Welcome to 2024 – the 20th year of my blog

Welcome to 2024. This marks the 20th year that my blog has been operating although there were a few years early on when I was experimenting with the technology etc and nothing much emerged. In continuous terms, the blog has been going for 15 uninterrupted years this year. Over that time, it has evolved from a 7-day a week commitment to a reduced offering. Here are my latest thoughts on how I will use the medium in the coming year.

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So-called ‘Team Transitory’ declared victors

On June 8, 2021, the UK Guardian published an Op Ed I wrote about inflation – Price rises should be short-lived – so let’s not resurrect inflation as a bogeyman. In that article, and in several other forums since – written, TV, radio, presentations at events – I articulated the narrative that the current inflationary pressures were transitory and would abate without the need for interest rate increases or cut backs in net government spending. In the subsequent months, I received a lot of flack from fellow economists and those out in the Twitter-verse etc who sent me quotes from the likes of Larry Summers and other prominent mainstreamers who claimed that interest rates would have to rise and government net spending cut to push up unemployment towards some conception they had of the NAIRU, where inflation would stabilise. I was also told that the emergence of the inflationary pressures signalled the death knell for Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) – the critics apparently had some idea that the pressures were caused by excessive government spending and slack monetary settings which demonstrated in their mind that this was proof that MMT policies were dangerous. Of course, they were just demonstrating their ignorance (deliberate or otherwise) of the fact that there are no MMT policies as such. MMT is an analytical framework not a policy regime. Anyway, in the last week, on mainstream economist seems to have recanted and has admitted that “Those who believed inflation would be transitory were proven right, and those who demanded the sacrifice of mass unemployment proven wrong”. For those E-mail warriors who think it is okay to send abusive messages to people you don’t know (or abusive messages in general) please do not send me apologies!

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