Economists for sale

31 December, 2013 at 18:08 | Posted in Economics | 1 Comment

It is remarkable that the public has been convinced that the earth revolves around the sun. This is remarkable because we can all look up in the sky and see the sun revolving around the earth.

economics_major_for_sale_t_shirt-r5b55bfd5732c4c0c8dd390ac69c590cb_804gs_324 Most of us are willing to believe the direct opposite of what we can see with our own eyes because we accept the analysis of the solar system developed by astronomers through many centuries of careful observation. The overwhelming majority of people will never go through the measurements and reproduce the calculations. Rather, our belief that the earth revolves around the sun depends on our confidence in the competence and integrity of astronomers. If they all tell us that the earth in fact orbits the sun, we are prepared to accept this view.

Unfortunately the economics profession cannot claim to have a similar stature. This is both good and bad. It is good because it doesn’t deserve that stature. Economists too often work as hired guns for those with money and power. It is bad because the public needs expertise in economics, just as it needs expertise in medicine and other areas.

Dean Baker

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Most viewed posts on Real-World Economics Review Blog in 2013

31 December, 2013 at 15:52 | Posted in Varia | Comments Off on Most viewed posts on Real-World Economics Review Blog in 2013

rwer-2
 
 
 
These are the posts that got the most views in 2013.

Non-ergodicity and the arrow of time (wonkish)

30 December, 2013 at 22:57 | Posted in Statistics & Econometrics | 10 Comments

One of my favourite science videos from 2013 is Ole Peters presentation at Gresham College, showing why time irreversibility and non-ergodicity are such extremely important issues for understanding the deep fundamental flaws of mainstream neoclassical economics.

Introduction to Markov Chain Monte Carlo (wonkish)

30 December, 2013 at 22:30 | Posted in Statistics & Econometrics | Comments Off on Introduction to Markov Chain Monte Carlo (wonkish)

 

Basic statistics with Gretl (student stuff)

30 December, 2013 at 20:50 | Posted in Statistics & Econometrics | Comments Off on Basic statistics with Gretl (student stuff)

How to flee from libertarianism and become a liberal

29 December, 2013 at 14:55 | Posted in Politics & Society | Comments Off on How to flee from libertarianism and become a liberal

The night before the 2008 Nevada Republican convention, the Ron Paul delegates all met at a Reno high school. Although I’d called myself a libertarian for almost my entire adult life, it was my first exposure to the wider movement …

ayn_rand_final_drewfriedman_webAfter leaving my small town upbringing, I learned that libertarians are made for lots of reasons, like reading the bad fiction of Ayn Rand or perhaps the passable writing of Robert Heinlein. In my experience, most seemed to be poor, white and undereducated. They were contortionists, justifying the excesses of the capitalist elite, despite being victims if libertarian politics succeed.

If you think that selfishness and cruelty are fantastic personal traits, you might be a libertarian. In the movement no one will ever call you an asshole, but rather, say you believe in radical individualism …

The Republican convention didn’t turn me off of libertarians, but I started losing respect for the movement while watching the financial meltdown. Libertarians were (rightly) furious when our government bailed out the banks, but they fought hardest against help for ordinary Americans. They hated unemployment insurance and reduced school lunches. I used to say similar things, but in such a catastrophic recession isn’t the government supposed to help? Isn’t that the lesson of the Great Depression? …

From the ashes of the election rose the movement that pushed me from convinced libertarian into bunny-hugging liberal. The Tea Party monster forever tainted the words freedom and libertarian for me. The rise of the Tea Party made me want to puke, and my nausea is now a chronic condition …

I don’t think regular Americans have any idea just how crazy libertarians can be. The only human corollary I can offer is unquestioning religious fervor, and hell yeah, I used to be a true believer. Libertarians think they own the word “freedom,” but it’s a word that often obfuscates more than enlightens. If you believe the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe quote “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free,” then libertarians live in a prison of their own ideology.

Edwin Lyngar

Weightless

29 December, 2013 at 00:02 | Posted in Varia | Comments Off on Weightless

 

The one and only

24 December, 2013 at 14:18 | Posted in Varia | Comments Off on The one and only

 

Feel

24 December, 2013 at 13:58 | Posted in Varia | Comments Off on Feel

 

Self-righteous drivel from the chairman of the Nobel prize committee

22 December, 2013 at 17:42 | Posted in Economics | 15 Comments

Nobel Prize medalThe Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, usually — incorrectly — referred to as the Nobel Prize in Economics, is an award for outstanding contributions to the field of economics. The Prize in Economics was established and endowed by Sweden’s central bank Sveriges Riksbank in 1968 on the occasion of the bank’s 300th anniversary.The first award was given in 1969. The award is presented in Stockholm at an annual ceremony on December 10.

