Krugman Argues Unsuccessfully with Himself about Economic Fundamentals and He Loses his own Argument on Both Sides
Abstract: We are invited to a lecture, ex cathedra, on the ‘fundamentals of economics’ from a left-wing radical advocate. The terms and ‘theory’ are couched in self-defined requisites lacking any elementary basis. The key rational defense position for economic sanity: to curtain more wild spending by our government, raising fiscal fears of default or worse, namely from massive debt, is absent from this screed. Today, we are treated to a short, stuffy diatribe on some ‘fundamentals’ where the definitions are missing. Here our author mongers for any and all reasons to tax and spend or just spend if they cannot tax.
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“One confusion I often run into is the belief that there’s some contradiction between times when I and others argue that markets are wrong — as I did when diagnosing a housing bubble, and now in questioning the market’s optimistic beliefs about inflation — and my point that low interest rates undermine the argument for immediate fiscal austerity.”— The Conscience of a Liberal: Arguing With Markets By Paul Krugman, Op-Ed Contributor.
The initial thought is: how can markets be wrong? I am confused by this confusion on h is part. After all, he purports to teach economics. Markets are markets and sometimes bad decisions are made by investors, but the market is never ‘wrong.’ We start off, as is usual with one of the far-left-oriented writers gurgling away at our federal spending programs at the near-bankrupt New York Times—aka the Walter Duranty Papers. This is a propaganda screed mill that mostly wearies the senses with dogmatic and tautological essays on higher taxes and bigger government that are supposed to solve some problems but never d0. Combining taxes and bigger government makes this essay at the Times a two toot pony. With some injected mystification about how to stimulate an economy in a horrid mess like ours we must tolerate the confusion of terms as it relates to the snarled words “immediate fiscal austerity.” Cipher phrases appear in this form from time to time at the sometime paper. They signal the lackeys in government. This might be some oblique reference to his pejorative declaration “austerians” and its crass usage. He references a plot that shows little or no correlation between the core inflation rate and unemployment from three time periods as expected [why would there be??] and attempts to make some point here, which he promptly drops.
This is puzzling as one can never define a market as ‘wrong’ unless you must argue with the many buyers and sellers and sort out their political imbalance indexes in some sample trading session. Markets are never wrong they just proceed forward. Are markets wrong when they fall and correct when they rise?
“Financial markets seem convinced that quantitative easing will be highly effective at solving at least one problem: inflation running well below the Fed’s 2-percent-or-so target. The chart above shows the difference between interest rates on 5-year inflation-protected bonds (which are now negative) and rates on unprotected bonds; implicitly, the market forecast of inflation over the next five years has risen half a point.”— The Conscience of a Liberal: Do Investors Expect Too Much From Bernanke?
Apparently, we are now arguing that inflation is necessary [deflation is truly not amusing] and that low interest rates will inject liquidity into the system and increase the money supply M2 and we will get our 2% inflation buffer up and beyond the threshold of deflation. This has not worked so far. Krugman’s anxiety here is based on the pricing of bonds where they seem to indicate that inflation will not happen or they would be descending rapidly. If the Fed buys up T-bills then that money goes to Treasury and into the deficit or elsewhere and that money should have some inflation effect. But, this is a deflationary spiral and such liquidity injections do not necessarily turn the corner on inflation or growth or employment or anything else.
So, he guesses:
“My guess, then, is that the markets are overreacting; they’re thinking, “The Fed is printing money!”, while forgetting that this ultimately matters, even for inflation, only to the extent that it seriously reduces unemployment.”— The Conscience of a Liberal: Do Investors Expect Too Much From Bernanke?
Apparently printing money, ‘quantitative easing’ as in the vernacular or perhaps using the formal terms monetizing the debt leads to more employment. Krugman cites PLOG [Prolonged Large Output Gaps] to support his case, or what appears to be his case, that “…in the modern world, rapid deflation doesn’t happen, and in fact slight positive inflation often persists in the face of an obviously depressed economy…”
There is no thinking here. There is no bubble in the bond market because there is no unreasonable demand—a criterion for such an animal. Krugman apparently failed to read about the corporate junk bond market last year and how well it is doing. Interest rates are falling because we are in a debt-driven deflationary spiral where the crash in real estate prices initiated by the phony the
We are in deflation by these metrics:
“Following the stock market crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression, Fisher developed a theory called debt-deflation. According to the debt deflation theory, a sequence of effects of the debt bubble bursting occurs:”
a. Debt liquidation and distress selling.
b. Contraction of the money supply as bank loans are paid off.
c. A fall in the level of asset prices. [Housing!]
d. A still greater fall in the net worth of businesses, precipitating bankruptcies.
e. A fall in profits.
f. A reduction in output, in trade and in employment.
g. Pessimism and loss of confidence.
h. Hoarding of money. [buying gold]
j. A fall in nominal interest rates and a rise in deflation adjusted interest rates”
I cannot find an exception to any of these 9 metrics in the
A trade war with
Money flew from equities like scalded chickens across the barnyard and into bonds, even as low as zero%, and vast amounts remain parked there. The probable cause is risk aversion driven by frantic pension funds who seek ‘safety’ in this turbulent market that must be going the wrong direction using the krugmanical theorem above. The real estate market started to crash in 2006 and is still going down and this is sector deflation if not a general element in the sick economy. The loss of home equity [capital at rest] contracts backward since equity = credit = money and there is less to spend, obviously.
