by Tyler Cowen
on December 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm
1. Markets in everything, and an opposite of sorts is here. Both involve baked goods, and “Green energy is people!”
2. Infants prefer a nasty moose if it punishes an unhelpful elephant.
3. New economic history blog from Bloomberg; where is the RSS feed?
4. What kind of bug is the eurozone bug? And Kroszner (and others) on the euro, and the new disaster movie about the euro.
5. Good review of Graeber.
He doesn’t call Grueber a racist, so I guess it’s not a “biting” review.
I’m sad about the Bloomberg blog not having an RSS feed, too. Some of its topics look very interesting.
I think Bloomberg isn’t big on of RSS feeds, even their main page doesn’t work with RSS the last time I checked. Unfortunately. I guess they want the pageviews.
I can’t find the Bloomberg Echoes blog rss feed, but this is the feed for all of their opinion/commentary posts, including Echoes.
Should have replied with this here in the first place.
#3: Here here for economic history! I’m currently searching out some entries on the 19th century and liking what I’m seeing.
5. How do you go to all that trouble and end up back at Jubilee?
2. Here’s to the Bull Moose Party.
2. So seing the evil punished directly creates positive utility?
It’s a schrödinbug… “A schrödinbug is a bug that manifests only after someone reading source code or using the program in an unusual way notices that it never should have worked in the first place, at which point the program promptly stops working for everybody until fixed. The Jargon File adds: “Though… this sounds impossible, it happens; some programs have harbored latent schrödinbugs for years.” ”
The sovereign debt crisis was the prompt for the necessary inspection which caused the system to switch states.
#1 Reality imitates The Onion.
here’s an assorted link:
brit intelligence agency wants to find code breakers with this puzzle
I really don’t get the distinction that Graeber is trying to make between money having originated from credit vs barter. The systems he is describing just seem to me to be part of the barter to money transition. The classical story (as I understand it) is that barter systems were out-competed by money systems because of the problem of double coincidence of wants, and the inability to keep track of complicated credit transactions without a standard unit of account. In fact, most of the examples he uses seem to me to be commodity money systems (credit accounts were in one or more standard commodities, and the commodities were more or less centrally stored at bank-like temples.) The fact the the commodities were centrally stored seems more likely due to technological limitations – IE it wasn’t easy to produce coinage.
Barter implies people make trades with one another for mostly self-interested reasons, and have done so naturally.
I agree w/JP. Graeber seems to think the Mengerian account entails spot exchanges, when in fact all that is assumed are direct exchanges. There is nothing there that excludes the possibility of direct exchanges of present goods for future goods, ie credit transactions. Like the chartalists (with whom he clearly sympathizes), Graeber confuses a type of transaction with the means of transactions.
I’m actually reading this book right now and I think he himself implies that the credit systems of the ancient world were due to technological/material limitations – as in hard cash reappeared following the Middle Ages when the Europeans could bring in silver from the New World. I’m less then halfway through though so I might have this wrong.
As for the barter system his argument is that there never were actual barter systems and the double coincidence of wants didn’t really come into play.
On my initial reading, Graeber basically says (via a kind of just-so story) that the invention of money was by a thief. A version of property is theft?
He says that when surveying someone’s possessions inside a tent or early home, only a THIEF would consider the contents convertible into something resembling currency/money. I’m not surprised he is involved behind the scenes with the Occupy movement.
Can anyone provide historical examples in which we can see a society or community make the transition from barter to money? I will be much more interested in evidence than assertions.
Well if you look at 19th century america, in some places various bits of paper — not govt fiat money — became money. And in post war germany cigarettes did. True, the idea of money existed, but these were pressed into service just because barter is hard.
So let me get this ****ing straight. A positive view of a certifiably insane book (“end all the debts! Totally a serious idea!”) written by some anti-globalizer typical Naomi Kleinesque humanities nutjob is a “good review”. A review full of nothing but ad hominems including slanderous accusations of racism against a guy who is married to a goddamn Somalian intellectual is… also a good review.
Did you leave GMU for a position at the New School for Social Research Tyler?
I would think that people who think that race and culture are inextricable are the racists.
Tyler = Tool
Jesus Christ talk about Ad Hominem attacks. And with respect to Niall Fergueson I don’t think who he married is much of an indicator of whether or not he’s some kind of racist. Like Andrew says, he seems to like to put some kind of link between race and culture.
I would think that people who think that race and culture are inextricable are idiots. and quite common. But Fergusson is not one of them.
Whom you are married to can be a far better indicator of your attitudes than some tortured misreading of your writings. It is just plain stupid to say “oh the fact he married another race says nothing abourt whether he’s a racist. For one thing, consider the opinion of his wife. Unless she’s forced into the marriage her opinion is better evidence than YOURS.
Hmm, who thinks race and culture are “inextricable”? Can you point me to someone who holds such a belief?
Anyone who called Clarence Thomas an ‘oreo’ for example. The whole notion of ‘oreo’ conflates race and culture. Anyone who believes in “race memory”. Anyone who talks about Uncle Toms.
Got it, you’re strawman-bashing. I was pretty sure, but thanks for confirming.
@Beefcake: odd reasoning. Did I bring up this topic? No. I pointed out Fergusson does not conflate them; since you think NO_ONE does, you must agree. That you are wrong about the no-one is a minor point.
Maybe she’s suffering from some kind of Stockholm syndrome, I don’t know.
Ken B, you wrote:
“I would think that people who think that race and culture are inextricable are idiots. and quite common. ”
So common, apparently, you cannot name a single one! That’s all I asked you for, I said nothing about my position on the matter.
You are a tool.
If you could read you could see I was disputing and quoting another poster. You though want to focus on a throw away observation. That is a ploy to deflect attention for the actual point at issue. In any event I cited non-empty sets of people. Ah you want a NAME. Okay, Marcus Garvey. Sorry. I don’t know his social security number.
Confirmed: Ken B is a major-league tool.
Posting what I posted on the reviewers blog, since I kind of doubt he’s going to approve it:
Yeah, and i’m sure all of the poor people would be delighted to appreciate the finer qualities and uniqueness of a loaf of bread before they promptly starved to death because society destroyed the credit system and mass production. This book seems to be typical bourgeois lefty utopian intellectualism. The kind of thing that only happy, wealthy and well fed westerners could ever have the luxury of considering.
But remember how dreamy and egalitarian everything was when society consisted of a teeming, squabbling, starving impoverished mess? People were treated as people, as individuals!
But banking actually does try to rope-a-dope people by expanding then contracting money and foreclosing on collateral during the deflation. Why wouldn’t they, it’s their fiduciary duty!
Good to see more intellectual and interesting conversation on the blog!
The web is a great place. With a little bit of hacking you can make anything you want. RSS feed for Bloomberg Echoes blog:
It’s beatiful and actually is exactly as it looks on the website photos,I’m very glad on it!
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