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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Big Banks Opposing Anti-TBTF Regulations: A Conflict-of-Interest

Being able to count on a person or company thereof having sufficient motivation to provide a self-defense is no feat, for self-interest is a staple—perhaps the staple—in human nature.  It should be no surprise, therefore, that after raking in $102 billion in subsidies, including lower lending costs due to the general perception that the government would bail them out, and repaying the TARP money, the biggest American banks were sufficiently re-energized (i.e., self-motivated) to go on the offensive to protect their places on the perches under fire. Specifically, they planned a lobbying campaign to fend off increasing Congressional calls to break up the banks to solve the too big to fail problem (which includes the subsidy problem that exacerbates the wider problem). There are problems with the lobbying itself—problems caught in America’s blind-spot even as they subtly undermine the body politic.


The full essay is at Institutional Conflicts of Interest, available in print and as an ebook at Amazon.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Does Austerity Work?

Does raising taxes and cutting government spending reduce a government’s deficits and thus debt? Confine consideration to more tax revenue and less spent and the theoretical answer is yes; it being a simple matter of mathematics. Include the impacts of raising taxes and cutting spending and the answer become far less straightforward. More paid in tax means less disposable income, which means less consumption and thus less produced (i.e., GNP). A government spending less also means less consumption in the economy, and therefore even less to be produced to meet demand. In short, austerity is recessionary. Whether the ratios of deficit and debt to GDP increase depends on how much the numerators drop relative to the decrease in GDP. We can look at the E.U. for some empirical evidence.
The full essay is at "Essays on the E.U. Political Economy," available at Amazon.
 If austerity kills dignity, then pressure on governments to relax spending cuts can be expected.   source: rt.com