Paul Krugman makes articulate arguments for more stimulus spending in the US and Europe.
“But these aren’t just a series of unrelated accidents. Instead, what we’re seeing is what happens when too much money is chasing too few investment opportunities.
More than a decade ago, Ben Bernanke famously argued that a ballooning U.S. trade deficit was the result, not of domestic factors, but of a “global saving glut”: a huge excess of savings over investment in China and other developing nations, driven in part by policy reactions to the Asian crisis of the 1990s, which was flowing to the United States in search of returns. He worried a bit about the fact that the inflow of capital was being channeled, not into business investment, but into housing; obviously he should have worried much more. (Some of us did.) But his suggestion that the U.S. housing boom was in part caused by weakness in foreign economies still looks valid.”
via A Moveable Glut – The New York Times.
“Kenneth Rogoff has long warned of a potential financial crisis in China.
Mr. Rogoff, a professor of economics at Harvard University, accurately predicted the eurozone debt crisis and for years has been telling anyone who would listen that China posed the next big threat to the global economy. He is starting to look right, again.
“In economics, things take longer to happen than you think they will, and then they happen faster than you thought they could,” Mr. Rogoff said on Monday from Cambridge, Mass., repeating a favorite line from Rudi Dornbusch, the German economist. (Mr. Rogoff sat in on Mr. Dornbusch’s class at M.I.T. in 1977.)”
via A Warning on China Seems Prescient – The New York Times.
“Since 2010, at least 41 journalists have been killed in Mexico. Roughly 20 have disappeared. Mexican journalists are targeted by powerful criminal organizations and in some instances by government officials who don’t want their misdeeds exposed. The majority of cases remain unsolved, leaving journalists in many parts of the country with a terrible choice: they censor themselves or get silenced by a bullet.”
A woman holds a picture of slain photojournalist Rubén Espinosa at a protest in Xalapa, Mexico, on Monday. Credit Oscar Martinez/Reuters
via The Murder of Mexico’s Free Press – The New York Times.
Stephen Marche: “Mr. Harper’s war against science has been even more damaging to the capacity of Canadians to know what their government is doing. The prime minister’s base of support is Alberta, a western province financially dependent on the oil industry, and he has been dedicated to protecting petrochemical companies from having their feelings hurt by any inconvenient research.”
via The Closing of the Canadian Mind – The New York Times.
“We can learn from others. London and Stockholm have “congestion pricing” that generates revenue for mass transit while limiting the flow of cars in their central business districts. Hong Kong’s transit agency, the MTR, is a for-profit company in which the government holds a majority stake. Because it is publicly traded, it can avoid patronage hiring. By purchasing real estate and leasing property, it acquires revenue while keeping fares low.”
via Can Our Transit System Get Any Worse? – The New York Times.