Nobel laureate. Op-Ed columnist, @nytopinion. Author, “The Return of Depression Economics,” “The Great Unraveling,” “The Age of Diminished Expectations” + more.

Friday Night Music: Watkins Family Hour

Memories of Con Jobs Past — As the Paul Ryan clamor gets louder, a public service reminder: he's a con man. I don't mean that I disagree with his policy ideas, although I do. I mean that his reputation as a serious thinker is based on deception, both about what he has actually proposed and how it has or hasn't been vetted.

It’s All Benghazi — So Representative Kevin McCarthy, who was supposed to succeed John Boehner as speaker of the House, won't be pursuing the job after all.

Flimflam Fever - — Apparently desperate Republicans are pleading with Paul Ryan to become Speaker of the House, because he's " super, super smart." More than anyone else in his caucus, he has the reputation of being a brilliant policy wonk. And that tells you even more about the dire state of the GOP.

Prudence Is Folly — Larry Summers calls for fiscal expansion, and rails (though he doesn't use the term) against the Very Serious People, denouncing the fixation on structural reform: Traditional approaches of focusing on sound government finance, increased supply potential and the avoidance of inflation court disaster ...

The China Debt Fizzle — Remember the dire threat posed by our financial dependence on China? A few years ago it was all over the media, generally stated not as a hypothesis but as a fact. Obviously, terrible things would happen if China stopped buying our debt, or worse yet, started to sell off its holdings.

Did The Fed Save The World? — I'm only part way into Ben Bernanke's book, but I wanted to play devil's advocate about the book's central thesis - not to criticize BB, or question the job he did, but as a way to provoke thought about what lessons we should learn from the crisis of 2008.
Oct 07, 2015

Thoughtful Krugman post on whether Fed deserves praise for making post-2008 bust less severe than Great Depression:…

TPP Take Two - — I've described myself as a lukewarm opponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership; although I don't share the intense dislike of many progressives, I've seen it as an agreement not really so much about trade as about strengthening intellectual property monopolies and corporate clout in dispute settlement - both arguably bad things, not good, even from an efficiency standpoint.

Learning Nothing In Europe — If you want to feel despair about Europe's prospects, first look at this recent presentation from Peter Praet, the chief economist of the ECB, then read this op-ed from the chief economist of the German finance ministry.

Influenza Means Influence — So is this why I've just had such an awful week? I finally saw a specialist, and said yes to drugs; my ears are still partially clogged, but I can hear again, sort of. Anyway, like all such lists, it's kind of curious. I'm one rung above the pope, and several rungs above Christine Lagarde.
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