Tag Archives: Sweden

Europe is interconnected in amazing ways. I just discovered that the Finnish singer Arja Enni Helena Saijonmaa sang a Greek lament on the funeral of the Swedish Olof Palme.

My Finnish correspondent reported earlier that his country suffers from the recession in Russia because of the Western response with respect to the Ukraine. It is amazing how Finland always suffers from problems in its big neighbour. Finland hoped that joining the EU would reduce fluctuations but now the EU causes it.

I wanted to ask my correspondent for more details but he is incapacitated and needs rest for another reason. Looking for some internet links that might cheer him up, I originally found a recording by Arja Saijonmaa of Oli Dipsame – All are thirstyperformed in Holland 1972.  I was already surprised by these European interconnections. Subsequently I found Arja at Palme’s funeral. But this will not cheer him up, I am afraid.

Listen to her lament Einai megalos o kaimosSuch great sorrow, composed by Mikis Theodorakis.

Arja Saijonmaa sings at Olof Palme's funeral in 1986

Arja Saijonmaa sings at Olof Palme’s funeral in 1986

There appears to exist this touching recording of both Arja and Mikis in 1970. And here is the 80th birthday of Mikis that Olof would have loved. An earlier recording from 1995 of Mikis and Giorgos Dalaras with the Dutch Metropole Ochestra is also impressive.

O Kaimos is a protest song against the dictators, but since freedom won it is sung with more joy than the lyrics indicate.

The police in Husby shot a 69 old man who wielded a knife. He died with five bullits in his belly and lay in his appartment for five hours. The police first told that he had died of his wounds in the hospital but later it appeared that there hadn’t even been an ambulance. Youths of Husby riotted and youths of other places joined in. The world never expected this of the Swedish welfare state. The photographers of travel over the world for their “stories on interesting issues in all areas – life, society, culture and conflicts” – and here we see a picture of two curious men dressed up as vikings ready for another ‘conflict’ with pillage and rape – but now they only needed to travel to their own suburbs.

NRC Handelsblad journalist Paul Luttikhuis interviewed sociology professor Ove Sernhede of Göteborg who wrote AlieNation is my Nation (2007) about hip hop culture and ‘symbolic violence’, see also here. A youth organisation in Husby is Megafonen who helped stop the real violence. This is my email to professor Sernhede and Megafonen.

Subject: An advice to boycott Holland w.r.t. censorship of science

Dear professor Sernhede and people of Megafonen,

A Dutch newspaper discussed the riots in Sweden. The Dutch reporter Paul Luttikhuis interviewed professor Sernhede about the situation.

Apparently a key problem is unemployment. It so happens that the Dutch government and in particular the directorate of the Dutch Central Planning Bureau (CPB) since 1990 censors my analysis on unemployment. Since 2004 I advise the world to boycott Holland till the censorship is resolved. The current economic crisis confirms my analysis but the Dutch don’t care.

For example, professor Sernhede might think that Paul Luttikhuis is a capable reporter, but it is useful to be aware that Luttikhuis apparently also neglects the censorship of economic science in Holland itself. I copy to NRC with the suggestion to forward this email to Luttikhuis, who could check that my analysis on unemployment would be relevant for Sweden too.

See here for a recent article about the deliberate lies by the Dutch government about tax laws:

For example, economist Dirk Bezemer had a contact with Swedish television, but he did not call attention to the censorship in Holland (I do not need to copy since he already knows about that link):

Below I provide some links to people in Holland and some Dutch texts. I presume that you in Sweden will have a language barrier to events in Holland. However, if you would consistently query what is happening here, they and these text might provide you with some starting points.

A point of departure in English would be this page:

My proposal to you would be to work together, analyse how unemployment is destroying the lives of people, indicate that there is a protest against censorship of science in Holland w.r.t. the analysis on unemployment, and propose to the Swedish government to start a full scale investigation. Econometricians and other scientists with a background in mathematics would be able to corroborate my analysis. 

