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CEPR News May 2014

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Written by Eileen O'Grady   
Friday, 30 May 2014 16:04

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

CEPR on Private Equity
The new book by Eileen Appelbaum and co-author Rosemary Batt of Cornell University, Private Equity at Work: When Wall Street Manages Main Street, is now available (The book can be ordered here, from Powell’s or on Amazon.)  The book provides an unprecedented analysis of the little-understood inner workings of private equity and of the effects of leveraged buyouts on American companies and workers. Former IMF chief economist Simon Johnson wrote about the book in his latest column and other reviews have been positive, except for some by people who didn’t read the book.

Eileen and Rosemary have generated an extensive body of work on the private equity industry, including this segment on Canada’s Business News Network, this piece for the Huffington Post, and this blog post where she calls out Larry Summers for being wrong on private equity in his review of Piketty. 

CEPR on Black College Graduates
John and Janelle authored a new report, “A College Degree is No Guarantee” demonstrates that the Great Recession has been hard on recent graduates, especially black recent college graduates who have experienced higher unemployment rates and are more likely to find themselves in a job that does not require a degree than other recent college graduates. The paper received a great deal of attention in the press, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Vox, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, Bloomberg TV’s “Bottom Line,” and Think Progress.

CEPR on Social Security
Nicole Woo wrote an opinion piece for The Hill on increasing the annual cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security. The piece drew from a recent CEPR analysis, Scrapping the Social Security Payroll Tax Cap: Who Would Pay More.

CEPR on Latin American Growth in the 21st Century
A new CEPR paper by David Rosnick and Mark Weisbrot examines whether Latin America's economic growth rebound in the 2000s can be attributed to a “commodities boom.” The paper finds that there is no statistically significant relationship between the increase in the terms of trade (TOT) for Latin American countries and their GDP growth. 

CEPR on the IMF and the Ukraine
In an op-ed for Al Jazeera America, Co-Director Mark Weisbrot examines a new danger facing Ukraine: IMF and EU-prescribed austerity, which could give Ukraine an "intermediate future ...like that of Greece or Spain." The IMF is already projecting a steep recession with a 5 percent drop in GDP for 2014, and Mark explains how it could get worse. Mark also wrote this op-ed about Ukraine, distributed by McClatchy Tribune News Services and published by numerous newspapers across the country, including The Chicago Tribune. in which he answers the question “Will the United States and European Union help Ukraine’s economy?” After examining the Stand-by Arrangement signed by the IMF and Ukraine at the end of April, Mark concludes that “they [IMF-Washington-EU decision-makers] have a plan to restructure Ukraine's economy, and it could turn out to be a mass-unemployment nightmare..”  
 

The Latest From the CEPR Blogsosphere:
The CEPR Blog

 
Ahead of the Congressional testimony of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Dean posed some hypothetical questions members of Congress (and reporters) should have for Yellen. He also weighed in on the April job numbers, and the impact of states refusing to expand Medicaid coverage in an economy that still faces high unemployment. On the anniversary of the Flash Crash, Nicole wrote about how it led nations to move ahead with a financial transactions tax. She also posted about AAPI workers and unionization and the number of  AAPI workers that would see a boost in wages if the national minimum wage was $10.10 an hour. Shawn Fremstadcritiqued an article by Annie Lowrey of the NYT about changes in the living standards of low- and middle-income people.
 
The Americas Blog: Analysis Beyond the Echo Chamber
International Communications Director Dan Beeton penned this post on the controversial owner of the Honduran private security company Dinat, Miguel Facussé, who has undertaken an extensive PR campaign to clear his name from allegations of forced campesino evictions. He also gave us an update on the House vote to pass sanctions against Venezuela, noting a letter signed by 14 members of Congress to Secretary Kerry warning that the sanctions “could undermine the dialogue process between the Venezuelan government and the opposition.
 
Alex Main, CEPR’s Senior Associate for International Policy, wrote this post calling attention to an op-ed by Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA). The piece laments the two-year anniversary of the DEA-related killings in Ahuas, Honduras. As Johnson points out, “it’s time for the DEA to come clean about the Ahuas operation and release all relevant documents…Going forward, we need to maintain transparency and accountability around U.S.-backed counternarcotic operations, whether or not U.S. agents are directly involved.
 
Research Assistant Stephan Lefebvre also examined DEA involvement in Latin America in this post on recent revelations about DEA and NSA-related spying, detailed in The Intercept. Stephan points to similar accusations from Bolivia and Venezuela, reminding readers that, while the documents accompanying the article are indeed revealing, “this is not the first time that the DEA has faced allegations of spying.”
 
Beat the Press
Over on Beat the Press, Dean took on some economic nonsense from Thomas Friedman on China and fracking, Robert Samuelson and the housing bubble. He also looks at Larry Summers’ correct take on the UK, and more doom and gloom warnings of deflation.
 
Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch
In this post, CEPR reports on President Martelly’s decision to appoint one of former infamous dictator “Baby Doc” Duvalier’s lawyers to oversee upcoming elections. “It’s hard to believe,” the writers note, “the appointment of Canton will help ‘create a climate of mutual trust’ between all parties, especially given the prominent role many officials during the Duvalier era have been given in the current administration. And in this post, CEPR Haiti analysts take down a short-sighted Miami Herald piece on the US’s failure to construct a new port in support Charcoal industrial park. While the Herald points to lack of private sector enthusiasm as the cause of the failure, CEPR reminds us of GAO documents that reveal USAID’s role in halting progress.
 
Director Watch
CEPR’s Director Watch (and its sister site, the Huffington Post’s Pay Pals) featured several “Directors of the Day” this past month, including Stuart E. Eizenstat and Richard D. Parsons.
 
In other CEPR News…
---Mark was interviewed by the Huffington Post on the subject: “Dropping Birth rates threaten economic growth” and on BBC about Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the 21st Century” and the growing gap between the rich and poor. Nicole discussed the economy on MSNBC. And Nate Singham, CEPR international intern, published this piece in Truthout, where he outlines Ecuador’s efforts to generate alternative forms of growth by from resource extraction toward a digital- and knowledge-based economy.
 
--Dean weighed in on the bank bailout in the NYT’s Room for Debate; was featured in a Yahoo story on 3 ways to fix the economy; talked about unemployment in a radio interview on MPR; took on the sharing economy, citing how Uber and AirBnB avoid regulation; and took a critical look at Geithner and the administration’s response to the recession in Fortune. He was also quoted in thisNYT piece on Geithner and mentioned in thisNYT piece on Piketty.
 
CEPR On the Road
Eileen traveled to San Francisco on May 27th for a discussion on working families. The event, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, was one of several regional events held around the country in advance of the June 23rd  White House Summit on Working Families.  The regional discussions will help to inform the national Summit, which will build momentum around key policy goals and best practices to help both workers and businesses succeed.
 
CEPR's Graphic Economics:

A College Degree is no Guarantee

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