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CEPR News October 2011

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Written by Dawn Lobell   
Monday, 31 October 2011 14:15

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

CEPR on the Financial Transaction Tax
CEPR Co-director Dean Baker was one of the first to call for the adoption of a Financial Transaction Tax, or FTT (also referred to as the financial speculation tax or FST). CEPR continued to arm allies in the fight for the FTT in October, updating its paper titled "The Facts and Myths About a Financial Speculation Tax." On Friday October 21st, CEPR co-sponsored a congressional briefing on the FTT with Senator Tom Harkin and Representative Peter DeFazio, who will soon introduce new FTT legislation. CEPR Co-director Dean Baker was part of a panel that includes John Fullerton, Former Managing Director, J.P. Morgan Co.; and Damon Silvers, Director of Policy and Special Counsel, AFL-CIO. Americans for Financial Reform, AFL-CIO and The Center for Media and Democracy were also co-sponsors.

Dean was quoted in this Christian Science Monitor article on the FTT. And he was mentioned at a press conference in the Vatican City. Professor Leonardo Becchetti (Second University of Rome and member of the Scientific Committee of Zero Zero Cinque) presented the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace note "For a reform of the international financial system in the perspective of a public authority with a universal jurisdiction." Professor Becchetti referred to Dean’s blog post "Ken Rogoff Misses the Boat on Financial Speculation Taxes."

Dean will take part in a teach-in on the FTT at #OccupyDC this Saturday, October 29th at 2PM. The teach-in is part of a global march for the "Robin Hood Tax." CEPR Co-director Mark Weisbrot is scheduled to participate in a teach-in on Sunday, October 30th at 12:30PM. More information can be found here.

CEPR’s  #OccupyThePress
In other #OWS news, CEPR unveiled a new blog feature in October. #OccupyThePress will monitor inaccurate statements made by the media in reporting on the Occupy movement. Dean’s first post can be found here. And CEPR’s Domestic Intern Alexandra Mitukiewicz’s first #OccupyThePress Round Up can be found here.

CEPR Senior Economist John Schmitt discussed the Occupy Wall Street protests in this piece for Alternet. He also penned this op-ed for Bloomberg Business Week’s "The Debate Room," arguing that the #OWS protesters are wise to focus on unequal income distribution -- such as the outsized gains reaped by financial-industry companies.

Dean Baker answered yes to this question in U.S. News and World Report’s Debate Club: "Is the Is 'Occupy Wall Street' the Next Tea Party Movement?" Dean discussed the OWS protests in interviews on Al Jazeera, "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" and RT’s "The Alyona Show."


CEPR on Argentina
On the eve of the recent Argentine elections, CEPR released a paper on Argentina’s economic success since its debt default. "The Argentine Success Story and its Implications" shows 94 percent real GDP growth over nine years, record levels of employment and large reductions in poverty, unemployment, and inequality. The implications for other countries such as Greece and the weaker eurozone economies are also examined in the paper, which was written by Mark Weisbrot and CEPR Research Associate Rebecca Ray, Research Assistant Juan A. Montecino, and Program Assistant Sara Kozemeh.

CEPR’s focus on Argentina’s economic success helped to shape media coverage of the election results. Mark discussed the paper in this Guardian article, and he was quoted in this article by the Associated Press which appeared in hundreds of newspapers and news sites around the world and were translated into several languages. The paper was also mentioned in several blogs, including this post in Yves Smith’s "Naked Capitalism."

CEPR on Inequality
CEPR recently co-sponsored an event on "Jobs, Inequality, and the Public Sector: Improving the Economic Competitiveness and Innovative Capacity of the U.S." Other co-sponsors included the Communications Workers of America and Georgetown University's Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. Video of the event can be found here

CEPR Program Assistant Kris Warner summarized some of CEPR’s recent work on inequality and poverty in a post for the CEPR blog title "Research for the 99%."  (A complete list of CEPR’s research on inequality and poverty can be found here.)

CEPR also weighed in on inequality in Latin America. In his recent paper "Decreasing Inequality Under Latin America’s ‘Social Democratic’ and ‘Populist’ Governments: Is the Difference Real?", Juan A. Montecino argues that there is no statistical basis to claim that "social democratic" governments in Latin America have been more effective at reducing inequality than "left-populist" ones.

CEPR on Haiti
CEPR’s latest paper on Haiti, "The Organization of American States in Haiti: Election Monitoring or Political Intervention?" by Economist David Rosnick, reveals that an Organization of American States Mission overturned the results of the first round of Haiti’s presidential elections last year, despite no statistical evidence that it should do so. It calls into question, in a very serious manner, the conduct of the OAS in an unprecedented action that reversed the electoral result of the first round in Haiti’s most recent election. This analysis could have implications for the future of the OAS.

