27 Jun 2017


Potpourri 12 Comments

==> If I said this post by Scott Sumner proves I am the Bobby Flay of economics blogging, would anybody get the reference?

==> Glenn Greenwald brings us up to speed on just how sloppy and dishonest CNN and the NYT have been in their reporting on Trump and Russia. If you have the time, check out this piece by a left-wing comedian who was the target of a hit piece in the NYT. I actually sympathized more with this guy than with a libertarian, because politics weren’t involved and I could focus purely on the unfairness of the hit piece. (Greenwald links to the piece as an example of what he’s talking about.)

==> Alex Tabarrok talks about the new Seattle minimum wage study.

12 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. khodge says:

    It sounds like the Times is no better (or worse) than the average comment section of an average blog. Shortly after I started commenting on certain blogs I started getting challenged on my facts. After a few of these it became important that I have some external evidence before I made blanket statements.

    I don’t necessarily quote my sources because they may go back deep into the 70’s and are not readily accessible but I no longer just throw out my impressions as valid observations without some reflection. Many comment sections would be much shorter but much smarter if people questioned what they actually “know” before spewing forth whatever they think.

    It seems to me that the current staff of the NYT just does not have enough experience to question their own observations. Too often the echo chamber is evident to the astute reader.

  2. The Original CC says:

    Pretty damning piece by the comedian. Is there supposed to be a link for the Greenwald piece?

  3. Patrick Szar says:

    “So let’s assume that Bob is correct that devaluation fears are deflationary because they reduce the currency stock, ceteris paribus. In that case, the banking panics that increased currency demand could be viewed as a second deflationary shock, and perhaps the central bank increased the currency stock enough to partially offset this increase in currency demand, but not the initial shock of more demand for gold.” – Sumner

    I can’t help thinking the term “currency demand” is not very helpful in this scenario. For gold, the demand for cash holdings in a devaluation and the flight to real values in a crack up are the same. For currency(as paper) these are two distinct things. When he says demand for currency in a bank crisis, I assume he means withdrawing from banks to hoard in mattresses, but at that implies a loss of faith in banks, and a keeping of faith in bank notes. This is not the same as a devaluation in my mind.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      You’re saying the same thing as Scott, Patrick. He’s saying in addition to fears of devaluation, you lay the banking panic on top of it. He’s not saying the bank crisis was a devaluation.

      • Patrick Szar says:

        I guess he doesn’t speak in an intelligible way then. Because I’ve read and reread that, and don’t see it. What I see is some duplicity in his word use. But I have a tendency to think monetarists generally do that when it comes to the money concept.

  4. Capt. J Parker says:

    Dr. Murphy,
    Did you miss the part about the how comedian’s show appears on RT America? The comedian chose to lie down with the dogs. He really shouldn’t be shocked that he is now accused of having fleas. Maybe the Times piece really is just a hatchet job but, if I have to choose either the Times or someone providing content for RT as the truthful party, I’m still going with the Times.

    • tomepats says:

      Is this a parody?

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Capt Parker I’ve done interviews with RT before. So I guess if Paul Krugman and I are in a dispute, you’ll have to take his word over mine. 🙁

      • Capt. J Parker says:

        My point was only: Why bother with RT linked stories about how the US MSM is perpetuating a false narrative about Russia? Whose mind would ever be changed? It’s like saying: hey, Russia didn’t do anything bad, just ask the Kremlin – they’ll tell you.

        • Dan says:

          Or you could simply watch the segment and judge the validity of the Times claim for yourself. It’s not really a scenario where you have to take someone’s word to know who is lying when you have complete video evidence of the entire thing in question.

  5. Transformer says:

    There seems to be something paradoxical about your explanation for how expectations of devaluation under a gold standard can be deflationary

    Other things equal a CB that wants to increase inflation has to increase the money supply. Under a gold standard this will mean reducing the amount of gold that a currency unit is worth in terms of gold. The expectation that the CB wants to increase inflation should (logically) drive the actual exchange rate used in the economy downwards with the price level adjusting up[wards at the same time.

    The fact that the CB offers to exchange gold for currency at a rate above this rate will clearly cause people to exchange additional dollars for gold. This sounds like it will be deflationary but I dot see how it can be. No matter how much the stock of currency diminishes if people have expectations that its value will fall in the near future due to increased inflation then standard economics says it should fall immediately, doesn’t it?

    I don’t have a solution for this paradox but it causes me to be a bit skeptical about your explanation for the deflation.

  6. Harold says:

    Gotta have respect for people who are prepared to retract and withdraw things when they cannot prove they are right. It is something of a contrast with those that will not retract lies and mistakes when proved wrong. No names, no pack drill.

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