SEJ Blogs

Our blogs are short commentaries on current affairs issues.

President Obama Is Emulating Buchanan Instead Of Lincoln

George Tyler

Obama is Leaving Economic Inequality for his Successors to Fix President Obama is emulating former President James Buchanan. His economic agenda is to kick the can down the road, leaving his successors an America of widening economic inequality without prospect of remediation. The Obama Presidency is facing the most toxic, polarized environment since the antebellum […]

Europe Does Not Understand Deflation And Wages

Ronald Janssen

Led by the IMF, the main body of mainstream economists is now aware of the danger that debt deflation is raising for several Euro Area member states. This awareness is surely a good thing. However, what is conspicuously absent in this discussion is the link with wages. It is as if ‘lowflation’ (as the IMF […]

DG ECFIN And The Missing Greek Exports

Ronald Janssen

Economists at DG ECFIN are starting to notice something we have pointed out already some time ago: Despite an enormous cut in wage costs, Greek exports have firmly stayed put in recessionary territory and hopes for an export-led recovery have proven to be illusive. Troubled by this failure of Greek exports to lift off, DG ECFIN […]

Brexit And The 2015 Business Vote

Simon Wren-Lewis

David Cameron has pledged that, if he wins the 2015 election, he will spend the next two years renegotiating the UK’s terms of membership, and then hold a referendum by the end of 2017. The Labour opposition has declined to match this pledge. The UK business community, particularly those involved in trade, is broadly against UK exit […]

Cameron’s EU Politics Is A Masterclass In How To Lose Friends

Eunice Goes

In one of the many memorable moments from “Yes, Prime Minister”, mandarin-in-chief Sir Humphrey Appleby suggests some “masterly inactivity” to a premier who is determined to show there is a “firm hand” at the top of government. If in the past weeks a similar suggestion has been made by a real mandarin to the current occupier […]

If You Want to Do European Politics, Do European Politics

Denis McShane

One of the strangest aspects of the European Commission president soap opera is the discovery by many of the London political-media elite that political considerations appear mysteriously to have entered European Union affairs. There are accusations that the European Parliament has made a ‘power grab’. Well, that’s what Parliaments exist for. There is the discovery […]

Why Governments Need To Stop Financialisation

Costas Lapavitsas

The structural problems within the UK and other mature economies were brought to the surface during and after the financial crisis of 2007-9. In my new paper,  State and finance in financialised capitalism, for the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class) I argue that these problems are inherent to contemporary mature capitalism and have […]

Fiscal Rules: Politics And Economics

Simon Wren-Lewis

[jpshare] Jonathan Portes and I have an article in Prospect, which is a short summary of our discussion paper on fiscal rules (see here or here). In this post I want to use that paper to make two observations on the interaction of politics and economics. Jonathan and I are frequently accused of being against […]

Real Business Leaders Want To Save Capitalism

Robert Reich

[jpshare] A few weeks ago I was visited in my office by the chairman of one of the country’s biggest high-tech firms who wanted to talk about the causes and consequences of widening inequality and the shrinking middle class, and what to do about it. I asked him why he was concerned. “Because the American […]

Does Politics Dominate Economics In Eurozone Crisis Management?

Simon Wren-Lewis

Athanasios Orphanides, leading academic macroeconomist and from 2007-12 Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus, does not hold back in a recent paper. Here is just one quote: “During the crisis, key decision makers exhibited neither political leadership nor political courage. Rather than work towards containing total losses, politics led governments to focus on shifting losses […]

Do We Need Treaty Change?

Jan Marinus Wiersma

[jpshare] European Council President Van Rompuy has been tasked to consult the relevant stakeholders about suitable candidates for the presidency of the European Commission (EC). He will undoubtedly also want to talk substance. What will the new Commission work plan have to look like, for example? In the meantime, Jean-Claude Juncker has gotten the green […]

Why Banking Crises Happen In America But Not In Canada

John Kay

[jpshare] Tim Geithner’s memoir, published last month, tells us of his life as a firefighter: constantly on call to extinguish a fresh blaze. His baptism of fire, as it were, was in the Mexican financial crisis of 1994: he gained more firefighting experience when called out to Thailand – followed in short order by South […]