Friday, May 8, 2009

Link to Perimeter Institute Lectures on Economic Crisis

PERIMETER INSTITUTE RECORDED SEMINAR ARCHIVE is where one can find most of the lectures that were given May 1-3 at the conference on "The Economic Crisis and its Implications for the Science of Economics" at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. The following ones can be accessed there.

Eric Weinstein, "A science less dismal: welcome to the Economic Manhattan Project"

Nouriel Roubini, "Interpreting the failure to predict financial crises and recession"

Nassim Taleb, untitled

Panel with Weinstein, Roubini, Taleb, and Richard Freeman

Emanuel Derman, "Scientists, scienster, anti-scientists and economists"

Andrew Lo, "The adaptive market hypothesis and financial crisis"

Richard Alexander, untitled

Panel with Derman, Lo, Alexander, Bill Janeway, Zoe-Vonna Palmrose

Doyne Farmer, untitled

Leigh Tesfatsion, "Introduction to agent based models"

Pia Malaney, untitled (Eric Weinstein also, this one on gauge theory)

Barkley Rosser, "A transdisciplinary perspective" (says it is on micro and macro, but not)

Alexander Outkin, Mike Brown, Jim Herriot, "A look at some models"

Samuel Vasquez, Kelly Rose (others listed, but not speaking), "Group work"


kevin quinn said...

Barkley, are there text files of the talks? The conference sounds great. I was recently looking through older literature on financial crises and I was struck -though I guess I shouldn't have been surprised - by how many papers end up finding crisis/panic/runs EFFICIENT! The mainstream of the discipline is inveterately PANGLOSSIAN. The real is rational, everything for the best in this best of all possible worlds. Of course there are exceptions, but in topic after topic, the telos of "economic" research seems to be: find away to make apparent inefficient otcomes of laissez-faire effcient after all. For a recent example, look at the "global games" stuff. Here the idea is that if we add asymmetric information to coordination games, we get rid of coordination failure.

Eleanor said...

This looks impressive. I read Lee Smolin's book on problems with contemporary theoretical physics. The Perimeter Institute sounds cool. said...


Do not think text files exist yet. These were just put up yesterday and still have some snafus.


Lee Smolin's discussions of disputes in physics sound somewhat like some in economics. String theory came to dominate, and given its untestability, it is not easily displaced, leading to the sorts of problems that heterodox economists face in economics for those who advocate alternatives to string theory such as quantum loop gravity. said...

Kevin (and others),
If you look closely, there are pdf versions available on the links.

Brenda Rosser said...

thanks for posting the links to this, Barkley.

I have begun to read your document entitled 'IS A TRANSDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVE ON ECONOMIC COMPLEXIY POSSIBLE?' and wonder about the definition of basic (taken-for-granted) economic terms.

For instance:
- What is a 'market'?(Does intracorporate trade constitute 'a market'. In Australia the large forest (destruction) companies are selling financial securities and woodlots to their own subsidiaries. This artificially boosts the price and the level of sales and provides a misleading picture of the financial state of the company to 'real' prospective investors).

What is 'investment' and trade?Does this activity occur on a voluntary basis? If not, then economists need to rule out the huge Australian superannuation 'market' and perhaps many other pension investment schemes.

What is a 'creditor'?Morgan Stanley, for example, has recently been accused of being an 'empty creditor' to an overseas bank. It forced the bank to call in a loan, which in turn forced that bank into partial default. Morgan Stanley had a CDS out against default of that specific bank with another institution and may have made more money from the CDS transaction than from the interest proceeds of the loan they extended to this unfortunate bank.

- What is 'private'?At what point do economic institutions become private and at what point public?

TheTrucker said...

May 9, 2009 12:04 AM
Blogger Brenda Rosser said...

" - What is a 'market'?(Does intracorporate trade constitute 'a market'. In Australia the large forest (destruction) companies are selling financial securities and woodlots to their own subsidiaries. This artificially boosts the price and the level of sales and provides a misleading picture of the financial state of the company to 'real' prospective investors)."

It is really a question of RIGHTFUL private ownership. Rightful private ownership comes into being in the hands that produce that which is said to be rightfully owned/privatized. Natural resources are not "produced" and are therefore not subject to RIGHTFUL private ownership. These are the commons and are best managed for the good of the whole by a representative government. As such, this enterprise of which you speak is selling that which has been stolen from the people. As to the mob of the democracy raping the natural world we should observe our responsibility to proper education of this "mob".

"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education." - Thomas Jefferson

"What is 'private'"?

It is a matter of ownership arising from productive efforts of the private entities. Where natural resources are "fixed" and immutable and not increased or decreased by "investment", fiat money is infinite and totally dependent upon government for its value. The "producer" of money is government and thus, government OWNS all the money. Government can destroy or enhance the value of money at will. Money is therefore never fully "private". said...


I have been slow to respond partly becaause these questions seem rather far from what is in either the paper or the talk I gave. To most of them I do not have quick answers, and any quick answer is in fact going to run into all sorts of odd cases that do not fit, many of them quite important.

So, regarding what is "private." Are tribal territories private? Are things owend by churches or other religious entities private? Are corporations that are heavily owned by governments private? You tell me.

Regarding "investment," well, it is usually thought of some "creation" of "capital," which just shifts the question to "what is capital?" Needless to say some really serious ink has been spilled on that one. However, once upon a time I penned the following, which was actually quoted once in a paper by somebody.

"What really is capital and what does it mean for for value, growth, and distribution? Is it a pile of produced means of producion? It is dated labor? It is waiting? Is it roundaboutness? Is it an accumulated pile of finance? It is a social relation? Is it an independent source of value? The answers to these questions are probably matters of belief."

(From Catastrophe to Chaos: A Genearl Theory of Economic Discontinuities, 1991, p. 125; p. 207 in the 2000 edition).

BTW, does the Canadian government "own" the Georges Bank? This is not in the paper you are reading, but it was in the talk I gave that is linked here on the paper. I spoke about the famous Canadian biomathematician, Colin W. Clark, who went from studying the mathematics of fisheries to advising the Canadian government. I saw him after they failed to follow his advice, and the Georges Bank cod fishery collapsed. He was weeping, and he now refuses to have anything to do with economists.

Brenda Rosser said...

Thanks. You said: "Natural resources are not "produced" and are therefore not subject to RIGHTFUL private ownership.

I've just spent half of today drafting out an article in response to the privatisation of irrigation water in Australia. Talk about an economy of negative returns!

I finally had a chance to listen to your talk. How strange to hear your voice for the first time! You're a lot more 'human' in the world of sound ;-)

Well, in regard to your comment on my questions, I didn't think they were that far off what you were talking about. YOu mentioned 'evolutionary economics' and it appears that the system has evolved right away from 'free market'; and under the auspices of 'free market' fundamentalists to boot.

[How can these fundamental questions be far off any talk on economics?]

I heard you referring to Colin Clark. Interesting. I think I know how he felt. To be so alarmed with Government policy's immensely destructive effect on the environment that the grieving process kicks in with a full blown bout of anger. The scale of (avoidable) catastrophe is something I never thought I would be witness to.