92 thoughts on “History, According to Some

  1. Macroduck

    Even so, I’m sure Kopits assertion that the U.S. had no central bank during the Spanish Flu pandemic still “looks about right” to him.

    Facts just seem to bounce right off.

    1. Steven Kopits

      If you have a better precedent, Duckie, let’s hear it. Menzie appeared to be floating some comparison to the Korean War, which I think we put to bed.

      1. Menzie Chinn Post author

        Steven Kopits: I don’t recall us “putting to bed” the comparison to the post-Korean War period. In fact, the CPI numbers matched up much better than your post-Great Influenza comparison.

          1. pgl

            Yea – leave it to Stevie pooh not to get basic macroeconomics. Let’s see – a world war in the 19teens and a Korean War in the early 1950’s. Both accommodated by easy money.

            But NO! Saint Stevie thinks the only causal factor was a pandemic is his totally incoherent suppression model? Dude – try reading the literature instead of your incessant bloviating.

      2. Macroduck

        Ah, don’t ya just love a good logical lapse? Or two?

        Stevie has engaged in “the burden of proof fallacy”. He made a claim which has proven highly questionable. Now, he insists that I have to provide “a better precedent”. No, I don’t. His claim is just as wrong, regardless of whether I can come up a better one. Wrong is wrong.

        Just to be clear, the fallacy here is not just that Stevie is trying to shift the burden of proof, bad as that is. The fallacy is in the implication that unless I meet some particular burden of proof – finding a better analogy (to use the correct term) – Stevie isn’t wrong. Or isn’t as wrong. That’s just silly. Stevie is wrong because he’s wrong. Nothing to do with whether I can come up with something less wrong. Besides, Menzie has already done that.

        In theory, there’s another bit of rhetorical trickery at work here. It’s a little less obvious, perhaps, but just as bad. Stevie has begged a question, in the original sense of that expression – he has assumed a fact not in evidence. In requiring that I provide a better analogy, he is tacitly claiming that there must be a good historical analogy. Perhaps no previous episode would provide a good analogy; then my inability to provide a better one than Stevie’s wouldn’t have any implication, under any circumstance. Demanding something better as a defense for his bad argument is just sloppy.

        The funny thing here is that Stevie, flubbing his rebuttal, is adding to his pile of intellectual screw-ups by trying to distract from his earlier screw-up. All this from a consultant who puts on intellectual airs. What’s that aphorism about “stop digging”?.

    2. pgl

      So little Stevie claims he put “to bed” Dr. Chinn’s original post? Is there is any better proof that little Stevie reads only little Stevie’s bloviating? He has never read an economics text in his life. He has not read any of the comments noting how his bloviating is pure BS. He will not read all those excellent discussions of monetary policy during the period.

      NO – Stevie only reads the trash that Stevie writes. The clown is not interested in a real discussion. Nope this clown is only interested in getting invited onto Fox and Friends.

  2. baffling

    now now, prof. chinn. if you keep pointing out the stooopid things folks say on this site, econned might reappear and complain how you are biased against simpletons and misinformation. after all, it is important that you run this site according to the preferences of econned. or he might get jealous of you once again, and whine.

  3. baffling

    bill ackman is an example of why so many people believe wall streeters are corrupt and poisonous. he demonizes the first black woman to lead Harvard, and then has a conniption when his wife is found to have committed the exact same “sins”. whines that it is unfair. what a hypocrite. he demonstrates why so many people are enamored by a wealth tax. some people are not responsible enough to be wealthy.

  4. Moses Herzog

    Hoping not to be mistaken, that as of tomorrow, January 10, it will be one year ago “our” blog suffered a loss.

    Hopefully the link will go directly to the photos. Although I know Professor Barkley Rosser did a lot of monumental work in academia, and had/has countless friends in the halls of the world’s best learned institutions, I personally believe the people in these photos are Professor Rosser’s greatest legacy on this Earth. What a great legacy that is:

    [ I’d put the link text in bold, but some people don’t like that ]

  5. Gridlock

    More proof that the Fed was active during the “Great Influenza”. The link is from the federal reserve website and is titled:
    The Effect of the Central Bank Liquidity Support during Pandemics: Evidence from the 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic

  6. Econned

    Why do you go out of your way to publicly belittle others over trivialities? Is your life that empty?

    1. Noneconomist

      EC, the site’s leading schoolyard taunter—and belittler— offers advice on how to treat others?

    2. Econned

      Your silence after repeatedly being called out is deafening. The thing is, you aren’t an idiot and you know how bad you make yourself look. You thrive on this behavior and it’s nearly all you have so any self-reflection is fleeting. I’m actually quite sad for you and the small handful of fanboys that feed your ego. It’s sad yet comical. I like comedies. And tragedies.

      1. Noneconomist

        Repeatedly being “called out” by childish taunts ? Issued by a boorish egotist? Ouch!

      2. baffling

        econned, the cheerleader for promoting stoooopidity in the world. how many times must kopits be wrong before he is reprimanded? you must be a believer in that absolutely immunity theory promoted by maga these days. anyways, the professional jealousy appeared right no cue. you are so predictable as a troll.

