Thursday, 12 October 2017

Has Bernanke been boozing?

Bernanke is pushing a bizarre idea that has being doing the rounds for some time, namely that given zero or near zero interest rates, central banks should “target” a higher rate of inflation, which apparently means inflation will increase, which in turn means interest rates can be increased.

Well now in the universe I live in, things don’t happen unless something causes them to happen. E.g. excess demand causes inflation to rise. And driving with excess alcohol in one’s blood stream tends to cause road accidents. And being stung by a wasp causes people to say “ouch”.  You get my drift.

But in the Alice in Wonderland  universe inhabited by so called “professional” economists, things happen just because someone “targets” those things. For example if it’s my aim or “target” to be $10,000 richer, a pallet load of dollar bills will appear as if by magic in the middle of my living room apparently.

And it’s not just me who thinks economists living in Cloud Cuckoo land. Lars Syll said the other day that “Mainstream neoclassical economics has since long given up on the real world and contents itself with proving things about thought up worlds.”

Or as the Cambridge economist Ha Joon Chang put it “Unfortunately a lot of my academic colleagues not only do not work on the real world, but are not even interested in the real world.”

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