Sunday , September 25 2022
Home / Barkley Rosser
Barkley Rosser

Barkley Rosser

I remember how loud it was. I was a young Economics undergraduate, and most professors didn’t really slam points home the way Dr. Rosser did. He would bang on the table and throw things around the classroom. Not for the faint of heart, but he definitely kept my attention and made me smile. It is hard to not smile around J. Barkley Rosser, especially when he gets going on economic theory. The passion comes through and encourages you to come along with it in a truly contagious way. After meeting him, it is as if you can just tell that anybody who knows that much and has that much to say deserves your attention.

Articles by Barkley Rosser

How To Dismantle An Empire

10 days ago

How To Dismantle An Empire

 My late mother seriously admired the now late Queen Elizabeth II. Not only was she a conservative Anglophiliac with overwhelming British ancestry (all the “nations” of the UK) who had tea in the afternoon at the proper British time in more or less the proper British way, there was also the matter that the queen bore a son her heir only seven months after my mother had me. I was raised to see Charles as a   a sort of cohort.

Indeed, i came to view him with great sympathy, although in later years he would come to be highly embarrassing in many ways well and widely known. But in 1958, the second time I was in UK, on arriving I saw tabloids with front page stories about some ridiculous matter involving Charles, I think it

Read More »

How To Dismantle An Empire

12 days ago

My late mother seriously admired the now late Queen Elizabeth II. Not only was she a conservative Anglophiliac with overwhelming British ancestry (all the "nations" of the UK) who had tea in the afternoon at the proper British time in more or less the proper British way, there was also the matter that the queen bore a son her heir only seven months after my mother had me. I was raised to see Charles as a   a sort of cohort.Indeed, i came to view him with great sympathy, although in later years he would come to be highly embarrassing in many ways well and widely known. But in 1958, the second time I was in UK, on arriving I saw tabloids with front page stories about some ridiculous matter involving Charles, I think it was about him playing games in streets uncontrolled, or something like

Read More »

Will The Iran Nuclear Deal Ever Get Reestablished?

15 days ago

“Will The Iran Nuclear Deal Ever Get Reestablished?,” Econospeak

 It (Iran Nuclear Deal) keeps looking like it might, but then no obstacles have appeared yet. President Biden promised to undo what I have long argued was the worst foreign policy mistake made by Donald Trump. He should have just done it right after he took office, but he made a bunch of extra demands and the negotiations went nowhere. Then the moderate Rouhani government was replaced by the hardline Raisi one, something some of us like me forecasted would happen if he listened to these people who thought he should make demand about missiles and foreign groups. None of this is going anywhere.

Anyway, there have been fresh rumors of a nearly done deal, but it seems to be stalled out

Read More »

Will The Iran Nuclear Deal Ever Get Reestablished?

16 days ago

It keeps looking like it might, but then ne obstacles seem to appear. President Biden promised to undo what I have long argued was the worst foreign policy mistake made by Donald Trump. He should have just done it right after he took office, but he made a bunch of extra demands and the negotiations went nowhere. Then the moderate Rouhani government was replaced by the hardline Raisi one, something some of us like me forecasted would happen if he listened to these people who thought he should make demand about missiles and foreign groups, none of this going anywhere.Anyway, there have been fresh rumors of a nearly done deal, but it seems to be stalled out now on two items.  One is US demanding Iran let IAEA inspect some sites. The other is Iran demanding Biden promise no future president

Read More »

Where Will M.S. Gorbachev Be Buried?

22 days ago

Where Will M.S. Gorbachev Be Buried?

 Mikhail Sergeivich Gorbachev died on the same day as our daughter Sasha’s 33rd birthday. Sasha herself noted that if it were not for him she probably would not exist. It was ultimately Gorbachev who decided that the USSR would obey the Helsinki Accords rules on letting people get married and so on April 4, 1987 let my wife Marina leave Moscow for the US, the top story on CNN that evening. For that we are personally grateful to him and respect him, despite other things he did that one may not support.

Some people do not support, him, only 8% of the Russian population according to a poll taken in 2017. President Putin has announced that he will not receive a state funeral, perhaps justifiable given that the

Read More »

Where Will M.S. Gorbachev Be Buried?

