Archive for the ‘European fiscal crisis’ Category

The Risks of Dumbing Down Fiscal Goals

In one of the more dangerous fiscal developments of recent months, some on the left are defining successful deficit reduction as merely stabilizing the federal debt at about 70 percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2022. While there is no magic target, this one is far too modest and threatens to leave future fiscal policy […]

Taxing the London Whale

Now that a once-obscure J.P. Morgan Chase derivatives trader named Bruno Iksil has become infamous as the London Whale, I suppose it is time to ask whether what he does should be subject to new taxes. The question predated Mr. Iksil’s misadventures, of course. Ever since the U.S. financial crash of 2008 and the beginnings of […]

The Politics of Austerity

Europe is undergoing a massive political upheaval. You may have noticed. Caught in the wake of deep recession, painfully high unemployment, bank failures, and growing demands for fiscal austerity by the bond markets, governments across the continent are collapsing. In November, voters in Spain dumped a Socialist government for the conservatives. Last weekend in France, […]

The U.S. Is Not (Yet) Greece.

can’t resist jumping into the ongoing debate between New York Times economic columnists David Leonhardt and Paul Krugman. David worries that there are troubling similarities between the current Greek debt crisis and huge ongoing deficits in the U.S. “Nonsense,” replies Paul, who argues that the two nations have about as much in common as souvlaki and cheeseburgers.
My take: The U.S. is not Greece. But this does not mean we cannot learn lessons from a nation that is marked by both great beauty and regular bouts of fiscal madness.