Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lauren Lyster interviews Demetri Kofinas — Is Modern Monetary Theory a Recipe for Statist Capitalism and Central Economic Planning

Lauren goes off on Mike. Demitri challenges Mike to a smack down. Get out the popcorn.


geerussell said...

I would love to be able to get out the popcorn. Mike is one of a kind when it comes to taking an MMT wrecking ball to monetary myths. (Not to take anything away from Stephanie Kelton's brick-by-brick dismantling of same)

Hopefully there's still space for the individuals involved to bury the hatchet on a personal level and still have Norman-Kofinas smackdown 2012 over the issues. I saw Demetri's responses as a legitimate proxy for some of the the questions and concerns of the non-MMT viewing audience. MMT has winning arguments from which to respond to them.

Mike Norman said...

Kofinas is a slob.

SchittReport said...

what is it with americans always wanting to debate one another? it's the most stupid discussion platform ever - firstly, there is no objective framework for assessing who wins a debate; secondly, the focus is usually not even on the issues, it is on picking out mistakes, delivery etc.; thirdly, it's difficult to pick moderators because of impartiality / bias issues and also because of the fact that most of them aren't even qualified or possess enough knowledge to moderate properly (ref. 2012 presidential debates); but if you don't use moderators then you have clowns like peter schiff deluging you with spittle (and claiming he won after he drowns you out)

finally, it is very rare that any debater would admit to losing nor would the opponent's argument change his way of thinking.

so, it is a pointless exercise. while we abhor the fringe segment of the population who advocate going back to the USA of 1776, there is one advantage of doing so - in the old days, if someone disagreed with you, you wouldn't go and debate them, you would just shoot them dead.

Mike Norman said...

The Chinese "hold" dollars because they sell stuff to us. It's a way to keep their people employed. They don't have to do that. They can consume their own output. That's what they're starting to do and guess what??? The dollar will still have value because it's the only thing accepted for the payment of taxes.

Kofinas is an ignorant slob.

Mike Norman said...

I don't debate slobs.

Mike Norman said...

A couple of months ago Kofinas and Lyster and their Washington based crew was on Wall Street. I happened to be outside my office and was standing there on the street talking to a friend when I see this little slob waving to me from a distance. I had never met Kofinas before and thought he was some nut. He came running over to me like a little puppy dog wanting to lick my feet. I guess he thought I would give him a pat on his greasy head or maybe a doggie treat, but instead I told him to get lost and he went away with his tail between his legs.

Later that day, in an unbelievable coincidence, I bumped into him again, but this time, a half block from my apartment! WTF??? Two times in one day??? I think the dude is a stalker.

Mike Norman said...

I don't care if anyone ever comes to this site again. I really don't. It's gives me nothing but aggravation most times and I wonder each and every day why I do it; I must be a masochist.

I brought on other contributors like Tom and Matt and Roger for balance and I appreciate their efforts, but I am who I am and I am not going to change. Please, stop asking me to debate idiots and be "gentlemanly." You got Warren, and there's Stephanie, the new Krugman of MMT. They can do that.

I fight. I even get nasty if I have to. It's politics. Same thing. Chivalry is dead as far as I'm concerned.

I don't know, I keep hearing from the MMT "leaders" how this discipline has been around for 20 years or more. So why is it nowhere? Why is the "Establishment of Wrong" kicking our asses? Why are billionaires pouring money into Fix the Debt campaigns and billboards and TV ads and we can't find a damn dollar to fund our efforts?

Maybe because our leadership is so gentlemanly. People...WAKE UP, THE MORONS ARE WALKING ALL OVER US!!!

And you still want to play sweet and nice?? Sorry, I don't do Ghandi. Better Attila.

Bottom line, you may not like the way I do things, but go Google MMT. Who comes up on the first page? Warren? Stephanie? Wray? No, me. Ungentlemanly me. That says a lot.

SchittReport said...

mike, we already involuntarily drafted you to be a guest contributor on the schittreport by virtue of repackaging your videos and TV appearances.

rodney rondeau said...

Put that moron in his place Mike!

Mike Norman said...


LOL!! Funny thing is, Schiff thinks I run SchittReport. He got in my face about a year ago at an event at the NYSE accusing me of running that site. I was cracking up. Everybody watched him go nuts. I wish someone caught it on video.

BTW...thanks for all the work you do there. I don't know if anyone ever thanked you for that, but I wanted to.

Letsgetitdone said...