Incidently, my analysis is in the line of Gosta Rehn & Rudolf Meidner of Sweden, and corrects for errors made in the implementation in Sweden itself.

Sincerely yours,
Thomas Cool / Thomas Colignatus
Econometrician (Groningen 1982) & teacher of mathematics (Leiden 2008)
Scheveningen, Holland

I copy to professer Jan Willem Duyvendak of Amsterdam, chair of the association of sociologists in Holland NSV. In 1994 a committee of NVMC / NSV established that there was a breach of proper scientific conduct. However, nothing is being done with that report. In case you find a Dutch translator, the report is here:

I copy to the editors of the Dutch Sociologie Magazine, and call attention to my earlier tekst in Facta, its precursor:

Facta also published a “signalement” of my book “De ontketende kiezer” that contains an accessible discussion of the censorship and its importance for understanding unemployment. However, they start slandering my person, like when the girl who has been raped is blamed for causing it:

CC. Prof. Duyvendak, Sociologie Magazine, NRC Handelsblad

The Swedish tv program World of Science had a broadcast on Economic Science and the Debt Crisis’ (YouTube, English subtitles ‘Vetenskapens Värld’ 19-11-2012). It shows us the desolate half-built houses and home evictions in Spain and wonders why economists went astray before 2007, and why in 2012 and four years after the Lehman collapse in 2008 this crisis still isn’t resolved. A main worry is whether economists still might go astray right today. The Swedish video ominously ends with the risk of a collapse of the housing market in Sweden.

In 2008/9 officials claimed No one saw this coming (paraphrased). The highest officials excused themselves in this manner, like Alan Greenspan (well-known) and Nout Wellink (not well-known but president of the Dutch Central Bank and chairperson of the Bank of International Settlements in Basel, i.e. the central bank of central banks).

Queen Elizabeth famously asked ‘if these things are so large, how come everyone missed it ?’ (paraphrased). To answer this same question, the Swedish video has interviews with Nobel Prize winners Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia University) and Robert Lucas (University of Chicago), officials Michael Kumhof (IMF), Jörg Asmussen (ECB) and Stefan Ingves (Swedish Central Bank), and scientists professor Steve Keen (University of Western Syndey) and dr Dirk Bezemer (University of Groningen).

The video is very instructive, by itself but also since it shows that Dirk Bezemer disinforms Sweden. The flow of information of economic science to the general public still isn’t optimal.

The video focusses on the phenomenon that economic models at the official institutes tended to exclude the financial sector. Even at the central banks. These models assumed that money was only greasing the wheels and not a factor of itself. The Great Depression in the 1930s occurred because money can be a factor in itself, notably when people have debts that they cannot pay back. But most economists apparently thought that this was long in the past. At the Central Planning Bureau in Holland around 1990 some models included a monetary / financial sector, following the criticism of Milton Friedman, but in practice that sector seemed superfluous. The financial sector in 1981-2007 was booming but it did not play a role in the main models. See also my earlier text here on the Keynesian years.

In the video, Robert Lucas is in a state of denial. Joe Stiglitz doesn’t have much of an answer though everyone at George Soros’s Institute of New Economic Thinking (INET) listens attentively to what he has to say, perhaps trying to find out whether there is something New in it. The officials explain that they are doing their best and that we have to muddle through. Keen and Bezemer explain the mechanism of debt. If you borrow and invest, the economy will grow because of that investment. If you invest wisely then you can pay back what you borrowed. If you invest unwisely you cannot pay back, but still have to. Banks are supposed to have buffers for failing clients. Things can go wrong when many clients fail at the same time. It doesn’t help when there has been fraud in the system and you don’t do anything about that, even when the proof is so obvious after the system collapses. (And it doesn’t help when the environment is not accounted for in your measure of growth.)

Bezemer did not warn about the crisis before it happened. He was an economist on agriculture and development with a 2001 thesis in that area. He however wrote a paper No one saw this coming that shows that plenty economists warned about the crisis. What was obvious for everyone who had seen the crisis coming has now been documented for a larger public.

