Why There Will Be Far Fewer Cars, But Many More Miles Driven

cars lot flooded disappearing

Available today at advantageous prices

– By Jeff McMahon  

 . . . . You don’t have to be Milton Friedman to figure out that car ownership is economically foolish.
  • “I want you, on purpose, to spend $33,000 on an asset, okay?
  • And I want you, on purpose, the minute you buy it, to lose 11.5 percent.
  • And on purpose to make that asset sit idle 95 percent of the time,”
. . . . said Gary Silberg, the Americas head of the automotive division of the financial services firm KPMG. “You don’t have to have a PhD in economics to figure out that it’s maybe not a great idea to buy a car.
“The average price of a car in America is $33,000, the average loss is 11.5 percent, and the average idle time is over 95 percent.”
But Americans love their cars, right?
“Okay, so why do people buy cars?” Silberg asked

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Joseph Stiglitz: America has been afflicted by an ideology that doesn’t work


Exclusive: America has been afflicted by an ideology that doesn’t work, says Joseph Stiglitz

Excerpts from article by Ajith Vijay Kumar, April 28, 2018 | http://www.timesnownews.com/  https://bit.ly/2HWc1EQ

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, in an exclusive interview with timesnownews.com, talks about what is wrong with current American capitalism, rise of a new kind of politics emerging from dissent towards government and more. Here are some excerpts from the interview:

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Greek Crisis: Why Greece’s Lenders Need to Suffer

Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy

These first excerpts from an article by Adam Davidson published in The New York Times Magazine on 28 July 2015 deserves the closest attention of anyone who wishes to have a balanced understanding of the events shaping what we call here the “Greek crisis”.

Bond traders goldman SachsThere is definitive proof, for anyone willing to look, that Greece is not solely or even primarily responsible for its own financial crisis. The proof is not especially exciting: It is a single bond, with the identification code GR0133004177. But a consideration of this bond should end, permanently, any discussion of Greece’s crisis as a moral failing on the part of the Greeks.

GR0133004177 is the technical name for a bond the Greek government sold on Nov. 10, 2009, in a public auction. Every business day, governments and companies hold auctions like this; it is how they borrow money. Bond auctions, though, are not at all…

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Greek Crisis:”Greece must sign a deal now”

Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy

Greece line in front of bank 28jun15

In the following op-ed, thirteen prominent economists of Greek origin from around the world call on Greece to sign a credible agreement with the Europeans immediately.

Source: http://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/29/greece-must-sign-a-credible-agreement-with-the-europeans-now-commentary.html 

What would be crucial elements of a good agreement?

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Greek Crisis: Selected international media coverage

Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy

greek crisis eading newspapersThe following listing provides links to selected references from international  sources of high quality and with quite different points of view. Access to these sources are, as might be expected, quite uneven.  About half of them require that you pay or subscribe to access full text of particles.  But over these last weeks we have done fairly well with these addresses, offering as they do some quite different perspectives on these unfolding events.

* The Guardian on Greece – http://www.theguardian.com/world/greece

* Der Spiegel on Greece – http://goo.gl/PgxiPs

* Le Monde on Grèce – http://www.lemonde.fr/crise-grecque/

* Financial Times on Greece – https://goo.gl/2lGPNu

* Krugman on Greece –  http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/?s=Greece

* The Economist on Greece –  http://goo.gl/LjGsf7

Other SDED coverage here: 

*  SDED on the Greek Crisishere.

*  SDED Facebook Coverage:  – here.

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Greek government-debt crisis timeline *

Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy

wikipedia logoEssential reading from Wikipedia on this subject:

This article contains the timeline of events for the Greek government-debt crisis which began in 2009 and is ongoing. During this period many changes have occurred in Greece. The income of many Greeks has declined, levels of unemployment have increased, elections and resignations of politicians have altered the country’s political landscape radically, the Greek parliament has passed many austerity bills, and protests have become common sights throughout the country. A brief summary follows highlighting some key events since the Greek elections of October 2009.