24 days ago

Mikhail Sergeivich Gorbachev died on the same day as our daughter Sasha’s 33rd birthday. Sasha herself noted that if it were not for him she probably would not exist. It was ultimately Gorbachev who decided that the USSR would obey the Helsinki Accords rules on letting people get married and so on April 4, 1987 let my wife Marina leave Moscow for the US, the top story on CNN that evening. For that we are personally grateful to him and respect him, despite other things he did that one may not support.Some people do not support, him, only 8% of the Russian population according to a poll taken in 2017. President Putin has announced that he will not receive a state funeral, perhaps justifiable given that the USSR no longer exists, although Putin has regularly claimed to possess the powers

Read More »

Will the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Reduce Inflation?

28 days ago

Will the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Reduce Inflation?, Econospeak

 Probably not, but it also will probably not increase it either. This is the judgment of the Congressional Budget Office and also the Penn Wharton Budget Model, as well as libertarian economist Tyler Cowen of George Mason, who is critical of much of its content.  It has inflationary and disinflationary elements, and it looks that they about balance out, although in the longer run it is hard to know.

The obvious immediate issue is its impact from its aggregate character.  So it increases spending on various things, although some of its health parts should lead to lower spending in the future.  But it also increases taxes on corporations and through its funding of the IRS should

Read More »

Will the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Reduce Intlation?

August 26, 2022

Probably not, but it also will probably not increase it either. This is the judgment of the Congressional Budget Office and also the Penn Wharton Budget Model, as well as libertarian economist Tyler Cowen of George Mason, who is critical of much of its content.  It has inflationary and disinflationary elements, and it looks that they about balance out, although in the longer run it is hard to know.The obvious immediate issue is its impact from its aggregate character.  So it increases spending on various things, although some of its health parts should lead to lower spending in the future.  But it also increases taxes on corporations and through its funding of the IRS should lead to greater tax collections from wealthy individuals. Indeed, it is projected to lower the budget deficit.

Read More »

Are Supporters of Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine Suffering from A Neo-McCarthyism?

August 20, 2022

Are Supporters of Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine Suffering from A Neo-McCarthyism?

Recently I have seen claims made on some blogs that those who support the invasion of Ukraine by Russia under orders of its president, V.V. Putin, are experiencing suppression and discrimination that resembles the McCarthyism of the late 1940s and early 1950s in the US. This is also supposedly applying not only to those who fully support the invasion, but also to those who merely oppose the US assisting Ukraine in resisting the invasion, with the US supposedly not justified in doing so because of all its own past bad behaviors from the War in Vietnam to the invasion of Iraq, to its supposed expanding NATO with a goal of supposedly adding Ukraine to that alliance.

It

Read More »

Are Supporter Of Putin’s Invasion Of Ukraine Suffering From A Neo-McCarthyism?

August 19, 2022

Recently I have seen claims made on some blogs that those who support the invasion of Ukraine by Russia under orders of its president, V.V. Putin, are experiencing suppression and discrimination that resembles the McCarthyism of the late 1940s and early 1950s in the US. This is also supposedly applying not only to those who fully support the invasion, but also to those who merely oppose the US assisting Ukraine in resisting the invasion, with the US supposedly not justified in doing so because of all its own past bad behaviors from the War in Vietnam to the invasion of Iraq, to its supposed expanding NATO with a goal of supposedly adding Ukraine to that alliance.It is certainly true that feelings are running high on this issue, and many who make these arguments are getting very strong

Read More »

Russian Central Bank Head May Be Out

August 14, 2022

Russian Central Bank Head May Be Out

 This is the first English language report of this, as near as I can tell after some serious googling, but it is all over a lot of pretty serious Russian sources.

Reportedly, Elvira Naibiullina, Head of the Russian Central Bank, left her position this past Tuesday or thereabouts.  It is unclear if she resigned or was fired, although the hints seem to be the latter. The buzz is that she is going to be made a scapegoat for mounting problems in the Russian economy.  She had been very successful at propping up the value of the Russian ruble after it initially collapsed following the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine and initial imposition of financial and economic sanctions on Russia.  This involved a lot of capital

Read More »

Russian Central Bank Head May Be Out (But Apparently Probably Not)

August 13, 2022

This is the first English language report of this, as near as I can tell after some serious googling, but it is all over a lot of pretty serious Russian sources.Reportedly, Elvira Naibiullina, Head of the Russian Central Bank, left her position this past Tuesday or thereabouts.  It is unclear if she resigned or was fired, although the hints seem to be the latter. The buzz is that she is going to be made a scapegoat for mounting problems in the Russian economy.  She had been very successful at propping up the value of the Russian ruble after it initially collapsed following the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine and initial imposition of financial and economic sanctions on Russia.  This involved a lot of capital controls in particular.  It was also helped by the price of oil rising, with Russia

