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Scott Sumner: June 2016

An Author Archive by Month (19 entries)
As I write this, Britain's FTSE100 stock index is soaring to its highest levels of the year. Admittedly, the domestic indices aren't doing that well, but they are also recovering. So what about all the gloom and doom associated with... MORE

Could a successful Brexit wreck the eurozone?

Monetary Policy
Scott Sumner
Timothy Lee has an excellent new post: Brexit isn't the most serious threat to the EU -- the euro is One surprising thing about Britain's vote to leave the EU is that the British economy has been doing better than... MORE

Commenter Matthew Moore asked the following question: Any chance of a post on the likely consequences of GBP devaluation? Ejection from the ERM caused a boom. I realise the UK wasn't deliberately overvalued this time, but are there parallels? In... MORE

Sumnerian luck and monetary reform

Monetary Policy
Scott Sumner
I can't recall how many times I've visited some tropical paradise, only to be told, "that's funny, it usually never rains at this time of year." When I move to California, I can guarantee that their beautiful Mediterranean climate will... MORE

Brexit is not about Britain

Monetary Policy
Scott Sumner
I'm seeing a lot of confusion about the implications of Brexit. Here are two common misconceptions: 1. Some people see it as a real shock, whereas it's primarily a monetary shock. 2. Some see it affecting Britain's economy by disrupting... MORE

Bob Murphy reviews The Midas Paradox

Austrian Economics
Scott Sumner
Bob Murphy was kind enough to review my recent book on the Great Depression, in the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. Here are the concluding two paragraphs: Putting aside the detailed statistics, I will end this review with a simple... MORE

A few years ago I would have thought the question posed above was absurd. Of course if operated safely, nuclear power can actually be good for the environment. And yet despite the fact that it is an almost carbon free... MORE

Right wing doesn't mean pro-free market

Political Economy
Scott Sumner
I recently did a post discussing the Indian government's decision not to reappoint central bank head Raghuram Rajan. All indications are that he was pushed aside for speaking out against crony capitalism in India, particularly the tendency of state-owned banks... MORE

Just how influential is the USA?

Unintended Consequences
Scott Sumner
Noam Chomsky and the neocons don't agree on much, but they do agree on one thing. The US is a very influential superpower. Of course the neocons think it is mostly a force for good, whereas Chomsky tends to see... MORE

Three ways to do a UBI: None are feasible

Income Distribution
Scott Sumner
There's been a lot of discussion about the advantages of a universal basic income (UBI), which might involve giving everyone an income of say $10,000 or $12,000/year. I've written on this before, here I'll just provide a very short and... MORE

Neoliberalism: There is no alternative

Alternative Economics
Scott Sumner
Margaret Thatcher coined the phrase; "The is no alternative" back in the 1980s. Of course this is not literally true, as the unfortunate residents of Venezuela are now discovering. But the alternative is so unpleasant that Thatcher's claim contains more... MORE

Reply to Jerry O'Driscoll

Monetary Policy
Scott Sumner
Marcus Nunes directed me to a post by Jerry O'Driscoll, which asked the following questions: The specific question I pose for advocates of NGDP targeting is how today will anything the Federal Reserve does to its balance sheet alter the... MORE

The Left, Greece, and The Big Lie

Alternative Economics
Scott Sumner
Scott Alexander recently pointed to the appalling record of the left-leaning media on economic policy: Venezuela is collapsing, with the New York Times describing it as "uncharted territory" for a semi-developed country to be so deep in economic disaster that... MORE

There's a new Congressional proposal for banking reform: NEW YORK - House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) today unveiled details of the Financial CHOICE Act - the Republican plan to replace the Dodd-Frank Act and promote economic growth. ... MORE

Does QE reduce the public debt burden?

Fiscal Policy
Scott Sumner
Bill directed me to an article that suggests the answer is yes: Japan for years has been renowned for having the world's largest government debt load. No longer. That's if you consider how the effective public borrowing burden is plunging... MORE

Why are NYT editorials so staggeringly bad?

Income Distribution
Scott Sumner
The New York Times might be the best newspaper in America; it's certainly one of the best. So how are they able to write editorials like this: In the United States, nearly one-third of adults, about 76 million people, are... MORE

Which direction for macro?

Macroeconomics
Scott Sumner
Marcus Nunes directed me to a post where Olivier Blanchard recommends some changes in the way we teach macro. In my view, all of these changes are in exactly the wrong direction, although I don't doubt that far more economists... MORE

Slippery slope? Let's hope so

Economics of Health Care
Scott Sumner
The Washington Post has an interesting article on the shortage of organs available for transplant. The article actually quoted something I wrote on the subject, and then goes on to discuss other views: From Sally Satel of the American Enterprise... MORE

The infrastructure illusion

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
Scott Sumner
In recent years, progressives have increasing advocated more spending on infrastructure as part of a broader strategy of fiscal stimulus. I've argued that their proposals are not well thought out, for a variety of reasons: 1. Fiscal stimulus would not... MORE

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