Inside the Fuzzy Calculus of Tim Geithner

Albert Einstein once opined, "you can't solve a problem with the same mind that created it."  How then, can we begin to cure our global economic ailments using the same thinking that brought us here?

In what amounts to the patients running the hospital, the same economists who are continually surprised by the depths of our economic downturn -- and content to push back forecasts for the start of any market recovery -- feel free to cast stones at our President and Treasury Secretary.


I'm not giving Mr. Geithner a passing grade on his work to-date, and remain skeptical of his recent call for G20 nations to boost spending. Equally, I'm also concerned that he wants to expand the powers and scope of the International Monetary Fund and am not convinced that we need another organization to join the Fed, FDIC, and OCC. But I do agree with his challenge to G20 nations to act more aggressively by boosting spending—we must tackle our global crisis with a global response.

As a student of systems thinking, I believe we must re-visit Russ Ackoff's ideas as we begin to re-invent our global economy.  As one of the world's foremost experts on systems thinking says, "we can learn from mistakes if we identify and correct them. Therefore, organizations and individuals that never admit to a mistake never learn anything.

Organizations and individuals that always transfer responsibility for their mistakes to others also avoid learning."

What our economies do not need is another band-aid; what we do amounts to a concentrated, collaborative effort on the part of all developed countries to bolster consumer confidence in order to attack our current market malaise. Just as Russell Ackoff views a corporation as "an organic whole swimming in its environment rather than as a conglomerate of disparate departments and functions," so too must we view our interdependent economies. Geithner may not receive passing marks from every economist, but his statements in advance of next week's summit in London, warts and all, just might.

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Scientists just voted to change the definition of a kilogram

The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.

Greg L via Wikipedia
Surprising Science
  • The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
  • Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
  • Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
Keep reading Show less