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Archive for 'global crisis'

Flaherty’s Legacy: Ideological, reckless and just plain lucky

This piece was originally published at the Globe and Mail’s online Report on Business feature, EconomyLab.   There are two reasons why it is difficult to comment on the legacy of a finance minister. 1) It is a tremendously challenging job, anywhere, any time. Stewarding one of the largest economies in the world through a […]

Great Divergence or Financialized recovery ?

The IMF’s latest delivery of the World Economic outlook contains an interesting analysis of the current “non” recovery in terms of a divergence between fiscal and monetary policy, the first between restrictive and procyclical in nature and the second being accommodating and reinforcing a financial expansion. As argued here by the IMF economists who worked […]

Happy Crashiversary! Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

Four years after Lehman Brothers collapsed, it’s time to take stock of things by asking a stock political question: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Where you stand on the answer depends on where you sit. Many people, businesses and communities are still struggling to regain the ground they lost […]

Another push for jobs by shifting the tax burden on workers…

… in Portugal. Portugal’s Prime Minister announced on Friday that the government would raise workers’ social security contribution rates from 11% to 18% (about one month’s salary)… and decrease companies’ contribution rates from 23.5% to 18% in the same breath. The usual need for job creation is invoked as justificaion for the move… an interesting […]

Complete details of 2008-09 Bank Support

Readers of this blog will have hopefully read my report “The big banks big secret” which examines the $114 billion that Canada’s banks received during the 2008-09 financial crisis.  Its major finding was that at some point three of Canada’s five big banks had received support worth more than their market capitalization, or the value of all […]

A New Stage of the Crisis?

Until quite recently, it seemed that the global economy was set for an extended period of stagnation, lacking an obvious engine of growth in the advanced economies as households deleveraged, as governments imposed harsh fiscal austerity programs, and as corporations failed to see any good reason to invest significantly in new capacity. Relative optimists could […]

From Financial Crisis to Stagnation

I am enjoying Tom Palley’s new book – and would post an enthusiastic review except for the fact that I have been unable to find the time to finish it. Certainly a very clear-headed take on the fundamental economic – and political – transformations that will have to take place if we are to escape […]

The Big Banks’ Big Secret

The CCPA today released my report: “The Big Banks Big Secret” which provides the first public estimates of the emergency funds taken by Canadian banks.  The report bases its estimates on publicly available data from CMHC, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, US Federal Reserve, the Bank of Canada, as well as quarterly […]

Canadian Triumphalism Increasingly Bizarre

Prime Minister  Harper went to Davos yesterday to sing Canada’s praises.  No sooner had he finished reciting a long list of our national achievements, however, then he launched into a list of the sober, realistic, inevitable things that must be done in Canada to ensure “sustainability” in the long term.  Top of the list is […]

Souvenirs de Cannes

I was in Cannes last week with CLC President Ken Georgetti for the G20 Labour Summit.  (I know, tough job.) This event was arranged by the International Trade Union Confederation with the support of the French Presidency of the G20. Our group as a whole, consisting of labour leaders from the G20 countries and leaders […]

Recovery Demands Increase in Labour’s Share

The just-released 2011 ILO World of Work Report is a must read for progressive economists. Released on the eve of the G-20 meetings, the report underlines the gravity of the current global employment situation and warns of the need to put job creation first if we are to avoid a very extended period of high […]

First We Take Manhattan….. What Occupy Wall Street Could Mean

This is not the stuff of usual protests. Over the past month, a little idea from a Vancouver outfit has mushroomed into a cross-continent movement. Occupy Wall Street, kicked off by Adbusters in July and coming to Toronto this weekend, has already spread to 70 American cities and is going global as protestors challenge society […]

Exiting from the Crisis

“Exiting from the Crisis: Towards a Model of More Equitable and Sustainable Growth” is a new book (over 270 pages) now available on line. This volume of essays from global trade union leaders and economists is the product of the Global Unions Taskforce on a New Growth Model, a joint project of the Trade Union […]

Seoul Survivor

My thoughts on the Seoul G20 – from the Mark.

