Launching www.keenwalk.com.au

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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).

Interview on Switzer TV

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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.

Vote for Ignoble/Dynamite Economics Prize

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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

Talking about the Blog (1)

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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.

Swinburne Talks

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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.

CSIRO-UNEP Modelling

[video src="http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/talks/CSIRO_BiophysicalModel.flv" width="500" height="400" ][video src="http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/talks/KeenMonetaryMultiSectoralModel.flv" width="500" height="400" ]

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The United Nations Envi­ron­ment Pro­gram did a very unusual and far-sighted thing last year: it asked the CSIRO to pro­duce a ver­sion of its bio­phys­i­cal model of the Aus­tralian econ­omy for devel­op­ing coun­tries, and to pair that with an eco­nomic model which had to be non-equilibrium in nature.

The Stocks and Flows Resource Mod­el­ling team at CSIRO Sus­tain­able Ecosys­tems, which main­tains this bio­phys­i­cal model, approached me in July to see whether I would be will­ing to attempt the devel­op­ment of that non­equi­lib­rium mul­ti­sec­toral eco­nomic model.

Debtwatch No. 42: The economic case against Bernanke

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The US Sen­ate should not reap­point Ben Bernanke. As Obama’s reac­tion to the loss of Ted Kennedy’s seat showed, real change in pol­icy only occurs after polit­i­cal scalps have been taken. An eco­nomic scalp of this scale might finally shake Amer­ica from the unsus­tain­able path that reck­less and feck­less Fed­eral Reserve behav­ior set it on over 20 years ago.

Some may think this would be an unfair out­come for Bernanke. It is not. There are solid eco­nomic rea­sons why Bernanke should pay the ulti­mate polit­i­cal price.

Google–lower bandwidth version

[video src="http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/talks/KeenGoogleTalk01VLR.flv" width="500" height="400" ][video src="http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/talks/KeenGoogleTalk02VLR.flv" width="500" height="400" ]

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A num­ber of read­ers have com­plained that the video of my talk at Google took up too much band­width, result­ing in “jerky” vision. Here are the same two files in a some­what lower qual­ity compression–half the size of the orig­i­nal files.

Steve Keen’s Debt­watch Pod­cast 

| Open Player in New Window

Steve Keen’s Debt­watch Pod­cast 

| Open Player in New Window

As one viewer noted, it is also fea­si­ble to down­load the files to your PC and view there with­out band­width prob­lems dur­ing playback.

Talks@Google

[video src="http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/talks/GoogleAudienceScan.flv" width="500" height="400" ][video src="http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/talks/KeenGoogleTalk01LR.flv" width="500" height="400" ][video src="http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/talks/KeenGoogleTalk02LR.flv" width="500" height="400" ]

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Google runs a reg­u­lar sem­i­nar series on top­i­cal issues, which I spoke at last week. There was a sub­stan­tial audi­ence (see the quick scan of the audi­ence below) and Google’s staff lived up to their hyper-intelligent and hyper-engaged reputation.

Steve Keen’s Debt­watch Pod­cast 

| Open Player in New Window

I gave a pre­sen­ta­tion that com­bined my stan­dard talk on debt and Min­sky, with some expo­si­tion of the Cir­cuit and Min­sky mod­els, befit­ting of an audi­ence to whom sim­u­la­tion is no big deal–unlike eco­nom­ics con­fer­ences where such approaches are still fringe activities.