quarta-feira, 28 de janeiro de 2009
"Novos governos exigem novas consciências, novas economias exigem novas consciências. Eu gostaria de ver (neste fórum) algo fundamental para conter a crise mundial", disse Cho Tab Khen Zambuling, líder espiritual no Chile.
Esse homem de 61 anos, de barba branca, longas túnicas brancas e carregando um sino de vento para orações, já foi conhecido como Alfredo Sfeir-Younis, diretor do Banco Mundial. Ele agora dirige o Instituto Zambuling para a Transformação Humana.
Sem ter a menor pretensão de ser tão evoluído espiritualmente, eu também "gostaria de ver (neste fórum) algo fundamental para conter a crise mundial"
terça-feira, 27 de janeiro de 2009
"Classical liberalism eschews any affection for anarchy in the name of individual liberty. It recognizes the need for state force not only to prevent aggression and enforce contracts, but also to raise (flat) taxes, supply infrastructure and constrain monopoly. The public sector that emerges from a consistent application of these principles is not small potatoes. It easily encompasses a midsized antritust law, some (modest) form of regulation over network industries like telecommunications and railroads and control of public nuisances through the targeted application of environmental law. ...The Classical liberal works to design political institutions and legal rules to allow government to preserve social order without taking over decisions better served by private institutions and actors."
Epstein argumenta que é necessário marcar posição como libertário ou liberal clássico, pois no atual momento político, não existem iniciativas para reduzir o tamanho do governo aquém do seu tamanho ótimo. Pelo contrário, vivemos em um mundo de populismo raivoso, onde todas as pressões são por mais intervenção e regulação. Se quisermos melhorar a qualidade das nossas instituições e decisões políticas, devemos trazer mais racionalidade às discussões públicas com a introdução do argumento libertário. Caso contrário, as soluções escolhidas para os problemas econômicos podem levar a uma rápida deterioração das condições de vida. Pois, como diz o bordão do FMS, "um outro mundo é possível".
segunda-feira, 26 de janeiro de 2009
domingo, 25 de janeiro de 2009
sexta-feira, 23 de janeiro de 2009
"Politics will make matters worse, primarily because governments in both the rich and the developing worlds are intervening in their economies more broadly and deeply than at any time since the end of World War II. Policy makers around the world are hard at work crafting stimulus packages filled with subsidies and protections they hope will breathe new life into their domestic economies, and preparing to rewrite the rules and regulations that govern global markets.
Why is this dangerous? At the G-20 summit a few weeks ago, world leaders pledged to address the crisis by coordinating their economic policy responses. That's not going to happen, because politicians design stimulus packages with political motives -- to satisfy the needs of their constituents -- not to address imbalances in the global economy. This is as true in Washington as in Beijing. That's why politics will drive the global economy more directly (and less efficiently) in 2009 than at any point in decades. Its politics that is creating the biggest risk for markets this year.
This is part of a worrisome long- term trend. In China and Russia, where histories of command economics predispose governments toward what we've come to call state capitalism, the phenomenon is especially obvious. National oil companies, other state-owned enterprises, and sovereign wealth funds have brought politicians and political bureaucrats into economic decision-making on a scale we haven't seen in a very long time.
Now the U.S. has gotten in on the game. New York, once the financial capital of the world, is no longer even the financial capital of the U.S. That honor falls on Washington, where lawmakers are now injecting populist politics into economics decisions. Companies and sectors that should be left to drown are being floated lifeboats. This drama is also playing out across Europe and Asia. As engines of economic growth, Shanghai is losing ground to Beijing, Mumbai to Delhi, and Dubai to Abu Dhabi.
Global markets will also face the more traditional forms of political risk in 2009. Militancy in an increasingly unstable and financially fragile Pakistan will continue to spill across borders into Afghanistan and India. National elections in Israel and Iran risk bringing the international conflict over Iran's nuclear program to a boil, injecting new volatility into oil markets. The impact of the financial crisis on Russia's economy could produce significant levels of unrest across the country. And Iraq may face renewed civil violence, as recently dormant militia groups compete to fill the vacuum left by departing U.S. troops.
The world's first global recession is just getting started."
"No matter what kind of assistance is offered to banks, five principles must be adhered to, which have been absent in the implementation of the first round of TARP.
First, if a bank is deeply insolvent, the government should not waste taxpayer resources trying to prop it up with capital injections or enhanced insurance of its toxic assets.
There is no point in insuring the downside of a bank that would be unable to raise private capital and achieve capital adequacy even after receiving significant downside protection from the government. How can the government tell when a bank is not worth assisting with enhanced downside protection?
As in the case of preferred stock injections, market participants can help the government make that call. A bank that cannot raise adequate private funds conditional on receiving substantial downside insurance from the government should have to sell itself or wind down its operations.
