Poli 610:Macro-economic theory and policy after Keynes and the crash of 2008

Pol. 610  Macro-economic policy-making after Keynes

Concordia University

fall, 2012
Prof. H. Chorney tel. 848 2424 ext.2106 
e mail Chorney@alcor.concordia.ca
Office hours tba
This course is an intensive examination of macro-economic policy-making and macro-economic theory in the light of recent global developments, including the crisis and fraud in global financial markets, the sub prime mortgage market crisis, the accompanying collapse in asset backed commercial paper and the Keynesian backed recovery now underway, the possibility of a double dip recession and the recrudescence of monetarism, deficit hysteria and laissez-faire in certain circles.  It examines in close detail the problems of inflation,deflation,public finance, unemployment, recession,depression, stagflation and economic growth in the light of the work of John Maynard Keynes and his interpreters, co-creators and supporters like Michal Kalecki , Joan Robinson, R.F.Kahn, J.K.Galbraith, Abba Lerner, Hyman Minsky, Robert Eisner, Paul Davidson on the one hand and Friedrich Von Hayek, Milton Friedman, Harry Johnson, David Laidler, Robert Lucas and their followers on the other hand, as well as the neo-classical synthesis that draws from both schools.
In addition, we shall examine certain aspects of the contemporary political economy and explore the bursting bubble in high technology in 2000 and the recent collapse of the financial markets, as well as aspects of globalization and their impact upon growth theory and macroeconomics, as well as the impact of 9/11, the New Orleans catastrophe,the election of Barack Obama and his campaign for re-election against a Republican party that rejects Keynesian policy, the  credit crisis, the recent revenge of the bond markets  in Europe and shifting attitudes in public opinion and policy towards Keynesian intervention and planning and away from strict laissez-faire. From 2008 a modest New Deal style Keynesian
intervention introduced by the new Obama administration including substantial investment in infrastructure and reregulation of the banking, financial, energy and transportation sectors has stabilized the slump that followed the financial crash . Growth has now resumed although it is not yet robust.  Some doubts still remain among skeptics  that the recession is over and a double dip can be avoided. Nevertheless there is considerable evidence that Keynes is back and that his theories once brought up to date by innovations like quantitative easing or temporarily monetizing some of the debt(an innovation that I first proposed in detail a number of scholarly articles and monographs in the early 1980s and nineties, but whose roots lie in the work of John Maynard Keynes and his circle in the early 1930s -see  my papers on Keynes and the origins of quantitative easing and on the 75th anniversary of the General Theory posted  on this site in June 2011) are sound and are very effective in fighting recessions and reversing slumps. The dogma of the past twenty-five years that unregulated markets work best and are always rational is now partly eclipsed by both events and public opinion. The previous Canadian political party consensus on balanced budgets and fiscal prudence is now anachronistic in the light of events in the global economy.
The course includes an intensive examination of the economic, political and social thought of Keynes, the relationship between Keynes and Bloomsbury, the way in which his ideas were received, interpreted and applied and the revolution and then counterrevolution in thinking which his work provoked. The clash between Keynesianism and monetarism is explored in detail. An attempt is made to present the rudiments of an alternative theory of macro-economic performance that is more consistent with contemporary reality and incorporates insights from both schools. Presentation is through lectures and seminars. Extensive reading is expected of all students.
The severe recessions of
the early 1980s and 1990s and the growing fear of deflation in the first years of the 21st century and the current shocks to global financial markets and national economies serve as the contemporary backdrop for the course. The controversies over the public sector debt and deficit,the use of surpluses, the neglect of infrastructure, full employment and the role of the state in modern capitalist society are thoroughly explored.
Texts and Basic readings ( Text *)
 John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest
and Money *
Hassan Bougrine and Mario
Seccareccia  eds. Introducing macroeconomic analysis, Edmund Montgomery publications ltd. Toronto *
Richard Parker, John Kenneth Galbraith: his life, his economics , his politics.*
Athol Fitzgibbons, Keynes Vision * (several copies will be circulated among students )
Joseph Stiglitz, Freefall:Free Markets and the Sinking of the
