Prieur’s readings

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This post provides links to a number of interesting articles I have read over the past few days that you may also enjoy.

• Michael Milken & Jonathan Simons (The Wall Street Journal): Illness as economic metaphor, June 20, 2009.
Our economic doctors should permit America’s uniquely effective immune system to take over as companies and financial institutions deleverage their balance sheets. With people and with capitalism, the tincture of time is often the best medicine.

• Christina Romer (The Economist): The lessons of 1937, June 18, 2009.
As someone who has written somewhat critically of the short-sightedness of policymakers in the late 1930s, I feel new humility. I can see that the pressures they were under were probably enormous. Policymakers today need to learn from their experiences and respond to the same pressures constructively, without derailing the recovery before it has even begun.

• Conor Clarke (The Atlantic): An interview with Paul Samuelson, part two, June 17, 2009. (Tor those who last week missed part one, click here.)

• Clive Crook (Financial Times): A thin outline of regulatory reform, June 22, 2009.
The Obama administration’s proposals for US financial regulation are pretty good, as far as they go. The problem is they do not go far enough. A crisis of this order demands big new ideas, and the leadership to push them through. If not now, when?

• Paul Krugman (The New York Times): Out of the shadows, June 18, 2009.
Would the Obama administration’s plan for financial reform do what has to be done? Yes and no. Yes, the plan would plug some big holes in regulation. But as described, it wouldn’t end the skewed incentives that made the current crisis inevitable.

• Simon Johnson (The New Republic, The Plank): Did bank lobbyists write Obama’s reform proposal?, June 18, 2009.
… based on what we see so far, there is little reason to be encouraged. The reform process appears to be have been captured at an early stage – by design the lobbyists were let into the executive branch’s working, so we don’t even get to have a transparent debate or to hear specious arguments about why we really need big banks.

• Peter Tasker (Financial Times): Japan serves up valuable minimalist lesson, June 22, 2009.
In stark contrast to conventional wisdom now in the US and UK, Tokyo concluded that it needed less financial regulation, not more.

• Gillian Tett (Financial Times): When it comes to global banks, size matters, June 19, 2009.
Do the big global banks need to be cut down to size? That question has been hovering, half-stated, over the financial system ever since Bear Stearns blew up.

• Peter Mandelson (The Wall Street Journal): We need greater global governance, June 19, 2009.
The crisis reveals the weakness of nation-based regulation.

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