« Hit the bricks, prof | Main | Hommage a Speer »

Bigfoot domesticus

By Owen Paine on Friday September 10, 2010 12:36 PM

Don't know why Paul Krugman seems always under my tack hammer. But here we go again:

"... The Paris-based OECD is Conventional Wisdom Central; and in May, it dutifully relayed the conventional wisdom that advanced nations should start cutting spending and, even more remarkably, raising interest rates right away...this made no sense even in terms of the OECD’s own forecasts, which said that unemployment would remain very high and inflation very low for years to come...Now the OECD has climbed down, sort of. Maybe hold off on those interest hikes, it says, and if things get really bad, maybe delay the fiscal austerity."
So far, so good; not a bad setup to his "Two points":
"1. This new document is presented as a response to a change in forecasts. But as I pointed out in May, even given the forecasts the OECD was making back then, its call for near-term austerity made no sense."


"When you’re expecting 8.4 percent unemployment and 1 percent inflation at the end of 2011, raising interest rates this year would be a violation of everything we know about sensible monetary policy."

Yup again.

"The OECD never explained why fiscal contraction should take place while the economy was still deeply depressed, except by vague appeals to confidence, i.e., the invisible bond vigilantes."

Wow! Yup-cubed! And three points in one!

"2. The slowdown we’re seeing now isn’t a surprise."
Damn straight, PK!
"Everyone who took a Keynesian approach seriously was very worried about the second half of 2010, long in advance."

That borders on a tautology -- in fact, it's precisely this retrofitted antique schlock Keynesianism that received the bulk of the sneers from most highbrow anti-activist " ratex-model stunted parrots.

But here is the vision of the Nassau Merlin hizzseff:

"What we’re really seeing here is a sort of intellectual Wile E. Coyote moment... a bit of bad economic news has led the organization to look down, and realize that there’s nothing supporting its position. But there never was."
If that were the whole post I'd have left it to Paul's many-headed many-hand-wringing chorus. But he slips this in:
"Back in May, the OECD was responding to social pressure, not economic logic. All the right people wanted austerity now now now, because, well, because, and the OECD went along."
Paul, this should be the lede to a post, a long well-reasoned post, that answers the questions it raises: what "social pressure" group equals "all the right people"? And what is the "because"? And when did these right people know it as their "because"?

I haven't seen, in all Paul's endless monsoonlike downpourings since the crisis of fall 08, any answers to those obvious questions.

No doubt all us SMBIVAers have our own ideas about the "right people" and the "because", and I bet a lot of our answers would coincide. And yet, despite its Gibraltar-like obviousness at the narrowest strait of the present policy bottleneck, and despite his tenured position over at the Times Square Bombers' op-ed page, it seems to be a stretch of ground that this endlessly feisty, often agile bigfoot fears to tread.

Comments (18)

"No doubt all us SMBIVAers have our own ideas about the "right people" and the "because", and I bet a lot of our answers would coincide"

They must not be named!!!

Although I bet if you started reading the society pages of the New York Times you'd get a few names.

The only names I see on the society pages of the NYT are like "Flopsy" and "Muffy" and shit.


the pugsly of the dismal science
has a fine audition here


jump ahead till you see the coffee mug

"The only names I see on the society pages of the NYT are like "Flopsy" and "Muffy" and shit."

Really? Hmm... well, I don't read that PoS conservative rag anyway so I guess I stand corrected.

In my own home town noozerag the society pages are full of all the important people who should be hung from a gibbet and left for the sport of crows. But I live in the boonies so that's just my own experience.

It's been 12 yrs since I read the Times but I recall the "society pages" being filled with this sort of thing:

Cardwell Ingraham Thorndyke IV of Hobe Sound, FL and Emmeline Draper Farquhar Thorndyke Smith of Oyster Bay, LI, NY are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter Hermione Tazewell Thorndyke-Smith to Taft Binkley Royster Scaddington II of Orinda, CA. Mr Scaddington is a junior partner in the international shipping conglomerate Whister-Plimpton LLC, which is based in San Pedro, CA with offices in San Francisco, CA and Hong Kong. Ms. Thorndyke-Smith went to St Paul's and Yale, and currently works as a copy editor for Vogue magazine. The wedding will be on September 11, 2011, after which the couple will honeymoon on an eco-tour in Costa Rica.

