Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Spot the Problem

Very short on time tonight but it was very easy to do my boxing workout after another stellar post by my favorite economist Paul Krugman! I cannot leave this one alone!

Spot the Problem
My major argument against most economists is that they cannot answer basic questions they can only offer mechanics of action. Case in point, Mr. Krugmans post today:
Euro perspective
Krugman explains that the trouble makers of Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal are small fish:
Overall, the group of stressed economies account for about 20 percent of the eurozone’s GDP. So even a sharp fiscal retrenchment wouldn’t be all that big a shock; still, it certainly wouldn’t help.

No big deal.

What Mr. Krugman fails to address is the plight of these countries sounds all too familiar:
-too much spending
-low tax revenue
-crushing social cost spending
-long term structural issues with capital management

To am economist a Euro led bailout solves the problem because Greece will not default TODAY. They offer no help as to changing the situation on the ground that may actually help these countries turn things around.

Pretend and Extend just went global and I guess if you kick the can across time zones enough times maybe the can will never stop rolling. Better hope so because the Krugman's of the world will not have anything constructive to say at that point.

Have a good night.


Dave Narby said...


"Extend and pretend" has become "delay and pray"!

watchtower said...

I lifted the following comment from G.H. over at Mark's site:

"G.H. said...
From Calculated Risk:

It's Pig'd!

I am in your country, eatin yer greenshoots....



February 9, 2010 8:39 PM"

getyourselfconnected said...

I saw that one and the graphic is very funny.

Seems to be a worldwide religious conversion going on these days!

watchtower said...

Remember when you said that you welcomed questions?

I've been thinking of this chart all day while at work:


As you can see this is the 'Total Credit Market Debt as a % of GDP' chart.

In Oct of 08 you wrote:

"At what point will the system break down and go supernova?"

Which was from your post titled:

"Does The United States Have a Debt Chandrasekhar Limit?"


OK, now that we have that established, my question is:

Does the debt to GDP chart have a correlation to your 'Chandrasekhar Limit' question you posed back then?

The second question is:

You see where the spike did the cliff dive around 1934 in the first big run up in the chart?

What caused it back then, and is it 'different' this time around?

I guess what I'm saying is that chart is one scary a## chart if it actually means anything anymore.

Of course the Greece thing has me thinking about our nation and this kind of stuff again.

Any thoughts?

S. Gompers said...

Good post, No one will ever borrow their way to prosperity. It is after all, fake money...

I left this for you previously, wasn't sure if you got it. As we discussed at Sonics.

The expansions and contractions are controlled, and somebody makes money both ways.


“They say that we are opposing national bank currency; it is true. If you will read what Thomas Benton said, you will find he said that, in searching history, he could find but one parallel to Andrew Jackson; that was Cicero, who destroyed the conspiracy of Catiline and saved Rome. Benton said that Cicero only did for Rome what Jackson did for us when he destroyed the bank conspiracy and saved America. We say in our platform that we believe that the right to coin and issue money is a function of government. We believe it. We believe that it is a part of sovereignty, and can no more with safety be delegated to private individuals than we could afford to delegate to private individuals the power to make penal statutes or levy taxes. Mr. Jefferson, who was once regarded as good Democratic authority, seems to have differed in opinion from the gentleman who has addressed us on the part of the minority. Those who are opposed to this proposition tell us that the issue of paper money is a function of the bank, and that the government ought to go out of the banking business. I stand with Jefferson rather than with them, and tell them, as he did that the issue of money is a function of government, and that the banks ought to go out of the governing business.”

William Jennings Bryan, Cross of Gold speach 1896

getyourselfconnected said...

just finished a rough 10 rounds of boxing training and I will start reviewing your question right now though I am having trouble keeping my arms up over the keyboard! Thanks for bringing up that post, it is one of amy all time favorites!

You know the site was locked before I could copy the link so thanks very much for tracking me down. Again, I will maybe print that out and read it tonight on the couch with my arms down!
Great to see you! Sonic's site seems locked so I lost touch with you.