Sandwiched between my tenth anniversary and 37th birthday, it’s a real divorce risk to be sitting here on a blog, just as the third child has finally stopped wailing in his cot. I get something like 90 minutes to read before the reality of being a father of three comes crashing home.
Right now: “The Great Depression (Bernanke)” – hard but good, with both models and regressions to justify his theories. Background for a forthcoming piece on QE, it needs a double arpeggio to be anywhere near comprehensible. The really key take-away is the independent effect of banking crises on output, demand, etc: they are not just an epiphenomenon that can be entirely explained by a contracting money supply – they help accelerate that fall in money, and ought to be independently countered. Take that, Scott Sumner.
Keynes by Peter Clarke – light stuff so far. Expecting Skidelsky to have more to it. I’ll review it properly later.
Finally finished Homicide by David Simon. Pretty bleak, full of wit, and an entirely different world to ours. Imagine: 20 cops, each having to take on about 15 murder cases a year. forced to drop cases if they don’t look soluble after a few weeks.
And I feel I’ve got to keep going at the Cochrane-Krugman fight, now being introduced by the much more mellow Nick Rowe.
Reading is my compulsion, major hobby and the plague of my peace of mind: the mental image of a looming library of unread, essential books has been with me for as long as I can remember – back at least to the 1994 Cheltenham Festival of Literature, where I worked unpaid in my first attempt to get near publishing. I used to be terribly bothered by my inability to summon quotes from whatever I’ve read, until I came across this quote:
Misquotation is, in fact, the pride and privilege of the learned. A widely- read man never quotes accurately, for the rather obvious reason that he has read too widely.
Too right. The man who’s read nothing but the New Testament can no doubt rattle off many bits of it at will. Not if he’s had the openmindedness to read loads of other stuff as well.