Our high officials deliberately chose to neglect contrary evidence, not only before the onset in 2007 but still continue to do so. Much of the economic history of the last five years is about how the world deals with embarrassment in high places. For example, in the recent European Summit Bundeskanzler Angela Merkel succeeded in blocking further discussions, with the effect that the German trade surplus doesn’t get the criticism that it requires. The attitude is as if the debtors are the problem but economically the creditors are important too.

I did warn about the crisis, see DRGTPE 2005 on the financial system, though I was amazed that George W. Bush allowed Lehman to collapse. Who also warned is professor Alfred Kleinknecht of the University of Delft. He and I do not occur in Dirk’s paper because neither of us used explicit financial models. He and I just followed economic developments and used common economic sense and statements of those with the alternative models. Dirk’s criterion of quantitative finance is also rather strict since I employ economic theory and propose a new neoclassical synthesis, which allows us to understand that crises will happen when countries do not have Economic Supreme Courts. (Not only financial crises but also ecological crises for example.)

Thus, when I read Dirk’s paper in 2009, I complimented him on his fine work, but also informed him about the censorship of economic science at the Dutch Central Planning Bureau. Also, Dirk’s paper emphasises the role of accounting for economic modelling. Indeed, debt can only play a role when you properly account for it. Dirk’s paper has a bit of a flavour as if this would be a new discovery and original contribution of himself. However John Hicks 1904-1989 and Nobel Prize winner in 1972 already famously pointed to the importance of accounting. And my analysis in DRGTPE also achieves an important result by accounting. I asked Dirk whether he could check that also since a corroboration would be useful in general.

There evolved an exchange of emails. Indeed, I write ‘Dirk’ instead of ‘Bezemer’, which reflects this exchange. To my regret Dirk concluded that I would not ‘communicate effectively’. I disagree and find that he doesn’t listen well. I still have the impression that he hasn’t read DRGTPE. See here my overview of our differences of opinion, and it amazes me that he doesn’t formulate a reply.

There is also the case of professor Alfred Kleinknecht of Delft. Like me he criticises for twenty years the Dutch export surplus. The surplus of the North is the deficit of Southern Europe. Dirk can check as an academic outsider that Dutch official institutes and bureaucrats abuse economic science. But he doesn’t. Dirk isn’t interested in who saw it coming, but of course has to write a paper that will be accepted by journals.

Dirk’s paper ‘No one saw this coming’ is more useful than that of Nobel Prize winners Lucas and Stiglitz and the officials at IMF, ECB and the Central Bank of Sweden, but it still is incomplete, biased and inadequate if you want to understand the current crisis. Apparently Dirk has also a page at INET. It is not clear what is New about ‘No one saw this coming’ since it only states what was known, so there must be other New ideas. Clearly Dirk didn’t use his contacts there to inform INET and Joe Stiglitz about the new ideas in DRGTPE and the censorship of science in Holland. Dirk doesn’t tell the Swedish camera that there is censorship of science in Holland and that everyone is advised to boycott Holland till that censorship is resolved.

Dirk seemed part of the solution but turns out to be part of the problem. He seems critical but he actually isn’t. You are warned now. Though Dirk’s paper might seem critical, do not conclude that he has an open mind. On camera he is nice and helpful and knowledgeable, but apparently this is not the whole picture of the situation.

When John Maynard Keynes wrote his ‘General Theory’ he of course couldn’t require the world to read it, but he could do so for his students, and apparently World War II was a sufficient nutcracker to open up more minds. Currently I don’t teach economics and I am hoping that we can prevent World War III in say 2050 or even a local war here in Europe that doesn’t get the rest of the world involved again. Perhaps Dirk is waiting for a new crisis like that so that he can write No one saw this coming’ again. But okay, this may be unkind of me to say. But it is frustrating when you hope for an open mind and a scientific attitude, and you find evidence to the contrary again.