Tag Archives: expectations

Bubble trouble: all information is not equal

This post is partly prompted by this comment and this paper (pdf) (via) on the US housing price bubbles and busts and (greatly) extends this comment by myself. It is also a response to the work of mathematician-turned-historian Andrew Odlyzko. In a previous post, I argued that easy monetary policy was not to blame for the asset booms […]

Bubble trouble: not an easy money problem

The notion that “easy money” created asset booms is levelled (famously by Austrian school economists such as von Mises and Hayek) against the 1920s boom and by a range of commentators about the Great Moderation boom. In both cases, the Fed (dominated by Benjamin Strong as New York Fed Governor up to 1928 and by Alan Greenspan as Fed Chair 1987-2006) is held to be to […]

Check your expectations (3) Milton Friedman not going far enough

Milton Friedman’s 1967 Presidential Address (pdf) is something monetary economists regularly say anyone interested in monetary economics should read. Having recently read it, I have come to the conclusion that it is something anyone interested in monetary economics should read. As is normal with Friedman, it is beautifully clear, one of his great attributes. His analysis […]

The real convenience of money

I recently read Adam Fergusson’s history of the early 1920s hyperinflation in Weimar Germany–which also covers contemporary hyperinflations of Austria and Hungary. (Well-spotted if you noticed that they were the losing Powers of the Dynasts’ War–aka WWI; this was not a coincidence.) One of the striking things about the period is how misguided conventional wisdom […]

The misbegotten birth of macro

As folks may have noted, I like graphs; they can be very useful illustrations, particularly of historical trends.  Consider this graph, taken from the 2012 US Federal Budget (via). What is striking is the long-run stability of economic growth in the US, apart from one episode which stands out fairly dramatically. Very dramatically (pdf) given that: […]

Goals, rules and time-horizons

A perennial discussion in monetary policy is rules versus discretion. Should the central bank be constrained to follow a policy rule or should it have policy discretion? I find this debate generally muddled both in the means-versus-ends question and what is the proper underlying concern. Is the concern bad policy or unclear policy? With constraining […]

Broken by the fix

What do the goldzone Great Depression (1929-3?) and the Eurozone Great Recession (2008-?) have in common? They were both created by European central banks with the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) as accessory during and after the fact. (Yes, the monetary shock which set off the Great Recession started in Europe though the responsibility of the […]

The mystery of the human and the trade-offs of control

What is the biggest difference in decision-making between buying equipment and hiring a person?  The characteristics of the equipment are much easier to discern. Sure, there can be hidden flaws in machinery and buildings. You may have to take the equipment for a test run, you may need some expert to have a look at […]

There is no such thing as just money

I have been doing a fair bit of reading in the history of money and monetary theory to try and understand money, particularly its origin and use. A thing reveals its nature through history, to understand the history of something is to much better understand it. I was aware that modern macroeconomics is bedevilled by […]