Dean Baker

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The Global Warming Lie Detector
The House's passage of the Waxman-Markey bill raises the possibility that the United States will finally do something on global warming. This prospect has the industry hacks screaming at top volume about the horrible fate that awaits the economy. Everyone should know not to take them seriously, as I will explain in a moment.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009
New Rules Aren't Enough
The Obama administration 's proposal for reforming financial regulation has many useful features. In particular, the proposed consumer financial protection agency likely would have prevented many of the worst abuses in the subprime market over the last decade, as well as in other areas of consumer lending.
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Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Economic Recovery is Wishful Thinking
Last week we got a whole series of bad reports on the state of the economy. New and existing home sales both remain near their lowest level for the downturn, as house prices continue to drop at the rate of 2% a month. New orders for capital goods , a key measure of investment demand, fell by 2% in April. Excluding the volatile transportation sector, new orders were still down by 1.5% .
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Waterboard the Fed?
To my knowledge, no one has proposed waterboarding the US Federal Reserve . But the hostile reaction of much of the country's political leadership to suggestions that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit the Federal Reserve Board might lead people to think that waterboarding was being called for.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Money to Burn: Was the Bank Bailout Really Necessary?
US Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner says that we don't need to bail out the banks anymore based on the results of his stress tests . We should follow up quickly on his assessment and start shutting the special Fed lending facilities enjoyed by the banks, the FDIC loan guarantee programme and the AIG slush fund.
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Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Relief from the Stress Tests
US Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner told the country last week that the banks are essentially OK , based on his stress tests of the country's 19 largest banks. Geithner's call may not seem quite right.
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Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Outsourcing Top Management: The Lesson of Fiat-Chrysler
The media coverage of the auto bailouts has focused on the need for union autoworkers to take big pay cuts, causing them to once again miss the real story. The Fiat-Chrysler deal shows that the pay problem is at the top, not the bottom. At the end of the day, the new Chrysler is still likely to be producing most of its cars in the United States. What the new company will be getting from abroad is technology and top management.
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009
FTT: The Cost of Business on Wall Street
Just like that perfect sweater, a financial transactions tax (FTT) would look just great on those Wall Street bankers and financiers. A modest tax, which would be too small for normal investors to even notice, could easily raise more than $100bn a year . That's real money even in the land of AIG and Citigroup bailouts.
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Economics in a Bubble
It is often said that the there are few forces as destructive as the power of bad economics. Rarely has this been more clearly demonstrated than in the current crisis.
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Thursday, April 16, 2009
The Need to Tax the Wealthy
The quest to increase taxes on the wealthy is not a gratuitous attack on upper income households; it is driven by the need to raise more revenue to run the government. While many deficit hawks been irresponsible in raising fears of an impending collapse of the American government, the projected deficits for years following the recovery are in fact larger than is desirable.
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