Benjamin Studebaker

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

Tag: Interest Rate

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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The 3 Ways Governments Raise Money Part III: Printing

This is the conclusion of my three-part series on how governments finance themselves. The aim is to clear up the popular misconception that the state’s budget is similar to that of a corporation or a household, that government borrowing is always necessarily a bad thing. Previously we talked about taxation and borrowing–today is all about printing. Read the rest of this entry »

Hillary Clinton’s Problems Go Far Beyond Being “Out of Touch”

Hillary Clinton has been getting reamed for being “out of touch” for comments she made regarding the Clinton family’s wealth.  The Clintons earned $109 million during their first 7 years out of office (for an average annual income of $15.5 million), but she nonetheless claimed that the Clinton family was “dead broke”and in debt when it left the White House in 2001, and that the Clintons are not truly “well off“. While Clinton badly misses the mark here, what’s far more disturbing is the role her husband’s administration played in enriching people like them at the eventual expense of the wider population.

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Evaluating Erdogan

Recently there have been demonstrations against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The demonstrations began because the government was intending to demolish a park in Istanbul (not Constantinople) and replace it with a shopping mall. This relatively pedestrian protest escalated when the Turkish government removed the protesters in a violent police raid. The target of the protests has now expanded from the park to the policies of Erdogan more broadly, specifically the social conservatism of his government and its tendency to give preference to Islam in its legislation. A lot of people in the media in developed states have begun referring to this as a “Turkish Spring”, and the default reaction has been to support the protesters, assuming that they are under governments similar to those that prevailed in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and other such places. The instinct is to view Turkey as just another Middle Eastern country protesting a generically malevolent government. A poor job has been done of evaluating the Turkish situation specifically, of giving the Erdogan government a fair evaluation. Today, I’d like to contribute to rectifying that.

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Is the Eurozone a German Empire?

Given the title, it’s necessary to make a clarification. I support a federal Europe. It’s the only way Europe can regain its ability to make foreign and economic policy independently from the United States, and regain its position as a leading region. However, after running some numbers today, I no longer believe in the Euro as presently constituted. Here’s why.
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