SRW delves into the nitty gritty.
Read it at Interfluidity
Trade-offs between inequality, productivity, and employment
Steve Randy Waldman
The large distinction at issue here is the contrast between rational actor models of the social world, in which the actor makes choices within a thin set of context-independent decision rules, and social actor models, in which the actor is largely driven by a context-defined set of scripts as he/she makes choices. The contrast is sometimes illustrated by contrasting neoclassical economic models of the market with substantivist models along the lines of Karl Polanyi's The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time, and it links to the debate in economic anthropology between formalists and substantivists.Read it at Understanding Society
The plan works in a fairly simple manner: In the UK's case, the BofE is lending short-term government bills to banks, which use the securities as collateral to borrow money from the central bank at a rock-bottom rate — about 0.25 percent — and then make loans.
Banks can borrow up to 5 percent of the value of their existing loan books, and the loans from the BofE are four years in duration.
The program is similar to something the Fed tried, with considerable success, during the financial crisis that exploded in 2008....Read it at CNBC
The Fed's program was called the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility and allowed primary dealers to borrow Treasury bills from the Fed in exchange for depositing collateral.
Too many Americans continue to be numbed by the soothing sounds of conservative spin in the media. Let's take a look at the facts.Read it at AlterNet
In fact, if the Fed were primarily concerned with government borrowing costs, it's obvious that the easiest course of action would be to do nothing, let everything collapse into deflation, and watch the world pile into US Treasuries, sending yields even lower than where they are now.Read it at Business Insider
They haven't done this. The Fed is trying to inflate the economy and that means higher rates. The myth that the Fed is motivated by public sector debts is nonsense.
Economists have thoroughly documented that failure to enforce the rule of law leads to a loss of trust … which destroys economies....
Indeed – as we’ve extensively documented – the rule of law is now as weak in the U.S. and UK as many countries which we would consider “rogue nations”....
This is a sudden change. As famed Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto notes: "In a few short decades the West undercut 150 years of legal reforms that made the global economy possible."Read it at Washington's Blog
...Voter fraud simply isn’t a problem in this country. Studies have definitively debunked the voter fraud myth time and again....
By contrast, there is ample evidence that voter ID laws inhibit voting, particularly among minorities and the poor — two major demographic segments that tend to vote Democratic.
And that’s hardly a coincidence. Consider the recent bragging by the Pennsylvania House Republican leader that his state’s voter ID bill “is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”
This is not simply another gratuitously partisan act by the GOP. This is an attack on the very notion of democracy. The voter ID push, along with intimidation of voter registration groups and purges of voter rolls have only one goal: blocking legitimate but probably Democratic voters from exercising their constitutional rights. It is a poll tax with a new twist.
And the pursuit of this goal ostensibly in the name of voter fraud is an outrageous deception that only works if the press is too timid to call it what it really is.Read it at The Huffington Post
...commodity fetishism is the transformation of human relations, derived from the trading of commodities in the market, whereby the social relationships among people are expressed with objectified relationships, between the commodities and the money used to buy them. Commodity fetishism makes the subjective, abstract aspects of economic value into objective, real things that people believe have intrinsic value. The transformation is achieved by means of reification — the symbolic metamorphosis of an abstract exchange-value into a concrete object, a commodity with intrinsic value, in and of itself....Yiccchhhhh! Sicko! Sorry to say that imo, present day people who seem to have some sort of irrational attraction to gold as a "standard" by which we could base our monetary system, look like they may be suffering from this corrupt condition.
Behold Me rousing against them the Medes, who are not accounting silver, And gold - they are not delighting in it. (Isaiah 13:17)Then there is perhaps the more widely known Greek Scripture from the Apostle Paul (who sometimes quoted Isaiah) to Timothy :
For a root of all of the evils is the fondness for money, which some, craving, were led astray from the faith and try themselves on all sides with much pain. (1 Tim 6:9-10)The Greek word which is normally translated here "fondness for money" or "love of money" is philarguria, or "love of silver", or perhaps a "fetish for silver" in recent English? Yeeccchhh!
"Gratuitously you got; gratuitously be giving. You should not be acquiring gold, nor yet silver, nor yet copper in your girdles,..." (Mat 10:8-9)Here he orders His disciples to NOT take any form of payment in or possess any or all of the three naturally occurring metal commodities that oddly went on to occupy Column 11 of the Periodic Table of the Elements. Sounds like He had their best interests in mind and wasn't taking any chances lest perhaps they would develop what Marx may have identified over 1,800 years later as a "commodity fetish", and become corrupted via the human interface with any of these metals.... but apparently only when they are used as an exogenous form of "money" or otherwise an object of delight.
