Amity Shlaes

Amity Shlaes: The Forgotten Man

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Immigration, Social Security, Jagadeesh Gokhale, Heritage

by Amity Shlaes

This week’s column (posted tomorrow) tries out the idea of a new Social Security reform that includes both rejiggering Social Security benefits formula and skilled immigrants. For detail in depth about Social Security, two go-to places are Bill Beach’s Center for Data Analysis at Heritage, and Jagadeesh Gokhale’s new book, Social Security. You or I may not come out where Jagadeesh does. He says the future is even darker than the Social Security actuaries suggest. Still these are topics we all need to revisit during the upcoming tax debate, not after.

Alan Reynolds is right..

by Amity Shlaes

Alan writes in National Review Online:

Republicans’ Keynesian Arguments

Republicans should stop using Keynesian arguments against Keynesian policies. The mantra that President Obama should “focus on jobs,” for example, was an open invitation for the GOP to be sucker-punched when Obama simply relabeled his second stimulus bill a “jobs bill.” To demand the president focus on jobs seemed like an endorsement of the president’s odd notion that he can “create or save” jobs by using borrowed money to expand government payrolls and transfer payments.

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French Doors, Swimming Pools, Apartment Shortages

by Amity Shlaes

This Bloomberg column, “No Swimming Pool in Your Future,” looks at whether the consumer is as much an idiot as current policy of both parties suggests. The article doesn’t totally convey the depth of the data base and, therefore, the value of the findings of the authors (Harvey Rosen, Kristopher Gerardi, Paul Willen). Gerardi and Willen have also coauthored with Andreas Lehnert and Shane Sherlund a Brookings Paper, “Making Sense of the Subprime Crisis.” 

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Michael Ferri’s Evidence from 2004 Election….

by Amity Shlaes

This article  by Michael Ferri in the Journal of Applied Finance provides more evidence that political events, especially the expected outcome of national elections, can move equity markets. His article uses statistical methods to demonstrate that the reversal in expectations of the outcome of the 2004 US Presidential election moved the US equity markets.

Four Trading Days In September

by Amity Shlaes

Here’s a recent column by me on whether markets rise when Congress is confused or inactive. Ali Wambold writes in recalling an event that seems to suggest “confusion = good”.  On Sept 18, 2008, Bloomberg carried a story announcing Congress would adjourn and that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said “no one knows what to do at the moment. ” 

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Sunset Necessity

by Amity Shlaes

This week’s Bloomberg column is on the Sunset movement, which seems to me a good movement for both political parties at this point. John Chachas’s plan to run against Harry Reid is tactically interesting because Nevada has a relatively small population. Rep. Kevin Brady and I connected too late in the day for his quote to make it into the column, but it’s important. “I continue to push for a federal sunset law that would hold all agencies and programs accountable to a sunset date.” In other words, Brady too wants less discretion and more structure in the political process.

Columbus Dispatch’s Torry

by Amity Shlaes

Jack Torry of the Columbus Dispatch covered the Senate Banking Committee hearings on the 1930s and then did an interview on TFM. I’m glad I got to talk to him, not just for the interview but coz I like his angle: not a New Deal, but a better deal. Torry took a lot of trouble to figure out the data. All of us involved in the story appreciate that.

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