A streetwise analyst doesn’t anticipate the everyday politician to profess a coherent financial idea. The summits reached by Vladimir Putin on this space can be a matter of analytical surprise if they didn’t additionally remind us of the decrease peaks the place our personal political rulers stand–in addition to of the poor degree of common financial literacy. The readers of yesterday’s Monetary Occasions acquired two good examples in a single story (“Vladimir Putin Threatens to Lower Oil Output After G7 Worth Cap,” December 9, 2022).
Putin is quoted as saying:
If somebody agrees in some unspecified time in the future that the patron determines the worth, then the entire business will collapse, as a result of the patron will at all times insist on a cheaper price.
For the reason that shopper at all times needs to pay the bottom doable worth (“insists on a cheaper price”), one wonders why all industries don’t collapse.
One other pearl reported within the Monetary Occasions story (paraphrasing after which quoting Putin):
If consumers do handle to get decrease costs for oil, “costs will go down, funding will probably be diminished to zero, and in the long run costs will undergo the roof.”
That is what, in a earlier EconLog put up, I referred to as the yo-yo financial mannequin. A easy confusion between provide and amount provided, and between demand and amount demanded, results in this kind of reasoning: if demand decreases, costs will go down; if costs go down, demand will improve; if demand will increase, costs with go up (“undergo the roof”); and the cycle will repeat. “What goes up should go down.” The confusion is between a transfer alongside the demand or provide curve and a shift in the entire curve. (By the way, one benefit of a mathematical illustration of provide and demand is that one sees that instantly.)
In protection of Mr. Putin in each circumstances, if we are able to name this a protection, he might have been talking of the patron or producer as a nation or nation, for he can’t think about anything, whilst a great, than a collective shopper and a collective producer. Run-of-the-mill protectionists fall in the identical collectivist entice.