Friday, August 6, 2010

Assault of Thoughts - 8/6/2010

"Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking" - JMK

- Mark Thoma, David Dayen, and others are reporting that Christina Romer is resigning her post as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors. Both mention reports that she may be leaving out of frustration at being shut out from the President by Larry Summers, who heads the National Economic Council. Whether that's true isn't entirely clear yet, but everybody who knows about the dynamics at the highest levels of economic policymaking, between Romer, Geithner, and Summers, should also be aware how plausible that sounds. I honestly would have rather kept Romer and had Summers go. Regardless - Romer is going back to California and Yellen has recently come from California to D.C. to serve on the Fed. Which leads to my prediction - that Nobel laureate and husband to Yellen, George Akerlof, will be asked to chair the CEA.

- Arnold Kling continues to make the case that careful explanations of what to do about market failures and the success of interventions are unnecessary. Why? Because that's what we've got the Soviet experiment for! This is getting tiring - my comment is the fifth down. This one at least starts to try to transcend the earlier bungled thesis by focusing on FDR. He did say one nice thing about Obama, though. He said "maybe Barack Obama is the next FDR" (I'm not sure he meant that to be positive, granted).

- My paper on the 1920-21 depression is moving through the steps! Got it back with reviewer comments. No rejection yet. Haven't read the comments yet - that should be an interesting experience. It'll be interesting to simply reread the paper again and see if any of my thoughts have changed.

- Mises University material is going up online. I found this panel on theory to be a very intersting discussion. Several Austrian luminaries are on a panel and they're being quizzed on theory by the students. Very interesting discussions. This is part one, and this is part two. There are also panels on policy - I haven't listened to those yet.

- Christopher Hitchens details his struggle with cancer. The piece is poignant and insightful, as one would expect.


  1. Given your interest in Lovecraft ...

    Crowley's place in Italy is up for sale:

  2. If only I had 1.2 million lying around :)

    Actually, I had never heard of Crowley before. My interest in Lovecraft is relatively recent and I'm still learning a lot about him - got hooked about two years ago, with a major uptick in my reading and research on him only in the last couple months.

    Some seem to doubt the Lovecraft-Crowley connection: "While Crowley did indeed invest some interest in Lovecraft's work and did want to meet him Lovecraft was having none of it. It's well-known that Lovecraft was a total skeptic even though he was very interested in religion and the supernatural. I think he probably thought of Crowley as a bit of a delusional nut case." (from a commenter who admittedly provided no sources here:

    I tend to agree with the commenter - Crowley sounds like a real weirdo. Still, an interesting weirdo I suppose :)

  3. As soon as Jon gets EconomicThought up and running, I'll begin writing my article on my experiences at the University

  4. Excellent!

    Yes - the drought has been sincerely unfortunate.

    Btw - I watched this the other day:

    Where the students share their reactions. It was interesting! Always good to see people get that excited about economics.

  5. hmmm... that was odd phrasing on my part - I should have said that I sincerely found the drought to be unfortunate.

  6. Tim Cavanaugh says "good riddance" to Romer:


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