ALL BLOG POSTS
As I have written about in an earlier post I am reading Clash Johnson’s book on the Great Depression “Gold, France and the Great Depression”. So far it has proved to be an interesting and insightful book on what (to me) is familiar story of how especially French and US gold hoarding was a major cause for the Great Depression.
Douglas Irwin has been so nice to send me an article from the New York Times from November 1 1931. It is a rather interesting article about the Swedish monetary guru Gustav Cassel's view of monetary policy and especially how he saw puritanism among monetary policy makers as the great ill. I had not read the article when I wrote my comment on Calvinist economics, but I guess my thinking is rather Casselian.
Interestingly enough both Paul Krugman and Brad DeLong have now come out in favour of NGDP level targeting. Hence, the policy recommendation from these two Keynesian giants are the same as from the Market Monetarist bloggers, but even though the Keynesians now agree with our policy recommendation on monetary policy in the US the theoretical differences are still massive. Both Krugman and DeLong stress the need for fiscal easing in the US. Market Monetarists do not think fiscal policy will be efficient and we are in general skeptical about expanding the role of government in the economy.
A couple a days ago I had a discussion with a colleague of mine about the situation in Greece. My view is that it is pretty clear to everybody in the market that Greece is insolvent and therefore sooner or later we would have to see Greece default in some way or another and that it therefore is insane to continue to demand even more austerity measures from the Greek government, while at the same time asking the already insolvent Greek government to take on even more debt. My colleague on the other hand insisted that the Greeks “should pay back what they owe” and said “we can’t let countries default on their debt then everybody will do it”. It was a moral and not an economic argument he was making.
Ok, I will be completely frank here...I have always seen myself as a anti-Keynesian and I have said terrible things about Paul Krugman's keynesianism and especially his view of the liquidity trap has made me extremely frustrated. However, there is no coming around the fact that he is a world-class economist.
American Alex Salter is a good example of the open-minded Austrians who has welcomed the dialogue with Market Monetarists. In my own part of the world Austrians is also engaging us in a serious fashion. A good example is Anthony Evans – self-declared Austrian, monetary specialist and Associate Professor of Economics at London’s ESCP Europe Business School, and Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at San Jose State University.
I have just printed three papers to (re)read when the rest of the family will be sleeping tonight. You might want to have a look at the same papers.