24 Jul 2009


All Posts, Potpourri No Comments

* Jason Clemens and I have a piece in Human Events on California’s predicament. (The comments are more entertaining than our dry analysis.)

* Marlo Lewis challenges the claim that the “science is settled” regarding global warming. Does anyone know if RealClimate has addressed Watts’ claims about thermometers being put next to exhaust fans, etc.? If his work is right (as Lewis summarizes in the linked post), it’s pretty serious.

* Scott Sumner continues to unwittingly support my new book’s thesis. After quoting Bernanke’s recent WSJ op ed, in which Big Ben listed all the ways he had expertly steered the economy through this storm, Scott asks:

Isn’t this basically what Herbert Hoover’s Fed did? Didn’t they also cut rates to near zero levels? Didn’t they also massively expand the Fed’s balance sheet, causing rapid growth in the monetary base? Didn’t Hoover also bail out the banking system with taxpayer money through his Reconstruction Finance Corporation? So does that mean the Fed was also “accommodative” in the early 1930s? And if so, what’s the difference between ‘accommodative’ and ‘expansionary.’

Am I being too hard on Bernanke? After all, the Fed has done a lot. But so did Hoover’s Fed, the question is whether the Fed is doing anything effective. The only difference I can see is that the base rose even more under Bernanke than under Hoover, but that was fully neutralized by the policy of bribing banks to hoard excess reserves.

Yes Scott, that is what happened under Hoover. The government has implemented the exact policies that it implemented the last time it caused a decade-long depression. And since Bernanke was appointed before it was apparent that we were in for Depression 2.0, and since he was an academic expert on what has caused the Great Depression…that’s why I got suspicious.

* In the post calling for celebrity quotes, someone posted the following video. Hilarious. (Make sure you watch the finale.)

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