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"Straight Talk" with Economic Bloggers

By Mike Shedlock on 10/28/2010 – 9:18 am PDTLeave a Comment

Chris Martenson asked his readers which bloggers they would like to learn more about, and what questions the readers had for those bloggers. I was one of the bloggers on Martenson’s list.

The questions (in red below) range from who I learned from (the answer is a mile long), to peak oil, risk management, gold, China, hyperinflation, and pretty much all the hot topics of the day.

I would like to share the Q&A with my readers as well.

Here is a repeat of Straight Talk with Mike Shedlock (aka “Mish”) as appears on, with slight differences in formatting but otherwise the exact content.

1. You’ve gone from mainframe computer programming analyst (in 2005) to being one of the most widely-read econobloggers in the world today. To what extent do you attribute your competitive advantage to holding a non-traditional background vs. the more ‘classically’ trained analysts and commentators?

Mish: It certainly helps not having a background in economics as taught by academia today. Nearly everyone in academia is a Keynesian or Monetarist.

It is safe to say that Krugman is the high priest of the Keynesians. In current academia, Greg Mankiw is arguably the high priest of the Monetarists. If we include the Fed, then the Monetarist high priest is without a doubt Ben Bernanke, whose background just happens to be academia, as opposed to any real world experience.

I find it amusing to see the battles between the two camps when they are both wrong about their proposed solutions. The only thing they are ever right about is when they attack each other.

In contrast, I had some very good teachers with non-academic backgrounds in self-taught Austrian economics. One of them is a friend for going on 10 years. I refer to him on my blog by his initials “HB”. He has done a couple guest blogs on my site under the name “Trotsky”.

Those posts are Misconceptions about Gold and Why does fiat money seemingly work?

“HB” now has his own blog under yet another pen name, Pater Tenebrarum. The Blog is called Acting Man, with a perspective of Austrian economics.

I also need to thank Barry Ritholtz at the Big Picture Blog for early on promoting my work, Todd Harrison at Minyanville, and of course Calculated Risk who actually created the first template for my blog.

Interestingly, Barry, CR, and I have been 1-2-3 (in various orders) in terms of page counts according to Traffic Rankings for individual, non-corporate sponsored blogs.

Marc Faber has influenced me a lot and I consider his book Tomorrow’s Gold to be required reading. Marc is also a friend even though we disagree on the inflation/deflation debate.

There are two other must-read books and the electronic versions come at the great deflationary price of zero

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Tags: , chris martenson, greg mankiw, , ,

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