De Cecco's response on Marshall Plan & K flight

William S. Lear rael at
Wed Oct 28 13:16:41 PST 1998

[Note that this post by Brad is from eons, LBO-time, ago] On Sun, October 11, 1998 at 17:57:44 (-0700) Brad De Long writes:
>>>[Brad claims to know De Cecco's mind]
>>>I have checked the Bloomfield cite. I haven't checked the de Cecco--but I
>>>have talked to Marcello de Cecco extensively about the Marshall Plan and
>>>its impact. The use made of de Cecco in the passage quoted from Helleiner
>>>is... interesting, and very much not what de Cecco says he thinks...
>>[I retort that the article indeed supports Helleiner]
>>I'll be generous and simply say that you must have remembered
>[Brad reminisces]
>I talked to Marcello de Cecco about this in 1990-1992; he wrote his CJE
>article in, when, 1978? I'll go reread it, and then I'll e-mail him and ask
>him if (and when) he changed his mind...

I suppose Brad forgot about this since he's so busy, or perhaps his e-mail system to Italy is just so darned slow...

I have however recently confirmed, from De Cecco himself, that he sticks by the claim that hot capital outflows were approximately balanced by aid inflows, as he wrote in the '79 *Cambridge Journal of Economics* piece ("US foreign aid was thus, from the very beginning, mainly used to balance European capital exports to the United States."). De Cecco writes, in an e-mail forwarded to me by Thomas Ferguson, that I "have correctly interpreted" De Cecco's position ("Marshall Plan aid was largely balanced by hot capital outflows" --- my words, summarizing De Cecco's position, to which De Cecco directly responded).

>I'll also take Kindleberger over Milward any day. Smarter. Wider read. More
>interested in telling the story wie es eigentlich gewesen. I'll go reread
>Kindleberger. I don't think rereading Milward would help: I taught him last
>May, and I finished the class damning him to hell for gaps in logic and
>sleezy use of evidence...

I still am waiting for Brad to help us understand how Barlett and Steele are "sleazy", so maybe he can give us the dirt on Milward after that. And how Kindleberger is "more interested" in telling the truth about the Marshall Plan than Milward, especially when Kindleberger refers to Marshall in such unthinking, reverential tones ("Olympian", "noble", etc.), is beyond me. Though I think Kindleberger is also very smart, and I do plan on reading his history of European finance, I'd say he might have an attachment un peu romantische to this particular episode in history.


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