Saturday, 24 November 2012

Micawber Job Rule

Number of workers: 20, number of jobs: 19, result misery.


Tom Bergbusch said...

How about:
-- It was [no longer] the best of times; it was the worst of times;

or, from Little Dorrit, and excluding currency issuers of course, proving that Ponzi was a plagiarist:

-- “[Credit is a system whereby] a person who can't pay, gets another person who can't pay, to guarantee that he can pay.”

Neil Wilson said...

There's also the Micawber quote that I swear all politicians have on their wall:

"Welcome poverty!..Welcome misery, welcome houselessness, welcome hunger, rags, tempest, and beggary! Mutual confidence will sustain us to the end"

AndyCFC said...

Mark Hoban, the Employment Minister, said: “Sadly some people are clearly very determined to avoid having to get job at all and are failing to play by the rules.

"But we are very clear – sitting at home on benefits, doing nothing, is not an option for those who are fit and capable of work.

Nice...what a scumbag!

Anonymous said...

Ahoy Neil,

Got a question for you, but on a different subject entirely.

It's been estimated that outstanding student debt in the U.S. currently totals over $1 trillion. Since this $1 trillion represents loans, and thus deposits, would this be reflected in the M1 money stock figure?

I recently happened upon this piece arguing that college costs aren't as ridiculous as often indicated, and one of its points is that if you adjust for inflation, the increase appears much more modest. But I find myself wondering: If an increasing percentage of college expenses undertaken correspond with debt growth, and debt growth is money growth (yes, I know, the quantity theory is often misleading, but it's at least one important factor of inflation), then wouldn't adjusting for inflation introduce measurement problems? (I'm envisioning something along the lines of Cantillon effects, at the very least.)

Neil Wilson said...

Shouldn't be in M1 unless they are central bank loans.

They are just bank loans aren't they?

What increased debt injection does to a market depends upon the supply response. In Housing it causes a price spike. In Socks it does not.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, they're just bank loans, though a goodly sum are federally insured, and there are a bunch of odd rules otherwise that prevent their discharge through bankruptcy, making them curiously persistent.

Can you explain (or point me to a source illustrating) how it is that central bank loans differ, in this case? Would student loans be reflected in M2, if not M1?

This is one of those things that I find so odd; I read a zillion blog posts about endogenous money, how bank loans create money, central bank is lender of last resort and must supply reserves, banks don't LEND reserves, blah blah -- and then as soon as I try to apply this information, I hit some previously invisible caveat ("but not like that, exactly").

Neil Wilson said...

You can get very confused looking at those M? numbers. They are based on the multipler model and are inherently confusing.

The capacity of the system to lend money is based on the capital available in the banks.

MB includes central bank loans to/from regulated institutions (which is what 'reserves' are).

M1 includes only demand deposits, which is the overnight stuff. The ordinary retail deposits are in M2 (like your checking account!)

tbh given the interconnected nature of finance, you're generally better off working on M4 since that tries to cover off all the interesting variants of lending and re-lending that goes on in modern finance.

cringing2 said...

10 dogs, 9 bones.

Neoliberal solution: pay for training of the dog that missed out.

Next day, provide 9 more bones.