Regulators should not make the determination that a bank is too distressed to be worth helping by mechanically applying current market values (which are temporarily depressed due to the liquidity crisis) to bank assets. Mortgage-backed security prices in today's market, in particular, should not be taken as estimates of the expected values of those instruments once the liquidity crisis passes; in many cases, reasonable expected recovery values are substantially higher than observed market prices.
A better test would be the ability of the bank to raise new capital in the market conditional on the potential to participate in the insurance program.
Second, banks receiving assistance should not be permitted to pay common stock dividends during the period in which they receive assistance. Dividends deplete equity capital and thus are inimical to the recapitalization objective. Furthermore, the primary economic cost that normally accompanies a dividend cut (adverse signaling of bank prospects to the market) should be absent when the dividend cut results from a government mandate.
Third, attaching warrants to preferred stock or other upside options for taxpayers is counterproductive to banks' abilities to raise private capital and should not be included in assistance agreements for banks.
Congress insisted on adding warrants to preferred stock purchases in the TARP legislation in an attempt to imitate private agreements (like Warren Buffett's with Goldman Sachs
Fourth, government should not insist on treating banks in different circumstances the same way in an attempt to disguise their differences. That Japanese-style "convoy" approach (which Secretary Paulson has favored in the past) never fools the market and fails to reward better-performing banks with more effective and lower-cost forms of assistance.
Fifth, banks that receive additional downside protection for toxic assets (beyond the proposed economy-wide 30 cent floor on mortgages) should pay a fair (i.e. sufficiently high) premium for that assistance. Although it is not possible to gauge with precision this fair premium, rough calculations using option pricing are possible and can be applied in a way that limits taxpayers' losses and rewards banks holding relatively better performing toxic assets."
quinta-feira, 22 de janeiro de 2009
"What do the data show about multipliers? Because it is not easy to separate movements in government purchases from overall business fluctuations, the best evidence comes from large changes in military purchases that are driven by shifts in war and peace. A particularly good experiment is the massive expansion of U.S. defense expenditures during World War II. The usual Keynesian view is that the World War II fiscal expansion provided the stimulus that finally got us out of the Great Depression. Thus, I think that most macroeconomists would regard this case as a fair one for seeing whether a large multiplier ever exists.
I have estimated that World War II raised U.S. defense expenditures by $540 billion (1996 dollars) per year at the peak in 1943-44, amounting to 44% of real GDP. I also estimated that the war raised real GDP by $430 billion per year in 1943-44. Thus, the multiplier was 0.8 (430/540). The other way to put this is that the war lowered components of GDP aside from military purchases. The main declines were in private investment, nonmilitary parts of government purchases, and net exports -- personal consumer expenditure changed little. Wartime production siphoned off resources from other economic uses -- there was a dampener, rather than a multiplier.
We can consider similarly three other U.S. wartime experiences -- World War I, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War -- although the magnitudes of the added defense expenditures were much smaller in comparison to GDP. Combining the evidence with that of World War II (which gets a lot of the weight because the added government spending is so large in that case) yields an overall estimate of the multiplier of 0.8 -- the same value as before. (These estimates were published last year in my book, "Macroeconomics, a Modern Approach.")
There are reasons to believe that the war-based multiplier of 0.8 substantially overstates the multiplier that applies to peacetime government purchases. For one thing, people would expect the added wartime outlays to be partly temporary (so that consumer demand would not fall a lot). Second, the use of the military draft in wartime has a direct, coercive effect on total employment. Finally, the U.S. economy was already growing rapidly after 1933 (aside from the 1938 recession), and it is probably unfair to ascribe all of the rapid GDP growth from 1941 to 1945 to the added military outlays. In any event, when I attempted to estimate directly the multiplier associated with peacetime government purchases, I got a number insignificantly different from zero."
quarta-feira, 21 de janeiro de 2009
Do neoliberal economic policies help or hinder human development? Many have argued that such policies promote economic stability and growth, which may have indirect positive effects on human welfare. Others claim that neoliberal policies retard human development. We argue that neoliberal economic policies may improve the human welfare in ways that are independent of their effects on economic performance. Specifically, this paper hypothesizes that open international trade policies, low-inflation macroeconomic environments, and market-oriented property rights regimes promote human development across the world. We test this argument by examining the impact of several measures of neoliberal policies on infant mortality rates across the world between 1960 and 1999. Results suggest that openness to imports, long-term membership in the GATT and WTO, low rates of inflation, and effective contract enforcement are each associated with lower rates of infant mortality across the world, even when controlling for countries' economic performance.
1. Ordinary taxpayers would like an answer to this question: Why have they been billed more than $45 billion to rescue Citigroup from failure when, as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, you were its primary supervisor? Three major problems led to Citigroup’s downfall: bad investment policy; overexpansion, which overwhelmed Citigroup’s management; and an inadequate capital base. Why was Citigroup’s supervision inadequate to deal with these problems?