Read More »

Basques In America

August 10, 2022

Basques In America

 This is a bit of travelogue, as I mentioned previously I am on the road now at south end of Lake Tahoe on the Nevada side for the annual conference of the Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE). Earlier today I traveled east from the Tahoe area to Gardnerville, NV just east of the Sierra Nevada in the narrow area of the state where the first European settlers came in, a narrow strip that is not desert although pretty dry.  It is where Reno and the state capital, Carson City are, along with Genoa, the oldest town in the state. Gardnerville is near Genoa, just south of Carson City, along with Minden.  This is an agricultural area, green, but mostly given to grazing, cattle and sheep, with hay being grown.

Read More »

Basques In America

August 9, 2022

This is a bit of travelogue, as I mentioned previously I am on the road now at south end of Lake Tahoe on the Nevada side for the annual conference of the Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE). Earlier today I traveled east from the Tahoe area to Gardnerville, NV just east of the Sierra Nevada in the narrow area of the state where the first European settlers came in, a narrow strip that is not desert although pretty dry.  It is where Reno and the state capital, Carson City are, along with Genoa, the oldest town in the state. Gardnerville is near Genoa, just south of Carson City, along with Minden.  This is an agricultural area, green, but mostly given to grazing, cattle and sheep, with hay being grown.The sheepherding brought Basque people from Spain and France in

Read More »

Pelosi’s Visit To Taiwan

August 8, 2022

Pelosi’s Visit To Taiwan, Econospeak

by Barkley Rosser

 I wish to present a view of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan that is different from what I have seen from others. Most commentary I have seen is either very for or very against her visiting there.  On the favorable side has been wide praise from across the political spectrum, with many Republicans joining in who almost never praise her for anything.  Many people support providing a positive message of support for Taiwan. There is also the matter of personal courage on her part.  There was an actual threat from the Chinese government that her plane might be shot down. Obviously it was not, but with this threat, it obviously did take some courage on her part to go ahead and do it.  For all that

Read More »

Pelosi’s Visit To Taiwan

August 6, 2022

I wish to present a view of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan that is different from what I have seen from others. Most commentary I have seen is either very for or very against her visiting there.  On the favorable side has been wide praise from across the political spectrum, with many Republicans joining in who almost never praise her for anything.  Many people support providing a positive message of support for Taiwan. There is also the matter of personal courage on her part.  There was an actual threat from the Chinese government that her plane might be shot down. Obviously it was not, but with this threat, it obviously did take some courage on her part to go ahead and do it.  For all that she is to be applauded.On the negative are several views. There are those who strongly support the

Read More »

How Changes In Changes In Inventories Have Brought US The “Recession” That Is Probably Not A Recession

July 31, 2022

How Changes In Changes In Inventories Have Brought US The “Recession” That Is Probably Not A Recession

by Barkley Rosser, Econospeak

 Based on just announced preliminary results, it looks like the US will have experiences negative GDP growth for the first two quarters of 2022. Based on a “rule of thumb” introduced in a New York Times column in 1974 by then BLS Commissioner, Julius Shishkin, this could be an indicator of a recession happening. This rule of thumb got widely publicized, even showing up in some textbooks as well as being formally adopted as a defining criterion in some nations, such as Australia, for having a recession.

However, it has long been the case that in the US when recessions occur is decided by a committee of the

Read More »

How Changes In Changes In Inventories Have Brought US The “Recession” That Is Probably Not A Recession

July 29, 2022

Based on just announced preliminary results, it looks like the US will have experiences negative GDP growth for the first two quarters of 2022. Based on a "rule of thumb" introduced in a New York Times column in 1974 by then BLS Commissioner, Julius Shishkin, this could be an indicator of a recession happening. This rule of thumb got widely publicized, even showing up in some textbooks as well as being formally adopted as a defining criterion in some nations, such as Australia, for having a recession.However, it has long been the case that in the US when recessions occur is decided by a committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), which looks at a broader set of data to see widespread, deep, and persistent declines in general economic activity. Beyond just GDP these

Read More »

