How did the world's markets come to the brink of collapse? Some say regulators failed. Others claim deregulation left them handcuffed. Who's right? Both are. This is the story of how Washington didn't catch up to Wall Street.
This column discusses the need for a Euro-area bank supervisory authority, as financial integration has outpaced regulatory integration.
Could we be seeing a realignment this year? My impression is that the electorate isn't really realigning on any new set of issues. Republicans and Democrats largely seem to believe what they have for years. Republicans are just in a bad position this year due to the economy and several wars.
Oh – I just wanted to say that if you think politicians talk without end these days, try reading a Danish parliamentary debate from 1906. At least L.V. Birck is entertaining.
And just as we thought Iceland was in trouble, Edward Hugh of A Fistful of Euros tells us that things are looking nasty in Hungary.
The gruesome threesome – large debt, loose fiscal policy and big current account deficit – sounds eerily like Denmark ca. 1980.
Scandinavian readers might want to take a glance at these posts on the Ekonomistas blog where Robert ÷stling address some common problems in a lot of social science.
As a political scientist, I’d say that:
ad 1. Yes, you’re right: Political science question the basis of actors preferences. Economics could be said to be a the same time deeper and more limited in its analysis.
ad 2. Oh, dear. You could waste a lot of time in methods classes on this. But my hunch always was that (e.g.) structural theories of discrimination have a tendency to create a closed room from which there is no escape. Mark Lilla, in The Reckless Mind, has some interesting things to say about radical theorists.
ad 3. In a way, I use the opposite strategy. Statistics are great when I want to get an overview of an issue. This then is a useful starting point for more detailed analysis.
ad 4. Non-economists would say that economics is method- rather than problem-driven. This may be an issue when academics and politicians want to apply economics to the real world.