Tag Archives: nyt

Floyd Norris’ Hypocrisy: Elite Fraud is More Dangerous to Detect than to Commit

By William K. Black

Floyd Norris, who I once respected, has written an interesting column titled “In China, Detecting Fraud Riskier Than Doing It.”  Norris states that China’s hostility to those who expose fraud is so unusual that it is worthy of a column:  “It can be very risky to do things in China that are taken for granted in other countries.”

China is different from some other countries.  China has no domestic rule of law and no respect for the rule of law in its dealings with other nations.  The same is true of Russia.  It is important to understand such differences.

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If New York Times Reporters Won’t Read Krugman about Austerity Will they Read Brooks?

By William K. Black
(Cross posted at Benzinga.com)

The New York Times Incompetence in Macroeconomic Reporting (IMR) Award

I have written repeatedly about the New York Times’ needs to create a prize in incompetence in macroeconomic reporting (IMR) and suggested that the paper award the IMR prize to its reporters.  I suggested that the prize consist of a two hour lunch with Paul Krugman in which he will provide them with a remedial lecture on why austerity is an economically illiterate response to a recession.

NYT columns discussing austerity, particularly in the eurozone, demonstrate that its reporters religiously avoid reading Krugman’s scores of columns on austerity.  As always on this subject, I want to make express that I don’t insist that the reporters agree with economics.  It is fine for reporters to state that economics has known for 75 years that austerity is a self-destructive response to a recession but that some economists disagree.   It is fine for the reporter to explain why he agrees with the austerian economists.  It is not acceptable journalism to ignore the dominant economic view, 75 years of supporting events, and the empirical studies by austerians (the IMF) finding that fiscal changes have more powerful effects on the economy consistent with the dominant theory.  It is not acceptable journalism to ignore unemployment and inequality and the role of austerity in increasing both.  I end by expanding on Krugman’s column about a tragic financial media meme by discussing three related memes that are causing great harm.

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Who Should Be Invited to the State of the Union?

NEP’s William Black provides his view on this topic in the New York Time’s Room For Debate section. You can view his post here.

 

Economics could be a Science if More Economists were Scientists

By William K. Black
(Cross posted at Benzinga.com)

Raj Chetty has written an op ed in the New York Times designed to counter the abuse the Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden’s central bank) rightly received for its latest embarrassment.  Economics does not have a true Nobel Prize, so a central bank decided to create a near-beer variant.  The central bankers have frequently made a hash of it, often awarding economists who got it disastrously wrong and inflicted policies that caused immense suffering.  This year, not for the first time, the central bankers decided to hedge their bets – awarding their prize to economists who contradict each other (Eugene Fama and Robert Shiller).  The hedge strategy might be thought to ensure that the central bank’s prize winners were right at least half the time (which would be an improvement over the central bankers’ batting average in their awards), but that is a logical error.  It is perfectly possible for both of the prize winners to be wrong.  I’ll explain why I think that is the case in a future article.

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The New York Times Authors the Most Ironic Sentence of the Crisis

By William K. Black

The author of the most brilliantly comedic statement ever written about the crisis is Landon Thomas, Jr.  He does not bury the lead.  Everything worth reading is in the first sentence, and it should trigger belly laughs nationwide.

“Bank of America, one of the nation’s largest banks, was found liable on Wednesday of having sold defective mortgages, a jury decision that will be seen as a victory for the government in its aggressive effort to hold banks accountable for their role in the housing crisis.”

“The government,” as a statement of fact so indisputable that it requires neither citation nor reasoning, has been engaged in an “aggressive effort to hold banks accountable for their role in the housing crisis.”  Yes, we have not seen such an aggressive effort since Captain Renault told Rick in the movie Casablanca that he was “shocked” to discover that there was gambling going on (just before being handed his gambling “winnings” which were really a bribe).

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The New York Times Butchers the Story of How Treasury Got NPR to Censor My Criticism of It

By William K. Black

We have further proof about how thin-skinned Treasury Secretary Geithner was, but we have it in the form of a weird May 29, 2013 story by Ben Protess in the New York Times.  The story is in part about me, though it doesn’t mention me, because it is a story that notes that Treasury was able to convince NPR to remove from its December 13, 2013 broadcast a statement I made criticizing Geithner – an action that NPR took and noted, but without naming me as the source of the criticism.  The weird part of the NYT story is that while it confirms the accuracy of the statement I made about Geithner it asserts that the statement by the unidentified “academic” criticizing Geithner was false.  Continue reading

The New York Times Thinks Bleeding Cyprus is “Strong Medicine”

By William K. Black
(Cross posted at Benzinga.com)

I’m announcing the New York Times award for incompetence in macroeconomic reporting (IMR, pronounced like “screamer”).  I suggest that the paper offer as a prize to awardees a two hour lunch with Krugman in which he provides a remedial economics lecture.  My premise is that it is impossible to be a NYT reporter and fail to know that the paper has a Nobel Laureate in economics who writes a regular column for the paper and frequently discusses making economic downturns worse by inflicting self-destructive austerity.  Even the most casual reader of Paul Krugman’s columns would know that opposition to austerity has long been the dominant view among economists and that over the last five years events here and in Europe have again confirmed that view.  Continue reading

Why is the failed Monti a “technocrat” and the successful Correa a “left-leaning economist”?

By William K. Black
(Cross posted at Benzinga.com)

The New York Times produces profiles of national leaders like Italy’s Mario Monti and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa.  I invite readers to contrast the worshipful treatment accorded Monti with the Correa profile.  The next time someone tells you the NYT is a “leftist” paper you can show them how far right it is on financial issues.

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