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A podcast and three amigos video

Summary:
A new Grumpy Economist podcast, summarizing a lot of the last week and some newer thoughts.A video discussion with Niall Ferguson and H.R. McMaster on the Covid-19  situation, focusing on longer-run implications.I ran out of time on one important point. The US is now playing the 2008 playbook on a grand scale -- bailout, stimulus, ...

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A podcast and three amigos video

A new Grumpy Economist podcast, summarizing a lot of the last week and some newer thoughts.


A podcast and three amigos video

A video discussion with Niall Ferguson and H.R. McMaster on the Covid-19  situation, focusing on longer-run implications.

I ran out of time on one important point. The US is now playing the 2008 playbook on a grand scale -- bailout, stimulus, Fed printing trillions of cash and lending it to avoid bankruptcy. Apparently "infrastructure stimulus" is next. We're sort of like a 2 year old with a hammer, to which everything looks like a nail.

The danger in what we are doing is likewise that this becomes enshrined as standard pandemic policy for the next time -- shut down the whole economy, print rivers of cash, wait for technology to save us.  This episode should be regarded as what not to do, so we have a robust and fast-moving public health response that avoids a shutdown.

Niall and H.R. are quite a bit more guns-ho for Cold War 2 with China than I am, and see the virus as confirmation of that need. I think we'll have more of that discussion in future episodes.

John H. Cochrane
In real life I'm a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford. I was formerly a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. I'm also an adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute. I'm not really grumpy by the way!

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