Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Criticizing the IMF staff and Ryan Avent

Lifted from Robert Waldmann’s Stochastic Thoughts: In the post below, I vigorously criticize IMF staff and Ryan Avent for claiming that central banks adopted low inflation targets in the early 80s without noting that the Fed did not adopt an inflation target until January 25 2012.  I have now read Avent’s post as patiently as […]

Reading Mankiw in Seattle

A while back Nick Rowe challenged amateur internet econocranks (my word, not Nick’s) like me to actually go read an intro econ textbook. (He was specifically targeting the author of Unlearning Economics — who I, at least, don’t consider to be an econocrank, he’s far better-versed than I am, though Nick might.) I took him […]

Solow on Bernanke (and both, on Libertopians)

I’m just sayin’. (Emphasis mine, words Solow’s): [Bernanke’s] preferred answer is better and more system-oriented regulation. One has to ask then why regulation failed to see the crisis of 2007–2008 coming and take action to head it off. Bernanke suggests that regulators were lulled into inattention by the so-called Great Moderation. Our masters are all […]

Time Duy on QE and Signalling*

Mark Thoma once claimed to be pleased that I was shrilly criticizing him.  I sure hope he meant it, because here I go again.  HeUpdate: I have trouble with reading comprehension.  A one syllable name was too hard.  I am commenting on Tim Duy who posted at Mark Thoma’s site.  I apologize for the mistake. […]

Delivering water quality to the tap

Delivering water quality to the tap I’m now in Kiev (looking into their water utility regulation), and a typical problem has popped up, i.e., the difficulty in delivering water quality to the tap. The physical layout of water systems — taking raw water from ground or surface sources, treating it, pumping it through large pipes […]

To centralize or not to centralize?   Tcentralize or not to centralize? o I’ve run into many instances of a struggle between small- and large-scale governance, e.g., local vs. regional or national water management. These struggles occur over money, regulations, water allocations, and so on. I can see why they happen — someone in power decides to take over responsibilities […]

Barkley Rosser’s Review of Behavioral Economics (ROBE) Website Goes Live

Review of Behavioral Economics (ROBE) Website Goes Live Amazingly enough, today on my 65th birthday, the website of the new journal that I am Editor-in-Chief of, the Review of Behavioral Economics (ROBE), has gone live.  So, we are open for business at…. Prof. J. Barkley Rosser  .

"Of Property" and the Mercantilist Fallacy

  Sandwichman at Econospeak offers a look at a piece of history: “Of Property” and the Mercantilist Fallacy “Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his […]

How high does senior poverty have to go?

It’s official: President Obama has proposed cutting Social Security by replacing the program’s current inflation adjustment with the stingier “chained” Consumer Price Index. As I’ve discussed before, this risks undoing all the progress made against senior poverty since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. 25% of seniors were poor according to official poverty […]