While most economists tiptoe nervously around the D word, Dr Paul Kedrosky has no inhibitions about throwing this verbal grenade around in public. We’re in an economic depression, Kedrosky told me when the San Diego based CNBC business pundit came into the TechCrunch.TV studio last week. “As bad as 1929”, Dr. Kedrosky described a situation in which all the governments in the world might have to “collectively default” if we are to avert economic catastrophe.
And it’s not just the world economy that, according to this Kauffman Foundation Senior Fellow, might be dying. While Dr Kedrosky’s doctorate is in economics rather than medicine, death seems to be a major preoccupation on his mind. Whether it’s the death of big venture capital, the death of American airline industry, the death of market fundamentalism, the death of American welfare capitalism or the death of the global economy, Kedrosky – the author of the Infectious Greed blog – is at his most provocative when announcing the demise of a significant idea or institution.
The funny thing, though, about Dr. Death’s dire economic prognosis is that it is anything but depressing. That’s partly because Kedrosky is such a smooth media operator that he could probably announce his own death with a tiny twinkle in his eye. But it’s also due to the silver lining in even his darkest observations about today’s global economy. Yes, Kedrosky says, conventional large scale venture capital is dying – but micro-fund investors like Ron Conway and Jeff Clavier are doing great. Yes, IT is no longer an interesting bet, but he is increasingly interested, as a Kauffmann analyst, in clean tech investment. Yes, all US airlines should die, but travel on some foreign airlines is better than staying in a luxury hotel. And yes, we are in depression, but that offers the American government the opportunity to once-and-for-all fix our utopian faith in the free market by simultaneously raising taxes and cutting spending.
Part I: Kedrosky on how the current global economic situation is “as bad as 1929” and why are in an economic DEPRESSION.
Part II: Kedrosky on why Obama gets a C+/B- for managing the economic crisis and what he’s now got to do to head off a calamity.
Part III: Kedroksy on why technology can’t save the American economy and why big venture capital has no future.
Part IV: Kedrosky on the bet that “ruined the world” and why markets never really work.
Part V: Kedrosky on why we all hate airlines and he desperately hopes that the US airline industry will die.