Global Economy *, N.Y. : W.W.Norton, 2010
Peter Clarke, Keynes:the Rise, Fall, and Return of the 20th Century’s Most Influential Economist, N.Y.Berlin&London:Bloomsbury Press, 2009.  *
David Wessel, In Fed We 
Trust: Ben Bernanke’s War on the Great Panic, How the Federal Reserve Became the Fourth Branch of Government, New York:Random House, Crown Business, 2009.
 Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
(recommended )
Harold Chorney, The
deficit papers *(available through me)
Haroldchorneypoliticaleconomist blog available on the internet
Haroldchorneyeconomist.com current blog on internet
 Kevin Phillips, Bad
Money: Reckless Finance, Failed politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism (Viking, 2008)
The Rotman School of
Management, The Finance Crisis and Rescue:what went wrong?why? what lessons can be learned? U of Toronto Press, 2008
  John Maynard Keynes, Essays in Persuasion (Reserve)
Economic Consequences of the Peace A Treatise of Money, Vol 1 & vol 2(Reserve)
Henry M. Paulson, Jr.On the brink: Inside the Race to Stop the
Collapse of the Global Financial System, N.Y. Grand central publishing, Hachette, 2010
Charles Kindleberger, Manias,Panics and Crashes:A History of Financial Crises,London:Macmillan,1978
Scott Patterson, The Quants:How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It, New York Crown business,2010.
Michael Lewis, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, N.Y. :Norton, 2010.
Justin Fox, The myth of the rational market,A history of risk, reward and delusion on Wall  Street,N.Y. Harper, 2011.
Simon Johnson and James Kwak, 13 bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown, New York :Vintage, 2011.
Gordon Brown, Beyond the crash:Overcoming the First Crisis
of Globalization, N.Y.,London, Toronto &Sidney, Free Press
 The General Theory and After: Preparation Vol.13,C.W. (R)       The General Theory and After: Defense and Development Vol.14 C.W.
The General Theory and After: A Supplement Vol.29 ( R )
Robert Skidelsky, John Maynard Keynes, Vols 1 & 2 &3 (R )
Donald Moggridge, Maynard Keynes: An Economist’s Biography (R )
Harold Chorney, Revisiting Deficit Hysteria in Labour/Le Travail Fall 2004 No.54, pp.245-258. * (available on internet) *
Harold Chorney, The Deficit and Debt Management: An Alternative to Monetarism * (Reserve)
Harold Chorney, After the Crash:Rediscovering Keynes and the Origins of Quantitative Easing paper presented to the Eastern Economics Association, New York,Feb. 27, 2011. (posted on this site June 3, 2011) *
Harold Chorney, John Maynard Keynes and the General Theory after 75 Years:Preface to a Presentation to the Canadian Economics Association Special Panel on” Reconsidering Keynes in a Time of Crisis” * (posted on this siteJune 3, 2011)
A.Fitzgibbons, Keynes’ Vision * (Reserve)
Brian Snowdon & Howard Vane eds. A Macroeconomics Reader (Reserve)
Timothy Lewis, In the long run We Are All Dead: The Canadian Turn to Fiscal Restraint 
 Joseph Stiglitz, Making Globalization Work (Reserve)
Joseph Stiglitz, Globalization and its Discontents(Reserve)
 Joseph Stiglitz, The Roaring Nineties(Reserve)
William D. Cohan, Money and Power:How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World
 Dean Baker, Gerald Epstein and Robert Pollin, Globalization and Progressive Economic Policy (Reserve)
Doug Henwood, Wall Street (Reserve)
 L.Randall Wray, Understanding Modern Money:The Key to Full Employment and Price Stability (Reserve)
James Macdonald, A free nation Deep in Debt (Reserve)
J.C.Gilbert, Keynes’s Impact on Monetary Economics
  Harry G.Johnson, Macroeconomic theory and monetary policy,
Chicago: Aldine publishing, 1972.
Axel Leijonhufvud,On Keynesian Economics and the Economics of
Keynes,London: Oxford University press, 1968.
Gilles Dostaler, Keynes et ses combats, Paris:Albin Michel, 2005. (Also available in a new English language edition)
G.Boismenu &G.Dostaler, eds. La Theorie générale et le keyésianisme, Montreal:ACFAS, 1987.
Other Key Works:
Hyman Minsky, John Maynard Keynes (N.Y.:McGraw Hill, 2008);                        Stabilizing an Unstable Economy(N.Y.:McGraw Hill, 2008);   Can it Happen again:Essays on Instability and Finance (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E.Sharpe, 1982);  R.Dimand, The Origins of the Keynesian Revolution;  Charles Hessian, John Maynard Keynes: A Personal Biography of the Man Who Revolutionized Capitalism and the Way We Live;  Roy Harrod,John Maynard Keynes;  A. Hansen, A Guide to Keynes;  Fausto Vicarelli, Keynes:The Instability of Capitalism;  Paul Davidson,Post Keynesian Macroeconomic Theory;  R.Allen & G.Rosenbluth,False Promises: The Failure Of Conservative Economics;  Lars Osberg & Pierre Fortin, Unnecessary Debts;  D.Drache & R.Boyer,States Against Markets: The Limits of Globalization;  Thomas Palley; Plenty of Nothing: The Downsizing of the American Dream and the Case for Structural Keynesianism;  Adrian