Euractiv.com, Paul Jorion : ‘Jean-Claude Juncker’s moral authority has been damaged’, 14th November 2014

November 18th, 2014 by Julien Alexandre 0 comment

Euractiv.com, Paul Jorion: ‘Jean-Claude Juncker’s moral authority has been damaged’

Does the LuxLeaks scandal represent a risk for the Commission?

Paul Jorion: Jean-Claude Juncker’s moral authority has been damaged. Of course, he hopes his investment plan will bring confidence, and it is a good idea. Especially if it can create employment and give purchasing power to European citizens. But his credibility has been tainted by the revelations about Luxembourg’s fiscal practices.

The current head of the Commission is the man who led the implementation of austerity policies within the Eurogroup, at the same time as organising tax evasion for big companies in Luxembourg. Member states lost billions because of him, and now he wants to impose austerity policies on us. This is an untenable position.

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« Stewardship of Finance » Chair, VUB, lectures resume on Monday September 29 at 4 p.m.

September 15th, 2014 by Paul Jorion 0 comment

Paul Jorion, Ph.D., holder of the “Stewardship of Finance” Chair at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, will resume his lecturing on Monday September 29 at 4 p.m.

The course is taking place every Monday afternoon at that time in lecture hall D0.03 of building D (central building) of the university, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels. The course is held in English and it is open to the public.

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Medical Breakthrough: Low Dosage “Piketty” Prevents “FT” Fits (II/II), by H. Benisty (co-author with Timiota)

June 5th, 2014 by Julien Alexandre 0 comment

Guest post. The French version can be found here. Special thanks to Serge Boucher for the translation

We’ve shown in the first part of this post that a population of actors effecting “random walks” by betting their wealth daily, or more precisely a modest part of their fortune that lies above the poverty level, will eventually see a small group of “very rich” emerge, making everybody else comparatively poorer.

We now increase the number of actors to N=3600, all other hypotheses remaining the same, to get a more clear distinction between a continuum of the society and a few dominant elements. We’ll show how a small dose of “Pikettisation” avoids paralysis.

First, let’s study the situation as is, to identify the problem. Here’s a typical simulation with N=3600 actors during 35000 days. [See ((2)) in the appendix for a more detailed explanation, … even if you have already read ((1))!]

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Medical Breakthrough: Low Dosage “Piketty” Prevents “FT” Fits (I/II), by H. Benisty (co-author with Timiota)

June 5th, 2014 by Julien Alexandre 0 comment

Guest post. The French version can be found here. Special thanks to Serge Boucher for the translation

On the subject of wealth concentration and rising inequalities, Thomas Piketty tells us that there is indeed a growing rift, and that the fifties were only an exception. One can always pretend that the Gilded Age gave us several decades of only occasionally rusty capitalism, hence reviving those levels of inequality is nothing to scoff at, especially if millions of people concurrently rise out of poverty.

Entertaining that view requires that we ignore many aspects of the Great Depression, which is highly difficult to understand, having taken place between two world wars, and in a period mixing technical progress, colonisation and then decolonisation. In any case, one can conceivably believe that history as a whole is so chaotic that what we’ll get at the end of the current rise in inequality need not be exceptionally bad.

Many reasons, which one might wish to file under “our planet’s survival”, suggest that now is a horrible time for deadlocking a system already made rusty by wealth concentration and the mass poverty that it implies: even though a sizeable and growing middle-class manages to get by, a world where even in rich countries 30% of inhabitants are poor, with poor countries doing much worse, can’t be expected to make the right choices regarding our planet’s resources.

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On Europe, an answer to Mr François Hollande, president of the French Republic, by Pierre-Yves Dambrine

May 9th, 2014 by Paul Jorion 0 comment

An English translation of Sur l’Europe, en réponse à Monsieur François Hollande, président de la République, par Pierre-Yves Dambrine by Johan Leestemaker

Invited commentary, in response of a tribune de François Hollande published today May 8 in the daily newspaper Le Monde, Paris, France.

Mr. President,

I have carefully read your speech on Europe, published today in the newspaper Le Monde, in the perspective of the very near European elections. I hold no doubt that you are a European by conviction. As many of us still are, because, as you remind us, the Union was a great and beautiful idea, and remains so. Undeniably she has been a factor of peace and has contributed to the economic rise that followed upon the Second World War. However you forget that for a great deal this peace has been also the result of the balance of terror, as Europe owes a part of its security to the American nuclear shield. Certainly, the peace could be maintained based on specific positive grounds, but also somehow by imperfection.

