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Thursday items: Woodhill proposes Greek reforms; Domitrovic on 19th century panics; Laffer on Italy.

From Forbes, Louis Woodhill offers Greece a compelling alternative to austerity.

At Forbes, Brian Domitrovic analyzes the economic panics during the classical gold standard.

On The Kudlow Report, Art Laffer sounds optimistic about Italy’s new leader:

From Alhambra Investments, John Chapman explains the US is far more guilty of currency manipulation than China.

In Canada’s Financial Post, Peter Foster reports from a Keynesian debate on the parallels between Japan’s deflationary recession and the current US situation. Unmentioned is the yen’s sharp appreciation versus gold and the dollar since the mid-1980s, and the dollar’s sharp appreciation versus the euro and gold in summer 2008.

At NRO, Larry Kudlow highlights positive economic news.

Caffeinated Thoughts notes the gold standard’s popularity with Iowa Republicans.

In The WSJ, Walter Russell Mead sees France and Germany in a struggle over the eurozone’s economic culture:

France is basically a Club Med country with some northern features (historically often found among the Huguenots and Jews, out of which communities many of its most successful business leaders have come). It wants a “political” economic system for Europe, one in which political pressures can ensure the kind of steady devaluation of the euro that Italy, Spain, France, Greece and Portugal used to enjoy with their national currencies in the good old pre-euro days. The only problem with this old system was that it gave too many advantages to the Germans, Dutch and others (in the form of lower interest rates). France wants to stick the Germans with a Latin currency and Latin rules for running it.

Germany, on the other hand, wants the Latin countries to live by northern rules: Keep the currency sound, the budgets balanced and let the chips fall where they may. There is zero, repeat, zero consensus in Germany to go Latin and give the euro into the hands of slick French and Italian politicians. Technocrats bound by rules, the Germans can accept: That is why an Italian technocrat is following a Frenchman at the head of the ECB. But that is also why the Germans are being such sticklers about ECB rules against bailouts and unlimited ECB purchases of sovereign bonds.

At RCM, Alan Viard and Chad Hill propose an interesting tax reform idea.

The WSJ pans the GOP balanced budget plan:

Instead, House Speaker John Boehner plans to offer a vanilla amendment that merely calls for a balanced budget, with no spending limitation or supermajority tax requirements. The Speaker seems to believe, or at least hope, that this might attract enough Democratic votes to pass the amendment (which requires a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress, plus approval in 38 state legislatures).

On Bloomberg, James Grant predicts the European Central Bank will continue to loosen (h/t: TGSN):


In The WSJ, Jason Riley notes Sen. Marco Rubio’s (FL) pro-immigration rhetoric.

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