Recently, proponents of MMT/ELR have attacked me personally for this. I think it’s time for them to take a chill pill.
Before we jump to endorsing theories and policies, we should be confident the theories are fully worked out and the policies will not have negative consequences that outweigh putative benefits.Whaat?
NHS among developed world's most efficient health systems, says study. Report in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine finds health service second only to Ireland for cost-effectiveness....
Among the 17 countries considered, the United States healthcare system was among the least efficient and effective....
Looking at elderly patients, the difference was even more stark with the best performers – Ireland, the UK and New Zealand – having health systems that were three times more effective and efficient than the worst – Switzerland, Portugal and the US....Read it at The Guardian (UK)
Pritchard points out that even Adam Smith, the Scottish economist and father of market-based ideology, thought the state was "probably better" at health and education.
Student loan debt is now the next great bubble, threatening the U.S. economy as the mortgage crisis did. The NACBA [National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys] released a study and calls student loan debt the next financial crisis, on the level of the mortgage crisis.Read it The Economic Populist
(P.S. Non-economists may be surprised that I haven't said which textbook I would recommend. That's because it doesn't really matter much. They are all fairly similar in coverage and treatment. And they are almost all good, in my opinion.)
Nick: "(P.S. Non-economists may be surprised that I haven't said which textbook I would recommend. That's because it doesn't really matter much. They are all fairly similar in coverage and treatment. And they are almost all good, in my opinion.)"
Like the ones that teach the money multiplier? :o
BTW, Lorie Tarshis's The Elements of Economics (1947) can be downloaded free here.Keynes before Samuelson et al mangled him.
Now, new evidence suggests that even microcredit was not protected from the greed that characterises modern international finance.
Two recent studies show that microfinance was simply another profit making scheme for global private finance corporations, such as the Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, and Standard Chartered, who started pouring money into microcredit initiatives.
In his book, ‘Confessions of a Microfinance Heretic’, released Jul. 9, former investment banker Hugh Sinclair claims that such banks and funds use microcredit, through local operators, to charge usurious interest rates – of up to 200 percent – on even the smallest loans.Read it at IPS | Inter Press Service
1. The new world emerges
2. Energy & Climate
The point is that more than 90 percent of the rise in the deficit relative to pre-crisis projections is related directly to the crisis — and probably that’s true of the other bit too, although it’s harder to show.Read it at The New York Times | Conscience of a Liberal
By working to prevent an all out collapse of the EMU, Draghi is merely taking the necessary actions to maintain his position. If Spain or other European countries must “suffer from a decade of recessions with unemployment over 20%” in order to implement the desired structural reforms than so be it. Whether or not that outcome is politically feasible remains an open question, but I have my doubts. Draghi was not the first to claim “it will be enough" and won’t be the last to make that claim either.Read it at Bubbles and Busts
I should make it clear that this is still in testing phase, so expect the unexpected! It is an ongoing project and is still missing some basic parts. Nonetheless the core functionality is ready to be used and will hopefully help people stay up to date with discussions on MNE and NEP.
The book is a response to critics of heterodox economics, mostly friendly critics, who suggest that heterodox economics should change its ways in order to be more respectable and to achieve more pre-eminence. The critics include J. Barkley Rosser, David Colander, John B. Davis, Giuseppe Fontana, Robert Garnett, Bill Gerrard and Richard C. Holt.Read it at Naked Keynesianism
Former Florida Republican Party Chair Jim Greer testified in a lawsuit filed against his former party that “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies” wanted to suppress the black vote through Voter ID and tactics like current state Gov. Rick Scott’s efforts to purge voter rolls, according to reporting in the the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday.
“I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. It had been one of those days,” he testified in the 630-page affidavit that spans two days of deposition about a fundraising meeting with party general counsel Jason Gonzalez, political consultant Jim Rimes and Eric Eikenberg, Crist’s chief of staff. Rimes denies the discussion concerned voter suppression to the Times, and Eikenberg did nto return the paper’s phone calls.
