Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Monday, December 12, 2011

EU Economics -- Arcane Recreational Links

By John Ballard

It's not called the dismal science for nothing. No matter what economists understand about their subject political types and their followers -- like macho lost husbands driving miles in the wrong direction, ignoring the wife's pleas to stop and ask directions -- continue stubborn habits making matters worse.

The Roubini stable offers this collection.

==> The Simple Explanation of Why Night Falls Over Europe

  1. The real results concern aid for the banks. Necessary actions to improve bank liquidity, but ineffective without broader policy action.

  2. Approval for more and deeper austerity policies. In fact, locking EU fiscal policy into a straitjacket as a recession looms ahead. Europe�s leaders have learned nothing from 1929-32, and nothing from the great progress in economic theory since then. This could have horrific results! Future generations will not understand.

  3. They hope (again) to get more aid from the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China) via the IMF. This is delusional. The BRICs did nothing earlier this year, when hopes were higher for effective EU action AND the BRICs were stronger. Now all four BRICs have serious problems at home; substantial help for the rich folks of Europe from the poorer BRICs seems unlikely.

  4. Most important, they have done nothing to address the imbalances within the EMU that caused the crisis � and drive the current downturn.

    This is, as many have said, like the Captain of the Titanic convening a seminar on metallurgy after they hit the iceberg.

==> A Deep Seated Hostility Towards European Construction? by Edward Hugh

Doing The Berlin Brake Dance

What Wolfgang [Munchau] is getting at here is that the core of the proposed EU agreement is the introduction of the so called �balanced budget amendment� as a binding principle across all the eventual signitaries. Naturally Germany already has this amendment in place. According to Wikipedia: �In 2009 Germany�s constitution was amended to introduce the Schuldenbremse (�debt brake�), a balanced budget provision. This will apply to both the federal government and the L�er (states). From 2016 onwards the federal government will be forbidden to run a deficit of more than 0.35% of GDP. From 2020, the states will not be permitted to run any deficit at all. The Basic Law permits an exception to be made for emergencies such as a natural disaster or severe economic crisis�
Hence perhaps the most worrying thing about last weeks agreement to agree was that each and every one of the 26 countries concerned has stated that �I will stop beating my wife, I promise I will, and soon�, but understands what this means in their own special way.


There are lessons here for anyone paying attention.

Am I alone thinking that these discussions are the same as the gridlock here? Entrenched, tight-fisted banker types and their clients really imagine that if they squeeze hard enough they cn get a fw more drops of juice out of an already used-up orange. Proposals for a federal balanced budget agreement (indeed a proposal to amend the Constitution to that effect) are supposed to resolve all the problems by shoving them out to the states.

All this in the face of a looming global recession, increased scar-tissue at home and a steady erosion of our collective net worth. What kind of madness is this?

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