More on US public debt

May 25, 2010

Here’s an impressive infographic by the Chicago Tribune, on the national debt of the United States, 1940-2010.

Found via Visualizing Economics.


The socialist within

May 22, 2010

It’s Friday night in this side of the Western hemisphere, so, what the heck. I think you might find it funny. Here’s a bit of U. S. public debt history.

Does the average tea-party fan know better?

Found via The Big Picture.


Your weekly dosis of AMHE news

May 7, 2010

Disclaimer: Yes, we all know that both Ben and I have neglected this blog. It is time to catch up. But until we reach the lost momentum, you’ll have to live with our publishing choices. Now, on to some news, courtesy of the Mexican Economic History Association.

News

Newsletter, 1 de Mayo de 2010 de la AEHE [Spanish]

Boletim do Grupo de Pesquisa em História Econômica, História Quantitativa e Georreferenciada (abril de 2010) [Portuguese]

Courses

Escuela de Verano de Historia Económica (Montevideo, diciembre 2010) [Spanish]

Events

Conferencia de Douglas Irwin “Currencies and Crises: How Spain Missed  the Great Depression” (Madrid, 11 de mayo 2010) [Spanish, English]

Conferencia “Tariffs in history” (Madrid, 13 y 14 de mayo 2010) [Spanish, English]

Calls

Segunda Circular, XXII Jornadas de Historia Economica de la AAHE (Rio  Cuarto, 21 al 24 de septiembre de 2010) [Spanish]

Scholarships, prizes and job offers

Temporary Position Teaching the History of Economic Thought [English]

Doctoral scholarships at Leeds University [English]

Publications

Marcelo Rougier (dir.) Estudios sobre la industria argentina. Políticas de promoción y estrategias empresariales 2 [Spanish]

Papers

NEP-HIS 2010-05-02, 22 papers [English]


Caporale T. and Grier K. (2000) On why the sheriff still matters

December 19, 2009

Caporale, Tony and Kevin B. Grier (2000) Political Regime Change and the Real Interest Rate, Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, 32/3: 320-334.

Intro

A number of influential macroeconomic models, from Keynes to the monetarists, assume that real interest rates (i.e. discounted for inflation) change over time and are sensitive to their political environment, other words that they are policy variant. However this assumption has not been empirically tested, should this assumption be in fact contradicted, it would have important repercussions on these models’ viability. Moreover, the policy-variant hypothesis apparently conflicts with Eugene Fama’s conclusion that the mean of the real rate is essentially constant (p.322). The literature has found to match Fama’s views more closely with reality: real interest rates are “essentially constant over long periods of times but subject to infrequent mean shifts that are not related to policy regime changes”. Read the rest of this entry »


On cognitive functions interrupted (and the growth of two retail corporations in the US)

October 26, 2009

I haven’t been able to write much since the equivalent of a permanent shock affected my production function as well as its slope (break ups are always hard, being the dumpee is even worse, in the long run we are all dead).

I’m slowly regaining use of my cognitive functions. For I don’t want to leave Ben alone in this blog any longer, I thought of posting two maps showing the growth of two retail corporations in the US: Wal Mart (1962-2006) and Target (1962-2008).

This might interest fans of urban and regional economics (or not). Anyway, I promise that the quality of my contributions to this awesome blog will increase. Just have a little faith on me.


On the rise and decadence of Detroit (1950-2009)

September 27, 2009
Detroit, 1950-2009

Detroit, 1950-2009

Time Magazine has an interesting article by Daniel Okrent about Detroit’s fate. What was once known as America’s Arsenal of Democracy and became the fourth largest city in the United States, shows signs of accelerated decay. Unemployment rate is almost 30%, business is all but (almost) shutdown, and the town of Robocop has nothing but a gloomy future. What is relevant in Okrent’s piece is his discussion on the political economy of Detroit’s failure. Populist politicians, overconfident automobile companies and pampered unionized workers intertwined to make of this Michigan city a urban disaster. Check out the pics of Detroit’s remains by Sean Hemmerle. They’re quite scary.


Sylla R. (2008) How Alexander Hamilton founded America (singlehanded)

September 22, 2009

Sylla, Richard (2008) “The Political Economy of Early U.S. Financial Development”, in Political Institutions and Financial Development, ed. Stephen Haber, Douglass C. North and Barry R. Weingast. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 60-91.

