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CEPR News May 2011

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Written by Dawn Lobell   
Tuesday, 31 May 2011 14:30

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

CEPR on Greece and the Eurozone

CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot wrote an op-ed that was published in the New York Times (CEPR’s first op-ed to appear in the print edition). The op-ed, titled “Why Greece Should Reject the Euro”, argues that Greece should at least consider leaving the euro. The op-ed received a great deal of attention from the press, including this blog post by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. Krugman gives Mark kudos for suggesting that Greece consider abandoning the euro, but he stops short of endorsing the idea. Mark countered with this Guardian column, where he defends his position, stating: “Whether or not these countries decide to rethink the euro itself, simply reconsidering – in all of Europe – the right-wing economic policies of the eurozone authorities would be a big step forward for the region.” Mark also discussed the Greek debt crisis with Andrea Catherwood on Bloomberg Television's "Last Word", with Theo Caldwell on Sun News’ “The Caldwell Account,” and other programs.

Mark also published an article on solving the euro crisis that appeared in The Nation. CEPR Co-Director Dean Baker weighed in as well, penning this article on the European Central Bank.

CEPR on Denmark, Germany and the Great Recession
A new CEPR paper by Senior Economist John Schmitt asks why so many advanced economies have fared better than the United States in the Great Recession, with a particular focus on Denmark and Germany. The paper was picked up by Yahoo News and by several bloggers, including Mark Thoma, Mike Konczal and Matt Yglesias.  John discussed his findings in this article for Alternet, which climbed to fourth on the most-read list.

CEPR on the IMF and DSK

Both of CEPR’s co-directors wrote on the implications of the resignation of former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn following his arrest in New York on charges that he sexually assaulted a hotel maid. Mark wrote this Guardian column on the IMF after DSK, and was quoted in various news articles as well. 

Mark also discussed the future of the IMF with CCTV News.

Dean authored this article on the IMF for the The Hankyoreh (South Korea). And in his Guardian column, Dean noted the little-reported fact that DSK’s accuser belongs to a union.

CEPR on Jamaica

CEPR’s most recent country-specific paper, “Jamaica: Macroeconomic Policy, Debt and the IMF”,  looks at Jamaica’s recent history of indebtedness, its experience during the global economic downturn, and examines its current agreement with the IMF.

The paper was at the center of ongoing budget debates in Jamaica. Both opposition leader Portia Simpson Miller and Jamaican Finance Minister Audley Shaw cited the paper in official discussions, and the paper's findings were covered by Jamaica’s major newspapers, the Jamaica Gleaner and the Jamaica Observer, among other publications. The paper’s authors, Jake Johnston and Juan Antonio Montecino, also appeared on several of Jamaica’s leading nationwide news talk programs.

CEPR on Social Security, and the “Deficit Ostriches”

Dean Baker coined the term “deficit ostriches” in this article, which calls out deficit hawks like Peter Peterson and Paul Ryan for favoring cuts to Social Security and Medicare while fighting deficit-reducing policies such as abolishing tax breaks for millionaires or cutting defense spending.  CEPR’s Director of Domestic Policy Nicole Woo also responded to another “deficit ostrich” by penning this post for CEPR’s Social Security Monitor blog

Dean issued CEPR’s annual “Social Security Data Byte” following the release of the Social Security Trustee’s report on May 17th. Dean writes that the report's projections are driven by the assumption that current retirees and those retiring in the near future will enjoy longer life expectancies, a fact that was missing in the media coverage of the report. Dean also notes that at present, both Social Security and Medicare are still running annual surpluses.

And he continued to call out members of Congress when they misspoke about the soundness of the Social Security program. This past month, Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Jeff Flake (R - AZ) received letters from Dean, correcting misstatements they made to the media, as part of CEPR’s Social Security Congressional Accuracy Campaign.

CEPR on the Road and in the News
CEPR Senior Economist John Schmitt traveled to Shanghai, China where he spoke at a conference on the connection between inequality and economic growth, sponsored by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences and the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

John also participated in a panel discussion immediately following the DC premier of the film “Crossing the American Crises: From Collapse to Action”.  John makes an appearance in the new feature-length documentary, which takes viewers across the country from the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 through the ongoing economic "recovery." Directors Sílvia Leindecker and Michael Fox tell the story of the Great Recession almost entirely in the words of working people and grassroots activists.

CEPR Senior Economist Eileen Appelbaum and colleague Ruth Milkman traveled to California to talk about the paper they co-authored, “Leaves That Pay: Employer and Worker Experiences with Paid Family Leave in California. On May 5th they were in Los Angeles at the UCLA Labor Center and on May 6th they spoke at an event at the UC Berkeley School of Law.

Eileen also published several op-eds on paid sick days, including this one that appeared in the Harford Business Journal and this one in the Philadelphia Business Journal.  And she penned this article for Alternet on job loss in the recession and how it has affected women. Eileen spoke on that topic at a panel discussion entitled ‘Women's Job Loss in the Recession and Recovery: Why are Men Gaining More Jobs than Women?”, which was part of the May 10th Roundtable on Women and the Economy's meeting.

On May 2nd, CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot traveled to Milwaukee to take part in a discussion on Latin America and US policy toward the region, as well as Oliver Stone's documentary "South of the Border." The event, “Latin America in the Obama Years: U.S. Intervention, Policy and Progress” took place at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee campus.

Nicole Woo presented CEPR research at the 2011 Asian American and Pacific Islander Summit,  hosted by the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) and House Democratic Leadership on May 25th. Ms. Woo’s presentation, titled The AAPI Perspective on the Recession and the Recovery, was part of the Summit's Economic Development and Housing Panel.

Dean Baker debated pensions with Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute and John Barro of the Manhattan Institute on May 23rd. The event, “Is There a Public Pension Crisis?” was held at the National Press Club.

On May 24th, Dean attended a symposium titled “Sustainable Capitalism”. Sponsored by The
Kalmanovitz Institute, Georgetown University and the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, the event also featured Andy Stern, Georgetown Public Policy Institute and William Greider, The Nation Magazine. The agenda can be found here. The following day Dean testified at this Congressional hearing on Fed policies and high gas prices, held by the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Dean also made several media appearances, here discussing economics on Media Matters with Bob McChesney, and here talking about the Fed on CNBC’s Kudlow Report.

New From CEPR: Latin America Data Bytes
CEPR is pleased to announce the launching of Latin America Data Bytes: brief, timely analysis of official data releases from governments and multilateral organizations.  Published approximately three times every month, the Bytes will cover topics such as GDP, inflation, employment, and other key economic indicators.

For years, CEPR has offered Data Bytes on domestic economic issues, which have found a broad audience with journalists, policy makers, and the general public. Similarly, Latin America Data Bytes are designed to be a useful resource for the financial media, foreign policy experts and all those interested in following economic developments in Latin American and Caribbean nations.

To receive Latin America Data Bytes in the future, please click here.

US STILL No-Vacation Nation
CEPR’s well-received 2007 report “No-Vacation Nation” is still making news, most recently in this article on CNN International. The article mentions CEPR’s report, which found that the US is the only advanced nation that doesn't guarantee its workers and paid vacation or holidays. In fact, about 1 in 4 U.S. workers do not receive any paid holidays or vacation. The story was listed as one of the web site’s most popular on the day it ran.
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