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Archive for 2013

Bitcoin: A Look at Major Freedom’s Currency

Posted on: December 29th, 2013 by Mike Sax 1 Comment

      On Friday  same bad news in China caused the Bitcoin to lose half its value in one day-from $1000 to $500.       Krugman then got the Bitcoin folks seriously riled when he referred to Bitcoin as evil in a post.       As he says they failed the humor test on that one.      I've not said anything about the  Bitcoin craze until now. I guess the one thing you have to admit that its' been a great investment. This is in part because of the way it is designed. Basically Bitcoin is designed to be deflationary. As the number of Bitcoin in circulation goes up very slowly, this means the stock price will...

Economics, Intuition and Praising With Faint Damnation

Posted on: December 29th, 2013 by Mike Sax 4 Comments

     I guess I'll take this comment by Anonymous as a compliment.      "Williamson's main implicit point is that Krugman has become a shlock economist since he writes for the NYT. So yeah, it is totally about schools of thoughts in macro with the key difference being that the Keynesian camp acknowledges that there are some moronic economists out there whereas the Neoclassical camp claims that there are no Keynesians, that all the Keynesians are NewKeynesian and thus pseudo-classical or that the Keynesians are stupid or whatever (this is an obvious variation of Freud's borrowed kettle)."      "So the funny thing is that even without knowing anything about economics you could tell that Williamson is a liar."     I'll take this praise with faint damnation I guess. What I...

The Latest Major UnFreedom Follies

Posted on: December 29th, 2013 by Mike Sax No Comments

    He calls himself Geoff now but this hasn't much improved his reasoning. Yesterday he was all breathless in linking to a few charts that he thought made a devastating case for his Rothbardian Austrianism. What they showed was the difference between various goods back in the 30s to today. Major clearly thinks this comparison is just devastating to all us pinko Keynesians and Monetarists.      "Someone please rationalize this. Shallow reasoning is preferred."     I've got to hand it to Mark Sadowski, while I differ with him on some important things I think he had the perfect answer here.       "Anything to oblige. Let’s see, I take one look at the name of the commenter and conclude without even looking at his links that it’s BS on stilts. How’s that for shallowness?"     Major also announced that he doesn't celebrate Christmas, for him it's just another day as he's an atheist. I have to disagree with him even...

Freshwater Economists, Saltwater Economists; New Keynesians and New Monetarists

Posted on: December 28th, 2013 by Mike Sax No Comments

      SW confuses many with the distinctions he wants to deny and with those he does make. He wants to deny the Freshwater-Saltwater divide is about much of anything than the fevered minds of 'journalists'-ie, Krugman, Delong, Noah Smith and Miles Kimball et. al; that is to say not journalists but economists he is taking issue with.       Much of his kvetching over differences with how the Minneapolis Fed firings were handled seems like nothing but inside baseball to me. I disagree with him when he says things like this-in this case to Noah Smith in the comments secton:      "In terms of what you have written in this post, you just haven't got it. Here, you've mischaracterized my motives, as if I'm driven by anger and emotion. I've thought about these issues carefully, and gone to some effort to try to correctly characterize what is going on....

Krugman Envy: Stephen Williamson Diagnosed

Posted on: December 28th, 2013 by Mike Sax 2 Comments

      A commentator at Noahpinion used it and got it on the nose. Here SW was peevishly arguing about the Minneapolis Fed firings and dissing Noah Smith's answer to SW's previous Noah 'smackdown.'      "Wow. An all-night bender. Both inebriation and negotiation. Dude, get over it already and get back to Krugman envy."      I would happily name this commentator but they went the 'anonymous' route which is perhaps appropriate as Mark Sadowski observed that a lot of commentators over at SW call themselves 'anon.'      I've gotten some great coinages from commentators at different blogs lately. Daniel over at Money Illusion was still my favorite: Monetary Offset as 'code of letting poor people starve.' He wasn't trying to be helpful but it's a keeper.     ...

