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The ghost of predictions past

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John Cochrane, the beaming fellow in this photo, took on Paul Krugman here:

Okay, I'm a little late to the fair, but I'm traveling this week, not doing any blogging at all, so you're reading something written when that Cochrane blog entry was still fresh.

Cochrane's point is that NY Times columnist (and Nobel Prize winner) Paul Krugman repeatedly, in 2009 and 2010, warned of a deflationary disaster if the Fed didn't really put the pedal to the medal on money creation.

Well, the Fed didn't. Not by Krugman's standards. And the deflationary disaster didn't happen.

In case you didn't follow the above link, I'll paste the gist of Cochrane's take-down here:


"But deflation is a huge risk — and getting out of a deflationary trap is very, very hard. We truly are flirting with disaster."

"So we're really heading into Japanese-style deflation territory"

 "So tell me why we aren’t looking at a very large risk of getting into a deflationary trap, in which falling prices make consumers and businesses even less willing to spend."

 "But the risk that America will turn into Japan — that we’ll face years of deflation and stagnation — seems, if anything, to be rising."

"What I take from this is that deflation isn’t some distant possibility — it’s already here by some measures, not far off by others."

"Worst of all is the possibility that the economy will, as it did in the ’30s, end up stuck in a prolonged deflationary trap."


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