LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
1:58 pm
Here I am - the IDEAL way to solve all your political and economy dilemnas.

I will save TAX-PAYER's hard earned money
by providing an alternative
to actually fixing problems
such as the lack of affordable eco-housing
and decent emergency shelters...

I am needed to improve health (mental & physical),
lower crime rates, help young people,
and senior citizens...
to save lives,
and improve the quality of lives...

There is no end to the amount of help I offer.

is my potential being ignored?

Current Mood: worried
Sunday, May 3rd, 2009
1:34 pm
The Kemp-Roth tax cuts
A great article on the Kemp-Roth tax cuts.

RIP Jack!

Current Mood: nostalgic
Thursday, January 29th, 2009
5:21 pm
Conservatives keep singing the same tune about the stimulus and the great depression...
but nobody will dance. Here is an excellent summary of some of the most important points though:

Wed, Dec 3, 2008 4:05pm ET
Send to a friend Print Version
Conservatives cherry-pick 1930s unemployment figures in continued assault on New Deal

Summary: Columnists Mona Charen and George Will continued a trend among conservative media of responding to comparisons between the current economic situation and that of the 1930s and between Barack Obama and FDR by attacking the New Deal. In separate columns, both Charen and Will cherry-picked unemployment figures to assert that the New Deal did not reduce unemployment. But historians and progressive economists have noted that unemployment fell every year of the New Deal except during the 1937-38 recession; further, Nobel-laureate Paul Krugman has said it was a reversal of New Deal policies, not a continuance of them, that contributed to rising unemployment in 1937 and 1938.
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Friday, January 23rd, 2009
12:31 pm
What can pull us out of this recession?
I am a big believer of the tie between technological improvements and economic growth. There are lots of different ways to get an economy moving, but improvements in technology allow the price of goods to go down while also allowing for improvements in the quality of our lives. This story below is one example of one of the technologies that will help in the near term.

The price of screens can be the majority of the cost in many electronic devices. This new innovation will allow for more screens on more devices, cheaper devices, and entire new innovations in flexible screen and solar energy technologies.

Friday, January 23, 2009
Clear Carbon-Nanotube Films

Special sheets for bendable displays and solar cells will soon hit the market.

By Prachi Patel-Predd
Nanotube shrink-wrap: A small sample of the carbon-nanotube-coated plastic film that could be used as the see-through electrodes in touch screens, roll-up displays, and thin-film solar cells.
Credit: Unidym

The first electronic product using carbon nanotubes is slated to hit the market this year. Unidym, a startup based in Menlo Park, CA, plans to start selling rolls of its carbon-nanotube-coated plastic films in the second half of 2009.

The transparent, conductive films could make manufacturing LCD screens faster and cheaper. They could enhance the life of touch panels used in ATM screens and supermarket kiosks. They might also pave the way for flexible thin-film solar cells and bright, roll-up color displays. The displays could be used in cell phones, billboards, and electronic books and magazines.
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Wednesday, January 21st, 2009
11:22 am
Venture capital is down 71% from last year! Oy!!!
And that is the 4th quarter of 2008, I think the first and second quarter of 2009 will probably be worse! Do you see any reason this might be wrong? Because I wish I was. I would love to hear some promising tech news that might help get out economy going again. Do you guys see anything that might jump start our economy?

Tech Beat
Venture Capital Funding Enters Deep Freeze
Posted by: Spencer Ante on January 20

It’s official: The venture capital market is freezing up. And don’t expect the market to warm up any time soon.

In the fourth quarter of 2008, venture capitalists raised only $3.37 billion, down a staggering 71% from the year-ago quarter, when VCs raised $11.67 billion, according to a January 20 release by Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association. This is the smallest amount of money raised since the second quarter of 2004, when VCs raised $3.3 billion.
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Friday, January 9th, 2009
1:22 pm
What? Nobody else wanted to post the good news?
We get one last unemployment report while Bush is still president, thanks Bushy! Have any of you lost your job or having trouble getting work?

