Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Minneapolis Fed and the University of Minnesota

A slightly edited comment on MinnPost:

Quite a complicated story that would make a good CP Snow novel


Some fairly high on the totem pole economists have declared Kocherlakota a hero for having realized his past mistakes and embracing Quantitative Easing enthusiastically.

Others criticize him for frog-marching some dissenting researchers out of the Fed.

The day before this hit the Star-Tribune (Shakeup at the Minneapolis Fed ousts two top economists)
, the St. Louis economist Steven Williamson had a piece on his blog entitled:

Problems in the Great White North

Williamson is quoted extensively in the Strib piece, but there is additional information in the blog post.

What really caught my eye were the comments on this post, e.g.

"Yes, in the old days there were tremendous rapport between the bank and the University. But the bank has taken over the University since then. Graduate students, who survive with teaching assisantships, have to teach for the professors while the latter can hide themselves at the bank."

"While I am an admirer of both Narayana and the people at the bank, I do think that the Fed has turned into a net negative for the University. If you walk down the halls of the economics department, you seldom see the macro faculty who are being paid hundreds of thousands per year to teach at the U. The teaching of undergraduates is a disgrace to the institution. The faculty seem to think they are above the normal university duties of teaching e.g. a many hundred person undergraduate course is typically staffed by a graduate student. The typical undergraduate never sees a faculty member in a course. Also, faculty are seldom available for graduate students that are not at the Fed. While it may be a loss to the Fed and the research community, one can only hope that the most prominent senior faculty at Minnesota will begin to take their university jobs seriously. It really can't get much worse than the current state of affairs."

"Agree completely."

"Can't agree more. 
I was just wondering will there be a problem if the Dean or even the State Congressman visit the department without notice during the semester and find out almost all macro faculty is not there."


Bill Gleason, U of M faculty and alum

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