Scott Sumner

Why Did Republicans Turn Against the Fed?
September 27, 2011

“Regarding the Great Depression: You’re right, [the Federal Reserve] did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.” Those were then-Fed Governor and current Chairman Ben Bernanke’s words to economist Milton Friedman in 2002, when a bunch of economic bigwigs gathered to fête the Nobel laureate on his 90th birthday. Bernanke’s paean to Friedman reflected mainstream Republican economic thought: The Great Depression wasn’t a failure of markets, but rather of central banking.

Should Liberals Be More Grateful To Grover Norquist?
February 28, 2011

Radley Balko at Reason again leaps to the defense of the Koch brothers. The question at hand is whether liberals are irrational to regard the Kochs as right-wingers and ideological adversaries. I argued that liberals are not irrational to think this way, since the Kochs heavily support Republicans in their political giving, and even their "battle of ideas" donations have a right-leaning tilt: Gillespie's implication is that, if you're horrified by the Bush administration's civil rights record and supportive of gay marriage, the Koch brothers are for you. In fact, they're not.

The Hexagon of Ideology
February 18, 2011

Scott Sumner's proposed new political typology chart is getting a lot of attention today:   Libertarians obviously love it. I see a few major problems. First, it defines completely out of existence people with pro-government economic views and conservative social views, which are a vastly largely share of the electorate than libertarians or even vaguely libertarian-ish folk, but simply lack any intellectual infrastructure or funding base. Second, it defines out of existence the possibility of libertarian corruption.

Worth Reading
September 16, 2009

What recession? Wages are rising. (Or are they?) First firm to participate in toxic loans progam is selected. Lehman owes about $2 billion in back taxes. Barclays shows that accounting hijinks are alive and well. Scott Sumner: the Fed caused the crisis by printing too little money. Felix Salmon gets profiled.

Did Tight Monetary Policy Cause the Crisis?
September 11, 2009

In his NYT mag piece, Paul Krugman blames macroeconomists for believing the world behaved as well as the math behind their models. His solution? To re-embrace Keynes. But in a provocative counterpoint on VoxEU, Scott Sumner says looking back to Keynes won't solve the problem.