ECONOMISTS I HAVE READ
In college I was a big fan of Robert Heilbroner, author of The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times and Ideas of Great Economic Thinkers and other books. Heilbroner started out a socialist, but repudiated it in the late 1980s. "Capitalism organizes the material affairs of humankind more satisfactorily than socialism," he wrote. "Democratic liberties have not yet appeared, except fleetingly, in any nation that has declared itself to be fundamentally anticapitalist."
Other books about economics that have influenced my thinking.
2009 WILL BE ECONOMIC HELL; THINGS WILL GET BETTER IN 2010
Steering Into Economic Headwind: Three Scenarios for 2009: Depression? Recovery? Years of Anemic Growth Ahead? (Boston Globe)
In 2009, NC will see "a 0.2 percent decline in gross state product -- the same as in 2008 and a stark contrast to 2.4 percent growth in 2007," according to a UNC-Charlotte economic forecast. The analysis projected
declines in construction; manufacturing; finance, insurance and real estate; retail trade; and other sectors.
annual growth in government; transportation, warehousing, utilities and information; services; and agriculture.
Paul Krugman, NYT: "It may take a lot longer than many people think before the U.S. economy is ready to live without bubbles. And until then, the economy is going to need a lot of government help." http://tinyurl.com/9ml7ne
What's Ahead: Rising unemployment (projected to become 9.4% or even 10% or higher, according to Obama economic advisor Larry Summers, from 6.7 percent in November 2008). Dec. 2008 unemployment benefit claims were the highest since 1982. (Source)
3.5 Million Job Losses Projected in 2008 By Obama Economic Advisors. (Source)
We can expect continued declines in investment portfolios, with the Dow possibly plunging to 7,000.
PROJECTED GLOOM MAY BE EXAGGERATED OR SELF-FULFILLING PROPHESY
Given the "upsides" I noted above, I'm not sure I agree with the widely reported assumption that "we are now in the grip of what will almost certainly be the longest, if not the worst, recession since the end of World War II."
OBAMA AND ECONOMICS
Obama and the Chicago School: "'They were extremely interested in facts,' [Nobel laureate James] Heckman said. 'There seemed to be, with the people I dealt with, less of an ideological bias and more of an empirical one.'" "Ruthless pragmatism" is one prediction for an Obama administration. -- EdCone.com
Why the government needs to spend heavily now and not worry too much about deficits. "Right now we have a fundamental shortfall in private spending: consumers are rediscovering the virtues of saving at the same moment that businesses, burned by past excesses and hamstrung by the troubles of the financial system, are cutting back on investment. That gap will eventually close, but until it does, government spending must take up the slack. Otherwise, private investment, and the economy as a whole, will plunge even more. The bottom line, then, is that people who think that fiscal expansion today is bad for future generations have got it exactly wrong. The best course of action, both for today’s workers and for their children, is to do whatever it takes to get this economy on the road to recovery." -- Paul Krugman, The New York Times.
The Crash of 1929: Get historical perspective on the current financial crisis.
Peter Schiff Predicted Deep Recession, Was Met With Contempt and Ridicule on Fox News
'I Surrender,' Free Market Fundamentalist Finally Concedes. Disgusted with $700 billion bailouts, he says Republicans are just like Democrats.
Ten People All Personal Finance Junkies Should Follow on Twitter http://idek.net/k3
The one article to read on the financial mess is Michael Lewis, "The End." http://is.gd/705w
Ed Cone: The Rise and Fall of Biz Journalism: "There have been some lessons learned. Business journalism today is more sober, and clear eyed, and rigorous than it was in the recent past, even as fewer people trust it or even pay attention to it anymore. I'll leave you with a prediction: this new sobriety and seriousness of purpose will last, at least until the start of the next bubble." Oh yeah??
If in 1977, you saw a picture of these guys and heard about their cockamammie scheme for world domination, would you have given them a few hundred dollars?
If you had, you would be a multi-millionaire today!
These were the creators of a company called Micro-soft. Bill Gates, a college dropout, is the guy on the bottom left. They look like a bunch of drug users. Read more.
Schools of Economic Thought Now Include Skeptics of Unfettered Free Markets in New Era of Global Competition
Greenspan Says U.S. Must Return to Pay As You Go
'Libertarian Republican' Alan Greenspan Praises Clinton Administration's Fiscal Discipline, Excoriates Bush and Republicans for Abandoning Conservative Principles
Two Guys and a Basement: Parkville company grows from a home office to provide data services to restaurant groups throughout the country.
Entrepreneurs: Jim Meredith, Gene Peters
Company: ROS Technology Services Inc. (ROSnet)