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Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Healthcare bill: this is not History with a capital H

Thumbnail : Healthcare bill: this is not History with a capital H

The health reforms in the US are neither historic nor disastrous. They simply show what ‘Change’ means under Obama: tinkering on the edges. Read my spiked article in full here.

Health reform victory for Obama: the pundits over-react again

A healthcare reform bill has finally passed, just barely. After a last-minute deal to secure the anti-abortion Democrats, the House passed the health bill by just three votes more than necessary.  Just a day or so ago, many pundits presented Obama’s presidency as on the rocks. He is not only redeemed by the Democrats’ victory, but now some […]

To US critics of China’s currency: get your own house in order

Thumbnail : To US critics of China’s currency: get your own house in order

The noise coming from the US about China’s supposed “manipulation” of its currency, the yuan (also referred to as the renminbi), has become noticeably louder this past week. Since July 2008, China has pegged its currency at about 6.83 yuan to one dollar. American critics assert that China’s policy effectively keeps its currency artificially low, […]

Curbing short-selling is shooting the messenger

Towards the end of February, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted, by a 3-to-2 margin, to restrict the “short-selling” of stocks when they are declining rapidly. This is the result of fear on the part of regulators that the process of deleveraging could get out of control. But it only puts off the necessary restructuring, by slowing […]

In defense of the dot-com bubble, ten years on

It has been ten years since the dot-com bubble burst. On March 10, 2000 the tech-dominated Nasdaq index peaked at 5048.62. Today it closed at less than half that level, at 2358.95. Many now see the end of the tech boom as the beginning of the most recent financial crisis. On the Opinion page of the Wall Street Journal today, author and […]

Piling on regulation

In an essay last year, I speculated that “today there is a possibility that the Obama regime’s call for ‘more regulation’ will just pile on to the substantial [non-financial] regulation that already exists”. Well, it seems there is an attempt to do just that. The Financial Times reports about a legislative proposal that would give […]

Who says China isn’t innovative?

Writing in Fortune, Michael Elliott questions China’s record of innovation to date: “Sure, China can grow, but can its companies innovate? Can they build products that will compete in the global marketplace?” Elliott seems to suggest that, if growth does not come from private companies, it doesn’t count as innovation: Venture capitalists talk about the sheer thrill […]

Stiglitz gives Obama high marks

  (Video: Joseph Stiglitz) In this excerpt from a recent talk, Joseph Stiglitz says Obama’s economic policy should be graded an A+, if only because his policy is much better than George W. Bush’s. Stiglitz is more critical of the Obama administration in his book Freefall (which I reviewed here). In this clip, he says the main problem […]

Morgan’s study

Thumbnail : Morgan’s study

  During the Panic of 1907, as Wall Street was crashing down and the contagion was spreading globally, JP Morgan, then 70 years old, summoned the heads of New York’s banks and trusts to his library and study. He famously locked the doors, and forced them to work through the night and eventually agree to a deal to bailout the weaker […]

Fannie and Freddie: a problem, not the problem

The FT reports today that two Republicans in the House, Darrell Issa and Jim Jordan, have called for an investigation into the use of US government funds to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two mortgage companies that were taken into government “conservatorship” in September 2008. The congressmen’s call comes in response to treasury […]

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