INET Interview with Stephen Kinsella

Stephen’s interview at the INET website is here.

14 replies on “INET Interview with Stephen Kinsella”

A bit of Virgil in the morning :

“Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas” (Happy was he who could know the causes of things).

It would be nice to see the EU panjandrums taking heed .

Great interview. Replacing Tubridy with Kinsella, I might learn something from the tv, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon. No quips about he means ‘learning’ not ‘replacing’.

Couple of obs re ‘stock flow consistent model’. Economic models based on constantly shifting variables such as earthquakes, volcanoes,
or the discovery of shale gas as a replacement for petrol by the US are ‘diffivult’ at the best of times to predict:-)Especially when human error is involved!

Speaking of human error. Did I not see Lucinda Creighton explain to us all that derogation or debt relief or debt consolidation is very complicated to do because everything is tied up with everything else and individual pieces of it are too knotted together to unwind ;-(

Did I not hear Fintan O Toole say it would be crazy to leave the euro, but we should make a problem by asking more strongly for debt relief?
Maybe like a baby crying for its soother? Ooops, that’s me that last sentence.

Did I not hear Karl Whelan adopt the magnanimous conciliatory position of, we should perhaps adopt a role somewhere in between.

Unfortunately, we had no Olafur Grimsson present who would have led a different position I’m sure.

Nobody asked the question whether there was any point in arguing for debt reduction in return for a trip on the Titanic?

Euro is going down folks, soon! Its long past the time to take of the blindfolds of smug condescension

We need new oracles. How does Stephen’s dynamic trend modelling holographic account for foresight and wise leadership, or absence thereof.

Speaking of holographics, would be really cool to see a working hologram of his model using the new 3D opengl

@ CB: Nice ones.

“Economic models based on constantly shifting variables such as earthquakes, volcanoes, or the discovery of shale gas as a replacement for petrol by the US are ‘difficult’ at the best of times to predict:-)Especially when human error is involved!”

“Shifting variables! “…human error…” This spells spin!

“…adopt the magnanimous conciliatory position … ” I hope this does not mean what I suspect it means!

“We need new oracles.” Er, I fancy not. Rather see the existing bullsh*****s shopping in Aldi/Lidl, EuroShop, or wherever, for some inexpensive bottles of KopOn. 8)

Red Dwarf had a talking hologram. Poor lad morphed into a human and sought, in vain, for somewhere to stick his RS232 connection.

Thanks again.


@ Brian Woods Snr

Bottles of KopOn, they ran out of those a long time ago, but they’ve loads of GoAway Spray they use when asked diffivult questions 🙂

Sad if nowhere to stick RS232 connections 🙂

You misquoted me, ‘difficult’, I meant ‘diffivult’ haha

Stephen also has a ‘Letter from Limerick’ In Foreign Affairs.

He says the current cut-and-tax, or expansionary fiscal contraction, program looks remarkably similar to the one credited with Ireland’s economic turnaround in the 1980s. The idea is simple: get your fiscal house in order by balancing the books and opening up labor markets. The private sector’s confidence will grow. Investment will come, buoying tax revenues, reducing unemployment, and making everything okay once again.

But that happy story neglects some important historical artifacts — namely Ireland’s two devaluations in the 1980s and 1990s, the creation of the European Single Market, the ready availability of funds from the EU to help build roads and universities, and a demographic dividend of young, well-educated people willing to work for very little. Moreover, Ireland’s business-friendly tax policies and subsidy-driven approach to courting foreign direct investment also helped reinvigorate the nation’s economy. In a few short years, it caught up to its European cousins.

He presents a good summary of the situation although I believe that claimed benefits of devaluations often become received wisdom rather than reflect what was the reality.

The missing ingredient in the criticism of ‘austerity’ is what the alternative adjustment scenario should be when out-of-control bubble public spending built up over a decade, suddenly in a crash situation cannot be financed?

The change has been very severe in the private sector but it’s mainly invisible.

There is certainly new thinking needed on jobs as long-term high unemployment is the reality.

Joe Duffy complaining of a 30% pay cut from an exorbitant level, would be very mild indeed for the typical self-employed person who has dropped pension and health insurance contributions.

I thought many agreed that a major reason for Ireland’s improved economic performance in the late ’80’s went to Nigel Lawson’s tax-cut in Britain, which led to a greater demand for Irish goods?

@michael h

Notice that privatisation is completely off the government agenda? It rarely gets an outing in official economic commentary. During the bubble years, especially before the Celtic Icarus reached its zenith, the leading universities were champing at the bit for privatisation. Now that the downside risk is visible, the chorus is near silent.

However, it is still full ahead with the oublic purse. There was a notice at the weekend for five jobs in one third level establishment. So that is employment creation of a sort.

The issue is whether a small country can at this point in time afford the multiplication of posts across the public sector. Surely within the current cohort of 300,000 public sector workers, suitable people can be transferred about rather than every position having to be filled ex nihilo?

To the TCD Economics Dept., and TCD Business School,

Why does Stephen Kinsella say he was only exposed to the other ways of understanding economics (“there wasn’t just one church”) when he left TCD and went to NUIG? Would he have been exposed to the other ways more if he had done his undergraduate course in Galway, or elsewhere?

To The Physics Dept., and the Computational Physics Course admin./lecturers

Why did you lose a bright student from your course to “the dismal science”? Is your course not taught in an interesting way, is it too narrow?

@ PC: You raise a might contentious matter: the best and brightest DO NOT get steered toward science, technology, engineering and math.

Mind you, if SK had graduated in Physics, methinks he might have been ‘at home’ in the virtual world (some parts) of modern economics. They’re math mad there. Quants comes to mind, not Quantum Mechanics.


@ Ceterisparibus

I don’t need any reality as I run a business; I also want to see a strong recovery.

I just asked a question but it seems hard to get an answer to it. I can go to Google News myself If I want to trawl for news.

@ The Alchemist

One of the problems is that there is a time scale for a fiscal adjustment and the offical line is that by 2016, things will be back on track.

Delusional deskbound ‘experts’ at Big 4 accounting firm PwC last month said we will be back to pre-recession employment levels in 2016; Ernst & Young more realistically said 2030.

The PwC people who clearly know little about developing export markets, were making assumptions about indigenous exports.

Look no further than the €2.5bn science budget and it gives a glimpse of the delusion that persist in many areas.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says there is “little evidence of success” in the commercialisation of university research and 35 spinouts in 2010 produced 150 jobs.

The problem about funding an area that can never become a jobs engine is that there is little for startups in other sectors.

@ MH: “The problem about funding an area that can never become a jobs engine is that there is little for startups in other sectors.”

Yep! And those bozoes are either ignorant of, or care less about, the increasing educational and technical competence of those MILLIONS of labour units in Chindia.

“Sure they will consume all we can produce”. Yep, as long as it is both edible and potable.

But not many folk want to work 12 hours a day, down on the farm, for minimum wages. Now do they? Thought so.

The answer to your Q: SHTF is probably close .


WTF of the day

ANGLO IRISH Bank secured an order for possession yesterday at the High Court for six acres of scrubland in Co Galway used to secure loans totalling over €2.1 million.
Anglo Irish, now called Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Ltd, had granted the four loans to a borrower in 2007.

@ seafóid

And good agricultural land in the Golden Vale was? Let me guess €25,000 p.a. it just gets more and more ridiculous.

At least Stephen Kinsella is plain talking!

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