Laughter–the Worst Medicine

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Like many commentators, I regard August 9 2007 as the start of the “Global Financial Crisis“. On that day, BNP Paribas declared that several of its funds were being closed because liquidity in those markets had completely evaporated:


So I was particularly amused–in a sick sort of way–to see this brilliant info-graphic on The Fed on Twitter today: it plots the amount of laughter in FOMC meetings between 2000 and 2012. “Peak Laughter” occurred literally days before the crisis began:


Laughter, it is often said, is the best medicine. But that’s only when you know what ails you. If you are guided by ignorance, as the Fed was (and still is) by mainstream equilibrium-obsessed, non-monetary economics, laughter is a sign of delusion.

The laughs plummeted in the next few days–from eighty on June 28 to forty on August 7, and then just one on August 10, the day after BNP made its statement–as reality punched the FOMC in the guts.

About Steve Keen

I am Professor of Economics and Head of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University London, and a long time critic of conventional economic thought. As well as attacking mainstream thought in Debunking Economics, I am also developing an alternative dynamic approach to economic modelling. The key issue I am tackling here is the prospect for a debt-deflation on the back of the enormous private debts accumulated globally, and our very low rate of inflation.
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4 Responses to Laughter–the Worst Medicine

  1. twowithinthreethatisone says:

    There are actually two types of laughter. The natural laughter that is actually a release and effects a momentary state of grace/flow, and the overweening laughter of the prideful and temporally damned. The latter is what you accurately refer to.

  2. Bhaskara II says:

    Taleb and Schiller video. I only saw the first half and it was funny. At 18mm20ss reduction of debt is mentioned.

  3. Bhaskara II says:

    Also had a problem with aproximately infinity?

    “Hacker’s spelling slip foils billion-dollar bank heist”

    “At the same time, bankers in New York also alerted the Bangladeshi central bank after it registered a seemingly high number of payment requests. In all, the stopped transactions totalled between $850 and $870 billion, according to two Bangladesh Bank officials who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity.”

  4. Bhaskara II says:

    Reuters story has three zeros less.

    “The transactions that were stopped totaled $850-$870 million”

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