Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Risk of Extended Malaise?

Mark Dow of Pharo Management, a global macro hedge fund, says the dollar is falling due to change in denomination of financial assets in other currencies.

Joseph Stiglitz: Private sector put money in the wrong place - housing. Country needs health-care, education, infrastructure. We need to spend money well to make our economy more productive in the future.

  • Weakness in commercial real estate.
  • Huge deficits at the state level, leading to more job losses.
  • Many Americans at risk of having unemployment benefits expire.
  • Weakness in our major trading partners, and overall lack of final demand.

Sites a "lack of aggregate demand" - language of Keynes.

Peter Schiff:

In truth, because of the continued profligacy of the government and Federal Reserve, the imbalances that caused the current recession have actually worsened. [...]

We must remember that recessions inevitably follow periods of artificial growth. During these booms, malinvestments are made which ultimately must be liquidated during the ensuing busts. In short, mistakes made during booms are corrected during busts – and in the recent boom we made some real whoppers. We borrowed and spent too much money, bought goods we couldn’t afford, built houses we couldn’t carry, and developed a service sector economy completely dependent on consumer credit and rising asset prices. All the while, we allowed our industrial base to crumble and our infrastructure to decay.

In order to lay the foundation for real and lasting recovery, market forces must be allowed to repair the damage. However, current policy is counterproductive to this end. Trillions in stimulus dollars have kept the party going, but now what? How does deficit spending by the government address the problems that brought about the crash? It doesn’t; it just delays and worsens the hangover

A political economy

A recent piece in the Economist ( A new anthology of essays reconsiders Thomas Piketty’s “Capital” , May 20, 2107) ends with these words: &q...