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Three videos to start the Autumn

On levels of debt: On the madness of QE and the current economic consensus: On the battle of economic ideas:

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On double-dip recession, Tullett Prebon rightly ask “What’s the big idea?”

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The latest strategy note from Tullet Prebon asks, “What’s the big idea?” with the subtitle “the imperative need for a new ideology”, writing: Effective government is not simply a matter of management. Even in good times, competence is barely enough. In bad times, ideological clarity is imperative, and the lack of a clear, ideas-based strategy is the black hole at the heart of the coalition administration. This chart is particularly informative: They comment, “The centre-right is in desperate need of a […]

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Hayek’s neglected truths about credit, capital and the trade cycle

Last night, I caught up with Martin Wolf’s November programmes for Radio 4 Analysis, which you can find here. He offered a predictable blend of commentators calling for more money printing, world central banking and greater global governance. It prompted me to look out Monetary Theory and the Trade Cycle (1933). Hayek wrote (emphasis mine): It is a curious fact that the general disinclination to explain the past boom by monetary factors has been quickly replaced by an even greater […]

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Autumn Statement chart of the day: tax and spending

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The economic facts behind the Autumn Statement, in as far as they are known or forecast, are available in the Economic and Fiscal Outlook from the Office for Budget Responsibility. Table 4.7 provides forecast current receipts. Table 4.18 provides total managed expenditure. So, here’s a chart of current receipts (i.e. tax) and total managed expenditure (i.e. spending) for the next few years: The reality is that the Government intend to increase spending every year of the forecast period and to meet […]

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People’s Pledge Congress tomorrow

I look forward to speaking on the Euro crisis tomorrow at the People’s Pledge Congress. In preparing, I rediscovered this: …the ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in […]

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BBC Radio 4 Programmes – Keynes Vs. Hayek

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What caused the financial mess we’re in? And how do we get out of it? Two of the great economic thinkers of the 20th century had sharply contrasting views: John Maynard Keynes believed that government spending could create employment and longer term growth. His contemporary and rival Friedrich Hayek believed that investments have to be based on real savings rather than increased public spending or artificially low interest rates. Keynes’s biographer, Professor Lord Skidelsky, will take on modern day followers […]

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Parliament, the EU, Keynes and Hayek

Last night in debate, Keynes and his disciples were invoked and rebutted in relation to EU economic surveillance. One Labour MP wanted to print the money we need… Today, via The Cobden Centre, I find EconStories have followed up their superb Keynes vs Hayek rap, Fear the Boom and Bust, with Fight of the Century. From the video’s introduction: Fight of the Century According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Great Recession ended almost two years ago, in the summer […]

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Debauching the Currency

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In the course of writing a presentation on bank reform, I rediscovered this from Keynes’ The Economic Consequences of the Peace: Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it […]

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Speech in the budget debate

Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): When I came to the House today, I expected to hear a great deal of Keynesian argument and I have not been disappointed. I am sorry that the hon. Member for Great Grimsby (Austin Mitchell) is no longer in the Chamber, as I wanted to congratulate him on his comprehensive grasp of Keynesian arguments. Unfortunately, it was also excruciating. I am told that Keynes thought that the safe upper limit for the size of the state […]

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Hayek v Keynes

Via www.zerohedge.com and econstories.tv, the choice in economics explained through the medium of music: See also Banks, economic interventionism and the cause of the credit crisis Now it’s looking like V for victory over recession

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