The Grain Deal

July 25, 2022

“The Grain Deal,” Econospeak

by Barkley Rosser

Finally we have something sort of hopeful happen in the war in Ukraine that might help alleviate problems it has generated for much of the world.  A deal has been struck to allow Ukrainian grain to be exported from Odesa and two smaller ports near it across the Black Sea and out into the Mediterranean to world markets.  With something like 20 tons of grain, mostly wheat, sitting there for some time, with Ukraine responsible for something like 10% of world wheat exports, this has been a major problem, pushing up the price of wheat and fertilizer and sunflower oil, with this hitting especially hard several nations in the Middle East such as Egypt and in East Africa, such as Somalia. This holds the

Read More »

Patrick J. Micharls RIP

July 24, 2022

Patrick J. Micharls RIP, Econospeak

by Barkley Rosser

 I have just read an obituary in today’s Washington Post of Pat Michaels, who died a week ago of unreported causes at age 72. He was long identified as one of the most influential “climate skeptics” in terms of policy, playing an important role in blocking the US from joining the Kyoto Accords in the 1990s and long a prominent figure in media debates on outlets such as the old “Crossfire” show, where his quick wit and ability to come up with sharp lines and stabs was notorious. He once called Al Gore a “wannabe scientist” and a 2000 book was titled, _The Satanic Gases_. Many other climatologists did not like to debate him in public because of all this.

From 1980 to 2006 he served as the

Read More »

The Grain Deal

July 24, 2022

Finally we have something sort of hopeful happen in the war in Ukraine that might help alleviate problems it has generated for much of the world.  A deal has been struck to allow Ukrainian grain to be exported from Odesa and two smaller ports near it across the Black Sea and out into the Mediterranean to world markets.  With something like 20 million tons of grain, mostly wheat, sitting there for some time, with Ukraine responsible for something like 10% of world wheat exports, this has been a major problem, pushing up the price of wheat and fertilizer and sunflower oil, with this hitting especially hard several nations in the Middle East such as Egypt and in East Africa, such as Somalia. This holds the potential indeed to more generally ease global inflationary pressure in the food

Read More »

Patrick J. Micharls RIP

July 22, 2022

I have just read an obituary in today’s Washington Post of Pat Michaels, who died a week ago of unreported causes at age 72. He was long identified as one of the most influential "climate skeptics" in terms of policy, playing an important role in blocking the US from joining the Kyoto Accords in the 1990s and long a prominent figure in media debates on outlets such as the old "Crossfire" show, where his quick wit and ability to come up with sharp lines and stabs was notorious. He once called Al Gore a "wannabe scientist" and a 2000 book was titled, _The Satanic Gases_. Many other climatologists did not like to debate him in public because of all this.From 1980 to 2006 he served as the State Climatologist of Virginia, also serving in the Environmental Sciences Department at the University

Read More »

Listening To Dmitri Shostakovich’s Music

July 20, 2022

Listening To Dmitri Shostakovich’s Music, Econospeak

by Barkley Rosser

 While recovering from a bout of Covid-19 (getting there), I have found myself listening to a lot of music by Soviet/Russian composer, Dmitri Shostakovich, mostly some of his 15 symphonies, which cover quite a range of styles from his first in 1926 to his last in 1971. I first heard Shostakovich 60 years ago in a junior high school music class when we were shown a film of a performance by the Leningrad Orchestra of his 1942 Leningrad Symphony No, 7’s first movement, dramatic and military composed in the midst of the siege of Leningrad in WW II, Shostakovich’s hometown.  I loved it.  Not too long after my family got a record of his 5th symphony from 1937, probably his most

Read More »

Listening To Dmitri Shostakovich’s Music

July 19, 2022

While recovering from a bout of Covid-19 (getting there), I have found myself listening to a lot of music by Soviet/Russian composer, Dmitri Shostakovich, mostly some of his 15 symphonies, which covr quite a range of styles from his first in 1926 to his last in 1971. I first heard Shostakovich 60 years ago in a junior high school music class when we were shown a film of a performance by the Leningrad Orchestra of his 1942 Leningrad Symphony No, 7’s first movement, dramatic and military composed in the midst of the siege of Leningrad in WW II, Shostakovich’s hometown.  I loved it.  Not too long after my family got a record of his 5th symphony from 1937, probably his most famous and popular, which helped rehabilitate him from the first round of political criticism he had faced for his

Read More »

Just How Bad Is Biden’s Trip To Saudi Arabia?