      3. pgl

        Our host is not wasting any more time with your stupid stunts. Please spare us and find another blog to pollute.

      4. Macroduck

        Econned has become a mind reader, just like Johnny:

        “…you know how bad you make yourself look. You thrive on this behavior and it’s nearly all you have…”

        Take a look in a mirror, for goodness sake.

    3. Moses Herzog

      @ Econned
      There are people who in the age of MAGA, still value hard tangible facts, as more than “trivialities” to be played with to create misperceptions about reality, and manipulate the general populace in that process. We know you disvalue facts, that’s your modus operandi here since you realized Menzie is undaunted by your brand of attack. I suggest you move on to websites/blogs you must love, the “conservative”/Republican websites which filter comments unflattering to the host. Their hosts must be the ones you deem “personally fulfilled”.

      1. baffling

        notice econned has never disavowed the misinformation and disinformation that appears regularly from certain people on this site. his righteousness is laughable.

  7. Ithaqua

    That was when George Washington surrendered to the British in the War of 1812 after they bombed Ft. McHenry, right?

      1. Moses Herzog

        Exactly how do we know George Washington or any of the founding fathers didn’t pilot a B-24 during the War of Independence?? Did you read that in some liberal rag like the Washington Post or New York Times?? Did some anti-Semite university professor/lecturer like Norman G Finkelstein or Noam Chomsky tell you that?? You know Norman Finkelstein still criticizes Alan Pedowitz, even though Pedowitz made it abundantly clear he kept his undies on during the entire Epstein provided massage?? Yet you trust these liberal historians that Washington never piloted a B-24?? #LooksAboutRight #IPenciledThatIn

  8. pgl

    Let’s count the ways Stevie got this wrong:

    (1) Thinks the pattern of inflation from the two episodes were the same (way off)
    (2) Claims the cause was the pandemic absent any comparisons of monetary policy along with pretending there is something called the suppression model
    (3) Denies the role of monetary policy by denying the existence of the Federal Reservae
    (4) Ignores all those excellent discussions of the role of monetary policy during the period from 1914 to 1919

    Yea Stevie is the most ignorant troll ever. And yet he fancies himself an expert on macroeconomics. I bet he amazes people like Lawrence Kudlow and Stephen Moore enough to get this Know Nothing on Fox and Friends where they will award him the Nobel Prize!

  9. Macroduck

    Opening lines from the abstract of the World Bank’s new “Globbal Economic Prospects”:

    “Global growth is expected to slow further this year, reflecting the lagged and ongoing effects of tight monetary policy to rein in inflation, restrictive credit conditions, and anemic global trade and investment. Downside risks include an escalation of the recent conflict in the Middle East, financial stress, persistent inflation, weaker-than-expected activity in China, trade fragmentation, and climate-related disasters.”


    Locally, climate-related disasters can certainly pack a punch. Ask Pakistan and Argentina, among others. On a global scale, however, financial stress has a stronger record of causing trouble. Pandemic has also earned a place among risks, but goes unmentioned.

    China is singled out, but the logic of the text is odd. Yes, as one of the two biggest economies, unexpected weakness in China would be a drag on world growth, but so would unexpected weakness from the U.S. You can’t pick where unexpected weakness (or unexpected anything) comes from, and the U.S. has a stronger record of causing global slowdowns than does China.

    This odd logic could be a writing problem – not really what the author(s) meant. You’d think editors would prevent that kind of thing, but they often don’t. The other possibility is that this is the only way hand-wringing over China’s economy could make it into the abstract; “unexpected” is the price of saying anything at all.

    Anyhow, the big message is slower global growth. That’s disinflationary, creates downward pressure on interest rates for high-quality credits, widens risk spreads and implies a risk to the U.S. economy.

  10. JohnH

    Menzie asked: “So who exactly have you polled in your characterization of mainstream economists and their general failure to question the “more inequality is good for growth” mantra has deep roots, even among progressive economists. Viz, this from Paul Krugman back in December, 2008…” (quote from Steve Roth.)

    NPR: “Many — but by no means all— economists believe there’s a relationship between cuts and growth. In a 2012 survey of top economists, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business found that 35 percent thought cutting taxes would boost economic growth. A roughly equal share, 35 percent, were uncertain. Only 8 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed.

    But in practice, it’s not always clear that tax cuts themselves automatically boost the economy, according to a recent study.”

    Does Menzie have any evidence that views of mainstream economists have changed in the last decade, particularly in regard to tax cuts for the wealthy? Apart from a handful of progressive economists like Stiglitz, Saez and Zucman, and Christopher Otrok where are the mainstream economists who are willing to promote the idea that it is expansionary to increase taxes on the wealthy and invest the revenues in education, healthcare, and infrastructure (not war.)

    Republicans have legions of economists willing to tell us every day how great tax cuts for the wealthy are. Where is the pushback to come from if economists who see tax increases as pro-growth sit on the sidelines or just tell us to go dig up something they wrote in the distant past? Conservative economists have developed a narrative that sounds compelling…Democrats got zip and have had great difficulty articulating any coherent economic message at all, much less a compelling narrative about the economic benefits of increasing taxes on the wealthy.

    1. Macroduck

      Just over a third of economists polled think tax cuts boost growth. Just over a third justifies your geberal claim that “mainstream economists” hold – or don’t hold – some loosely related view about taxes and equality? Not a bit. That’s just you playing fast and loose with the facts.

      Your blather about Democrats and Republicans behaving differently? That’s just moving the goal posts, as you so often try to do. Your claim was “mainstream economists” do whatever. You can’t honestly defend that claim by pointing out differences between political styles.

      Same old dishonest Johnny.

      1. pgl

        As much as I like npr – only an utter fool would rely solely on their broadcasts for understanding what actual economists have said about this or any other issue. But little Jonny boy is the ultimate fool.

    2. pgl

      I finally got around to reading your link with this headline

      FACT CHECK: Do Tax Cuts Grow The Economy? OCTOBER 30, 2015

      Wow that’s recent – NOT. It covered a debate that included Nobel Prize winner economists such as Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Seriously Jonny boy?

      It did mention a paper by William Gale and Andrew Samwick – two actual economists. I know you abhor reading economics but you should read this paper. Not that you will understand it.

  11. Rick Stryker, Professor of Free Market Monetary History

    No, the Federal Reserve did not come into existence on December 23, 1913. That’s when the act was signed but there was no Fed at that time. The twelve reserve banks actually opened on Nov 16, 1914. Even then, the Fed didn’t really exist yet as very little capital had been paid in by the member banks, governance was unclear, and it wasn’t really staffed up. In an attempt to provide some governance, Benjamin Strong called a Governor’s conference on December 10-12, which established a permanent Governor’s conference with Strong as Chairman. But the reality was that the Treasury controlled the Fed until 1920. The Fed’s role was to support the war effort by selling Treasury bonds. In fact, when the war broke out, the Fed was not really operational, and the Treasury, not the Fed, issued emergency currency under the Aldrich-Vreeland Act of 1908 to prevent a panic.

    Kopits is right that the U.S. had no central bank during the 1918-19 flu pandemic using any modern definition of a central bank. Menzie is yet again engaging in Auf dem Schlauch stehen. Why would any readers care about this? If this blog were on substack, it would have to say “dozens of subscribers.”*

    * Moses no doubt would have subscribed 32 times with pgl, Macroduck, baffling and few others rounding out the subscription list.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Rick Stryker: A couple of obscure academics wrote this (pp223-224):

      The reason for Federal Reserve inaction was not, as in the earlier period of U.S. neutrality, the absence of technical power to control monetary expansion. On the one hand, there was a gold outflow rather than inflow; on the other, the System had acquired a substantial portfolio. By raising discount rates and selling securities on the open market, the System was clearly in a position to keep down the growth of the stock of money to any desired rate. Nor was the reason, at least after the spring of 1919, Treasury deficit financing. It was rather an alleged necessity for facilitating Treasury funding of the floating debt plus un-willingness to see a decline in the prices of government bonds, while commercial banks still held on their own account substantial amounts of the Victory Loan, floated from April 25 to May 10, 1919, and had extensive loans outstanding to their customers on those securities.

      1. Macroduck

        Rick Styker, Professor of not knowing much about monetary history, tried to play the “scholar” card and got spanked.

        Tell-tail sign a spanking was coming?: “Kopits is right…”

        1. Moses Herzog

          For every 1,000 blog post hovers Rick Stinker risks about 1 pounce. So he pounced on a jagged rock and bloodied his wolf paws. Do you have to rub it in poor Rick Stinker’s nose??

      2. Rick Stryker


        The passage you cited from the GOAT of monetary history refers to the period in the latter part of 1919. Notice they say “Nor was the reason, at least after the spring of 1919, Treasury deficit financing.”

        During the 1918 pandemic, the Federal Reserve did not have the ability to control monetary expansion even if they theoretically did after the spring of 1919 as the GOAT advises. At that time in Fed history, the Secretary of the Treasury was also the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Until the end of 1918, the Treasury secretary and Board chairman was William McAdoo ( who was also Wilson’s son-in-law). The Overman Act, passed during WWI, gave McAdoo the legal authority to shift the Fed’s responsibilities to another agency if it didn’t act as the Treasury desired. McAdoo threatened to use the Act when the other Board members objected to the Treasury paying interest rates that were too low. The Overman act expired in April 1919, which is why the GOAT referred to the spring of 1919.

        So, again, Kopits is quite correct when he says that there was no Fed around to react to the pandemic of 1918 in the way it would today.

        1. Moses Herzog

          @ Rick Stinker
          Kopits already admitted he was in error. Does Steve’s Mom know you have taken over the role of being Kopits’ wet nurse??

      3. pgl

        So “Dr.” Rick calls Milton Friedman the GOAT but he chooses to misrepresent what you quoted. His thesis is that the FED did not have the “capital” to run an effective monetary policy but something tells me that this pretend economist has never seen a Federal Reserve balance sheet. First of all there is his:

        “The Fed didn’t really exist yet as very little capital had been paid in by the member banks”

        Well maybe “Dr.” Rick is referring to the modest amount of equity the FED normally holds but anyone who looked at the FED’s balance sheet before the 2007 Great Financial Crisis would have seen that the FED’s monetary base (its liabilities) were mainly offset by its main assets – government bonds. Let’s take 1981 when everyone who knows something about monetary economics (which excludes “Dr.” Rick of course) realized the FED was very powerful. The monetary base was about 5% of GDP.

        I would submit that by the time we hit 1918, the government bonds held by the FED were greater than the circa $60 billion GDP then. If “Dr.” Rick actually READ the literature on this period which we provided (which obviously this Know Nothing failed to do) he would have noticed the Liberty and Victory Bonds that the FED partially monetarized. Treasury issued about $20 billion of these bonds and if the FED bought just 20% of them, the monetary base/GDP ratio would have been higher in 1918 than it was in 1981.

        The point here is so simple that anyone who remotely gets monetary economics would have figured this out. But not “Dr.” Rick as his knowledge of basic economics is zero.

    2. baffling

      no rick, the fed came into existence with the passage of the federal reserve act. period. your other commentary is simply chatter. it may not have operated the way you would have liked, but your opinion in the matter is irrelevant. all you are doing it trying to cast doubt on the facts of the matter.

      1. pgl

        “Dr.” Rick likes to call Milton Friedman the GOAT which is rather insulting for an economist who received the Nobel Prize. I have read a lot of the writings on Dr. Friedman on things like monetary economics and floating v. fixed exchange rates and his brilliance is not captured by the mindless rightwing babbling we see from clowns like Art Laffer or Stephen Moore. And yet “Dr.” Rick spews the intellectual BS from these two clowns as if this is what Friedman wrote. It certainly is not.

        Which begs the question – has Dr. “Rick” ever read what Dr. Friedman wrote. I seriously doubt it.

    3. baffling

      “* Moses no doubt would have subscribed 32 times with pgl, Macroduck, baffling and few others rounding out the subscription list.”
      rick stryker would also be on that subscription list, based on his activity on this site.

    4. pgl

      Professor of ‘Free Market’ Monetary History at Wossamotta University I presume. Now as a “free market” monetary historian, I bet you teach your “students” that the creation of the FED was the end of all civilization.

      BTW – most conservative economists including Milton Friedman support the basic roles of Central Banks. But then you do not teach actual economists at Wossamotta U – do you?

  12. James

    One essential difference that Mr Kopits misses in the comparison of 1918–1920 flu pandemic to Covid pandemic – is that some hard working biomedical researchers had a life saving vaccine technology ready https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/coronavirus/meet-the-inventors-behind-the-mrna-covid-19-vaccine/3727311/ and thank goodness voters put Biden administration in place that quickly and competently got 70% of the population vaccinated. To me – Biden administration’s response was a primary reason the U.S. economy recovered so quickly.

    1. Steven Kopits

      RNA vaccine development started under Trump.

      The recovery of the economy is an interesting question, and in fact, the subject of our current debate. I would argue that the economy has yet to fully recover from the pandemic, in the sense that asset and durable goods prices remain unusually high, to wit, automobiles and housing.

      In any event, that’s the entire crux of the debate: Did the covid pandemic constitute an ordinary recession; a war-linked surge in inflation and spending; or a suppression which has specific characteristics associated with lockdowns, supply chain disruptions, and resulting loose fiscal and monetary policy? I would argue that pandemics like the past one fall outside the normal dynamics of business cycle theory, that is, you can have a pandemic and resulting lockdown at any point in the business cycle and likely still produce similar dynamics to those seen in 2020-2024.


      Menzie is to an extent sitting on the fence on this, and it’s clear that we can’t use the 1918 Spanish flu precedent as a recipe or template, certainly not without some adjustments. One of those adjustments has to include the fiscal and monetary response of the US at the time. From 1913 to the 1930s, the US had a fledgling central bank (system) which was, to appearances, unable to exercise the appropriate functions of a central bank wrt to inflation and financial system stability until well after the damage of the Great Recession had been inflicted.

      I, of course, knew that the Fed system had been founded in 1913, as I had read Lowenstein’s fine work on the history of the founding of the Fed. I forgot. I was head-faked by the terrible monetary policy of the late 1910s and the early 1920s, and thought the Fed had been founded later. I was wrong. I should have checked.


      1. Menzie Chinn Post author

        Steven Kopits: On mRNA vaccine development, I think you should read a bit more, or at least more closely. Your link does not validate the assertion that RNA (sic) [should be mRNA] research started under Trump. I rely on

        If you want to think yourself an expert on the Fed, without casting aspersions on Lowenstein’s book, I would at least make a passing acquaintance with Friedman and Schwartz, “A Monetary History of the United States”. While one might question some of the economics, I don’t think many dispute the historical documentation. On the economics, one would also want to read Bernanke, “Nonmonetary effects…”.

        1. Steven Kopits

          From your source, Menzie:

          May 15, 2020 — Operation Warp Speed launches to coordinate federal government efforts that speed up the approval and production of reliable COVID-19 diagnostics, vaccines, and treatments.

          July 8, 2020 — NIH launches the COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN), which uses the existing structure of NIH clinical trial networks to support trials of COVID-19 vaccines and other prevention tools.

          November 16, 2020 — A large-scale Phase 3 clinical trial of the Moderna mRNA vaccine shows promising interim results.

          Trump was president during 2020. I think that vaccine development would have happened under other presidents as well, but the covid vaccine was developed during the Trump administration. I though it should have been apparent in my response to James that I was referring to the covid vaccine, not RNA vaccine technology in general.

          1. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Steven Kopits: You truly are a master of selective reading. If you talk to any expert, you will know that research on mRNA vaccines had been long underway before Trump, partly because of work to develop an AIDS vaccine.

          2. Steven Kopits

            I didn’t say it wasn’t. But the covid vaccine was developed under Trump, because covid, as we know, was not yet a known disease when it first appeared, which was during the Trump administration. But sure, RNA technology didn’t just pop out of the ground then, and I certainly did not mean to imply that it did. But the covid vaccine was developed during the Trump administration, just as your source states.

          3. pgl

            Dude – your own source have lots of other dates as early as 1984. Now if you think Trump was President in 1984 then you have a point. Otherwise you are being your usual arrogant yet moronical self.

          4. Ivan

            mRNA vaccines had been under development for almost 10 years when SARS-CoV-2 began. The actual applications of the technology to develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 began shortly after the virus sequence had been made public. So yes the pandemic started under Trump and the race to develop an effective vaccine against the specific virus that caused the disease, began shortly thereafter. I would not give much credit for the vaccines to any politician, except perhaps that most of them didn’t get too much in the way of the path that were pretty obvious and clear to anybody with expertise in the field. Approval of a vaccine in US happened about two weeks after UK and about two weeks before EU. Trump tried to push for approval before election day but the regulatory agencies refused to be used for political gain.

            US ended with about 1.1 million Covid deaths about a year after the vaccine had been rolled out. That should have been about 650,000 if we had handled the pandemic as well as Germany did. I blame Trumps pathetically weak leadership for that almost half a million excess deaths.

            Trump failed to fully back well known prevention measures. The virus was new, but how to reduce aerosol spread respiratory viruses, was well known. Trump should have been out frontline to back up his experts with advice on how to reduce the spread of this virus. He should also have been backing the vaccines with lots of public appearances and statements instead of cowardly having himself and his wife vaccinated in secret a week after the vaccine was approved. He could have shown true leadership by helping to get his MAGA cult members vaccinated, instead he was wasting time trying to overthrow results of a fair, free and democratic election. Weak, pathetic and SAD.

        2. Rick Stryker

          Kopits is obviously referring to Operation Warp Speed, which was purely a Trump Administration achievement and a remarkable one at that.

          1. Moses Herzog

            …….. yes so many great memories from donald trump’s “warp speed”.

            “maybe if you drank bleach you may be okay.”

            It’s difficult to top the wisdom Rick Stinker brings us.

      2. baffling

        “RNA vaccine development started under Trump.”
        no. the research is much older than that. credit the years of research into hiv/aids and a vaccine for that virus as the starting point for the current vaccine technology. the credit i will give to the trump administration, is that when the pandemic hit, they created funding and did not get in the way for the most part. but credit biden for being the one to actually get shots in arms. the trump administration was doing a very poor job of rolling out any vaccine program to the public at the time. and i say the trump administration, because trump himself was very ignorant of any of the details. he was focused on bleach and horse pills. if not for fauci, we would not have had a successful vaccine program in the usa. once again, competence matters, as another wise man on this post likes to remind us.

        1. pgl

          When Stevie writes this “But the covid vaccine was developed under Trump, because covid, as we know, was not yet a known disease when it first appeared, which was during the Trump administration” he shows he may be the dumbest person on this issue ever. COVID type diseases were already well known. The specifics of this one may have been new but the developers of mRNA figured out in two days how to adapt their technology to make an effective vaccine.

          Look – we get Stevie is a total incompetent when it comes to basic economics. That he pretends he’s an expert on biopharma issues is the funniest thing I have heard in decades.

      3. Macroduck

        “I would argue that the economy has yet to fully recover from the pandemic, in the sense that asset and durable goods prices remain unusually high, to wit, automobiles and housing.”

        Such a good start, veering into the usual self-aggrandizing nonsense:

        “Did the covid pandemic constitute an ordinary recession; a war-linked surge in inflation and spending; or a suppression…”

        We already have an expression for your made-up lexical thingie – policy shock. And, from your writing here, you seem to think “normal” means cycle without shock. Shocks of various kinds are part of the economic literature and are “normal” in the sense that they happen alot. There is debate over definition and how to think about them – that’s a commonplace – but you’re adding nothing to our knowledge by cooking up a new label.