As of 2012 the prize has been given to 71 individuals.
Of all laureates, 56 have been (by birth or by naturalisation) US citizens — that is: 79 %
The University of Chicago has had 26 affiliated laureates — that is 37 %
Only 5 laureates have come from outside North America or Western Europe — that is: 7 %
Only 1 woman has got the prize — that is: 1.4 %

The world is really a small place when it comes to economics …

But that kind of facts doesn’t seem to bother Per Krusell — the chairman of The Economic Sciences Prize Committee at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (responsible for the selection of candidates for  The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel) — who today, in the leading Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, vehemently tries to defend the prize, saying that critiques — coming from people like yours truly and others —  are “politicized and trivial,” “naive” and “without respect” for the “important steps forward” in answering “important questions” that the prized economists have contributed.

This is indeed one of the most viciously misleading articles — even coming from a leading Swedish neoclassical übereconomist — I’ve read in years!

In a  post last year yours truly wrote about the decision of The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences  to award The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2012 to Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley. I complained that the prize committee once again confirmed that neoclassical economic theory today basically is in the story-telling business whereby economic theorists create make-believe analogue mathematical models of the real economic system.

This year — making an extraordinarily successful forecast — I told Swedish media the prize committee would show how in tune with the times it was and award the prize to Eugene Fama. Why? Well — I argued — he’s a Chicago economist and a champion of rational expectations and efficient markets. And nowadays freshwater economists seem to be the next to the only ones eligible for the prize. And, of course, an economist who has described the notion that finance theory was at fault as “a fantasy” and argued that “financial markets and financial institutions were casualties rather than causes of the recession” had to appeal to a prize committee with a history of awarding theories and economists totally lacking any real world relevance.

Well, my forecast turned out to be right — the Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2013 to (besides Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller) Eugene Fame. The prize committee really did show how in tune with the times it was …

I love to be right of course, but otherwise this is only saddening and shows what a joke this prize is, when someone like Fama can get it. Maybe I’m not showing proper “respect” for Fama’s “important steps forward”, but, really, how could one after reading the following interview with Nobel laureate Fama?

Many people would argue that, in this case, the inefficiency was primarily in the credit markets, not the stock market—that there was a credit bubble that inflated and ultimately burst.

Eugene Fama: I don’t even know what that means. People who get credit have to get it from somewhere. Does a credit bubble mean that people save too much during that period? I don’t know what a credit bubble means. I don’t even know what a bubble means. These words have become popular. I don’t think they have any meaning.

I guess most people would define a bubble as an extended period during which asset prices depart quite significantly from economic fundamentals.

Eugene Fama: That’s what I would think it is, but that means that somebody must have made a lot of money betting on that, if you could identify it. It’s easy to say prices went down, it must have been a bubble, after the fact. I think most bubbles are twenty-twenty hindsight. Now after the fact you always find people who said before the fact that prices are too high. People are always saying that prices are too high. When they turn out to be right, we anoint them. When they turn out to be wrong, we ignore them. They are typically right and wrong about half the time.

Are you saying that bubbles can’t exist?

Eugene Fama: They have to be predictable phenomena. I don’t think any of this was particularly predictable.

John Cassidy

So, without any respect whatsoever, I say once again — Dump the prize!

The Christmas Oratory (private)

22 December, 2013 at 16:21 | Posted in Varia | Comments Off on The Christmas Oratory (private)

The Christmas Oratory — based on Göran Tunström’s s epic masterpiece — is a stunningly beautiful and painful movie.

Stefan Nilsson wrote the music.

It breaks my heart every time I watch it.

