Prieur’s readings (August 27, 2009)
This post provides links to a number of thought-provoking articles I have read over the past few days that you may also find of interest.
• Doug Kass (TheStreet.com): Market has likely topped, August 26, 2009.
Markets top during times of enthusiasm. I believe that the markets are now overshooting to the upside and that the US stock market has likely peaked for the year.
• Phil Izzo (The Wall Street Journal): Economists react: Bernanke reappointment is “good news“, August 25, 2009.
Economists, lawmakers, bloggers and others weigh inPresident Obama’s decision to reappoint Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.
• Mohamed El-Erian (FT Alphaville): Bernanke’s four point ‘to-do’ list, August 25, 2009.
Pimco’s chief executive comments on Ben Bernanke’s reappointment for a second term at Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
• Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (Telegraph): The troubling side of Ben Bernanke, August 25, 2009.
He has saved the world but he helped cause the crisis in the first place.
• Stephen Roach (Financial Times): The case against Bernanke, August 25, 2009.
Ben Bernanke lacked the foresight and courage to resist the most reckless tendencies of the era of excess.
• Nouriel Rubini (RGE Monitor): The exit strategy from the monetary and fiscal easing – damned if you do, damned if you don’t, August 24, 2009.
In the last few months the world economy has been saved from a near depression. That feat has been achieved by a range of extraordinary government stimulus measures: In the US and in China, and to a lesser extent in Europe, Japan and other countries, governments have pumped liquidity, slashed policy rates, cut taxes, primed demand and ring-fenced and back-stopped the financial system. All of this has worked, but it has worked at a cost. Governments have been spending and borrowing like never before. The question now is: how do they stop? This is not a simple problem. Restore normality too soon and the risk is that a weak recovery will double dip into a second and deeper recession. Restore it too late and inflation will already be ingrained.
• Paul Krugman (The New York Times): All the President’s zombies, August 23, 2009.
The debate over the “public option” in health care has been dismaying in many ways. Perhaps the most depressing aspect for progressives, however, has been the extent to which opponents of greater choice in health care have gained traction – in Congress, if not with the broader public – simply by repeating, over and over again, that the public option would be, horrors, a government program. Washington, it seems, is still ruled by Reaganism – by an ideology that says government intervention is always bad, and leaving the private sector to its own devices is always good. Call me naïve, but I actually hoped that the failure of Reaganism in practice would kill it. It turns out, however, to be a zombie doctrine: even though it should be dead, it keeps on coming.
• Yu Yongding (Financial Times): China’s stimulus shows the problem of success, August 25, 2009.
China’s massive government investment programme is worsening the overcapacity problem while its cash injection is creating asset bubbles. To achieve a sustainable rebound, China needs to strike a fine balance between crisis management and structural reforms.
• Edward Luce (Financial Times): Time to remove Middle East roadblocks, August 25, 2009.
If there is one lesson from the past 18 years of failed Arab-Israeli peace attempts, it is that incrementalism leads to drift. And drift leads to disintegration.
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