Monday, December 15, 2008

John Nash Disses Keynesianism; Calls for Gold Standard

John Forbes Nash Jr., Ph.D., winner of the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, recently spoke to Fordham University about solutions to the downturn in the national and global economy.

Nash told the audience that such financial crises would be less likely to occur if there was some international monetary standard, such as the gold standard or competition among worldwide currencies, to curb inflation and prevent the rise of mortgage abuse, reports the Fordham Universty newsletter.

Nash said that various interest groups that subscribe to Keynesian, or short-term, economic theories have sold the public on the notion that inflation is acceptable or that “bad money is better than good money.” Such a notion, he said, led to the dangerous proliferation of bad mortgage loans—loans made on the gamble that house values would continue to rise and eventually turn a profit.

“A fixed-rate 30-year mortgage would be reasonable under the gold standard,” Nash said. “Now, there are variable rates, and adjustables, and convertibles, and it is very complicated” for homeowners to figure out what they are getting into. In fact, Nash said, nobody really knows the depth of the financial crisis.

Nash shared the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize with two other economists for research in game theory He and his wife, Alicia, became the subject of the movie A Beautiful Mind. The film was nominated for eight Oscars and won four.
(Via LRC)

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