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Christian Lorentzen: Paul Krugman

19 July 2012
... scotch time’, he blogged after the Supreme Court refrained from striking it down) with parenthetical pleas to bring back the public option. In his book he wistfully recalls the late 1990s when BenBernanke, his former colleague at Princeton, called for Keynesian measures to alleviate Japan’s slump. Now Bernanke calls Krugman’s advocacy of increased inflation ‘reckless’. In 2008 Time put him on ...

The Big Mystique

William Davies: Central Banks and Banking

2 February 2017
The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath 
by Ben Bernanke.
Norton, 624 pp., £27.99, October 2015, 978 0 393 24721 3
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The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy 
by Mervyn King.
Little Brown, 448 pp., £25, March 2017, 978 0 349 14067 4
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... from was in keeping with an effort that central banks have been making for some time to demystify what they’re up to. This effort has been a guiding principle of the careers of both Mervyn King and BenBernanke, who was chair of the Federal Reserve between 2006 and 2014. The watchword of central banking since the early 2000s has been ‘transparency’, with ‘inflation-targeting’ the mechanism ...

Having Fun

Ben​ Jackson: Online Shaming

8 April 2015
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed 
by Jon Ronson.
Picador, 277 pp., £16.99, March 2015, 978 0 330 49228 7
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... named philanthropist of the month by Charity News Forum. The accolades from obscure organisations kept popping up, some of them seriously overestimating Upham’s importance by listing him alongside BenBernanke or Alvin Roth. Wood tracked down Venture Cap’s head office: the address was for a back entrance next to an Indian restaurant in Manhattan. He had found his way into the world of reputation ...

Bankocracy

John Lanchester: Lehman Brothers

5 November 2009
The Murder of Lehman Brothers: An Insider’s Look at the Global Meltdown 
by Joseph Tibman.
Brick Tower, 243 pp., £16.95, September 2009, 978 1 883283 71 1
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A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Incredible Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers 
by Larry McDonald, in collaboration with Patrick Robinson.
Ebury, 351 pp., £7.99, September 2009, 978 0 09 193615 0
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... margin of deposits – of $5 billion; Lehman couldn’t find the cash, and went to the Treasury for help. The response of Hank Paulson, Treasury secretary, backed by the head of the Federal Reserve, BenBernanke, and the head of the New York branch of the Fed, Tim Geithner, was to summon a group of bank heads and tell them to put a deal together that would rescue Lehman. This was something that has ...

Cityphobia

John Lanchester: The Crash

23 October 2008
... about the risk to the rest of the banking system if Bear Stearns collapsed and a ‘chaotic unwinding’ of the financial system followed. ‘Chaotic unwinding’ – good phrase. It was coined by BenBernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, and formerly an academic whose special subject of study, usefully, was the Great Depression. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, on the other hand, were more ...
3 March 2016
... Party would be unelectable unless Corbyn was removed. Brown kept relatively quiet, perhaps because he was busy negotiating his very own private finance initiative with the investment firm Pimco (BenBernanke and the former ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet are also joining its ‘global advisory board’). Simultaneously, his ennobled former chancellor, Lord Darling, was on his way to work for Morgan ...

Bait and Switch

Simon Wren-Lewis: The Global Financial Crisis

25 October 2018
Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World 
by Adam Tooze.
Allen Lane, 706 pp., £30, August 2018, 978 1 84614 036 5
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... the crisis of 2008-9 had the potential to be far worse. ‘Never before,’ as Tooze writes, ‘not even in the 1930s, had such a large and interconnected system come so close to total implosion.’ BenBernanke, chairman of the Fed at the time, calls the GFC the worst financial crisis in global history. The reason the GFC was more globally co-ordinated than the Depression is that it was caused by ...

Tempestuous Seasons

Adam Tooze: Keynes in China

13 September 2018
In the Long Run We Are All Dead: Keynesianism, Political Economy and Revolution 
by Geoff Mann.
Verso, 432 pp., £20, January 2017, 978 1 78478 599 4
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... If we don’t do this​ , we may not have an economy on Monday,’ the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, BenBernanke, said on 18 September 2008 when he demanded action from Congress to assist the banking system. Ten years later we do still have an economy. But it is worth asking whether the panic back then ...
4 April 2019
... Party. In 2008, in the midst of the financial crisis, the Republicans in Congress abandoned the Bush administration. The financial crisis-fighting of Hank Paulson as Bush’s Treasury secretary and BenBernanke at the Fed relied on the Democrats for congressional support. Elite leadership of the Republican Party collapsed. John McCain chose the shockingly unqualified Sarah Palin as a running mate ...

How Much Is Too Much?

Benjamin Kunkel: Marx’s Return

3 February 2011
The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism 
by David Harvey.
Profile, 296 pp., £14.99, April 2010, 978 1 84668 308 4
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A Companion to Marx’s ‘Capital’ 
by David Harvey.
Verso, 368 pp., £10.99, March 2010, 978 1 84467 359 9
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... ownership of capital by one class, and of little or nothing but its labour power by another. Paul Krugman, discussing Roubini’s book in the New York Review of Books, agreed with him that what BenBernanke called the ‘global savings glut’ lay at the heart of the crisis, behind the proximate follies of deregulation, mortgage-securitisation, excessive leverage and so on. Originating in the current ...

Towards the Precipice

Robert Brenner: The Continuing Collapse of the US Economy

6 February 2003
... downward pressure on incomes. Falling profits in the second and third quarters of 2002 seemed to substantiate the Fed’s concern. Subsequent assurances by Chairman Greenspan and the Fed Governor, BenBernanke, that deflation was only a remote possibility – and could in any case easily be countered by the Fed’s printing money – naturally had an effect opposite to that intended. After more ...

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