Nighttime Must-Read: Paul Krugman: The Strange Urge to Raise Rates

Paul Krugman: The Strange Urge to Raise Rates: "Monetary policy attracts crazy people like moths to a flame: goldbugs, 100-percent-reserve-banking types, amateur historians who think they know exactly what happened when Diocletian ruled Rome... ...The obsession with raising interest rates among economists who used to seem sensible.... Up to a point, Feldstein has followed the now-usual arc.... We’re talking about conservatives with vast faith in the wisdom of markets, who somehow are completely sure that markets will make terrible decisions due to low interest rates,... More >

Things to Read on the Afternoon of March 1, 2015

Must- and Shall-Reads: Surge Guriev: "The killers must have assumed that police would not try to pursue them.... Common murderers they would likely have chosen another venue.... Mr Nemtsov’s killers have burnt the regime’s last bridges with its liberal opponents. It would be appropriate, when a new regime arrives, for the site of his murder to be renamed the Nemtsov Bridge."   Martin Feldstein: The Deflation Bogeyman: "The world's major central banks are currently obsessed with... raising their national inflation rates to... 2% per year....... More >

Afternoon Must-Read: Giles Wilkes: Radical Rage at the Resilience of the Right

Giles Wilkes: Radical Rage at the Resilience of the Right: "Tariq Ali... if read as an examination of the frustrations of the radical left, The Extreme Centre is informative... ...[For] it is the ideas of the right that have prevailed.... This book does a better job of describing Ali’s sadness at the failure of the left than expanding on why. The closest thing to a consistent explanation is human corruptibility before the temptations of money. But the book never explains why perennially incompetent capitalists always... More >

Morning Must-Read: Mary S. Morgan: Modelling as a Method of Enquiry

Mary S. Morgan: Modelling as a Method of Enquiry: "Despite the ubiquity of modelling in modern economics, it is not easy to say how this way of doing science works... ...Scientific models are not self-evident things, and it is not obvious how such research objects are made, nor how a scientist reasons with them, nor to what purpose. These difficulties of definition and understanding are exhibited in a most concrete fashion in an example that lays claim to being the first such research object in... More >

I Understand Where Martin Feldstein Starts: I Do Not Understand Where He Ends Up: Focus

Vir illustris Martin Feldstein starts by saying: downward nominal price stickiness is such a thing that we do not have to worry about deflationary spirals in consumer prices. I agree. But I do not understand where his argument ends up: Martin Feldstein: The Deflation Bogeyman: "The world's major central banks are currently obsessed with... raising their national inflation rates to... 2% per year.... ...But is this a real problem?... Fortunately, we have relatively little experience with deflation to test the downward-spiral theory.... [Perhaps] they are... More >

Lunchtime Must-Read: Boris Nemtsov: A Final Interview

Boris Nemtsov: A Final Interview: "I have no doubt that the struggle for the revival of Russians will be tough... ...People see what this crazy politics led to, they see widespread corruption, they have firsthand experience with the inadequacy of the state. But they still believe in the leader because for the past several years, the leader was doing one thing very well: He was brainwashing the Russians. He implanted them with a virus of inferiority complex towards the West, the belief that the only... More >

Morning Must-Read: Paul Krugman: The Regrettable Man

The continued willingness of right-wing economists to declare their allegiance to the inflation cult continues to amaze: Paul Krugman: The Regrettable Man: "CNN: 'Lonegan also said Friday... ...that in conjunction with the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole symposium in Wyoming this year, a group of conservative economists are planning to hold a meeting of their own ‘directly across the street’ featuring former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan as the keynote speaker. I guess we wait for confirmation before adding this to the file of examples establishing... More >

Things to Read on the Evening of February 27, 2015

Must- and Shall-Reads: Claire Cain Miller: More New Jobs Are in City Centers, While Employment Growth Shrinks in the Suburbs <--yet another fixed cost about to be imposed on the working and lower classes... Caroline Minter Hoxby and Sarah Turner: "Low-income higher achievers tend not to apply to selective colleges despite being extremely likely to be admitted with financial aid.... Control students, who experienced no intervention, are seriously misinformed." <--serious low-hanging education fruit here... Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron: The Californian Ideology <--Silicon utopias of... More >

Morning Must-Read: Paul Krugman: The Closed-Minds Problem

Paul Krugman: The Closed Minds Problem: "When I was a young economist... ...I lived... in a world in which ideas... met in relatively open intellectual combat... [and] better ideas tended to prevail: if your model of trade flows or exchange rate fluctuations tracked the data better... you could expect it to be taken up by many if not most researchers.... This is still true in much of economics.... But people who declared back in 2009 that Keynesianism was nonsense and that monetary expansion would inevitably... More >

Morning Must-Read: James D. Hamilton, Ethan S. Harris, Jan Hatzius, and Kenneth D. West: The Equilibrium Real Funds Rate: Past, Present and Future

James D. Hamilton, Ethan S. Harris, Jan Hatzius, and Kenneth D. West: The Equilibrium Real Funds Rate: Past, Present and Future: "The uncertainty around the equilibrium rate is large... ...and its relationship with trend GDP growth much more tenuous than widely believed... a wide range of plausible central estimates for the current level of the equilibrium rate, from a little over 0% to the pre-crisis consensus of 2%.... Dhis uncertainty, we are skeptical of the 'secular stagnation' view that the equilibrium rate will remain near... More >