The Obama Presidency and Economic History

January 20, 2009

A Commentary written by Rich Marino

As an American living in London, I’m watching and listening to all the hoopla and fanfare of the oncoming presidential inauguration of Barack Obama on a television set inside the foyer of a London library.

Clearly, America has demonstrated to the world that it has come a very long way in terms of race relations, but the reality of it all won’t be when the President-Elect raises his hand and is sworn in by the Chief Justice, and it won’t be at all the gala events and dinners that he and his lovely wife, Michelle will attend. No, reality will set in the first time President Obama walks into the Oval Office and he closes his door behind him and no one else is in the room, and at that point, he will realize first hand the enormity of the task facing his Administration. Read the rest of this entry »

Richardson G. (2005) Obamanomics and the medieval frat boys

January 1, 2009

Richardson Gary (2005) “The Prudent Village: Risk Pooling Institution in Medieval English Agriculture”, The Journal Of Economic History, 65/2, 386-413.


In this somewhat cumbersome article, Richardson argues against McCloskey’s widely accepted vision of the medieval peasant’s management of the risk of crop failures by scattering his arable land throughout his village. This strategy had a major shortcoming: it significantly reduced average crop yield, but according to Mc Closkey, no better option was available to mitigate the risks of everyday agrarian life (p.386).
Read the rest of this entry »