Daily Archives: July 8, 2011

The crisis over Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper empire illuminates the structural crisis in Britain’s broken system of newspaper self-regulation. The closure of the News of the World, the crumbling of the edifice of obfuscations and lies erected over the past five years by News International to defend its indefensible activities, the widespread belief that more revelations about similar activities in other papers are yet to come and the manifest incompetence of self regulation in the British newspaper industry call for a radically different solution.

David Cameron, prime minister, rightly said that the Press Complaints Commission, the industry’s self-regulatory body, should be scrapped. But to create a new and better system there is a familiar dilemma about the regulation of newspapers, which must now be cut through. Continue reading »

As the August 2nd debt ceiling deadline looms ever closer, President Barack Obama has asked congressional leaders to work through the weekend. The hope is for agreement on a “grand bargain” that avoids disorderly disruptions to government payment obligations and creates, quoting the president’s remarks of yesterday, “an environment in which we can grow the economy and make sure that more and more people are being put back to work”. The likelihood is that the disruptions will indeed be avoided but, unfortunately, only through a “mini deal”.

Such a disappointing outcome would fall short of what is required to energize America’s economy, accelerate job creation and enhance medium-term fiscal sustainability. Also, it would contribute very little to improving the outlook for the grand bargains needed elsewhere in the global economy. Lets hope that, if it indeed materializes, a mini-deal is only a means to a grand bargain down the road. It would be a tragedy if, instead, it were an end in itself. Continue reading »