Re-Moralization of Capitalism in a Post-COVID World

The coronavirus has proved that capitalism needs more than the mild medicine called “reform”; it needs judicious regulation if it is to survive. Not the growth-stymying regulation of the Obama years. But the sensible sort of regulation that that same President signed into law to restore stability to the financial sector. Proving there is regulation, […]

Economists’ Brave New World and The Theories About To Be Tested

Out with the new, in with the old is the political rule as two septuagenarians, old white guys in blue suits as voters unhappy with the choice put it, face off for the presidency of the United States. Out with the old, in with the new, is the economic policy rule. Start with fiscal policy. […]

The Virus Will Change Many Institutions

Enduring and fundamental changes are often forced upon us by events – the Great Depression and the New Deal’s reform of capitalism, the assassination of President Kennedy and his succession by Lyndon Johnson and his Great Society, the 2007-8 financial collapse and the ensuing restructuring and regulation of the financial sector to reduce the probability […]

Opening For Business – Or Not

The climate in America is changing. No, not that climate, the one that President Trump says is not changing at all. It is the policy climate, the one Trump has been trying desperately to change. Until now, the doctors have been controlling policy. Social-distancing, hand-washing (in addition to hand-wringing), masking, but definitely not working. America […]

Let the airlines go bankrupt, but help their employees

There is no question that our airlines provide a network that moves people, goods, and mail around the country and overseas – essential to a prosperous and growing economy. Surely, it is in the national interest to see that they continue to operate. But that goal can be accomplished without bailing them out of the […]

A Shut-Down Economy Waits for the Doctors to Let it Go Back to Work

In mid-March, 211,000 Americans applied for unemployment insurance, about the number that reflects normal job changes, and early in March 54% of small businesses said they were hiring. One week later, new applications for unemployment insurance soared to 3.3 million. Last week, just when private and commercial rents came due, that record number doubled, to […]

The President Proposes, Each Governor Disposes

We now have a pretty good idea what to do to minimize the reach and impact of the new coronavirus, COVID-19. We have a pretty good idea what to do to ameliorate its economic impact, or at least provide needed relief. But we don’t yet know what to do to fuse consideration of the physical […]

How To Get The Coronavirus Rescue Right

We need a nation proud of having protected its vulnerable population from the virus-as well as of saving its vulnerable businesses and workers from the infection’s catastrophic economic consequences. There is no denying that the new coronavirus creates a health emergency, justifying federal, state, and local governments taking steps to reduce the transmission of the […]

Now Doesn’t Always Mean Now

If you want to understand the rate at which the gloom in the U.S. is thickening, consider this. When this writer downed his morning coffee Jan Hatzius and his team of economists at Goldman Sachs were predicting that the economy would contract at an annual rate of 5% in the second quarter. At that point […]

The Week That Was and The One That Will Be

Last week was a good week for Democrats. Joe Biden’s wins in key primary states just about put paid to socialist Bernie Sanders’ chances of snagging the party’s presidential nomination and forcing Democrats to march into battle against Donald Trump singing The Internationale, calling for an end to the days when “the rich are free […]