Chris Hanes: Monetary Policy Alternatives at the Zero Bound: Lessons from the 1930s: "In recent years economists have debated two unconventional policy options for situations when overnight rates are at the zero bound: boosting expected inflation through announced changes in policy objectives such as adoption of price-level or nominal GDP targets; and large-scale asset purchases to lower long-term rates by pushing down term or risk premiums - 'portfolio-balance' effects. American policies in the 1930s, when American overnight rates were at the zero bound, created experiments that tested the effectiveness of the expected-inflation option, and the existence of portfolio-balance effects. In data from the 1930s, I find strong evidence of portfolio- balance effects but no clear evidence of the expected-inflation channel."
James Fallows: As We Near the 10th Anniversary of the Iraq War: "As I think about it this war and others the U.S. has contemplated or entered during my conscious life, I realize how strong is the recurrent pattern of threat inflation. Exactly once in the post-WW II era has the real threat been more ominous than officially portrayed. That was during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, when the world really came within moments of nuclear destruction. Otherwise: the "missile gap." The Gulf of Tonkin. The overall scale of the Soviet menace. Iraq. In each case, the public soberly received official warnings about the imminent threat. In cold retrospect, those warnings were wrong — or contrived, or overblown, or misperceived. Official claims about the evils of these systems were many times justified. Claims about imminent threats were most of the times hyped."
Via Tyler Cowen:Thomas J. Craughwell: Thomas Jefferson's Creme Brulee: How a Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America: "This culinary biography recounts the 1784 deal that Thomas Jefferson struck with his slaves, James Hemings. The founding father was traveling to Paris and wanted to bring James along “for a particular purpose”— to master the art of French cooking. In exchange for James’s cooperation, Jefferson would grant his freedom. Thus began one of the strangest partnerships in United States history. As Hemings apprenticed under master French chefs, Jefferson studied the cultivation of French crops (especially grapes for winemaking) so the might be replicated in American agriculture. The two men returned home with such marvels as pasta, French fries, Champagne, macaroni and cheese, crème brûlée, and a host of other treats. This narrative history tells the story of their remarkable adventure—and even includes a few of their favorite recipes!"
Harold Pollack: Watching Death of a Salesman with my daughter: "The worksheets’ main purpose was to verify that the kids actually read it…. No worksheet could capture whether that play conveyed actual human meaning to these young people. “I told you that I hate that class,” my daughter told me. Who can blame her? I’ll bet similar mediocre experiences ar being replicated across thousands of classrooms across America. We’re living through tough economic times here in the southland of Chicago. Foreclosures and layoffs have brought financial disappointment, thwarted upward mobility, and everyday struggles for economic dignity that bear unmistakable resemblances to Willy Loman’s plight. Death of a Salesman might have provided an opportunity to communicate through literature what all too many of the families represented in that classroom are now going through. This was an opportunity squandered. Attention should have been paid."
Steve Randy Waldman: interfluidity » Opaque finance, again, and solutions: "There a few people whose work I more respect than Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism…. However, in a recent post, I think I have been treated unfairly. I think no fair reading of my financial opacity piece, alone or with its two followups, could characterize my position as 'extoll[ing] deception and theft'. The first piece is not satirical, in the sense of advancing a position which its author does not hold. But it is hyperbolic and sardonic, in the sense of laughing into ones execution."
Binyamin Applebaum: Not Enough Inflation: Yes, we have low inflation: "The Commerce Department reported Friday that prices rose just 1.2 percent over the 12 months ending in January…. [T]he January number does underscore that the Fed failed to do its job over the last two years. It underestimated the stimulus that the economy required then to prevent inflation from sagging below 2 percent now."
Uwe E. Reinhardt: Americans Are Shocked, Just Shocked, Over Hospital Bills | Louis C.K.’s Annotated Wisdom | Ben Bernanke: Long-Term Interest Rates | Noah Smith: Noahpinion: Blogger smackdown: Robert Waldmann vs. David Glasner |
On March 2, 2013:
- Liveblogging World War II: March 2, 1943 http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/03/liveblogging-world-war-ii-march-2-1943.html
- Noted for March 2, 2013 http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/03/noted-for-march-2-2013.html
- Gene Sperling Told Me "Be Sure to Think Twice" Once... http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/03/gene-sperling-told-me-be-sure-to-think-twice-once.html
- Nobody Has Any Business Voting for These Republicans: Nino "I Want to Have a Constitutional Moment" Scalia Tudor-Dynasty Villian Weblogging http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/03/nobody-has-any-business-voting-for-these-republicans-nino-i-want-to-have-a-constitutional-moment-scalia-tudor-dynasty-vill.html
- Ben Bernanke (1999): "Rooseveltian Resolve" http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/03/ben-bernanke-1999-rooseveltian-resolve.html
- Paul Krugman: Contractionary Policy Is Contractionary http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/03/paul-krugman-contractionary-policy-is-contractionary.html