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Jeffrey Frankel’s Blog

Mnuchin and Manipulation of Money

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin already finds himself hemmed in on all sides. Domestic constraints come from the promises that he and President Trump have made and the laws of arithmetic.    How, for example, is he ever going to be able to reconcile the specific tax proposals that candidate Trump campaigned on with the promise […]

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Let the US Fiduciary Rule Go Ahead

The quantity of financial regulation is not quite as important as the quality.  One must get the details right.  The case of the US “fiduciary rule” strongly suggests that President Trump will not get the details right. Could Dodd-Frank be improved? Earlier this month, amid the flurry of tweets and other executive orders, the new occupant of the White House issued an executive order directing a comprehensive rethinking of the Dodd-Frank financial reform of 2010. One can imagine various ways...

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Looking Back on Barack

At the end of his time in office Barack Obama merits an enumeration of some of his many accomplishments.   The recollection should start as he started, on January 20, 2009: the pilot taking the cockpit just when the plane was in an uncontrolled dive. The circumstances were the most adverse faced by any new president in many decades.  Two ill-conceived and ill-executed foreign wars were underway, which had done nothing to bring to justice the mastermind of September 11, 2001.  He inherited an...

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Outlook for 2017

Five journalist’s questions about the economic outlook in the New Year and my answers: 1. In the first year of Trump’s presidency, what do you predict for the US economy in 2017? The US economy is currently at or near full employment, for the first time in 9 years.  So there is limited capacity for an acceleration of growth in the medium term.  Mr. Trump is fairly likely to follow through with his proposals for massive tax cuts and spending increases (which the economy needed 5 years ago, but...

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Demonetization on Five Continents

Several countries are undergoing “demonetization” or currency reforms in which the government recalls bills of particular denomination that are circulation and replaces them with new notes. Some of these initiatives are going better than others. India is still reeling from the consequences of Prime Minister Modi’s announcement on November 8 that 500- and 1000-rupee denomination bills, which constitute 86 % of the cash in circulation, could no longer be used and that residents have until the...

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Year-End Perspectives on the US & Global Economies

A year-end summing up of where we stand is harder than usual this time! I have recently spoken: on “Global Economic Challenges for Donald Trump,” (outline; slides: Ppt, pdf) on a panel at the American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC, Dec. 5, 2016. Summary & video. And on “An Economy That Works for All Americans” (slides: ppt, pdf)  to the Bipartisan Program for Newly Elected Members of Congress, Institute of Politics, December 7, 2016. And  on “Trade and Inequality,” (slides:...

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What Will the Trump Presidency Look Like?

We unexpectedly find ourselves in uncharted territory, in so many ways. The United States has never before had a president without either political or military experience. And Donald Trump is especially unpredictable: he has so often said things that conflict with other things he has said. So it is hard to know what he will do. But a possible precedent for what economic policy in the Trump presidency may look like sits in plain sight: the George W. Bush presidency. To be fair, the Bush family...

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Update: More Economists Oppose Trump

The number of economists having signed a letter opposing the Republican presidential candidate reached 785 the morning before Election Day.  The list of signatories is still open. To repeat my earlier post, 19 Nobel Laureates endorsed Hillary Clinton. And when the WSJ surveyed all previous members of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, spanning eight presidential administrations, none, Republican or Democrat, supported Trump.

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Clinton Economics vs. Trump Economics

[These two pages were written for an OMFIF report released Oct. 28.  They draw on some of my preceding columns If one judges by the two candidates’ economic policy stances, the 2016 US presidential campaign is not quite as much of a departure from the past as it otherwise appears.   Hillary Clinton’s economic plans largely echo Democratic Party orthodoxy, with its focus on progressive tax rates which ease the burden on the lowest earners while raising it for those at the top; on expanding...

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Economists Sign Letter Opposing Trump

370 of us economists have signed a new letter opposing Donald Trump:  Economists Lay Out List of Reasons to Vote Against Trump.   Here is the text of the letter, which the Wall Street Journal has reported on . The WSJ earlier surveyed all previous members of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, spanning eight presidential administrations, Republican and Democrat.  Not a single one supported Trump, including the Republicans! Also 19 Nobel Laureates have signed a letter endorsing...

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