Central bankers should admit their mistakes
August 13, 2012
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Intersting summer interview with top brass Andy Haldane in Bank of England. He reflect on the state of economics and the need for financial reform.
He makes the case for fundamental uncertainty (as adwocated by Keynes and Hayek) and notes that this insight somehow got lost from economics and finance for the better part of 20 or 30 years! Quote:
I think one of the great errors we as economists made in pursuing that was that we started believing the assumptions of economics, and saying things that made no intellectual sense. The hope was that, by basing models on mathematics and particular assumptions about ‘optimising’ behaviour, they would become immune to changes in policy. But we forgot the key part, which is that the models are only true if the assumptions that underpin those models are also true. And we started to believe that what were assumptions were actually a description of reality, and therefore that the models were a description of reality, and therefore were dependable for policy analysis. With hindsight, that was a pretty significant error.
As for financial regulation, he thinks we may have to go even further in rethinking finance and banking before the crisis is over.
Quite an interesting read from a key central banker today.