Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Stock Markets and the History Chart of the End of the World (With Presidential Cycles) - 28th Aug 20
2.Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook... AI Tech Stocks Buying Levels and Valuations Q3 2020 - 31st Aug 20
3.The Inflation Mega-trend is Going Hyper! - 11th Sep 20
4.Is this the End of Capitalism? - 13th Sep 20
5.What's Driving Gold, Silver and What's Next? - 3rd Sep 20
6.QE4EVER! - 9th Sep 20
7.Gold Price Trend Forecast Analysis - Part1 - 7th Sep 20
8.The Fed May “Cause” The Next Stock Market Crash - 3rd Sep 20
9.Bitcoin Price Crash - You Will be Suprised What Happens Next - 7th Sep 20
10.NVIDIA Stock Price Soars on RTX 3000 Cornering the GPU Market for next 2 years! - 3rd Sep 20
Last 7 days
US Housing Market House Prices Momentum Analysis - 26th Feb 21
FOMC Minutes Disappoint Gold Bulls - 26th Feb 21
Kiss of Life for Gold - 26th Feb 21
Congress May Increase The Moral Hazard Building In The Stock Market - 26th Feb 21
The “Oil Of The Future” Is Set To Soar In 2021 - 26th Feb 21
The Everything Stock Market Rally Continues - 25th Feb 21
Vaccine inequality: A new beginning or another missed opportunity? - 25th Feb 21
What's Next Move For Silver, Gold? Follow US Treasuries and Commodities To Find Out - 25th Feb 21
Warren Buffett Buys a Copper Stock! - 25th Feb 21
Work From Home Inflationary US House Prices BOOM! - 25th Feb 21
Man Takes First Steps Towards Colonising Mars - Nasa Perseverance Rover in Jezero Crater - 25th Feb 21
Musk, Bezos And Cook Are Rushing To Lock In New Lithium Supply - 25th Feb 21
US Debt and Yield Curve (Spread between 2 year and 10 year US bonds) - 24th Feb 21
Should You Buy a Landrover Discovery Sport in 2021? - 24th Feb 21
US Housing Market 2021 and the Inflation Mega-trend - QE4EVER! - 24th Feb 21
M&A Most Commonly Used Software - 24th Feb 21
Is More Stock Market Correction Needed? - 24th Feb 21
VUZE XR Camera 180 3D VR Example Footage Video Image quality - 24th Feb 21
How to Protect Your Positions From A Stock Market Sell-Off Using Options - 24th Feb 21
Why Isn’t Retail Demand for Silver Pushing Up Prices? - 24th Feb 21
2 Stocks That Could Win Big In The Trillion Dollar Battery War - 24th Feb 21
US Economic Trends - GDP, Inflation and Unemployment Impact on House Prices 2021 - 23rd Feb 21
Why the Sky Is Not Falling in Precious Metals - 23rd Feb 21
7 Things Every Businessman Should Know - 23rd Feb 21
For Stocks, has the “Rational Bubble” Popped? - 23rd Feb 21
Will Biden Overheat the Economy and Gold? - 23rd Feb 21
Precious Metals Under Seige? - 23rd Feb 21
US House Prices Trend Forecast Review - 23rd Feb 21
Lithium Prices Soar As Tesla, Apple And Google Fight For Supply - 23rd Feb 21
Stock Markets Discounting Post Covid Economic Boom - 22nd Feb 21
Economics Is Why Vaccination Is So Hard - 22nd Feb 21
Pivotal Session In Stocks Bull Bear Battle - 22nd Feb 21
Gold’s Downtrend: Is This Just the Beginning? - 22nd Feb 21
The Most Exciting Commodities Play Of 2021? - 22nd Feb 21
How to Test NEW and Used GPU, and Benchmark to Make sure it is Working Properly - 22nd Feb 21
US House Prices Vaccinations Indicator - 21st Feb 21
S&P 500 Correction – No Need to Hold Onto Your Hat - 21st Feb 21
Gold Setting Up Major Bottom So Could We See A Breakout Rally Begin Soon? - 21st Feb 21
Owning Real Assets Amid Surreal Financial Markets - 21st Feb 21
Great Investment Ideas For 2021 - 21st Feb 21
