Silicon Valley Bank and Burton Malkiel’s Mathematics of Bond Prices

Silicon Valley Bank could easily have avoided its mark-to-market write-down and bankruptcy.  Its managers, their outside consultants, and the steward of the banking system – the Federal Reserve Bank – should all have been required to read, understand, confirm and apply the constraints immanent in Burton Malkiel’s five theorems, especially Theorem 2, in his 1962 essay:

Malkiel, Burton, Expectations, Bond Prices, and the Term Structure of Interest Rates, Quarterly Journal of Economics Vol. LXXVI (May 1962) pp. 197-218 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press) [Malkiel, 1962]: Continue reading

The Einsteinian Context: Curvature and Relativity

Albert Einstein, Steven Weinberg, Lillian Lieber, Douglas Giancoli, Raymond A. Serway, Bernard Lonergan, Philip McShane, Peter Burley,

.1. Introductory

Graduate students seeking a thesis topic may expand this treatment of the Einsteinian context of Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics.  It should be of special interest to those having a strong background in theoretical physics and, thus, able to appreciate the analogies from physics.  “Similars are similarly understood.” (CWL 3, 288/313)

Philip McShane alerted us to the resemblances between Lonergan’s context of general macroeconomics and Einstein’s context of general relativity.

(Part Two entitled Fragments) belongs almost entirely in what I call the Einsteinian context of Part Three, in contrast to the Newtonian achievement of Part One; … [CWL 21, Index, 325]

A new science has emerged.  Lonergan has elevated conventional macrostatics to a macrodynamics explaining economic accelerations. (Continue reading)

Significant Passages on this Website

The important excerpts herein are quoted often and at greater length elsewhere on this website. (Click here and here).  Here is another arrangement:

Our aim is to prescind from human psychology that, in the first place, we may define the objective situation with which man has to deal, and, in the second place, define the psychological attitude that has to be adopted if man is to deal successfully with economic problems.  Thus something of a Copernican revolution is attempted: instead of taking man as he is or as he may be thought to be and from that deducing what economic phenomena are going to be, we take the exchange process in its greatest generality and attempt to deduce the human adaptations necessary for survival. [CWL 21,42- 43] Continue reading

The Notion of Organic Unity; Macroeconomic Field theory as a Unified, Systematic Whole

.1. Introduction

Lonergan’s treatment of the intelligibility of the plane circle provides to us a clue.  In the basic insight defining the plane circle, – that all radii are equal – all the interrelated concepts tumble out together in an intelligible unity.  The all-together intelligibility points to a template for explanation in the macroeconomic field; it fore-casts a singular unified intelligibility of the dynamic, organic economic process.  In the sweeping comprehensive act of understanding, all the abstract explanatory conjugates explaining the dynamic economic process are “yoked” together by their functional relations to one another.  The interdependencies of the flows which constitutethe whole dynamic system are grasped in a solidary whole.  And the patterns of the formulation are isomorphic with the patterns in the objective, unitary economic process.  The principle of unity and wholeness is a single, comprehensive intelligibility. (Continue reading)

To and For Economists, Investment Analysts, and Commentators on Bloomberg Surveillance, Squawk Box, and Mornings with Maria

To Tom Keene, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Maria Bartiromo, Lisa Abramowicz, Becky Quick, Francine Lacqua, Dagen McDowell, Joe Kernen, Jonathan Ferro, Larry Kudlow, Charles Payne, Neil Cavuto, Stuart Varney, Jim Cramer, Henrietta Treyz, Larry Summers, David Weston, Courtney Donohoe, Romaine Bostick, Hallinda Amin, Dani Burger, Gina Cervetti, Margaret Collins, Manus Cranny, Abigail Doolittle, Scarlet Fu, June Grasso, Kriti Gupta, Ritika Gupta, Morgan Brennan, David Faber, Steve Liesmann, Carl Quintanilla, Kate Rooney, Rick Santelli, Michael Santoli, Liz Claman, Gerry Baker, Taylor Riggs, Anastasia Amoroso, Jackie DeAngelis, Brian Brenberg.

Lonergan’s Preface to his seminal work Insight, A Study of Human Understanding, begins …

In the ideal detective story the reader is given all the clues yet fails to spot the criminal.  He may advert to each clue as it arises.  He needs no further clues to solve the mystery.  Yet he can remain in the dark for the simple reason that reaching the solution is not the mere apprehension of any clue, not the mere memory of all, but a quite distinct activity of organizing intelligence that places the full set of clues in a unique explanatory perspective. (CWL 3, Preface ix)

Paraphrasing the above (CWL 3, Preface, ix): Continue reading

Pointers Regarding Interest Rates and Inflation; The Delusion in Manipulation of Interest Rates

We encourage the reader to consult the following entries.

The Ineptitudes in Central Bank Operations

John H. Cochrane’s Article in the Wall Street Journal, Thursday 8/25/2022

Facing Facts: The Ideal of Constant Value of the Currency vs. the Fact of Inflation

The Road Up is The Road Down; the Mechanism of rising and Falling Prices

Stagflation Demystified

Paul Romer’s “Endogenous Technological Change” in Bernard Lonergan’s Framework

Here are a few brief selections from the above treatments:

Traditional theory looked to shifting interest rates to provide suitable adjustment.  In the main we shall be concerned with factors that are prior to changing interest rates and more effective. [CWL 15, 133) Continue reading

New Foundations in 30 Minutes

New foundations for a new science of macroeconomics are grounded in

  • a scientific, dynamic heuristic
  • the technique of implicit definition
  • precise, purely relational, analytic distinctions between abstract fundamental terms and relations from which a superstructure of complete explanation may be deduced
  • the relativistic, field-theoretic functional interrelations among interdependent, mutually-defining, explanatory functional flows

Continue reading

The Road Up is The Road Down; The Mechanism of Rising and Falling  Prices

This post was originally entered on May 30, 2022.  We repeat it now because it is remains relevant.

“The road up and the road down is one and the same. (Heraclitus)
ὁδὸς ἄνω κάτω μία καὶ ὡυτή

Archaeologists and scholars have not found the context of this isolated fragment of Heraclitus.  What “road” was he referring to, and was he was speaking literally or figuratively? I simply like the statement as an introduction to the ups and downs of distinct price-quantity flows, whether in a pure cycle of expansion or in a distorted cycle of inflationary boom and corrective slump. Continue reading

Pointers to the Philosophic, Mathematical, and Scientific Bases of Lonergan’s Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics

Being is the objective of the unrestricted desire to know.  Being is intrinsically intelligible and one. Apart from being there is nothing.

Intelligibility is the very essence of unity.  Intelligibility is intrinsic to being and, at the same time, it is the essence of unity.  Formal intelligibility is form; it is the unity of unification or of correlation.  Correlation is abstract; it constitutes the implicit definition of explanatory terms by their functional relations among themselves.

“Functional” is for Lonergan a technical term pertaining to the realm of explanation, analysis, theory;  … Lonergan (identified) the contemporary notion of a “function” as one of the most basic kinds of explanatory, implicit definition – one that specifies “things in their relations to one another” … [CWL 15, 26-27  ftnt 27]

The economic process is an aspect of being.  The immanent intelligibility of the dynamic economic process is the essence of the process’s unity.  (Continue reading)