It is difficult for a man to understand something when his income depends on his not understanding it. H.L. Mencken
By “PVCs” I don’t mean the stuff they make pipes out of. I mean “premature ventricular contractions.”
So there I was, at the end of April 2015, off all my prescription meds. (I still took a baby aspirin and a multivitamin, don’t ask me why.) I was feeling great and knew I needed to exercise, but knowing and doing are two very different things.
I want to launch this post with a disclaimer – don’t do what I did. On the other hand, the usual advice – consult with your physician – might be even worse, for the reasons I’ll get to.
So there I was in early 2015, six months after my heart attack and open heart surgery, taking 12 meds and being urged to add another two to the regime. Instead of rebelling, I was Mr. Goodpatient, passively doing whatever I was told, however insane it seemed.
Recently, two journalists (Tim Harford and Simon Kuper) working for the Financial Times of London attended the FT Weekend Festival. The topic of their onstage conversation was “the nightmare of writing a weekly column.” Tell me about it.
The … task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design. Friedrich von Hayek
The long and deep recession of 1930-33 finally ended in March of 1933. Once it ended the Fed, believing that the economy could now – and should now – fend for itself, backed off. The result was one of the most powerful economic expansions in US history, an expansion that lasted three decades.
We are talking about America’s Monetary Keystone Kops, who have, since 1987 (when Greenspan became chair of the Federal Reserve), been masquerading as central bankers. (Or maybe it’s the other way ‘round, it’s hard to tell.)
We’ve assessed the successes and failures of central bankers in the 1930s. Now let’s turn our attention to their modern counterparts.