The Central Bank Offers an Alternative in Economics Training

http://mno.hu/jegyzet/a-jegybank-alternativat-ad-1247240 - Hungarian news portal mno.hu published an opinion piece about the Central Bank’s recent active engagement in economics training in Hungary. The Central Bank is launching English and Hungarian language doctoral schools as well as a secondary-level financial training center in Budapest, along with a faculty of finance in Kecskemet and Marosvasarhely (Tirgu-Mures), as “economics and financial training in Hungary are still pretty much determined by the doctrines and errors of the earlier and now outdated neoliberal school of economics.” In the paper’s argument for this new type of training it is mentioned that “Central European University (CEU), financed by the Open Society Foundation of George Soros, is attended by students from over a hundred countries, who come here to learn about neoliberal principles (with some honorable exceptions, for quite a few instructors are truly broad-minded).”

The article was published in Magyar Nemzet on September 11, 2014 (p.7, A jegybank alternativat ad).

In response to the opinion piece attacking Hungarian liberal economics training, Hungarian news portal origo.hu put out a counter article on September 15, quoting among other economists, associate professors Peter Kondor and Miklos Koren from CEU’s Department of Economics. “If Mr. Matolcsy wants to train such innovators, then it is essential that this institution educate its students thoroughly about the methodology and approach of traditional mathematics-based economics. That methodology is the language spoken by economists. Those students who do not acquire it will be able to communicate only with each other, but not with the global community of economists,” said Kondor. “After the financial crisis, it is a natural desire to reform economics education. The Institute for New Economic Thinking (ineteconomics.org) founded by Soros serves very similar purposes,” said Koren. According to him, several novel issues such as financial vulnerability, social networks, psychology and economics, and social inequality are also actively researched at CEU. "The narrative that traditional economics is responsible for poor economic performance rings false to me, because the Anglo-Saxon countries, where economics education is probably the most orthodox, have recovered much faster from the crisis than Hungary, where the economic performance still hasn’t attained the 2008 pre-crisis levels,” commented Koren. The article is available at http://www.origo.hu/gazdasag/20140911-en-nem-tudom-micsodak-matolcsy-tanai.html

On September 19, Hungarian economic news portal portfolio.hu also issued a counter article to the original Magyar Nemzet opinion piece, and referred to CEU’s Economics Department as “a dream MA to gain for the students of this subject field, which is also highly recommended by the students’ economics professors as a natural next step in their education process.” The article is available at 

http://www.portfolio.hu/gazdasag/matolcsy_200_milliardos_agyuval_megy_neki_a_kozgazdasagtannak.203756.html

On September 29, new Hungarian news portal abcug.hu also wrote about the issue, focusing on the experiences of those participating in the newly started program: http://abcug.hu/kaotikusan-indul-matolcsy-kozgazdaszkepzese/