Many visitors to this site have commented that, though the discussions are very informative, they are also very difficult to follow. A discussion that begins under one post will recommence under another, and with over 200 posts and 16,000 comments so far, that makes following a complete thread of discussion effectively impossible. It was noted that a forum with structured discussion headings might be a better way to go. So we have established the Talk Finance Forum
The forum is directly accessible via the tabs at the top of Debtwatch–it’s the second tab right after “Home”. I invite Debtwatch members to pop over and take advantage of its structured discussion format. This might take some time to get used to, but for instance under the “Talking Theory” thread you will find two more threads: “Chartalist & Circuitist analyses of money” and “Hayek vs Keynes”. These are recurring issues on Debtwatch, and while they will doubtless continue to arise here, the forum might provide a more structured way to develop these debates.
I am not really sure how the forum will work out, and I will not have the time to play the moderating role I occasionally play here. One of the aspects of Debtwatch of which I am most proud is the civility that is maintained in discussions, even though bloggers often have very different perspectives on both economics and wider issues. I would hope that the same will occur on the forum, but I won’t have the time to monitor that myself.
There are, as I noted, over 16,000 comments that have been posted here. Many were in response to a specific blog post by me, but many others do fit within some general discussion area–Chartalism vs Circuitism, methods of dynamic analysis, sovereign debt issues, the housing bubble, etc. Debtwatch blog member Marco2 has offered to help move the most apposite of these across to relevant threads and subthreads of the forum, and this is being done now.
In future, all Debtwatch posts and comments will be automatically transferred to a special thread on the Forum, from where they can be put into its more structured discussion format. So we can continue with the free-form discussion of this blog–though I anticipate that discussion here might tend to being more based on each specific post, while discussion on the forum will be more topic oriented.
On that point, some time ago I called for a “timeout” on the Chartalism vs Circuitism debate, so that in future discussion could be oriented around papers that Scott Fullwiler (and perhaps others) will nominate as the essential Chartalist readings. Once Marco has the best of the previous discussion over there, and Scott has nominated his list of essential Chartalist readings, that forum subthread would be a good place for that discussion to recommence.
The Forum will also have a commercial component to it (emanating from page view counts, referrals and the like), and there will be regular prizes given away to contributing members, ranging from cash and magazine subscriptions (eg. The Economist) and various books. These will be awarded by the Forum’s hosting organisation–I won’t be involved in these decisions.