Ham, Treasury Rules: Recurrent Themes in British Economic Policy;  James Rock, ed. Debt and the Twin Deficits Debate;  Warren Young,Interpreting Mr. Keynes: The IS LM Enigma;  Peter Clarke, The Keynesian Revolution in the Making;  A. Carabelli, On Keynes’ Method;   J.A.Trevithick, Involuntary Unemploment:Macroeconomics From a Keynesian Perspective;  A.Asimakopulos, Keynes’ General Theory and Accumulation;  Victoria Chick, Macroeconomics after Keynes;  David Colander & Dewey Daane eds. The Art of Monetary Policy  Maurice Lamontagne, Business Cycles in Canada;  Frank Hahn, Money and Inflation;  William Greer, Ethics and Uncertainty:The Economics of John Maynard Keynes and Frank H. Knight;  Lydia & Maynard eds. Polly Hill&Richard Keynes;  Jan Marsh, Bloomsbury Women: Distinct Figures in Life and Art;  Quentin Bell, Virginia Woolf:A Biography;  Frances Spalding, Vanessa Bell;  Leon Edel ,Bloomsbury;  G.E.Moore, Principia Ethica ; Armand Van Dormael,Bretton Woods:Birth of a Monetary system;  Allan Meltzer, A History of the Federal Reserve ; Milton Friedman & Anna Schwartz,A Monetary History of the United States;  Milton Friedman,Capitalism and Freedom;  Lanny Ebenstein, Milton Friedman . Milton and Rose Friedman, Two Lucky People; James Tobin, Full Employment and Growth:Further Keynesian Essays on Policy.
 Key Internet sites:  http://www.Statistics Canada; OECD; Eurostat; U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics;Statistics Canada;The Federal Reserve,European Union;Henwood’s Site; New York TimesThe Financial Times.The Hayek list. The post-Keynesian list; The Wall Street Journal;
Evaluation: Students will be expected to make a presentation to the seminar, , complete a major paper and write a test.They will also be expected to be regular , informed and active members of the seminar. To be informed obliges one to do significant reading and attend the seminar regularly.  Presentation and participation – 20 % ;Essay – 40 %; Test – 40   % .
Topics Outline:
1. Introduction and Overview.Why study the work of Keynes ? Contemporary economic orthodoxy. New technology and the business cycle. Globalization. The return of intervention and planning post 9/11, the New Orleans effect.The crash and  financial crisis,the recovery its origins and prospects.Financial derivatives, the collapse of Wall Street and TARP.Canadian versus American conditions. Stimulus and deficit finance and deficit hysteria. The Republicans rediscover Hayek and Ayn Rand.
2. The macro-economic problem; The role of markets; laissez-faire and rational markets versus   economic regulation;Paul Volker’s critique of the new regulatory framework; the world of classical economics.The monetarist counter-revolution.The economics of full employment. Galbraith’s notions of countervailing power, the technostructure, corporate planning and the new industrial state.  The post modern age and the political economy of globalization and its impact upon policy making.An outline of an alternative model of market behaviour.OPEC and the theory of cartels.
3. Say’s law and the question of unemployment; the question of wage rigidity.The labour market clearing model. Wage flexibility, the natural rate of unemployment and inflation, the problem of aggregate demand.Aggregate supply.
4. Keynes before the General Theory:1. Keynes the quantity theorist;the Marshallian roots of Keynes. Keynes and Bloomsbury; The Economic Consequences of the Peace;
5. Keynes before the General Theory: 2 Keynes and G.E.Moore, The Tract and The Treatise; The Essay on Probability, The Economic Consequences of Mr.Churchill,   his liberal vision. Uncertainty.
6. The Fundamental Equations. the Treatise on money and the problem of inflation and unemployment. The death of inflation and the return of deflation? Cartels and futures markets and inflation.
7. The Great Depression, Keynes and the General Theory; Michal Kalecki .Uncertainty and the investment process; the role of speculation. the asset backed commercial paper crisis and the work of Hyman Minsky. The Canadian American reception of Keynes. The New Deal.
  8. The General Theory: towards a synthesis; Keynes versus
Hayek and the classics. Keynes and Shaw and Marx. The origins of quantitative easing. the Treasury view and bond market revenge.
 9. Neo-classical economics
and the bastardization of Keynes. Samuelson,Meade, Harrod, Timlin, Hicks and the IS -LM. The neo-classical synthesis and its vulnerabilities in the age of stagflation.
 10. Stagflation, the re-emergence of monetarism, the deficit and public finance, what to do with the surplus.Keynesian policy in a federal state.
11. Supply-side and rational expectations theory. The natural rate hypothesis. The natural rate of inflation versus the natural rate of unemployment.
12. Post -Keynesian theory and policy;New Keynesian theory; Canadian macro-economic policy since the war.Technology and economic growth. Can we banish the cycle ?