July 16, 2022

Just How Bad Is Biden’s Trip To Saudi Arabia?, Econospeak

by Barkley Rosser

 Yes, I posted on this awhile ago, but at that time it was a maybe. Now he is in the air on his way, although, of course, to Israel and the West Bank first, where I have no complaint or comment much.

So, basically what I said earlier largely holds, that this is not a trip with much good likely to come out of it. Main “goods”?: affirmation of in-place cease-fire in awful war in Yemen, a diplomatic triumph of the Biden admin, but I doubt much improvement on that situation happening from this trip. Yes, it will probably “affirm” it, but that is not much. 

Do not expect much on the Israeli front, either there, in the West Bank, or in terms of Saudi-Israeli relations,

Read More »

Just How Bad Is Biden’s Trip To Saudi Arabia?

July 13, 2022

Yes, I posted on this awhile ago, but at that time it was a maybe. Now he is in the air on his way, although, of course, to Israel and the West Bank first, where I have no complaint or comment much.So, basically what I said earlier largely holds, that this is not a trip with much good likely to come out of it. Main "goods"?: affirmation of in-place cease-fire in awful war in Yemen, a diplomatic triumph of the Biden admin, but I doubt much improvement on that situation happening from this trip. Yes, it will probably "affirm" it, but that is not much. Do not expect much on the Israeli front, either there, in the West Bank, or in terms of Saudi-Israeli relations, main reason for that is current Israeli government is in process of collapsing. Elections about to happen and we may have the

Read More »

White Rabbit

July 9, 2022

White Rabbit

 I have finished reading to my two younger grandsons the two Alice books by Lewis Carroll. I read the edition with commentary by the late mathematician, Martin Gardner, who used to write for Scientific American. I also just listened to Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” which is pretty bloody sharp, but which draws on both of the Alice books. While most attention is on the first one, “Wonderland,” which got made into a not bad cartoon by Disney, the deep one is the second one, “Through the Looking Glass,” with Dodgson (oh, excuse me, Carrol) a professor of logic at Oxford University, Oh, it really is deep shit.

There are so many cliches out of the book, but in fact the more serious ones come from the second one. The most cited of

Read More »

White Rabbit

July 8, 2022

I have finished reading to my two younger grandsons the two Alice books by Lewis Carroll. I read the edition with commentary by the late mathematician, Martin Gardner, who used to write for Scientific American. I also just listened to Jefferson Airplane’s "White Rabbit," which is pretty bloody sharp, but which draws on both of the Alice books. While most attention is on the first one, "Wonderland," which got made into a not bad cartoon by Disney, the deep one is the second one, "Through the Looking Glass," with Dodgson (oh, excuse me, Carrol) a professor of logic at Oxford University, Oh, it really is deep shit.There are so many cliches out of the book, but in fact the more serious ones come from the second one. The most cited of all lines from all the Alice books comes from the second

Read More »

Vladimir Mau Has Been Arrested

July 7, 2022

Vladimir Mau Has Been Arrested, Econospeak, Barkley Rosser

 Vladimir who? I appreciate that most readers have never heard of this individual. But this is the sign of a major new shift in the situation in Russia. To make clear why this is important: until quite recently Vladimir Mau was the top economic advisor of V.V. Putin. Just prior to his arrest, he has just been reelected to the Board of Gazprom, the most important state-owned company in Russia. Apparently his arrest is part of a broader wave of arrests of prominent Russians who have apparently criticized the current policy of Putin. But I do not know what Mau said or did that led to this arrest. For all I had heard and knew he was a strong Putin supporter.

This is arguably the fuller

Read More »

Vladimir Mau Has Been Arrested

July 6, 2022

Vladimir who? I appreciate that most readers have never heard of this individual. But this is the sign of a major new shift in the situation in Russia. To make clear why this is important: until quite recently Vladimir Mau was the top economic advisor of V.V. Putin. Just prior to his arrest, he has just been reelected to the Board of Gazprom, the most important state-owned company in Russia. Apparently his arrest is part of a broader wave of arrests of prominent Russians who have apparently criticized the current policy of Putin. But I do not know what Mau said or did that led to this arrest. For all I had heard and knew he was a strong Putin supporter.This is arguably the fuller confirmation of an older report that had been floating around for several years. This report was that in the

Read More »