Last night, I started reading Tim Harford´s The Undercover Economist Strikes Back. Like anything Harford touches, it is pure gold. Or should I say pure water from the most pristine source. The book is about macroeconomics and although this blog is not about macroeconomics, I cannot resist the temptation to bring up the first chapter.
In this first chapter, Harford describes the Monetary National Income Analogue Computer (MONIAC) invented by Bill Phillips – yes, William Phillips of Phillips Curve and LSE fame. The MONIAC (I cannot believe that the name is just an innocent acronym) was a collection of tubes, pumps, levers and valves, encased in a large glass box.
Think of it as a hydraulic computer where water flowing into various tanks simulates the workings of the economy.
One could argue that had Phillips lived today, he would have invented a machine that represented the 2009 financial crisis. Something like this: