Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Krugman’

Rationality and Rabbit Holes

Posted by hkarner - 11. Oktober 2017

October 10, 2017 9:50 am NYT Blog

Like the vast majority of economists, I was delighted to see Richard Thaler get the Nobel. Anyone with a bit of sense – a group that, believe it or not, includes many economists – knows that people aren’t perfectly rational. But the assumption of hyperrationality still plays far too large a role in the field. And Thaler didn’t just document deviations from rationality, he showed that there are consistent, usable patterns in those deviations.

The question, however, is how much difference this should make to the practice of economics. And here you have a division between two camps. One says that imperfect rationality changes everything; the other that the assumption of rationality is still the best game out there, or at least sets a baseline from which departures must be justified at length.

Which camp is right? My thought: it depends on the field, for reasons not entirely clear to me. Let me talk about two fields I know reasonably well: macroeconomics, which I think I know pretty well, and finance, where I am much less well-informed in general but am pretty familiar with at least some international areas. What strikes me is that vaguely Thalerish reasoning is hugely important in one, in the other not so much. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Advertisements

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Day Nothing Changed

Posted by hkarner - 11. September 2017

It’s 9/11 again – and almost nobody is commemorating the anniversary. It didn’t even occur to me to use my print column space for the purpose, given all the ongoing current horrors. But since I have a bit of time before my 14-hour flight, I thought I’d take a few minutes to talk about what was supposed to happen after 9/11, but didn’t.

In the weeks and months after the atrocity, news media had a narrative about what it meant – basically, that it was a Pearl Harbor moment that brought America together with a new seriousness and resolve. This was comforting and reassuring. It was also totally false, literally from the first minutes.

The truth, as we now know, is that Bush administration officials rejoiced, even as the fires were still burning, at the opportunity they now had to fight the unrelated war they always wanted. But that wasn’t all: Republicans in Congress also saw opportunity for partisan gain from the start. Within less than two days Congressional staffers were telling me about GOP efforts to exploit the atrocity to ram through a cut in capital gains taxes. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , | Leave a Comment »

How Bad Will It Be If We Hit The Debt Ceiling?

Posted by hkarner - 7. August 2017

The odds of a self-inflicted US debt crisis now look pretty good: hard-line Republicans are eager to hold the economy hostage, Democrats are in no mood to make concessions, and Trump is both spiteful and ignorant. So it looks fairly likely that by October or so there will come a day when the U.S. government stops paying some of its bills, including interest on debt.

How bad will that be? The truth is that we don’t know; but it may be helpful to talk about *why* we don’t know.

Until now, US debt has played a special role in the world economy, because it is — or was — the ultimate safe asset, the thing people can use to secure transactions with no questions about it retaining its value. In a way, the dollar is to other moneys as money is to other assets, and US dollar debt is the form in which dollars are held with ultimate safety.

Taking away that role could be very nasty. One prominent interpretation of the 2008 financial crisis is that it was a “safe asset shortage“: when people realized that those AAA securities engineered from subprime loans weren’t the real thing, they scrambled into an inadequate supply of trill safe stuff. Deprive them of dollar debts as safe assets, and terrible things could happen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Great Health Care Coverup

Posted by hkarner - 30. Juli 2017

July 25, 2017 5:22 pm July 25, 2017 Paul Krugman, NYT

Like many people, I have a sick sense of anger over what just happened in the Senate, which just voted to proceed on a health care bill without any information on what will be in the bill. There’s still hope that in the next few hours, moderates who just caved in will balk at the horrible things they’re being asked to vote for. And I do mean hours: there will be no time for reflection or serious debate.

But nobody should have any confidence that they will. And I think we can almost take it for granted that John McCain will first vote for something terrible, then give a grandstanding speech about making our politics better.

The important thing to realize is WHY the Senate is doing this — rushing to pass legislation that will have a vast impact on American lives, the economy, and more without a single hearing, without time for a proper analysis of the bill, and with crucial votes taken on behalf of legislation yet to be determined. It’s not some arbitrary failure of procedure: it’s a coverup.

The fact is that Republicans have no good ideas on health; everything they want to do will make huge numbers of people worse off, to the benefit of a wealthy few. And they know this. They know that the campaign against Obamacare was based on lies from the beginning, that all their complaints about things like high deductibles were hypocritical. They know that what they’re about to do is terrible. But they’re trying to do it anyway — and the only way they have a chance is by breaking every rule of good governance, by making the process so rushed and secretive that nobody has a chance to say “Wait a minute– what are we doing?” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Shaking Russia’s Weak Economic Hand

Posted by hkarner - 6. Juli 2017

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pure Class Warfare, With Extra Contempt

Posted by hkarner - 26. Juni 2017

In this sense – and in only this sense – what we’re seeing now is a departure from previous Republican practice.

In the past, laws that would take from the poor and working class while giving to the rich came with excuses. Tax cuts, their sponsors declared, would unleash market dynamism and make everyone more prosperous. Deregulation would increase efficiency and lower prices. It was all voodoo; the promises never came true. But at least there was some pretense of working for the common good.

Now we have none of this. This bill does nothing to reduce health care costs. It does nothing to improve the functioning of health insurance markets – in fact, it will send them into death spirals by reducing subsidies and eliminating the individual mandate. There is nothing at all in the bill that will make health care more affordable for those currently having trouble paying for it. And it will gradually squeeze Medicaid, eventually destroying any possibility of insurance for millions. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Making Ignorance Great Again

Posted by hkarner - 6. Juni 2017

Date: 05-06-2017
Source: The New York Times: Paul Krugman

Donald Trump just took us out of the Paris climate accord for no good reason. I don’t mean that his decision was wrong. I mean, literally, that he didn’t offer any substantive justification for that decision. Oh, he threw around a few numbers about supposed job losses, but nobody believes that he knows or cares where those numbers came from. It was just what he felt like doing.

And here’s the thing: What just happened on climate isn’t an unusual case — and Trump isn’t especially unusual for a modern Republican. For today’s G.O.P. doesn’t do substance; it doesn’t assemble evidence, or do analysis to formulate or even to justify its policy positions. Facts and hard thinking aren’t wanted, and anyone who tries to bring such things into the discussion is the enemy.

Consider another huge policy area, health care. How was Trumpcare put together? Did the administration and its allies consult with experts, study previous experience with health reform, and try to devise a plan that made sense? Of course not. In fact, House leaders made a point of ramming a bill through before the Congressional Budget Office, or for that matter anyone else, could assess its likely impact. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Trump Gratuitously Rejects the Paris Climate Accord

Posted by hkarner - 2. Juni 2017

Date: 02-06-2017
Source: The New York Times By Paul Krugman

President Trump on Thursday announcing the United States’ withdraw from the Paris climate change accord.

As Donald Trump does his best to destroy the world’s hopes of reining in climate change, let’s be clear about one thing: This has nothing to do with serving America’s national interest. The U.S. economy, in particular, would do just fine under the Paris accord. This isn’t about nationalism; mainly, it’s about sheer spite.

About the economics: At this point, I think, we have a pretty good idea of what a low-emissions economy would look like. I’m sure that energy experts will disagree on the details, but the broad outline isn’t hard to describe.

Clearly, it would be an economy running on electricity — electric cars, electric heat, with internal combustion engines rare. The bulk of that electricity would, in turn, come from nonpolluting sources: wind, solar and, yes, probably nuclear.

Of course, sometimes the wind doesn’t blow or the sun shine when people want power. But there are multiple ways to deal with that issue: a robust grid that can ship electricity to where it’s needed; storage of various forms (batteries, but also maybe things like pumped hydro); dynamic pricing that encourages customers to use less power when it’s scarce and more when it isn’t; and some surge capacity — probably from relatively low-emission natural-gas-fired generators — to cope with whatever mismatch remains. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Understanding Today’s Stagnation

Posted by hkarner - 24. Mai 2017

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What’s the Matter With Europe?

Posted by hkarner - 5. Mai 2017

Date: 05-05-2017
Source: The New York Times By Paul Krugman

On Sunday France will hold its presidential runoff. Most observers expect Emmanuel Macron, a centrist, to defeat Marine Le Pen, the white nationalist — please, let’s stop dignifying this stuff by calling it “populism.” And I’m pretty sure that Times rules allow me to state directly that I very much hope the conventional wisdom is right. A Le Pen victory would be a disaster for Europe and the world.

Yet I also think it’s fair to ask a couple of questions about what’s going on. First, how did things get to this point? Second, would a Le Pen defeat be anything more than a temporary reprieve from the ongoing European crisis?

Some background: Like everyone on this side of the Atlantic, I can’t help seeing France in part through Trump-colored glasses. But it’s important to realize that the parallels between French and American politics exist despite big differences in underlying economic and social trends. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »