It is nice to see that people are still reading RGD, even if its timelines are obviously outdated, to say nothing of incorrect. I simply did not expect the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank would fail to learn the lesson of the Bank of Japan and prove so stupidly unwilling to force the banks to take their medicine, thereby risking not only their banking systems, but their currencies as well as the very existence of their political unions. But even so, the underlying principles outlined in the book remain operative, as Captain Capitalism, the author of Enjoy the Decline, points out in his review of The Return of the Great Depression:
First, the book is an outstanding, thorough, but succinct analysis and comparison of the various economic philosophies that are duking it out today. He compares and contrasts Austrian, Keynesian, the Chicago School and Marxism in ways that shows he’s actually read vastly more books on economics and philosophy than I have and can use words like “praxeology” in a sentence. This makes him “one of those guys” who while would be considered a Buzz Killington at a party, is the guy you’d probably defer to when it came to matters of economic history and technicality. Second, like reading other economists, you always pick up a trick or two you weren’t aware of or observe mistakes you may have made (for example his explaining what the GDP deflator is NOT the same as the CPI may not help you pick up chicks at a bar, but will provide for some interesting adjustments to modern day RGDP). This has not only further advanced my understanding of economics, but plugged some minor holes in my own economic theories and philosophies I’ve procrastinated plugging. Third he writes very well and very dense, efficiently packing as much information into the fewest and optimal amount of words. The introduction alone is a perfect synopsis that would benefit everybody in terms of “what economics is.”
I haven’t changed my mind about the eventual outcome or that we are now in the Great Depression 2.0. I still don’t think we’re facing Fallout IV, and as the Great Debate should suffice to indicate, I remain utterly unconvinced about the inevitability of Whiskey Zulu India.
Speaking of Buzz Killington, what I find interesting is that whereas absolutely no one was interested in hearing about my book when it was first published, now people who have heard of it will seek me out in order to help them understand one facet or another of the ongoing crisis. That is, I suspect, another negative economic indicator: the desire of people to talk about economics on social occasions.