Krugman

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Obama Better Prepared To Handle Alien Invasion, Poll Finds





The two presidential candidates may be neck and neck in most (un)popularity polls, and according to some metaphorical sources are even the same person just with different Wall Street backers, but when it comes to the critical topic of resisting an alien invasion, Obama is far better prepared, according to two thirds of the population.

 
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Guest Post: Liquidation Is Vital





In light of the zombification that now exists in Japan and also America (and coming soon to every single QE and bailout-heavy Western economy) — zombie companies, poorly managed, making all the same mistakes as before, rudderless, and yet still in business thanks to government intervention  — it is clear that the liquidationists grasped something that Keynesians are still missing. Markets are largely no longer trading fundamentals; they are just trading state intervention and money printing. Why debate earnings when instead you can debate the prospects of QE3? Why invest in profitable companies and ventures when instead you can pay yourself a fat bonus cheque out of monetary stimulus? Why exercise caution and consideration when you can just gamble and get a bailout?  Unfortunately, Mellon and his counterparts at the 30s Fed were the wrong kind of liquidationists — they could not heed their own advice and leave the market be. Ironically, the 30s Fed in raising interest rates and failing to act as lender-of-last resort drove the market into a deeper depression than was necessary (and certainly a deeper one than happened in 1907) and crushed any incipient recovery.

Liquidation is not merely some abstract policy directive, or government function. It is an organic function of the market.

 
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Guest Post: Krugman Claims He Has Been Right About Everything





I don’t think Krugman’s descriptive work on global trade patterns is bad. I don’t even think he has been completely wrong about the post-2008 economic depression. He certainly hasn’t been wronger than the people who are in charge in Europe, or the people running the Fed; he did, after all warn in 2005 that the Fed was “running out of bubbles” to reinflate, while Bernanke was still claiming in 2007 that subprime was contained. I do think his defence of broken windows is facile, and I think the notion he has advanced that World War 2 ended the Great Depression is not just wrong but dangerous. He’s a good polemicist; he defines himself through big, bold, wildly partisan claims. But if he’s going to claim that he’s been right about everything — as he just did — he might want to make sure he’s not directly contradicting statements he made just a week previous.

 
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Guest Post: Who Destroyed The Middle Class - Part 2





The middle class has a gut feeling they are being screwed by somebody, they just can’t figure out who to blame. The ultra-wealthy elite keep up an endless cacophony of propaganda and misinformation designed to confuse an increasingly uneducated and willfully ignorant public while blurring the facts for those educated few capable of understanding the truth. They have been able to keep the masses dumbed down through government run education; distracted by sports, reality TV, Facebook, internet porn, and igadgets; lured by mass media messages of materialism; and shackled with the chains of debt used to acquire the goods sold by mega-corporations. We’ve become a society oppressed by a small faction of ultra-wealthy masters served by millions of impoverished, uneducated, sedated slaves. But the slaves are getting restless and angry. The illegally generated wealth disparity chasm is growing so large that even the ideologue talking head representatives of the elite are having difficulty spinning it. Even uneducated rubes understand when they are getting pissed on.

 
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Guest Post: Who Destroyed The Middle Class? (Part 1)





“Over the last thirty years, the United States has been taken over by an amoral financial oligarchy, and the American dream of opportunity, education, and upward mobility is now largely confined to the top few percent of the population. Federal policy is increasingly dictated by the wealthy, by the financial sector, and by powerful (though sometimes badly mismanaged) industries such as telecommunications, health care, automobiles, and energy. These policies are implemented and praised by these groups’ willing servants, namely the increasingly bought-and-paid-for leadership of America’s political parties, academia, and lobbying industry.” – Charles Ferguson

Once you dig into the details beneath the thin veneer of Bernaysian obfuscation, you realize the corporate mainstream media storyline of middle class decline has a veiled storyline of a powerful, connected 1%, enriched at the expense of the middle class.

 
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Krugman To Colbert: "Ireland Is America's Future If Romney Is President"





Forget turning Japanese, an anxious-looking Paul Krugman appeared on Stephen Colbert last night to hawk his book and suggested that "Ireland is Romney economics in practice". Noting that Obama "inherited a Depression" but has unfortunately not taken us out of it due to a "whole lot of opposition from 'the other guys'". The Kaped Keynesian Krusader went on to note that "a recession is when things are going down but a depression is when things are down" and suggests an Obama campaign slogan "It's Not As Bad As The Great Depression" to which Colbert retorts that electing Romney would seem to be the path to 'ending this depression now'. While Krugman opines that if we would just re-hire all the government workers who have been laid off over the past few years then all would be well in the world, we suspect Colbert is closer to the truth when he comedically adds that "obviously the way to end the real depression is a war in Europe" and while USA is not Greece (or Uganda), it appears we will be Ireland if Romney gets elected.

 
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Guest Post: Springtime For The Military-Industrial Complex





America is spending more today drone-striking American citizens in Yemen, drone-surveilling Mexican drug lords and “turning our attention to the vast potential of the Asia-Pacific region“ than she was during the cold war when a hostile superpower had thousands of nukes pointing at her. Military contractors have nothing to fear. Whether it is the Pacific buildup to contain Chinese ambition, or drone strikes in the horn of Africa or Pakistan, or the completely-failed drug war, or using the ghost of Kony to establish a toehold in Africa to compete with China for African minerals, or an attempted deposition of Bashar Assad or Egypt’s new Islamist regime, or bombing Iran’s uranium-enrichment facilities, or a conflict over mineral rights in the Arctic, or (as Paul Krugman desires — and what the heck, it’s 2012, why not?) an alien invasion, or a new global conflict arising out of a global economic reset, it’s springtime for the military contractors. It’s everyone else who should be worried.

 
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Guest Post: Does America Face An Election Between Two Moderates?





Though the November election will be hyped as two opposites squaring off against each other, both candidates are considered rather moderate compared to who could have been the nominees.

The question is, are Barack Obama and Mitt Romney really that moderate?

Let’s account for the similarity in policy of both.

 
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On Debt Ceilings, Fiscal Cliffs, And Krugman's Deficit Debacle





With all the buzz about the 'Fiscal Cliff' – that toxic combination of tax increases and spending cuts due to take hold in a few months – the subject of ongoing Federal budget deficits has fallen by the wayside.  ConvergEx's Nic Colas believes that’s a temporary phenomenon, for Congress will have to hammer out agreements to raise the debt ceiling right alongside its negotiations over the 'Cliff' items.  His back-of-the-envelope attempt to quantify how much a multi-year debt limit increase would run to take this burdensome legislative issue off the Congressional docket for 5, 10 or even 20 years is worrisome at best with a $3.4 trillion for the 5-year runway, but this assumes a high level of incremental taxation. The number could be as high as $4.5 trillion.  As for the longer time horizon debt runways, think in terms of an incremental $6.5 -9.5 billion for a 10 and 20 year horizon. And without significant changes to taxes and/or spending, more.  Much more. We cannot help but think about Paul Krugman as we ponder these numbers.  His recent book, End this Depression Now, proposes that “A quick, strong recovery is just one step away, if our leaders can find the intellectual clarity and political will to end this depression now.”  This “One step” is deficit spending that is orders of magnitude greater than anything spent already.  We have no idea if he really believes any of this, since it is politically impossible, but he does have a Nobel (though so did the guys at LTCM).

 
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Why James Giddens Needs Receivership Powers in MF Global Bankruptcy + CNBC Hit on JPM





Giddens ought to approach the bankruptcy judge and suggest that they both apply to Judge Rakoff for the appointment of a receiver in the MF Global bankruptcy. 

 
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