Economics Matters by Laurence Kotlikoff
Economics Matters by Laurence Kotlikoff Podcast
Inflation, Interest Rates, Fed Policy, and the Evolution of Economics Science: Insights from Harvard's Fabulous Economist, Benjamin Friedman
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Inflation, Interest Rates, Fed Policy, and the Evolution of Economics Science: Insights from Harvard's Fabulous Economist, Benjamin Friedman

This week I sit down with Benjamin Friedman, a distinguished professor of economics at Harvard University and a prolific author whose works have significantly shaped economic thought. Renowned for his insightful analysis intertwining economics, history, and policy, Ben brings a depth of understanding that is both profound and broadly influential. His notable books, such as "The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth" and "Religion and the Rise of Capitalism," have garnered widespread acclaim for their insightful perspectives on economic philosophy and policy.

Topics Covered:

  • Economic Growth and Social Consequences

  • Historical Economic Thought and Religion

  • U.S. Fiscal Policy Through the Decades

  • Inflation, Monetary Policy, and the Federal Reserve

Timestamps:

  • 08:54 Background, growth, interest in economics, monetary policy.

  • 15:35 Interest in financial markets and public policy.

  • 20:39 Higher inflation leads to shooting interest rates.

  • 26:24 High economy demand, post-war inflation inevitable.

  • 29:27 Inflation blamed on monetary policy, oil prices.

  • 35:14 Economy and money are not neutral now.

  • 38:36 Praise for Volcker’s handling of tough times.

  • 46:15 Interest rates influence borrowing and spending uncertainty.

  • 52:59 Federal Reserve changed system to pay interest.

  • 57:07 Government fiscal gap unsustainable, may require tax hikes.

  • 01:00:53 Unsustainable government policy leads to inflation concerns.

  • 01:07:45 Off-the-books debt dwarfs official debt.

  • 01:11:28 Unfunded fiscal gap and burden on future generations.

  • 01:19:37 Economics is intertwined with religion throughout history.

  • 01:25:35 Ben recommends 14 books for deep education.

This episode offers listeners a comprehensive education in economics, unraveling how historical events, policy decisions, and economic philosophies are intricately connected. Ben's authoritative voice and nuanced analysis provide valuable insights for anyone interested in understanding the broader implications of economic growth and policy on society.

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Economic Matters - The podcast is hosted by Laurence Kotlikoff,  a Boston University Economist, a NY Times Best Selling Author, President of maxifi.com, and Author of Money Magic.

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