This is reason's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following reason's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
reason
Recent Activity
Seriously, computation psychiatry - how about mathematical oncology or linguistic chemistry.
Toggle Commented yesterday on 'Can We Predict Happiness?' at Economist's View
1 reply
Computational Psychiatry? - hey I just checked April 1 is long ago.
Toggle Commented yesterday on 'Can We Predict Happiness?' at Economist's View
1 reply
"This kind of algorithmic arms race strikes me as a gigantic waste of scarce intellectual resources, and an investment that couldn't possibly be justified at the social level by the microscopic incremental increases in market efficiency that they might bring about." Yep, a small fraction of the intellectual resources wasted by gaming tax systems.
1 reply
P.S. the Euro, is a completely different issue. The problem is that the US central bank has almost completely lost leverage on the US economy because the exchange rate adjustment is disfunctional.
1 reply
pgl No I think we need an independent reserve currency and an independent international central bank as proposed by Lord Keynes in the 1940s.
1 reply
John Quiggin's piece is excellent. Also what is what the Brookings piece talk about weak. "It's time to stop reducing taxes on the wealthy". Well yes, in fact it is "time to start increasing taxes on the wealthy again".
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Links for 04-22-15 at Economist's View
1 reply
Another related comment, I might make here, is that I REALLY, REALLY think that the post Breton-Woods international financial system is in crisis, and a redesign is long overdue. The use of a domestic currency for the international reserve currency, can only go well so long as the domestic money stock massively overwhelms the internationally held financial stock. Otherwise the domestic central bank will lose traction. Which is what I think we have seen - with risk adjusted returns to real domestic investment in the US being driven close to zero. We desperately need an international reserve currency that it independent of domestic monetary policy.
1 reply
"The issue of what debt ratio to aim for in the long run is not of the essence when there is a large consensus that it is too large today and the adjustment will be slow in any case – although, even here, Brad DeLong has provocatively argued that current debt ratios are perhaps too low." I think this shows that in the profession there is still a lot of confused thinking about this issue. Seriously, we need mainstream economists and MMT guys to bang their heads together on this one. A few rough points here: 1. Foreign trade matters an awful lot here. It really doesn't matter much how big your outstanding government debt is, if it is mostly domestic (e.g. Japan). 2. Domestically held government debt is private financial wealth. People hold financial wealth for a number of reasons, but the main one for most people is prudential. There is a trade-off between public social insurance and the need for safe financial assets (which is where I guess Brad Delong is coming from). If you don't have enough "safe" financial assets, you increase the risk of bubbles (maybe the Clinton/Greenspan years need to be re-interpreted in the light of this). 3. Private debt is probably more important than government debt - but both are tied together via the current account balance (Foreign capital inflow implies a either a private or public deficit or both). But private debt is complicated, because it can be multiplied by multiple levels of debt (A borrows from B who borrows from C9. 4. At low levels of inflation, monetarisation of the debt might make sense (why commit future income streams to create liquidity, if people see the future income streams and money as near substitutes - just create money).
1 reply
pgl, it seems Matt has outdone himself this time. I bet he couldn't even understand what he has written.
1 reply
You can make this argument even stronger. If you take "Austrian" economists at their word, then not only is the financial system like that, so is capitalism in general. You don't need to value stability much for such fragility to be an overwhelming argument against capitalism itself. Surely, this is not their intension. P.S. I don't believe for a second that capitalism is so fragile as "Austrian" economists like to paint it.
1 reply
Robert Reich interests me. I didn't used to like him much (because I thought he was too fond of unions, which I see as at best a necessary evil - like police or the military or taxes - not an unmitigated good). But he seems to me, one of the few telling things clearly as they are, with a sympathetic for the common man.
Toggle Commented 4 days ago on Links for 04-21-15 at Economist's View
1 reply
"We conclude from this experiment that a shift in credit supply, associated with looser lending constraints, was the fundamental driver of the credit and housing boom that preceded the Great Recession." Note the implication, risk management in banks was broken. I have said before - that pricing risk is banks' core competence. That got broken, possibly because two innovations (securitization and the move of investment banks from partnerships to limited liability) resulted in massive agency problems.
1 reply
Note - debt to GDP is not necessarily the same as debt to income because MORE people could be going into debt, rather than those in debt owing a higher ratio of their income. But without a chart of the ratio of households owning their own homes we can't see what is going on there.
1 reply
P.S. The debt to GDP chart is the only chart that gets close to the important story.
1 reply
kn-nm has it right. What is missing here is the debt/income ratio. That is, it is assumed that real interest rates won't change and debts don't have to be paid off. Why is this considered a reasonable assumption? Most home owners are not speculators (and note that if they were there is a potential systemic problem as in the case of deleveraging they all will very quickly be underwater, which involves massive insolvency risk).
1 reply
I'm convinced the easiest and most effective way to combat excess weight is to convince people to get their kids to drink water and to walk or bike to school. We did it with our kids and it really makes a difference, not just in terms of weight, but teeth as well.
1 reply
Those overweight statistics (regardless of childhood poverty) are absolutely appalling.
1 reply
reed hundt I would agree if policy making was based on rational criteria. Unfortunately rationality went out the window long ago, when people stopped thinking "we" and started thinking only "I". That makes fighting one another more important than co-operating.
1 reply
oops I left out the sentence that ties that post together. See the GOPs success depends on reducing complex realities to single words and selling a connotation to that word. We need to fight back not by doing the same, thus validating the approach, but by encouraging people to look behind the slogan - the become properly skeptical. Skepticism not faith is the cornerstone of the enlightenment and progress. Sell it!
1 reply
pgl "Dean Baker is hardly saying we should go entirely to a free market system. He is just saying stop the welfare for the rich. " But Dean Baker did write a book "The End of Loser Liberalism" - and I don't like the implication, that "Losers" aren't worth supporting. In the society I come from (I grew up in Australia in the 1960s and 1970s) we called "Losers" "Battlers" and a lot of our national myths were about heroic defeats. Look at the success the GOP have had selling tax cuts for the rich by also giving others a break on Federal Income taxes and saying to look the other way as taxes come back as increased co-payments, or higher tuition, or higher payments to privatized utilities called peak surcharges etc, etc.
1 reply
I think this is barking up the wrong tree (not uncommon these days). The problem is that people live in concentrated poverty, not that they live in the wrong place. If there were not so many poor people in the area, it wouldn't be the wrong place.
1 reply
"You would prefer John Taylor or Greg Mankiw?" No Paul Krugman, or better still Dean Baker.
1 reply
Let me be more blunt, all you people who "don't like the word redistribution" are part of the problem, not part of the solution. It is policy that matters not what we call it.
1 reply
I'll point out one thing that puzzled me before - a NY Times from a writer trying to point out that non-tea party policies were in fact "conservative". I found this odd. I'm with Juliet "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet". When are people going to stand up for substance over form?
1 reply
One debt to rule them all, and in the shadows bind them.
1 reply