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Exorcising animal spirits out of Keynes, by Paul Jorion

April 20th, 2014 by Paul Jorion 0 comment

Exorcising animal spirits out of Keynes

Paul Jorion, Stewardship of finance chair, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

To be published in a forthcoming issue of the European Journal of Social Theory: special issue on “Rethinking Capitalism”, 2014

Might be referred to as “European Journal of Social Theory (forthcoming): http://www.pauljorion.com/blog_en/?p=1229″

Abstract:

Torn between the duties associated with the capacities of academic, banker and statesman, Maynard Keynes was in a constant hurry. He glossed over the missing parts of the economic theories he devised by referring to various unfathomable ‘psychological mechanisms’. It is claimed here that interest rates set at the level defined by the marginal yield of capital, a hypothesis Keynes envisaged cursorily but only to assert it leading to ‘circular reasoning’.

Keynes never considered the power balance between lenders and borrowers to be relevant in setting the level of market rates. However, resorting here as a blueprint to the economic arrangement known as sharecropping, power balance between involved parties is shown to be at the core of a fitting explanation.

 

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VUB, Stewardship of Finance, 8th lecture, Aristotle : profit, ethics and price formation, December 2, 2013

January 16th, 2014 by Paul Jorion 0 comment

Aristole : profit, ethics and price formation.

Full information here.

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VUB, Stewardship of Finance, 7th lecture, Lord Adair Turner : socially useful and socially useless financial activities, November 25, 2013

January 16th, 2014 by Paul Jorion 0 comment

Lord Adair Turner : socially useful and socially useless financial activities.

Full information here.

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VUB, Stewardship of Finance, 6th lecture, National order and international disorder : tax havens, shadow banking, mafias, November 18, 2013

January 16th, 2014 by Paul Jorion 0 comment

National order and international disorder : tax havens, shadow banking, mafias

Full information here.

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SINGING MEANINGFUL WORDS

December 27th, 2013 by Paul Jorion 2 comments

Oh boy! Only 327 people have watched this on YouTube: Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary fame, about political singing – singing meaningful words! – and earning a living out of it.

Let’s give him a little push!

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VUB, Stewardship of Finance, 5th lecture, The financial world and its regulators, November 5, 2013

November 9th, 2013 by Paul Jorion 0 comment

I’m reminding you that access is free : QB lecture room, every Monday from 4 to 6 P.M., Pleinlaan, 1050 Brussels.

Full information here.

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European Parliament, Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, November 5, 2013

November 9th, 2013 by Paul Jorion 0 comment

My intervention is part of the filmed account of the session on the Parliament’s own TV channel.

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“The future of the Eurozone from an interest rate standpoint”, European Parliament, November 5, 2013

October 27th, 2013 by Paul Jorion 0 comment

Here my contribution to European Parliament, Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, November 5, 2013, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The future of the Eurozone can be approached as a logical problem. If not solved, it can at least be significantly clarified when the issue is examined from the single standpoint of the sovereign debt’s coupon for the nations belonging to the zone.

Within the economic zone where a currency applies, a single coupon level only should be in existence for each obligatory maturity. The founding fathers of the Eurozone assumed no doubt that such would be the case also for the zone – or at least would tend to become so on the long run. They did not envisage that measurable default risk would develop for individual member nations of the zone, neither of course that reverting to the old currency would ever be considered an option. The fact that for a single maturity coupons vary according to country within the Eurozone is as such an alarming symptom of its current troubles.

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European Parliament, Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, November 5, 2013, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

October 27th, 2013 by Paul Jorion 0 comment

I will be the first speaker at 3:30 p.m.

The full programme can be found here.

European Parliament

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VUB, Stewardship of Finance, 3d lecture, Adam Smith’s “invisible hand”, October 14, 2013

October 27th, 2013 by Paul Jorion 0 comment

I’m reminding you that access is free : QB lecture room, every Monday from 4 to 6 P.M., Pleinlaan, 1050 Brussels.

Full information here.

