MMT, Tajikistan and foreign bond investors

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 18/10/2017 - 7:04am in



One criticism of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) that I hear very often is that it applies only to the US or the countries with hard currencies that can issue bonds on international bond markets. Apart from the fact that selling bonds to foreigners is not a plus – unless you need foreign exchange – there is a market for lower-income emerging economies indeed, as the NYT reports:

This year, lower-income emerging economies are expected to issue close to $10 billion in government bonds, according to the I.M.F., more than the past two years combined.

Of all of them, a recent $500 million bond offering by Tajikistan, a landlocked former Soviet republic that has rarely interacted with global investors, was the most curious. Tajikistan is paying investors an interest rate of just over 7 percent for 10 years, and the deal was a quick and easy sell for the country’s bankers, with demand several times the amount of money secured.

This is not investment advice, but the point rather is: even small emerging economies can sell bonds to foreign investors. There is nothing magical about the US and other “hard currency” countries in terms of government bond issuance. The countries are special since forex markets trade their currencies widely, so that exchange rates are less jumpy. That, however, is a different point!

Hy Minsky, Low Finance: Modern Money, Civil Rights, and Consumer Debt

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 29/09/2017 - 9:41pm in

Hy Minsky, Low Finance: Modern Money, Civil Rights, and Consumer Debt

By Raúl Carrillo I delivered the remarks published below at the First International Conference on MMT on September 22nd, 2017. The panel, entitled “Modern Money, Courts, and Civil Rights — Against Legal Predation”, explored the interplay between the cycle of … Continue reading →

Hy Minsky, Low Finance: Modern Money, Civil Rights, and Consumer Debt

Italy’s Great Experiment

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 27/09/2017 - 7:21pm in

Italy’s Great Experiment

By J.D. ALT Italy is experimenting with giving tax-cuts to its citizens in exchange for public services―such as pulling weeds and cutting grass. Wow. What an amazing idea! The government issues a tax credit, and uses it to pay a … Continue reading →

Italy’s Great Experiment

MMT and Politics: A Brief Explanation

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 11/09/2017 - 2:50am in

“I see my role as an academic to provide the knowledge to expose the arguments that are used to stack the cards and hide the fact that they are being stacked. That is my role. It is the role of the progressive political scientist to then use the insights that MMT provides to research and[...]

The post MMT and Politics: A Brief Explanation appeared first on Ellis Winningham.

Federal Taxpayers Do Not Fund the Federal Government; The Federal Government Funds Federal Taxpayers

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 05/09/2017 - 2:28am in

Well that title is blunt, isn’t it? I like blunt. That’s why I chose it. As I always say, blunt cuts through bullshit. It’s my bet that it is sure to cause irritation for those persons who play immature games of semantics with the word ’fund’. Good. Look, we all know what people mean when[...]

The post Federal Taxpayers Do Not Fund the Federal Government; The Federal Government Funds Federal Taxpayers appeared first on Ellis Winningham.

Professor Bill Mitchell to Speak On the 25th of September in Brighton

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 30/08/2017 - 11:22am in


MMT, neoliberalism

The growth of the Labour Party movement and the popularity of Corbyn are a response to social problems which can be traced back either directly or indirectly to the economic ideology that has defined the last four decades: Neoliberalism. Faced with issues of inequality, democracy, war and humanity’s environmental demise, never has activism been so[...]

The post Professor Bill Mitchell to Speak On the 25th of September in Brighton appeared first on Ellis Winningham.

“Look for the Helpers” – Fred Rogers Has Something to Say to Laypersons and Students

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 12/08/2017 - 7:49am in



Most of us know Fred as Mr. Rogers from the children’s television program “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood”. Now, you might find it strange or even a bit juvenile of myself to invoke Mr. Rogers as an opportunity to teach interested laypersons and students of MMT. But rest assured, in my view, it is neither strange nor[...]

The post “Look for the Helpers” – Fred Rogers Has Something to Say to Laypersons and Students appeared first on Ellis Winningham.

Non-Technical Review of the "10,000 Year Explosion".

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 25/07/2017 - 5:56pm in

Nope. I didn't write it. I'm neither a qualified nor an impartial judge for Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending's 2009 "The 10,000 Year Explosion".

That out of the way, I'll tell you what I did. I did something better: I searched the net for reviews to outsource the task. This is what I found.