All I want for Christmas

21 December, 2013 at 21:17 | Posted in Varia | Comments Off on All I want for Christmas

 

I guess Margaret never did that …

20 December, 2013 at 16:25 | Posted in Varia | Comments Off on I guess Margaret never did that …

 

DSGE macroeconomics — a costly waste of time

19 December, 2013 at 20:16 | Posted in Economics | Comments Off on DSGE macroeconomics — a costly waste of time

Commenting on the state of standard modern macroeconomics, Willem Buiter argues that neither New Classical nor New Keynesian microfounded DSGE macro models has helped us foresee, understand or craft solutions to the problems of today’s economies:

buiterThe Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England I was privileged to be a ‘founder’ external member of during the years 1997-2000 contained, like its successor vintages of external and executive members, quite a strong representation of academic economists and other professional economists with serious technical training and backgrounds. This turned out to be a severe handicap when the central bank had to switch gears and change from being an inflation-targeting central bank under conditions of orderly financial markets to a financial stability-oriented central bank under conditions of widespread market illiquidity and funding illiquidity. Indeed, the typical graduate macroeconomics and monetary economics training received at Anglo-American universities during the past 30 years or so, may have set back by decades serious investigations of aggregate economic behaviour and economic policy-relevant understanding. It was a privately and socially costly waste of time and other resources.

Most mainstream macroeconomic theoretical innovations since the 1970s … have turned out to be self-referential, inward-looking distractions at best. Research tended to be motivated by the internal logic, intellectual sunk capital and aesthetic puzzles of established research programmes rather than by a powerful desire to understand how the economy works …

Both the New Classical and New Keynesian complete markets macroeconomic theories not only did not allow questions about insolvency and illiquidity to be answered. They did not allow such questions to be asked …

Charles Goodhart, who was fortunate enough not to encounter complete markets macroeconomics and monetary economics during his impressionable, formative years, but only after he had acquired some intellectual immunity, once said of the Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium approach which for a while was the staple of central banks’ internal modelling: “It excludes everything I am interested in”. He was right. It excludes everything relevant to the pursuit of financial stability.

The Bank of England in 2007 faced the onset of the credit crunch with too much Robert Lucas, Michael Woodford and Robert Merton in its intellectual cupboard. A drastic but chaotic re-education took place and is continuing.

I believe that the Bank has by now shed the conventional wisdom of the typical macroeconomics training of the past few decades. In its place is an intellectual potpourri of factoids, partial theories, empirical regularities without firm theoretical foundations, hunches, intuitions and half-developed insights. It is not much, but knowing that you know nothing is the beginning of wisdom.

And today Simon Wren-Lewis tells us that “Nearly all the young academic macroeconomists I know want to work with DSGE models, because that is what gets published.”

After reading Buiter’s article, that certainly should be a very worrying confirmation of economics becoming more and more a total waste of time. Why do these young bright guys waste their time and efforts? Besides aspirations of being published, I think maybe Frank Hahn gave the truest answer back in 2005, when interviewed on the occasion of his 80th birthday, he confessed that some economic assumptions didn’t really say anything about “what happens in the world,” but still had to be considered very good “because it allows us to get on this job.”

En liten julhälsning

19 December, 2013 at 17:30 | Posted in Varia | Comments Off on En liten julhälsning

kirch

Robert Shiller’s Nobel Prize Lecture 2013

19 December, 2013 at 09:21 | Posted in Economics | 2 Comments

 

Shiller’s lecture starts at 1:10:50

Microfounded DSGE models — spectacularly useless and positively harmful

18 December, 2013 at 19:23 | Posted in Economics | 3 Comments

Economists — yours truly included — working within the Post Keynesian tradition, have always maintained that there is  a strong risk that people may find themselves unemployed in a market economy.

And, of course, unemployment is also something that can take place in microfounded  DSGE models — but the mechanism in these models is of a fundamentally different kind.

In the basic DSGE models the labour market is always clearedresponding to a changing interest rate, expected life time incomes, or real wages, the representative agent maximizes the utility function by varying her labour supply, money holding and consumption over time. Most importantly — if the real wage somehow deviates from its “equilibrium value,” the representative agent adjust her labour supply, so that when the real wage is higher than its “equilibrium value,”  labour supply is increased, and when the real wage is below its “equilibrium value,”  labour supply is decreased.

In this model world, unemployment is always an optimal choice to changes in the labour market conditions.  Hence, unemployment is totally voluntary. To be unemployed is something one optimally chooses to be. 

