Tuesday, December 22, 2009


It's All About Me Potpourri

* I am on vacation and am not getting out my Rosetta Stone, but I frankly don't know what Mish is even talking about in this response. It seems he is using a variation of the legal defense, "My client wasn't at the murder scene, and if he were he doesn't own a gun, and if he did he is legally blind and so couldn't possibly have been the shooter." Naturally Mish doesn't explain why we will have about 2.9% CPI inflation in 2009 if his analysis is the correct one.

* I walk through Krugman's (apparent) goof on international trade and the Keynesian accounting identity.

* I quintuple-down on my inflation bet, this time with David Henderson. If Arnold Kling wants a piece of it, I will have to buy a credit default swap on EconLog.

* I have been waiting since the summer for this: The YouTube of my appearance on a TV show in the Bahamas. Like Obi-Won, I easily fend off anticapitalist attacks from two assailants.

If you want to see the rest go here and scroll down in the "Related Videos" to see Parts 2 etc. of "Dr. Robert Murphy on Platform TV." Note that I am at my parents' house and I can't figure out how to turn on the volume on their computer, so I hope it sounds OK.

On the contrary, it would seem that the hyperinflationists need to explain why it's ONLY 0,000.029 CPI delta instead of through-the-Weimar roof.9%

" ZOMG!! The excessive reserves are excessive! Flee!! All is lost!" was getting old a year ago. If the model doesn't describe the resultant facts, we ... what? Class? Class? Anyone?

Isn't a year enough time for the "excess reserves and monetary growth" to eat us alive?

(Of course, let's all worship government statistical variations.) Amen.
And kudos for the TV interview. The Bahamanians were cordial --and in an unusual manner for TV interviews -- permitted the interviewee to complete sentences.
I read Mish's post yesterday and have to admit I didn't quite grasp it either. Now I don't feel so bad. Thanks!

Just to help your bet, I'll hit the CoinStar machine more often to help with the whole velocity of money thing. Boo-yah GMU!
Dr. Murphy,

Good interview but a slight missed opportunity to debunk the myth perpetuated by one of the interviewer that "only the US government has the resources to bail out AIG.....", when in fact, the government has no resources of its own. AIG is spared, other will take the hit instead.
Oh dear. It would seem that the pro-regulation Mr. Jones has recently been hoisted by his own petard!
Bob- Good interview, I think you really held your own, and were quite articulate.

Your analogy doesn't work, at least not for me. I've acknowledged that it's not the monetary base (or reserves) per se that cause prices to rise, and how the process might unfold.

In contrast, the stuff Mish is citing to explain why there is no inflation, should be active right now and hence we should be seeing actual price deflation. Yet we're seeing mild price inflation.

The frame that YouTube uses as the title frame of the video makes you look like a Jersey shore Italian - or Fonzie.
Good Interview and good job, I think I would have tried to explain about the money supply and your belief that the pain is going to be worse later with inflation more. I dont think they understood how it could get worse than the shape it was in at the time. Explaining the inflation plus unemployment argument is much worse, would have helped them understand. I guess the timing of the interview being in July could have effected what was happening at the time.

I enjoyed watching the interview. You seemed to be extremely cordial even when the conversation became a little repetitive at times. And there were several points in the show where you re-packaged their own arguments in front of them in a pretty devestating way; illustrating the absurdities.

Although I, personally, would have probably lost my cool when they were getting a little more flippant at the end about how "unregulated" markets would basically provide for nothing but sky-rocketing prices (interest rates for bank loans in this case I guess). It seems like you started to make the point that this idea doesn't seem to hold up for other industries but he didn't want to seem to let you get much of a word in at that point.

It is a little funny though to sit back and watch a person not only disagree (which I expect) but to just not even grasp the points and to keep holding up the same contentions that were obstensibly dismissed mere moments before they were brought up again. I don't know how you do it without getting up and just shaking someone at some point to see if they are even awake lol. Kudos to you!
Had they the intellectual heft to do so, they could have spent the full hour probing Bob's philosophy a bit more deeply once they had the general drift of it.

Instead, as Ryan mentions, they padded out the hour by repeating basically the same question over and over again.

That said, it was quite amusing (Part 7, 5:12), when Bob told them he was putting together a political party whose leadership would be composed exclusively of Eastern Grey Squirrels - "Oh, I see... Well, that is an interesting one!"
If you look at the Nassau Institute's "About us" page you'll see:

"Founded in 1995 The Nassau Institute is a research institute - a think tank- that promotes capitalism and free markets. Our mission is to formulate and promote public policies for The Bahamas based on the principles of limited government, individual freedom, and the rule of law."

So the interviewers were trying to give Bob as many different ways to demolish the opposition as possible.
Jim O'Connor, the interviewers were not from the Nassau Institute. This was for a TV show, and the role of the Nassau Institute was on inviting Dr. Murphy as a representative of their view point.
Thanks, Blacksheep, now I'm completely depressed. I watch Walter Block on "Our Story" and get depressed. I watch Bob Murphy on this show and get depressed. I studiously avoid Pelosi, Reid, Limbaugh, Hannity and Levin so as to avoid being depressed by them as well.

I don't know how Mises and Rothbard pulled it off.
Bob - These are great...you have the heart of a true teacher. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Mish's point that there aren't REALLY excess reserves because the banks know that once they figure their assets against loans honestly all of the "excess" goes away seems to be plausible. I confess that the rest of it misses me.
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