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VUB, Stewardship of Finance, 2nd lecture, Is rational behaviour necessarily ethical?, October 7, 2013

October 27th, 2013 by Paul Jorion 0 comment

I’m reminding you that access is free : QB lecture room, every Monday from 4 to 6 P.M., Pleinlaan, 1050 Brussels.

Full information here.

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VUB, Stewardship of Finance, 1st lecture, The background: The stewardship of finance and the subprime crisis, September 30, 2013

October 27th, 2013 by Paul Jorion 0 comment

I’m reminding you that access is free : QB lecture room, every Monday from 4 to 6 P.M., Pleinlaan, 1050 Brussels.

Full information here.

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“Stewardship of Finance”, lectures resume on September 30 at 4 p.m.

September 16th, 2013 by Paul Jorion 0 comment

My “Stewardship of Finance” lectures at the VUB resume on September 30.

Lectures will be delivered in English, they are held on Mondays from 4 to 6 p.m. in lecture hall QB (2 Pleinlaan, 1050 Brussels); auditors are free to attend.

Lectures are videotaped and can be viewed on YouTube as well as here on the blog.

1. Why stewardship of finance?, September 30

2. Is rational behaviour necessarily ethical?, October 7

3. Regulation and self-regulation. Adam Smith’s “invisible hand”, October 14

4. Law, Ethics and the business world, October 28

5. The business world and its regulators, November 4

6. National order and international disorder. Tax havens/shadow banking/mafias, November 18

7. Lord Adair Turner: socially useful and socially useless financial activities, November 25

8. Profit and Ethics. Aristotle’s chrematistics, December 2

“Stewardship of Finance” lectures will be held in French at the ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles) during the second semester, their programme will be communicated in due time.

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A mail exchange about JP Morgan’s “The Euro area adjustment: about halfway there”, Europe Economic Research, 28 May 2013

June 24th, 2013 by Paul Jorion 4 comments

From : Paul Jorion
Object : The Euro area adjustment: about halfway there
Date : 21 June 2013 21:33:20 UTC+02:00
To : Malcolm Barr, David Mackie

Good day MM. Barr and Mackie,

I’m writing to you as I receive several mails drawing my attention to the following paragraph of your recent May report:

“The political systems in the periphery were established in the aftermath of dictatorship, and were defined by that experience. Constitutions tend to show a strong socialist influence, reflecting the political strength that left wing parties gained after the defeat of fascism. Political systems around the periphery typically display several of the following features: weak executives; weak central states relative to regions; constitutional protection of labor rights; consensus building systems which foster political clientalism; and the right to protest if unwelcome changes are made to the political status quo. The shortcomings of this political legacy have been revealed by the crisis.”

The authors of the mails I receive are under the impression that this paragraph means that you regard “constitutional protection of labor rights” and “the right to protest if unwelcome changes are made to the political status quo” as detrimental to business. There is however a wide consensus in the community that such principles are basic to democracy.

Would you be so kind as to dispel any doubts about this, so that I can reply to the mails I received?

Should I not receive any reply from you, I would conclude that you, Gentlemen, do indeed regard some basic democratic principles as detrimental to business, and mention that fact on my blog for the education of the public.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Jorion

 
From : David Mackie
Object : Rép : The Euro area adjustment: about halfway there
Date : 23 June 2013 14:39:56 UTC+02:00
To : Paul Jorion

Paul

Thank you for your email.

The paragraph that you refer to is not intended to suggest that there is a clash between democracy and business and, in any case, we do not believe that to be the case. Rather, the paragraph is intended to be about the functioning of EMU.

There are many ways that EMU can be constructed. One of the key trade offs is between regional burden sharing and national level flexibility.

In principle, the region can choose any point on this trade off. For now, the region is moving towards a point on this trade off which involves a very modest amount of regional burden sharing and a lot of national level flexibility.

Against this background, some countries are struggling to make the adjustments required by this particular vision of EMU.

I hope this clarifies the point we were trying to make.

Best wishes

David Mackie

 

N. B. : Published with Mr. Mackie’s full approval.

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VUB and ULB, “Stewardship of Finance” chair, Prince Philip and Princess Mathilda of Belgium ask students about their research, Avril 18 2013

April 29th, 2013 by Paul Jorion 0 comment

Well, call me sentimental, but in a world of confrontation, disarray and dearth of proper answers, the whole occasion was, please forgive me for being so blunt, perfect.

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