I’ll be speaking at Politics in the Pub on Friday May 29, along with Jacob Saulwick from the SMH. The Location is the Gaelic Club, Level 1 (Tel. 9212 1587) 64 Devonshire Street Surry Hills–just 50 metres or so from the Chalmers Street exit from Central Station.
I first heard the best joke about economics in 1975. The teller was the nuclear physicist (and nuclear power advocate) Sir Phillip Baxter, and he told it in answer to a question I had asked at a public forum.
The joke is:
“And, at this point, confidence is what it is all about… The first thing is to maintain some confidence in ourselves and the prospects for our country over time… Unfortunately, there is no lever marked ‘confidence’ that policy-makers can take hold of. Our task is very much one of seeking to behave, across the board, in ways that will foster, rather than erode, confidence. It is such confidence that, more than anything else, will help to drive us along the road to recovery.” (Glenn Stevens, April 21st 2009)
In May 1973, dissatisfaction over the teaching of economics at the University of Sydney went from a festering sore amongst the staff only to an outright revolt by a minority of the staff, and a majority of the students. In 1975, a new Department of Political Economy had its first intake into Economics I℗. Thirty four years later, it is still going. Professor Frank Stilwell, who has lived this dispute since 1970, is launching Political Economy Now!, a history of the dispute, next Tuesday at Sydney University’s Fisher Library (May 5th, 5.30pm, Level 5).
Eric Aarons’ book Hayek versus Marx: And Today’s Challenges will be launched at Gleebooks on Friday April 24th at 6pm. I will make an opening speech about the book and its remarkable author. There will be pre-launch drinks from 6 till 6.40.
Title: “Crunchtime”: Bringing together the best policy minds to discuss Australia’s future
Location: Trades Hall Auditorium, 4 Goulburn St, Sydney NSW
Link out: Click here
Description: The best policy thinkers from Australia and abroad will come together for “Crunchtime” — Australia’s first progressive think-tank conference.
A number of blog members have noted that they’d like to have my PhD thesis on Minsky available, as well as my more recent papers on financial instability and endogenous money.
This is something members of the blog won’t be amazed to hear, but it’s a milestone nonetheless: Debtwatch has just had its first two days with more than 10,000 unique readers:
Broadcast on March 11 2009 by ABC Radio National Big Ideas
A blog member has kindly produced a transcript of the off-the-cuff talk I gave at this forum. I’ve made minor corrections to the punctuation below, but the text is otherwise as delivered on the night without speaking notes–so there are some grammatical slips. For those who want to listen to this alone–without also listening to Bernie Fraser beforehand–here is a link to the MP3 of my talk.
As usual, the latest set of data from the ABS on the economy was “unexpectedly worse” than (neoclassical) economists had been expecting. The consensus was for a 0.2% increase over the month of March, from 5.2 to 5.4 percent. In fact, it leapt by two and a half times as much, to 5.7%.