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

About That, er, Monetary Expansion…

Brad DeLong has a spat with Scott Sumner: The IS-LM model led economic historians to argue money was easy in 1929-30, because rates fell sharply. It led modern Keynesians to assume that money was easy in 2008, because rates fell sharply… Well, I would say that not just “modern Keynesians” but a lot of people […]

PSA: Steve Keen at the Roosevelt in NYC tonight at 5:00/6:00

Talk is called “Neat, Plausible, and Wrong: the Deluded Discipline of Economics.” I have to quibble with the “plausible” portion: there is no possible way to rationalize contemporary Microeconomics with any reasonable conceit that the Macroeconomics produced are “first-best” or anything similar.* I doubt I’ll be there at 5:00, but certainly by 6:00. Hope to […]

No One Else Is Happy with BarryO and Some Random Notes

Economists for Obama suddenly showed up in my RSS reader again. It’s not a pretty sight: I suppose I might change my mind, but after watching the President give in to the Boehner-McConnell blackmail axis, I don’t imagine I’ll be spending much of my time advocating his re-election. Assuming he’s the Democratic nominee, which I […]

Notes Toward Modeling a Risk-Free Rate with Default Possibilities

Brad DeLong asks why it hasn’t been done, if it hasn’t been done.  The biggest problem I can see is that you don’t know how insane the participants are—and that will have a major effect on how much damage is done when. Don’t get me wrong; the damage is already being done; it has been […]

Why the Economy Stubbornly Insists on Growing More Slowly When Taxes are Lower

by Mike Kimel An Economic Theory That Uses Micro Forces to Explain Macro Outcomes: Why the Economy Stubbornly Insists on Growing More Slowly When Taxes are Lower Cross-posted at the Presimetrics blog. I’ve been writing for years about the fact that a basic piece of economic theory does not apply to real world US data: […]

Everything Old is New Again, The "Value" of Active Investment Managers Edition

First, there was Fred Schwed’s Where are the Customer’s Yachts?, which is still the standard bearer for why Money Managers are overpaid. Now (via the NYT) there is The Investment Answer (preface here [PDF]). The Prologue opens more Matt Taibbi than Jason Zweig: Wall Street brokers and active money managers use your relative lack of […]

In Which I Worry about the swimming pools of Casey Mulligan and Greg Mankiw

Tim Duy takes a gracious lead pipe to silly analysis: It really makes one understand why the public often dismisses academics as out of touch in their ivory towers. One has to imagine that neither Mulligan nor Mankiw ever held a real summer job. Nor, apparently, have they looked at any other nonseasonally adjusted data. […]