Greer claimed that the 2010 criminal fraud charges filed against him and other Republicans were part of internal party power scheming designed to push out him and former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, among others.Read it at Raw Story
Republican Josh Mandel, the former Ohio congressman and State Treasurer who is running against Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to represent Ohio in the Senate, has positioned himself and his wife financially to reap a significant profit if the U.S. government fails to raise the debt ceiling and defaults on its loans, according to Think Progress. Mandel has campaigned on refusing to raise the debt ceiling, a move which he opposed when it came to a vote last year.Oh, and did I mention conflict of interest?
House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)came under fire last year for similar financial entanglements. It was revealed that the, too, was betting against the U.S. Treasury while publicly agitating against raising the debt ceiling, a position that many consider to be a profound conflict of interest.
You can see why everyone was so worried. The last time Britain was bailed out by the IMF in 1976, the primary structural deficit was "just" 4 per cent and national debt to GDP was by today's standards a very comfortable 53pc. Today's budget deficit is much higher, with overall debt expected to rise to nearly 80pc, according the last Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts.
Even now, it's hard to fault the analysis, yet it misses a number of vitally important points. Most important of all, it's handy to have your own currency. This more or less eliminates default risk, if only because the government can simply print the money to honour its debts. And that's precisely what it has been doing with QE, depressing bond yields in the process.
To the extent that there was capital flight, it has been countered by the Bank of England. These tools have not been available to eurozone periphery countries, which have in effect been borrowing in a foreign currency – the euro. For highly indebted nations, this raises the possibility of default from negligible to probable.
Yet the analysis also reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of money, which I have to admit to fully grasping only quite recently myself. Interest rates as reflected in government bond prices are only a reflection of the level of economic activity. When the economy is growing strongly, money changes hands with high frequency, so there is a consequent demand for cash. To satisfy this demand for liquidity, money is withdrawn from bonds, which are in essence just cash locked up for a set period of time. The demand for cash reduces the demand for bonds, causing interest rates to rise.
Conversely, in periods of low economic activity, such as right now, the velocity of money and therefore the demand for cash falls. Money instead gets parked in bonds, causing interest rates to fall. All this is just a complicated way of saying that when households and companies spend and invest less, they save more and money gets parked in bonds instead.Read it at the Telegraph (UK)
Randy Wray and Mat Forstater, two leading contributors to the MMT School, have replied to my recent blog on the MMT controversy. Their replies warrant a brief response.Read it at Thomas Palley
I am now using Friday’s blog space to provide draft versions of the Modern Monetary Theory textbook that I am writing with my colleague and friend Randy Wray. We expect to complete the text by the end of this year. Comments are always welcome. Remember this is a textbook aimed at undergraduate students and so the writing will be different from my usual blog free-for-all. Note also that the text I post is just the work I am doing by way of the first draft so the material posted will not represent the complete text. Further it will change once the two of us have edited it.
The role of Investment in Profit GenerationRead it at Bill Mitchell — billy blog
1. Investment in a Capitalist Monetary Economy
They're not going to stop until they have control of everything and we have nothing. That's because there is zero fear of punishment as the lawmakers, judges, prosecutors and cops are all bought.
Simon Patten recalled in 1912 that his generation of American economists – most of whom studied in Germany in the 1870s – were taught that John Stuart Mill’s 1848 Principles of Political Economy was the high-water mark of classical thought. However, Mill’s reformist philosophy turned out to be “not a goal but a half-way house” toward the Progressive Era’s reforms. Mill was “a thinker becoming a socialist without seeing what the change really meant,” Patten concluded. “The Nineteenth Century epoch ends not with the theories of Mill but with the more logical systems of Karl Marx and Henry George. But the classical approach to political economy continued to evolve, above all through Thorstein Veblen.
Like Marx and George, Veblen’s ideas threatened what he called the “vested interests.” What made his analysis so disturbing was what he retained from the past. Classical political economy had used the labor theory of value to isolate the elements of price that had no counterpart in necessary costs of production. Economic rent – the excess of price over this “real cost” – is unearned income. It is an overhead charge for access to land, minerals or other natural resources, bank credit or other basic needs that are monopolized.
This concept of unearned income as an unnecessary element of price led Veblen to focus on what now is called financial engineering, speculation and debt leveraging. The perception that a rising proportion of income and wealth is an unearned “free lunch” formed the take-off point for Veblen to put real estate and financial scheming at the center of his analysis, at a time when mainstream economists were dropping these areas of concern.
