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Beware of Forecasters who are 99.9% Correct

November 1st, 2013
in Op Ed

Rationality vs irrationality-based accounts of the financial crisis

by Dirk Ehnts, Econoblog101

The European Directorate-General for Internal Policies (best pronounced slightly mumbling, with a francophone accent) has a publication from 2009 that gives two accounts of the financial crisis: one is based on rational, one on irrational agents. In Annex VII both accounts are written up, which is interesting with respect to the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2013 given to those thinking about the efficient market hypothesis. Here is what they write on page 112:

Financial Crisis

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Former Dept. Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Says Critics of MMT are “Reaching”

October 31st, 2013
in Op Ed

by Stephanie Kelton, New Economic Perspectives

A few weeks ago, I had a lengthy e-mail exchange with Frank N. Newman, former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. Frank's books (here and here) are so closely aligned with MMT thinking about deficits, debt, monetary operations, etc. that I wanted to get his thoughts on one of the most common criticisms of MMT. MMT recognizes that the currency itself is a simple public monopoly and that the issuer of the currency must spend (or lend) it into existence, before it can be used to pay taxes or buy bonds.

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A Tale of Two Flations

October 31st, 2013
in Op Ed

Written by

Character actor Paul Ford played the part of blowhard "Mayor Shinn"  in the movie The Music Man. What a beautiful movie! Robert Preston; Shirley Jones; Meredith Willson's great songs. I don't recall whether it was in that movie, or in another role, that Mr. Ford triumphantly declared that "I'm against Inflation; I'm against Deflation; I'm for Flation." He didn't define what he meant by "Flation." The word does not appear in the dictionary. Presumably, it connotes a state of equilibrium of some kind.

The Music Man

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Economics Could Be a Science if .....

October 30th, 2013
in Op Ed

by William K. Black, New Economic Perspectives

Raj Chetty has written an op ed in the New York Times designed to counter the abuse the Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden's central bank) rightly received for its latest embarrassment. Economics does not have a true Nobel Prize, so a central bank decided to create a near-beer variant. The central bankers have frequently made a hash of it, often awarding economists who got it disastrously wrong and inflicted policies that caused immense suffering. This year, not for the first time, the central bankers decided to hedge their bets - awarding their prize to economists who contradict each other (Eugene Fama and Robert Shiller). The hedge strategy might be thought to ensure that the central bank's prize winners were right at least half the time (which would be an improvement over the central bankers' batting average in their awards), but that is a logical error. It is perfectly possible for both of the prize winners to be wrong. I'll explain why I think that is the case in a future article.

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American Exceptionalism

October 30th, 2013
in Op Ed, syndication

Written by

"American exceptionalism" - Have you ever heard of this expression? I first heard of it more than two decades ago. Recently, it has become so problematic that I decided to write about it. To me, it is such a big, past, and troublesome expression that it has clearly contributed to the steep decline of America over the past decade, with the most prominent example being the Iraq War.

Amereican Exceptionalism

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