        And the Nobel Prize committee agrees that the development of mRNA vaccines preceded Trump’s tenure as president. That’s two strikes on intellectual history in a single exchange.

        Your “Menzie on the fence” comment seems just another bit of arrogance. Strike three?

      4. pgl

        From your own link:

        Paul A. Krieg, Ph.D., Douglas A. Melton, Ph.D., Tom Maniatis, Ph.D., and Michael Green, Ph.D. and colleagues at Harvard University use a synthesized RNA enzyme to make biologically active messenger RNA (mRNA) in a lab. A similar process is still used today to make synthetic mRNA. Drs. Krieg and Melton use synthetic mRNA to study gene function and activity. Other researchers also study RNA.
        Robert W. Malone, M.D., M.S. mixes mRNA with fat droplets. He discovers that when human cells are added to this mixture, they absorb the mRNA and make proteins. Dr. Malone also finds that frog embryos absorb mRNA. These experiments are considered early steps in the eventual development of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines.
        Researchers test mRNA as a treatment in rats and as an influenza and cancer vaccine in mice.
        Several researchers study mRNA treatments or vaccines. But since mRNA is easy to damage and expensive to produce, many researchers can’t get funding to pursue this work and so the research often wasn’t pursued.
        Katalin Kariko, Ph.D., and Drew Weissman, M.D., Ph.D., discover that modifying synthetic mRNA keeps the immune system from attacking the mRNA. This discovery moves mRNA vaccine research forward.
        Many researchers study mRNA treatments or vaccines.

        Gee Stevie – I did not know Donald Trump has been President since 40 years ago. I bow to your “expertise” on US history!

  13. pgl

    JohnH the lying waste of time finally said something about a Steve Roth Angrybear post which Jonny boy claims Krugman supports tax cuts for the rich or whatever. Here is the Krugman post:


    Jonny boy once again totally misrepresented the conversation. But as I back tracked to figure out WTF Jonny boy alluded to I notice a Robert Waldman Angrybear post which little Jonny boy should read as Waldman noted how Clinton raised tax cuts on the rich.

    Look I get Jonny boy has not gone full Trumpian with his racism but this level of sheer dishonesty is beyond the pale. Save us some time and banned this lying troll as he is beyond disgusting.

  14. Steven Kopits

    “The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 established the Federal Reserve System as the central bank of the United States to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system.”

    Yet, the Fed failed materially in its function as a central bank in the late teens, the early 20s, and into the Great Depression. So, yes, the US had a central bank, or more precisely, a network of banks together comprising a central bank in some respect, although one could argue not in the respect Europeans would have thought of one. Nevertheless, the history of 1918 to the 1930s suggests that the Fed was not fulfilling its function as a modern central bank — with respect to managing inflation and acting as a lender of last resort — until after the onset of the Great Depression.


    1. baffling

      just like with rick, you are drifting away from your incorrect assertion that the federal reserve did not exist, and into the notion of performance opinion. the fed will always change over time. in one hundred years, people will probably argue the fed of today does not operate as a “modern” bank either. both of you are making very poor arguments here.

      1. pgl

        What do you expect from a clown whose knowledge of macroeconomics is limited to the discredited Quantity Theory of Money?

    1. Anonymous

      Hoover almost every year points out that if USA does not spend 7% of GDP the hordes will overrun US .

      In constant US$ the USA is spending records even above the Reagan col war build.

      the problem is efficiency and suitability of outcomes. Aa what the money goes for.

      US economy is outstripping the pentagon and its suppliers.

      One may wonder if monopsony is a probelm.

      1. Steven Kopits

        If the Ukrainians were loaded with shells, and missiles, and aircraft and spare parts — and so were the Taiwanese — then I would have no issue with the hordes. But in fact the Ukrainians don’t have everything they could need or use, and Republicans are saying we can’t afford it. So, yes, defense spending is too low if that’s the test. And let me not even get started on the whole China threat.

        1. Ivan

          Republicans are saying a lot of idiotic things with no connection to reality – and now you are repeating them.

          You cannot equate the defense spending in $ (adjusted for whatever) with how “defended” we are or how “defended” we need to be. If Ukraine has proven anything to is that all those absurdly expensive tanks and aircrafts (and aircraft carriers) are pretty useless.

        2. Anonymous

          I do not think the US has all the equipment and consumables the Ukraine “could use”. NATO decided what Ukraine could use based on what it had to send.

          US sent the “could use” stuff under presidential drawdown authority. My sense is that most U.S. war materiel cannot be drawn bc the stuff could be used for a serious threat.

          War materials for specific war plans are budgeted separate from normal operating support. In the case where stocks are dedicated to a theater they probably need congress to approve using it for reasons not in the appropriation law.

          Less affordability more how do you make new stock…. defense supply chain issues.

          1. Ivan

            Nobody had ever predicted that NATO/US had to provide supplies for 2 year+ of a conventional weapons fight against Russia. The war games had all predicted that direct conflict with Russia would become nuclear within less than a month and that Ukraine would be taken over by Russia in a similar timeframe. What they got was a major (but half speed) Russian conventional war slowly sinking into a hot stalemate, and lasting way beyond any timeframe anybody (including Russia) were prepared for.

