The long hot summer recovery continues

I have been away from my blog and web site for  an extended period, last posting at the close of June. I will be resuming a more frequent schedule beginning next week. A heck of a lot has transpired both politically and economically since I last posted commentary and analysis. I have also travelled to London for an LSE reunion and visits with family there and an opportunity to hear directly from the new head of the School, Professor Craig Calhoun who gave an excellent talk at the reunion about the noble LSE tradition of dissent,radicalism, argument  and critical thinking.This was a long tradition in many branches of the social sciences and certainly was close to the heart of the some of the founders of the school. During the time I was a Ph.D. student there it lived in the person of teachers like Amartya Sen, Ralph Miliband, Michio Morishima, Harry Johnson and others who regardless of the side of the issue they tended to be on emphasized critical thinking, careful research and solid argument as well as rhetoric and eloquence. At a time where simple even crude ideological assertion has come to dominate public policy discourse its an important tradition to reinvigorate.

I also spent time in Winnipeg the city where I grew up and still have family. It pleased me to see how with the lamentable exception of their last place football team how well the city seemed to be doing in terms of building a new and architecturally striking  museum of human rights which has been the product of the generous contribution and hard work of the Asper family and all three levels of government and a new strikingly modernist airport terminal. The city has its problems with neglected infrastructure and lack of a proper rapid transit system but it bustles with energy,interesting politics, very nice people, modernist architecture and a concern for culture and good cuisine. A pleasure to visit(in summer, of course)

The controversy over privacy continues, as it should and the debate over the economy and how best to sustain the recovery is ongoing. The data suggests that slow but steady recovery continues. But it is far from the time where it would make any sense to jettison quantitative easing and substitute interest rate increases, except very gradually in slow and deliberate process. The unemployment rate is still simply too high.

There is a legitimate debate about the efficacy of QE actually stimulating directly additional aggregate demand but it is clear that without it interest rates would have risen as deficit hysteria took hold. Money may well be hoarded in quasi hoards internal to firms, banks and in wealth holders’ balance sheets but if we tried to liquidate these hoards through raising rates it is likely the negative impact upon growth and employment would be at this point in the cycle substantial.


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, classical economics, deficit hysteria, fiscal policy, full employment, monetary policy, U.K. economy, Uncategorized, unemployment, urban culture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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