Veblen’s exclusion from today’s curriculum is part of the reaction against classical political economy’s program of social reform. By the time he began to publish in the 1890s, academic economics was in the throes of a counter-revolution sponsored by large landholders, bankers and monopolists denying that there was any such thing as unearned income. The new post-classical mainstream accepted existing property rights and privileges as a “given.” In contrast to Veblen’s argument that the economy was all about organizing predatory schemes, this approach culminated in Milton Friedman’s Chicago School defense the pro-rentier argument: “There is no such thing as a free lunch.”Read it at Michael Hudson
For the first time since the Great Depression, middle-class families have been losing ground for more than a decade. They, and the poor, have struggled particularly badly since the financial crisis led to a global recession in 2008. The idea that living standards inevitably improve from one generation to the next is under threat. Many of the bedrock assumptions of American culture — about work, progress, fairness and optimism — are being shaken.Read it at The New York Times
...one thing is looking more certain day by day: The Fed should have been hitting their own panic button six weeks ago when it became clear their forecasts were well off the mark.Read it at Tim Duy's Fed Watch
Against the backdrop of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, a panel of United States government officials and experts called for stronger methods to prevent modern-day genocides and mass atrocities, particularly in the case of Syria.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the highest-ranking government official at the panel Tuesday, held in cooperation with the Council on Foreign Relations and CNN, addressed the mass killings of Syrian citizens by President Bashar al-Assad. She defended the administration’s decision not to directly intervene in Syria by force, but said that nevertheless, the administration is taking steps to address the situation there.
“We are increasing our efforts to assist the opposition,” she said about the Syrian rebels. “We know that the sooner it ends, the less violence there will be, and the less chance there is for extremism to take hold.”
In a poll of 1,000 U.S. citizens released Tuesday, conducted by the polling firm Penn Schoen Berland in conjunction with the panel, 78 percent of those surveyed support the U.S. taking military action to stop genocide or mass atrocities.Read it at IPS | Inter Press Service
QE1 worked because it was in the midst of wrenching crisis. QE2 failed, despite what the Fed’s research shows. Twist 1 has failed. Twist 2 is failing. When 70% of the economy is in a balance sheet recession and the growth rate for 18 quarters in row has been at less than 1% at an average annual rate, consumers are telling you something. They want to pay down debt and rebuild saving and all of the monetary stimulus in the world is not going to change what is a perfectly rational response. So the idea that the Fed is going to step in and save the day, it has not worked in the past except during the depths of the crisis and i give them credit for that.Read it at Credit Writedowns
To: PKT Academics Re: Bretton Woods Conference Confirmed attendance includes senior staff from Deutchebank, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, Banker's Trust, Salomon Bros, Lehman Bros, Harvard Management, III, Petrus, Paine Webber, Paribas, and BZW. A keynote speaker will be Professor Charles Goodhart from the LSE. Bernard Connolly will be the historian. Speakers for each topic are currently being arranged. There is currently room for two academic representatives. Please contact me at mosler@xxxxxxxx if you have interest. A FRAMEWORK FOR ECONOMIC ANALYSIS An Invitational Conference Bretton Woods, New Hampshire June 12-15, 1996 The purpose of this conference is to bring together a selected group of portfolio managers, analysts, researchers traders, and academics who have a common understanding of monetary operations. The objective of this conference is to achieve agreement on the use of a common conceptual framework for undertaking contemporary macroeconomic analysis. Portfolio managers in attendance are responsible for well over $50 billion in assets. The economists and analysts from the international dealer community represent some of the world?s largest and most sophisticated fixed income trading and sales operations. We believe that this group has the potential to establish an international standard for the presentation and analysis of economic data. Several of the fundamentals are Post Keynesian... Deposit money is endogenous Central Banks set short term rates exogenously Deposits exist solely as the result of loans Extension of these fundamentals includes... Internal sovereign debt functions as interest rate support Taxes create a demand for the goverment's currency Fiat currency is