Is The Dollar Doomed To Crash?
June 15, 2009

Despite signs that the U.S. has avoided a repeat of the 1930's, it may be unrealistic to get overly optimistic about the country's economic future. That's the message from Nobel economist Paul Samuelson, who fears that the U.S. dollar is in for a dramatic fall: Up until now, China has been willing to hold her recycled resources in the form of lowest-yield U.S. Treasury bills. That's still good news. But almost certainly it cannot and will not last. Some day -- maybe even soon -- China will turn pessimistic on the U.S. dollar. That means lethal troubles for the future U.S.

A Closer Look At Those Climate Bill Giveaways...
June 09, 2009

Here's something I never would have predicted: When the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing this morning on permit allocations, of all topics, the room was totally packed—hardly an empty seat to be found. It's not that a herd of people accidentally stumbled into the wrong room.

Prophet Motive
June 03, 2009

This year, Nouriel Roubini, the economist known to the general public as Dr. Doom, Prophet of the Financial Apocalypse, spent the early hours of Mardi Gras on the floor of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. It was only 11 a.m., but the party was rollicking. Traders careened around the floor, hooting and honking, dressed as dragons and devils and convicts. Rock music roared overhead, and no one seemed to care that, by the bye, the market had tanked.

And The Bates Clark Goes To... [updated]
April 27, 2009

I missed this over the weekend, but, via Krugman, it looks like Emmanuel Saez of Berkeley has won the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded to the top economist under 40. Saez and his sometime coauthor, Thomas Piketty, have helped revolutionize the way we think about income inequality. Jon Chait wrote about their work back in 2007: [T]he science of measuring inequality, like most sciences, is subject to complicating details. The traditional method of measuring inequality has been to examine data from the Census Bureau.

Why the Democrats Can't Govern
April 15, 2009

The last Democrat who held the White House, Bill Clinton, saw the core of his domestic agenda come to ruin, his political support collapse, and his failure spawn a massive Republican resurgence that made progressive reform impossible for a decade to come. The Democrat who last held the White House before that, Jimmy Carter, saw the exact same thing happen to him. At this early date, nobody can know whether or not Barack Obama will escape this fate. But the contours of failure are now clearly visible.

Could Obama Tax Cut His Way To Reelection?
January 26, 2009

Plenty of people have chewed over the costs and benefits of including vast tax cuts in the Obama stimulus bill. It's a bit crass, but one issue that I haven't seen discussed is the impact these tax cuts will have on Obama's reelection in 2012. As Princeton political economist Larry Bartels has discovered, Democratic presidents consistently deliver more economic growth among all income classes during any four-year period.

Trading Up
December 03, 2008

The first hundred days of any presidency rarely go off as planned, but, for now, Barack Obama seems to know what's at the top of his to-do list.

The End Of Aviation
August 27, 2008

As the age of cheap oil comes to a close, it's springtime for gloomy futurists. Visions of a brutish world marked by violent squabbles over dwindling reserves, of junkyards littered with abandoned cars, of suburban slums overrun by weeds, of the collapse of industrial agriculture--none of this sounds as outlandish as it once did.

August 13, 2008

Earlier this summer, when the Obama campaign announced that Jason Furman was joining its staff as director of economic policy, the storyline seemed to write itself: Centrist adviser will pull Obama to the right. Furman had first made a name for himself as a wonky twentysomething wunderkind in the later years of the Clinton administration--a period when, to the consternation of many liberals, Clinton emphasized balanced budgets, free trade, and welfare reform.

Creative Destruction
November 12, 2007

The best case against universal health care.