13. Rediscovering full employment.A look again at an alternative model to current orthodoxy.Integrating the natural rate of inflation, OPEC cartelization and interest rate policy. Capital versus current accounting in public finance. The conversion of the Bush Republicans to Keynesian technique and its impact upon policy making in the US. The Obama Democrats and the 787 billion dollar deficit financed stimulus. The Republican counter-attack and the conversion of the party back to Tea party fiscal conservatism;The Return of deficit hysteria. The Stiglitz- Krugman critique. the need for a second stimulus.The bond market.Harper’s cautious conversion to Keynesian deficits.  The road ahead.

Tentative presentation schedule:

September 27, 2012  Say’s Law and the question of unemployment.  Lisa M.

October 4 : Keynes before the General theory, The Economic Consequences of the Peace Anahita BClassical economics and the business cycle, the crash of 1929,Veblen and Galbraith on business enterprise. hrc.

October 11: The financial crisis+crash; aggregate supply+demand, the investment process and the marginal efficiency of capital.  hrc

October 18:Keynes before the General theory, the Treatise on Money and the Tract on Monetary reform the fundamental equations and the  question of inflation.  hrc

October 25: The Great depression and the New Deal, Andrea S. & Andrew S. The treasury response to Keynes Clarke on Keynes and the Macmillan inquiry.  hrc

Nov.1: Keynes, Shaw and Marx Daniel P. The multiplier, Galbraith’s role in bringing Keynes to  America hrc

Nov. 8 The bastardization of Keynes , Laura M. IS LM & uncertainty, G.E.Moore and Keynes,  hrc.

Nov. 15  The deficit and public finance. Andrew P.  stagflation  Caroline C.

Nov. 22   rational expectations. Scott W.    Ricardian equivalence &policy impotence the ”new” classical macro-economics, hrc.    Stefana,The Natural rate of unemployment and NAIRU.  Phillips and post Phillips hrc.

Nov.29 Canadian Maco-economic policy since 1945. Christianne K;

Dec.4, 2012; OPEC inflation and interest rates, Nadia H.; Stiglitz, Krugman second stimulus or double dip recession, the crash and re-regulation. Margaret M.;  Rediscovering full employment, Nicholas M.


About haroldchorneyeconomist

I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
This entry was posted in austerity, business cycles, Canada, classical economics, deficit hysteria, deficits and debt, European debt crisis, European unemployment, Federal Reserve, fiscal policy, France politics+economy, free trade and globalization, full employment, Hayek, J.M.Keynes, Keynesian multiplier, labour market clearing, Milton Friedman and NAIRU, monetary policy, natural rate of inflation, quantitative easing, quantity theory of money, Schumpeter, U.K. economy, U.S., Uncategorized, unemployment. Bookmark the permalink.

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