defined exogenously Conference Moderator........Warren B. Mosler Wednesday, June 12, 1996 11:30 AM Welcome and Introduction 12:00 PM Luncheon 12:30 PM History of the Awareness of Monetary Operations Charles Goodheart MONETARY OPERATIONS 1:00 PM Review of the Fundamentals of Monetary Operations 1:30 PM Monetary Policy Options MACROECONOMIC FUNDAMENTALS 2:00 PM The function of Government Securities 2:30 PM Currency Definition 3:00 PM Fiscal Policy Options and Implications EXTERNAL DEBT 3:30 PM Review of Current Conditions 4:00 PM Macro-economic Implications 4:30 PM World Bank, IMF Policy Implications 6:00 PM Hor?s d?ouvres 7:00 PM Dinner THURSDAY, JUNE 13 ESTABLISHING THE FRAMEWORK 9:00 AM Integrating Foreign Trade, Investment, Fiscal and Monetary Policy 10:00 AM Full Employment, Zero Inflation Model 11:30 AM Lunch RAMIFICATIONS OF MONETARY UNION 1:00 PM Current Political Situation Bernard Connolly 2:00 PM Maastricht Fiscal Criteria Implications 3:00 PM Post 1999 Credit Implications 3:30 PM Functionality of the Euro 4:30 PM Drafting a Consensus 6:00 PM Hor?s d?Ouvres 7:00 PM Dinner FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 1995 Review and Discussion Warren B. Mosler Director of Economic Analysis III Finance See "Soft Currency Economics:" http://inca.gate.net/~mosler/
Just thought I'd check in and see how much of our debt we've "paid back" so far this fiscal year. Let's see...hmmm...well, turns out it's now up to $54 TRILLION. And that was in the past 10 months.
And with absolutely no problem whatsoever. The world didn't end. Interest rates didn't spike up (they're actually at record lows...AGAIN), the dollar went up, the economy is still growing, there's no hyperinflation, gold is down, commodities are down. What else? It's all good.
What say the idiots likes Schiff, Santelli, Rogers, Faber, Paul Ryan, Simpson/Bowles, Peterson, Walker, Fox News, et al?
We don't have money? Can't pay for Social Security for our seniors? Health care? Education? Infrastructure? Basic research? Jobs for the unemployed?
What a joke. We have all the money we need and an abundance of goods and services to make and distribute. It's religion that keeps us from doing it. The proof is right here in these numbers that folks at Treasury and the Fed all understand.
1 Load of Babylon which was perceived by Isaiah, the son of Amoz.The chapter then proceeds to provide some details concerning the earthly environment during the time of Babylon's destruction. Picking it up in verse 15:
15 Everyone found shall be stabbed, and everyone gathered up shall fall by the sword.Skipping over some more of the gory details, it is then revealed that God will use the Medes to enact His will of destruction upon Babylon. But why the Medes? What sets Mede apart from Babylon?
17 Behold Me rousing against them the Medes, who are not accounting silver, And gold - they are not delighting in it.The verse reveals that the Medes were NOT "accounting" in silver, or as MMT might say, the Mede was not 'running their spreadsheet', or monetary system in a unit of "accounting" based on exogenous weight measures of silver. Also revealed is that the Medes did not "delight in gold".
19 And it comes that Babylon, the stateliest of kingdoms, The beauty, the pomp of the Chaldeans, shall be as the overturning of Sodom and Gomorrah by the Alueim.And so Babylon has remained.
20 It shall not be indwelt permanently, not shall anyone tabernacle there further, for generation after generation, Nor shall the Arabian tent there, nor shepherds recline their flocks there.
21 Yet the animals of arid spaces will recline there, and their homes will be full of their uproar.
What lends this view some credence is the sluggish productivity growth of the pre-1914 period. This suggests that free markets on their own do not unleash rapid productivity improvements.Read it at Stumbling and Mumbling
If this line of thinking is anywhere near-correct, then a serious recovery in productivity requires big political change.
Layne invited me to participate in an online interview with Korean heterodox economist Ha Joon Chang, using Skype in my own home office in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The topics are the current economic crisis, East Asia and ASEAN, global governance, climate change and the future.Watch it at P2P (2 videos)
Ha Joon Chang is a Reader in Economics at Cambridge University. He is the author of ’23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism’ and ‘Bad Samaritans.’ He specializes in the role of the state in economics, industrial policy and technlogy policy.
European media, political leaders, and the citizenry are bashing bankers again, overtly calling them at best accomplices of numerous illegal activities, at worst downright criminals.
The best example of this new wave of anger against bankers is the use of the portmanteau word “bankster” (a combination of banker and gangster), which has become commonplace in media, even in non English-speaking countries.
