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Archive for 'global imbalances'

Just How Stupid is Niall Ferguson? Very Stupid.

“But the real point of me isn’t that I’m good looking. It’s that I’m clever. I’ve got a brain! I would rather be called a highly intelligent historian than a gorgeous pouting one” – Harvard historian Niall Ferguson, Sept. 2011. One of the predictable habits of the mainstream media is to seek out opinions on […]

Unequal = Indebted

The IMF find that rising inequality is a key driving force behind balance of payments problems and domestic instability in developed countries. “what unites the experiences of the main deficit countries is a steep increase in income inequality over recent decades, as measured by the share of income going to the richest 5 percent of […]

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 […]

Roubini on the Instability of Inequality

Business-school professor and economist Nouriel Roubini earned his nickname Dr. Doom by repeatedly predicting the chain of events that would cause the global economic house of cards to fall down. Yesterday he laid out the economic dilemmas that are triggering a global Occupy movement and concludes: “Any economic model that does not properly address inequality […]

The Fundamentals Are Pretty Shaky

Thanks to Arthur Donner’s Economic Comment for bringing this to my attention. The official line we hear everyday is that the Canadian fundamentals are great, while other countries are in deep trouble because they are spending beyond their means and borrowing too much from the rest of the world. Yet IMF projections show that Canada’s […]

Global Imbalances

The IMF World Economic Outlook notes that the desired process of rebalancing global demand from countries with large trade deficits (notably the US) to countries with large trade surpluses (notably China) is not going very well. Relatedly, it points out just how difficult it is for increased demand in developing economies to offset stagnant or […]

The Lumpenization of the Global Economy

Gabriella Moldonado looked like someone who was thoroughly whipped by life. This past October I was standing on the front stoop of her sagging home in Laredo, Texas, interviewing the middle-aged, portly woman for a television documentary about Mexico’s drug cartel wars. Laredo is a city of 230,000 that lies on the Rio Grande river […]

Seoul Survivor

My thoughts on the Seoul G20 – from the Mark.

The Currency Wars and Global Trade Imbalances

In the run up to the Seoul Summit, the issue du jour has become “the currency wars.” I certainly side with those who think that the under-valuation of the Chinese currency and its fix to the US dollar at that low level constitutes a huge subsidy to Chinese exports  which has played a major role […]

Fix the Labour Market to End the Crisis

 The ILO and the IMF are holding an important high level conference in Oslo on the “Challenges of Growth, Employment and Social Cohesion” on September 13.  In advance, they have released an important joint discussion paper.  The summary  - highly reflective of the ILO contribution but not contradicted by the IMF contribution – makes a […]

The G-20 Growth Strategy: Self-Flagellation, Prayers and Threats

The media and pundits parsed Mark Carney’s speech today to the Ottawa Economics Association (OEA) every which way to Sunday today and concluded that Carney had effectively signaled the Bank’s intention to raise its target for the overnight interest rate sooner rather than later. But in all the hand wringing about the inevitability of rate […]

Global Imbalances

This IMF staff paper – the lead author is the chief economist, Olivier Blanchard -is well worth reading.  Makes a rather urgent call for expansion of internal consumption demand in China and currency realignments if  we are to work our way out of the crisis. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/spn/2009/spn0929.pdf

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Predator State — More Progressives Who Saw True and Through

PEF people are not the only ones who correctly anticipated some of our recent economic and fiscal events.  Jamie Galbraith also saw a lot of this coming in his book The Predator State. With no further ado, I’m posting an enthusiastic review of the book by fellow traveler and Sorbonne PhD economics graduate Henry Sader:

The China Syndrome

The following, from today’s Toronto Star, includes some commentary from yours truly: The China syndrome: A new condition characterized by the apparent reluctance of a certain national government to embrace an emerging, global economic power May 05, 2007

Resource Dependence and Trade with China

For more on the themes highlighted below by Jim, my note on trade balances and jobs is now available through the CCPA.

Policy Conference Presentations

The presentations from the Ottawa Economics Association’s 2007 Policy Conference are now available online. They include a fascinating exposition on China’s manufacturing sector, a business perspective on Canadian manufacturing, Buzz Hargrove on the Canadian economy, and the Fraser Institute’s take on global warming.

Trade Balances and Jobs: Canada, the US and China

The following note, including tables, is available on the Canadian Labour Congress website: Free trade was promoted to Canadians on the famous promise of “jobs, jobs, and more jobs” and is widely defended on the basis that Canada’s large trade surplus with the US contributes to Canadian employment. Meanwhile, American commentators are concerned that the […]

Saddam Hussein

There is not much positive to write about either Saddam Hussein or the American invasion of Iraq. In his October 11 column, Andrew Coyne lamented North Korea’s nuclear test, but suggested that it would have been even worse had Saddam Hussein still been in power. On October 13, the National Post ran the following letter […]

Morgan Stanley (Stephen Roach) Thinks Labour and Left are in for a Good Year

http://www.morganstanley.com/views/gef/index.html#anchor4105 Global: From Globalization to Localization Stephen Roach | New York On one level, there seems to be no stopping the powerful forces of globalization.  Not only has the world just completed four years of the strongest global growth since the early 1970s, but in 2006, cross-border trade as a share of world GDP pierced […]

A Looming Global Crisis?

Recently in Paris for meetings between the OECD Economic Department and TUAC (the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD), I found my trade union colleagues concerned about the “downside” risks of an increasingly gloomy economic outlook. The OECD Economics Department believes that there will be a pronounced slowdown in the US – driven by […]

Those pesky global imbalances

Joseph Stiglitz takes on the matter of global imbalances with some thoughts on how they might be resolved. I confess to be perplexed by the persistence of these imbalances, as someone who was concerned about their potentially destabilizing impact a few year ago. But then again I called the stock market bubble back in 1997. […]