            It speaks to Biden’s strategic brilliance that he has managed to keep Putin from going full speed on the war effort (full mobilization of troops and industry), even as we and allies are gearing up military productions (weapons/ammo) enough to give Ukraine a fighting chance of freedom. If we define what Ukraine “could use” as weapons and ammo enough to fully push back the Russians current “special military operation” the west probably by now have geared up enough that we do have it. However the Russian response would be full mobilization of its 2 million troops and reserves and conversions of almost all industrial output to military production – and we still could not provide Ukraine with what it would take to win against that sort of upsized Russian effort.

    2. pgl

      Only a total moron would write a blog post on this topic without noting the 1990’s Peace Dividend. Oh wait – you won troll of the year 2023 and are campaigning hard for a 2024 repeat. Carry on!

  15. baffling

    i am going to pile on here, with a response from an unbiased source. for the benefit of rick and steven.

    prompt: would it be fair to say the federal reserve did not operate as a central back until after 1920?

    chatgpt3.5: It would not be fair to say that the Federal Reserve did not operate as a central bank until after 1920. While the Federal Reserve System officially began its operations with the opening of the Federal Reserve Banks on November 16, 1914, it started performing central banking functions right from the start.

    The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 established the Federal Reserve as the central banking system of the United States, with key responsibilities, including the issuance of currency, setting monetary policy, regulating banks, and providing a lender of last resort during financial crises. These functions were an integral part of the Federal Reserve’s role from its inception.

    The early years of the Federal Reserve were marked by challenges and learning experiences, particularly during World War I and the post-war period, but it was actively engaged in central banking activities during this time. So, it would be accurate to say that the Federal Reserve operated as a central bank from the time it was established in 1913, even though it faced some difficulties and adjustments in its early years.

  16. Moses Herzog

    I would put this farther up in this blog thread, as a thought I had related to Menzie’s rejoinder with Kopits, but I didn’t want to “horn in” on the debate or interrupt the “continuity” of the debate. But I wish to suggest these two books as helpful in knowing about the Federal Reserve:

    By Allan Meltzer. I had originally gotten the Volume 1 book, because I was told it had some Keynes writings about Bretton Woods, and gave the idea it was nearly the ONLY PLACE you could find the Keynes writings on Balance of Payments or something of the sort (if my brain, for once, serves me correctly) I just about had a hernia and/or a groin pull just now, this early Wednesday afternoon looking for this in my closet, but who knows maybe I’ll luck out and find Menzie’s book he wrote, which I am angry at myself for misplacing.

      1. Moses Herzog

        I think most polite gentlemen would sign their book. It’s called courtesy and consideration. Try those ideas out some time, it’s more helpful than trolling. Trolling is what we expect from non-college educated people. Assuming you have a degree, try behaving like it did you some good.

  17. pgl

    Princeton Steve’s claim that Messenger RNA research occurred during Trump’s Administration must be his latest plea to get on Fox and Friends. The original research dates back to 1960. Now I get Trump was born back then but I do not think little children are eligible to be President (same of insurrectionists but hey). Now my history teacher taught mean that Eisenhower was President but then little Stevie fancies himself on history so maybe young Trump was President back then per Stevie’s students!

    1. Moses Herzog

      I was always bewildered how someone as incompetent as Kopits never made it to the top of the MAGA White House ladder. I could still end up being right he was preordained for MAGA world, just roughly 7 years late to when I thought he’d get there.

      1. pgl

        After all – Fox and Friends had Stevie on promoting his expertise in racist immigration policies so one would have thought Stephen Miller would have hired him.

  18. pgl

    This just in – Trump toadie Alina Habbi is a total bimbo:

    Trump Lawyer on Unhinged Immunity Defense: ‘He Didn’t Kill Anyone’


    Trump attorney Alina Habba defended a bizarre argument about presidential immunity to Fox News host Sean Hannity by assuring viewers that the former president “didn’t kill anyone.” Habba appeared on Fox after Trump’s lawyers presented their case for immunity in federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. When asked if presidential immunity would apply if Trump ordered SEAL Team 6 to murder a political rival, another of Trump’s attorneys, John Sauer, argued that Trump could only face a criminal prosecution after he was impeached and convicted. Later on Tuesday, Habba tried to back Sauer’s strange defense to Hannity. “The real facts are so easy to win that we have to now argue the slippery slope argument of, ‘If he kills someone, will he be held accountable?’” Habba said. “He didn’t kill anyone. He didn’t cause an insurrection. He didn’t get charged for it. But they’re using hypotheticals to frighten America.”

    1. Ivan

      It is amazing how dumb Trumps lawyers are. I guess the smart one wouldn’t touch him with a 10 foot pole.

      If you are going to make the argument that the president can only be held accountable for criminal acts by impeachments – then make that argument. Don’t make it and then try to run away from it. The point of a hypothetical is not whether it happened or not.