The term, first coined in the 1930s during the Great Depression and which resurfaced in British media in 2009, appeared on the front page of the French daily Libération on Jul. 18.
Political leaders critical of banks have so far refrained from using the word but everyone else has been having a field day with it.
In a short white paper on banks’ policies released Jul. 21, the head of Germany’s leading opposition Social Democratic Party (SPD), Sigmar Gabriel, accused bankers of “blackmailing governments and states with the (threat) of domino bankruptcy”, of “complicity with criminal activities”, such as tax evasion and money laundering, and of “screwing their own clients”.
Even those commentators who dismissed Gabriel’s banker bashing as political populism agreed that the managers of international private financial corporations have recently done large disservices to their business and their clients.
The list of genuine grievances is long:
For independent economists, such delay in establishing new regulation of an obviously rotten industry is proof of the lack of political will among governments to get to the root of the crisis.
“Five years into the worst financial crisis in history, all attempts to regulate banks and funds remain dead letter,” French economist Paul Jorion told IPS. “Despite abundant evidence that (banks and investment funds) cheat all over, again and again, no new rule has been introduced.”
Instead, he added, “the European Union and governments continue to deregulate, pushing their own citizenry into abject misery.”Read it at IPS | Inter Press Service
Reprising the neo-conservative rhetoric of the primary election campaign, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney Tuesday harshly criticised Barack Obama’s foreign policy but offered few clues as to specific changes he would make if he defeats the president in November....
...critics said they were struck by the absence of specifics and, in some cases, the failure to draw clear differences between him and the president on specific policy issues.
“Both Republicans and Democrats have been waiting for this speech for a long time, calling on him to be policy-specific,” noted Heather Hurlburt, executive director of the National Security Network, a think tank close to the Democratic Party. “What he offered was a lot of neo-conservative rhetoric and still few or no policy specific”....
Judging from the rhetorical flourishes, tone, and some of the policy positions, especially regarding Israel and Iran, it appears clear that the more-hawkish wing of the party remains dominant, with some commentators noting that the speech appeared directed more at the party’s right-wing base than at independents who are likely to decide the election outcome.
Indeed, toward the beginning of his remarks, he reprised the main theme of the major foreign policy address he delivered at a military academy last October in the heat of the primary campaign: “This century must be an American Century,” in which “…we have the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world.”
The “American Century” phrase, which he repeated seven times, harks back to the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a mainly neo-conservative group whose charter members in 1997 included, among others, Bush’s future vice president, Dick Cheney, defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and Middle East aide Elliott Abrams, as well as its two co-founders, Robert Kagan and William Kristol....
He assailed Obama’s “re-set” with Russia, noting that Moscow rewarded the gesture by defending Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
Remarkably, however, he had nothing more to say about what policies he would pursue with Russia, which he described as the U.S.’s “number one geo-political foe” only three months ago....
While he did not repeat his threat to declare China a currency manipulator on his first day on his office, he stressed that “the cheating must finally be brought to a stop. President Obama hasn’t done it and won’t do it. I will,” he said.Read it at IPS — Inter Press Service | Geopolitics
MMT is a mix of old and new. In my view, the old is widely understood by old Keynesians and the new is substantially wrong.Read it at Thomas Palley
The European Union has one of the world's most dysfunctional constitutions....
A single currency without central fiscal and regulatory institutions, though, is reviving national tensions in Europe. Moreover, the politics of harsh austerity in countries like Greece are the best friend the enemies of democracy could have.Read it at Balkinization (very short)
Martin Essex of the Wall Street Journal flags Dimitri Papadimitriou and Randall Wray’s recent Policy Note on the eurozone, “Euroland’s Original Sin.” The Note traces the root cause of the eurozone’s struggles, including the solvency issues and bank runs in the periphery, to a fundamental design flaw in its setup: national governments gave up currency sovereignty by adopting the euro but retained responsibility for their own fiscal policy.
Essex chooses to focus on a footnote that quotes some early predictions by those associated with the Levy Institute, which is fine. But it’s important to note a couple of things here. First, the point is not that the euro project was predicted to run into trouble in general, but that in these quotations the problems were predicted to flow from a particular structural flaw: the separation between fiscal policy and monetary sovereignty. And this is important for reasons that go beyond a prescience contest. The predictions serve as a useful guide for figuring out what needs to be done to save the euro project
Getting it right isn’t about being able to say “I told you so,” but about having the credibility to say “here’s what should happen next” ....