— ANNA JACOBSON SCHWARTZ, an economist at the National Bureau of Economic Research and the author, with Milton Friedman, of “A Monetary History of the United States, 1867 to 1960”
2. The American financial regulatory system is highly fragmented, with authority divided among federal and state governments, the Federal Reserve, the comptroller of the currency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, etc. Do you favor an overhaul of the system and, if so, what should the new system look like?— JOHN STEELE GORDON, the author of “An Empire of Wealth: The Epic History of American Economic Power”
3. Should debt securities that are held by regulated banks and pension funds be rated by multiple independent credit reports that have been commissioned by a federal agency, or should we continue to let the issuers of debts decide who will rate their risks?— ROGER B. MYERSON, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and a winner of the 2007 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences
E uma fantástica pegadinha: (Geithner não pagou alguns impostos quando funcionário do FMI, tributaristas americanos dizem que o sistema tributário é tão complexo que mesmo especialistas podem se confundir.....)
4. The American tax code is so complex that even Treasury secretary nominees can easily make mistakes on their returns. Furthermore, while income tax rates are 10 percent to 35 percent for individuals and 35 percent for corporations, because of the proliferation of deductions, credits, exclusions and loopholes, the revenue from income tax amounts to only 10 percent of gross domestic product. Should you give priority to simplifying the code and enforcing compliance before raising rates?— CHARLES O. ROSSOTTI, the commissioner of internal revenue from 1997 to 2002
"More savings need to be invested, and firms need an incentive to invest in order to help aggregate demand in the short term and promote long-term growth. The best way to do this is to make all capital expenditures and research and development investments done in 2009 fully tax deductible in the current fiscal year.
A large temporary tax incentive may be just enough to jolt investors from their current paralysis to take action. Such a switch will also be fueled by the temporary capital-gains tax cut mentioned above, which will motivate people to move their savings from money-market funds to stocks, increasing valuations, investments and confidence.
Many are concerned about what we can do to help the poor weather this crisis. Unlike during the Great Depression, we have an unemployment subsidy that protects the poor from the most severe consequences of this recession. If we want to further protect them, it is better to extend this unemployment subsidy than to invest in hasty public projects. Furthermore, tax cuts have a much better effect on job creation than highway rehabilitation.
No doubt, it is much easier to sell the public and Congress a plan for more public works than tax cuts, particularly while Main Street despises Wall Street -- with some good reason. But the role of a good economic team is to courageously propose the right economic policy, even when it is unpopular. The role of a president is to sell it politically, as real change we can believe in."
terça-feira, 20 de janeiro de 2009
Uma boa teoria de regulação deve considerar, portanto, não somente aspectos normativos (o que regular, como regular) mas também seus aspectos positivos (sua economia política). Pois, na prática, o impacto de agências regulatórias pode ser apenas o de aumentar custos de transação e piorar o funcionamento de mercados. Para que tê-las, então?
domingo, 18 de janeiro de 2009
Ainda sobre a Carta Capital, desta semana, que anuncia a demissão de Henrique Meirelles do BC. Tem um artigo do diretor de Políticas Macroeconômicas do IPEA, João Sicsú, "Os Sete Pecados Capitais". Um verdadeiro amontoado de bobagens que me deixou boquiaberto, embora eu reconheça que tenha seu lado didático: vou passar aos alunos de introdução à economia como "O Jogo dos Sete Erros".
sexta-feira, 16 de janeiro de 2009
FAVORÁVEIS AO ESTÍMULO FISCAL:
- Obama Team (Christina Romer e Jared Bernstein). A curiosidade deste artigo é que ele não utiliza os multiplicadores de impostos da pesquisa acadêmica de Christina Romer e David Romer. O motivo é o reconhecimento explícito de maior incerteza a respeito dos parâmetros atuais da economia. Embora este reconhecimento seja salutar, ele também impõe limites à confiabilidade dos resultados apresentados.
- Paul Krugman
- Mark Thoma
- Stephen Gordon
- Brad DeLong
- Feldstein e Stiglitz
- Stiglitz e aqui
CÉTICOS QUANTO AOS SEUS EFEITOS:
- Gregory Mankiw
- Tyler Cowen
- David Backus
- Robert Lucas Jr.
- David Henderson
- Jonathan Bean
- Edward Glaeser e aqui e aqui
- Arnold Kling e aqui
- Gary Becker
OUTRAS ANÁLISES INTERESSANTES:
- Kenneth Rogoff
- Nouriel Roubini
quinta-feira, 15 de janeiro de 2009
"An incipient distinction between micro and macroeconomics was already present
in classical times, and there is no reason to pursue a unified economics today. Rather,
for the first time ever, we now have the means for economics to become a booming
science similar to what biology is today. This may become a reality if economists
eventually (1) embrace the old distinction between micro and macro, (2) contribute to
providing foundations for preferences in neuroscience, and (3) open their minds to
rationalizations of aggregate economic phenomena by non-equilibrium statistical