“My name is Brad DeLong.”
A post went up yesterday on The Berkely Blog consisting of the transcript of a presentation, “What have we unlearned from our Great Recession?”, that Brad DeLong gave Jan 07, 2011 at the American Economic Association Meetings. It begins:
My role here is the role of the person who starts the Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
My name is Brad DeLong.
I am a Rubinite, a Greenspanist, a neoliberal, a neoclassical economist.
I stand here repentant.
I take my task to be a serious person and to set out all the things I believed in three or four years ago that now appear to be wrong. I find this distressing, for I had thought that I had known what my personal analytical nadir was and I thought that it was long ago behind me.
The whole presentation may be read here. It includes bits like the following.
I think about lack of trust in a split economics profession–where there are, I think, an extraordinarily large number of people engaging in open-mouth operations who have simply not done their homework. And at this point I think it important to call out Robert Lucas, Richard Posner, and Eugene Fama, and ask them in the future to please do at least some of their homework before they talk nonsense.
Last night I was sitting at my hotel room desk trying to come up with the “lessons” slide.
The best I could come up with is to suggest that perhaps our problem is that we have been teaching people macroeconomics.
Perhaps macroeconomics should be banned.
Perhaps it should only be taught through economic history and the history of economic thought courses–courses that start in 1800 back when all issues of what the business cycle was or what it might become were open, and that then trace the developing debates: Say versus Mathis, Say versus Mill, Bagehot versus Fisher, Fisher versus Wicksell, Hayek versus Keynes versus Friedman, and so forth on up to James Tobin. I really don’t know who we should teach after James Tobin: I haven’t been impressed with any analyses of our current situation that have not been firmly rooted in Tobin, Minsky, and those even further in the past.