Perry G. Mehrling is professor of economics at Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. He was professor of economics at Barnard College in New York City for 30 years. There, he taught courses on the economics of money and banking, the history of money and finance, and the financial dimensions of the U.S. retirement, health, and education systems. His most recent book is The New Lombard Street: How the Fed became the dealer of last resort (Princeton 2011). His best-known book Fischer Black and the Revolutionary Idea of Finance (Wiley 2005, 2012) has recently been released in a revised paperback edition. Currently, Prof. Mehrling directs the educational initiatives of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, one of which is his course Economics of Money and Banking, available on Coursera at www.coursera.org/course/money.
Perry G. Mehrling
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The Collapse of Free Market Macroeconomics
Below is a revised version of a talk I gave at the New School University, at a conference to launch Lance Taylor’s latest book. The date of the event was April 28, 2011, more than a year ago, and the delay in revision was entirely my fault—overcommitment and pressing deadlines on many fronts. Sorry about that.
Here is a talk I gave recently at Wake Forest University.
When Paul Krugman paints John Maynard Keynes as a pioneering critic of dominant free-market economics, he exaggerates wildly, both about the rigidity of orthodoxy and about the pioneering character of Keynes’ critique.
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Over the past two hundred years, poor countries have become faster at adopting the technologies of rich countries. So why is it, the economist asks, that poor countries have remained poor, by and large?
Are there more poor people on our planet today than there were last year? Many economists would approach this question as mainly a technical problem, a matter of counting.
To cure unemployment, mostly we prime the pump: we devise fiscal strategies on the presumption that jobs follow economic growth. But the strategies have not worked, unemployment remains high.
Cosma Shalizi urges economists to stop doing what they are doing: Fitting large complex models to a small set of highly correlated time series data.