Deflation and Conspiracies – Professor Collum

Professor David CollumCornell Current had its first ever guest lecturer at this past Sunday’s meeting. Professor David Collum spoke to club members on numerous topics, ranging from political economics to conspiracy theories.

Mr. Collum is a professor in Cornell’s Chemistry department. While he researches various topics, his current primary focus is on the organic chemistry of Lithium. Interestingly enough, he has been able to effectively utilize his background in chemistry to fuel his interest in political economics. Through his own research and websites such as Zero Hedge, Professor Collum recognizes historical patterns that he uses to forecast future outcomes. For example, Professor Collum predicted the subprime mortgage problem back in 2002 – six years before the Recession hit. Another example deals with the decade leading up to the Great Depression. Professor Collum noted that during the 1920’s the Fed fought deflation, and the effects of this snowballed into the greatest economic crisis the United States had ever experienced; he then made parallels to the US’ current economic state, as the Fed is currently fighting deflation right now as well. Professor Collum ultimately believes that economics is history – not math – so looking at past experiences rather than complex mathematical formulas will produce more accurate economic predictions.

Our guest speaker touched upon other interesting topics as well. He warns of Italy’s presidential hopeful, Beppe Grillo, as in past speeches his rhetoric has similarities to that of Mussolini’s. He also enjoys many conspiracy theories, and believes that the motives behind the war on terror are self-fulfilling. Further, he gave the advice of not interpreting the news literally, and instead filtering the information in a way that eliminates its inherent propaganda. There was definitely an overarching message of challenging the status quo.

Cornell Current members deeply enjoyed Professor Collum’s presentation, as he offered quite unique perspectives on numerous current events. Thank you, Professor Collum, for taking the time to come to our meeting!

To learn more about Professor Collum’s perspectives and ideas, please see his 2012 year in review.

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