Al Schumann:

Ox, that's near-perfect. There's sometimes one of those silly nicknames, too, like the ones Ethan mentioned, e.g. Chip, Beezer, Missy, etc.

I'm hardly one to talk, however. I named my kids Murgatroyd, Bumptious, Blunderbuss, Shoefly Sue and Prawn. They hate me, needless to say, but I don't regret seizing the opportunity when it was there.


Who are they? And the "because" is?


prawn dated a paine for a while a few years back
electric Al might not want to admit this
since it was
my nephew '5 alarm ' paine
my brother Royals youngest
and brightest ...literally

much like her pop
craves the externalities
of hangin' with volatile
self destructive types

nothin like red hot pointless danger
at close quarters

"They hate me, needless to say, but I don't regret seizing the opportunity when it was there"

Ah... living life with no regrets. That's how you do it.

Al Schumann:

It's not all sunshine, Drunk Pundit. While I have no regrets, I do have moments of mortal panic. Bumptious and Blunderbuss (the twins, god bless 'em) grew up feisty. they've offered to beat me like a drum. Prawn and her on-again off-again boyfriend, 5 Alarm Paine, think it's absolutely hilarious.

"It's not all sunshine, Drunk Pundit"

I'm sure of that. I have 3 sons. And I do have regrets.

Guess I'm a liar.


But in that paradox sort of a way, I don't have regrets. I loved them, I raised them, they're all doing well. None of them landed up in jail unless they intended to as a form of civil protest. Not much more I could ask of them.

But in the real world, yes. I have regrets. I really try hard not to though.


more pk

now the right people are
"the men in suits "

"The tragedy of our current economic mess is that the solution to our problems is not, in fact, mysterious — basic macroeconomics, macroeconomics that has worked quite well in the last two years, shows the way. "

"But the men in suits have decided that they know better — and the slump goes on, and on, and on"

pk fails to notice all the implications of his basic macronomic schlock keynesian elixir
the quite obvious import consequences
the men in suits don't want to fix that problem
despite blithe calls by pk
to rectify the china forex fiddle etc

"hey numbnik
we ... suits ..
got a global system to manitain here "



there are more
i'm un shut up able
about the deeper MNC reasonable
behind our present oecd stag

btw i'm never at all confident this is a sufficient motive
after all there are other game board moves
MNC might contemplate which also call for a stag in the oecd besides the trade imbalances

one really needs a nice
and adequate simulator to explore this
along various pathways
and from various MNC "global positions"

unlike the corporate core of the global economy
where the big suits reign
in the academy
and the columns of the big press
too of course
we have a broader more class wide
version of "bourgois hegemony "

that can scorn the motives
of the strictly
board room suit hegemonians
the pk's have voice in other words if even no vote

plenty of room for non MNC based views
like pk's without disturbing the main apple cart

then again a PK like a simon johnson
better not put too many accurate lines
between too many dots
or he'll get chalmers johnsoned

so far pk has stayed well within the pale line
like simon j
best way ??
keep solidly corporate compatible orthodox
on at least a few major venues of debate

a joe stiglitz perhaps is allowed
to venture
a bit wider then a pk
since he's a sheepoid debate queen


Krugman advocating tariffs in Chinese imports. Also, MNCs identified as beneficiaries and culprits in trade imbalance. Japanese commended for treating Chinese purchases of their bonds as a hostile act:



Thank you very much for taking time to link me to all those posts, op. I am afraid that much of their content tumbled down the hole of dumb that claimed my late-adolescent grasp of calculus and probably also my elementary-school grasp of dividing fractions (because last time I tried I had to break out a calculator), but I think I have a slightly better grasp of your vision of economic villainy. (Maybe?)

Also, I didn't know you were homaging Archy! I loved Don Marquis when I was little. I have a new appreciation for your comment-poems, now that I am able to imagine that they've been composed by a woebegone transubstantiated cockroach.

Post a comment

Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Friday September 10, 2010 12:36 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Hit the bricks, prof.

The next post in this blog is Hommage a Speer.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31