Jeff Madrick writes an economics column for Harper’s Magazine, is editor of Challenge Magazine, and is director of the Rediscovering Government Initiative at the Roosevelt Institute. His most recent book is Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America.
Inside National Health Reform by John E. McDonough
Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse by the Majority and Minority Staff, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, US Senate
Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World by William D. Cohan
Report of the Business Standards Committee Goldman Sachs
Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner
Inside Job a film directed by Charles Ferguson
Regulating Wall Street: The Dodd-Frank Act and the New Architecture of Global Finance edited by Viral V. Acharya, Thomas F. Cooley, Matthew P. Richardson, and Ingo Walter
Reforming US Financial Markets: Reflections Before and Beyond Dodd-Frank by Randall S. Kroszner and Robert J. Shiller, edited and with an introduction by Benjamin M. Friedman
Seeds of Destruction: Why the Path to Economic Ruin Runs Through Washington, and How to Reclaim American Prosperity by Glenn Hubbard and Peter Navarro
Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis by Anatole Kaletsky
Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future by Robert B. Reich
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis
Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy by Joseph E. Stiglitz
Taking Stock: What Has the Troubled Asset Relief Program Achieved? by the Congressional Oversight Panel
Financial Regulatory Reform: A New Foundation: Rebuilding Supervision and Regulation
In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke’s War on the Great Panic by David Wessel
House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street by William D. Cohan
A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers by Lawrence G. McDonald with Patrick Robinson
The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash by Charles R. Morris
The Reckoning a series of articles by Gretchen Morgenson et al.
The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker by Steven Greenhouse
Age Shock: How Finance Is Failing Us by Robin Blackburn
Working Longer: The Solution to the Retirement Income Challenge by Alicia H. Munnell and Steven A. Sass
The Conservatives Have No Clothes: Why Right-Wing Ideas Keep Failing by Greg Anrig
When I’m Sixty-four: The Plot Against Pensions and the Plan to Save Them by Teresa Ghilarducci
The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth by Benjamin M. Friedman
John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics by Richard Parker
They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine: Two Centuries of Innovators by Harold Evans, with Gail Buckland and David Lefer
An Empire of Wealth: The Epic History of American Economic Power by John Steele Gordon
Transformation of the Welfare State: The Silent Surrender of Public Responsibility by Neil Gilbert, with a foreword by Amitai Etzioni
Taxing Ourselves: A Citizen’s Guide to the Great Debate over Tax Reform by Joel Slemrod and Jon Bakija
Banking on Death: Or, Investing in Life: The History and Future of Pensions by Robin Blackburn
Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich by Kevin Phillips
Report of Investigation by the Special Investigative Committee of the Board of Directors of Enron Corp. by William C. Powers Jr., Raymond S. Troubh, and Herbert S. Winokur Jr.
Jack: Straight from the Gut by Jack Welch with John A. Byrne
Maestro: Greenspan’s Fed and the American Boom Bob Woodward
Greenspan: The Man Behind Money Justin Martin
The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else Hernando de Soto
Irrational Exuberance by Robert J. Shiller
A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel
Stocks for the Long Run by Jeremy J. Siegel
Dow 36,000 by James K. Glassman, by Kevin A. Hassett
Famous First Bubbles by Peter M. Garber
Social Security: The Phony Crisis by Dean Baker, by Mark Weisbrot
On Money and Markets: A Wall Street Memoir by Henry Kaufman
Turbulence in the World Economy by Robert Brenner
Myths of Rich & Poor: Why We’re Better Off Than We Think by W. Michael Cox, by Richard Alm
“Foundations of the Goldilocks Economy: Supply Shocks and the Time-Varying Nairu” by Robert J. Gordon
“The High Pressure U.S. Labor Market of the 1990s” by Alan Kreuger, by Lawrence Katz
“Computers and Aggregate Economic Growth” by Daniel E. Siche
“Economic Statistics, the New Economy, and the Productivity Slowdown” by Jack E. Triplett
The Emerging Digital Economy by Department of Commerce
The Coming American Renaissance: How to Benefit from America’s Economic Resurgence by Michael Moynihan
The Death of Distance: How the Communications Revolution Will Change Our Lives by Frances Cairncross
The Computer Revolution: An Economic Perspective by Daniel E. Sichel
Education for What? The New Office Economy by Anthony P. Carnevale, by Stephen J. Rose
Money: Who Has How Much and Why by Andrew Hacker
Toward a More Accurate Measure of the Cost of Living Commission to Study the Consumer Price Index Final Report to the Senate Finance Committee from the Advisory
Bias in the Consumer Price Index: What is the Evidence? by Brent R. Moulton. Journal of Economic Perspectives
American Standards of Living, 1918-1988 by Clair Brown
Getting Prices Right: A Methodologically Consistent Consumer Price Index, 1953-94 by Dean Baker
Restoring Hope in America: The Social Security Solution by Sam Beard
Frightening America’s Elderly: How the Age Lobby Holds Seniors Captive by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
Will America Grow Up Before It Grows Old? How the Coming Social Security Crisis Threatens You, Your Family, and Your Country by Peter G. Peterson
Social Security in the Twenty-First Century edited by Eric R. Kingson, edited by James H. Schulz
Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist by Roger Lowenstein
Soros on Soros: Staying Ahead of the Curve by George Soros, by Byron Wien, by Krisztina Koenen
Soros: The Life, Times, and Trading Secrets of the World’s Greatest Investor by Robert Slater
Citizen Turner: The Wild Rise of an American Tycoon by Robert Goldberg, by Gerald Jay Goldberg
It Ain’t As Easy As It Looks (out of print) by Porter Bibb
Our current employment crisis has less to do with technology or globalization than with the administration’s failure to adopt policies to support young workers.
