Faithful readers will recognize Ferguson as an entertaining teller of tales who has somehow developed the idea that he is a Man of Vision. That's to be expected, I guess; once you bear the weight of two named Harvard professorships, it would be surprising if you retained any sanity at all. So it is hardly surprising that we heard stuff like this:
- He beat up on Paul Krugman for endorsing Depression-era deficit spending, without seeming to grasp that Krugman's complaint is that we spent too little in the Depression: caught between Roosevelt's diffidence and the counter-cyclic pressure from the states (sound familiar?) we were left with the need of a great war to bail us out.
- He sniped about "Keynsianism" but than morphed into an attack on quantitative easing as if he can't tell the difference between fiscal policy and monetary --i.e., precisely the distinction that lies at the heart of the conflict between Keynes and his free-market critics.
- He seems to be under the impression that the Depression was an era of isolated national, as distinct from global, markets. Dear God, has this man never heard of the Gold Standard?