Afternoon Must-Read: Bill Janeway: Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy

Bill Janeway: Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: "This entails reconstruction of the core of macroeconomics... drawing on innovative approaches to understanding behavior in the peripheral financial markets. Ricardo Caballero observes: 'In the context of the current economic and financial crisis, the periphery gave us frameworks to understand phenomena such as speculative bubbles, leverage cycles, fire sales, flight to quality, margin- and collateral-constrained spirals, liquidity runs, and so on--phenomena that played a central role in bringing the world economy to the brink of a... More >

Morning Must-Read: Jonathan Chait: Have Nerds Betrayed the Left?

I find myself agreeing with Jonathan Chait here: Tom Frank's big problem is that he doesn't want his imagination limited by information about what policies would actually work... Jonathan Chait: Have Nerds Betrayed the Left?: "I pointed out that [Tom] Frank... held... ...a lack of familiarity with even the basic concepts of political science, which can explain how structural limits (like divided government and polarization) constrain the domestic powers of a president in a way that cannot be broken with ideological willpower or inspirational speechmaking.... More >

Things to Read on the Morning of September 15, 2014

Must- and Shall-Reads: Megan Geuss: Why Apple Pay could succeed where others have had underwhelming results. Not because Apple is a huge and influential company, but because the timing is right Lance Taylor: Structuralist Response to Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century Cardiff Garcia: The Fed can take its time, if it wants to Wei Gu: Almost Half of Wealthy Chinese Want to Leave, Study Shows   Derek Thompson: How the Rich and Poor Spend Money Today—and 30 Years Ago: "The biggest difference between the... More >

Morning Must-Read: Jon Hilsenrath: Fed Chief Yellen Seeks Interest-Rate Consensus

When economic historians write about how it happened that under Fed Chair Ben Bernanke the U.S. economy performed worse than it had under any Fed Chair since Eugene Meyer 1930-1933--or maybe, if we are being strict, Arthur Burns 1970-1978--one important reason will be Ben Bernanke's desire to seek consensus within the FOMC instead of doing what his previous academic analyses suggested was the right thing to do. In that context, one cannot but find this from Jon Hilsenrath very worrisome: Jon Hilsenrath: Fed Chief Yellen... More >

The Best Example of Why I Have Long Thought that the Washington Post Is Long-Past Its Sell-by Date: Hoisted from the Internet From Six Years Ago

As best as I have been able to determine, the thinking among the executives and editors of the Washington Post who commissioned and published this piece back in September 2008 was roughly: "We need to publish an economy-is-actually-in-good-shape piece so that the McCain campaign and the Republicans won't be made at us". Whether the piece was true, whether the numbers quoted in it were accurate or representative, or even whether the author had a conceptually and analytically interesting perspective did not enter their thinking at... More >

Morning Must-Read: Dean Baker: Influencing the Debate from Outside the Mainstream: Keep it Simple

Dean Baker: Influencing the Debate from Outside the Mainstream: Keep it Simple: "The route for making progress is to get outside of the profession... ...For this it is necessary to appeal to people in policy positions, to reporters, to the general public, or to people who might follow economic debates, but don’t have extensive backgrounds in economics. And it is important to recognize what you are asking these people to do. You are asking these people to accept your claims over the claims of the... More >

Morning Must-Read: Documents on Koch Intentions on FSU Econ Department Hiring

Daniel Kuehn: Documents on Koch intentions on FSU econ department hiring here. Note, this is an internal memo... ...about the Koch's expectations. Because of the outrage this caused (even in the absence of these documents) the advisory group was eventually restricted in how much they could impact these decisions. This is really not good for anyone that cares about economics as an objective science and people who receive Koch money (which is not inherently bad at all of course), should be saying that.

Lunchtime Must-Read: Dietz Volrath: Taxes and Growth

Dietz Vollrath: Taxes and Growth: "William Gale and Andy Samwick have a new Brookings paper out... ...on the relationship of tax rates and economic growth.... They do not identify any change in the trend growth rate of real GDP per capita with changes in marginal income tax rates, capital gains tax rates, or any changes in federal tax rules.... Stokey and Rebelo (1995).... You can see that the introduction of very high tax rates during WWII, which effectively became permanent features of the economy after... More >

What, Theoretically, Is a “Recession”? (Early) Monday Focus for September 15, 2014

Nick Rowe produces an explanation of his point of view with which I have only linguistic quibbles: **Nick Rowe: What's special about monetary coordination failures?: "This is a response to Brad DeLong's and David Glasner's good posts... ...[that] forced me to think.... Apples and bananas are perishable, but gold lasts forever. One apple tree produces 100 apples per year, regardless. One banana tree produces 100 bananas per year, regardless. Trees cannot be produced. Gold cannot be produced. Gold is the medium of account. Apples and... More >