Although this picture of unemployment as a kind of  self-chosen optimality, strikes most people as utterly ridiculous, there are also, unfortunately, a lot of neoclassical economists out there who still think that price and wage rigidities are the prime movers behind unemployment. What is even worse — I’m totally gobsmacked every time I come across this utterly ridiculous misapprehension — is that some of them even think that these rigidities are the reason John Maynard Keynes gave for the high unemployment of the Great Depression. This is of course pure nonsense. For although Keynes in General Theory devoted substantial attention to the subject of wage and price rigidities, he certainly did not hold this view. That’s rather the view of microfounded DSGE modelers, explaining variations in employment (and a fortiori output) with assuming nominal wages being more flexible than prices —  happily disregarding the total lack of empirical evidence for this rather counterintuitive assumption.

Since unions/workers, contrary to classical assumptions, make wage-bargains in nominal terms, they will – according to Keynes – accept lower real wages caused by higher prices, but resist lower real wages caused by lower nominal wages. However, Keynes held it incorrect to attribute “cyclical” unemployment to this diversified agent behaviour. During the depression money wages fell significantly and – as Keynes noted – unemployment still grew. Thus, even when nominal wages are lowered, they do not generally lower unemployment.

In any specific labour market, lower wages could, of course, raise the demand for labour. But a general reduction in money wages would leave real wages more or less unchanged. The reasoning of the classical economists was, according to Keynes, a flagrant example of the “fallacy of composition.” Assuming that since unions/workers in a specific labour market could negotiate real wage reductions via lowering nominal wages, unions/workers in general could do the same, the classics confused micro with macro.

Lowering nominal wages could not – according to Keynes – clear the labour market. Lowering wages – and possibly prices – could, perhaps, lower interest rates and increase investment. But to Keynes it would be much easier to achieve that effect by increasing the money supply. In any case, wage reductions was not seen by Keynes as a general substitute for an expansionary monetary or fiscal policy.

Even if potentially positive impacts of lowering wages exist, there are also more heavily weighing negative impacts – management-union relations deteriorating, expectations of on-going lowering of wages causing delay of investments, debt deflation et cetera.

So, what Keynes actually did argue in General Theory, was that the classical proposition that lowering wages would lower unemployment and ultimately take economies out of depressions, was ill-founded and basically wrong.

To Keynes, flexible wages would only make things worse by leading to erratic price-fluctuations. The basic explanation for unemployment is insufficient aggregate demand, and that is mostly determined outside the labor market.

The classical school [maintains that] while the demand for labour at the existing money-wage may be satisfied before everyone willing to work at this wage is employed, this situation is due to an open or tacit agreement amongst workers not to work for less, and that if labour as a whole would agree to a reduction of money-wages more employment would be forthcoming. If this is the case, such unemployment, though apparently involuntary, is not strictly so, and ought to be included under the above category of ‘voluntary’ unemployment due to the effects of collective bargaining, etc …
The classical theory … is best regarded as a theory of distribution in conditions of full employment. So long as the classical postulates hold good, unemploy-ment, which is in the above sense involuntary, cannot occur. Apparent unemployment must, therefore, be the result either of temporary loss of work of the ‘between jobs’ type or of intermittent demand for highly specialised resources or of the effect of a trade union ‘closed shop’ on the employment of free labour. Thus writers in the classical tradition, overlooking the special assumption underlying their theory, have been driven inevitably to the conclusion, perfectly logical on their assumption, that apparent unemployment (apart from the admitted exceptions) must be due at bottom to a refusal by the unemployed factors to accept a reward which corresponds to their marginal productivity …

Obviously, however, if the classical theory is only applicable to the case of full employment, it is fallacious to apply it to the problems of involuntary unemployment – if there be such a thing (and who will deny it?). The classical theorists resemble Euclidean geometers in a non-Euclidean world who, discovering that in experience straight lines apparently parallel often meet, rebuke the lines for not keeping straight – as the only remedy for the unfortunate collisions which are occurring. Yet, in truth, there is no remedy except to throw over the axiom of parallels and to work out a non-Euclidean geometry. Something similar is required to-day in economics. We need to throw over the second postulate of the classical doctrine and to work out the behaviour of a system in which involuntary unemployment in the strict sense is possible.

J M Keynes General Theory

People — like Simon Wren-Lewis — calling themselves “New Keynesians” ought to be rather embarrassed by the fact that the kind of microfounded DSGE models they use, cannot incorporate such a basic fact of reality as involuntary unemployment!

Of course, working with representative agent models, this should come as no surprise. The kind of unemployment that occurs is voluntary, since it is only adjustments of the hours of work that these optimizing agents make to maximize their utility.