Picture 1Picture 2Picture 3

In only seven years, from 1788 to 1795, the US underwent a dramatic financial revolution; starting from scratch and swiftly acquiring all the key components of a modern financial infrastructure. By the time the westward expansion and the industrial take-off were ready to swing into action, a strong financial system was there to back them (p.62). But what allowed the US to develop these instruments? Read the rest of this entry »


Webshopping

September 21, 2009

Today, Chris [I couldn’t find his last name] at History of Economics Playground posted a note on a recent seminar in Duke University about Krugman’s article on the state of economics (mentioned here).

Speaking of Krugman, he wrote a small post on the history of contemporary macroeconomics. It’s worth reading if you already read the aforementioned article.

And here’s a Short History of Small Times in Wall Street by David Silver, former president of the Investment Company Institute (1977-1991), on the legality of the profits of reducing the time invested in buying and selling stocks.


On Lehman Brothers

September 15, 2009
Those were happy times...

Those were happy times...

After the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve denied to rescue Lehman Brothers, the once almighty investment bank failed a year ago, beginning what would turn to be the mother of all financial crises.

Here is an exclusive Reuters interview with Richard Fuld, the president of Lehman at the time of its bankruptcy.

lehman-brothers

The New York Times has published three good pieces on the issue: ‘An Epidemic of Capital Destruction’, Tales From Lehman’s Crypt (showing the lives and fates of three former Lehman employees) and Lehman Had to Die So Global Finance Could Live. It also has a neat visualization showing the market capitalization of the biggest financial firms in Wall Street from October 9, 2007 to September 11, 2009.

The Economist’s Buttonwood has recently posted an interactive map showing global indebtedness, from 1999 to 2011. It’s worth visiting.


Web shopping: On Krugman and Expedición 1808

September 14, 2009
Ben, Olivier and Bob

Ben, Olivier and Bob

Disclaimer: Sorry about the delay in completing this post (holidays and tons of work impeded its prompt publication).

Here’s an article by Paul Krugman on the state of economics and the failure of most mainstream economists to imagine the worst-case scenario (i. e., the world financial crisis of 2008 and the Great Recession of our days). Here are some reactions of Krugman on the reception of the piece in the blogosphere. And here’s a great post by Beatrice Chérrier at History of Economics Playground exploring Krugman’s ambiguities on the methodology of macroeconomics.

Now, on to diminishing my credibility. Here are the ads of the TV show I am part of. The feature was recorded in the first semester of 2008.  It will run on Saturdays and Tuesdays at 19 h in NatGeo, the National Geographic channel covering from Tijuana to Ushuaia. I have not heard enough reactions to the show to have an statistically significant image of what people think about it (so far partiality prevails) If you live in the Western hemisphere and have the chance to watch it, I’ll be more than glad to hear your comments on my unexpected debut in television.


This week in Economic History (August 31-September 5, 2009)

August 31, 2009

From August the 31st to September the 4th, there will be a Summer University in Greece on History, Philosophy and Economic Thought.

From Wednesday to Friday, the 41st UK History of Economic Thought Conference will take place at the University of Manchester.You can contact Terry Peach for more information.

The 8th Conference of the European Historical Economics Society will take place on Friday the 4th and Saturday the 5th. The Conference is organized by the European Historical Economics Society, and is chaired by Marc Flandreau in the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, in Switzerland.

And well, on to some personal advertising. On Saturday the 5th (a day after my 25th birthday!), a TV show where I participated, Expedición 1808, will air in the National Geographic Channel in Latin America. Expedición 1808 is a “one-of-its-kind show, following the journey [expedición] of seven Mexico City youngsters in seven Hispanic American countries, to determine the path and relevance of ideas that gave birth to the independence wars of the 19th century” [taken from the press brief].

Out of the official aim of the show, I will talk about some aspects of economics and economic history: from sugar production nearby Caracas to smuggling and free trade inValparaíso, then and now… Here’s an advance of the show.

Stay tuned for news on web broadcasts…


On [growing] American inequality

August 24, 2009

How much household income has received the top 0.01% of Americans since 1913?
Here‘s a graph in Paul Krugman’s blog showing it.

The richest 0.01% individuals in America and their income

The richest 0.01% individuals in America and their income

The graph was made with the tables and figures updated to 2007 prepared by Emmanuel Saez, Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley and the most recent winner of the John Bates Clark medal.
Read the rest of this entry »