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  1. #1
    Globalization Is Freedom
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    Predefinito E' morto Franco Modigliani

    Pietà per l'uomo, naturalmente, e riposi in pace. Ma stiamo attenti a non cadere nel tranello: la sua scomparsa non rende le sue idee meno pericolose. Egli era, in tutti i sensi, un socialista. Che nessuno si lasci coinvolgere nella sua beatificazione!
    Riporto un messaggio postato da Tom DiLorenzo sul blog di LewRockwell.com , che chiarisce bene la questione.



    FRANCO MODIGLIANI, SOCIALIST

    By Thomas DiLorenzo

    Nobel laureate economist Franco Modigliani died last night (Sept. 26). May he rest in peace. May his socialist ideas also rest, but not necessarily in peace.

    Modigliani was a top Keynesian economist who claimed to have championed the role of savings in the private enterprise economy. But in recent interviews in the New York Times and elsewhere, he said his theories suggested that tax cuts and the privatization of social security would be bad for savings! This of course is precisely the opposite of the truth.

    I once "debated" Modigliani in the Wall Street Journal. In 1993 I published an article in the Journal on how the proposed Clinton plan for socialized health care was almost identical to how Mussolini organized the Italian economy ("Clinton Health Plan Salutes Italy's Past," WSJ, Oct. 26, 1993). Modigliani responded with a letter to the editor defending the Clinton plan. His argument was that Clinton would not make the same mistake that Mussolini had, and delegate too much power to "big corporate interests." He would be an even bigger dictator than Mussolini, in other words. Some defense!

    In the same letter the Nobel laureate also said there could never be any price control-induced shortages with monopoly, and the Clinton plan would surely establish a government monopoly and price controls. He cited fellow socialist Abba Lerner as his "authority." In another letter, Austrian economist Steve Horowitz smashed this argument by pointing out that in the Soviet Union nearly every industry was a government-run monopoly with controlled prices, and shortages were the norm!

    Modigliani also defended Clinton's proposed price controls by saying that utility industry rate regulation was a good example of economic efficiency. I responded in a letter of my own pointing out that literally decades of economic research had been devoted to explaining the myriad inefficiencies caused by rate regulation. It's hard to believe that Modigliani was totally unaway of this research, which by then had made it into every introductory economics textbook.

    It was totally fitting that, according to today's newspaper accounts, Modigliani spent his last night at a dinner in honor of the most famous socialist intellectual in America, John Kenneth Galbraith.
    "Non spargerai false dicerie; non presterai mano al colpevole per essere testimone in favore di un'ingiustizia. Non seguirai la maggioranza per agire male e non deporrai in processo per deviate la maggioranza, per falsare la giustizia. Non favorirai nemmeno il debole nel suo processo" (Esodo 23: 1-3)

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  2. #2
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    Predefinito

    Il "nobel", come istituzione,invece, era gia'morto 30 anni fa'.

  3. #3
    Estremista della libertà
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    Predefinito Re: E' morto Franco Modigliani

    Originally posted by Stonewall
    Pietà per l'uomo, naturalmente, e riposi in pace.
    Mi associo.
    Per il resto, ho fiducia nel genere umano e non credo che il fattore emozionale possa orientarlo a celebrare teorie nefaste.
    Che poi, peggio di come già gira il mondo mi sembra estremamente difficile.

  4. #4
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    Predefinito

    Mi sembrate francamente un po' trinariciuti nel vostro integralismo.

    Per quanto la macroeconomia keynesiana possa portare a conclusioni sbagliate, essa ha comunque avuto il pregio di introdurre l'importanza dei mercati finanziari e monetari nei modelli neoclassici.
    Tant'è che la sintesi neoclassica include gli sviluppi keynesiani nel modello IS LM, che è quello che viene insegnato in tutti i corsi universitari.

    Definire poi Modigliani "Socialist" significa poi dimenticare i suoi contributi, assieme a Miller, sulla teoria della finanza di impresa, che sta alla base della finanza moderna.

