Voting is now open for the Revere Award for Economics. The Revere Award is the positive companion to the Dynamite Award in Economics, which was developed by the Real World Economics Review to recognize the failure of the vast majority of economists to foresee the Global Financial Crisis. It was awarded to the three economists whose work most helped cause the GFC, with the eventual winners being Alan Greenspan, Milton Friedman and Larry Summers (see Greenspan, Friedman and Summers win Dynamite Prize in Economics).
My Walk to Mt Kosciuszko is no longer a solitary affair: at last count, I will have a dozen companions for the entire distance, and another 16 joining me for at least one day.
One of those coming for the entire trip is the Commentary Editor from Business Spectator, Rob Burgess. Rob will report from and on the Walk on a daily basis, covering it both as a news story, and as the basis for a discussion of the wider issues facing business and economics in the uncharted terrain of the supposedly ‘post-GFC’ world.
After extensive and much appreciated critical feedback on the draft designs, this blog entry showcases the three T-Shirt designs I’m producing for the Walk to Kosciuszko.
Each has the words “I was hopelessly wrong on house prices. Ask me how” as required by the bet. Each also has a graphical answer to the question:
- Our Debt Bubble; and
- Government manipulation of the market in the form of the First Home Owners Grant.
Thanks for all the feedback on the T-Shirt designs for my forthcoming walk from Parliament House to Mt Kosciuszko. I must admit I was a bit surprised by how many people were opposed to the distorted text, but I take the point (of course, there were some who were strongly in favour of it).
And I do also want to have some fun–it isn’t all sour grapes! As someone who has done graphic design at various stages in my life, I like the look of the “fit text to curve” text–it’s the T-shirt I’d like to have in my collection. So what I’ve decided to do is to produce at least 4 of the 5 T-shirts shown below, two of which have text fitted to the curves, and three of which do not.
As is widely known, I will be walking from Australia’s Parliament House to Mount Kosciousko–a distance of 225km–as the result of losing part of a bet with a well-known “bull” on property in Australia, Rory Robertson. I am obliged to wear a T-Shirt with the words “I was hopelessly wrong on house prices: ask me how” emblazoned on it.
As I explain on www.keenwalk.com.au, I was ambushed with this bet in front of an audience of 80–100 people at Parliament House. I have responded in kind by turning the walk into a protest about the manner in which keeping property prices high has come to dominate economic policy in Australia–with what I prefer to call the First Home Vendors Boost being the most outrageous example of that.
Several members have pointed out that I got the month wrong: the meeting to form the Association will take place this coming Tuesday–which is March 9, not April 9 as I first posted here.
My apologies for the confusion. In any case, it looks like quite a few people were able to see past my slip and we now have about 15 members signed up for dinner this Tuesday at a rather nice venue in Sydney (I will stick to just letting people know where by return email). The cost for the dinner will be $65 per person, and it will start at 7pm at a venue not too far from Sydney’s CBD.
[video src="http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/talks/SteveKeenOnEducation.mov" width="500" height="400" ]
Last month I gave a talk about the blog at Swinburne University of Technology, at the invitation of one of the blog’s most active members, Dr Matt Mitchell. Swinburne’s video of the talk is below, and it neatly melds my talk and the presentation I gave:
Steve Keen’s Debtwatch Podcast http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/talks/SteveKeenOnEducation.mov
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The volume will appear too low when you hear Matt’s introduction, but this is because the audio level was set on my radio mic, which is much louder than the theatre microphone. Turn the sound up to hear Matt’s opening, but be ready to turn it down when I start talking.
This is mainly of interest to Sydney members: I need to form an Association, primarily to administer the funds that have been raised via donations to this blog (and also www.keenwalk.com.au).
Donations have totalled over A$10,000 so far, and while I had thought this raised no income liability for me, I have been informed that it could be regarded as income by taxation authorities. Forming an Association to manage the funds will overcome this difficulty.
Note: the first part of this post will mainly be of interest just to Australian readers, but I conclude with a numerical explanation of “Why Debt-Deflation Causes Depressions” that will be of interest to readers everywhere.
Last week I took part in a debate entitled “The Great Residential Housing Debate — the next Bubble or a legitimate Boom?” at the annual conference for Perennial Investment Partners; I put the Bubble case and Chris Joye of Rismark International presented the Boom case (here is my paper and my presentation). As is well-known, Australia is one of the few countries in the OECD not to experience two quarters or more of falling GDP as a result of the GFC, and probably the only country that has not experienced a fall in its property market.
Adam Schwab has followed up his many columns on Crikey with a book on the pillage of Australian companies by Ponzi financiers and incompetent executives. Some of the companies mismanaged and in many cases fleeced by these once high-flying executives no longer exist–but the executives are still “high flyers” since the crash of their corporations didn’t seem to affect their own personal wealth.
The book, Pigs at the Trough, is launched today, and having read it I do commend it to Debtwatch readers. The preface to the book, which gives a good feeling for both its subject and its flavour, is reproduced below.