Me, interviewing David Graeber

Debt A Conversation with Doug Henwood and David Graeber August 23, 7:30pm Melville House Bookstore 145 Plymouth St, Brooklyn Debt is now the central issue of our time: With the rise of cheap and unsustainable credit, un-repayable mortgages collapsed the world economy in 2008. In Europe, Greece, Spain, Ireland, Iceland and Portugal have pushed the European economy to a perilous point, threatening the Euro. And we’ve just lived through a debt crisis of our own, with congress nearly forcing U.S. default. We’ll be joined by two guests to discuss the role of… Read More

Bernanke the steamroller

Comment on today’s Federal Reserve policy decision today, which among other things, included the extremely unusual statement that they’re likely to leave interest rates close to 0 through mid-2013, from Ricardo Perli of ISI, a very mainstream Wall Street research operation: For the first time in a long time, there were three dissents – Fisher (Dallas), Kocherlakota (Minneapolis), and Plosser (Philadelphia).  Up to now, FOMC chairmen strived to avoid more than two dissents.  The fact that this long-standing practice was disregarded means that Bernanke is becoming more determined to push through what in… Read More

Made in China: <3%!

Here’s something that should revise a lot of clichés, though it probably won’t: less than 3% of U.S. consumption expenditures are on goods made in China. Almost 90% are made in the USA. Of course, the domestic total is boosted by services—but even durable goods are 12% China, 67% U.S. And less than half the value of Chinese imports go to China—55% of the money spent on “Chinese” goods represent processing and other services (like distribution and retailing) provided in the U.S. This info comes from a new paper by Galina Hale and… Read More

Riots and stock values

An interesting comment from Jim Reid of Deutsche Bank in the wake of swooning stock markets and riots in London: Although not linked to the sell-off we can’t help thinking that we live in socially volatile times generally due to economic hardship. This is something that may eventually have ramifications for Europe’s future in the years ahead. If the person on the street and voters get fed up of the Euro straight [sic] jacket then days like yesterday in financial markets could look mild. Yup. There’s no doubt that the strength in… Read More