CEPR News June 2012

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Written by Dawn Lobell   
Friday, 29 June 2012 14:15

The following highlights CEPR's latest research, publications, events and much more.

CEPR on the Eurozone
CEPR Co-Directors Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrot issued a statement calling for action by the U.S. Federal Reserve to contain the eurozone crisis by intervening in the Spanish bond market. Mark's column in The Guardian notes that the Spanish government and European authorities are taking advantage of the crisis to impose unpopular policy changes. Mark discussed these issues in an interview with the Real News and he discussed alternatives to austerity on The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann. Mark was also interviewed by Canada’s Business News Network, video here.

Mark has emerged as a leading expert on the eurozone crisis, most recently countering claims by IMF Director Christine Lagarde and others that Latvia’s economic policies have been a success story. He penned this Guardian op-ed in response to Lagarde’s claims, followed by this piece for Al Jazeera. He was also quoted in this piece that appeared in Toronto’s Globe and Mail.

Dean weighs in with theseposts in "Beat the Press." And CEPR’s Senior Research Associate Ha-Joon Chang contributed to the austerity critique with this widely-circulated Guardian op-ed and a video interview with the Social Europe Journal, where he discussed the EU fiscal treaty’s incompatibility with an economic growth agenda./p>

CEPR on the Coup in Paraguay, and Remembering Honduras
CEPR issued this press release on June 22nd, the day that opposition members of Congress, led by the right wing Colorado party, filed five charges of impeachment against Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo.  As Mark noted, Paraguay’s Congress gave Lugo less than 24 hours to prepare his defense against impeachment, and only two hours to present it. “I don’t see how anyone in the world could call that due process,” said Mark. “Not to mention that the accusers did not provide evidence for any impeachable offenses.” Mark wrote about Lugo’s ouster in this Guardian column and noted in a subsequent press release that Wikileaked documents reveal that the U.S. State Department was aware of the impeachment/ouster plan as far back as 2009 – shortly after Lugo came into office – showing that Lugo’s opponents were waiting for a suitable pretext and discontentment within the Congress in order to make their move.

Mark was also interviewed about the situation in Paraguay by the Free Speech Radio News and Mark and Senior Associate for International Policy Alex Main discussed the coup on Pacifica’s KPFK and other radio programs.

CEPR also noted the anniversary of the coup in Honduras, releasing this press release three years to the day after a June 28, 2009 coup d’etat ousted Honduras’ democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya.  Mark wrote that the coup’s legacy is one of ongoing murders, impunity for repression and killings, and more coups and coup attempts elsewhere in Latin America.


CEPR on the FTT
As CEPR’s Director of Domestic Policy Nicole Woo noted in this CEPR blog post, June was a big month for proponents of the financial transaction tax (FTT), “a concept credited to Dean Baker in 2008 as a top idea of the year by the New York Times.”

On June 19th, the Robin Hood Tax campaign launched in the U.S. with a video featuring "Avengers" star Mark Ruffalo and musicians Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) and Chris Martin (Coldplay) and rallies in communities across the country.  Nicole discussed the launch of the American phase of the Robin Hood Tax campaign on the Rick Smith radio show.

The following day, CEPR co-sponsored a briefing call featuring some of the financial professionals who have signed a letter calling for the adoption of the FTT.  Nicole discussed the event here (starting at 47:30).

These activities were timed to precede two historic meetings on June 22nd, where there were major breakthroughs. European Union finance ministers moved forward towards building a coalition of the willing in support of such a tax. After the meetings, the EU Tax Commissioner announced that more than 11 governments are supportive.  In addition, summit of leaders of Germany, Italy, France, and Spain announced their support for an FTT. Proponents of the plan hope to push for EU approval by the end of December 2012.


CEPR on Private Equity
CEPR Senior Economist Eileen Appelbaum has been looking at private equity’s role in the economy and she is quickly becoming recognized as one of the few progressive voices on the topic. She wrote this piece that appeared in the Roosevelt Institute’s blog, The Next New Deal, as well as this piece for the CEPR blog.

