Friday, June 19, 2009

Interview with Paul Samuelson

Conor Clarke recently posted an interview with Paul Samuelson on The Atlantic (part 1 here; part 2 here). Although I'm not a thorough Keynesian like Samuelson, I have a lot of respect for Samuelson's work. One of my favorite Samuelson quotes comes from an Economics U$A video. He was talking about the resistance to and gradual acceptance of Keynesian economics at Harvard:

Funeral by funeral, science makes progress.

Anyway, I found the interview to be fascinating.

A great quote on Milton Friedman:

Milton Friedman. Friedman had a solid MV = PQ doctrine from which he deviated very little all his life. By the way, he's about as smart a guy as you'll meet. He's as persuasive as you hope not to meet. And to be candid, I should tell you that I stayed on good terms with Milton for more than 60 years. But I didn't do it by telling him exactly everything I thought about him. He was a libertarian to the point of nuttiness.

Interesting quote on behavioral economics:

In my view behavioral science describes an extremely large and important part of the modern picture. However, whenever the economy turns in a very irrational
say, that can create opportunities for very rational speculators to make a profit. So you can still get some approximation on the micro level of an efficient market.

A response to those who blame greed for the crisis:

[P]eople say, 'greed has suddenly increased.' But it isn't that greed's increased. What's increased is the realization that you've got a free field to reach out for what you'd like to do.

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