Tuesday, 22 January 2013

This blog

Whenever there is a financial crisis there is a debate about how to solve it. And in these debates people almost inevitably cite evidence and experiences from past historical crises to bolster the credibility of their arguments. In theory, this should enable us to learn from the past and become increasingly good at handling financial crises. However, as the trajectory of the current crisis, and many before it, suggests, this does not always seem to be the case. In essence, the research project asks 'why are we so bad at learning from the past in economic and financial matters'?

In this blog, I will talk about the progress of my research but, more importantly, I want to comment on the use of historical evidence in debates about the current crisis. This is not primarily about 'fact checking' (although there will be a little bit of that). Mainly, my question will be, whether the historical analogies and examples cited by commentators make sense. And if so: what does the past have to tell us about our present crisis?

I will post more about the project and the blog soon. But now I want to start with the first post. Yesterday's 'Financial Times' had a great piece of historical comparison. Let's see how great it really was. 

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