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Cross-Atlantic Economic Connections

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

On the Brian Lehrer Show today at 10:06. Audio and a recap of this conversation will be posted here by 1pm.

Joe Nocera, New York Times op-ed columnist, discusses the dip and surge in the market yesterday and the connections between the American economy and the turmoil in European economies.

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Joe Nocera

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Comments [25]

European Central Bank caused the Euro debt crisis from - Democratize the ECB!

The European Central Bank caused the Euro debt crisis.
10s of millions of people in Greece, Ireland, Spain, and elsewhere face needless unemployment and suffering because of the ECB's arrogant contempt.
All the ECB had to do to avoid the Euro debt crisis was loosen monetary policy.
If Greece, Ireland or Spain had their own currency
then they simply would have printed more money - creating inflation, but also increasing growth and employment.
This would weaken their currency and improve exports. But the ECB is proud,
and serves the banks, not the EU's people.
Greece, Ireland and Spain faced the same problem that developping nations did when they borrowed using foreign currency denominated debt. The cruel and inefficient solutions were similar. Ignoring the interests of the majority of people, and even of the overall economy, the ECB and IMF forced job and growth killing austerity - an approach known since Keynes to be counterproductive - and which only serves the creditors.
None of the ECB's leaders or any of their friends or family personally feel the austerity. For them it is a distant problem.
Sadly, the ECB has been allowed to wall itself off from democratic processes.
This should no longer be tollerated.
The ECB plays a vital role in the lives of
Europe's citizens and should be required to answer to them.

Aug. 11 2011 08:30 PM
European Central Bank cause the Euro debt crisis from Democratize the ECB!


The European Central Bank caused the Euro debt crisis.

10s of millions of people in Greece,
Ireland, Spain, and elsewhere face needless unemployment and suffering because of the ECB's arrogant contempt.

All the ECB had to do to avoid the Euro debt crisis was loosen monetary policy.
If Greece or Spain had their own currency
then they simply would have printed more money - creating inflation, but also increasing growth and employment.
This would weaken their currency and improve exports. But the ECB is proud,
and serves the banks, not the EU's people.

Greece and Spain faced the same problem that developping nations did when they borrowed using foreign currency denominated debt. The cruel and inefficient solutions were similar. Ignoring the interests of the majority of people, and even of the overall economy, the ECB and IMF forced job and growth killing austerity - an approach known since Keynes to be counterproductive - and which only serves the creditors.

None of the ECB's leaders or any of their friends or family personally feel the austerity. For them it is a distant problem.

Sadly, the ECB has been allowed to wall itself off from democratic processes.
This should no longer be tollerated.
The ECB plays a vital role in the lives of
Europe's citizens and should be required to answer to them.

Aug. 11 2011 08:27 PM
Ann Arlen from South Village

Joe Nocera needs to study up on hydrofracking if he is going to pronounce on it. Ian Urbina in the NYT has a fine and well-researched series on it.

Re All The Devils Are Here, I was puzzled that Bethany McLean, the lead author, was not mentioned.

Aug. 11 2011 12:28 AM
Xtina from Xtina

gary from Queens, no one is investing in a small business or restaurant, that's the problem. Didn't you listen to what Joe Nocera said - people are sitting on their cash? Trillions and trillions of it, which is why they're running around like chickens without heads looking for something safe to invest in and causing these stock market swoons. Higher taxes are an incentive to invest because that is a reliable way to avoid paying taxes. Lower taxes cause cash hoarding and no investment.

Get a clue.

Aug. 10 2011 05:33 PM
gary from queens

Classic liberal view by Matt Damon: If you earn more than what most people think you need to live well, then the government should take the remainder of what you earned.

Why? Because the government knows best what to do with your wealth. You may want to invest it in a neighborhood restaurant, or other business. But why do that when the government could just give the money to people who have less of it?

Thats the insanity of liberals. And no one objects to it until THEIR discretionary income is deemed taxable!!! THEN suddenly there's a moral consideration to collectivist confiscatory model.

Aug. 10 2011 10:42 AM
M-Stone from Delhi, NY

Regarding Mr. Nocera's point about the "right" being against hydro-fracking. This is not the case at all. I live in Delaware County, a democrat, and like many many others with similar left-leanings, oppose fracking because it has true potential to destroy our water supply. We cannot live without water. He was way off there.

Aug. 10 2011 10:39 AM
Nikki

Your guest mentioned hydrofracturing to meet our energy needs.
There is not anyone who claims that this would allow us to get off foreign oil. Thereis much debate over whether the energy yield would be sufficient to outweigh the risk. It is a very intensive energy investment to retrieve the gas and in various areas where it's been done there has been water contamination

Aug. 10 2011 10:38 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Bravo, Arthur.

Nah, these people will never abandon him .....even though they know in their hearts what an underperformer the pressures of the office are showing him to be.

Aug. 10 2011 10:37 AM
Fuva from Harlemworld

Tooty, Maybe you're right. Maybe his election was way too dependent upon the bankers, etc. Or maybe we made assumptions about his progressiveness that were unfounded...Or maybe it's even more complicated than that...

Aug. 10 2011 10:37 AM
Arthur

People want some indication that Pres. Asperger (Obama) is going to do something - anything. I can say with almost 100% confidence that he won't. Whether he's weak or willfully complicit in the collapse is irrelevant. He's a zero and will do NOTHING. Population needs to get over that, write him off as a failure and figure out what the future needs to be. But don't count on this jerk of a president.

