Thanks to donors

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Thank you to the roughly 170 indi­vid­u­als who have made dona­tions to date via the “Donate” wid­get on the right hand side of the blog.

Dona­tions have totalled A$7,730, of which about $800 has been for Michael Hudson’s talk in Syd­ney (on Fri­day Octo­ber 23rd at Cus­toms House, Syd­ney at 6pm).

I have just made the first pur­chase using those funds, of a Dell Stu­dio 17 inch lap­top that I will use while research­ing with my sys­tems engi­neer­ing col­league Trond Andresen in Europe later this year.

Dinner with Michael Hudson?

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There will be a din­ner with Michael Hud­son and his wife after the talk at Cus­toms House on Fri­day Octo­ber 23rd at a restau­rant called Young Alfred, which is also in Cus­toms House. The din­ner will start at 8pm.

If you’d like to be part of the book­ing, please let me know via an email to me at debunk­ing (at) gmail dot com (spelt out this way to min­imise the addi­tion to the already ridicu­lous amount of spam I receive!).

It’s Hard Being a Bear (Part Five): Rescued?

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I’m happy to admit that I under­es­ti­mated how strongly gov­ern­ments would respond to this finan­cial cri­sis. Dra­matic reduc­tions in inter­est rates, huge fis­cal stim­uli and—in the USA and UK—expansion of government-created money, have all had a pos­i­tive impact on the econ­omy and asset mar­kets (both shares and houses).

In his recent essay, Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter Kevin Rudd esti­mated that the res­cues were the equiv­a­lent of roughly 18 per­cent of global GDP over a 3 year period, which is an unprece­dented level of expen­di­ture by governments.

Eichen­green and O’Rourke’s com­par­i­son of today to the Great Depres­sion gives the most bal­anced assess­ment of how effec­tive these poli­cies have been at the global level.

Good article by Ross Gittins on Economics and Equilibrium

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Ross Git­tins has writ­ten a very good overview of the fail­ings of neo­clas­si­cal eco­nom­ics in today’s Syd­ney Morn­ing Herald:

Self-righting mar­kets and other shibboleths

The arti­cle men­tions the Dahlem Report, but doesn’t pro­vide a link to it. For those who would like to read it, here it is.

I also wrote a post on the Dahlem Report shortly after it was writ­ten, and helped pub­li­cise it by plac­ing it on my blog. Given that its tone was in some ways even more dis­mis­sive of con­ven­tional eco­nom­ics than I am, the title for this post was obvious:

It’s Hard Being a Bear (Part Four): Good Economic Theory

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I delayed pub­lish­ing this on the blog because I thought it was worth sub­mit­ting it to a news­pa­per for first pub­li­ca­tion on the anniver­sary of the Lehman Broth­ers col­lapse. That has occurred: a slightly edited ver­sion of this post (for rea­sons only of length, I has­ten to add!) is in today’s Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald (page 4 of the print ver­sion), WA Today, and prob­a­bly sev­eral other news­pa­pers in the Fair­fax chain.

You have just come from your annual med­ical checkup, where your doc­tor assures you that you are in robust health.

More on Michael Hudson’s visit

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Michael’s visit is being organ­ised by Pros­per Aus­tralia, and they have asked me to link to their page detail­ing the tour and his speak­ing engage­ments while in Aus­tralia. It’s quite a good page, with some well cho­sen links to some of Michael’s research:

Pros­per Aus­tralia: Pro­fes­sor Michael Hud­son Tour­ing October

The fund-raising wid­get has so far raised A$305, which is pretty good–thanks to all those who have donated so far. More dona­tions of course are wel­come: it would be good to hit the A$1,000 mark if at all pos­si­ble, which will fund Michael’s hotel accom­mo­da­tion while in Syd­ney and make a con­tri­bu­tion to the air­fares for him­self and his wife.

Michael Hudson Public Talk Sydney Friday October 23

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The renowned het­ero­dox finan­cial econ­o­mist and eco­nomic his­to­rian Dr. Michael Hud­son will be vis­it­ing Aus­tralia in October.

Michael is another of the hand­ful of econ­o­mists who pre­dicted the Global Finan­cial Cri­sis, and he has since worked inten­sively with the gov­ern­ments of Ice­land and Latvia to attempt to pull them out of the eco­nomic quag­mire. He shares my expec­ta­tions that the “green shoots” being spied by more con­ven­tional thinkers will wither under the weight of the pri­vate debt that cre­ated this cri­sis in the first place (and whose exis­tence has been ignored in all the res­cue plans to date).

It’s Hard Being a Bear (Part Three): Good Economic History

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Green shoots” are appear­ing everywhere—just read the news­pa­pers, and you can be assured that we’ve turned the cor­ner. Bar the lat­est rise in US unemployment—up 0.3% to 9.7%, after falling 0.1% the pre­vi­ous month—there’s noth­ing but good news as far as the eye can see.

Unless, that is, you take a look at a wider range of data, as eco­nomic his­to­ri­ans Barry Eichen­green and Kevin O’Rourke have been doing in their series  “A Tale of Two Depres­sions”.

Debtwatch No. 38: The GFC—Pothole or Mountain?

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The Marx­ian view is that cap­i­tal­is­tic economies are inher­ently unsta­ble and that exces­sive accu­mu­la­tion of cap­i­tal will lead to increas­ingly severe eco­nomic crises. Growth the­ory, which has proved to be empir­i­cally suc­cess­ful, says this is not true.

The cap­i­tal­is­tic econ­omy is sta­ble, and absent some change in tech­nol­ogy or the rules of the eco­nomic game, the econ­omy con­verges to a con­stant growth path with the stan­dard of liv­ing dou­bling every 40 years.

In the 1930s, there was an impor­tant change in the rules of the eco­nomic game. This change low­ered the steady-state mar­ket hours. The Key­ne­sians had it all wrong.

It’s Hard Being a Bear (Part Two)

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One of the rea­sons I’m still a bear on the econ­omy is because the econ­o­mists in the opti­mists camp are rely­ing upon very bad eco­nomic the­ory. If that the­ory is telling them good times are ahead, that’s one of the best pre­dic­tors of bad times you could have.

This isn’t because the opti­mists are bad econ­o­mists, bad peo­ple, or any other per­mu­ta­tion: most econ­o­mists I know are good at what they do, and are very well inten­tioned too.

It’s just that they were taught a crock of non­sense at uni­ver­sity, and they now build mod­els based on a crock of non­sense that they erro­neously believe to be accu­rate descrip­tions of the real world.