Morning Must-Read: Kevin Drum on Paul Krugman on the Obama Recovery
Liveblogging the American Revolution: December 7, 1776: Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette

Noted for Your Evening Procrastination for December 7, 2014

Screenshot 10 3 14 6 17 PMOver at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog


Must- and Shall-Reads:

And Over Here:

  1. Kevin Drum: The Obama Recovery Has Been Miles Better Than the Bush Recovery: "Bush benefited not just from a historic housing bubble but from big increases in government spending and government employment. But even at that his recovery was anemic. Obama had no such help. He had to fight not just a historic housing bust, but big drops in both government spending and government employment. Despite that, his recovery outperformed Bush's by a wide margin.... And as Krugman points out, it's unclear just how much economic policy from either administration really affected their respective recoveries anyway: 'I would argue that in some ways the depth of the preceding slump set the stage for a faster recovery. But the point is that the usual suspects have been using the alleged uniquely poor performance under Obama to claim uniquely bad policies, or bad attitude, or something. And if that’s the game they want to play, they have just scored an impressive own goal.' Roger that. If you want to credit Bush for his tax cuts and malign Obama for his stimulus program and his regulatory posture, then you have to accept the results as well. And by virtually any measure, including the fact that the current recovery hasn't ended in an epic global crash, Obama has done considerably better than Bush."

  2. Kenneth Rogoff: Can Japan Reboot?: "How can aging advanced economies revive growth after a financial crisis?... The first round of... 'Abenomics'... failed to generate sustained inflation.... The question is... Abenomics 2.0.... My own view is... Abenomics 1.0 basically had it right: 'whatever it take'” monetary policy to restore inflation, supportive fiscal policy, and structural reforms.... The central bank... has been delivering... the other two 'arrows'... have fallen far short. There has been no significant progress on supply-side reforms.... The timing of the April 2014 consumption-tax hike (from 5% to 8%) was also unfortunate..."

  3. BLS: Employment Situation Summary: "Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 321,000 in November and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.... The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 2.8 million in November. These individuals accounted for 30.7 percent of the unemployed.... The civilian labor force participation rate held at 62.8 percent in November and has been essentially unchanged since April. The employment-population ratio, at 59.2 percent, was unchanged in November..."

  4. Justin Fox: On Annalee Saxenian: What Still Makes Silicon Valley So Special: "She hasn’t just heard about it. She was the first to really tell the story, in one of the most important and influential business books of the past quarter century. In Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128, Saxenian set out to describe what differentiated California’s Silicon Valley from the tech industry outside Boston..."

Should Be Aware of:


  1. Adam Serwer: How Sotomayor undermined Obama's NSA: "When Obama first tapped Sotomayor in 2009, she was savaged as an intellectual lightweight, an affirmative action baby who would never be able to write the sort of far-sighted dissents or concurrences that might persuade judges appointed by the opposite party or potentially become law. That is, the exact sort of concurrence she penned in Jones.  When the woman who would become the first Latina Supreme Court justice wasn’t being attacked as an anti-white racist by the likes of National Journal columnist Stuart Taylor Jr. or former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, leading liberal legal minds were wringing their hands about her supposed lack of sophistication or intelligence. In a 2009 article for The New Republic, Jeffrey Rosen quoted anonymous sources questioning Sotomayor’s intelligence and wondered whether she met the ‘demanding standard’ for a Supreme Court Justice. Sotomayor, Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe wrote to Obama, is ‘not nearly as smart as she seems to think she is,’ and her ‘reputation for being something of a bully could well make her liberal impulses backfire’ and alienate potential swing votes from the conservative wing of the court. Rosen didn’t respond to a request for comment from msnbc. Tribe however, acknowledged underestimating Sotomayor..."

  2. Simon Wren-Lewis: Government Debt, Financial Markets and Dead Parrots: "If you are thinking about buying government debt... you need to worry about... whether the government will choose to default... [and] about forced default, where the government is unable to ‘roll over’ (refinance) its existing debt, because the market will no longer lend to it. The two are... not identical. The second risk... [is] a self-fulfilling crisis: default occurs because the market believes default will happen, even if the government actually has no intention to default.... This is where your own central bank is very useful. It eliminates this second type of risk.... This is what the ECB refused to do until its OMT programme in September 2012. Until that point, markets were worried that governments in Ireland, Portugal and Spain would... be forced to default. With OMT the ECB changed its mind, which brought the crisis to an end. The Eurozone parrot was not completely wiped out because the ECB still made its support conditional... but it is not the bird it once was. The parrot probably never flew in countries like the UK, US or Japan because these countries had their own central banks. Of course many people claim to have seen it, but it seemed to disappear as quickly as it came..."