I hope people will stop calling this the "Obama recession" as he is not even president yet! How bad will these numbers get before any new Obama jobs programs will be passed and implimented to slow this down? Probably not until the summer : (

Jobless rate jumps to 7.2 percent in December
By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer Jeannine Aversa, Ap Economics Writer – 44 mins ago
High volume stressing employment centers Play Video AP – High volume stressing employment centers

* Jobless rate jumps to 7.2 percent in December Play Video Video: Jobless rate jumps to 7.2 percent in December AP

WASHINGTON – The nation's unemployment rate bolted to 7.2 percent in December, the highest level in 16 years, as nervous employers slashed 524,000 jobs, capping one of the worst years in modern history for American workers.

The Labor Department's report, released Friday, underscored the grim toll the deepening recession is having on workers and companies. And it highlights the difficulty President-elect Barack Obama faces in resuscitating the flat-lined economy. This year has gotten off to a rough start with a flurry of big corporate layoffs, pointing to another year of hefty job reductions.

"There is no end in sight in terms of layoffs," said economist Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics. "January could be worse because some companies put layoffs on hold because of holiday sensitivities."

Not only are employers slashing jobs; they also are cutting workers' hours and forcing some into part-time work. The average work week in December fell to 33.3 hours, the lowest level on records dating to 1964 — and a sign of more job reductions in the months ahead, economists said.
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Thursday, January 8th, 2009
11:56 pm
Great review of a recent Karl Rove article...

I don't have a photo of Rove, so here ya go...

Karl Rove’s Factually Challenged Housing Revisionism
Email this post Print this post
By Barry Ritholtz - January 8th, 2009, 7:13AM
As the saying goes, you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. The instant historical revisionism by Karl Rove in today’s WSJ — mythmaking writ large — contains an egregious combination of false statements, crucial omissions and misleading assertions.

A few thoughts are required to correct Rove’s attempt to create a false and deceptive narrative. Consider these few corrections:

1. “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were among the principal culprits of the housing crisis” Wrong. Fannie and Freddie were cogs in the giant mortgage machine, but they had nothing to do with the abdication of lending standards from 2002-07. That was a function of the Lend-to-Securitize business model of the sub-prime mortgage originators. THAT was the primary cause of the housing boom and bust, along with Ultra-low rates and a lack of Fed regulation of these sub-prime lenders.

2. “Fannie and Freddie were too large and overleveraged” True. This had been pointed out by many people, before Bush and afterwards, that Fannie was a problem. Chief amongst the Fannie critics was Fed Governor William Poole. He deserves credit for his many early warnings about Fannie Mae and the GSEs. He was ignored by Alan Greenspan. Also ignored was Fed Governor Edward Gramlich, whose early warnings about subprime and predatory lending and were both timely and prescient.

3. Democrats controlled the Congressional Debate on GSEs: Rove somehow fails to note the GOP controlled Congress from 1994-2006, including the first 6 years of the Bush Presidency. If the President wanted to rein in the GSEs, he needed only make it a major priority, and not a footnote in the 2001 budget.
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Monday, December 22nd, 2008
2:58 am
Saturday, December 20th, 2008
4:49 pm
Sure, everyone posts videos of Peter Schiff, but Roubini is the man I tend to agree with more.
Does anyone have primary points of agreement or disagreement with this article below? I disagree with it being 24 months long, I think it will either be more like 17 in a best case scenario, but possibly 30 months. One of the reasons I expect an upturn to happen in late spring or summer of either 2009 or 2010 is because of how tied our downturn is to housing prices and they are much more likely to even our or have an upturn in late spring or early summer. I also think that the price of housing will probably have fallen down to where it should be by this summer, but increased unemployment may force it still lower through 2010. Of course, Stocks and GDP may reverse course far before unemployment or housing, sadly.