The final court of appeal for macroeconomic models is the real world, and as long as no convincing justification is put forward for how the inferential bridging de facto is made, macroeconomic modelbuilding is little more than “hand waving” that give us rather little warrant for making inductive inferences from models to real world target systems. If substantive questions about the real world are being posed, it is the formalistic-mathematical representations utilized to analyze them that have to match reality, not the other way around.

The microfoundationalist illusions of Yates & Wren-Lewis

17 December, 2013 at 20:42 | Posted in Economics | 7 Comments

In a blogpost the other day Tony Yates argues that microfoundations do have merits:

The merit in any economic thinking or knowledge must lie in it at some point producing an insight, a prediction, a prediction of the consequence of a policy action, that helps someone, or a government, or a society to make their lives better.

the_one_and_only_2008aMicrofounded models are models which tell an explicit story about what the people, firms, and large agents in a model do, and why.  What do they want to achieve, what constraints do they face in going about it?  My own position is that these are the ONLY models that have anything genuinely economic to say about anything.

And yesterday Simon Wren-Lewis — non-surprisingly — says he basically agrees:

scrrewmicrofoundations have done a great deal to advance macroeconomics. It is a progressive research program, and a natural way for macroeconomic theory to develop. That is why I work with DSGE models.

The one economist/econometrician/methodologist who has thought most on this issue — writing om microfoundations for now more than 25 years — is without any doubts Kevin Hoover. It’s actually quite interesting to compare his qualified and methodologically founded assessment on the representative-agent-rational-expectations microfoundationalist program with the more or less apologetic views of Yates and Wren-Lewis:

hoovGiven what we know about representative-agent models, there is not the slightest reason for us to think that the conditions under which they should work are fulfilled. The claim that representative-agent models provide microfundations succeeds only when we steadfastly avoid the fact that representative-agent models are just as aggregative as old-fashioned Keynesian macroeconometric models. They do not solve the problem of aggregation; rather they assume that it can be ignored. While they appear to use the mathematics of microeconomis, the subjects to which they apply that microeconomics are aggregates that do not belong to any agent. There is no agent who maximizes a utility function that represents the whole economy subject to a budget constraint that takes GDP as its limiting quantity. This is the simulacrum of microeconomics, not the genuine article …

[W]e should conclude that what happens to the microeconomy is relevant to the macroeconomy but that macroeconomics has its own modes of analysis … [I]t is almost certain that macroeconomics cannot be euthanized or eliminated. It shall remain necessary for the serious economist to switch back and forth between microeconomics and a relatively autonomous macroeconomics depending upon the problem in hand.

So next time these guys want to write atrocities like Wren-Lewis’s

Let’s take a very basic example. Suppose in the real world some consumers are credit constrained, while others are infinitely lived intertemporal optimisers. A microfoundation modeller assumes that all consumers are the latter

a visit to Dr Hoover is recommended!

Added November 18:  And as part of the ongoing debate, Noah Smith contributes with the following tirade on his blog:

I think microfoundations are a great idea! I think they’re the dog’s bollocks! I think that macro time-series data is so uninformative that microfoundations are our only hope for really figuring out the macroeconomy. I think Robert Lucas was 100% on the right track when he called for us to use microfounded models.

Hmm … To me this is like saying “OK, to get our economic model-machine going we have to assume that people are hyper-rational robot-imitations from Mars. But these guys aren’t green, as you say, but blue!” That doesn’t seem to be the right approach to tackle the problem.

On relevance and rigour in macroeconomics

17 December, 2013 at 10:55 | Posted in Economics | 2 Comments

be-relevantThere is something about the way macroeconomists construct their models nowadays that obviously doesn’t sit right.

Empirical evidence only plays a minor role in neoclassical mainstream economic theory, where models largely function as a substitute for empirical evidence.

One might have hoped that humbled by the manifest failure of its theoretical pretences during the latest economic-financial crisis, the one-sided, almost religious, insistence on axiomatic-deductivist modeling as the only scientific activity worthy of pursuing in economics would give way to methodological pluralism based on ontological considerations rather than formalistic tractability. That has, so far, not happened.