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Greek Crisis: Jean Tirole on Europe’s Future Is Federal

Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy

8 July 2015. – http://www.socialeurope.eu/2015/07/europes-future-federal/

jean tirole  FranceNumerous Europeans view Europe as a one-way street: they appreciate its advantages but are little inclined to accept common rules. An increasing number throughout the Union are handing their vote to populist parties – Front National, Syriza, Podemos – that surf on this Eurosceptic wave and rise up against “foreign”- imported constraints.

Embroiled with the Greek crisis, European policymakers will soon have to step back and reflect on the broader issue of the Eurozone’s future. Before envisaging an exit or, on the contrary, more sustained integration, it’s right to reflect upon the consequences of each option.

Oversimplifying, there are three strategies for the Eurozone: (a) a minimalist approach that would see a return to national currencies, while keeping Europe perhaps as a free trade area and retaining a few institutions that have made a real difference such…

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Greek Crisis: Killing the European Project

Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy

Killing the European Project

By Paul Krugman. New York Times. JULY 12, 2015

Paul Krugman speakingSuppose you consider Tsipras an incompetent twerp. Suppose you dearly want to see Syriza out of power. Suppose, even, that you welcome the prospect of pushing those annoying Greeks out of the euro.

Even if all of that is true, this Eurogroup list of demands is madness. The trending hashtag ThisIsACoup is exactly right. This goes beyond harsh into pure vindictiveness, complete destruction of national sovereignty, and no hope of relief. It is, presumably, meant to be an offer Greece can’t accept; but even so, it’s a grotesque betrayal of everything the European project was supposed to stand for.

Can anything pull Europe back from the brink?

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Greek Crisis: Do German economists think like the German government?

Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy

Greek Flag - sattered with broken EuroThe present discussions in the media more often than not give us the sense that within the various countries concerned the thinking and positions are basically uniform and widely shared. (See our posting that looks into this,”Why all the Bitter Accusations from the North” – https://goo.gl/wD6Ct6. ) But the truth is that in country after country there is considerable division of views on these topics, and particularly among economists who are in most cases deeply divided on the issues. Here you have an example of how one German economist reports on “How German Economists Really Think”. (The following article is reprinted here in its entirety. The original was published yesterday by the Institute of New Economic Thinking, and below you will find full references, links and credits.)

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Greek Crisis: Hans Werner-Sinn on Fixing the Eurozone

Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy

Hans Werner-Sinn, a noted German economist and Professor of Economics and Public Finance at the University of Munich. He is also President of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research and serves on the German economy ministry’s advisory council. In this interview he talks about a disciplined but also radical and flexible pro-Europe path out of the present impasse, for Greece and for Europe as an idea worth cherishing and taking into the future.

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Wikipedia coverage of Greek bailout referendum

Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy

wikipedia logoThere is a remarkable information source on this brand new, fast breaking topic which was first put on line on 26 June by Wikipedia collaborator Dimboukas

Here is how it looked on the morning of the 27th of June when the official announcement was made by Prime Mister Alexis Tsipras calling for the referendum:

And here is how it looks today (with ca.5000+ words, 50 references, 10 external links):

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GREEK CRISIS: Our media coverage on Facebook: 27 June – today

greek crisis eading newspapersFor a more complete view of our discussions and coverage of these improtant events, you are invited to click to https://goo.gl/P4oWJw

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6 July Greek Crisis Endgame: The abyss stares back

Alexis Tsipras

If you gaze long enough into an abyssthe abyss will gaze back into you.  – F. Nietzsche

On the early morning of 27 June when reading that the leader of the Greek coalition government, Alexis Tsipras, called for a national referendum to get the views of Greece’s population on the bitter on-going disputes with Europe and the IMF, and in particular whether or not  to accept the Troika’s uncompromising  bailout conditions to settle the country’s government-debt crisis, I decided to see if we might do our bit by providing selective daily summary and international commentary on this unfolding  the topic – and, more importantly, the uncertain evolving process behind it.

