What you get when you cross crisp economic analysis with writers of How I Met Your Mother

Barney Stinson

"...the patient is having a heart attack. The doctors debating whether to give him a double espresso vs. a nip of brandy. And most likely, the espresso is decaf and the brandy watered"

This speech from John Cochrane.  Some of the riffs are Barney Stinson-esque and are right on point.

For example:

For nearly 100 years we have tried to stop runs [on banks] with government guarantees–deposit insurance, generous lender of last resort, and bailouts. That patch leads to huge moral hazard. Giving a banker a bailout guarantee is like giving a teenager keys to the car and a case of whisky. So, we appoint regulators who are supposed to stop the banks from taking risks, in a hopeless arms race against smart MBAs, lawyers and lobbyists who try to get around the regulation, and though we allow-nay, we encourage and subsidize–expansion of run-prone assets.

Or:

The “jobs” bill. Even if there were a ghost of a chance of building new roads and schools in less than two years, do we have 9% unemployment because we stopped spending on roads & schools? No. Do we have 9% unemployment because we fired lots of state workers? No.

Taxing the rich is the new hot idea. But do we have 9% unemployment-of anything but tax lawyers and lobbyists–because the capital gains rate is too low?

Here’s another one:

Of course in some sense we are still suffering the impact of the 2008 financial crisis. Reinhart and Rogoff are endlessly quoted that recessions following financial crises are longer. But why? That observation could just mean that policy responses to financial crises are particularly wrongheaded.