Why the Great Recession Will Go On and On…

The cover of last week’s Economist magazine boasted the headline “Grow, dammit, grow!” above a picture of a bald man looking up at a tiny sprout of hair on his pate. As the Great Recession continues to grind on with no end in sight – with growth remaining anemic and unemployment stubbornly high in North […]

Soccer’s goal crisis

After watching yet another 0-0 draw, my excitement for the World Cup is more muted than when things kicked off a week ago. In part, it was dismal play by my home squad, England, but it’s deeper than that. Coming right off the Stanley Cup playoffs, even the drama of international competition can only somewhat […]

Stimulating Australia

An interesting column, arguing that the very limited rise in unemployment in the Great Recession in Australia owes a lot to a well-constructed stimulus program of the Labour government, based on higher transfers to lower income households plus short and medium term infrastructure investment. http://column.global-labour-university.org/2009/11/riding-your-luck-and-adopting-right.html

Beyond Stimulus: Fiscal Policy after the Great Recession

The Global Labour University are publishing Global Labour Columns on the general theme of how labour should be responding to the crisis.  The most recent is by yours truly,  re working some pieces previously posted to this blog. The other columns posted are well worth a look. http://column.global-labour-university.org/

Japan – Dancing on the Edge of Calamity

Duncan Cameron has asked me to post this contribution by Ken Courtis,  a recognized authority on Japan and world economics. A Canadian academic turned investment banker, he has been resident in Japan for many years. On 09-11-26, at 19:30, Ken Courtis wrote: The reality of Japan’s fiscal situation is as close to calamitous as any […]

Plutonomy?

I put this post out for comments and discussion since this is an important question for which I don’t have an answer. A 2005 Citigroup report – apparently cited in Michael Moore’s new movie, which I have not yet seen – argues  that “plutonomy” – the extreme concentration of income and wealth in the hands […]

A Second Great Depression?

From the on line issue of the Financial Times, Sunday. A Second Great Depression Is Still Possible Copyright Thomas I. Palley Over the past year the global economy has experienced a massive contraction, the deepest since the Great Depression of the 1930s. But this spring, economists started talking of “green shoots” of recovery and that […]

What Happened at Pittsburgh?

Summary The main result of the Pittsburgh summit was to institutionalize and modestly extend the global economic governance role of the G-20 which arose as a necessary response to the global economic crisis. There is talk of medium-term co-ordination of national macro-economic policies, and a “re-balancing” of the global economy. However, while this is welcome, […]

Who Called the Crisis?

An interesting piece in the FT yesterday re how those economists who followed the financial flow circuits called the crisis, as opposed to the general equilibrium types who did not.  Complementary to the analysis of Tom Palley on the macro roots of the crisis, who rightly insists that the “no one saw it coming” crowd […]

Global Unions and the G20

Global Unions ‘Pittsburgh Declaration’ Global Unions’ Statement to the Pittsburgh G20 Summit (24-25 September 2009) I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1. The G20 leaders are meeting in Pittsburgh amidst reports that the global recession is bottoming out, with the massive decline in output in most major economies slowing, and that governments are preparing their strategies for exiting from […]

What’s in Play at Pittsburgh?

The London G-20 summit last fall may go down history as the meeting that saved the world. That’s a huge exaggeration of course, but leaders did agree to a program of co-ordinated monetary and fiscal stimulus which may have arrested an economic free-fall, and they agreed to an agenda for financial re-regulation with a view […]

A Better Letter to the Queen

Letter to the Queen: Why No One Predicted the Crisis Her Majesty The Queen Buckingham Palace London SW1A 1AA 29 July 2009 MADAM, In response to your question why no one predicted the crisis you have recently received a letter from Professors Tim Besley and Peter Hennessy, sent on behalf of the British Academy. They […]

Is the Great Recession Really Over?

I normally hesitate to make short term economic prognostications and the Bank of Canada could indeed be right that growth might tip over the cusp from negative to positive in the third quarter as the first sign of a “nascent recovery” from the Great Recession.  As many have noted, including Jim on the National on […]

The Macro Roots of the Crisis

My friend and former union (AFL-CIO) economist colleague Tom Palley has produced a characteristically lucid piece on the macro economic roots of the US and global crisis for the New America Foundation. He interprets our predicament as a crisis of the neo liberal growth model and not as a failure of financial regulation or, for […]

“Bigger Isn’t Better”

A thoughtful op ed from today’s Ottawa Citizen by Peter Victor, the author of “Managing Without Growth” (Edward Elgar)  on the case for a no growth future. http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/fp/Bigger+better/1590471/story.html Here’s an extract: “Although no 21st-century Keynes has emerged to prepare the intellectual ground for such a change in thinking, we do have a body of knowledge […]

OECD Endorses Canadian Opposition

I was out of the country but have the impression that the extremely gloomy OECD forecast and critical recommendations for Canada released just before the G20 London summit were not given the attention they deserved. http://www.oecd.org/document/59/0,3343,en_2649_33733_42234619_1_1_1_1,00.html The OECD released its intermim outlook largely to push the case for more stimulus by G20 countries, particularly those, […]