The sequester is dangerous, but not for the reasons we think. The sequester will not plunder the economy in 2013. Fueled by deficit-cutting mania, its damage will be long term, if less obvious.
The strenuous debate between President Obama and House Speaker Boehner over how to reduce the immediate impact of the fiscal cliff is obscuring a larger and more disturbing issue: whichever way the negotiations go, the result will be slow economic growth next year at best, and possibly outright recession.
With domestic policy as the theme of Wednesday’s presidential debate, the Obama campaign is facing a weakening economy. The Commerce Department just reported that GDP grew at an annual rate of only 1.3 percent in the second quarter. Job growth has been tepid, with continued high unemployment and underemployment. When one counts all those looking for full-time jobs and unable to get them, the true unemployment rate is close to 17 percent. Meanwhile, the US faces looming threats of a new European recession and a slowdown in China and other parts of the developing world.
“The essential American soul,” claimed D.H. Lawrence, “is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer.” While the rejection by five state governments of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion may not precisely illustrate Lawrence’s heated observation, it does suggest a contemporary vein of cruelty in America that is deeply disturbing.
The announcement Wednesday by Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, that her nation is ready to discuss economic stimulus to keep Greece in the eurozone is—if serious—a hugely important development. But the critical test will be what policies emerge from this announcement.
The European Union has become a vicious circle of burgeoning debt leading to radical austerity measures, which in turn further weaken economic conditions and result in calls for still more damaging cuts in government spending and higher taxes. Rarely do we get so stark an example of bad—arguably even perverse—economic thinking in action. How could the EU so misread history and treat with contempt the teachings of John Maynard Keynes, who showed that during recessions governments must expand economies through spending and tax cuts, not the opposite? By ignoring this, European policy makers will deepen, not solve, the financial crisis and millions of people will suffer needlessly.
With early Tuesday’s abrupt evacuation of Zuccotti Park, the City of New York has managed—for the moment—to dislodge protesters from Wall Street. But it will be much harder to turn attention away from the financial excesses of the very rich—the problems that have given Occupy Wall Street such traction. Data on who is in the top 1 percent of earners further reinforces their point. Here’s why.
Though the situation is often described as a problem of inequality, this is not quite the real concern. The issue is runaway incomes at the very top—people earning a million and a half dollars or more according to the most recent data. And much of that runaway income comes from financial investments, stock options, and other special financial benefits available to the exceptionally rich—much of which is taxed at very low capital gains rates. Meanwhile, there has been something closer to stagnation for almost everyone else—including even for many people in the top 20 percent of earners.
The financial crisis is the next great test: it will mark the success of one of the great political and social experiments of our time if the Europeans come together to remedy it; it will be tragic for Europe and for the world if they do not.
Since the beginning of last week, the shift in the attitude of the press toward Occupy Wall Street—and the support across the country the movement is suddenly drawing—is remarkable. The occupation started on September 17 and grew from the beginning. But since two Sundays ago, unions have joined a large and boisterous march and few if any hesitate any longer to visit Zuccotti Park. Friends now bring their children. The press, almost uniformly derisive during the initial weeks, shows signs of understanding that the group touches a deep-seated anger and confusion in America. President Obama had to respond to a question about it last week, and said he understood the concerns. Occupy Wall Street is truly national—indeed international.
A debate has erupted anew in Washington over whether Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac caused the credit crisis of 2007 and 2008. Their critics claim that these two Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) deserve a lot of the blame because they encouraged mortgage lending to low-to-middle-income Americans, a goal that Congress required and Bill Clinton advocated. The debate, which faded after a brief fluorescence in 2008, has been revived by a new book, Reckless Endangerment, by the respected New York Times reporter Gretchen Morgenson and the dogged financial analyst Josh Rosner.
Among the economic fallacies embraced in Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, two are particularly egregious: that getting rid of Medicare will reduce health care costs and that enacting yet further tax cuts for the rich will spur growth and investment.
President Obama’s budget proposal this week shows just how thoroughly austerity economics now dominates the policy debate for both Democrats and Republicans.
With the midterm elections days away, Republicans and quite a few Democrats have once again been attacking Social Security for running up the federal deficit. The president’s own deficit commission is likely to make Social Security reform a priority. In view of all the rhetoric, voters may be surprised to find out how little Social Security will actually contribute to the future budget gap. In fact, most would probably be stunned.
Why has there been so little urgency in the White House to confront the issue that will most directly affect the outcome of the November elections?
The financial reregulation package just passed by Congress is far from a comprehensive reform of American finance. Despite the enormous threat to the world’s financial markets created by the failure of Lehman Brothers and the stunning excesses of insurance giant AIG and banking conglomerate Citigroup, the reforms are in truth modest. Neither the Obama administration nor Congress opted to cut banks down to size, and the bill is only placing mild limits on risky banking activities. The giant financial institutions, meanwhile, are as big—even bigger—than ever and bankers’ compensation is once again at stunning levels.