Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. TESLA! Cathy Wood ARK Funds Bubble BURSTS! - 12th May 21
2.Stock Market Entering Early Summer Correction Trend Forecast - 10th May 21
3.GOLD GDX, HUI Stocks - Will Paradise Turn into a Dystopia? - 11th May 21
4.Crypto Bubble Bursts! Nicehash Suspends Coinbase Withdrawals, Bitcoin, Ethereum Bear Market Begins - 16th May 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.Cathy Wood Ark Invest Funds Bubble BURSTS! ARKK, ARKG, Tesla Entering Severe Bear Market - 13th May 21
7.Stock Market - Should You Be In Cash Right Now? - 17th May 21
8.Gold to Benefit from Mounting US Debt Pile - 14th May 21
9.Coronavius Covid-19 in Italy in August 2019! - 13th May 21
10.How to Invest in HIGH RISK Tech Stocks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 2 of 2 - 18th May 21
Last 7 days
How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
The Only way to Crush Inflation (not stocks) - 14th Oct 21
Why "Losses Are the Norm" in the Stock Market - 14th Oct 21
Sub Species Castle Maze at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 14th Oct 21
Which Wallet is Best for Storing NFTs? - 14th Oct 21
Ailing UK Pound Has Global Effects - 14th Oct 21
How to Get 6 Years Life Out of Your Overclocked PC System, Optimum GPU, CPU and MB Performance - 13th Oct 21
The Demand Shock of 2022 - 12th Oct 21
4 Reasons Why NFTs Could Be The Future - 12th Oct 21
Crimex Silver: Murder Most Foul - 12th Oct 21
Bitcoin Rockets In Preparation For Liftoff To $100,000 - 12th Oct 21
INTEL Tech Stock to the MOON! INTC 2000 vs 2021 Market Bubble WARNING - 11th Oct 21
AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
Stock Market Wall of Worry Meets NFPs - 11th Oct 21
Stock Market Intermediate Correction Continues - 11th Oct 21
China / US Stock Markets Divergence - 10th Oct 21
Can US Save Taiwan From China? Taiwan Strait Naval Battle - PLA vs 7th Fleet War Game Simulation - 10th Oct 21
Gold Price Outlook: The Inflation Chasm Between Europe and the US - 10th Oct 21
US Real Estate ETFs React To Rising Housing Market Mortgage Interest Rates - 10th Oct 21
US China War over Taiwan Simulation 2021, Invasion Forecast - Who Will Win? - 9th Oct 21
When Will the Fed Taper? - 9th Oct 21
Dancing with Ghouls and Ghosts at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 9th Oct 21
Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
Scan Computers - Custom Build PC 6 Months Later, Reliability, Issues, Quality of Tech Support Review - 8th Oct 21
Gold and Silver: Your Financial Main Battle Tanks - 8th Oct 21
How to handle the “Twin Crises” Evergrande and Debt Ceiling Threatening Stocks - 8th Oct 21
Why a Peak in US Home Prices May Be Approaching - 8th Oct 21
Alton Towers Scarefest is BACK! Post Pandemic Frights Begin, What it's Like to Enter Scarefest 2021 - 8th Oct 21
AJ Bell vs II Interactive Investor - Which Platform is Best for Buying US FAANG Stocks UK Investing - 7th Oct 21
Gold: Evergrande Investors' Savior - 7th Oct 21
Here's What Really Sets Interest Rates (Not Central Banks) - 7th Oct 21
CISCO 2020 Dot com Bubble Stock vs 2021 Bubble Tech Stocks Warning Analysis - 6th Oct 21
Precious Metals Complex Searching for a Bottom - 6th Oct 21
FB, AMZN, NFLX, GOOG, AAPL and FANG+ '5 Waves' Speaks Volumes - 6th Oct 21
Budgies Flying Ability 10 Weeks After wings Clipped, Flight Feathers Cut Grow Back - 6th Oct 21
Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
Will China's Crackdown Send Bitcoin's Price Tumbling? - 5th Oct 21
Natural Gas News: Europe Lacks Supply, So It Turns to Asia - 5th Oct 21
Stock Market Correction: One More Spark to Light the Fire? - 5th Oct 21
Fractal Design Meshify S2, Best PC Case Review, Build Quality, Airflow etc. - 5th Oct 21
Chasing Value with Five More Biotech Stocks for the Long-run - 4th Oct 21
Gold’s Century - While stocks dominated headlines, gold quietly performed - 4th Oct 21
NASDAQ Stock Market Head-n-Shoulders Warns Of Market Weakness – Critical Topping Pattern - 4th Oct 21
US Dollar on plan, attended by the Gold/Silver ratio - 4th Oct 21
Aptorum Group - APM - High RIsk Biotech Stocks Buy, Sell, Hold Investing Analysis for the Long-run - 3rd Oct 21
US Close to Hitting the Debt Ceiling: Gold Doesn’t Care - 3rd Oct 21
Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
Original Oculus VR HeadSet Rift Dev Kit v1 Before Facebook Bought Oculus - 3rd Oct 21
Microsoft Stock Valuation 2021 vs 2000 Bubble - Buy Sell or Hold Invest Analysis - 1st Oct 21
How to profit off the Acquisition spree in Fintech Stocks - 1st Oct 21
�� Halloween 2021 TESCO Shopping Before the Next Big Panic Buying! �� - 1st Oct 2
The Guide to Building a Design Portfolio Online - 1st Oct 21
BioDelivery Sciences International - BDSI - High RIsk Biotech Stocks Buy, Sell, Hold Investing Analysis for the Long-run - 30th Sep 21
America’s Revolving-Door Politics Behind the Fall of US-Sino Ties - 30th Sep 21
Dovish to Hawkish Fed: Sounds Bearish for Gold - 30th Sep 21
Stock Market Gauntlet to the Fed - 30th Sep 21
Should you include ESG investments in your portfolio? - 30th Sep 21
Takeda - TAK - High RIsk Biotech Stocks Buy, Sell, Hold Investing Analysis for the Long-run - 29th Sep 21
Stock Market Wishing Away Inflation - 29th Sep 21
Why Workers Are NOT Returning to Work as Lockdown's End - Wage Slaves Rebellion - 29th Sep 21
UK Fuel PANIC! Fighting at the Petrol Pumps! As Lemmings Create a New Crisis - 29th Sep 21
Gold Could See Tapering as Soon as November! - 29th Sep 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Open Letter to Dr. Joseph Stiglitz and Challenge to Debate