Mike, I'm with you. People often think that everyone in a movement has to act the same way and be diplomatic to make things happen. But, I think a movement needs different kinds of people including enforcers. In our own ways, you, Bill, Randy, and I are all enforcers. Our styles are different; but we're not real diplomatic. Sometimes that's necessary. Then our friends can sound moderate by comparison. Let our academic friends be moderate; but we can have the fun of not suffering fools gladly! We can be the happy warriors!

Mike Norman said...

I agree, Joe!

Malmo's Ghost said...

Lyster will whine about you, but then kiss the ass of the net's biggest crackpot, Karl Denninger. He writes some of the vilest (especially crude sexist) things over at his blog on a regular basis. You are a gentleman in comparison to that nut. Shame on her for kissing up to that slob.

Alan Wang said...

I think it's alright that we have Mike - who's more aggressive - and Stephanie - who's more diplomatic. It's useful to have you on at different times. The other day, Stephanie had a fantastic interview with Lauren as she explained the basics of MMT. You're better for debates as you attack idiot who you'll never be able to persuade anyway.

Anonymous said...

Mike, please be careful about the kind of argument you use against others, like judging who has a big cock or the bigger cock. IE, heterodox economists are marginalized, does that mean you should make fun of us? yes, a lot of people do, because if you're not listened to then you're probably a quack, right? Likewise with making comments about capital account and their ratings. Find other avenues to attack them. Not a criticism, just a reminder.

Anonymous said...

I haven't got to a popcorn moment but within the first 2 minutes 20, nothing inconsistent with MMT has been said.

Jure Jordan said...

This video shows the success of your method and your honesty and force you exert. Lauren even said that she agree with you, that she is on your side. Even Dimitry said something in line.

On the other hand they are also succesfull in what they do, they have huge audience and in this video they said how they do the interviewing work. How not to dissagree openly but initiate more revelation and origins of guests thinking. They opened themselves up. Interviewing someone is very very subbtle job.

Long time ago i read rules of blogging persuasion writen by LGBT community that describes four types of personality that is requierd for mass persuasion. ANd LGBT community produced a massive change of thinking of public, wouldn't you agree?

1st type is academic, who uses academic aproach and reasoning

2nd type is provokateur, who uses insults and shock treatment of idiots who think that they are winning, who will ashame them into thinking about their logic.

3rd type nurturer, who see wounded enemy and accepts them as a group friend even tough they are still not on our side but who have doubts and start asking questions to find out more.

4th type doctor, who will provide simply and not in very nuanced way the informations and logic based on that information, in other words, prescribing a cure. And do follow ups and nurture them into health.

Over time, using this knowledge i was succesful in using all types of approach, to different actors i am trying to persuade.
In my country, i have to act all of the types all the time, due to the lack of academics and MMT is almost a brand new paradigm. There is even a horrible lack of awareness about importance of banking system on the economy. And i am getting results.

Maybe you could act one out, Mike, and get such media power as Lauren and Kofinas fully on our side? Think of benefit of educating so many morons out there that get on your nerves so much. Wouldn't it be nice if there is less morons, and you contributed even more just by a small act, after so much you did for us.
Be an academic now, RT needs that type. It would be nice if they invited Mosler, but they are inviting you, Mike. Please!

Anonymous said...

Sorry Mike, I get Multimedia Technology, Makes Me Think, MMT Print and then Bill Mitchell - that is the first MMT person I get on Google.
I get a lot of other stuff that has MMT initials, the Wikipedia for Chartalism and then at the bottom of the page "News for MMT" which gives me Warren's HuffPo article on the MMT Grand Bargain
So I dare say it depends on what you have previously looked for in Google to what comes up first.

I do think it was a little over-reactive to take a stance against one person. It may be appropriate to say Sorry to Lauren but to say when someone is behind their keyboard or on their tablet is an inappropriate use of air time, the person presenting that view does not know the full context of the environment an individual might have been in the time. It's an extreme example, but a loved one could have been in some sort of strife.

Jure Jordan said...

Why not make a condition of your interview to bring Tom or Roger with you that will use a bit calmer language and you won't have nobody like Denninger or Shiff that makes your blood boil?
Make it so there is not much confrontation possibility, which they want for purpose of audience grabbers.
You see that Kelton interview generated a buzz for them, which they seek more of and that is their motivation: expand the audience.
You generate the audience, so they want you on interview again no matter what was said before.
This is a way for coordination that both of you and them can build on and expand. Presently both sides have a similar direction, they see MMT as emerging and fast growing Theory that will winn the day someday and they want more audience at the same time while we need more audience too.
Return on coordination.

SchittReport said...


you are most welcome. actually, we should thank you for being the masochist and taking the hits on behalf of mmters (we have the easy gig as the sadists, hitting on all those schiffbots, kochsuckers etc.)

as for the famous encounter you refer to, we had one of our kids make a video in commemoration of the event:-

again, thanks for your appearance.

