Sunday, February 15, 2009

Irving Fisher!

The financial crisis and recession have renewed interest in Irving Fisher's "debt deflation" theory, a scary portent indeed.... At Vox, Enrique Mendoza offers "Crisis Lessons from Irving Fisher," and he gets a profile in The Economist:
[Fisher] described debt deflation as a sequence of distress-selling, falling asset prices, rising real interest rates, more distress-selling, falling velocity, declining net worth, rising bankruptcies, bank runs, curtailment of credit, dumping of assets by banks, growing distrust and hoarding.
So, is the "Minsky Moment" to be followed by an "Irving Fisher Interlude"? We can count on Ben Bernanke, whose own academic work on the "financial accelerator" follows in Fisher's footsteps, to continue to use all the tools he has - and all that he can dream up - to make sure it isn't.

Update: Krugman is also thinking about Fisher.

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