Soon after posting the 2011 version of the Modest Proposal, I received two repudiations: One from a convivial ex banker (whose views have appeared on this blog before) and one from my comrade-in-arms, George Krimpas. Their objections are important and this is why I am posting them here, along with my answers.
As the euro crisis will enter its final stages in 2011, and the debate on how to end it will heat up, I thought it important to update the Modest Proposal, in preparation for the debates to come. Click here for a copy. The main difference from the last version concerns the first step: Rather […]
I just watched a talking head on CNBC, clearly somehow connected to the European Commission, suggesting that 2011 will be a better year for the euro given the new institutions for managing the debt ‘crisis’. New institutions? Could he be referring to the European Financial Stability Facility, the EFSF and its successor ESM? I am speechless. It seems to me […]
In yesterday’s post, I argued that the chain reaction that started with Greece, moved to Dublin and now is proceeding to the Iberian peninsula, is increasing in magnitude inexorably because of the CDO-like structure of the EFSF/EFSB ‘bail outs’ of heavily indebted eurozone members. So far, we have all been thinking of this process in terms […]
So, a eurobond of sorts is now being issued by the EFSF (the European Financial Stability Facility), to the initial tune of a mere €5 billion, as part of the Irish banks’ bail-out. The public is, thus, justified to be puzzled by the headlines of Germany’s insistence that no eurobonds will be issued in the […]
A retired City of London banker, who happens to be a remarkably charming man, sent me an email commenting on my recent piece in which I criticise economics in general and Paul Samuelson in particular. Jerry (for that is his name) suggested that (despite the economists’ fixation with weird models of little significance) we economists […]
Previously I have written about the Econobubble (the handmaiden of the “real” Bubble) and the toxic theories of economists who were very recently rewarded with the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics. Following those tirades, a number of colleagues (and students) put it to me that economics is not what it used to be. That once […]
This blog began life a few months ago in response to the European crisis and with a view to campaigning in favour of our Modest Proposal. The New Year comes with a renewed commitment to the Modest Proposal but also with two new initiatives. The first new initiative is called vitalspace.org; a joint project with […]
No year is of course responsible for what we humans get up to during its course. But then again, the very concept of a year would not exist without us. In this sense, it is not illegitimate to farewell 2010 with a sense of outrage at what it brought us. So, what did it bring? Paul […]
Or why looking for happiness is not like looking for gold That money cannot buy happiness has been known at least since the Midas story gained currency in ancient Greece. What is new is that, after the Crash of 2008, what had hitherto passed as scientific economics (and the neoliberal policies that they supported) lost […]
Some idle economic thoughts for Christmas day: In late 16th century, Christopher Marlowe told the story of Dr Faustus who famously contracted, using his own blood to sign on the dotted line, to sell his body and soul twenty four years hence to Mephistopheles. [i] In exchange he demanded, and secured, a long catalogue of […]
Quiz: Who wrote the following and when“To read the newspapers just now is to see Bedlam let loose. Everyone who hates social progress and loves deflation feels that his hour has come, and triumphantly announces how, by refraining from every form of economic activity, we can become prosperous again” ?
Two days ago, I called for the rehabiliation of Ebenezer Scrooge. Today, in the FT, Martin Wolf goes one step further: he puts forward Scroogeonomics. I beg to differ. Scrooge offers an excellent morality tale for our day and age. But not a blueprint for economic thinking. Then again, I am sure Martin Wolf knows […]
I had posted here an interview of mine on the BBC World Service (World Business News) on the Greek government budget, the resulting strike and the prospects of austerity. I used the opportunity briefly to outline the Modest Proposal. However, as the BBC updates this particular program ten times a day, the link seems to […]
The figure of Ebenezer Scrooge is the only one that our societies allow their upstanding members to despise during the festive season. Of course, the point of the ritual admonition of Dickens’ Christmas Carol protagonist is to celebrate charity and the Christmas spirit by focusing attention on Scrooge’s remarkable Christmas Eve transformation (with the ghosts’ […]