Monday, July 09, 2012

What I want to blog about

I've spent quite some time in the past few months trying to come to terms, intellectually, with the economic situation that (primarily) the developed economies find themselves in. The GFC of 2007-2012 has been  an absolutely salutory one in at least one respect - the quality of the macroeconomic discourse has substantially widened, if not necessarily improved. There has scarcely been a better time to teach yourself some macro - and trust me when I say that you can absolutely teach yourself some macro. It is hard, it is time-consuming, but is very rewarding. And it's a field where the experts often enough do not seem to know much more than a determined autodidact.

Blogs are, of course, an important part in the widening of this discourse. The Economist has frequently noted    the tremendous impact of blogs. But they are only part of the picture. There is a lot of talking past on blogs, and not enough sustained construction or critique. The other leg on which I've tried to expand my horizons has been to try and read large parts of the oeuvres of some of the more comprehensive macroeconomists and historians of macroeconomic and monetary thought. Axel Leijonhufvud, David Laidler, Willem Buiter, James Tobin, Perry Mehrling.

In the next few posts (I don't know how many) - which I hope to write without large time lags - I will try to present my distillation of whatever I have gleaned over the last few months. There may (or may not) be original insight, but I propose to build upon the discussions raised by a few people that I consider truly indispensable to the discourse - people who are more knowledgeable, more original and more creative thinkers than I am. I will try to integrate the seemingly multiple themes that keep popping up into a few overarching frameworks, hopefully figuring out along the way which of the disparate ideas can be assimilated into a consistent whole and which are truly at loggerheads with each other. 

Specifically, I wish to cover, apart from the above mentioned distinguished gentlemen, at least :

1) Ashwin Parameswaran - on cronyism,  reviving Schumpeter, the question of which monetary policy , banking reform and much more.
2) Steve Randy Waldman - on helicopter drops, negative interest rates and more.
3) Izabella Kaminska - on negative carry, post-scarcity and more. 
4) David Glasner - on monetary theory and the history of monetary thought.
5) Rajiv Sethi - On multiple equilibrium, disequilibrium and the under-discussed contingencies of monetary policy.  
6) The extremely diverse Tyler Cowen, whose eclecticism is sometimes diluted by his enigmatic style and seemingly deliberate vagueness.  
7) Some market monetarist/ monetary disequilbrium mish mash of Nick Rowe, Scott Sumner & others.
8) Some theorists of the monetary microstructure 
9) Some modern interpreters of Keynes and capitalism

I have the basic ideas, but I don't yet have a 'plan of attack'. When that crystallizes, I shall launch headlong. So if you are interested in macro and money, watch this space!