Border-Adjustment Sleight of Hand? Sense and Nonsense on the Border Adjustment Tax

The trickle of articles discussing the proposed Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) has turned into a veritable flood. Not surprisingly, the lion’s share of these articles oppose the idea of border adjustment. It would be tedious to run through them all; suffice it to say that the primary argument is that such a tax would raise … Continue readingBorder-Adjustment Sleight of Hand? Sense and Nonsense on the Border Adjustment Tax

The Border Adjustment Tax The Way Forward, or Regrettable Sidetrack?

The persistent trade deficit being run by the US, which is the major manifestation of the lopsided global trading system, has to be dealt with to ward off economic disaster. The reason for this is outlined specifically in this previous post, and generally in these posts. It is a sad but revealing commentary that it has … Continue readingThe Border Adjustment Tax The Way Forward, or Regrettable Sidetrack?

Trumponomics and the Strong Dollar

Since the November election results, markets have been gaining – so much so that the big Wall Street trading firms booked eye-popping earnings in the fourth quarter. “Citigroup’s $3.7 billion trading haul was its best fourth-quarter showing since the financial crisis. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which reported its results last week, had its best fourth-quarter for trading ever,” reports … Continue reading “Trumponomics and the Strong Dollar”

Trumponomics and the Great Rebalancing

Donald Trump’s election victory on November 8th is now a fact. Reactions to it have not been lacking, of course. On the economic front, they have ranged from the cautiously optimistic to predictions of utter doom. For their part, the financial markets went from downturn to upturn in short order (as chronicled here by Jerry … Continue reading “Trumponomics and the Great Rebalancing”

On the Road to Elysium When fiction approaches fact

The 2013 movie Elysium depicts a dystopian future of unremitting, jarring poverty juxtaposed with serene, detached wealth. Literally detached: wealth resides in a lavishly equipped, lebensraum-furnished space station, high above an impoverished, exhausted Earth. The planet is only useful as a source of provision and maintenance for the space station; its fruits have been extracted … Continue readingOn the Road to Elysium When fiction approaches fact

Prospects for the European Economy

We can conduct a similar analysis of the European economy as we did for the US economy. We will restrict our discussion to the Euro Area, the countries which share a common currency, the euro. The euro creates a unique, separate trading bloc, the internal dynamics of which need to be understood both to assess the … Continue reading “Prospects for the European Economy”

Prospects for the US Economy

THE WORLD ECONOMY IN RÉSUMÉ In the previous post we outlined the structural condition of the world economy, and in particular the structural flaws it contains. The main flaw is the divorce between production and consumption. Prior to the establishment of this new macroeconomic structure, supply and demand were roughly in balance in the domestic … Continue reading “Prospects for the US Economy”

What This Election is Really All About

The Economics of the 2016 Election Cycle The current election cycle in the United States is like none other in recent memory. At least in terms of vitriol, it is no contest. But beyond the partisan slams back and forth lies a deeper fundamental reality which really lies at the heart of the contest. In … Continue reading “What This Election is Really All About”

Pettis on Brexit

Michael Pettis is one contemporary economist whose blog is worth reading. His books The Volatility Machine and The Great Rebalancing are required reading for those who would understand the workings of international trade relations, currency movements, and financial markets. His comments regarding the recent “Brexit” vote by the UK’s electorate are worth delving into. “Last Friday’s … Continue reading “Pettis on Brexit”

The Problem of Saving

When Schumpeter writes, “Now to the question: what is a savings account?”,[1] he is not being facetious. There is more to savings than meets the eye. Of course, the bare fact of saving is simple enough to understand. Rather than spend all of our earnings, we take some and put it to one side. What … Continue reading “The Problem of Saving”