Essex titles his post “Who Warned About the Euro First?” But the point of the Policy Note (and even of the footnote that forms the basis of Essex’s post) is not to stake some claim on behalf of the quoted authors to being the first to get it right; nor even to claim that only those affiliated with the Levy Institute got it right (hence, Garber). Whether you figured it out the month before Wynne Godley published “Maastricht And All That,” or last Thursday, the point is to understand as clearly as possible what’s going wrong in the eurozone and to use that understanding to help push for solutions—that’s where this conversation needs to go, and that’s where the Policy Note tries to take us.Read it at Multiplier Effect | The Levy Economics Institute Blog
Axel Leijonhufvud the first “New Keynesian”? No way! This is so wrong, so wrong.Read it at Lars P. Syll's Blog
Next time a media writer, politician, old-line economist or debt-hawk says the federal debt is too high, ask him why he thinks the nation is safer when private bank deposits increase while Federal Reserve Bank deposits decrease. Ask why private banks should borrow more so the federal government’s bank can borrow less.
Then smile while he stumbles for an answer.
In "Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power," New York Times reporter David E. Sanger describes in quite extraordinary detail the Obama administration’s hitherto secret cyberwar campaign against Iran, its targeted drone strikes against Al Qaeda and affiliates, and any number of other covert ops, including of course the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. As he indicates in his subtitle, Sanger concludes that the biggest surprise of the Obama presidency is just how aggressive he has been in his application of military power.
But a case can be made that what’s even more surprising is Obama’s abuse of secrecy. Publicly an advocate of government transparency and oversight, Obama has nevertheless hidden the most controversial and unilateral aspects of his presidency — including new ways of waging acknowledged and unacknowledged wars — more thoroughly and effectively than anyone might have imagined.
Sanger’s book, and longtime Newsweek reporter Daniel Klaidman’s new book, "Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency," shine a bit of light into the darkness, which is good, in that they at least open up the possibility of a national conversation around these issues.Read it at The Huffington Post
"There could be evolutionary reasons that men and women process female bodies differently, Gervais said, but because both genders do it, "the media is probably a prime suspect."
"Women's bodies and their body parts are used to sell all sorts of products, but we are now for everyday, ordinary women, processing them in a similar way," she said.
Fortunately, the fact that the simple letter-mosaic task swept the effect away suggests that it's an easy habit to overcome, Gervais said. Being in a happy mood is related to global processing, she said, so avoiding blue funks could help you see people in a holistic way, as could simply reminding yourself to step back and look at the bigger picture.Perception shapes reality and media (culture) shape perception collectively, i.e., this is apparently not an individual phenomenon due to the human hardware or operating system, but rather the cultural programming of an application. That programming can be identified and changed.
Using a lottery to solve a big financial mess may seem surprising today, and misguided puritans - who have no clue about gambling and the "betting human nature" - may object. But lotteries financed some of the biggest, most prestigious projects that still survive around the world.
Revenues from them financed the reconstruction of Rome after Nero burned it down; provided funds for military infrastructure such as the Great Wall of China; financed settlements in the New World, like the Virginia Company; financed the British Museum, the Westminster Bridge, many of England's wars.
Last but not least, Yale, Harvard Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania were all initially financed by lotteries - though their economics departments today are infested with academics writing endless models and recommending policies based upon them, all drawing on a view of human nature which precludes all gambling, considering buying lotteries "irrational" (since such acts preclude finding internal solutions to some cherished "general equilibrium models", where there is no uncertainty, no financing of risk taking, no governments, no wars - well, nothing that identifies humans).
Yet, throughout history there have only been four methods of voluntary exchange: barter, gift, monetary exchange and, indeed, gambling. Sometimes gambling worked best: which may well be the case today as a potential remedy for settling the housing problem in the US. This prospect is better than either using eminent domain or pursuing monetary policies to boost housing and other asset prices.Read it at Asia Times Online
So the inventor of the financial superstore has finally turned against his creation.Read it at CNBC NetNet
Game theory [competition] or gift society [voluntary cooperation for mutual benefit]? The narcissistic vision of the homo oeconomicus has failed to acknowledge long-documented evidence of the primacy of cooperation. In this Friday essay, Adrian Pabst explores the liberating potential of an anthropologically informed economics for the age of austerity.Our Kingdom — Power and Liberty in Britain