Friday, August 26, 2011

Would Keynes Think Bernanke is Useless?

Paul Krugman spotted it:
John Maynard Keynes:

But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is long past the ocean is flat again. 
Ben Bernanke (today):

These are tempestuous times, but when the storm is long past the ocean will be flat again
Krugman doesn't draw out the full conclusion here, but Bernanke is pretty much admitting that he is only good at, what Keynes dubbed a "useless task,"  by only telling us that the ocean will (someday) be flat again?


  1. I'm as big a Bernank critic as they come, but Krugman didn't "spot" anything here, Wenzel. He just made up a quote and attributed it to Bernanke, then ridiculed him for the made-up quote.

    I can do that too:

    Paul Krugman on the hoaxster: "Apparently some people can’t find enough things to attack in what I actually say, so they’re busy creating fake quotes."

    Paul Krugman, today: "I can't find enough things to attack in what Bernanke actually said at Jackson Hole, so I'm busy creating fake quotes."

    Now I should point out that's not a literal quote from Krugman in the second line, but it's basically what he said.

    (See how easy it is to rip people, when you invent quotations for them?)

  2. Hm.

    Bernanke never said those words in his speech (hint: use Ctrl+F)...that's the Kruginator extrapolating.

    So apparently Krugman thinks Bernanke is useless?

  3. Ben knows that the productive civilization has been destroyed via Democracy and the parasite's taxes and laws yet he will never really state it. He knows exactly why the economy won't recover...Uppity (as well as stupid and infantile) citizens who refuse to be slaves of the parasite classes. We are all Europe now. We are The Borg.

  4. I agree Anon. What's awesome is that Ben Bernanke is probably the most qualified person on Earth to explain just how awful his policies have been. Wenzel and I are just outsiders, trying to figure out what he and Geithner are doing. But those two KNOW what they've been doing, and how they're losing control daily.

  5. @Bob Murphy

    But the point is that Krugman must believe that the Bernanke's speech today would be viewed as useless in the eyes of Keynes.

    Forget Krugman's bizarre approach to ragging Bernanke, we have the two Princeton boys pissing at each other (or at least Krugman pissing as Bernanke)!

  6. RW, right I know. I wasn't criticizing you so much as Krugman. As he would say, it takes serious chutzpah to invent a fake quote for somebody two days after he complained that somebody did it to him.

    (And obviously, Bernanke wouldn't agree that he is only telling people, "Let's just ride this thing out. We'll be back to equilibrium in ten years.")

  7. That quote from Keynes irritates the hell out of me. It's an illustration of the venality and moral bankruptcy of his entire philosophy.
    The long run is all that there is. Understanding how an economy functions in the long run is the entire point of economics.
    Saying,"In the long run, we are all dead", is a flippant way of justifying economic action that benifits you in the here and now, and screws everyone else down the road.

  8. Ben only diddles the dollar.