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The Star Next Door

As students finish a meeting in the office of a professor, how many are aware that in the outside world the person who just gave them an hour of individual help is a redoubtable figure? Not by a longshot are all Dartmouth profs leaders in their fields, as is too often asserted, but a number are. The next time you are in the Economics department chatting with a member of the faculty, keep in mind that serious people pay real dough to hear what you are hearing for tuition money.

Economics Professor Danny Blanchflower was the keynote speaker at a three-day conference held this week at the Westin Hotel in Paris. The cost to attend the SuperInvestors program was £2,599/person (about $4,200).

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Danny’s categorical view, one that the audience listened to with care, is that the Fed won’t taper off on its quantitative easing program (i.e. printing money) until wage pressure incontrovertibly returns — which it won’t any time soon, according to Danny, due to the downward push on wages exerted by the unemployed; the underemployed; and the people who have given up looking for work, but who would take a job if they could find one. In short, Marx’s reserve army is playing its role. We can expect low interest rates to continue for a good many years to come, at least until 2016, and possibly until 2020. Equities will outperform and bonds are losers.

You can’t say that you have not been warned by the Silsby Sage, a financial markets prognosticator hors pair.

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