Apparently it’s “Bash Scott” month here at Free Advice, but again, I don’t think I’m quibbling over trivialities here:
Back on September 10, Scott wrote a post titled, “Listen to the expert” which quoted a news article touting Columbia University’s Michael Woodford as one the world’s most important and influential scholars publishing on monetary policy. After quoting liberally from the cheery article, Scott commented:
The expert says NGDPLT [nominal GDP level targeting--RPM]. So just do it. (Yes, he also says taper, but that’s a trivial issue compared to NGDPLT.)
PS. Gauti Eggertsson (Woodford’s student) has a new blog.
PPS. Woodford was born in 1955 and is currently 57. Ditto for me. Bernanke and Krugman were born in 1953. Boomers rule!
So you’d think from the above that Scott thinks Woodford is an (the?) expert on monetary policy, and that because Woodford is in favor of Scott’s policy proposal (namely, targeting the level of NGDP), this is evidence that it is a good idea.
That’s why I was intrigued to read today, September 17, Scott write the following in a post about whether a central bank can depreciate its currency in the midst of a liquidity trap:
PS. The exchange rate does help in one respect. It forces people out of the horrible Keynesian/Woodfordian “rental cost of money” approach to monetary policy, and into a much more enlightening Fisher/Warren “price of money” approach. By doing so it allows us to think about the problems much more clearly…
As usual with my posts on Scott (and Krugman), this isn’t an outright contradiction. But it’s also not as if Scott said Woodford had a horrible approach to making eggs, or that he had a cumbersome approach to monetary policy. No, the guy Scott held up as a (the?) world’s expert on monetary policy one week ago–and since that expert agreed with Scott’s policy ideas, it was evidence we should implement them–is now someone who has a “horrible…approach to monetary policy.”
Ishn’t dat veird?
P.S. I’m assuming it’s the same Woodford in both posts. Technically, maybe there are two of them running around, but I’m pretty sure Scott’s talking about the same guy.