Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Bonds

Why Italy is in Trouble

Italy finally has a coalition government–consisting largely of Lega Nord and the Five Star Movement, two Euroskeptic populist parties. The new coalition was elected to take Italy in a new direction, but this will prove difficult to do. Italy is a great example of what’s gone wrong in Europe. Let me tell you its story…

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The Trump Infrastructure Plan Has Potential

Our new president-elect has a plan that has serious potential that we should all get really excited about–he wants $1 trillion in new spending on infrastructure. This sounds like a lot of money, but our crumbling infrastructure could use even more–the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates we’d need to spend $3.6 trillion to bring our infrastructure up to speed by 2020. Beyond the substantive benefits provided by the new infrastructure, there are tremendous economic advantages. An additional $1 trillion in spending would generate roughly somewhere between 6% and 10% GDP growth over the life of the program, depending on the size of the fiscal multiplier. It would also create piles of new construction jobs in the process. There are however some potential issues with how Trump wants to fund the plan, and we should talk about how to get the maximum benefits from it.

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The Stock Market Crash: What China and the US are Doing Wrong

Stock markets have been stumbling this week. To some degree, this is happening because corrections are needed, but one of the key reasons these corrections are happening right now is China. China’s stock market has been in a tailspin lately, and the Chinese government has taken a series of measures to prop up its stock market, all of which are only succeeding in making the situation much worse. Right wing commentators in the west are pointing at China and claiming that government intervention in the economy doesn’t work. This is a simplistic and reductive response–the problem is not that China is taking action, but that the specific actions that China is taking are the wrong actions.

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Exposing the Myth of Austerity: An Interview with Benjamin Studebaker

A couple of days ago, I did an interview with Robbie Bennett and Jakob Lount from the People’s Resistance an organization devoted to challenging the British government’s austerity policies. The interview predominately covered austerity and UK and US economic policy, though there’s also a little bit about me personally and my academic work, if that interests you. They have kindly permitted me to share the interview with you in full below–you can also read it on their WordPress or their Tumblr, and they are also on Facebook and on Twitter. The introduction and the questions are their words, the answers are mine: Read the rest of this entry »

The Assimilation of François Hollande is Complete

We are the Borg. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile.

If the French thought their 2012 election of socialist François Hollande over former president Nicolas Sarkozy meant that they would have their Keynes and avoid austerity, they have been proven fatally wrong. Hollande has just announced plans for a €50 billion austerity package, a cut of 4% of France’s GDP. He has promised to cut taxes on businesses by €30 billion, but this will come in the form of the elimination of a requirement that French businesses fund a family welfare program. Based on the IMF’s multiplier estimate for depressed economies (1.5), France will lose 6% in potential GDP growth over the next 3 years under this plan, potentially resulting in a new French recession. Hollande’s argument for this plan betrays a stunning incompetence on economic matters and illustrates that French voters have been played–there was no democratic alternative to Sarkozy in 2012.

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