This is the talk I gave at the Finance, Mathematics and Philosophy seminar organized by the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Physics at Sapienza Universita de Roma. It was an extremely good conference, with the special bonus that I got to meet one of my heroes in nonlinear dynamics, Ping Chen.
PS Video below initlally linked only to the advertisement before my video. That is fixed now, and I only hope my bags also get found after going astray in Rome airport.
I’ll follow up with my paper shortly, once I have time to complete it.
Kingston University has advertised three fixed-term lecturer positions with a very tight deadlline of June 22nd, with interviews to be held on July 1st. Applications from economists with a research area in heterodox economics are welcome.
For queries please contact Julian Wells (J.Wells AT kingston.ac.uk), who is the Director of Studies.
The formal details of the positions are below.
Reference Number: 1264
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
School / Section: School of Economics, History and Politics
Location: Penrhyn Road Map & Directions
Permanent/Fixed Term: Fixed Term (FTC)
Full Time/Part Time: Full Time
Australia could have been the world leader in laptop computers — if we didn’t have a brain-dead financial sector.
Hannah Francis’ article last week about the Vixtel Unity – a new Australian-designed multi-function Tablet/Laptop/Phone (The three-in-one Aussie device that could kill the PC) — seriously stopped me in my tracks when I saw that its developer was Terry Crews. For that reason alone, I popped over to the Indiegogo site where Vixtel is running a crowd-funding campaign and chipped in $645 towards its $100,000 goal — for which I’ll receive one of the first production run tablets that will be available in July (about 4 to 6 weeks from now).
Diversity — not specialisation — is the advantage.
When I was invited to speak at a conference in Bonn some years ago, my host insisted that I stay with him, rather than in the conference accommodation. I expected to find myself in a suburb of Bonn, but instead we drove to a tiny village with just 5,000 inhabitants 130km away.
The bonus was that this was July 4, on which date each year a local Philharmonic group put on an open-air concert on the banks of an nearby extinct volcano’s caldera lake. The whole town was there for the event, and my host introduced me to a lovely old couple sitting on a park bench.
It was an interesting experience to be part of the budget lock-up last week, but as I warned in my article, I could make mistakes under that time pressure — and I did. I’ll correct them below, but I want to open with a declaration that I never expected to make: that the best sense I heard spoken about the budget was uttered by neither Liberal nor Labor nor Green, but by Clive Palmer.
NOTE: I made an error in my arithmetic in this post which I’m fixing up after too little sleep last night thanks to the post-Budget lockup drinks: the basic logic is OK but the numbers are wrong. I’ll link nonetheless and amend the numbers tomorrow.
Will the Liberal Party’s historic economic fortune hold for this budget? Balancing Joe Hockey’s books would seem to require Australian private sector debt around 250 per cent of GDP by 2025…
If the US economy was performing as well as the US stockmarket, even Walmart workers would be breaking out the champagne.
Since 2009, the S&P has risen over 250 per cent in nominal terms, and almost 230 per cent in inflation adjusted terms. In nominal figures, it is at its highest value ever, though when you adjust for inflation, it is still 10 per cent below its peak in 2000 (see Figure 1).
The $64 question is: will it keep on going up?
Figure 1: The S&P 500 before and after inflation
I have just accepted an offer to become Head of the School of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University in London. I will take up the appointment in time for the Autumn term, which starts on September 23rd.
Kingston will respond positively to calls from students for genuine reform of economics education—like those made by the Post-Crash Economics Society in Manchester, and the International Student Initiative for Pluralism in Economics (which was launched only days ago).
These student calls for genuine reform are timely, because though there are some initiatives for reform, academic economics has, if anything, become more hostile to criticism of the mainstream and to presentation of alternative perspectives than it was before the crisis.
And good on them for it! Academic economists are ignoring or minimizing the need for change, just as they did 40 years ago when I was one of the revolting students. So students are taking their demands to hear other stories read from other than the Neoclassical songbook to the streets–and the web and newspapers.
Today 42 different student groups around the world have launched the “International Student Initiative for Pluralism in Economics”. They have penned an Open Letter on the need for pluralism, which will be published in a number of newspapers today–May 5th 2014. The opening paragraph of the letter is (with two points highlighted in italics):
Last week I showed that Australia’s net government debt to GDP ratio is nothing to panic about when compared to the rest of the world. We’re currently at under 12 per cent, whereas most OECD nations have ratios of 50 per cent and above.
But maybe that’s one reason Australia’s economy is relatively strong.
I also showed that most countries aren’t like businesses in that most countries have a net negative equity position — their liabilities exceed their assets — which is a situation that would have most companies on their way to being declared bankrupt.