Nouriel Roubini's Global EconoMonitor
Nouriel Roubini | Dec 19, 2008

Luke Mullins of U.S. News & World Report recently interviewed me.

Here is the text of this interview:

Nouriel Roubini: The $700 Billion Bailout Isn’t Enough

December 18, 2008

I spoke with the bearish—but prescient—economist Nouriel Roubini on Wednesday about what's in store for the economy, housing, and stock markets in 2009. Here's what he had to say:

What is your outlook for the length and depth of the recession?

My view is that that recession is going to continue at least through the end of 2009. It started in December 2007, so it's going to be 24 months long. It's going to be the longest we've had in the last 60 years. I expect a cumulative fall in output from the peak of 4 to 5 percent. Just to give you a sense, in the last recession, the cumulative fall in output was only 0.4 percent—this one is 10 times deeper. The unemployment rate will peak at above 9 percent sometime in 2010. And we're facing not just a U.S. recession but a global recession. There is a recession in all of the advanced economies, and now there is the beginning of a hard landing also in the emerging markets.
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Wednesday, December 17th, 2008
8:36 pm
I am done grading my geography class for the semster:
So now I turn to you all for conversations about maps, demographics, and geographic analysis. Can we connect politics with safety or incomes? Would this back up that areas with less income and thus less social services such as health care or education also tend to vote republican??? Does anybody see any interesting other connections that are not obvious to me??? Does anybody have any interesting other maps that could connect with these themes?
How safe or unsafe is your geographic area of the nation? Click on any of them a couple of times to make them bigger.
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Friday, December 12th, 2008
6:30 pm
I am just putting this out there, I could actually get behind some neutral taxes.
Should Obama go after this?

A Carbon Tax People Will LIKE
-- by Dave Johnson

Suppose we place a tax on the use of fossil fuels. Anyone burning coal, oil, gas, etc. has to pay a really big tax for doing so.
Then suppose the government give every penny back to the public by giving the exact same amount to every person over 18*.
This means that MOST of us will get a check each year for much, much more than we paid to the carbon tax. AND it means that everyone will have an incentive to use alternative energy sources.
This is called a "revenue-neutral" tax because the tax money all goes back to the public. Since every dollar is returned this is not a tax increase.
*(Over 18 because we really, really don't want to encourage people to have more babies -- overpopulation is part of the problem.)
2:26 pm
Stupid question time
This is advice from Forbes. Is devaluation of the dollar the one big thing that will fix all of the problems we have? OK, now the really stupid question, if the FED just keeps on printing out the money like they have been, aren't they in fact already devaluing the dollar??? I mean, is there a difference? Does either method have it's own draw backs of pluses?

Adviser Soapbox
Dollar Devaluation To Fix The Great Recession
Frank Beck, 12.09.08, 01:00 PM EST
A quick dollar devaluation would work wonders for submerged borrowers. Don't kid yourself: It could happen.

What began as government social tinkering--with implied threats to banks and mortgage companies to extend home loans to even the most marginal of borrowers--led to a greed-blinded mortgage banking business and the meltdown we are experiencing today. Now we are asked by the same congressional leadership to go along with taxpayer-funded bailouts of the very banksters who, while making millions, created the mess.

Despite the trillions of dollars already expended recapitalizing banks, there is very little, if any, progress to show. Will a few trillion more do the trick? That seems to be the consensus among Congress and the banks. "They are simply too big to let fail," or are they really just too big to save? We can go back to "Plan A" and buy the toxic assets. If so, at what price? What if a few trillion does not remove enough toxic waste from the system or doesn't get credit flowing again and the economy bustling?
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Tuesday, December 9th, 2008
2:47 pm
For those still trying to call this the "Obama recession" lol
I still predict that historians will call this decade the zeros because it was a lost decade for economic growth.

