Archive for June 14th, 2019

100 years of first transatlantic flight..

June 14, 2019

Amazing to note this. Central Bank of Ireland has issued a coin commemorating the 100 years of first transatlantic flight.

As per wikipedia:

British aviators John Alcock and Arthur Brown made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June 1919.[1] They flew a modified First World War Vickers Vimy[2] bomber from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Clifden, Connemara, County Galway, Ireland.

The flight started on 14 June fom Canada and landed in Ireland on 15 June in 16 hours. has a piece on the anniversary.

Ironically, the flight was completed as we were nearing end of WW-I. Shows the complexity of human mind which is capable of both disasters and achievements.

From Harvard vs Hard work economists to scoot and shoot economists..

June 14, 2019

Lots of discussion ever since Arvind Subramaniam released his controversial paper. This was expected and am sure the former CEA weighed it before releasing.

This one by Sanjeev Ahluwalia is really hard-hitting. Earlier the foreign based economists were criticised as Harvard vs Hard-work. He adds another term for them: scoot and shoot economists. It means they change their location conveniently while writing their opinion. He also says such scooting and shooting will lead to government not taking interest in lateral entry recruitment.

Why Adam Smith ideas mean different things for different people

June 14, 2019

Nice piece by Glory M Liu, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Political Theory Project at Brown University. She is currently working on a book project titled ‘Inventing the Invisible Hand: Adam Smith in American Thought and Politics, 1776-Present’.

Liu argues how Smith leads to fight between people:

People like to fight over Adam Smith. To some, the Scottish philosopher is the patron saint of capitalism who wrote that great bible of economics, The Wealth of Nations (1776). Its doctrine, his followers claim, is that unfettered markets lead to economic growth, making everyone better off. In Smith’s now-iconic phrase, it’s the ‘invisible hand’ of the market, not the heavy hand of government, that provides us with freedom, security and prosperity. 

To others, such as the Nobel prizewinning economist Joseph Stiglitz, Smith is the embodiment of a ‘neoliberal fantasy’ that needs to be put to rest, or at least revised. They question whether economic growth should be the most important goal, point to the problems of inequality, and argue that Smith’s system would not have enabled massive accumulations of wealth in the first place. Whatever your political leanings, one thing is clear: Smith speaks on both sides of a longstanding debate about the fundamental values of modern market-oriented society.

But these arguments over Smith’s ideas and identity are not new. His complicated reputation today is the consequence of a long history of fighting to claim his intellectual authority.


Scholars keep inventing, reinventing and cherrypick Smith:

Indeed, it is easy to forget that Smith – who he was, is, and what he stands for – has been invented and reinvented by different people, writing and arguing in different times, for different purposes. It can be tempting to dismiss some past interpretations and uses of Smith as quaint, superficial, misleading or wrong.

But they also reveal something about how and why we read him. Smith’s value has always been political, and it’s often politicised. But much of that value stems from assumptions about the neutrality and objectivity of the science he invented when, in fact, those assumptions are ones that his later readers projected onto him. Smith was a scientist, no doubt, but his ‘science of man’ (in David Hume’s phrasing) was not value-free. At the same time, we should be wary of reading his science through the lens of a single normative value – whether that is freedom, equality, growth or something else.

Adam Smith’s works remain vital because our need to identify and understand the values of a market society, to take advantage of its unique powers and temper its worst impulses, is as important as at any time in the previous two centuries. Economic ideas carry immense power. They have changed the world as much as armies and navies. The extraordinary breadth and sophistication of Smith’s thought reminds us that economic thinking can not – and should not – be separated from moral and political decisions. 

Perhaps one of the most important lines written on Smith’s works…

Financial revolution in Republican China: 1900-1937 (rare case of finance being freed from State)

June 14, 2019

Nice research by Prof Debin Ma of LSE:


12 Quotes from Leo Tolstoy on Truth, Violence, and Government

June 14, 2019

Nice compilation by Jon Miltimore:


30 years of Banca d’Italia (Central Bank of Italy) in Japan

June 14, 2019

Apart from analysing commercial banks opening branches in foreign countries, it is also interesting to see central banks opening branches in foreign countries. Central banks open branches in foreign countries for exchanging views and liaisoning.

Bank of Italy opened its branch in Japan in 1989. They reflect on the 30 years of completion.

BoJ Governor Kuroda gives a speech and Ignazio Visco, Governor of the Bank of Italy, shares his view.



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