Launching the Talk Finance Forum

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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.

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