This quickly took the form of a series of daily summaries of a certain number of what I regard as the key points, issues, ideas, attitudes and players shaping this debate.  You will find just below the dozen-plus articles that were posted in the pages of World Streets since the 27th. They appear here in the order written, and each is hot-linked to facilitate your access.

The core of this story is the huge gap between the level of understanding of leading members of the economics and policy community and that of the troika members. The ever combatative Paul Krugman put it like this in a 5 July article in the New York Times.

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Greek Crisis: Paul Krugman on Ending Greece’s Bleeding

Greek Crisis - waiting at closed bank

Ending Greece’s Bleeding

 –  By Paul Krugman, NYT JULY 5, 2015. Full text here.

Europe dodged a bullet on Sunday. Confounding many predictions, Greek voters strongly supported their government’s rejection of creditor demands. And even the most ardent supporters of European union should be breathing a sigh of relief.

Of course, that’s not the way the creditors would have you see it. Their story, echoed by many in the business press, is that the failure of their attempt to bully Greece into acquiescence was a triumph of irrationality and irresponsibility over sound technocratic advice.

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Greek Crisis: As the polls close . . .

Greek flag - man holding Euro flag up top

18:00, Sunday 5 July 2015 in Greece and the polls have just closed on this momentous day for democracy. The outcome of the unexpected but oh so important referendum will not be known for several hours yet.  So what better time to pour a glass of cool retsina white, sit down with some friends, and sort through the accumulated evidence of these last ten days in which the eyes of the world have turned to Greece.

Here are a few observations and thoughts about the future which come most immediately to mind to this ever-curious observer:

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Crisis Armistice : Greece and Germany take the duel to a higher level

It has been hard slogging over the last two weeks of what we hope has been balanced discussions about the economic and political crisis that is currently racking Greece, Europe and in fact the world, so before we move into our final stage of closing comment with the urns now open but before the votes are counted in Greece, what about taking a step back and seeing what would happen if we take this conflict to another, higher level? Check it out here:

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Greek Crisis: Why all the bitter accusations from the North?

Greek crisis - Our money - multiple sources

Seven reasons why Northern and Eastern Europe are not supporting the Greek cause.

Forgetting the Germans (not that this is ever possible of course) and the more prissy lipped representatives of European institutions, why might we reasonably ask ourselves are there so many angry accusations coming in from Eastern and Northern Europe?  It’s a bit complicated, so let us consider this in several stages.

First and most reassuring to those of us who care about the economy and democracy, these are not universally shared positions in those countries.  And this is what you are not hearing from the media, as much as anything else because the real message is so complicated: namely that there are substantial portions of the populations and political alliances in each of these countries who are in fact NOT AT ALL IN AGREEMENT with the orchestrated media pronouncements of certain government representatives, including national delegations to the various European institutions.  For those of us who are concerned not only with matters of the well working of the economy but also that of democracy, this multiplicity of views is reassuring news.

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Greek Crisis: Greece’s debt crisis explained in charts and maps

Greece’s debt crisis explained in charts and maps

The roots of Greece’s crisis are simple. Before Greece joined the Eurozone, investors treated it as a middle-income country with poor governance — which is to say, a credit risk. After Greece joined the Eurozone, investors thought that Greece was no longer a credit risk — they figured, if push came to shove, other Eurozone members like Germany would bail Greece out. They were wrong.

If you had to pick one chart that encapsulates Greece’s crisis, it would be this one:

Chart - Eurozone bond yields

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Greek Crisis: Last night I dreamt I wandered the stacks . . .

thinking about economy - fb top page - versailles treaty

Signing of Versailles Treaty imposing ruinous economic sanctions on the defeated Germany

Last night I dreamt I was wandering the stacks of the great Butler Library at Columbia, in a search to see if I could identify a certain number of what I would like to call “leading political economists” who have through their work and contributions over the last several centuries helped to shape our understanding of the relationship between economy, efficiency, democracy and governance. In particular I was looking for indications in their work that would allow me to make an educated guess as to what their position might have been in the case of the Sunday Referendum in Greece.

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