1. Dean Baker on the Zandi and Blinder study. I seriously doubt the reality of his take on the impact on TARP, however, he has an excellent point about the counterfactuals that I hadn't noticed. Zandi and Blinder adjust two policies for their counter-factual: (1.) what they call "financial" policies, including TARP and the provision of liquidity by the Fed, and (2.) fiscal policy. I agree with Baker that the first policy probably should have been broken out into monetary policy on one hand and financial policy (i.e. - TARP and related policies) on the other.
2. FDL shares that Shirley Sherrod is suing propagandist Andrew Breitbart. Good luck with that, Shirley.
3. FDL has a post on Rand "Godwin's Law" Paul. The invocation of Godwin's Law can be very frustrating sometimes - if you have an interest in interwar history and in political ideology like I do, the fact is the Nazis come up and it's not inappropriate. But if you're whipping it out to criticize reasonable economic policy-making I think it fits. Paul thinks that Obama's economic policies put us at risk of Nazification. I beg to differ, and I'd advise against making those claims if you're a leader of a populist movement with a seedy underbelly that openly talks about revolution while decrying the abuse of "real" Americans by allegedly conspiring minority groups.
4. Warren Mosler flings Irving Fisher at gold-bugs. This actually wasn't surprising to me, although Mosler acts like it should be. Economists of the monetarist persuasion have always been vocal about expansionary monetary policy. I'm not sure what Mosler expected them to think Fisher would think. Nevertheless, history of economic thought is always good.
5. Bill Mitchell has a long, interesting post on counter-cyclical capital buffers and Minsky. Why to MMT bloggers write such freakishly long blog posts? I always worry I write too much, but I feel better after reading these guys.
Five really great blog posts from Austrian/libertarian blogs I follow from this past week:
1. Greg at Really, Libertarians? on liberaltarians and the importance of dialogue. I thought this post had a pretty narrow view of what exactly the "liberaltarian" phenomenon is, but it was very thoughtful and had a great reading list at the end.
2. Arnold Kling summarizes his "recalculation story". I've heard Austrians say that the recalculation story is basically Austrian Business Cycle Theory and Kling doesn't want to call it that. To a certain extent I see what they're saying, but I think this is an awfully limiting viewpoint. After all, you can find this sort of explanation in The General Theory too, and we're certainly not going to accuse the General Theory of being an ABCT book. Austrians add their own twist, and they spend more time on the time structure of production which of course gives the interest rate a more prominent role. Kling brings other things in, including the work of Minsky and Jones. You're not going to see self-described Austrians do this. Personally, I think the recalculation story is a good one and a real explanation of what's going on. I would like to see more empirical work on it though. My reaction is "I'm sure this happens - I'm not arguing against it at all in that sense - it just doesn't seem to me to be the only thing that is happening or even the primary thing", which is largely my take on classic ABCT too, for that matter.
3. Peter Boettke on evolution and economics. This is excellent. I don't think it's possible to stress enough how (1.) pervasive the principles of evolution are, and (2.) how important it is to understand human social processes as evolved social processes and not some "ideal form". Boettke of course highlights the relationship between evolutionary thinking and the Austrian school. I would actually use evolutionary logic against the Austrian school in some cases, and suggest that we should think of government as an evolved, emergent institution rather than some abstracted malignant force. But Boettke also provides instances where evolutionary thinking offers some fertile common ground - such as in institutional work of people like Williamson and Ostrom which is embraced by a variety of schools of thought, and in critiques of Rational Expectations modeling along the lines of Robert Solow, which the Austrians have been agreeing with and chiming in on lately.
4. Jonathan Finegold Catalan on Krugman and the liquidity trap. I still haven't read it yet, but I will!
5. Tyler Cowen reviewing an Objectivist (i.e. Randian) critique of neoconservatism. I, like Cowen, don't buy all the Objectivist counter-arguments, but I do share in the critical stance towards neo-conservatism and I do agree with Cowen that even when critiques like this one aren't wholly satisfying, it's good to see how other perspectives will frame a counter-argument.