Items of Interest:
Paul Kane / Washington Post:
Stimulus Plan Meets More GOP Resistance — Obama to Reiterate Appeal for Bipartisanship — Just days after taking office vowing to end the political era of “petty grievances,” President Obama ran into mounting GOP opposition yesterday to an economic stimulus plan that he had hoped would receive broad bipartisan support...
discussion:Steve Benen / Washington Monthly: REPUBLICANS STILL DISLIKE STIMULUS.... Barack Obama has prioritized …Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias: Noone Could Have PredictedMichael Falcone / The Caucus: The Early Word: Reaching Across the AisleMichael Scherer / Time: The Obama Team's Debut: Not Quite Ready on Day OneDavid Kurtz / Talking Points Memo: HYPERVENTILATING — From the Washington Post: “Hoping …David Weigel / The Washington Independent: Reading Paul KaneBooman Tribune: Bi-Partisan Happy Happy Joy JoyPrairie Weather: Be scared, very scared — Maybe Paul Krugman and yrs truly …Joe Sudbay / AMERICAblog News: Least Surprising Headline Ever: “Stimulus Plan Meets More GOP Resistance”
War and non-remembrance -- As I’ve already pointed out,the prospect of a Keynesian stimulus is having a weird effect on conservative economists, as first-rate economists keep making truly boneheaded arguments against the effort.
The latest entry: Robert Barro argues that the multiplier on government spending is low because real GDP during World War II rose by less than military spending.
Actually, I’ve already taken that one on. But just to say it again: there was a war on. Consumer goods were rationed; people were urged to restrain their spending to make resources available for the war effort...
Tyler Cowen / Marginal Revolution:Dumping on Robert Barro --I fully admit that I don't trust the oft-cited evidence that tax cuts are 4x better stimulus than government spending boosts; I think the result is a mirage from underspecified models. Overall we simply don't know how well the proposed stimulus will work -- if at all (is aggregate demand always the relevant war?). It's a kind of Hail Mary passConor Clarke / The Atlantic Business Channel: What would Larry Summers do? — There's been a worthwhile …Robert Waldmann / Angry Bear: Barro on [ Keynes ] Barro and GrossmanGreg Mankiw / Greg Mankiw's Blog: Is Joe Biden disingenuous or misinformed?Arnold Kling / EconLog: Who Knows Macro? — Tyler Cowen does not like the tone of the stimulus debate.
Carter Dougherty / New York Times:
Sweden's Fix for Banks: Nationalize Them – The Swedes have a simple message to the Americans: Bite the bullet and nationalize.
Officials in Washington are trying to figure out how to shore up American banks that once ruled the financial world but now seem to weaken by the day, despite receiving hundreds of billions of dollars in government aid.
With Sweden’s banks effectively bankrupt in the early 1990s, a center-right government pulled off a rapid recovery that led to taxpayers making money in the long run.
Former government officials in Sweden, many of whom come from the market-oriented end of the political spectrum, say the only way to solve the crisis in the United States is for the government to be prepared to temporarily take full ownership of the banks...
discussion:JHoward / protein wisdom: NYT: Nationalize Banks?Financial Times: The right and wrong way to bail out the banksBarry Ritholtz / The Big Picture: Time to Get Swedish — As previously noted, the dilly dallying around …Bill / Buck Naked Politics: More About Bank Nationalization, Swedish Style
Stuck in the Muddle: Economically, Obama Was Conventional - Like anyone who pays attention to business and financial news, I am in a state of high economic anxiety. Like everyone of good will, I hoped that President Obama’s Inaugural Address would offer some reassurance, that it would suggest that the new administration has this thing covered.
John Thain Called Out By The President -- We're not sure how John Thain is feeling about being called out by the President this morning. For some background, most readers are aware of yesterday's report from CNBC's Charlie Gasparino on how Mr. Thain spent $1.2 million to renovate his office at Merrill Lynch last year. This came during a time when the firm was already on the skids and laying off employees. It appears as though President Obama saw the story too, because in comments this morning, he basically said that it is unacceptable for companies receiving government aid to be renovating 'offices and bathrooms.' President Obama must be even more surprised with the fact that he paid the same designer eight times less for his work on the White House ($100K) than Thain paid him to do his office ($837K). Since when does the government get better deals than the private sector? ...
The New Republic: Solutions For An Insolvent World
Matthew Continetti / Weekly Standard: The Pessimist's Corner — Ian Bremmer and Nouriel …
Infrastructure: It's Job 1 to Americans
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly: AMERICANS HEART INFRASTRUCTURE.... A couple of weeks ago …Justin Gardner / Donklephant: 84% Approval For Infrastructure Spending?
- The World Won't Buy Unlimited Debt - Peter Schiff, Wall Street Journal
- The Fed Looks Like One More Shaky Bank - Jim Jubak, MSN Money
- The Struggle For the Soul of Capitalism - Benjamin Barber, The Nation
- Why Should the Public Crowd Out the Private? - Susan Lee, Forbes
- Tim and Jim Climb Up the Deficit Hill - Terence Corcoran, National Post
- Revitalize Mortgage Market With Cap Gains Rate - Joe Lieberman, IBD
- Wall Street Paychecks May Wither - Floyd Norris, New York Times
- Investors Are Clamoring for Clarity - Michael Boskin, Wall Street Journal
- Beware Simple Fixes to Complex Mess - Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post
- One Way to Deal With Toxic Assets - Louis Woodhill, RealClearMarkets
- The Right & Wrong Way to Bail Out Banks - George Soros, Financial Times
- The Paradox of Keynesianism - Joseph Calhoun, Alhambra Investments
- GM Admits Some Businesses Are Broken - Doug McIntyre, 24/7 Wall Street
- Account Imbalances Didn't 'Cause' Recession - Donald Boudreaux, WSJ
- John Thain, Then and Now - Heidi Moore, Deal Journal
- Local Banks Get Thrown Under the TARP - John Carney, Clusterstock