New Economic Thinking

There was some media coverage in the FT and the Guardian on a recent conference on this theme at King’s College, Cambridge, showcasing a new economic institute.

A number of videos of presentations can be found here

This venture is funded by Soros and includes many well-known progressive economists such as Stiglitz, Akerloff etc. I gather one point of tension in the discussion was between a large group who see the main problem as unregulated finance, and a smaller group who see the roots as lying more broadly in the neo liberal model.


  • The conference caught my attention as well. What seems important is that there we see some root and branch critique of the models used by the profession despite their inadequacy as social science. Stilglitz is going further than most. I was alerted to his dissatisfaction with economics by his favourable review of the Shock Doctrine in the NYT where he said the author could have gone further in her critic of economics. At the time lesser lights were upset that Ms. Klein has dared to stop on hallowed ground.—stiglitz_agenda_for_reform.pdf

  • Naked Capitalism has been covering the conference with some very good commentary.

  • Stiglitz was a bit of a disappointment for me. He is too well trained.

  • Hey Travis, did you hear today that Noam Chomsky stated that he thought some form of fascism was on the rise in the US. Maybe he was referring to the neo-liberal economists- but I think his focus was on the tea party crowd. (amazing what labels the tinder box of fascism garners these days. Such quaint little get together s they are, but at the heart of it is one of the nastiest forms of potential organized hatred that we know what occurred in our recent history- as humorous as some people find these things, it really is scarry). So maybe he is loosely throwing that word around as well.

    My point is, before/if we head for a double dip, maybe some new thinking initiatives in the realm of economic thinking would be fitting safe guard against preventing another meltdown.

    Of course as Andrew points out, there are a some who think worst case scenario some form of regulation is all we will need and others who find deeper problems.

    Well let me say this for the record, there are deeper problems and we need some back up plans. Hopefully Europe will right side itself, with the plan to bail Greece, but what happens when the others who became more indebted when the double whammy of a financial crisis hit and then the cost to kick start the economy. Greece had a debt ratio of close to .7 prior to the crisis. It shot up to 1.13 after the crisis and I am sure, as reported that is with a bit of creative accounting so who knows where the real figure is and where we are heading with the rest of the EU. Hopefully it will stabilize with the IMF and a concerted EU bailout. But what about this hyper austerity. What will it do to the global economy, surely EU economic demand is a big component of the global economy.


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