US House Prices Momentum Analysis - 20th Feb 21
The Most Important Chart in Housing Right Now - 20th Feb 21
Gold Is the Ultimate Reserve Asset - 20th Feb 21
Is That the S&P 500 And Gold Correction Finally? - 20th Feb 21
Technical Analysis of EUR/USD - 20th Feb 21
The Stock Market Big Picture - 19th Feb 21
Could Silver "Do a Palladium"? - 19th Feb 21
Three More Reasons We Love To Trade Options! - 19th Feb 21
Here’s What’s Eating Away at Gold - 19th Feb 21
Stock Market March Melt-Up Madness - 19th Feb 21
Land Rover Discovery Sport Extreme Ice and Snow vs Windscreen Wipers Test - 19th Feb 21
Real Reason Why Black and Asian BAME are NOT Getting Vaccinated - NHS Covid-19 Vaccinations - 19th Feb 21
New BNPL Regulations Leave Zilch Leading the Way - 19th Feb 21
Work From Home Inflationary House Prices BOOM! - 18th Feb 21
Why This "Excellent" Stock Market Indicator Should Be on Your Radar Screen Now - 18th Feb 21
The Commodity Cycle - 18th Feb 21
Silver Backwardation and Other Evidence of a Silver Supply Squeeze - 18th Feb 21
Why I’m Avoiding These “Bottle Rocket” Stocks Like GameStop - 18th Feb 21
S&P 500 Correction Delayed Again While Silver Runs - 18th Feb 21
Silver Prices Are About to Explode as Stars are Lining up Like Never Before! - 18th Feb 21
Cannabis, Alternative Agra, Mushrooms, and Cryptos – Everything ALT is HOT - 18th Feb 21
Crypto Mining Craze, How We Mined 6 Bitcoins with a PS4 Gaming Console - 18th Feb 21
Stock Market Trend Forecasts Analysis Review - 17th Feb 21
Vaccine Nationalism Is a Multilateral, Neocolonial Failure - 17th Feb 21
First year of a Stocks bull market, or End of a Bubble? - 17th Feb 21
5 Reasons Why People Prefer to Trade Options Over Stocks - 17th Feb 21
The Gold & Gold Stock Corrections Are Normal - 17th Feb 21
WARNING Oculus Quest 2 Update v25 BROKE My VR Headset! - 17th Feb 21
UK Covid-19 Parks PACKED During Lockdown Despite "Stay at Home" Message - Endcliffe Park Sheffield - 17th Feb 21
How to Invest in ETFs in the UK - 17th Feb 21
Real Reason Why Black and Asian Ethnic minorities are NOT Getting Vaccinated - NHS Covid-19 Vaccinations - 16th Feb 21
THE INFLATION MEGA-TREND QE4EVER! - 16th Feb 21
Gold / Silver: What This "Large Non-Confirmation" May Mean - 16th Feb 21
Major Optimism for Platinum, Silver, and Copper - 16th Feb 21
S&P 500 Correction Looming, Just as in Gold – Or Not? - 16th Feb 21
Stock Market Last pull-back before intermediate top? - 16th Feb 21
GAMESTOP MANIA BUBBLE BURSTS! Investing Newbs Pump and Dump Roller coaster Ride - 16th Feb 21
Thinking About Starting to Trade This Year? Here Are Some Things to Keep in Mind - 16th Feb 21
US House Prices Real Estate Trend Forecast Review - 15th Feb 21
Will Tesla Charge Gold With Energy? - 15th Feb 21
Feeling the Growing Heat and Tensions in Stocks? - 15th Feb 21
Morgan Stanley Warns Gasoline Industry Is About to Become Totally Worthless - 15th Feb 21
Debts Lift Gold - Precious Metal Prices Will Rise on a Deluge of Red Ink - 15th Feb 21
Platinum Begins Big Breakout Rally - 15th Feb 21
How to Change Car Battery Without Losing Power, Memory, Radio Code Settings - 15th Feb 21
Five reasons why a financial advisor can make a big difference to your small business - 15th Feb 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

FIRST ACCESS to Nadeem Walayat’s Analysis and Trend Forecasts

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

6 Critical Money Making Rules