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Vineland (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)
Thomas Pynchon
Tristes Tropiques
Claude Lévi-Strauss, Patrick Wilcken, John Weightman, Doreen Weightman
Richard III
William Shakespeare
The Dwarf
Alexandra Dick, Pär Lagerkvist
The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen
Wilfred Owen, Cecil Day-Lewis
Labyrinths
Richard Wolin
Giotto to Dürer: Early Renaissance Painting in the National Gallery
Jill Dunkerton, Susan Foister, Dillian Gordon, Nicholas Penny
Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics
Hubert L. Dreyfus, Paul Rabinow
Gravity's Rainbow
Thomas Pynchon
A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel
Steven Weisenburger

The Holy Grail of Macro Economics: Lessons from Japan's Great Recession

The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics: Lessons from Japan's Great Recession - Richard C. Koo (I have upgrade my review -- not because the book, as such, has improved -- it is basically an article masquerading as a book -- but only because the thesis has become a part of my mental furniture)

Good thesis -- mediocre book. Took an hour to browse it. Basically...

Unlike typical recessions, which (like 1990/91) are due to credit crunches, and which can be 'solved' by forcing liquidity into the banking system; the Japanese recession of 1990-2005, like the Great Depression of 1929-1932 are "balance-sheet recessions" -- meaning that a collapse in asset prices (when the bubble bursts) punches a big hole in the balance sheet (these assets are sitting on the asset side of the b.s., were bought with leverage, and used as collateral for further leveraging) -- which can only be 'solved' by deleveraging, that is, by paying down debt. And that takes years... and sometimes decades.

This is what we've got now.

The problem, then, is not liquidity -- or "getting credit flowing again!" -- as Obama and Summers think; the problem is simply solvency... financial institutions, households, govts world-wide... are all effectively bankrupt (that is, their assets are overwhelmed by debts, obligations, liabilities). In this circumstance, pumping in liquidity is useless -- since no one has the capacity to borrow -- there is no lack of supply (money), but rather a lack of demand (appetite). The only thing that will solve this is debt minimization. In Japan, it's taken 27 years (and counting)...

What the Fed is doing will simply stoke inflation.

This means, one needs to sell bonds, and trade dollars out at every opportunity for gold, silver, oil, agricultural commodities, and asia. The U.S. stock market will either fall for the next 10 years or, more likely, trade in a range between 7000 and 12000 while losing value continuously in real (inflation-adjusted) terms as the dollar falls. In the case of extreme inflation (100-200% per annum), the stock market could soar to 30,000 or more -- and STILL lose value in real terms.

There will be inflation and stagnant growth in the West for years to come. Whether it will be an inflationary stagnation or inflationary depression remains to be seen and will depend on many factors.