Acemoglu, AI and automation

There is a new burst of techno-optimism emerging over the application of ChatGPT and LLMs.  One analyst reckons that AI “has huge potential to boost economy-wide productivity” and cited a recent MIT study that showed a massive improvement in productivity while using ChatGPT. Also, much of the productivity gains were seen between 21 to 40-year-olds. Continue reading “Acemoglu, AI and automation”

The two Bs on inflation

A recent paper by mainstream heavyweights, Ben Bernanke (former Federal Reserve chief) and Olivier Blanchard (former chief economist at the IMF) has raised some eyebrows.  Bernanke and Blanchard seek to argue that the inflationary spike in the US since the end of Covid pandemic slump was down to a sharp rise in ‘aggregate demand’ andContinue reading “The two Bs on inflation”

Greece: another chapter

Greece has a general election today.  The conservative New Democracy party under Kyriakos Mitsotakis currently forms the government, having defeated the leftist Syriza party under Alexia Tsipras in the 2019 election. In 2019, New Democracy took 39% of the vote to Syriza’s 32%.  When Syriza took power in 2015 at the height of the euroContinue reading “Greece: another chapter”

G7: where is that recession?

The G7 leaders meet this weekend in Hiroshima, Japan, the site of the first atomic bomb holocaust dropped by American bombers on the city in August 1945, leading to the deaths of at least 100,000 citizens.  But the G7 leaders’ main deliberations will not be about that, but instead on how to ‘contain’ China andContinue reading “G7: where is that recession?”

Robert Lucas: the rationality of capitalism

Robert Lucas has died at the age of 85.  Lucas was a leading mainstream neoclassical economist at the University of Chicago – the bastion of neoclassical equilibrium economic theory.  In 1995, Lucas received a ‘Nobel prize’ for his theory of ‘rational expectations’.  He was regarded by Greg Mankiw, the author of the main mainstream economicsContinue reading “Robert Lucas: the rationality of capitalism”

Erdogan’s Turkey: end of an era?

Turkey holds a very important general election tomorrow.  Incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been in office for more than 20 years.  In the election out of an 86m population, there will be over 50m voting with 5.3m new young voters; including Kurds who make up about 18% of the population and could be decisiveContinue reading “Erdogan’s Turkey: end of an era?”

Britain’s royal rip-off

Today in Britain King Charles III will be crowned in a ‘coronation’.  All the other remaining monarchies in Europe (Scandinavia, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain) don’t bother with a coronation, but the British monarchy has had a much more prominent role in helping British state build its huge global empire in the 19th century.  A coronation isContinue reading “Britain’s royal rip-off”

Rates up, economy down

The two main central banks in the advanced capitalist economies, the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank (ECB), raised their ‘policy’ interest rates again this week.  The policy rate sets the floor for all borrowing rates in these economies.  Both central banks hiked their rates by another 0.25%, so the Fed’s rate nowContinue reading “Rates up, economy down”

First Republic – the case for public ownership

The collapse of First Republic Bank is the latest chapter in the rolling banking crisis in the US.  This was the second largest banking collapse in US financial history.  It demonstrates yet further the case for public ownership of the banking system. First Republic is the third bank to fail after the Silicon Valley BankContinue reading “First Republic – the case for public ownership”