Apuntes sobre la intervención de C. A. Varney en el "workshop" sobre la revisión de las Guías de integraciones horizontales

En relación con las palabras que pronunció el día de ayer, 27 de enero, la señora Christine A. Varney, asistente del Attorney General del DOJ, en el último «workshop» sobre la revisión de las Guías sobre Integraciones Horizontales (intactas desde 1992, salvo por la sección sobre eficiencias) quiero resaltar su referencia al giro del Juez Posner en el sentido de que se convirtió en Keynesiano (véase, Richard A. Posner, How I Became a Keynesian: Second Thoughts in a Recession, New Republic, Sept. 23, 2009, at 34, 35). Tan pronto leí esa afirmación busqué el artículo citado y me encontré con las siguientes sorpresas:

«We have learned since September [Nota: hace alusión a la crisis de los bancos] that the present generation of economists has not figured out how the economy works. The vast majority of them were blindsided by the housing bubble and the ensuing banking crisis; and misjudged the gravity of the economic downturn that resulted; and were perplexed by the inability of orthodox monetary policy administered by the Federal Reserve to prevent such a steep downturn; and could not agree on what, if anything, the government should do to halt it and put the economy on the road to recovery.» (…)

«Baffled by the profession’s disarray, I decided I had better read The General Theory. Having done so, I have concluded that, despite its antiquity, it is the best guide we have to the crisis.» (…)

«The dominant conception of economics today, and one that has guided my own academic work in the economics of law, is that economics is the study of rational choice. People are assumed to make rational decisions across the entire range of human choice, including but not limited to market transactions, by employing a form (usually truncated and informal) of cost-benefit analysis. The older view was that economics is the study of the economy, employing whatever assumptions seem realistic and whatever analytical methods come to hand. Keynes wanted to be realistic about decision-making rather than explore how far an economist could get by assuming that people really do base decisions on some approximation to cost-benefit analysis.» (…)

«So I will let a contrite Gregory Mankiw, writing in November 2008 in The New York Times, amid a collapsing economy, have the last word: «If you were going to turn to only one economist to understand the problems facing the economy, there is little doubt that the economist would be John Maynard Keynes. Although Keynes died more than a half-century ago, his diagnosis of recessions and depressions remains the foundation of modern macroeconomics. His insights go a long way toward explaining the challenges we now confront. . . . Keynes wrote, ‘Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slave of some defunct economist.’ In 2008, no defunct economist is more prominent than Keynes himself.»

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