Like most books, "The 10,000 Year Explosion" has had multiple reviews, some more technical, some less so, some favourable, others no so much, from the broader public and scholars.

Then I found this really thought-provoking gem. I consider it so for several reasons. Its author is one Emil O. W. Kirkegaard (unrelated to that Kierkegaard): he sounds like a normally intelligent and reasonably educated layman with a self-professed interest in science. Given that scholarly reviews commend the book for its non-technical language, appropriate to undergraduates, Kirkegaard's judgement suggests how the book could be received by its public.

Just as importantly, Kirkegaard is highly enthusiastic and his review leaves no room for doubt on that. I'll quote only the opening paragraph (do read the whole thing). Without further ado (emphasis mine):

"Review of The 10000 Year Explosion (Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending)

"November 7, 2012 by Emil O. W. Kirkegaard

"This is a nontechnical overall introduction to how human evolution has happened. it mentions a lot of stuff i didnt know. i wud have liked more references. the book is openly race realist, and i was waiting for it to mention that the reason Africa is so backwards is that africans are so dumb, but it was only hinted at. instead, the authors focused the last chapter on a higher than average group, the jews. this is probably a smart move. once it has been acknowledged that the asians and jews are smarter than whites, one cannot shrug off other racial differences as being due to white racism, white supremacy, biased IQ tests, and so on."

How much of that is only a reflection of a non-professional reviewer's previous biases? Co-author Henry Harpending's profile at the Southern Poverty Law Center suggests Kirkegaard did not distort the book's basic message much, if at all.

Social democracy has always been little more than a conclusion in search of an argument. That is not peculiar to social democracy. With social democrats, however, this became an art form.

That pre-ordained conclusion is twofold: (1) capitalism must be saved come what may, and (2) they are capitalism's saviours.

To uphold that conclusion is costly. New challenges pop up every day. In an emergency, any argument supporting The Conclusion will have to do. That explains social democrats' attraction to Keynes and to the less mainstream versions of his ideas. That also explains their often hard to disguise adoption of extreme right-wing ideas: ready-made arguments galore.

Fear not, a long and boring argument is not in this post. There is, I think, a more efficient argument. A picture is worth a thousand words:

In this particular case, however, the label "post Keynesian" involves not only a shady social democratic blogger posing as an academic while endorsing kooky thinkers with kooky ideas and links to doubtful groups, but real academics with a professional reputation to maintain who might think those endorsements aren't such a good idea. Like Caesar's wife, public intellectuals must be not only chaste, but beyond suspicion.

You see the problem there, don't you?

Tyler Cowen reviews "The 10,000 Year Explosion" (January 22, 2009).

Steven Pinker's guarded but otherwise sympathetic comment on their earlier (and to Pinker evidently flattering) 2005 paper "Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence", also reported in their book. It's interesting to observe Pinker attempting to remain impartial and detached. To his credit, he did try. Did he succeed? You be the judge.

Image Credits:
[A] "The BADGER explosion on April 18, 1953, as part of Operation Upshot-Knothole, at the Nevada Test Site". Author: National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office. Source: Wikimedia. Work in the public domain.

Beyond the traditional monetary circuit

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 19/07/2017 - 3:46am in



Slow posting will continue the rest of the Summer. Here a paper by Sergio Cesaratto that might be of interest. From the abstract:

The paper is a contribution to a long-run theory of effective demand with elements from monetary circuit theory, Modern Monetary Theory and endogenous finance analysis. Some shortcomings of the still influential neo-Kaleckian growth model and monetary circuit theory are underlined, and the Sraffian supermultiplier is indicated as the most promising heterodox approach to growth and instability in capitalism. The Sraffian supermultiplier allows full consideration of the autonomous components of aggregate demand as the ultimate sources of growth and instability in modern capitalism. Following Steindl, capital gains are included among these components. Autonomous demand and investment are typically fed by endogenous finance. The paper articulates the relation between autonomous demand and investment on one hand, and endogenous finance on the other, in the light of Keynes’s distinction between initial and final finance.

Read rest here.

A Memo From MMT’s Legal Department

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 15/07/2017 - 9:10pm in

A Memo From MMT’s Legal Department

By Rohan Grey and Raúl Carrillo Orthodox economists are often inclined to think of law as an external force that ‘intervenes’ to regulate otherwise naturally occurring economic phenomena. In contrast, Modern Monetary Theory and its antecedent intellectual traditions have long … Continue reading →

A Memo From MMT’s Legal Department