JK said...

Initially I disagreed with Mike's abrasiveness, but some comments here (about generating 'buzz'), and the fact that the RT people felt the need to qualify their comments, AND that they still want Mike to come on the show.. regardless of whether he does or doesn't, I now think Mike's abrasive style is helpful in getting MMT exposure.

Thanks Mike. Keep doing what you're doing. This is one of my favorite websites.

y said...

Does Demetri Kofinas have any kind of qualifications in economics?
Any relevant experience?

All I can find online (on LinkedIn) is that he's done some journalism and has the following skills:

Demetri Kofinas:

Executive Producer RT

Demetri Kofinas' Skills & Expertise:

TV News Production, Video Production, Video Editing, Radio Broadcasting, Radio Producing, New Media, Writing, Blogging, Marketing, Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Start-ups, Storytelling, Public Speaking, Strategic Partnerships, Media Relations, Social Networking, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Guest Booking, Booking Shows.

WHo gave him his job? Putin?

Jure Jordan said...

Why do you ask for qualifications of Demetri?
Do you need some qualifications to learn about MMT? Funny.
They do their job, whether from on the job training (which is best) or from having official training, does it matter?
They are not much into economic analisys but into interviewing famous or infamous people that will attract viewers, and that is what they do good. That is all qualifications they need.
Unless you belive that new things can not be learned.

Geoff said...

In the parlance of the manosphere, Mike's got "game".

y said...


"Why do you ask for qualifications of Demetri?"

Because he pretends to have some sort of substantial understanding and knowledge of economics.

"Do you need some qualifications to learn about MMT?"


"They do their job...does it matter?"

The problem is Demetri spouts his opinions on economics without apparently having any in-depth knowledge of or understanding of the subject. I don't mind people having different opinions.

"They are not much into economic analisys but into interviewing famous or infamous people that will attract viewers"

Agreed, it's all show. I don't have a problem with that. I have a problem with a clueless guy thinking that he's some sort of economics know-it-all.

"Unless you belive that new things can not be learned"

Demetri regurgitates cliches as if they're deep insights.

Tom Hickey said...

You generate the audience, so they want you on interview again no matter what was said before.

Bingo. Audiences love a good fight. The point is not to "convince" Lauren or Demitri but to argue forcefully with a position that MMT disagrees with. It's another way to bring out the contrast. They will have Stephanie back, too, and maybe start bringing in other MMT voices, too, as MMT ideas get out there and audiences enjoy watching them debated.

I am not concerned with the personal insults, either. It's reminiscent of the pre-bout trash-talking the opponent in pro-boxing and wrestling. It's all part of building the dramatic element that audiences love because it puts emotion into the mix. Let's face it, economics and economic policy is a pretty dry subject and it needs to be spiced heavily to be palatable to most people that are not directly involved in it.

Whatever, it's all part of the game, so have fun.

Tom Hickey said...

Why do you ask for qualifications of Demetri?

Take it that Demitri speaks for his audience. That is his job. Lauren, too. She has to ask questions she thinks the audience is interested in asking. In this sense both are playing the role of proxies. They both do a good job at it, which is what they are being paid to do — hold the audience they have and increase it if possible. Remember that TV is a business whose revenue is from advertisers and advertisers pay for numbers like ratings and demographics.

y said...

"which is what they are being paid to do"

... by the Russian government.

y said...

Maybe Putin owns a lot of gold?

R VMarkov said...

Mike, you are doing great job for MMT popularization. Keep up the good work!

Nowadays, when everything is money and numbers of clicks and views, what matters is the show. Give them a good show and they will ask for more, hence MMT will be exposed even more to the general public.

rodney rondeau said...

Funny thing was Kofinas acknowledged that taxes give the currency value then later suggested that it was confidence.

y said...


it's not only taxes that gives currency value of course.If every foreigner holding dollars decided to sell it for foreign currency, the dollar value would fall.

Tom Hickey said...

I am not sure it is correct to say that taxes give currency its value. Tax "drive" the currency in the sense of creating demand for it to meet obligations to the state for which the state only accepts its own liabilities. This in turn results in markets denominated in the currency as the unit of account and medium of exchange, allowing the government to transfer private resources to public use.

The value of the currency lies in what it exchanges for. This fluctuate based on the fx rate and domestic price level. One could call this "confidence."

The govt can determine the value of the currency if it desires by establishing a price anchor, e.g., gold convertibility at a fixed rate, or the MMT JG that sets the value of the currency in terms of a unit of unskilled labor.