Scott Sumner  

David Beckworth has a new podcast series

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David Beckworth just announced a new series of interviews with monetary economists and journalists. I am honored to be the first podcast released, but bigger names are upcoming:

Today is the launch of a new podcast series on macroeconomics called Macro Musing and I am privileged to be the host. Each week, with the help of a special guest, we will get to explore in depth various macroeconomic topics. If want to go all wonky on macro this is the podcast for you!

So far I have recorded podcasts with the following guests: Scott Sumner, John Taylor, John Cochrane, Cardiff Garcia, Miles Kimball, Ramesh Ponnuru, and George Selgin. There have been a lot of interesting conversations covering topics such as the origins of the Great Recession, the safe asset shortage problem, negative interest rates, the fiscal theory of the price level, the Eurozone Crisis, Abenomics, the Great Depression, China's economic problems, and alternative monetary regimes. In addition to these interesting topics, I have enjoyed learning how each guest got into macro, either as an academic or as an journalist, and how they see the field changing over time as new ideas and new technology emerge. I think you will find it fascinating too.

More guest are scheduled, including some Fed officials, but I would love to hear from you on what guests and topics you would like to see on the show. My first guest is Scott Sumner with whom I discuss his views on the Great Recession, NGDP targeting, and his new book on the Great Depression, The Midas Paradox.

I hope to make this a long-term project, but it success depends in part on you subscribing. So please subcribe via itunes or your favorite podcast app (update: here is the soundcloud link) and spread the word. Let's make this podcast a success together and who knows, maybe we can help make the world a better place.

This podcast is part of the new Program on Monetary Policy (POMP) at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. I am grateful for all their support in making the podcast happen.


The model here is of course Russ Robert's excellent EconTalk series. Don't forget that you need to sign up first.


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CATEGORIES: Economic Education




COMMENTS (5 to date)
ThaomasH writes:

I you will take the opportunity to lay out the exact policies that the Fed should have followed 2007-present to have met the NGDP target we think it should have been following? You have already said that ST rates should have been dropped to zero back in September 2008, but when, what kind of assets and in what amounts of QE's should there have been? Should the Fed have bought foreign currency denominate assets? Should they have set negative IOR? As of when?

And to the extent that you think the
Fed followed suboptimal policies, were they technical mistakes or due to political constraints?

ThaomasH writes:

Also, what if any role should there be for governments to depart from an NPV rule based on the state of monetary policy. I mean if the Fed is acting as if it is constrained in increasing the monetary base to maintain NGDP trend or is not able to supply market demand for safe assets, is this an argument for deficits greater than resulting from the NPV rule?

Scott Sumner writes:

Thaomas, I would have favored a policy of NGDPLT, along a 5% growth path, combined with no IOR and instead the purchase of Treasuries only. That should have been enough. I don't know where rates would have been, I suspect they would not have fallen to zero.

I'm skeptical of fiscal policy, although there might be hypotheticals where it could help.

ThaomasH writes:

Scott,

Just to check your meaning, you are saying that zero IOR plus announcing a policy of purchasing X billion in treasuries over Y quarters would have resulted in NGDP growing at 5% pa? What are the (approximate) values of X and Y? How would X and Y change if the Fed announced an open ended, "whatever it takes" policy? instead of X and Y?

And do you mean that you are sceptical about pushing spending above that implied by the NPV rule or skeptical about pushing spending above what was in fact done? I can see a role for greater than NPV deficit spending if the Fed wants to buy X in treasures but does not dare to because of it does not dare lower rates below some level (a non-zero lower bound).

Scott Sumner writes:

Thaomas, I don't know how many Treasuries would have had to be purchased, but I suspect far less than were actually purchased. Less than $100 billion.

I meant skeptical about pushing spending above the NPV principle level.

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