Fortunately — when you’ve got tired of the kind of macroeconomic apologetics produced by “New Keynesian” macroeconomists and other DSGE modellers — there still are some real Keynesian macroeconomists to read. One of them — Axel Leijonhufvud — writes:

For many years now, the main alternative to Real Business Cycle Theory has been a somewhat loose cluster of models given the label of New Keynesian theory. New Keynesians adhere on the whole to the same DSGE modeling technology as RBC macroeconomists but differ in the extent to which they emphasise inflexibilities of prices or other contract terms as sources of shortterm adjustment problems in the economy. The “New Keynesian” label refers back to the “rigid wages” brand of Keynesian theory of 40 or 50 years ago. Except for this stress on inflexibilities this brand of contemporary macroeconomic theory has basically nothing Keynesian about it …

I conclude that dynamic stochastic general equilibrium theory has shown itself an intellectually bankrupt enterprise. But this does not mean that we should revert to the old Keynesian theory that preceded it (or adopt the New Keynesian theory that has tried to compete with it). What we need to learn from Keynes … are about how to view our responsibilities and how to approach our subject.

If macroeconomic models – no matter of what ilk –  build on microfoundational assumptions of representative actors, rational expectations, market clearing and equilibrium, and we know that real people and markets cannot be expected to obey these assumptions, the warrants for supposing that conclusions or hypotheses of causally relevant mechanisms or regularities can be bridged, are obviously non-justifiable. Incompatibility between actual behaviour and the behaviour in macroeconomic models building on representative actors and rational expectations microfoundations is not a symptom of “irrationality”. It rather shows the futility of trying to represent real-world target systems with models flagrantly at odds with reality.

A gadget is just a gadget – and no matter how brilliantly silly DSGE models you come up with, they do not help us working with the fundamental issues of modern economies. Using DSGE models only confirms Robert Gordon‘s  dictum that today

rigor competes with relevance in macroeconomic and monetary theory, and in some lines of development macro and monetary theorists, like many of their colleagues in micro theory, seem to consider relevance to be more or less irrelevant.

Ge Riksbanken ett tydligare mandat!

17 December, 2013 at 09:55 | Posted in Economics, Politics & Society | 1 Comment

sveriges-riksbankDen svenska central-banken har en uppgift från riksdagen: att upprätthålla ett fast penning-värde. Sedan har banken själv stipulerat att penningpolitiken ska styras av ett inflationsmål som ska vara 2 procent. På senare tid har bankdirektionen dessutom klarlagt att hushållens skuldsättning överordnats inflationsmålet och är en faktor som ska väga tungt vid utformningen av penningpolitiken. Oenigheten i direktionen vad gäller utformningen av penningpolitiken visar att målen behöver ändras.

Det ska vara riksdagen som utformar de mer exakta målen för penningpolitiken. Detta ska inbegripa nivån på inflationsmålet, vilken målvariabel inflationsmålet ska baseras på samt mål för utvecklingen av den reala ekonomin som ett explicit sysselsättningsmål. Utifrån dessa mål ska sedan Riksbanken självständigt utforma den löpande penningpolitiken. På detta sätt skapas en tydlig ansvarsfördelning. De folkvalda i riksdagen beslutar om policy och Riksbanken verkställer …

Regeringen bär ett stort ansvar för att hushållens skuldsättning ökat. Den har fört en bostadspolitik som lett till ett oerhört lågt byggande vilket har drivit upp bostadspriserna. Därtill har slopandet av förmögenhetsskatten och den kraftigt sänkta fastighetsskatten eldat på bostadsmarknaden. Det är inte rimligt att Riksbanken ska känna att den behöver ta ansvar för regeringens bristande ansvarstagande och därmed försvåra återhämtningen på arbetsmarknaden. Det kräver politiskt agerande för att komma tillrätta med problemen kring hushållens skuldsättning.

Byggandet av hyresrätter måste komma i gång … Bankernas vinstfest på bolånen måste hejdas. Under de senaste fem åren har bankernas marginaler på nytecknade rörliga lån ökat med över 160 procent … Ränteavdragen måste ses över med stor försiktighet och god framförhållning … Minska uppskovsmöjligheterna. Allt för förmånliga uppskovsmöjligheter driver upp bostadspriserna och därmed skuldsättningen.

Det måste göras med stor försiktighet så att ekonomin inte stramas åt i kristid. Men om den privata skuldsättningen minskas och prisökningen på bostäder dämpas, så ökar möjligheten för Riksbanken att sänka räntan. Det skulle stimulera ekonomi och sysselsättning.

Ulla Andersson (V)

(h/t Jan Milch)

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