Coffee day 1

As promised, I spent the day today “live-tweeting” the first day of the CofFEE conference. However, I was more than outdone by Bill Mitchell. As well as hosting the conference and giving the final presentation of the day, he has already posted a wrap-up of the day.

The first few sessions focused on specific employment policy topics, such as employment considerations for the mentally ill. In the afternoon, the focus shifted to broader macroeconomic themes, with a heterdox, “modern monetary theory” flavour which would be familiar to readers of Mule posts on money and debt and even more so to readers of Bill’s blog. In most cases the talks linked a better understanding of why government deficits should not be feared back to the case that governments should be doing more to address unemployment. Bill’s presentation, which gave some background on the CofFEE research centre and the history of the conference is a good example of this perspective.

Marshall Auerbach spoke about the challenges facing the euro zone and took a very interesting historical perspective, tracing the region’s “German problem” (i.e. It’s disproportionate economic scale relative to neighboring countries) all the way back to Bismarck.

I will digest all of what I heard today and will hear tomorrow and plan to distill something for a later, more detailed post, but now it’s time for dinner and a possible chance to ask some of the questions suggested in the comments on the last post.

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