Daily Archives: September 17, 2013

UN Conference on Trade and Development: Report 2013

By Dan Kervick

The UN Conference on Trade and Development released its 2013 report on September 12, and it is both an invigorating read and a welcome break from the stagnant and conservative thinking that dominates most US economic discussion. The full report can be downloaded from the UNCTAD website, and a much shorter overview of the report is also available.

You can also listen to this podcast of a public event at the London School of Economics marking the release of the report last Thursday. The Podcast features Richard Kozul-Wright, who heads the unit on Economic Integration and Cooperation Among Developing Countries at UNCTAD, and Robert Wade, professor of Political Economy and Development in the Department of International Development at LSE.

Here is an UNCTAD synopsis of the report’s main messages.  I have highlighted the remarks that struck me as most important:

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Larry Summers Got a Bad Rap on Stimulus: Obama is the Problem

By William K. Black

I am a strong supporter of Janet Yellen and believe her support for the fiscal and monetary policies best designed to produce a stronger, prompter recovery from the Great Recession makes her the superior replacement for Ben Bernanke.  The criticism of Larry Summers’ position on fiscal stimulus, however, was generally inaccurate.  Within the Obama/Biden administration, the best known economists (Summers, Christina Romer, and Jared Bernstein) proved dramatically better economists than did the non-economists who eventually came to dominate Obama’s economic policies (Timothy Geithner, Jacob Lew, and William Daley).  Summers, Romer, and Bernstein were strong voices in favor of fiscal stimulus.  Summers deserves some additional praise because he had to break from his mentor’s (Bob Rubin’s) pro-austerity dogmas to reach his anti-austerian position.

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