Editorial Policy


(For statistical material go to our References section!)

In this blog, CrisisMaven tries to reflect the past and possible future developments in the global economy as well as history at large. As described in the About page, comments are welcome as long as they adhere to some basic tenets of civility and are referring to the subject in question.

Study Guide Format

As far as time allows, all articles here will be very heavily annotated in the form of embedded hyperlinks that lead to some deeper understanding of the hyperlinked topic in question.

However, the hyperlinks provided need not necessarily lead to references whose author’s opinions coincide with CrisisMaven’s. Rather, each hyperlink reference will be chosen for its giving an interesting or elucidating insight into the term thus referenced, the rationale being that what drives this crisis is also a lack of general education both in history, in sound economics as well as in logical rigour. While many may not be good mathematicians, what has brought this crisis about was that most economists who applied mathematics to their models were not aware of their shortcomings in the field, Nobel Memorial Prizes or not. As with psychology, the widespread use of “mathematics” in the social sciences is fraught with errors such as applying averages to ordinals by treating them as cardinal numbers and by using statistics on variables that are not independent of each other as probability theory in most such cases demands as an ingoing proposition. Had that not happened, then no one would have been taken by surprise with scenarios that were “25 standard deviations out of whack” and other such nonsense.

Annotations, Quotations and Referencing Policy

Having said that, all inline hyperlinked references are notscientific annotations” in the ordinary sense but are given as “food for thought” and should normally satisfy at least one of the following criteria:

  • They either elucidate or corroborate a point being made in the post where citation occurs,
  • or the reference is to an opinion that is opposed to the author’s or at least views things from rather a different angle, but which CrisisMaven feels should be considered,
  • and it is always the shortest and most direct way CrisisMaven will use to give credit to sources he has found useful or that he sees as useful to the general reader.

Often all three criteria may coincide.

Reports of broken links in comments of the respective article are greatly appreciated as well as suggestions of suitable additional links.

The real scientific references from the author’s point of view are always those which are expressly quoted in the text of the posted article, be they textual block quotes or graphical illustrations.

NOTE 1: When you hover (mouse-over) over a particular link WORDPRESS will generally show a preview of the page the link points to. Should you have disabled it and want to turn the mshot preview on again, follow this advice.

NOTE 2: You will often find that those hyperlinks mentioned become fewer as you read on in any particular post. In most cases that is not for lack of references but due to the fact that inserting hyperlinked references is quite a tedious job compared to just writing things down so I may often decide to first publish an article the contents of which I deem complete and then over the course of days, weeks and maybe sometimes even months I will add more and more hyperlinks to the existing articles. So if you’re interested in that secondary information or are interested in the “study guide feature” revisit older posts sporadically and follow the newly added links.

Credit: Often when referring to a term of general knowledge I place a hyperlink to Wikipedia. That is not a general endorsement as to the quality of each and every article cited, in fact there are constant disputes, however, you probably agree with me that it is one of the most accessible and generally best worded sources of information plus as a rule it gives you further external references should you want to investigate a subject further. Should you appreciate what Wikipedia is doing, then consider donating or becoming an author or even administrator. Also check out these related sources like Wikibooks, Wikiversity or WikiSource.

CrisisMaven also wants to thank everyone to whose material this blog links to, for all the material cited or referenced and thanks all those who link back, use trackback or otherwise make this blog known to others.

  1. Johnny
    2011-03-24 at 19:35 | #1

    Hallo, bin Leser des ‘Gelben Forums’ und wollte mich auf diesem Wege mal ganz herzlich für Ihre wirklich informativen und wertvollen Beiträge bedanken! Machen Sie weiter so! Lg Johnny

  2. 2010-05-02 at 19:45 | #2

    efficiency comments slowly recent work carbon driven [url=http://www.ghanabusinessnews.com]program emit different web[/url] http://www.pcworld.com

  3. 2010-03-28 at 02:05 | #3

    Hi,

    I am a Vancouver-based business journalist, covering North America for leading papers in Germany.
    In my own WordPress blog, Gaertner´s Blog (markusgaertner.wordpress.com) I highlighted your blogs wonderful reference list of visualisation websites. You can find the post here http://tinyurl.com/ylcmjhv
    I recently got a nomination for the “Finance Blog of the Year 2010″ award.
    You will see upon visiting that my blog is built around my ECONCHART brand, a series of business infographs which highlight major developments in Europe, North America and Asia with a Pacific perspective.
    If you are interested in us exchanging our links on the blogroll, I´d be happy to go ahead.
    Furthermore, since you have an affinity to visualisation, I can offer you to reprint my charts for free in Crisis Maven with proper attributes.
    Cheers and best wishes,
    Markus Gaertner
    Here is my slide galery http://www.slideshare.net/markusgaertner

