Marcus Noland and Stephen Haggard of the Peterson Institute for International Economics have been studying North Korea's economy for a book tentatively titled "Hard Target: Sanctions, Inducements, and the North Korea Problem". Their research appears to have revealed something unusual — North Korea, despite being an economic basket-case, may be running a trade surplus. If that's true, sanctions may well a losing tactic for the international community.
The big story in today’s GDP numbers is that companies’ inability or unwillingness to invest has hit a record level. Non-financial firms’ financial balance - the gap between retained profits and investment - reached £26bn, or 7.4% of GDP, in Q4. This was by far the largest since current records began in 1987.
The Chancellor said the “rainy day” measure, requiring Britain to generate more in revenues and tax yields than it spends, would act as “insurance against difficult times ahead”.
“Provided the recovery is sustained, our goal is to achieve that surplus in the next Parliament,” he added.
The congressional Republican goal of balancing the budget in 10 years seems a solution in search of a problem. Proponents seem more focused on the politics and optics of the idea than the economics. The 10-year goal supposedly provides a) sharp contrast to President Obama’s apathy toward the issue and b) clear and simple policy for dispirited GOPers to rally around.
Copernicus never really proved the earth went around the sun. Rather he argued, that if one were to assume it did, other phenomenon would be understandable. This essay proposes to employ the Copernican strategy to understand the political economy. This thought experiment requires holding in abeyance the usual narrative one hears from commentators, analysts and policy makers from across the political spectrum. They typically give capital a privileged position, but what if it is not true, or no longer true?
Politicians and economic illiterates frequently assume two wrongs make a right. Here is a case in point: Japan panel backs sales tax hike coupled with stimulus.
Japan's government won backing for a controversial decision to raise the national sales tax in 2014 after influential members of a special advisory panel said the step would not threaten economic recovery or business confidence if it was coupled with other stimulus.
President Barack Obama’s bold assertion in a recent interview that oil from Keystone XL “is going to be piped down to the Gulf to be sold on the world oil markets,” is at odds with U.S. government policy.
If only it was that easy.
The U.S. Export Administration Act of 1979 restricts the export of crude out of the country, except to friendly Canada and Mexico.
From today's Macroeconomic Advisers blogpost, by Joel Prakken:
Frequently, partisan commentators — and even some economists — exclaim that the stimulus has failed because the unemployment rate now exceeds the peak shown in projections prepared before ARRA was implemented.