Archive for November, 2010

Open Letter to Ben Bernanke – Real Time Economics – WSJ

November 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Open Letter to Ben Bernanke – Real Time Economics – WSJ.

The following is the text of an open letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signed by several economists, along with investors and political strategists, most of them close to Republicans:

We believe the Federal Reserve’s large-scale asset purchase plan (so-called “quantitative easing”) should be reconsidered and discontinued.  We do not believe such a plan is necessary or advisable under current circumstances.  The planned asset purchases risk currency debasement and inflation, and we do not think they will achieve the Fed’s objective of promoting employment.

We subscribe to your statement in the Washington Post on November 4 that “the Federal Reserve cannot solve all the economy’s problems on its own.”  In this case, we think improvements in tax, spending and regulatory policies must take precedence in a national growth program, not further monetary stimulus.

We disagree with the view that inflation needs to be pushed higher, and worry that another round of asset purchases, with interest rates still near zero over a year into the recovery, will distort financial markets and greatly complicate future Fed efforts to normalize monetary policy.

The Fed’s purchase program has also met broad opposition from other central banks and we share their concerns that quantitative easing by the Fed is neither warranted nor helpful in addressing either U.S. or global economic problems.

Cliff Asness
AQR Capital

Michael J. Boskin
Stanford University
Former Chairman, President’s Council of Economic Advisors (George H.W. Bush Administration)

Richard X. Bove
Rochdale Securities

Charles W. Calomiris
Columbia University Graduate School of Business

Jim Chanos
Kynikos Associates

John F. Cogan
Stanford University
Former Associate Director, U.S. Office of Management and Budget (Reagan Administration)

Niall Ferguson
Harvard University
Author, The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

Nicole Gelinas
Manhattan Institute & e21
Author, After the Fall: Saving Capitalism from Wall Street—and Washington

James Grant
Grant’s Interest Rate Observer

Kevin A. Hassett
American Enterprise Institute
Former Senior Economist, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve

Roger Hertog
The Hertog Foundation

Gregory Hess
Claremont McKenna College

Douglas Holtz-Eakin
Former Director, Congressional Budget Office

Seth Klarman
Baupost Group

William Kristol
Editor, The Weekly Standard

David Malpass
Former Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary (Reagan Administration)

Ronald I. McKinnon
Stanford University

Dan Senor
Council on Foreign Relations
Co-Author, Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle

Amity Shlaes
Council on Foreign Relations
Author, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression

Paul E. Singer
Elliott Associates

John B. Taylor
Stanford University
Former Undersecretary of Treasury for International Affairs (George W. Bush Administration)

Peter J. Wallison
American Enterprise Institute
Former Treasury and White House Counsel (Reagan Administration)

Geoffrey Wood
Cass Business School at City University London

Categories: Uncategorized

Late Room Change: Now Case Room 4, Level Zero, Owen Glen Building, University of Auckland Business School

November 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Hello Everyone,

Due to popular demand there has been a room change for this evenings seminar.  Now you will find Professor Antal Fekete in

Location: Case Room 4, Level Zero. Owen Glen Building, University of Auckland Business School

Date: Tonight, 16 November
Time: 7:00pm
The role of gold in the monetary system: Special overseas guest –

Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, wrote this week that a new international monetary system should  “consider employing gold as an international reference point of market expectations about inflation, deflation and future currency values.”  And yet many, including Paul Krugman, still see gold as a barbarous relic that has no place in a modern society.

This coming Tuesday, the 16th of November at 7pm, the University Economics Group is pleased to present a seminar by Professor Antal Fekete, a proponent of the gold standard and critic of the current monetary system. With talk of currency wars and continued financial instability dominating the headlines, there has never been a more important time to examine the foundations of the current monetary system. This is a unique opportunity to hear an alternative view about what makes money ‘sound’ and ‘unsound’, as well as the historical and possible future role of gold in the monetary system.

Born in Hungary, Professor Fekete is a retired Professor of Mathematics and Statistics from the Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada who now devotes his time to writing and lecturing on fiscal and monetary reform with special regard to the role of gold and silver in the monetary system. He has taught at universities around the world including Columbia and Princeton.

Don’t miss the opportunity to hear Professor Fekete speak about this important topic during his brief visit to New Zealand. Don’t forget to invite your friends.

Categories: Uncategorized

Quantitative Easing: Money, Banking and the Federal Reserve

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

The US Federal Reserve announced a new round of bond-buying last week to “support the economy.” More than half-a-trillion dollars of new money injected straight into the heart of the banking system.

Since this decision will have enormous impact on the whole world economy for some time to come–this is just too big for any economic group to ignore–we look this week at the history of the US Federal Reserve, of Ben Bernanke, and the issues, implications and problems associated with this latest decision, including comments from the man who will now chair the US House Monetary Policy Committee–with oversight over the bank known to most economists as The Fed.

Date: Tuesday 9

Time: 7:00pm
Location: Engineering 3402

Look forward to seeing you there for another good discussion about economics ideas.

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The Incredible Bread Machine

November 1, 2010 Leave a comment

This week we will view and discuss a short film that a former US Treasury Secretary once called “probably the finest effort at explaining in lay terms the economic facts of life…”

This short film called ‘The Incredible Bread Machine’ integrates a number of the ideas that we have already looked at this year. It slays a number of economic myths that still exist today, 40 years after the film and book were released.  Great viewing.

Date: Tuesday 2 November
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Engineering 3402

NB: We are in the same room as last week and at the same time. If you are unsure, the Engineering Building is 20 Symonds St. If you walk through the main doors off Symonds St and straight across the hall, room 3402 is to the right.  Look forward to seeing you there for another good discussion about economics ideas.

Categories: Uncategorized