From the recent past, He bangs his head to hear it rattle:
“Austerity is self-defeating: when everyone tries to pay down debt at the same time, the result is depression and deflation, and debt problems grow even worse. And conversely, it is possible — indeed, necessary — for the nation as a whole to spend its way out of debt: a temporary surge of deficit spending, on a sufficient scale, can cure problems brought on by past excesses.”-- 1938 in 2010 By Paul Krugman
The ‘fear’ here is related to the virulent anti-business venue and fanatical intolerance of capitalism directed against the
What this appears to be is a cherry-picking session where any and all justifications for the government to spend more and grow like a cancer are put forth on a silver platter. There is no coherent plan to deal with the debt that is now 96% of our
Every country that tried to spend its way out of debt failed and some crashed into a ditch of massive inflation. When the EU is struggling with debt it is interesting that Krugman does not focus in on this monster. If he did so, it would normally show that government spending and the size of government must be cut and that violates the sacred leftist notion of more spending and bigger government no matter what the health of the economy.
Thus stale propaganda is substituted for studied economics here.
This blather resembles the mindless quest to eliminate trans fats from foods [after the government recommended them] but allow marijuana to be grown everywhere and legalized. This is liberalism.
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“He said that these people had to be "liquidated or melted in the hot fire of exile and labor into the proletarian mass". Duranty claimed that the Siberian labor camps were a means of giving individuals a chance to rejoin Soviet society but also said that for those who could not accept the system, "the final fate of such enemies is death." Duranty, though describing the system as cruel, says he has "no brief for or against it, nor any purpose save to try to tell the truth". He ends the article with the claim that the brutal collectivization campaign which led to the famine was motivated by the "hope or promise of a subsequent raising up" of Asian-minded masses in the
 Another Leftist Bondage Scheme for the Bond Gods. Krugman Speaks of the Evils of the Austerians
 The Conscience of a Liberal:
Do Investors Expect Too Much From Bernanke? http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/26/do-investors-expect-too-much-from-bernanke/ [Emphasis is mine in all quotes.]
 “Bear Stearns made the first public securitization of Community Reinvestment Act (
On June 22, 2007, Bear Stearns pledged a collateralized loan of up to $3.2 billion to "bail out" one of its funds, the Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit Fund, while negotiating with other banks to loan money against collateral to another fund, the Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit Enhanced Leveraged Fund. The funds were invested in thinly traded collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) found to be worth less than their mark-to-market value. Merrill Lynch seized $850 million worth of the underlying collateral but only was able to auction $100 million of them. The incident sparked concern of contagion as Bear Stearns might be forced to liquidate its CDOs, prompting a mark-down of similar assets in other portfolios. Richard A. Marin, a senior executive at Bear Stearns Asset Management responsible for the two hedge funds, was replaced on June 29 by Jeffrey B. Lane, a former Vice Chairman of rival investment bank, Lehman Brothers.
 The Fed Thinks of Ways to Claw Back Some of the Stimulus Money: This Will be A Disaster as Congress Will Continue to Spend and Spend.
 Another Leftist Bondage Scheme for the Bond Gods. Krugman Speaks of the Evils of the Austerians
 Deflation, Deflation-Phobia and Reality. The True Believers Want to Believe. The Liberals Need our Wealth.
 Krugman Takes on
 T bills became zero coupon .
 From a pervious comment of mine on the Telegraph:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/8044789/Warren-Buffett-says-in-future-Wall-Street-chiefs-should-go-broke-and-their-wives.html
“This is certainly true. If you buy some big bond at 1% interest for a term of say 5 years and the interest rates have no direction to go but up then the price of the bond varies inversely with interest rate so in general as I approaches 2xI [I = interest rate] the P will approach P/2 [where P is the principal]. That means if the rates go up to 2% the bond holder must either sell at distress and lose half his money, ignoring coupons, or hold the zombie to the end of the term. That could mean that somebody that invests heavily in bonds at 1% coupon rate is helpless if the interest rates fly north in heavy inflation and hit, say 20%. He misses all that interest along the way.
There must be other reasons why people are heavily into bonds. “
This means that risk-aversion or other fears must keep these monies from flowing into equities. There is gigantic bond load out there and we have a global market for equities so IF there was a rush to sell bonds and buy stocks prices on bonds would drop and stock prices would rise.
 1938 in 2010 By Paul Krugman [Emphasis is mine in all quotes.] Published:
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