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Monthly Archives: May 2012
I was never one of the Irish-Americans who felt that Sinn Fein and the IRA were romantic groups. Yes, some of the songs of resistance are stirring, but there is nothing romantic about the IRA’s violence for many decades. Sinn Fein’s artful ambiguity about its support for peace v. the armed struggle caused me to distrust the Party’s leaders.
It might seem strange to invoke Freddie Mercury and Queen in the context of the eurozone, but it’s the first thought that springs to mind, as Brussels and the increasingly hapless ECB, continue to mismanage their way to financial and economic catastrophe. Yesterday, there were signs that the Spanish plan to recapitalise Bankia (which came with the implied backing of the ECB’s balance sheet) introduced a potential way out of the eurozone’s metastisizing banking crisis. Sadly, it’s another idea which will never get off the bulletin board, as the ECB bluntly rejected any proposal to use its balance sheet to indirectly fund Bankia, the troubled Spanish lender
At the large law firm where I began my professional career we were warned about making “career limiting gestures” (CLGs). I confess to being an expert in committing CLGs, such that I am unemployable in the federal government. Continue reading
By Dan Kervick
One staple of economic policy debate is the running conflict between those who lean toward a reliance on fiscal policy and those who lean toward a reliance on monetary policy. Continue reading
When I was the Deputy Director of FSLIC, House Banking Committee Chairman St Germain was helping Speaker Wright hold the FSLIC recapitalization bill hostage to extort favors for Texas control frauds, including Don Dixon’s Vernon Savings (which was providing prostitutes to the State of Texas’ top S&L regulator and was building towards having 96% of its ADC loans in default – which is why we referred to it as “Vermin”). The attack on our agency was that we were mad dogs biased against Texas S&Ls and causing the Texas crisis by closing too many insolvent but well-run Texas S&Ls. Our response had many elements, but one of our principal points was that the Texas S&Ls we were closing were typically control frauds. At this juncture, St Germain’s staffers made a mistake. They requested that we testify on a host of issues, but the invite letter had a zinger, premised on an article saying that the Feds were slow to prosecute frauds in the Southwest. The invite specifically called for us to respond and discuss the role of fraud in the Southwest. We used the opportunity to explain the extensive role of fraud in Texas S&L failures.
Sorry for the interruption of the blog. Originally I had planned 52 blogs, one-year’s-worth, although along the way I added a few so that we would have run about 13 months. Here’s why: the blogs came from a book manuscript, the Modern Money Primer. The idea was that you would not only be a test audience, but that your questions and comments would allow me to revise the manuscript as we went along. And that worked. I think the manuscript was much improved because of this blog. You helped write the book.
The Fiscal Summit Counter-Narrative: Part Three, Are There Spending Constraints On Governments Sovereign in Their Currencies?
By Joe Firestone
An issue at the core of all the fuss about fiscal sustainability is Government solvency. The deficit hawks and doves believe that Governments sovereign in their own currency can run out of money if they keep deficit spending, and keep borrowing to do it. They believe that if deficit/debt levels are high enough, then Government insolvency can occur, because eventually the burden of interest on the public debt will crowd out all other public spending and investments. So, they are for working towards debt/deficit reduction, “reforming” (i.e. cutting) entitlement spending, and raising taxes, though not necessarily on the rich.