Old and Gray's blog

The New Voxeu.org coping with the New World

When first attracted to the possibility of cmmunicating with kindred souls on the Microsoft Network in Money Talk, being able to do so behind a buffer with a degree of protection for the sake of anonymity was the final enticement. That was 2008. The additional 8 years since have added some impediments to my ability to cope with even ordinary things on a daily basis. Apparently, that swing around ninety years of age is a critical battle not as easily dealt with as a younger person might think.

Frank Hyneman Knight, teacher extraordinaire!

Problems of here and now: Revisiting earlier economic thought.

Prompted by a faulty memory and a large economics library at hand, O&G pulled down two volumes hoping to find an answer to a bothersome problem. The two volumes were two editions of the same work, that of Frank Knight, stalwart of the University of Chicago, labeled so because his students attained notable success (witness Milton Friedman, James M. Buchanan and George Stigler among a phalanx of others) and Chicago has become a magic name for what followed.

Clean-up, Consolidation day! Where are we headed?

Awoke at about 4AM, and stared at rhe ceiling for over an hour before climbing out of bed and deciding some tasks needed attention.

Clean-up, consolidation means those piles of paper, bound with the handy plastic combs, too many pages lying loose among the bindings - in process, no decision whether to keep or toss. . . So, began by organizing them: subject matter, author, history, labor, monetary policy, central banks. . .

The 1937 dip. , . longer version

Until the recent Allan Meltzer, History of the Federal Reserve, from an historical perspective, the standard in-depth study of the March 1933 FDR administration, introduction of the New Deal and the slow recovery for the next four years, was the Freidman/Schwartz, A Monetary History of the United States 1867-1960.

An update on the puzzling report on derivatives - 8/26/14

Before the Dodd-Frank Act was signed into law, an enterprising reporter cornered Representative Barney Frank and asked a few questions about the contents of the Bill as passed. One of the questions was whether the Act brought all derivatives under regulation. The answer was short, "No, it didn't. It wasn’t meant to." Congressional records carry similar disclosures from both Frank and Dodd in respective recorded responses.

An early post gone astray.

Duffminster Times was a month and two days old when O&G posted a theme with a question: "Is this a recession or something larger and not yet understood?"

Vindicating a 6-year quest.

Since February, 2008 we've been on a quest to explain the 2007 crisis and the failures that prolonged recovery. We gathered sufficient courage to begin concentrating in earnest in a thread on Microsoft's Money Talk forum initiated by Duffminster early February, 2009.

  • By the seventh of the month, we listed our version of the four main problems the system faced, which Duff moved forward to occupy message #15 in the tsunami thread - beginning March, 2009..

A reprise of a comment of June 12, 2013

The Fed is not yet finished polishing its image and exerting its influence on the shaky recovery from the 2007 crisis. O&G expressed an opinion of the reason why it seems so inept in dealing with the unraveling system which with yet another year about to be added to its efforts still appears to be without a sound policy.

Business Cycles and Business Policy: 006 Reviving the Forgotten.

“There is nothing new but that which is forgotten” Mlle Bertin.

February 10. 2014: What does Duffminster Times face February 11th?

Wandering through the 'net about a month ago brought me to a site whose name and address I hadn't the foresight to record. They evaluated active websites. It was only natural to look up Duffminster Times. Value placed on the site was $48 US! Divided three ways between the three persistent parties writing here makes us each worth $16. A pittance in times past.

Old and Gray’s Corner: 035 Monetary Policy and Central Banks - Epilogue

Submitted by Old and Gray on Thu, 01/09/2014 - 11:16

This is a fitting spot for an entry which will close off this series on Central banks and Monetary Policy, carried over from the tsunami thread from June 6th, 2010, which offers an opinion of the section which empowers the Fed to perform its duties and - if interpretation is correct - describes the limits of the Fed's authority.

Business Cycles and Business Policy: 004 Wesley Clair Mitchell (1913)

[Mitchell’s 1913 focus was on four nations during the period under study, Germany, Britain, France and the United States. It is extensive and will not be critiqued here to save time for his later work (1927 and 1946). Instead, a summary review focusing on the value of the work is called for. This is the simpler route due to Mitchell’s accommodating habit, that of an educator, of planting small summaries - serving as signposts - throughout the work, apparently to ease the load on the over-worked businessman an essential part of his intended audience. ]


Moving along the History Timeline in Search of the Elusive Viable Theory of Business Cycles. 003b

The next significant milestone study along that timeline was delivered courtesy of a French Economist, Josef Clement Juglar (1819-1905) with two editions of his study: the first, 1860; the second, 1889.