  5. #5
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    Predefinito

    Economics Focus

    An adventurous economist

    Oct 2nd 2003
    From The Economist print edition


    Franco Modigliani, who died aged 85 on September 25th, left a rich intellectual bequest






    SERENA MODIGLIANI warned her husband not to turn around if someone shouted his name on the streets of Rome. “Otherwise they'll shoot you,” she said. It was the winter of 1978, and Italy was gripped by political violence and economic chaos. Franco Modigliani, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, had returned to the country of his birth to take part in a televised debate, urging unpopular reforms.

    When Mr Modigliani left his hotel the next morning, he heard a man behind him call his name. He tried to walk faster, but his pursuer drew nearer, and finally caught him, grabbing his jacket. An assassin? No: a cobbler, in fact, desperate to tell him that, of all the bigwigs on the television the previous night, Mr Modigliani had been the only one to say “anything comprehensible”.








    With Mr Modigliani and Charles Kindleberger (see article), the economics profession has recently lost not only two of its best minds but also two of its finest communicators. Few economists leave a single mark, yet Mr Modigliani left several, for which he won a Nobel prize in 1985. He crafted a theory of people's saving decisions, which is how most undergraduates first hear of him. His insights into corporate finance launched a revolution in the valuation of companies.

    Before Mr Modigliani came along, economists regarded saving as largely the preserve of the rich. For poorer people, how much they spent and saved depended on their current income. Thus Keynes wrote in his “General Theory” that it was a “psychological law” that saving rose with income. Moreover, to Keynes and his followers saving was as much vice as virtue: in the Depression, it seemed that people were holding back, and were not spending enough to keep the economy going.

    Mr Modigliani was sceptical of this thinking. He noted that the whole story of economic growth and development was one of accumulating capital through thrift. That led him to create—with Richard Brumberg, a graduate student—a more detailed model of how and why people save.

    The upshot was the “life-cycle hypothesis”. In essence, this says that people save during their working lives in order to spend when their income wanes in old age. In a similar way to Milton Friedman's “permanent income hypothesis”, which was developed at about the same time, Mr Modigliani's theory supposes that people base their saving on their expected incomes over their whole lives. Thus they save more when their income is above its expected lifetime average because of transitory shocks, such as an unexpected bonus or a few high-earning years. This may sound obvious now, but the mere idea that people at all income levels forecast their expected lifetime income and save accordingly gave economists a way to model saving—and its counterpart, consumption—mathematically. In the policy arena, any debate about, say, today's pension crisis in rich countries owes much to Mr Modigliani.

    Mr Modigliani later put his talent to work on another problem. In the early post-war years, the study of corporate finance was in its infancy. Questions of how much debt was optimal for a company, or what the effects of a change in dividends would be, were typically left to grey-flannelled businessmen to chat about over three-martini lunches. However, with Merton Miller, a fellow Nobel laureate, Mr Modigliani worked out that, assuming perfect capital markets and tax neutrality, the amount of debt a company has is immaterial.

    AP




    That is because investors base their valuation of a firm on its profits, not the details of its financing. If a company takes on too much debt, making it more risky, investors can take this into account when choosing their personal portfolios. They see through a company's mix of debt and equity (unless, of course, it is obscured by Enronesque devices) and value it appropriately. Nowadays this theory, known as the first Modigliani-Miller proposition, is taught to business students everywhere.

    By a similar logic, the pair devised a second proposition: that dividend policy is also irrelevant. It makes no difference to investors whether a company pays out all its profits to shareholders or keeps and reinvests the lot. In practice, tax systems skew companies' decisions. America's tax system has led companies to pile up debt and until this year favoured capital gains over dividends.



    An independent mind
    Despite his technical gifts, Mr Modigliani showed little appetite for mathematics at school. As he recalled in his autobiography, “Adventures of an Economist”, he received help in the subject. This allowed him to pass his exams early. He left Mussolini's Italy in 1938. Once in America, he took to maths only after seeing its value to the study of economics. Many economics students since have reluctantly learned the same lesson.

    In an age of politically partisan economists, Mr Modigliani maintained his independence. He opposed America's war in Vietnam, but praised Ronald Reagan's cold-war victory for freeing millions from “slavery”. He was an implacable foe of the Gipper's economic policy, criticising what he saw as insane deficits and tax cuts for the rich. Yet he was contemptuous of Italy's high tax rates, which forced ordinary people to become tax-evaders merely in order to live decently. George W. Bush's deficits also drew Mr Modigliani's scorn, as did Mr Bush's recent plans to privatise America's social-security scheme. He argued that private accounts would create more risks and inequalities, but no new incentives for hard work or thrift.