  4. 2010-02-26 at 14:28 | #5

    Hi from Germany,

    unfortunately I was not ble to find an e-mail-adress to contact you, so I do it this way.
    During the turmoil of 2007-2008 I stumbled upon a german forum in which there are financial experts who actually know “Austrian economics” but reject it nevertheless. I was quite astounded, as I previously only had read of economists who either did not know or did not understand the “Austrians”.
    They call themselves “Debitisten” (relying on Paul C. Martin). My study of their thoughts was very useful, as they very accurately (in my opinion) describe the way monetary matters work out in reality, which is pretty counterintuitive, especially for “austrians”. For instance: I had never considered the danger of deflation, as I thought it to be impossible under a fiat money regime (the FED keeps “printing” money after all, doesn`t it).
    The problem I have is that they imply that things have to be they way they describe it and their arguments are pretty compelling.
    Could you please have a look at this short discussion and perhaps tell me how to “debunk” the ideas they have?

    http://www.dasgelbeforum.de.org/forum_entry.php?id=151929&page=0&category=0&order=last_answer

    In one of the answers, there is this link, which is worth reading and explains more deeply their view:

    http://www.dasgelbeforum.de.org/forum_entry.php?id=92140

    I`d appreciate your thought!

    All the best and herzliche Grüße

    Fabio

    • 2010-02-26 at 18:09 | #6

      Hi, I’ve begun to look into this, Fabio. Yes, I think I would have to say something to that. I wouldn’t exactly call it “refute” as that sounds a bit like direct opposition. At first glance the arguments seem a hodge-podge of micro-economic and macro-economic reasoning which are always prone lead to several paradoxa (like “Zenon’s”) that are not solvable as long as one stays inside the circle of arguments. An interesting challenge though. Since this inflation/deflation argument rages all across the internet (cf. Mish Shedlock’s blog which I admire though not agree with in all respects) I would like to put that into my “Economic Fallacy” series – do you offhand know any English-speaking “debitist” sites as well?
      As for the deflation/inflation debate in general: there are in theory and in practice four “threads” of this controversy: those that see inflation as an increase and consequently deflation as a decrease of the amount of money in circulation (like the Austrians). This is the “old” definition still to this day found in dictionaries. Then there’s the newspeak where rising prices are inflation, and lower prices deflation. And the other two controversies are a combination of the two where deflation (lower prices) is fought by inflation (of the monetary base, lower interest rates etc.) or vice versa.
      Now it is easy to see that newly created central bank money is inflation if that money amount increases net (old definition). But to have an effect on prices it needs to circulate. As long as it sits there in “excess” reserves it is not (yet) bidding up the price of anything. So when I warn of inflationary dangers I argue much as the man who sees a train coming that hasn’t yet hit and still describes it as a danger whereas the “quantitative easers” accuse me (and others) of arguing against the value of railroads to mankind. But even if it begins to circulate it doesn’t bid up all prices everywhere, quite to the contrary: while people have little money (or feel they have) they don’t squander it as much as they used to. They curtail spending at Wal-Mart’s thus depressing food prices, TV prices, sneaker prices etc. Bingo! We have “deflation”, says the price inflation camp. At the same time those “savers” begin to invest in shares, the share price goes up, but no way is this price inflation, as it is not in the “Consumer Price Index” (CPI); and gold goes up, but that, of course, must be a bubble – after all, who in his right mind buys gold? At the same time oil becomes cheaper because demand decreases or a new oil field has been discovered. Hell, more deflation, the end is near, create even more credit for consumption! The oil field just discovered proves a dud, a war in Nigeria and a terrorist-exploded pipeline in Iraq further diminish oil coming to market, the oil price shoots through thr roof. This false oil discovery prompts an expert to do a meta study of all recent findings and discovers more reserves are overstated, now even the futures go through the roof. Now coal and gas prices go up as well since knowledgeable market participants anticipate imminent substitutive effects and the typical delays until new coal mines come online predict shortages etc. pp. The CPI goes up across the board as in Marshmallows as well as sneakers as well as, hell, solar anels there is energy consumption in production. Help! We have inflation (prices rise), we need to raise interest rates – is it any wonder that the solar panel manufacturer who just was getting even due to that oil scare, now goes bankrupt as he can’t refinance his plant extension? And, oh wonder, shares begin to tank, people feel poorer, they consume even less. And so on and on. In such a theme park of false flags it is hard to make an argument that no one gets wrong.

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