Economics / Economic Stimulus Feb 05, 2009 - 10:36 AM GMT

By: Richard_C_Cook

Economics Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleNote: Dr. Joseph Stiglitz is a professor at Columbia University, former chairman of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors, former chief economist for the World Bank, and a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.


Dear Dr. Stiglitz:

I have just finished reading your article published on Alternet.org entitled, “Is the Entire Bailout Strategy Flawed? Let’s Rethink This Before It’s Too Late.” http://www.alternet.org/story/124166/

With all due respect, I believe you have missed the point of what is going on within the U.S. economy, which causes your proposed solutions to be similarly flawed.

The purposes of this letter are to delineate my objections to what you have written, to bring our differences before the public, and to challenge you to a debate when I visit New York City on February 27-March 1, 2009.

You state that, “America's recession is moving into its second year, with the situation only worsening.” But you then say, “The hope that President Obama will be able to get us out of the mess is tempered by the reality that throwing hundreds of billions of dollars at the banks has failed to restore them to health, or even to resuscitate the flow of lending.”

You thereby imply that the economic crisis is due to problems within the financial sector and that it would be a good thing to “resuscitate the flow of lending” without challenging why that lending became such a huge factor in our economy.

I say: The problem does not lie with the financial sector except that the debt-based monetary system acts as a parasite on the producing economy, resulting in the vast overhang of debt that can never be repaid. “Resuscitating the flow of lending” will do no good, because the collapse of consumer purchasing power due to job outsourcing and income stagnation has made it impossible for people to pay their debts. Most of this debt now needs to be written off and our producing economy restored as our chief source of wealth.

You say of the government’s bailout actions late last year: “Then there was the hope that if the government stood ready to help the banks with enough money -- and enough was a lot -- confidence would be restored, and with the restoration of confidence, asset prices would increase and lending would be restored.”

I say: In making this observation you may be correct, but you fail to challenge the policy whereby asset price inflation, in the absence of real economic growth, has become an ersatz economic driver. Throughout your writings you have ignored the fact that the government and the banking system have deliberately created financial bubbles to shore up the economy, engender profits, and maintain tax revenues. This is what the Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan did in collusion with the Bush administration to create a recovery when the Dot.com bubble was collapsing in 2000-2001. None of your proposals would revitalize the producing economy or restore consumer income. You seem to be mainly trying to re-inflate the asset-financial bubble in your own way.

You say: “The underlying problem is simple: Even in the heyday of finance, there was a huge gap between private rewards and social returns. The bank managers have taken home huge paychecks, even though, over the past five years, the net profits of many of the banks have (in total) been negative. And the social returns have even been less -- the financial sector is supposed to allocate capital and manage risk, and it did neither well. Our economy is paying the price for these failures -- to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars.”

