Wouter J. den Haan - Easy Reading

Articles in English

VOX columns
  • My VOX columns, can be found here
UK economy
  • In 2013 Autumn statement I comment on the 2013 Autumn statement.
  • In introduction, I give an overview on the history of and the economics behind forward guidance. I also discuss whether the forward guidance policy of the Bank of England does or does not provide additional stimulus.
    • The complete eBook "Forward guidance: Perspectives from Central bankers, scholars and market participants can be found here
Financial sector Modern Macro
  • Oct. 21 2011: Letter to Financial Times about 2011 Nobel prize. Media economists continue to display their ignorance about modern macroeconomics. There are two misperceptions. The first misperception is about the implications of rational expectations. In particular, I wish that media economists would understand that rational expectations
    • does not imply that markets are efficient,
    • does not imply that demand is equal to supply,
    • does not imply that only fundamentals matter for asset prices (e.g. selffulfilling beliefs, sun spots and bubbles are possible with rational expectations),
    • does not imply that there cannot be market collapse (see e.g. my 2003 paper in the Journal of monetary economics,
    • does not imply that there cannot be multiple equilibria (see e.g. my 2007 paper in the Review of Economic Dynamics.
    The second misperception is about the importance of alternatives to rational expectations in modern macroeconomics (rule of thumb agents, learning, rational inattention). This misperception came out clearly in a column in the FT in which the author completely ignored the work done by Tom Sargent on learning and robust control (if agents simply have no idea which model is the right one). Consequently, I had no choice but to write a letter.
  • 2006: Macroeconomic equilibrium models without the Walrasian auctioneer
My "predictions" in 2006
Spring 2006, I taught my elective Financial Markets and Economic Performance for the last time at London Business School. The slides of the lecture on the role of banks for macroeconomic fluctuations can he found here. Did I predict the crisis?
  • The slides make explicit that a chance of a financial crisis is real and that the regulatory system in place (Basel II) increases the chance of systemic risk. I am still proud of seeing the link between financial crises and the Millenium Bridge instability problem. The video on the latter can be found here .
  • Although I taught about the possibility of endogenous risk and the failures of the regulatory system, I had no clue that such a crisis was around the corner even though I did notice accelerations in statistics such as the debt to gdp ratio. Something, somewhere, went wrong.

Articles in Dutch

De Crisis
  • Het belang van de financiële sector en van overheidsbemoeienis hiermee. Economische Statistische Berichten, 9 juli 2015. [ pdf].
  • Opiniestuk in financieel dagblad . Dit stukje heb ik geschreven omdat ik dacht dat het nuttig was om wat tegengas te gas geven tegen de frequente aanvallen tegen de euro. In dit stukje geef ik redenen waarom de huidige situatie zonder de Euro niet beter en zelfs wel eens slechter geweest zou kunnen zijn.
  • Interview met mejudice over hetzelfde onderwerp.
  • Februari 2010 beweert Wellink dat hij al sinds 2000 heeft gewaarschuwd voor problemen in de financiële sector maar dat er niet naar hem werd geluisterd. Problemen met deze bewering:
    • Op 27 februari 2007 zei Wellink het volgende: "Risks are now more widely distributed outside the banking system. There are more tools to manage risk concentrations. Risks, and how they are priced, have become more transparent. As a result, deteriorating credit exposures can be managed more actively at an earlier stage." [nadruk toegevoegd] Lezing is hier te vinden. Dus, Wellink zag verbetering precies waar de problemen bleken te zitten.
    • Op 15 mei 2007 zei Wellink het volgende: "The European financial landscape has changed to a great extent over the past years. Indeed, numerous measures have been taken to deregulate and liberalize the financial sector, although much remains to be done. The need for these changes is evident: a market oriented and liberal financial sector fosters an efficient allocation of scarce resources and thereby promotes economic prosperity. In addition, the financial sector has witnessed rapid technological innovations, facilitating an increase in new services and products and a growing sophistication in the way financial institutions manage risks. Deregulation, liberalization and technological innovation have greatly changed the financial system." [nadruk toegevoegd] Lezing is hier te vinden. Dus, vlak voor de crisis steekt Wellink de loftrompet over precies die dingen die juist zo problematisch bleken te zijn.
  • Voor de commissie de Wit heeft de DNB een lijstje met zogenaamde waarschuwingen opgesteld. Dit lijstje is zo misleidend dat ik me geroepen heb gevoeld om dit duidelijk te maken door (i) de citaten hierboven en (ii) een interview met de Volkskrant. In De "waarschuwingen" van Nout Wellink staat de complete versie van het interview met Pieter Klok van de Volkskrant. De kortere versie van het interview verscheen in de Volkskrant op maandag 8 februari.
  • Nadat de NRC een artikel had geschreven dat vele onjuiste beweringen bevatte over moderne macroeconomische modellen, kon ik niet anders en een artikel te schrijven om deze fouten te corrigeren. Het artikel is gegepubliceerd op MeJudice en is hier te vinden.