5 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. The US and Great Britain are stimulating their economies through what is called quantitative easing. What this means is that governments create new money without taking out a loan and then they use the money to purchase bad assets from the banks. This approach will work and not create inflation provided the banks do something sensible with the new money.

    There is another way of using quantitative easing to stimulate the economy that is guaranteed NOT to cause inflation by making sure that the new money created is spent on new productive assets rather than leaving it up to the banks. We could increase the money supply by 50 billion dollars and give it to the new National Broadband Network. The money will not earn interest until it is spent. The money is given to the population as shares in the company. That is, everyone who wants them is given shares with a face value of $2,500. The National Broadband Network will spend the money over the next 10 years so the increase in the money supply will be a relatively slow stimulus but many people will sell their shares for whatever they can get – probably about $1,000. This will also stimulate the economy. The result will be that the government will stimulate the economy by injecting money but it will not increase the government debt and we will end up with a National Broadband Network owned by the people.

    If the National Broadband Network is a poor investment then the value of the NBN shares will drop rather than inflation increase. This same approach can be used for other infrastructure projects where it is difficult to get private investment. Examples are renewable energy projects, public transport infrastructure, education and health facilities.

    The approach means that the government need not spend tax money on infrastructure but let the infrastructure pay for itself.

  2. It seems, from a report in Open Access News that copyright law in the US is even crazier than one could have thought possible:
    …Advanced Biological Laboratories…seems to be trying to claim to have rights over many (or maybe they think all) uses of…computers to help doctors make medical decisions. And they have been trying to get people to license their IP/software for doing this and one way they appear to be trying to get “users” is by suing them….

    Sadly, Stanford University appears to have given in to the lawsuits even though their validity is debatable.
    See Patents endanger OA database on HIV

  3. Joe – great! We should NEVER have let commercial interests pervade the public knowledge banks……what else can one say on this? Unis doing commercial deals with private sector firms over the dissemination of knowledge and what knowledge is disseminating is now being passed off as “public interest” knowledge?

    Stupid. Utterly, utterly stupid….

    Those who have the deepest pockets get to pass their products off as “academically endorsed” (like Nutri grain has been endorsed by athletes) per their own marketing departments rather than through reputable unbiased scientific investigations.

    We brought this on ourselves. We chose to go down the road of commercialism of public “open knowledge” universities. We invited those firms – the publishers and producers (and their money and influence) into public universities (with their funding deals and research grants and sponsorships) and they want something in return. Its not a philanthropic investment they make. And uni managements are bowing and asking “how low”?

  4. Alert: A securitisation thing, 5 years in the making, is showing its head:


    Sometime last year, around the time of the Lehman collapse, I posted a satirical comment on securitisation that attracted the wrath of one commenter.

    The difference between the content of my then hypothetical and satirical example and the above referenced scheme is ownership.

    In my example, the non-sense securities were written voluntarily by the owners of a house and its content.

    The real life scheme, described in the smh, skips the owners of houses and goes straight to the gambling using statistical averages as ‘underlying securities’. But statistical averages are not securities!

    If the proposed scheme is getting regulatory clearance then ‘they’ (regulators and banks) have learnt nothing from the global financial crisis.

    Prof. Quiggin, I feel this real life development calls for your critical examination and comment.

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