Streetwise Professor

June 11, 2011

My Kind of Guy

Filed under: Economics,Politics — The Professor @ 2:13 pm

Mexico’s chief central banker, and University of Chicago econ PhD, Agustín Carstens is the dark horse candidate to replace accused rapist Dominique Strauss-Kahn as head of the IMF.  He is the main challenger to Frenchperson Christine Lagarde.

The main knock from the Euros against Carsten is, according to the FT, his Chicago pedigree: specifically, “he studied economics at Chicago University [Note to FT: WTF is Chicago University?], famed for its orthodoxy [emphasis added].”  As if to emphasize the point, John Paul Rathbone writes in the FT that “as a University of Chicago-educated economist, Mr Carstens is somehow too orthodox, and therefore out of touch with these increasingly Keynesian times.”  If you Google “Carstens IMF Chicago orthodox” you get 113,000 results.

Chicago?  Orthodox?  Spare me.  Chicago has become more mainstream lately, but Chicago-qua-Chicago is a notoriously unorthodox place.  It was the leader of rebellion against Keynesian orthodoxy–yes, it was the orthodoxy–for decades.  Free market economics is definitely not orthodoxy, especially in Europe (the focus of opposition to Carstens).

No, international organizations like the IMF and the World Bank are the bastions of all sorts of smelly little orthodoxies–all of which are statist to the core.  That, in fact is the real problem.  Bleats about orthodoxy are an inversion of the real fears about Carstens: that he will upset the insular little world dominated by French dirigistes like Strauss-Kahn and Lagard and the “elite” bien pensents from Europe and the United States.

But maybe the real reason for opposition to Carstens is revealed in this WSJ article: he’s a Cubs fan.

Chicago grad.  Cubs fan.  Opposed by the French.  Definitely my kind of guy.

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  1. There is a nasty rumor going around that he was sighted at a Social D concert a while ago. Supposedly, that is what has people thinking he is really a loose cannon.

    Comment by Charles — June 11, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

  2. The perfect candidate to keep advancing the Reconqui — er, North American Union. It’s ok though because Senor Equis already habla espanol muy bien.

    Comment by Mr. X — June 11, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

  3. The Europeans are scared sh*t that anybody other Lagarde wil get the job because they want a sympathetic ear in solving their mess and don’t want an outsider and non keynesian dictating terms to them. They are in such bad shape that what they really need is an Austrian School proponent to put things in order as we need as well!

    Comment by Bob — June 12, 2011 @ 9:46 pm

  4. Considering the No. 1 Cubs fan Obama sitting in left field, the nations No. 1 Obama fan sitting in the mayor’s office, the Cubs are one place out of the bottom in MLB, and the commissioner’s office is warning fans about uncontrolled violence in Chicago, there is only one conclusion that follows-you see any glass as half full.

    Comment by pahoben — June 13, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

  5. Sorry I impugned the honor of the Cubs-I forgot that he is a huge Whit Sox fan.

    Comment by pahoben — June 13, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

  6. Calling the IMF and World Bank “statist to the core,” as though these institutions are bolstering sovereign self-determination and acting to block some alternate arrangement capable of sustaining today’s precarious leverage and associated, high correlation of risk, seems misleading. These rather have been regulators of movement on the road over which the world must move with haste if leverage is not to presently implode (or, more accurately, if power it holds is not to be shattered).

    Whether the IMF and World Bank might better be thought “fascist to the core” should be all the more determined over future weeks, as posterity of once prosperous people increasingly faces a future as slave. Certainly, the IMF’s performance thus far in the euro-zone confirms fascist, indeed, is more accurate sight for an American patriot.

    Comment by TC — June 13, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

  7. […] that’s always clinches the deal with me, a very biased and close-minded bigot*.Check out this post, for instance this recent post. And this […]

    Pingback by Blogroll reshuffle « ????????? ??????? — June 14, 2011 @ 8:46 am

  8. @TC–fascism is a particular form of statism, but you’re right, I was not sufficiently careful in my description. I would say IMF and WB are elite-dominated and reflect the interests and views of elites in certain countries, esp. the US and Europe. They tend to favor top-down solutions and are technocratic and dirigiste, and not sympathetic to spontaneous orders and open orders. So, in other words, pretty much an anathema to me.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — June 14, 2011 @ 11:09 am

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