CEPR noted the one-year anniversary of the discovery of new cholera cases in Haiti. Previously, the disease had been unknown in Haiti for over 100 years. Over 6,500 people have died from cholera-related symptoms and over 460,000 have been infected over the past year. Noting that several scientific studies have provided strong evidence that the strain must have originated at a UN troop (MINUSTAH) base, CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot called for the UN to provide compensation to Haiti’s many cholera victims and their families, likening the disaster to the Union Carbide gas leak in Bhopal, India, that killed thousands.

CEPR’s Dan Beeton was in Haiti early this month as part of a fact-finding delegation regarding MINUSTAH’s ongoing presence in the country. While there, Beeton called for MINUSTAH’s withdrawal from Haiti at a well-attended press conference alongside Father Roy Bourgeois of School of the Americas Watch, and Bill Quigley of the Center for Constitutional Rights, noting that Haiti lacks any kind of ongoing conflict to justify the presence of UN peacekeepers.

CEPR’s Jake Johnston and Alex Main also traveled to Haiti in October, participating in the Haiti Land and Housing Rights Symposium organized by Action Aid.

CEPR: New and Noteworthy
CEPR Sr. Economist John Schmitt was named a Research Affiliate with the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) at the University of California at Berkeley.

CEPR Sr. Economist Eileen Appelbaum gave a seminar at the University of Birmingham (U.K.) entitled "Managing the Cinderella Workforce: Management Practices, Work Organization and Job Quality in Direct Care Work."  Eileen was also featured in this PBS NewsHour piece on the Georgia Works program.

CEPR Director of Domestic Policy Nicole Woo is a member of the Commission to Modernize Social Security, a group of experts from or representing African American, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Latino, and Native American communities tasked with identifying proposals to extend Social Security’s long term solvency while also modernizing the program to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse society. The Commission released a report in October that examines the impact of Social Security reform on communities of color.

Mark Weisbrot traveled to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on October 3rd. Mark gave the Nicholson Distinguished Visiting Scholar lecture, entitled "The Ignorant Elite: Neoliberalism and Its Consequences." The following day he taught a seminar on "Latin American Policy Under Obama: Politics, Economics, and Geopolitics." While in Illinois Mark was interviewed by Media Matters’ Bob McChesney. You can listen to Mark’s take on the global economy and Latin American policy here.

Mark was on the Diane Rehm Show yesterday, talking about the European debt crisis. He also recorded this video on the eurozone for The Guardian (U.K.) website.

Dean was on the Diane Rehm Show this past week as well, talking about Obama’s mortgage refinancing proposal. He was also on CBSNews.com. In both segments he discussed the U.S. Housing market in general, and offered his prescriptions for helping homeowners. One of CEPR’s policy recommendations, Right to Rent, was recently adopted in Ireland. According to the Irish Times, a Department of Finance commission recommended 'mortgage-to-rent' plan to allow middle income homeowners who are underwater and can't keep up with mortgage payments to remain in their homes as renters.

Dean took part in a panel discussion titled "Estimating the Costs of Public Unions" as part of a larger conference at Northwestern University on "Government Unions in the United States," Oct. 13-14. Robert Novy-Marx, assistant professor of finance at the Simon Graduate School of Business, University of Rochester; Joshua Rauh, associate professor at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University; and Andrew Biggs, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, also participated in the panel.  The agenda for the conference can be found here.

CEPR’s September paper on raising the Social Security cap was mentioned on the Today Show’s web site feature Life Inc.

In case you missed it, here is Dean’s interview on Alternet on "The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive." If you haven’t read the book, here’s a link to the free download. You can also order the paperback, at production cost, here.


CEPR in the CFC, and the CSECC
Federal employees, remember that you can help support this work through the Combined Federal Campaign, CFC # 79613. And this year, California state employees can support CEPR through the California State Employee Charitable Campaign, CSECC # 26311. Thanks!

Tags: Argentina | FST | Haiti | inequality | OccupyWallSt | Wall Street

Comments (1)Add Comment
FTT
written by Susan Gioia, November 03, 2011 12:05
Re: SEC Section 31 exchange fee
This very small fee has been applied/and passed on to stock sellers since the 80s. It met with some protest, but was implemented efficiently and just became part of the process quickly. I'd also recommend that the SEC Section 31 "fee" is a more accurate description of the levy. Calling it a "tax" in the US, with this Congress is sure to guarantee its demise. Also, since so many of these trasnactions are proprietary (where the bank is the investor)- who cares if they get passed on to the "investor"?

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