Steven Pearlstein: Marty Sullivan figured out how the world’s biggest companies avoided billions in taxes. Here’s how he wants to stop them.
Liveblogging World War II: October 26, 1943

Noted for October 26, 2013


  1. "Once you have involuntary unemployment, [market optimality] fails. Keynes’ famous thought experiment of burying pound notes in coal mines made the point that an intervention that would be totally absurd in terms of standard microeconomic reasoning might nonetheless help to alleviate a recession and therefore make society better off.... None of the standard conclusions of... microeconomics can be assumed to be valid under conditions of sustained high unemployment. Keynes specifically presented his macroeconomic ideas as making the world safe for neoclassical micro. If governments could stabilise the aggregate economy with fiscal policy, there was no need for comprehensive economic planning of the kind being practised, with apparent success, in the Soviet Union, or for ad hoc interventions like the price-fixing elements of the New Deal.... The failure of macroeconomists and finance economists to provide either a warning of the Global Financial Crisis or any consistent advice on how to deal with the ensuing Great Recession it isn’t just a problem for them. It undermines the whole economics profession. The sooner we realise that the entire discipline is in a state of scientific crisis the sooner we might start to do something about it": John Quiggin: The macro foundations of micro
  2. "Notice [Rick Perry's] obvious physical threat [to Ben Bernanke]: 'do to him'. Not 'say to him', but 'do to him'. Not 'I'd do' something to him, but 'we' would. And when someone says 'we'd' like to 'do' something 'pretty ugly' to a public official – with a reference to Texas lore, where lynching was once commonplace, I'm sorry but this was a threat of violence, especially in the context of [accusing Bernanke of] a capital offense": Andrew Sullivan: Dissent Of The Day
  3. "Former Republican congressional staffer Mike Lofgren first alerted me to this phenomenon two years ago... he discussed the tactic of filibustering all legislation in the Senate and all nominations to administration positions, regardless of merit.... 'A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress's generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.' A deeply cynical tactic, to be sure, but a psychologically insightful one that plays on the weaknesses both of the voting public and the news media'... An ABC News/Washington Post poll out this week confirms that the strategy is working. I recalled Lofgren’s statement on Wednesday when I saw that House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) blasted the Internal Revenue Service for delaying the 2014 filing season by two weeks. Said Camp, “There is no reason the IRS should not be able to do its job on time.” The IRS explanation for the delay, however, is both understandable and believable—it is because of the 2-week government shutdown that Camp’s party petulantly undertook a quixotic effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act": Bruce Bartlett: Republicans and the “Lofgren Corollary”
  4. "Let’s suppose that after allowing nominal GDP to fall 9% below trend between mid-2008 in mid-2009, the Fed had started a new and lower trend line with 5% growth. That would’ve been an unconscionably contractionary monetary policy by any reasonable standard. That would’ve meant no trend reversion at all. And yet I believe that if they had done this unconscionably contractionary monetary policy beginning in mid-2009 the recession would now be over and the unemployment rate would have fallen to below 6%.... Think about the fact that monetary policy has been much more contractionary than the unconscionably contractionary policy I just sketched out, and it’s getting increasingly contractionary as NGDP growth continues to slow. So when will I stop asking for “MOAR”? When it’s no longer needed. But so far people like me and Lars Svensson have been consistently right and my critics, even inflation hawks that say the Fed should ignore unemployment and focus like a laser on 2% inflation, have been consistently wrong. Officials within the Fed and Riksbank and ECB have also been consistently wrong.  I see no reason to change my views as long as events continue confirming the validity of the market monetarist approach to policy": Scott: Sumner: TheMoneyIllusion » MOAR!

Plus: Long:

Justin Fox: What We’ve Learned from the Financial Crisis | Zadie Smith: Love in the Gardens | Kenneth Rogoff: "Eine Hexenjagd" |

Plus: Short:

Jed Graham: ObamaCare Myths & Truths: Employer Mandate's Impact On Jobs, Hours | Gillian Tett: A revolution in thinking | Josh Barro: Why Sequestration Won't Go Away, And What Could Change That | Greg Sargent: Immigration reform is dead. Or maybe it isn’t | James Sattler: 6 Other Times Republicans Admitted Voting Restrictions Are Just About Disenfranchising Democrats |