Aug. 10 2011 10:33 AM
shashinyc from NYC

Shocking that Nocera believes trading clean drinking water for cheaper energy is a trifling tradeoff. I guess he doesn't have a well in his apartment.

Aug. 10 2011 10:31 AM
Rick from Manhattan

I would like to respond to your guest's reaction to my call. First, what I propose does not do away with free trade. All it says is that in order to benefit from free-trade arrangements a country has to play both sides of the game, buy as well as sell. Trade agreements are intended to make production efficient, not to permit countries to pursue beggar-thy-neighbor, mercantilist policies. Countries would have maximum latitude in arriving at a balanced trade position. All they would have to do is accurately collect and report their trade status.

With repsect to oil, I think that if the American people make the direct connection between oil surpluses abroad and jobs here they would be more receptive to domestic production. Also, raising the relative cost of foreign energy would provide an incentive for domestic production.

Aug. 10 2011 10:31 AM
Heidi

How can the caller claim that unhealthy drinking water is a trade off for dependence on foreign oil? Clean, healthy drinking water is a necessity for life. There are alternative energy sources that do not destroy the environment and, as a result, humanity. Trading drinking water for foreign oil independence is not a legitimate trade off.

Aug. 10 2011 10:31 AM
Tooty from brooklyn

Fuva - What Obama does and says now does not matter anymore.

He lost his opportunity to be a leader in 2009 . He took office and gave trillions to banks with out firing everyone and wiping out equity holders. That showed to his opponents that he is a "looser" who will not stand up for anything.

Aug. 10 2011 10:30 AM
Inquisigal from brooklyn

Does Nocera not note the irony of his statement that mounting fear of the situation in Europe can cause vast economic problems here - and how we should deal with that fear is to "worry about Europe." Huh????

Aug. 10 2011 10:26 AM
Rich from Westfield,NJ

Joe is a solid thinker on the markets and economy. Europe let Iceland and Ireland, two countries with total combined populations smaller than NYC, explosively expand their banks with practically zero regulation. The debt creating machine is empty, and the painful adjustment will continue for years.

Aug. 10 2011 10:26 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

THANK YOU, JAMIE.

Nocera went even beyond his bluntness on MSNBC.

Aug. 10 2011 10:24 AM

We heard it from a number of brian lehrer guests, such as business week editor, and from the President in the last few days:

"America will always be a triple a rated economy."

does joe approve of this statement or find that it destroys any credibility by making such a forecast utterly without evidence? gives me the same brand of creeps (govt-media cheerleading) i felt during the run up to the iraqi invasion.

Aug. 10 2011 10:23 AM
Fuva from Harlemworld

Can someone articulate what the president should be doing, that he's not? Make speeches that are more stirring? This will make any shortcoming more vivid. So far, criticisms are abstract.

Aug. 10 2011 10:22 AM
tommy from queens

Do you think that the President will find another way to appease the GOP and Wall Street bankers?

Will there be a follow up to the frieghtened way that he handled the bankers and thier hired guns at the GOP in 2009?

Aug. 10 2011 10:20 AM
David from West Hempstead

This canard about presidential "leadership" is absolutely preposterous.There is not a single material way in which Obama can effect a change in the fundamental drivers of our current economic situation. All people are clamoring for is hand-holding.

Aug. 10 2011 10:19 AM
gary from queens

I would like to know if Joe believes that third world countries are suffering from the economic slide of the US.

Most of the food and economic aid to other countries by the US have been the excess of production----that is, the crumbs that are left from the capitalist engine that had been humming before the recession.

For example, I can't imagine the US sending $20 billion of grain and food to Egypt again, or at least anytime soon.

Aug. 10 2011 10:19 AM
jose from nyc

Can you speak to what a weak and ineffective president Obama has been?

Aug. 10 2011 10:16 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Oops, I'm wrong. It seems that the kool-aid has worn off as well on Mr. Nocera's NYT editorial colleague Maureen Dowd, as witnessed in her column this morning. There are so many interesting comments about Obama's (who she sarcastically calls "The One") actual leadership skills in her piece (now that we are stuck with him) that it is difficult to choose just a few juicier ones:

"the President has been so spectacularly unable to fill the leadership void in Washington...."

"..once more, too little too late......his belated, ineffectual response.....spent the next week callously shuttling from the podium to the golf course."

"He long ago should have come up with a plan that people could study."

"He doesn't like the bully pulpit, just the professor's lectern."

Hey, Ms. Dowd...where were you in November 2008....and please come back in November 2012.

Aug. 10 2011 09:20 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Please ask Mr. Nocera to expand upon his delightful comments yesterday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" (Tuesday, 8/9...video available at Huffington Post)

"Maybe Obama is better at running for office than running the country."

"On the economy, the President is doing terribly."

"He has never been comfortable with the subject of economics."

"He didn't have a plan.....not having a smarter sense of how to proceed."

Duh, great to hear that even a New York Times editorial writer can have a moment of candor. Stay "on message", Joe, or look for the Obama worship cult at the NYT to find a new columnist for your Tuesday & Saturday space soon.

Aug. 10 2011 07:37 AM

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