Sumner’s Old Wine in New Bottles: The Scourge of Monetarism 2.0

Posted on: December 28th, 2013 by Mike Sax No Comments

     I'm reading Kaldor's 'Scourge of Monetarism'-I just downloaded it last night on Amazon. I had initially wanted to read his book arguing for Economics Without Equilibrium as Lord Keynes over at Social Democracy for the 21st Century had mentioned it.      However, at this point the cost of it is very prohibitive.      LK argues that if you want to focus on what especially separates Neoclassical economics from Post Keynesian it's that PK theory is 'economics without (Walrasian) equilibirium.      "If one were state the difference between Post Keynesianism and...

Britain: a Market Monetarist Victory?

Posted on: December 27th, 2013 by Mike Sax No Comments

     As Martin Wolf chronicles, the real worry in Britain is that the wrong lessons will be learned. To that end, Sumner is constantly holding up Britain as a MM success story. Yet what kind of success story is this where GDP is still 15% below it's long term trend?      David Cameron may luck out in the upcoming election-voters tend to vote based on the current economy which has seen a sharp rise in employment. Yet, his plans for the economy are not what the country needs.   ."Whatever the causes of the crisis, it has bequeathed huge headaches. But the biggest, by far, is how to reduce the permanent losses of output. Even if the economy grew at a sustained rate of close to 3 per cent a year, the present value of lost output would be close to five times annual GDP. This is why a delayed recovery is not much of a triumph."    ...

As Obama Signs Budget Bill Above Sequester Levels We Ask: Do Fairytales Come True After All

Posted on: December 27th, 2013 by Mike Sax No Comments

     Ok, maybe a little over the top for what on the face of it is a pretty modest bill.       "President Barack Obama signed into law Thursday the two-year budget agreement passed this month by the House and Senate."       "Over the next two years, the deal replaces $63 billion of the automatic cuts known as sequestration with more targeted spending cuts and new revenue via, among other things, higher airline ticket fees. It is projected to lower the federal deficit by $23 billion in the next decade."      "The budget had passed with solid majorities in each chamber: 64-36 in the Senate and 332-94 in the House."      Still, this is the U.S. Congress-there hadn't been a bipartisan budget deal since the time of Tip O'Neil previously to this deal. Thanks to this rare moment of legislative...

Don’t Tell Sumner: Does Outrage Over Failure to Extend UI Benefits Have Legs?

Posted on: December 27th, 2013 by Mike Sax No Comments

     You'd almost feel bad about telling him, he's having such a good time with it. Yes, he's still denying that he's having a good time with it but then that's par of the course for Sumner. When Judy Judy talked about 'peeing on my leg and telling me it's raining' she must have had him in mind.      By the way, Money Illusion commentator has inadvertently given me a real gem of a definition for monetary offset:      "Coming from a man who says talk of “monetary offset” is actually code for letting poor people starve, the irony is delicious."      Daniel sounds like a man who doesn't know what 'irony' is-no wonder he and Sumner are such friends. Meanwhile I think monetary offset is something quite...

Is the Superior Economic Performance of Democratic Presidents Just Good Luck?

Posted on: December 25th, 2013 by Mike Sax No Comments

     This is the argument of Alan Binder-himself a Keynesian and liberal who served in the Clinton Administration-that somehow the Democratic Presidents had more luck in terms of positive oil shocks and better productivity shocks along with better consumer sentiment. This leads Asymptosis to grouse that a a liberal is someone who doesn't know how to take his own side in an argument.       When Tyler Cowen did a post on this one of his commentators worried that this would leave to a 'flame war' among Dems and Repubs on the blog. However, another commentator explained that:        "The readership here is full of anarchists, reactionaries and socialists, not Republicans and Democrats. Wrong topic for a flame war here because nobody likes either mainstream party much. -       See more at:...

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