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China’s Back-Door Yuan Strategy

  • By
  • Samuel Sherraden,
  • New America Foundation
September 24, 2010

It has been widely reported that China has dramatically reduced its purchases of US Treasuries over the past year.  But it would be wrong to conclude that China has stopped intervening in currency markets or even that it is dumping the dollar.

The Great Recession Strains the American Social Contract

  • By
  • Lauren Damme,
  • New America Foundation
November 23, 2010

The Great Recession has exposed numerous flaws in our social contract – weaknesses that existed prior to the economic downturn – highlighting the need for changes in our system. This series of policy briefs explores the stresses on our social contract, and the policy changes that must be made to mend it. The six-part series includes:


Overview: The Great Recession exposes flaws in the American Social Contract.

Public Purpose Finance

  • By
  • Michael Lind,
  • New America Foundation
September 9, 2010

Executive Summary

Rebuilding the American economy in the aftermath of the most severe global economic crisis since the Great Depression can be achieved in part with the aid of public economic development banks that can leverage private capital for public purposes that include investment in infrastructure, energy, R&D, manufacturing and skills development. 

Focusing on Innovation

  • By Michael Mandel, Visible Economy LLC
September 6, 2010

The first step in treating a severe illness is making the correct diagnosis.  Since passing the stimulus package in early 2009, President Obama and his economics team have groped for a good explanation of why the economy remains stuck in a long-term slump, and in particular, why job growth has remained so slow.  The answers have variously been high health care costs, fiscal profligacy by the Bush administration, recklessness on Wall Street, excess dependence on foreign oil,  and a poor education system.

Promoting Recovery through Cheap Credit for Small Businesses

  • By Robert Pollin, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
September 6, 2010

The single most important reason for the failure of the recovery to take hold thus far is that private credit markets are locked up, especially for small businesses.  Private business borrowing and lending is at a standstill, while private banks are holding an unprecedented $1.1 trillion in cash reserves in their Federal Reserve accounts.  In 2007, before the recession began, the banks held only $20 billion in reserves.  The 2007 figure was itself dangerously low.  But a nearly $1 trillion turnaround in bank reserve holdings is a new form of Wall Street excess.

Monetary Policy’s Role in America’s Economic Recovery

  • By Joseph Gagnon, Peterson Institute for International Economics
September 6, 2010

At this year’s Jackson Hole conference for central bankers, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke admitted that the economic recovery so far this year has been “somewhat less vigorous than we expected,” but he expressed hope that the economy would return to a more satisfactory growth rate next year.  Considering that the Fed was already projecting a markedly slower recovery than America experienced after previous deep recessions, the Fed’s economic objectives are far too modest.  Ideally, the US economy should be growing at a 5 percent rate in 2010 and 2011 to recover lost ground and get work

Readying a Plan B for Economic Recovery

  • By Marshall Auerback, Senior Fellow, Roosevelt Institute
September 6, 2010

President Obama, his economics team, and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve continue to display a curiously detached view of the economy.  Just the other day, the president indicated that “it took nearly a decade to dig the hole that we’re in” as if that provided an excuse for the lassitude he continues to display in regard to the problem of unemployment.

Thoughts on a Plan B

  • By James K. Galbraith, University of Texas at Austin
September 6, 2010

In July 2008, in a memorandum for the Obama campaign team and later published in Challenge,  I wrote as follows:

If the above analysis is correct, the political capital of the new presidency risks being depleted, quite quickly, in a series of short-term stimulus efforts that will do little more than buoy the economy for a few months each. Since they will not lead to a revival of private credit, every one of those efforts will ultimately be seen as “too little, too late” and therefore as ending in failure.

We Can't Afford This House

  • By
  • Reihan Salam,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Christopher Papagianis
August 2, 2010 |

At the end of June, the House of Representatives voted to extend the $8,000 homebuyers' tax credit, by an extraordinary margin of 409-5. The Senate approved the measure on a voice vote. At a polarized political moment, this near unanimity was noteworthy in itself. Conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats, from cities and suburbs and small towns across the country, joined together to shower a bit more taxpayer largesse on one of America's favorite industries: real estate. But there's a problem with this bipartisan idyll.

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