  19. pgl

    Princeton Steve proves his love for MAGA by crediting Trump and Trump alone for the Moderna COVID19 vaccine which others have called as BS. We get Stevie reads only his own bloviating which is why he missed this

    Just how remarkable was Operation Warp Speed? Kevin Drum, October 30, 2023


    The vaccines themselves were developed in the private sector long before the federal government got involved. Money to guarantee production was authorized by Congress as part of the CARES Act, two months before Warp Speed was announced. Clinical trials proceeded on a normal expedited class. The FDA gave emergency approval based on protocols long in place. Vaccinations were then provided to 25% of the US population in three months, which is genuinely impressive but not that much more impressive than the 20% who got swine flu vaccinations during the same timeframe in 1976.

    The development of the COVID vaccine was miraculous and the rollout was well executed. But it was nothing more than that aside from having a memorable name. It was competent, not remarkable.

    1. Rick Stryker


      Of course, after the fact Trump’s political enemies are pretending that delivering a coronavirus vaccine was no big deal. But that’s not what the experts were saying before the fact. Let’s go back to May 15, 2020 and listen in to MSNBC’s take on Trump’s announcement that a covid vaccine would be developed by the end of the year. The MSNBC crowd dismissed Trump’s announcement as politics. Pandemic expert Dr. Ira Redlener of Columbia University, founder of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, appeared on the program, saying that getting a vaccine by the end of the year is preposterous and impossible . Dr. Redlener’s view was typical of the “experts” at the time. Now the deceitful Kevin Drum (and his acolyte pg13) want people to forget all that so that they can deny Trump credit for one of his signature accomplishments.

      1. Noneconomist

        RS: seems Trumps friends are none too thrilled with his role in the vaccine’s development. Since being booed in Texas and Alabama after bragging about being vaccinated and about how quickly the vaccine became available during his watch, Trump has remained silent on the subject. No surprise, since his fans remain far less likely to be vaccinated than Trump himself.
        Unlike Biden and other world leaders who were vaccinated in public, Trump chose to be vaccinated privately. Wonder why?
        Oh, and odds of hearing Trump discuss “one oh his signature accomplishments” while addressing the faithful? Slim if that.

      2. pgl

        Dude – you should go onto Fox and Friends where your BS will be appreciated. The history of this vaccine development undermine your kneeling down to the most incompetent person ever to sit in the Oval Office. But do troll on as I hear the blonde on Fox and Friends is a hottie.

      3. pgl

        Gee the RICK finds a pediatrician (that is Dr. Irwin’s Redlener’s profession) who in an interview showed he is not Dr. Fauci. Hey Rickie pooh – this is the best you can do? Mighty weenie even for a MAGA troll like you.

      4. Ivan

        Some were surprised at how fast the vaccines got developed and they were certainly developed faster than is the norm for new vaccines. There may even be some people with knowledge and expertise in “pandemics” who were convinced it could never be done in a year. Those who were heavily involved with the actual technology of mRNA vaccine development were hopeful that they could get it done in a year (that was the timeline in the plans they submitted for funding).

        We should all be impressed with the speed at which the scientists from all over the world managed to respond to this crisis, and solve the problem of developing an effective vaccine against this new virus. Only idiots would praise Trump for the “accomplishment” of getting us a vaccine. He was not in the lab working 70 hour weeks trying to get this out for trials asap. The only contributions he and the other world leaders did (so that UK, US and EU could get the vaccines), was to approve funding and steep out of the way, so the experts could take care of this. That is a very low bar and even Trump passed that. If someone could tell me what exactly Trump did other than what every other world leader did and how it affected us getting the vaccine – I am all ears.

      5. Moses Herzog

        Rick, you seem to think donald trump should be government czar of family’s health care decisions. I hope your sister, wife, daughter don’t suffer rape, blood clots, stroke, death, because your hero donald trump says their life is worth nothing.

        Hope that your wife, daughter, sister never face that day Rick. When you must look them in the eye and tell them “Your life means nothing when set side by side with the unborn child. Honey, my hero donald trump, says your life doesn’t mean squat.”

  20. pgl

    “Dr.” Rick Stryker is defending the moronical claims of Princeton Steve with claims that prove this Know Nothing has not read much on the actual literature even though we are making this easy even for the mental retards like “Dr.” Stryker., Hey Ricky boy, let me repeat this:

    January 9, 2024 at 2:14 pm
    What Happened to the US Economy During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic? A View Through High-Frequency Data (REVISED July, 2020) By François Velde, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Working Paper, No. 2020-11, April 2020


    A very good discussion detailing how the US economic behaved in 1918 and 1919 from someone who works for the FED and knows it existed back then unlike our resident moron Princeton Steve. The adults here might want to read some real research since we are all tired of the Know Nothing bloviating from Stevie pooh.

    BTW turn to page 34 on how the FED (which Stevie pooh claims did not exist) was accommodating the large Federal deficits, which sounds a bit inflationary to me. But of course Stevie says otherwise base on his usual display of complete ignorance of the facts.’

    Now I suggest you read this excellent paper – assuming you know how to read.

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