Tom Sargent’s Nobel lecture is tomorrow: Thursday 8 December 2011, at 1.00 pm (CET) to 1.35 pm (CET). The Sims lecture follows right afterwards. Both will be webcast live at Nobelprize.org. My understanding is that the time difference is 6 hours, so you can watch it over breakfast starting at 7am.
Tom plans to review early US history and think about parallels to Europe today. Here’s an excerpt and a link to the paper:
The United States emerged from our war for independence in 1783 with big debts and a constitution that disabled our central government. The Articles of Confederation established a Continental Congress and an executive weak beyond the sweetest dreams of a contemporary American advocate of small government. The Articles worked as intended to restrain the central government from taxing and spending. That outcome served the interests of some US citizens, but not of others. It was not good for the Continental Congress’s creditors. The Continental Congress lacked powers adequate to service its substantial foreign and domestic debts. … [O]ur founding fathers scrapped the Articles of Confederation, and wrote an entirely new Constitution better designed to protect US government creditors.
UPDATE (Dec 9)
Link to interview: http://www.nobelprize.org/mediaplayer/index.php?id=1747
Link to interview: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/2011/sargent-interview.html
Link to Nobel lecture: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/2011/sargent-lecture.html
Posted by Dave Backus