21 April 2014

Haiku of the Day:

Aggregate demand: / Add up all the things we want, / then subtract the dreams.

Quote of the Day:

“Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty—a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show.” –Bertrand Russell, The Study of Mathematics (1902)

Links of the Day

Clive Crook at Bloomberg declares that Piketty’s “Capital” is All Wrong

UAW gives up on Tennessee VW plant (Reuters)

Is the US Military a Socialist Paradise (The Daily Beast)

Thomas Sargent’s comprehensive summary of Economics, from Ezra Klein

The potentially devastating bond bubble that the Fed may or may not be worried about (Fivethirtyeight)

Wage theft is a criminal offense, but rarely treated as one (Washington Post Op-Ed)

Long Read of the Day:

The Re-segregation of the South (The Atlantic)


17 April 2014

Haiku of the Day

Nothing so inspires / Fear and Trembling as Quiet, / Careful, Analysis.

Quote of the Day

“In point of substantial merit the law school belongs in the modern university no more than a school of fencing or dancing.” -Thorstein Veblen, The Higher Learning in America (1918)

Links of the Day

Antonio Fatas – “Secular Stagnation or Secular Boom?”

Robert Reich – “Antitrust in the New Gilded Age”

Karl Polanyi Explains It All – The American Prospect

“They’ll Mess it All Up!” – Bleeding Heart Libertarian

US Jobless claims steady, indication of good economic prospects – Reuters




15 April 2014

Haiku of the Day

More significant / than any number supply’d: / soldiers marching feet.

Quote of the Day:

. “Opposing one species of superstition to another, set them a-quarrelling; while we ourselves, during their fury and contention, happily make our escape into the calm, though obscure, regions of philosophy.” –David Hume, The Natural History of Religion (1757)

Links of the Day:

Ukrainian troops move to suppress separatists (New York Times)

Mohammed El-Erian on the constraints facing the ECB, and the possibility of a European QE

An interesting post on the critical realist approach to social science

Ian Bremmer at Reuters on the entry of Chinese companies into US equity markets

A column from VoxEU on how fiscal policy works in mitigating income inequality

The IMF takes aim at income inequality (New York Times)



Haiku of the Day

Change is difficult– / Even the slightest reform / Is call’d tyranny.

Quote of the Day

“A long-run fall in the rate of interest would do much to stimulate private investment, while an extension
of public investment could make up for its deficiencies, and a drastic policy of redistribution of income
would increase consumption, and reduce the amount of investment necessary to preserve a reasonable level of employment. All these policies meet with serious difficulties and have to contend with violent
opposition, and it remains to be seen whether it is possible for the present economic system to adapt itself to the requirements of the future.” -Joan Robinson, Introduction to the Theory of Employment, 1937

Links of the Day

Ezra Klein on Obamacare Derangement Syndrome

Simon Wren-Lewis on the Fed’s Macroeconomic Model

A discussion from the recent INET conference on Markets and What Money Can and Can’t Buy

Anecdotes and Facts in American discourse

Fivethirtyeight on how cutting unemployment benefits has failed to create jobs


Happy Monday!




11 April 2014

Haiku of the Day:

Inequality / In distributing the goods / Affects all of us.

Quote of the Day :

“There is no way of keeping profits up but by keeping wages down.” –David Ricardo, On Protection to Agriculture (1820)

Links of the Day

Paul Krugman’s review of Capital in the 21st Century

Matt Yglesias on the emerging scandal involving the SEC

Chris Bertram on Teaching Rawls’ Theory of Justice in the Age of Inequality

Alan Auerbach on the Federal Healthcare Spending and Budget Outlook

Happy Friday!


10 April 2014

Haiku of the Day

Commodities make / Other commodities and / that’s economics!

Quote of the Day

“Policies that would instead place us on a slow glide path toward our targets undermine the credibility of our claim that we will do our job and meet mandated policy goals in a timely fashion. Timid policies would also increase the risk of progress being stymied along the way by adverse shocks that might hit before policy gaps are closed. The surest and quickest way to reach our objectives is to be aggressive. This means, too, that we must be willing to overshoot our targets in a manageable fashion. Such risks are optimal if the outcome of our policy actions implies smaller average deviations from our targets over the medium term. We should be willing to undertake such policies and clearly communicate our willingness to do so.” Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans, 9 April 2014, from a speech given to the 23rd Hyman Minsky Conference in Washington, DC

Links of the Day

Charles Evans of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank remarks to the Hyman Minsky Conference

Paul Krugman on Secular Stagnation

The Socialist Origins of the Shopping Mall

New Report shows that Los Angeles may be on the Decline

Unemployment Report shows Joblessness Claims are lowest in almost 7 years


Emphemera #1

I want to take a quick moment here and write about blogging. I’ve been publishing posts here on the Roosevelt University Economics Department blog for a few weeks, and there are numerous things I’d like to change and add and so on, and I’m rapidly realizing that having a blog is actually quite a lot of work. I’ve noticed that most of the really good bloggers out there have full time jobs apart from their blog writing, which means that most of them must be fiendishly productive in general. Paul Krugman especially strikes me as someone whose productivity (and work ethic) approaches the miraculous. What is especially striking about this to me is the number of factors that go into creating the circumstances of such productivity: the structure of work gives form to one’s everyday life. The pace of the internet is incredibly fast, and in order to keep up one must be committed to continuously reading, considering, commenting, reformulating, and, above all, creating. Moreover, the experience of blogging can be a bit surreal, paradoxical at times: the more one can understand the world through blogging, the more necessarily removed from the world one is.