    One assumption of his life-cycle hypothesis was that people saved mostly to take care of themselves, rather than their heirs. That seems to have explained the real behaviour of people quite well. Yet the theory fits Mr Modigliani's own life extremely poorly. Generations of students have learned from his work, and the entire economics profession is the richer for it.

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by Tahoeman
    Mi sembrate francamente un po' trinariciuti nel vostro integralismo.
    Integralisti sono i keynesiani, che ancora difendono i loro modelli fallimentari e immorali.

  7. #7
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    Argh! capisco che non ti vada giù chi sostiene che la spesa pubblica sia necessaria per rilanciare l'economia e in questo mi trovi d'accordo.

    Ma i contributi di Keynes allo studio della macroeconomia secondo me sono importanti e non c'è niente di male nel riconoscerli.

    Quanto ai giudizi di immoralità, visto che nel campo "filosofico" sono piuttosto deboluccio, puoi farmi un breve riassunto delle tue "accuse"?

  8. #8
    Estremista della libertà
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    Originally posted by Tahoeman
    Argh! capisco che non ti vada giù chi sostiene che la spesa pubblica sia necessaria per rilanciare l'economia e in questo mi trovi d'accordo.

    Ma i contributi di Keynes allo studio della macroeconomia secondo me sono importanti e non c'è niente di male nel riconoscerli.
    Nello specifico?

    Quanto ai giudizi di immoralità, visto che nel campo "filosofico" sono piuttosto deboluccio, puoi farmi un breve riassunto delle tue "accuse"?
    Cosa significa aumentare la spesa pubblica se non inasprire la rapina fiscale?

  9. #9
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    Predefinito

    Originally posted by ARI6
    Nello specifico?



    I Neoclassici non tenevano conto in modo adeguato dei mercati della moneta e dei mercati finanziari.
    Determinavano l'equilibrio macroeconomico sul mercato dei beni e sul mercato del lavoro, senza introdurre il mercato della moneta e della finanza nella determinazione dell'equilibrio.
    Di conseguenza, visto che l'equilibrio con questa modellizzazione è già dato, i mercati della moneta e della finanza, secondo i Neoclassici, dovrebbero rispecchiare l'equilibrio dell'economia reale.

    Keynes ha per primo introdotto il ruolo delle aspettative nella modellizzazione dei mercati finanziari e questa sua modellizzazione rende bene conto di alcuni comportamenti che caratterizzano questi mercati.
    Infatti questo suo modo di impostare le cose e il suo modello di determinazione dell'equilibrio macroeconomico sono poi stati ripresi dalla sintesi neoclassica nel modello IS LM.

    Insomma, si può non apprezzare le sue conclusioni ma demonizzarlo è fuori luogo: per prima cosa non era affatto uno stupido (e infatti è stato uno dei pochi economisti che è riuscito a fare i soldi in borsa) secondo le sue teorie gli sono state ispirate dal contesto storico ed economico in cui viveva.

  10. #10
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    Predefinito

    Originally posted by ARI6




    Cosa significa aumentare la spesa pubblica se non inasprire la rapina fiscale?
    Ok, ma Keynes ha motivato questa sua opinone con un modello che, nel contesto storico in cui viveva, si è dimostrato un'ottima via per uscire dalla crisi. Qui entrava in gioco la sua teoria sulle aspettative di lungo periodo: aspettative negative ==> pochi investimenti ==> contrazione della produzione ==> disoccupazione ==> apettative negative.
    In questi casi la sola politica monetaria, secondo Keynes, non sarebbe bastata (a causa della trappola monetaria abbassare i tassi non sarebbe stato possibile) e in ogni caso gli imprenditori non avrebbero investito per via dell cattive aspettative di lungo periodo.
    Risultato?
    Equlibrio di sotto-occupazione.
    Rimedio?
    Aumentare gli investimenti con la spesa pubblica.

    Così facendo, rapina o no, ha salvato gli USA.

    Non dimentichiamo che la situazione negli USA era così nera che mancava poco ad una rivoluzione comunista.

 

 
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