On June 7th, Eileen traveled to Boston where she took part in an industry conference with a well-received presentation (pptx) titled "The Billion Dollar Question: What is the Impact of Private Equity on Companies and Workers?" Then on June 12th, Eileen participated in a roundtable discussion at the Labor Research and Action Network National Conference, hosted by Georgetown University's Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. The discussion was chaired by Matteo Colombi of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Eileen is co-authoring a book on private equity in the workplace with Rosemary Batt of Cornell University.


CEPR on Mexico
CEPR’s most recent paper, “The Mexican Economy and the 2012 Elections,” analyzes Mexico’s economic failure ahead of Sunday’s presidential election. Over the past decade, Mexico’s income per person grew half as fast as the region's, and almost all the decade’s gains in poverty reduction were lost in the deep recession. “Mexico’s economy has done terribly since 2000, and for the last three decades, by any comparison – compared to its past growth (e.g. 1960-1980), or even compared with the rest of Latin America, which has grown twice as fast in per capita GDP since 2000,” Mark said in a quote picked up by the major Spanish newswire EFE. The paper provides important economic context to Mexico’s elections that is missing from much U.S. and international media coverage of the topic, and provides a nudge for the media to report on these factors that could be a major determinant in how people vote.


CEPR on Jobs
Dean commented on May’s disappointing jobs numbers in this Guardian column while CEPR Economist David Rosnick further explained the story behind the jobs numbers in June’s Jobs Byte. Dean’s recent New York Timesop-ed with Kevin Hassett was mentioned in this CNN Money article on long-term unemployment.

And in case you missed it, here is Dean on start-ups and job creation from a recent "Beat the Press" post beating up on a Kauffman Foundation study.


CEPR is #1…
in media hits per budget dollar, that is. CEPR once again ranked first in media hits per budget dollar of all major think tanks, based on an analysis of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting’s 2011 think tank media citation rankings and organizational budgets. CEPR outpaced all other think tanks with 1.3 media citations per ten thousand budget dollars. Read the full report here.


CEPR New and Noteworthy
--Nicole participated in a briefing on the hill on June 5th. Sponsored by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, Nicole’s presentation to the “tri-caucus” (Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus) focused on the impact of social security reform on people of color.

--Dean’s op-ed on CNN.com about the Fed Survey of the middle class received over 2,000 comments. And, here he is live on CNN, talking about health care reform. Dean was also quoted in this piece on health care reform from Entrepreneur.

--Speaking of health care reform, Dean critiqued press coverage of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act, calling out NPR and David Brooks, among others.

--Dean schools politicians on the housing bubble in this op-ed for Yahoo.

--Mark spoke at a reception and book presentation on Argentina's 2001 debt default. The event was held at the Argentine Embassy on June 11 and was widely covered by the Argentine media

--Nicole authored this CEPR Blog post that looks at Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers as a share of the overall and unionized workforces in each state and DC.  (For more data on AAPI workers see CEPR’s July 2011 report, “Diversity and Change: Asian-American and Pacific Islander Workers.”)

--CEPR Domestic Intern Eric Hoyt penned several CEPR Blog posts in June: this one that looks at expenditure as a percentage of GDP versus the yields on ten-year government bonds for the OECD countries and this one with John Schmitt that responds to a recent post at the Atlantic Cities blog, in which sociologist Richard Florida analyzes of some of the findings of a new study by the Pew Center on the States on economic mobility in the United States. John and Eric use the same Pew data analyzed by Florida to compare upward mobility across states with different levels of unionization.

--Dean just got back from London, where he was the keynote speaker at an event titled “After Austerity.” CEPR Senior Research Associate Ha-Joon Chang also spoke at the June 26th event.  Dean’s presented a paper, “Attacking the Treasury View, Again”  that analyzes "the treasury view" - the idea that in a downturn, government spending has no effect on economic activity or unemployment.

--Positive news on the housing front in June, according to CEPR’s Housing Market Monitor. Dean noted that the New York Times gets it right in this "Beat the Press" post.

--Dean and Nicole’s May 2012 paper on state work-sharing programs was cited in this piece in the Maryland Gazette.

--CEPR’s May 2012 paper on raising the Social Security payroll cap continued to receive attention in June, including this article and this radio interview with Dean.

Tags: eurozone | FTT | Honduras | jobs | mexico | paraguay | private equity