Economy bad all over — even before current crisis
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press Writer Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press Writer – Tue Dec 9, 7:02 am ET
WASHINGTON – Things really are bad all over — and they had gone bad even before the housing and finance industries crashed and sent the economy into a tailspin.

Among the findings:

_Median household income dropped in 79 percent of the cities and towns. Incomes dropped in the wealthiest communities as well as the poorest. Charleston, Ill., home to Eastern Illinois University, saw the biggest drop — 31 percent — to a median household income of just under $21,000.

Nationally, incomes dropped by 4.3 percent during the period, to $50,007.

_The poverty rate increased in 70 percent of the cities and towns. Athens, Ohio, home to Ohio University, had the highest poverty rate, at 52.3 percent, in the 2005-2007 period.

Nationally, the poverty rate increased from 12.4 percent to 13.3 percent since the start of the decade.

_The unemployment rate increased in 71 percent of the cities and towns. Muskegon, Mich., a city of about 40,000 near Lake Michigan, had the highest unemployment rate, at 22.1 percent.

Nationally, the unemployment rate increased from about 4 percent in 2000 to 6.6 percent in the 2005-2007 period.

"We just didn't have enough years of expansion" this decade, he said.
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Monday, December 8th, 2008
7:38 pm
Another perspective on the mess Obama has to deal with by well known urban theorist Mike Davis
Mike Davis on Obama and the unlikliehood of a new new deal
Oct 16, 2008 4:30 PM posted by J Clegg
Can Obama See the Grand Canyon?
On Presidential Blindness and Economic Catastrophe
By Mike Davis

Let me begin, very obliquely, with the Grand Canyon and the paradox of trying to see beyond cultural or historical precedent.
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Sunday, December 7th, 2008
10:37 pm
Reserves are meant to be used in bad times
Brad Setser: Follow the Money (blog) Council on Foreign Relations, Center for Geoeconomic Studies

Tracy Alloway of the Financial Times’ Alphaville blog — echoing Robert Sinche of the Bank of America — thinks that spending reserves to defend your own currency and support your own banks is a form of economic nationalism.

Funnily enough, I always thought that building up reserves through thick and thin — and accumulating more reserves than a country ever needed for its own financial stability — was a far more egregious example of economic nationalism. A country that only adds to its reserves is presumably pursuing a policy of intentionally holding its currency below its equilibrium value in order to support its export sector. A country like China isn’t just accumulating reserves because it enjoys financing the US, UK and many European governments at low rates ….

The tone of the the FT’s excerpts of the Bank of America report suggest that a country that sells its reserves to support its own economy hurts the global economy. Not true. It may drain liquidity from some parts of the financial market, but the sale of reserve assets finances policies that add liquidity (so to speak) to parts of the goods market.

Reserves are meant to provide a buffer against external shocks. And right now a host of emerging economies are facing a major shock. Remember, a country that is selling its reserves is trying to keep its currency from falling. That means it is trying to keep the price of the world’s goods in its market from rising — and in so doing, it is keeping demand for the world’s exports up.

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10:02 pm
Reading guide to Keynes
Economist Brad DeLong (U.C. Berkeley) gives his list of Things to Read by Keynes including hyperlinks to eText where available.
Friday, November 28th, 2008
11:50 pm
The problem with conservative economists
A different perspective:

"There's a growing anti-trade sentiment in our country. Much of the dialogue is grossly misinformed. Let's try to untangle it a bit with a few questions and observations. First, does the U.S. trade with Japan and England? Put another way, is it members of the U.S. Congress trading with their counterparts in the Japanese Diet or the English Parliament? An affirmative answer is pure nonsense. When I purchased my Lexus, I had nothing to do with either the Japanese Diet or the U.S. Congress. Through an intermediary, a Lexus dealer, I dealt with Toyota Motor Corporation.

