I’ve been a fan of Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury cartoon since my student days (when, coincidentally, Trudeau was profiling life as a university student).
As any reader of the strip knows, unlike most comic strips the characters in Doonesbury age and move with the times. Today’s times are those of a financial crisis, and once again I’m playing a role–though as analyst and critic rather than participant. Ditto also Trudeau, who has posted a lovely little jibe in today’s Sunday spread. For all those who are exasperated with the spin doctors and debt spruikers who have grown fat while bringing the globe to the economic precipice, I recommend today’s Doonesbury cartoon (Sunday February 21).
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Many visitors to this site have commented that, though the discussions are very informative, they are also very difficult to follow. A discussion that begins under one post will recommence under another, and with over 200 posts and 16,000 comments so far, that makes following a complete thread of discussion effectively impossible. It was noted that a forum with structured discussion headings might be a better way to go. So we have established the Talk Finance Forum
(Edit: Please note that there is a footnote to this story)
I normally don’t comment on articles about me, since I am aware that now that my views are part of the public debate, I have to take the good with the bad in coverage. I wouldn’t have written this either, were it not for the line “If only his predictions were so reliable” in Jessica Irvine’s piece in today’s SMH “Walking on a wire stretched between stimulus and debt”.
The Dynamite Prize for Economics–to be awarded to the three economists most responsible for the Global Financial Crisis–is going gangbusters with over 14,000 votes so far.
It may pick up even more thanks to some excellent work by Business Insider/Clusterstock, which has produced a brilliant graphic illustrating the prize.
It’s magnificent, and here it is below for your enjoyment–click on the “Go To The Short List of Nominees for the Dynamite Prize in Economics–>” link and that will take you to the graphic, or click here to go straight to the graphic.
As most Australian readers would know, I recently lost half of a bet over Australian house prices when the Government’s “First Home Owners Boost”–which I prefer to call the First Home Vendors Boost–reignited Australia’s house price bubble.
As a result, I’m walking from Australia’s Parliament House to Australia’s highest mountain, Mt Kosciousko–a distance of 224km (140 miles). The walk will start at 2pm on Thursday April 15 from the entrance to Parliament House and–my legs willing–finish 8 days later on the summit of Mt Kosciousko (which is 2228 metres–or about 7000 feet–above sea level).
Peter Switzer interviewed me on his cable TV show for Sky News last week.
You can watch the interview here. I would also recommend watching the interview with John Hewson (for international viewers, John Hewson was a previous leader of the Liberal Party of Australia, which despite its name is Australia’s conservative political party), in which amongst other things he noted that Central Bank independence, for which he had campaigned while a politician, had not worked out as he had hoped, and had instead left unaccountable economists in charge of monetary policy.
Voting is now open for what has been renamed the Dynamite Prize in Economics.
The renaming was necessary because the owners of the Ig Nobel Prize objected to the similarity–which is understandable. They also suggested the Dynamite Prize as a useful alternative.
We are, after all, intending to award the prize to the three economists who did most to drop the GFC bomb on the global economy, via their naive and utterly unrealistic theories of economics.
The selection process produced the following set of nominees:
- Fischer Black and Myron Scholes
- Eugene Fama
- Milton Friedman
I am giving a talk on the blog today at Swinburne University in Melbourne, and frankly I am not all that prepared on the main issue of interest to the organisers there, which is the educational impact of this blog (and blogging in general) versus other forms of education.
I just established this blog to get the Debtwatch report out initially, and it’s grown in both size and personality in ways that I never envisaged. It’s been very gratifying, but I haven’t really had the time to reflect on they whys and hows of the process of blogging.
I’m giving two talks at Swinburne University of Technology on Thursday February 4th. The information below is reproduced from the flyer for the event developed by regular blog contributor Matt Mitchell, who has arranged the talks:
12.00pm – 2.00pm: DebtWatch : Observations and reflections on the educative role of modern media
- Dr Keen will discuss his experience using his Debtwatchblog on which he posts regular articles for discussion and the role of this media in both educating the public and stimulating debate among economists, students and lay people around economic theory and practice.
I forgot to post my presentation file in the first version of this post. I’ve since edited it, but I know that a lot of people using RSS feeds would not notice the change. So here is the presentation that I gave at that talk to UNEP in November:
The Powerpoint File
A PDF version
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