Many people around the globe celebrated Christmas on Saturday and whether or not you are a Christian Christmas it is a big day for most of us. Those who like to shop love the opportunities December affords. Those who cherish the spiritual part and the giving can feel and share their love of God and their fellow man with great intensity. Those who enjoy parties will get plenty of time to revel and gain weight which they can dutifully plan to shed in the New Year. The rest of you will hopefully enjoy the beauty of winter and the anticipation about what 2011 will bring. Those of you on the East Coast may have enjoyed enough winter!
I am pleased to give you all a really big gift by taking this week off from venting my spleen in my blog. But I do want to thank-you for giving me the chance to spout off in 2010. As you know I retired from Indiana University last January and I was not very sure how the first year would go. As it turned out I got chances to teach for a couple of months in South Korea and Vietnam. Last January I was lucky to share some ideas about macro on a nice little island off the coast of Florida. These teaching experiences kept me connected to macro and teaching. But the blog was my constant companion over this year and it gave me impetus each week to keep up with the latest news and issues. As you know it was a year in which macro could have won an Emmy Award. There was never a time when I sat at my computer wondering if there was something juicy to write about.
Writing helps me to think in a more organized way. It also helps me get things off my chest. I always feel a lot better when I post a message. I admit that it is a very selfish affair for me. I can only hope that you benefit from my macro-thoughts. For all that I leave you with my thanks and a brief personal message.
My family and especially my parents and spouse always saw and see the world through an optimistic prism. To them, the world’s glass (of JD) is always half full. They never met an enemy and usually interpret difference of opinion and argument as a result of the complexity and changing nature of most phenomena. We might think of an adversary as misguided or misinformed but mostly we believe the interactions with them make us better informed about our own judgments. How boring and cruel a world would be if we all shared the same opinions about everything!
No matter what I might say about an issue or a person or a political party I hope it is taken in this positive spirit. I will do my best in 2011 to respect those who hold different opinions but I hope I never shy away from what I consider to be the right and the wrong of a particular issue or policy. We humans have much more that binds us than divides us and I hope we realize that as we move into an exciting but potentially divisive year.
You might be curious who reads my blog. It is mostly insane people I know pretty well. They include my former students, my recent students in Seoul, Hanoi, and Sanibel Island, and many colleagues. But I also badger various relatives, friends, and neighbors who might have some interest in macro. I connect with all these people through Google’s Blogspot, Facebook, Linked-In, and Twitter. I also send a personal email to 100 and something people.
Blogspot has a statistics option which lets me know information about those who read my posts. Here are a few facts:
- · Since June of 2010 I posted 64 articles on 21 different macro topics (you can see all the topics on the lower right corner of the home page if you scroll down)
- · I posted 11 articles on Macro Policy, 8 on Exchange Rates and Policy, 6 on Employment and Unemployment, and so on.
- · The most popular articles were Fairy Tales Can Come True (Aug 6), AT&T (July 4), the Myopic Squirrel (Sept 13), The G20 (Oct 28), and Lilliputians(Aug 23).
- · There have been approximately 4,000 pageviews – posts that have been read or at least opened
- · While 75%of these page views came from the USA, I seem to have readers in South Korea, the UK, Vietnam, Canada, India, China, Germany, Spain, France and Finland.
- · Almost half of you used IE to connect but 24% used Firefox and another 25% used either Chrome or Safari.
I look forward to more spouting in 2011! Best to you all.