Is the Pope Anti-Capitalist, or Even … Communist?

Is the Pope Anti-Capitalist, or Even … Communist?

Pope Francis recent Encyclical “Laudato Si” has given new emphasis to the debate over whether Pope Francis is some sort of crypto-Socialist, or even Communist, with varied references to being a “populist,”  a “statist,” and the like.  Although his successful visit to the U.S. last week seems to have abated somewhat this debate, it will […]

High Public Debt, Stagnation, Deflation and Unemployment: Policy Errors and a Way Forward

This note reviews monetary and fiscal policies adopted by Japan, the United States and Eurozone periphery countries during the global financial crisis and subsequently. These countries all experienced similar economic problems; high public debt burdens, the deflation tendency, credit traps, inadequate aggregate demand and high unemployment. It is argued below that policymakers anchored their strategic […]

Too Much at Stake: Moving Ahead With Energy Price Reforms

By Ian Parry: (Versions in Español, 中文, Français, and Русский) Energy plays a critical role in the functioning of modern economies. At the same time, it’s at the heart of many of today’s pressing environmental concerns—from global warming (predicted to reach around 3–4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century) and outdoor air pollution (causing over three million premature deaths […]

Is the BRICS Bank More ‘Democratic’ Than the World Bank?

The launch of the new BRICS development bank “reflects the disparity and democratic deficiency in the global governance and is trying to restart, to rethink that,” according to Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz.  But is the BRICS bank really more “democratic” than the World Bank, whose governance legitimacy its founders are challenging? As the Geo-Graphic above shows, […]

Hurling BRICS at the World Bank and the $

Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (the “BRICS”) made a splash last week with the official launch of their new development bank.  The backers made no secret of their intention to challenge the way things are done in the established international financial and monetary architecture. The irony is that India and China are the […]

Confessions of an Inflation Truther

There is a group of folks who believe that inflation is much higher than the numbers in the official reports. Paul Krugman calls them “inflation truthers.” In the 2000s, I might have been considered part of that crowd. I recognized that inflation data wasn’t being reported accurately, and said as much. I coined the phrase “inflation ex-inflation” […]

BRICS and Mortals

Leaders of the BRICS–Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa–meet in Rio today to swap World Cup stories and launch a long-discussed “BRICS Bank.” The bank creates two funds–a development lending facility (New Development Bank or NDB) backed by $50 billion in capital ($10 billion from each of the BRICs), and a $100 billion rescue […]

Facial Justice: A Dystopian Classic of Envy and Equality with a Solid Basis in Economic Reality

I spent last week reading about beauty—not from the perspective of poetry or art history, but from that of economics and social commentary. The first of two books I read on the subject was Beauty Pays by my old classmate Daniel Hammermesh—a brisk, popular survey of research by the author and others on the question […]

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