Episode 119 – Point Counterpoint: The Biden First 100 Days with Robert Hockett

Robert Hockett is back to share his irrepressible optimism as he and Steve review Biden’s first 100 days. They both admit the administration has done more than they expected, but then again, they weren’t expecting much. When Pramila Jayapal awarded the president an A, she must have been grading on a curve.

Bob isn’t confident predicting what the coming months will bring, but he expresses both his hopes and fears around a number of issues. How will Biden navigate the shoals of very shallow Democratic support in the Senate? What are his choices and what are their potential consequences? With two more big spending bills in the wings, there’s a lot riding on Congress.  To some extent, Bob sees Biden’s fortunes aligned with our own: successful and popular domestic policies would translate into votes expanding the Democratic majority in the midterm elections.

Perhaps it’s unfair to judge an administration on the achievements of the first 100 days. Just consider FDR:

So one of the things that we tend to forget about the New Deal is that it wasn’t really just one big enactment and it wasn’t even like three or four big enactments. It was literally scores of distinct pieces of legislation rolled out sequentially over about a 13-year period . . . and the way it was sequenced, it was done in such a way as to ensure that FDR kept winning reelection and each time he won reelection, he could do even more.

On the international front, we’re witnessing a revival of America as agonist. This administration has no qualms about amping up a new cold war against Russia and China. The US uses tariffs and sanctions as a means of wielding power over other countries. Steve asks about the use of the payment system to lock them out.

Bob thinks China is playing a very smart game. As long as they remain an export-led growth economy, they benefit from the dollar’s dominant position in the global monetary system. But China is moving towards a domestically generated demand-focused economy, at which point the dollar’s position as reserve currency will no longer serve their interests. In Bob’s view, they’re taking advantage of the current arrangements while wisely getting their ducks in a row. Meanwhile, they’re making advances towards becoming one of the most important global players in digital currency and finance. 

 There’s much more to this episode, from elite control fraud in the financial industry to the effect of the pandemic on the powerless. Agree or disagree, an hour with Bob Hockett is sure to engage, inform, and probably amuse you.

Robert Hockett is the Edward Cornell Professor of Law at Cornell Law School, Visiting Professor of Finance at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, and Senior Counsel at Westwood Capital, LLC. He specializes in the law, economics, and philosophy of money, finance, and enterprise organization in their theoretical and practical, their positive and normative, and their local, national, and transnational dimensions.

Follow Robert on Twitter @rch371

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Robert Hockett is back to share his irrepressible optimism as he and Steve review Biden’s first 100 days. They both admit the administration has done more than they expected, but then again, they weren’t expecting much. When Pramila Jayapal awarded the president an A, she must have been grading on a curve.

Bob isn’t confident predicting what the coming months will bring, but he expresses both his hopes and fears around a number of issues. How will Biden navigate the shoals of very shallow Democratic support in the Senate? What are his choices and what are their potential consequences? With two more big spending bills in the wings, there’s a lot riding on Congress.  To some extent, Bob sees Biden’s fortunes aligned with our own: successful and popular domestic policies would translate into votes expanding the Democratic majority in the midterm elections.

Perhaps it’s unfair to judge an administration on the achievements of the first 100 days. Just consider FDR:

So one of the things that we tend to forget about the New Deal is that it wasn’t really just one big enactment and it wasn’t even like three or four big enactments. It was literally scores of distinct pieces of legislation rolled out sequentially over about a 13-year period . . . and the way it was sequenced, it was done in such a way as to ensure that FDR kept winning reelection and each time he won reelection, he could do even more.

On the international front, we’re witnessing a revival of America as agonist. This administration has no qualms about amping up a new cold war against Russia and China. The US uses tariffs and sanctions as a means of wielding power over other countries. Steve asks about the use of the payment system to lock them out.

Bob thinks China is playing a very smart game. As long as they remain an export-led growth economy, they benefit from the dollar’s dominant position in the global monetary system. But China is moving towards a domestically generated demand-focused economy, at which point the dollar’s position as reserve currency will no longer serve their interests. In Bob’s view, they’re taking advantage of the current arrangements while wisely getting their ducks in a row. Meanwhile, they’re making advances towards becoming one of the most important global players in digital currency and finance. 

 There’s much more to this episode, from elite control fraud in the financial industry to the effect of the pandemic on the powerless. Agree or disagree, an hour with Bob Hockett is sure to engage, inform, and probably amuse you.

Robert Hockett is the Edward Cornell Professor of Law at Cornell Law School, Visiting Professor of Finance at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, and Senior Counsel at Westwood Capital, LLC. He specializes in the law, economics, and philosophy of money, finance, and enterprise organization in their theoretical and practical, their positive and normative, and their local, national, and transnational dimensions.

Follow Robert on Twitter @rch371

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