Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Economists have abandoned principle

Back in December last year Oliver Hart and Luigi Zingales had an article in the Wall Street Journal in which they make this statement. They write,
This year [2008] will be remembered not just for one of the worst financial crises in American history, but also as the moment when economists abandoned their principles. There used to be a consensus that selective intervention in the economy was bad. In the last 12 months this belief has been shattered.

Practically every day the government launches a massively expensive new initiative to solve the problems that the last day's initiative did not. It is hard to discern any principles behind these actions. The lack of a coherent strategy has increased uncertainty and undermined the public’s perception of the government’s competence and trustworthiness.
Peter Klein at Organizations and Markets (a blog well worth reading) says
Now, Hart and Zingales imply, but don't demonstrate, that these selective interventions are supported by the majority of economists. I think most economists oppose them, but I don’t have systematic evidence either. Still, their point is well taken. To the extent that the lay public associates the moves by Bernanke, Paulson, etc. as representing some kind of professional consensus, the reputation of economics as a scientific discipline will be forever destroyed.
Indeed. I think many economists are far from happy with the Bernanke/Paulson type response to the financial crisis but most non-economists don't realise this fact. Some of us still hold to our principles and thus are still of the view that selective intervention in the economy is bad.

As for the Hart-Zingales counter-idea that governments "should intervene only when there is a clearly identified market failure", I don't mind this since I think that such a condition is basically impossible to meet.

1 comment:

MC Shalom said...

You Bail Out, We Opt Out.

All of Our Economic Problems Find They Root in the Existence of Credit.

Out of the $5,000,000,000,000 bail out money for the banks, that is $1,000 for every inhabitant of this planet, what is it exactly that WE, The People, got?

If Your Bank Doesn't Pay Back Its Credits, Why Should You Pay Yours? Or Else ...

If the Banks Get 0% Loans, How Come You Don't?

At the Same Time, Everyday, Some of Us Are Losing Our Home or Even Our Jobs.

Credit is Mathematically Inept, Morally Unacceptable.

They Bail Out, We Opt Out

Opting Out Is Both Free and Completely Anonymous.

The Solution: The Credit Free, Free Market Economy.

Is Both Dynamic on the Short Run & Stable on the Long Run, The Only Available Short Run Solution.

I Am, Hence, Leading an Exit Out of Credit:

Let me outline for you my proposed strategy:

Preserve Your Belongings.

The Property Title: Opt Out of Credit.

The Credit Free Money: The Dinar-Shekel AKA The DaSh, Symbol: - .

Asset Transfer: The Right Grant Operation.

A Specific Application of Employment Interest and Money.
[A Tract Intended For my Fellows Economists].

If Risk Free Interest Rates Are at 0.00% Doesn't That Mean That Credit is Worthless?

Since credit based currencies are managed by setting interest rates, on which all control has been lost, are they managed anymore?

We Need, Hence, Cancel All Interest Bearing Debt and Abolish Interest Bearing Credit.

In This Age of Turbulence The People Wants an Exit Out of Credit: An Adventure in a New World Economic Order.

The other option would be to wait till most of the productive assets of the economy get physically destroyed either by war or by rust.

It will be either awfully deadly or dramatically long.

A price none of us can afford to pay.

“The current crisis can be overcome only by developing a sense of common purpose. The alternative to a new international order is chaos.”

- Henry A. Kissinger

They Bail Out, Let's Opt Out!

If You Don't Opt Out Now, Then When Will You?

Let me provide you with a link to my press release for my open letter to Chairman Ben S. Bernanke:

Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, Quantitative [Ooops! I Meant Credit] Easing Can't Work!

Yours Sincerely,

Shalom P. Hamou AKA 'MC-Shalom'
Chief Economist - Master Conductor
1 7 7 6 - Annuit Cœptis
Tel: +972 54 441-7640