A Bypath on the Road to Evolution of Economics As a Science: 003a

Adam Smith set the limits of early economic study with his title, "The Wealth of Nations". It stimulated the interest of wealthy intellectuals who then proceeded to expand and refine Smith's basic provisions for the "new science". "Wealthy intellectuals" is advisable in view of the comfort of people like Richard Cantillon and David Ricardo, who acquired tens of millions then retired to a life of contemplation and intellectual endeavors. Their study was centered on Wealth, not fiscal policy, welfare of a nation, or the success or failure of menials.

Business Cycles and Business Policy: 002 Background in the studies

Wesley Clair Mitchell’s first published tome on “Business Cycles” (1913) began with an apology in the Preface –

”I am sorrier for the bulkiness of the volume because I have written for the man of business as well as for the Professional economist.”

Business Cycles and Business Policy: 001 Introduction

Resurrecting an Old Topic

During the second term of Nixon’s presidency, the kindest words to be said for the economic environment were, situations were unsettled. Prior to Nixon’s resignation, Spiro Agnew, his Vice President, was forced to resign for improprieties, when Nixon left the White House, the administration was what might be described as in the hands of an unknown, Gerald Ford. Washington was in a turmoil. Watergate and the scandal of the tapes still hung over the scene and what had become too much of a burden for Nixon remained too much of burden for business.

These are the Times that try Men’s Souls

The big move in news this Tuesday, July 30, 2013 hinges on the lame duck administration of Ben Bernanke, and, in second place, JPMChase reaching a meaningless settlement with the FERC.

The Stock Market Bounce. What are we looking at?

The stock market has hit another DJIA historic high at the close today, 3/6/13. It may be time for an analysis of why it should be so.

Old and Gray's Corner: 034 Monetary Policy and Central Banks Part 25 - Final Edit 2/14/2013

Lars E. O. Svensson, a board member of the Sveriges Riksbank, Sweden’s central bank, and a professor at Stockholm University, had a paper published in the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity Fall 2011 issue, Practical Monetary Policy: Examples from Sweden and the United States” . It compared monetary policy by the Riskbank and the US Federal Reserve

Thomas Jefferson on banks

V_L's use of the carousel image in understanding our circular path through history and the suggestion of ever-increasing speed and Chaos generated is appropriate. We're not really covering new ground; it's the same cycle at a faster speed each pass and those in charge of the throttle hope that no one notices how dizzy we're getting.

The SEC and the stock markets - A new leader for the SEC

Forbes, which we all recognize as a business friendly publication, comments on the nominaiton of Mary Jo White to the SEC today, opening with this headline -

Mary Jo White: Good Cop or Bad Cop for Wall Street?

The Forbes article can be found here -


Global Pressure is increasing - Banks under fire and regulators prodded by commentators

Central bankers should be brought to heel by elected parliaments
Intellectual fashion is changing. Central bankers around the world no longer command the charisma of a high priesthood.

In the EU - A Recession Within a Recession Materializes through Neglect

The European Commission has released a 400 paged report on the state of Unemployment in the EU. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the Telegraph has a relatively short review of the meat of the presentation. To date I’ve not investigated any reviews here in the US – and probably will not.

Two Days in January . . . 2013

This entry has been updated as of January 8, 2013.

Without this evaluation, this blogsite would not be complete.

The Global Macro Economic Outlook

A Review of developments of two eventful days - January 3, 2013 and January 4, 2013.

John Boehner and The Other World - The Welfare of the United States of America.

Reuters published two articles today commenting on the sequence in the latest fiscal cliff negotiations.

Is this our Ultimate Goal?

Two Economic papers, perhaps independently of each other have been carrying a similar concept for a few years. Both economists are well known - one quoted here previously, the other, a bright young fellow (Judging by his writing style, he must still be in his seventies) from Northwestern University.

Their topic stated in a general way is the future of the US economic system.

The Economic World

In 2001, an European economist began a paper with a paragraph, notable and repeatable in view of today’s (2012) problems, which begins and ends in such a manner -

O&G’s Corner: September, 2012 - Current Monetary Policy: A message from the top.

August 31, 2012, at the Jackson Hole symposium, hosted on an annual basis by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Ben Bernanke, chair of the Fed, addressed the issue of Monetary Policy in the US since the Onset of the Crisis.

A short note on Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1850)

Paper discard day. . all the junk we believe may be of value that ends up cluttering the bottom of closets and storage areas.

When the Original Thomas Wolfe - of Asheville, NC origin - passed away, his editor foraged through Wolfe's digs and discovered writing squirreled away in closets and such to no end. When he finally gathered everything together to carry it back to his workplace, he realized he had millions of words if not pages.

Jamie Dimon, The Fed, and the Congressional testimony of 6-13-2012

[Copied here from the forum entry of 6-13-2012]

[This extended comment is offered on an April 9th speech by Bernanke and how JPMChase subsequently made a mockery of the Fed's claims for enhanced supervision then demonstrated lax enforcement.]

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