While it might be convenient to speak of one country trading with another, such aggregation can conceal a lot of evil, particularly when people call for trade barriers. For example, what would be a moral case for third-party interference, by either the Japanese Diet or the U.S. Congress, with an exchange between me and Toyota Motor Corporation? Some might reason that since Japan places restrictions on U.S. products entering their country, an appropriate retaliatory measure is not to allow Japanese products to freely enter the U.S. By the way, Japanese protectionist restrictions on rice imports force Japanese consumers to pay three or four times the world price for rice. How much sense does it make for Congress to retaliate against Japan by imposing restrictions on their products thereby forcing American consumers, say Lexus buyers, to pay higher prices? Should our rule be: If one country screws its citizens we should retaliate by screwing our citizens?"

There's more at the Source

Ultimately I disagree with this argument. Tariffs that enforce "fair" trade may hurt the American consumer (in so far as the price they pay for a product) but that is often the price of higher safety standards, a middle class wage, and environmental regulations (all things that improve our standard of living). It strikes me as odd that conservative economists always fall to the same fallacy; they look at the monetary benefits while ignoring the external benefits. I don't think we should protect our domestic workers from more efficient or higher quality competition. We do have a duty to protect our workers from foreign goods that are more efficient due to lower standards.
Friday, November 14th, 2008
1:03 am
Just trying to be positive...
What an economy really needs to grow after a bit downturn is some kind of huge productivity saving technological boost. There are lots of things out there on the drawing boards, and this is one of them. Any increase in peoples ability to communicate in more flexible ways will seed growth in many ways that we can hardly see right now. Oh, and I thought this photo showing how antiquated using wires look was really cool, click on it a couple times for a larger image. Does anybody out there know more about this than I do and have inspiring things to say?

Friday, November 14, 2008
The Coming Wireless Revolution

Gadgets that operate over television frequencies promise to transform the wireless landscape.
By Kate Greene

If you believe some radio researchers and engineers, within the next couple of years, high-bandwidth, far-reaching wireless Internet signals will soon blanket the nation. Thanks to a decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week, megahertz frequency bands that were previously allocated to television broadcasters will be opened to other device manufacturers. The frequency liberation means that future wireless gadgets will be able to blast tens of megabits per second of data over hundreds of kilometers. They will cover previously unreachable parts of the country with Internet signals, enable faster Web browsing on mobile devices, and even make in-car Internet and car-to-car wireless communication more realistic.

The FCC announcement essentially lets wireless take advantage of unused frequencies in between channels used by broadcast television, so-called white spaces. "The announcement that the FCC will allow white-space devices has a lot of people feeling like this is a beginning of a wireless revolution," says Anant Sahai, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley.
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Wednesday, November 12th, 2008
1:53 pm
What do we need to really get our economy moving again?
We need a technological fix that boosts productivity. Friedman is going around talking about how we need a "green bubble" (dumb strategy to talk about it in those terms) and although I agree on the important green focus, the real reason it would boost our economy would be due to the improvements in technology. It looks like most investors are betting on nanotech and this will be the true next "bubble", although I again think it is dumb to outright say it is a bubble because that strongly discourages investment.

Anybody else have thoughts on this?

World's Largest Companies Keep Making Bets on Nanotech
Lux Research report finds that executives are adapting their strategies and partnering with more sophisticated start-ups to find profits from nanotechnology
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Tuesday, November 11th, 2008
11:47 am
conservative ideology stands in the way of true economic progress
"The economic ideology of the Bush administration was that free markets are always best. When the markets failed, the idea was to surgically correct a flaw in the market for mortgage-backed securities. They believed the underlying problem was the lack of buyers for MBS, and that if the government stepped in as a buyer the market would correct... This belief that markets ultimately work themselves out, and therefore only need small nudges in the right direction, is why the administration’s actions have been a step behind and two sizes too small throughout this crisis."

The Paulson Legacy, by James Kwak: With the footsteps of a new Treasury Secretary audible around the corner, Henry Paulson’s days running the country are essentially at an end. The best he can do now is delay whatever changes the Obama administration will make.
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