I say: It is true that bank manager salaries and bonuses are obscene, but the way you characterize “social returns” is shortsighted. You speak of bank profitability falling short even though, since the financial deregulation of the 1980s and 1990s, the banks have become the nation’s chief growth industry, with profits as late as 2006 of over $500 billion. Further, the financial sector doesn’t really “allocate capital.” What it does is skim the cream off the top of the producing economy by financing consumption and facilitating the most irresponsible types of speculation in the real estate, equity, hedge fund, and derivative markets. For example, up to 97 percent of futures contracts comes from bank loans irrespective of whether such lending has any benefit for consumers or producers. The banks allocate capital primarily for their own benefit, which I believe you recognize, but we now need to find alternatives to a monetary system based on bank-created debt, not just try to get it running again while ignoring the disasters that have befallen working men and women and their families.

You say, in regard to the ongoing government actions: “But even were we to do all this -- with uncertain risks to our future national debt -- there is still no assurance of a resumption of lending. For the reality is we are in a recession, and risks are high in a recession. Having been burned once, many bankers are staying away from the fire.”

Again, you speak favorably of a “resumption of lending” as resolving the problem. I say: “What you are proposing is simply to shore up our debt-based monetary system without addressing the facts that our manufacturing jobs have been exported to China and other low-cost labor markets, our automobile industry is collapsing due to the failure of consumer demand, wages and salaries have stagnated for two decades, workers have not shared in productivity increases, and the total societal debt load on a GDP of $14 trillion is now approaching $70 trillion. These are the problems that must be addressed, not getting the banks to lend again when people can’t pay off the debts they already have.

You say: “What's the alternative? Sweden (and several other countries) have shown that there is an alternative -- the government takes over those banks that cannot assemble enough capital through private sources to survive without government assistance…Inevitably, American taxpayers are going to pick up much of the tab for the banks' failures. The question facing us is, to what extent do we participate in the upside return?”

I say: “Having the government run the banks instead of the private sector will not restore the economic fundamentals of a weak economy. Availability of bank credit does not by itself lead to greater production of goods and services. What it should do is make the liquidity available for the production-consumption cycle to work smoothly. The idea that a deregulated financial sector should be given precedence over all the other economic sectors is the essence of the supply-side, trickle-down philosophy that began during the Reagan years and has catastrophically failed.

You say: “Eventually, America's economy will recover. Eventually, our financial sector will be functioning -- and profitable -- once again, though hopefully, it will focus its attention more on doing what it is supposed to do.”

I say: Please tell us exactly HOW America’s economy will recover. Will it recover after real unemployment, including “discouraged workers” hits 20 percent, which it is likely to do over the next few months? Will it recover after millions of more people have their homes foreclosed? Will it recover after the automobile industry dies? What exactly is your prescription? If you don’t have one, I would ask you to consider what I am proposing in my paper: “A Bailout for the People: Dividend Economics and the Basic Income Guarantee.” In that paper I put forth what I am calling the “Cook Plan.” This consists of a $1,000 a month payment per capita made by the government through a system of vouchers for necessities that are then deposited in a new series of local community savings banks that would lend at one percent interest for small business, local manufacturing, and family farming. The vouchers would be a dividend, distributed as each citizens’ fair share of our amazing productive economy without recourse to government taxation or debt. The dividend would provide income security, eliminate poverty, and result in a renaissance of local and regional economic activity, and it would start to act immediately, not “eventually.”

On Friday, February 27, 2009, I will be in your hometown of New York City presenting the “Cook Plan” at the 8th Congress of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network and the Annual Convention of the Eastern Economic Association. That evening I will present the program at a Town Hall meeting in connection with President Obama’s series of citizens’ forums at Nola Studio B, 244 West 54th St., 11th floor in Manhattan, at 8 p.m.

On the evening of Saturday, February 28, I am free, and would be glad to meet you to debate these ideas at a location of your choosing.

Respectfully,

By Richard C. Cook
http:// www.richardccook.com

Copyright 2009 by Richard C. Cook

Richard C. Cook is a former U.S. federal government analyst, whose career included service with the U.S. Civil Service Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Carter White House, NASA, and the U.S. Treasury Department. His articles on economics, politics, and space policy have appeared on numerous websites. His new book, We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform , can now be ordered for $19.95 from www.tendrilpress.com . He is also the author of Challenger Revealed: An Insider's Account of How the Reagan Administration Caused the Greatest Tragedy of the Space Age , called by one reviewer, “the most important spaceflight book of the last twenty years . ” His Challenger website is at www.richardccook.com . A new economics website at www.RealSustainableLiving.com is upcoming with partner/author Susan Boskey.

Richard C. Cook Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in