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Korea's Debt Mountain

July 31st, 2013
in Op Ed, syndication

by Jayati Ghosh, Triplecrisis.com

Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea, is now one of the “happening” cities of Asia. Psy’s “Gangnam style” (the pop music video that has gone viral online with more than 6 billion hits) that somewhat randomly celebrates the posh modern district of Gangnam is only one of various ways in which the city is supposed to reflect the new cool. There is growing recognition that this city is both vibrant and livable, with its vertiginous high-rise buildings coexisting with clean streets, fine new museums and spots that combine the natural beauty of its forested hills with carefully preserved (or reconstructed) palaces of the Joseon dynasty.

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Quantifying QE

July 31st, 2013
in Op Ed

QE – Why $85 Billion per Month? Why Not $170 or $42 -1/2 Billion?

by Paul Kasriel, The Econtrarian

Author's warning: If you should choose to read this commentary, I recommend that you have ready a pot of coffee or your chosen type of cognitive stimulant. The commentary is lengthy and geeky.

Am I the only one who wondered how the Federal Reserve arrived at a figure of $85 billion as the amount of longer-maturity securities it planned to purchase per month in its third round of quantitative easing (QE)? Why not double that amount? Why not half that amount? How will the Fed know when it is time to “taper” its securities purchases? How will the Fed know by how much to taper? Inquiring minds want to know.

accountant-calculating

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Survival of the Least Skilled?

July 30th, 2013
in Op Ed

by Dirk Ehnts, Econoblog101

Recently I have been thinking whether intelligence is aimed at finding the truth or aimed at survival. I came to the conclusion that the latter was right, but that we can use reason to build a society where the two coincide. Institutions matter.

monopoly-game

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The Next Chair of the Federal Reserve Must Be A Regulator

July 30th, 2013
in Op Ed

by Robert E. Prasch

This article was posted in New Economic Perspective 25 July 2013.

If we go by the rumors circulating in the financial press, the Obama Administration is on the verge of selecting a proven failure – Lawrence Summers – to be the next Chair of the Federal Reserve System. This is the man, let us recall, whose greatest success in office was to work for the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999 and the nudge along the passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (which forbade any agency from regulating Credit Default Swaps). These profoundly mistaken decisions provided the nation’s largest and most irresponsible financial institutions with the bulk of the permission they needed to leverage up their balance sheets, hide the risks inherent in the mortgage-backed securities they were pushing onto unsuspecting investors, all while enabling them to become Too Big To Fail (and, as no less than the Attorney General of the United States has affirmed, Too Big To Prosecute).

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Chinese Growth Set for Lower Lows

July 29th, 2013
in Op Ed, syndication

Written by

China is slowing fast. Since hitting a post-financial crisis high of 11.9% in the first quarter of 2010, Chinese quarterly GDP growth has risen in just two of the subsequent thirteen quarters. The latest figure of 7.5%, for the second quarter of this year, is down from 7.7% in the first quarter and 7.9% in the last quarter of 2012.

This downtrend is set to continue into the second-half. Beijing has just launched a new campaign to rid the Party of “formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance.” This will stifle both consumption and investment for at least the next two quarters.

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