Mexico: So Close and Yet So Far

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Our “neighbor to the south” is finally receiving some long overdue attention, albeit for undesirable reasons. Mexico’s crisis is stealing headlines here in the U.S., a difficult task during an economic crisis. Without a moment to spare, the White House has announced that President Obama is planning a visit to Mexico. In fact, President Felipe Calderon can expect an impressive parade of guests over the next couple of weeks: “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will visit Mexico next week,…

MEDIA ALERT: Warren Olney’s “To the Point” on Geithner, AIG, and Obama’s Economic Muddle

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I will be participating in a discussion today on Warren Olney’s excellent “To The Point” that runs on the National Public Radio network all over the country at various times. Other guests on the show will be David Sirota, Congressman Brad Sherman, and David Rothkopf. It will be live on KCRW from 3 to 4 pm EST, or 12 noon – 1 pm if you are on Pacific time. Locally, it will play on WAMU between 10 and 11 pm…

Finally, a Brilliant Idea on Toxic Assets

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On Simon Johnson’s excellent blog, the Baseline Scenario, this morning, I came across the best idea I have seen to address the toxic asset issue while taking into account the populist sense that the little guy is taking all the pain and getting none of the potential gain. In short, a reader to Simon’s blog suggests that, if the US Government is going to subsidize private capital to entice it with the prospect of outsize returns on these illiquid/toxic assets,…

The Unintended Consequences of Taxing Bonuses: Increased US Political Risk

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This post was written anonymously by a former investment banker. As a former investment banker, I know that my views on the taxation of bonuses will be immediately suspect. So let me start by stating unequivocally that many on Wall Street and in the global financial services sector have acted in an indefensible manner. Many still don’t “get it.” Without government funds most, if not all, of the major players, would be out of business today. Those that argue to…

Bernard Schwartz, Laura Tyson, Martin Wolf, George Soros Mark Zandi and Others to Headline Major NAF Economic Policy Forum on London G-20 Meeting and What Will Replace US Consumer

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Regrettably, the Obama administration seems to be fumbling the ball on an economic policy course that restores confidence in the American economy on both the optics level and also on a substantive front that reorganizes the “social contract” and design of the real economy in the U.S. Obama, in his ‘loyalty’ to his current economic team and the mistakes they are making is the antithesis of Abraham Lincoln. Obama may have tried to mimic Lincoln’s “team of rivals” approach to…

Rendell, Schwarzenegger and Bloomberg on Target in “Deep Infrastructure” Campaign

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This is a guest post by New America Foundation/Economic Growth Program policy director Michael Lind. Lind recently authored for Salon, “Obama’s Timid Liberalism“. Infrastructure investment and other themes related to the question, “What Will Replace the American Consumer?” will be discussed at the 1st Bernard L. Schwartz Economic Symposium at the New America Foundation next Thursday, 26 March — which is designed to be both an experts program primer for those preparing for the London-hosted G-20 Summit on the 2nd…

Christina Romer Gets it WRONG: “We Need Banks to Lend Like Crazy”

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On CNN’s State of the Union show, John King just missed the key zinger statement made by Council of Economic Advisers Chair Christina Romer. Romer refused to get into the issue of how the Obama administration shoved Senate Finance Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd to “reluctantly remove” a provision that would disallow bonuses from firms that received federal relief — and didn’t want to get into how on one day Summers defended the bonuses when the next day Obama said they…

Biden’s Big Bounce at Gridiron Dinner — Perhaps We Need Elite Blogger Evening

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I really wish I had been invited to the annual Gridiron Dinner — but wasn’t. Some people saw me sitting near the tux and white tie’d National Portrait Gallery Director Emeritus Marc Pachter yesterday late afternoon at a brilliantly irreverant and stimulating evening at the Gallery featuring film and culture cult leader John Waters sharing his views on another artistic cult leader (that’s what John Waters called him) Cy Twombly. Pachter was seriously dudded up and I was in jeans….

John Waters on Cy Twombly. . .and Happy Spring

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The C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College, of which I’m a board member, and the National Portrait Gallery are sponsoring an afternoon discussion today with filmmaker John Waters. Waters will reflect on Cy Twombly’s “Letter of Resignation.” I’m going to be there — and while on my way there (and back) am thinking about Barack Obama’s greetings to Iran and Ayatollah Khamenei’s response back. I don’t want to offer a simple salute to…