Museum Australia Talk Tuesday August 28

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I’ll be speak­ing at the Aus­tralian Museum’s reg­u­lar monthly talk this com­ing Tues­day evening on the topic of “The Next Great Depres­sion?”. In a nut­shell, the details are:

Title: Museum Aus­tralia Monthly Talk
Loca­tion: Aus­tralian Museum (entry via William Street)
Start Time: 18:30
Date: 2009-08-25
End Time: 20:00

Book­ings and pre­pay­ment are essen­tial: call 02 9320 6225 to book.

The cost is $20 for mem­bers  of the Aus­tralian Museum and $30 for non-members. The event begins with light refresh­ments, fol­lowed by a one-hour talk, and then an open ques­tion time.

Lecture in Behavioural Finance

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As noted ear­lier, I’m giv­ing a brand new set of lec­tures on Behav­ioural Finance at UWS. I am tak­ing a non-standard approach (sur­prise sur­prise) because I am dis­sat­is­fied with the texts in this area–even though it is gen­er­ally a non-neoclassical realm.

The rea­son is that most Behav­ioural Finance texts  give too much cre­dence to the neo­clas­si­cal def­i­n­i­tion of rationality–when that def­i­n­i­tion has as much to do with ratio­nal behav­iour as walk­ing on water has to do with mass trans­porta­tion. I also want to include mate­r­ial from chaos the­ory and econo­physics analy­ses of finance, which most texts haven’t incor­po­rated; and I’m con­sid­er­ing micro, macro and finance together since all three are inte­grated when one aban­dons the neo­clas­si­cal fan­tasies about “ratio­nal” agents who can accu­rately fore­see the future.

Video of Whitlam Institute Talk

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Last month I spoke at a sem­i­nar on the finan­cial cri­sis organ­ised by The Whit­lam Insti­tute, in reply to a speech by Pro­fes­sor John Quig­gin. Guy Debelle, the Assis­tant Gov­er­nor (for Finan­cial Mar­kets) of the Reserve Bank of Aus­tralia, was the other discussant.

The Insti­tute has put together a very pro­fes­sional video of the dis­cus­sion, which has been picked up by SlowTV, a free inter­net TV chan­nel run by The Monthly, an Aus­tralian mag­a­zine of com­ment and analy­sis which, amongst many other things, pub­lished Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter Kevin Rudd’s lengthy essay on the Global Finan­cial Cri­sis in which he explic­itly cri­tiqued neoliberalism.

Australian Shareholders Association Investor Hour Talk

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I’m speak­ing at the Aus­tralian Share­hold­ers Asso­ci­a­tion Investor Hour next Tues­day (August 18) at 12pm with the topic “The Mar­ket Crash: Ori­gins and Prospects”.

I’ll take a long view of the finan­cial data–going back to 1890–and explain the booms and crashes of stock mar­kets as symp­toms of debt bub­bles and their burst­ing. From that point of view, this is the largest asset-price bub­ble in the last 120 years–and prob­a­bly in all of his­tory. The prog­no­sis for the mar­ket is there­fore grim, despite the cur­rent rally.

Site Overload

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This is mainly a post for my active dis­cus­sants, who are now suf­fer­ing from the vol­ume of debate here with 399 posts on the pre­vi­ous topic, and my own work­load right now that is mak­ing writ­ing a new post impossible.

I had hoped to post a new sub­stan­tive col­umn on Mon­day about recent eco­nomic and hous­ing mar­ket data, but with the new sub­ject I’m teach­ing (Behav­ioural Finance) plus other work com­mit­ments there’s no way I’m going to get there.

Rudd’s essay is on the money

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Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter Kevin Rudd has fol­lowed up his cri­tique of neolib­er­al­ism with a new essay in the Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald on the causes of the cri­sis, and the poli­cies needed after recovery.

With one excep­tion, his key expla­na­tions for the cri­sis are the same as those iden­ti­fied by myself and the hand­ful of other econ­o­mists who pre­dicted this cri­sis before it hap­pened:

Australia in the Red

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I will be a pan­elist at Aus­tralia in the Red, a forum on debt organ­ised by The Daily Reck­on­ing & Money Morn­ing, to be held at the State Library of Vic­to­ria on Fri­day July 31st from 7pm-11pm. The evening includes a panel dis­cus­sion on debt–with Dan Den­ning, Kris Sayce, Phillip Ander­son and Gabriel Andre as well as myself–followed by the screen­ing of “I.O.U.S.A.”.

The fol­low­ing infor­ma­tion is taken from their pro­mo­tion for the event, tick­ets for which are lim­ited and cost $199–click here for the online book­ing form. The “I’ll” below is Dan Denning.

Whitlam Institute Series on the Financial Crisis

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The Whit­lam Insti­tute is con­duct­ing a series of talks on the finan­cial cri­sis. The third of these will be held this com­ing Thurs­day (July 23rd) at the River­side The­atre com­plex in Par­ra­matta (on the cor­ner of Church and Mar­ket Streets). The keynote paper is being given by Pro­fes­sor John Quig­gin, with myself and Guy Debelle, the Assis­tant Gov­er­nor (Finan­cial Mar­kets) of the RBA as discussants.

Pro­fes­sor Quig­gin will present his paper “After the Cri­sis” for about 30–40 min­utes, after which there will be a 20 minute ques­tion and answer ses­sion with the audience.

No-one saw this coming?” Balderdash!

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The widely believed propo­si­tion that this finan­cial cri­sis was “a tsunami that no-one saw com­ing”, and that could not have been pre­dicted, has been given the lie to by an excel­lent sur­vey of eco­nomic mod­els by Dirk Beze­mer, a Pro­fes­sor of Eco­nom­ics at the Uni­ver­sity of Gronin­gen in the Netherlands.

Beze­mer did an exten­sive sur­vey of research by econ­o­mists or finan­cial mar­ket com­men­ta­tors, look­ing for papers that met four criteria:

Only ana­lysts were included who:

  1. pro­vide some account on how they arrived at their conclusions.