Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Misc IPE Developments and Research...

. Wednesday, July 6, 2011

... That I won't properly blog.

-- US and Mexico finally reach agreement on cross-border trucking. This issue has been festering since NAFTA's beginning, but came to a head a few years ago when Mexico got fed up and enacted retaliatory tariffs. To be clear: the US has been in the wrong here all along. Via Greg Weeks on Twitter, who also noticed Chomsky criticizing Chavez.

-- US, EU, and Mexico win case against China in the WTO over Chinese restrictions of exports of rare earth metals. China said the restrictions were for environmental reasons, but they were pretty clearly intended to benefit domestic manufacturers by subsidizing the price of an important input into production.

-- Brazil's real continues to rise, and they don't like it. Is this what adjustment looks like? And is it just me, or do all of Latin America's major economies look fairly fragile right now?

-- John Quiggin has an excellent series of posts [1, 2, 3] on what remains of Marxism if we ditch the assumption that revolution is both necessary and sufficient for positive social change. The answer, it seems to me, is very little that we can't get elsewhere. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, prompted by this awful book by Terry Eagleton (and even worse promo essay). I will probably be returning to the topic eventually.

-- Chinn, Eichengreen, and Ito do a "forensic analysis" on global macro imbalances in the run-up to the crisis. They aren't very optimistic about corrections in the near future. And Chinn describes an important-looking paper by Rose and Eichengreen on the effects of abandoning currency pegs for gaining policy flexibility elsewhere.

-- Tim Harford explains what all the fuss about bank capital is about. Excellent intro for those unfamiliar with the topic.

-- An aggravated take on the current US political economy of banking and bailouts.

-- The BIS compares the internationalization of the 2008 banking crisis, as compared to the 1931 banking crisis. The takeaway is that we only got a Great Recession (Little Depression? What are we calling this?) in 2008 because the lack of a gold standard allowed large liquidity injections.

-- Ha-Joon Chang and Jagdish Bhagwati debate the merits of a strong manufacturing base in The Economist. I wonder if the vote tally is a sign of the times? Ryan Avent adds some levity.

-- Cosma Shalizi reviews the new Easley-Kleinberg book on networks in The American Scientist. A free pre-print of the book is still available here (very large pdf).

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