Economics @ ITT

Why Canadians Are Cutting Their Money in Half

Posted in Uncategorized by ittecon on January 7, 2016

It was reported last week that Canadian citizens have been cutting their official government money in half and using it as a localized alternative currency. The currency is called “Demi,” which means “half” in french. The Demi currency is being used specifically in the Gaspesie region of northern Quebec and is actually accepted by a number of local businesses.

Source: The Surprising Reason Why Canadians Are Literally Cutting Their Money in Half


Note To Joe Stiglitz: Banks Originate, Not Intermediate, And That’s Why Aggregate Demand Is Stuffed – Forbes

Posted in Uncategorized by ittecon on January 6, 2016

I like Joe Stiglitz, both professionally and personally. His Globalization and its Discontents was virtually the only work by a Nobel Laureate economist that I cited favourably in my Debunking Economics, because he had the courage to challenge the professional orthodoxy on the “Washington Consensus”. Far more than most in […]

Source: Note To Joe Stiglitz: Banks Originate, Not Intermediate, And That’s Why Aggregate Demand Is Stuffed – Forbes

Is the US Economy Really in Trouble? 

Posted in Uncategorized by ittecon on October 30, 2015

A strong case could be made that it is in its most vulnerable spot in years, at risk of a new recession amid a global slowdown. The market for many types of risky bonds is in disarray, and “the dangers facing the global economy are more severe than at any time since the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008,” the former Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers wrote recently.

There is also a strong case that the United States economy is robust enough to withstand whatever challenges might arise from overseas, and that the evidence of a slowdown is scattered and overstated. Fewer people have filed for unemployment insurance in recent weekly readings, for example, than any time since 1973.

Source: Is the Economy Really in Trouble? A Debate – The New York Times

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Municipal Violations (HBO)

Posted in Uncategorized by ittecon on April 21, 2015

If you have money, committing a municipal violation may pose you a minor inconvenience. If you don’t, it can ruin your life.

via Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Municipal Violations (HBO) – YouTube.

Are Interest Rates Really That Important?

Posted in Uncategorized by ittecon on October 13, 2014

Nice thought piece on the relevance of interest rates.

Whistling In The Wind

There is something I never got about interest rates. There is a consensus across economists that interest rates have a very important impact on the economy. Economists of all stripes agree that lower interest rates boost economic growth and higher rates reduce growth. Some go as far as saying that it is through interest rates and monetary policy (not spending and fiscal policy) that governments should manage the economy. It’s a standard classroom exercise to draw curves showing the impact of interest rates on growth. Too low interest rates are one of the main factors blamed for causing the bubble and resulting recession. But I always felt that something didn’t quite add up and I began to doubt how important interest rates really are.

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Noam Chomsky on Anarcho-Syndicalism

Posted in Uncategorized by ittecon on May 29, 2013

NOAM CHOMSKY:  Well, anarchism is, in my view, basically a kind of tendency in human thought which shows up in different forms in different circumstances, and has some leading characteristics.  Primarily it is a tendency that is suspicious and skeptical of domination, authority, and hierarchy.  It seeks structures of hierarchy and domination in human life over the whole range, extending from, say, patriarchal families to, say, imperial systems, and it asks whether those systems are justified.  It assumes that the burden of proof for anyone in a position of power and authority lies on them.  Their authority is not self-justifying.  They have to give a reason for it, a justification.  And if they can’t justify that authority and power and control, which is the usual case, then the authority ought to be dismantled and replaced by something more free and just.  And, as I understand it, anarchy is just that tendency.  It takes different forms at different times.

via NOAM CHOMSKY — ‘Everyday Anarchist’: The Modern Success Interview | Modern Success.

Welcome, Robot Overlords. Please Don’t Fire Us.

Posted in Uncategorized by ittecon on May 13, 2013

“By 2040, computers the size of a softball are as smart as human beings. Smarter, in fact. Plus they’re computers: They never get tired, they’re never ill-tempered, they never make mistakes, and they have instant access to all of human knowledge.”

via Welcome, Robot Overlords. Please Don’t Fire Us? | Mother Jones.

Posted in Uncategorized by ittecon on January 18, 2013

Interesting food for thought

Unlearning Economics

Is it really feasible that there can be a single theory of ‘the market’ that encapsulates everything from tomatoes to CEOs to houses? Engineers do not think they can apply the same theory to every fluid, and similarly, it is not unreasonable to suggest markets might function very differently depending on what is being bought and sold. In this post, I’ll set out a couple of alternative interpretations of supply and demand for different markets. I developed these alternative approaches based on some well known real world observations.

A few caveats:

(1) I am not interested in deriving these schedules ‘rigorously’ from arbitrary axioms about individual behaviour. Such an approach is unnecessary as phenomena may be emergent, and it always seems to run into problems.

(2) These models should really only be interpreted as working for individual markets on a small scale, as large scale feedback effects render this type…

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147 Companies Control 40% of the World’s Wealth

Posted in Uncategorized by ittecon on October 11, 2012

What they found, they say, was an economy so deeply interconnected that its structure is alarmingly susceptible to shocks.

via Super-Entity Of 147 Companies At Center Of Worlds Economy, Study Claims.

The World Top Incomes Database

Posted in Uncategorized by ittecon on July 31, 2012