November 18, 2013
Say's law ?
Larry Summers at the IMF (November 15, 2013)
War of attrition between the parliament and the executive in Castile, 1575
(VoxEU: October 21, 2013)
The recent showdown over the US debt ceiling can be thought of as a game of chicken over the repayment of sovereign debt, with potentially severe consequences. This column describes an analogous historical episode in Spain, in which city delegates in the Cortes resisted tax increases, and Phillip II responded by suspending payments on a portion of the sovereign debt. By the time the cities caved to a doubling of their tax contribution two years later, the resulting bank failures and credit freeze had caused lasting economic damage.
Entertaining (Felix Martin, "Money, the unauthorized biography"), June 7
- Review in the Economist (short and stimulating)
- Review in the Guardian (long, meandering and confusing)
The IMF and the EU on Greece
IMF, November 20, 2000: "The Greek economy has made remarkable progress in recent years, leading to euro-area entry at the beginning of 2001. This reflects foremost stability-oriented policies, whose benefits are visible in many fields."
"IMF admits to errors in international bailout of Greece", FT (June 5, 2013)
It was already here in October 2011 ("Articles in journals and books"):
- “Why Official Bailouts Tend Not to Work: An Example Motivated by Greece 2010," with Brian Pinto, The Economists’ Voice, 8.
Debt forgiveness for Greece should have come much earlier. Subsequent events have shown that view to be correct.
NYT, April 27, 2013.
"At the end of November , the universities unveiled their final report at a joint news conference:... the report stated, his peers, journal editors and reviewers of the field’s top journals were to blame for letting him get away with it. The committees identified several practices as “sloppy science” — misuse of statistics, ignoring of data that do not conform to a desired hypothesis and the pursuit of a compelling story no matter how scientifically unsupported it may be."
“There are scarce resources, you need grants, you need money, there is competition,” he said. “Normal people go to the edge to get that money. Science is of course about discovery, about digging to discover the truth. But it is also communication, persuasion, marketing. I am a salesman. I am on the road. People are on the road with their talk. With the same talk. It’s like a circus.” He named *** and *** . “They give a talk in Berlin, two days later they give the same talk in Amsterdam, then they go to London. They are traveling salesmen selling their story.”
“I said — you know what, I am going to create the data set,” he told me... He viewed himself as giving his audience what they craved: “structure, simplicity, a beautiful story.”