The British election campaign has begun, and Prime Minister David Cameron is running with the slogan that his Conservative Party will deliver “A Britain living within its means” by running a surplus on day-to-day government spending by 2017/18. It is, as the UK Telegraph noted, hardly an inspiring slogan. But it is one that resonates with voters, because it sounds like the way they would like to manage their own households. And a household budget—whether you balance yours or not—is something we can all understand. If a household spends less than it earns, it can save money, or pay down its debt, or both. So it has to be good if a country does the same thing, right?
Some months ago, Jesse Columbo approached me about writing an online column for Forbes Magazine. That seemed a better fit for me than the Australian-oriented Business Spectator, where I have been blogging for the last few years, so I decided to make the move. I’ll soon post my first column at this location. I’ll follow the same approach with this blog as before, which is to post a teaser to a story here and then link through to the Forbes article. I’ll also continue to post videos and interviews directly here, as I do now.
Permanent link to this post
(94 words, estimated 23 secs reading time)
I’m now doing a regular spot with Simon Rose on Share Radio, a new internet radio station dedicated to economic and financial issues.
Simon Rose, Share Radio’s evening host.
To listen to our latest conversation–covering Greece, austerity, and why running a sustained government surplus is a great way to cause a future economic crisis, click on the play button below.
Permanent link to this post
(110 words, 2 images, estimated 26 secs reading time)
I gave talks to students in Berlin and Hamburg last week at the invitation of of Rethinking Economics groups at Berlin Free University and the University of Hamburg. Both groups asked me to cover some of the critiques of mainstream economics that I provide in Debunking Economics, as well as covering the monetary approach to Post Keynesian economics that has been the focus of most of my more recent public lectures.
Bravo to Les Editions de l’Atelier, the publishers of L’Imposture Economique (the French translation of Debunking Economics), who have achieved the seemingly impossible: L’Imposture Economique entered the Top Ten out of all books on Amazon France yesterday (December 4th 2014). It was the top-selling non-fiction book, outranking even Piketty’s Capital (as I write, L’Imposture is #12 in books while Capital is #53).
I don’t expect it to last at that ranking, but I didn’t expect it to achieve that position in the first place, so it feels great to see it there. Congratulations again to Les Editions de l’Atelier, and to Gael Giraud who took the initiative in arranging its translation into French.
The Guardian’s senior economics commentator Aditya Chakrabortty has produced an excellent BBC Radio 4 program on the failure of academic economics to reform itself after the Crash of 2007: Teaching Economics After the Crash. The first interview is with Kingston University’s own Devrim Yilmaz. It also includes me, George Soros, Andy Haldane, Ha-Joon Chang, the students who began the Post Crash Economics Society at Manchester University, Diane Coyle (who played a large role in developing the CORE curriculum, of which I’m very critical), Philip Mirowski (who describes CORE as “lipstick on a pig”), Rob Johnson of INET, and many more. It’s well worth a listen (it opens with about 20 seconds of a promo for a later program on a paralympian):
Students at Kingston University kicked off a campaign for a new approach to economics with the successful launch of new society Rethinking Economics Kingston this week.
Almost 100 people squeezed in to hear Professor Steve Keen – newly appointed head of the School of Economics, Politics and History – launch the new society with a speech on what’s wrong with mainstream economics and how students should change it.
Professor Keen — author of Debunking Economics and well-known critic of mainstream economics – described how theories taught in most economic classes were unable to predict, understand or even take on board the recent financial crisis.
Taken at face value, David Cameron’s warning this week about risks in the global economy sounds like it might be wonderfully prescient. Here’s the country’s economic chauffeur, carefully checking his instrument gauges, and sure enough, sees the same signs today that should have given us warning of the crisis of 2007-08. Time to apply the brakes.
There’s only one problem: the economic dashboard that Cameron relies upon did not warn of the crisis before it happened. Instead, that dashboard advised Cameron and other leaders around the world that everything was looking rosy, and that going full throttle was entirely safe.
The Crash Boom Pop! cartoon book version of Debunking Economics has just been covered in the Wall Street Journal:
Overheard: Pow! Zap! Wham! Get Ready For Comic Book Economics
So Wall Street Journal readers, if you’d like to pay back those mainstream economists who forced you to suffer through classes on the “Efficient Markets Hypothesis”, or worse yet, assured you that the economy was fine in June 2007, head over to Kickstarter and fund a cartoon that will take the mickey out of them.
Click here to go to the Crash Boom Pop! Kickstarter page
This is late notice for a seminar being held tomorrow (Wednesday 12th) from 6-8pm at Kingston University’s Penrhyn Road campus in room JG4003 (4th floor of the main teaching building at Kingston) to introduce the system dynamics modeling program Minsky.
System dynamics programs allow dynamic models to be constructed using flowcharts to define and simulate the equations of a system. Minsky adds something no other program has: a simple means of modeling financial flows.