GOP and Democrats Push Trump on Tax Reform

NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News and says the Democrats’ demands are the result of bad economics and bad politics, while Trump’s vision is “the type of thing that comes from ingesting too much peyote”. You can view with a transcript here.

Money and Banking – Part 19 (A): Financial institutions: An overview

Part A  |  Part B | Part C

Erratum on Post 18: Figure 18.10 has reversed proportions: about 30 percent are issued by nonfinancial corporations.

Note: As I was afraid it would happen, someone emailed me to take issue with the way I use the term promissory note. “Promissory note” has a specific meaning in the law—it is a specific type of financial instruments—but Post 18 uses the term conceptually to mean any formal promise made by someone—a synonymous to financial instrument—, which may create some confusion. I am trying to find an alternative terms that contains the word “promise” (maybe promissory paper?, promissory contract? Contractual promise?) any suggestion welcome. For the moment, I will use the terms financial instrument, or promise…maybe that is good enough…

Continue reading

Money and Banking – Part 19 (B): Financial institutions: An overview

Part A  |  Part B | Part C

Regulated Portfolio Management Companies: Mutual Funds and Others

Portfolio management companies provide a wide variety of placement opportunities to economic units with spare funds who do not want to, or cannot, directly buy securities or other assets. There are three broad types of portfolio management companies: mutual funds, closed-end funds, and unit investment trusts (UITs). One of the main differences between them is the characteristics of the shares they issue in terms of marketability and redeemability. Mutual fund shares are nonmarketable and redeemable on demand, closed-end fund shares are marketable and irredeemable, and UIT shares are marketable and redeemable on demand. Closed-end funds and UITs do not continuously offer their shares for sale. Rather, they sell a fixed number of shares in an initial public offering, after which the shares typically trade on a secondary market such as the New York Stock Exchange or through the sponsor (for UIT). The price of closed-end funds is determined by the market and may differ greatly from the net asset value per share (see below). Another main different is the type of asset they are allowed to acquire, with closed-end funds allowed to buy more illiquid assets than mutual funds.

Continue reading

Money and Banking – Part 19 (C): Financial institutions: An overview

Part A  |  Part B | Part C

Farmer Mac, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Sallie Mae

This section closes the presentation of government-sponsored enterprise with a quick look at other GSEs. They work in a similar fashion to the FCS, by issuing securities and using the proceeds to buy or to back illiquid financial instruments held by financial institutions. The goal is once again to lower the level and volatility of interest rates on specific financial instruments and to encourage credit for specific economic activities.

Continue reading

Trump vs. Sessions: A One-Sided Twitter War

“All of this is particularly bizarre because the Trump administration is having enormous difficulty getting any of its supposed agenda done, and the only person who is actively implementing the Trump agenda is Jeff Sessions,” says NEP’s Bill Black. You can view here with a transcript.

Bank fraud shows failure of controls, says fraud expert

NEP’s Bill Black appears on ABS-CBN news discussing bank fraud and specifically Metrobank loan fraud involving one of its executives.

Dear Professors Uribe-Teran and Vega-Garcia…

More than fifty economists signed onto an open letter, written by professors Ha-Joon Chang of the University of Cambridge and James K. Galbraith of the University of Texas at Austin, ahead of this year’s presidential elections in Ecuador. The letter noted:

Over the past ten years, Ecuador has achieved major economic and social advances. We are concerned that many of these important gains in poverty reduction, wage growth, reduced inequality, and greater social inclusion could be eroded by a return to of the policies of austerity and neoliberalism that prevailed in Ecuador from the 1980s to the early 2000s. A return to such policies threatens to put Ecuador back on a path that leads not only to a more unequal society, but to more political instability as well. It is important to recall that from 1996 to 2006, Ecuador went through eight presidents.

The authors and signatories emphasized that “our goal is not to tell Ecuadorians whom to vote for, or to interfere in Ecuador’s political processes,” but instead to counter misinformation in mass media and “correct the record.”

Carlos Uribe-Teran and Pablo Vega-Garcia, both professors of economics at the Universidad de San Francisco de Quito, responded in kind with a critique of the open letter. In their concluding remarks, the authors generously offered up an opportunity to address their analysis, as well as to re-publish any exchange on their blog. We hope they will post this response there.

Continue reading

Jamie Dimon: You Make Us Embarrassed to be Americans

By William K. Black
July 24, 2017     Kansas City, MO

Jamie Dimon talked about his personal pain recently using the exact phrase that many of us have used to explain his personal anguish that “It’s almost an embarrassment to be an American citizen traveling around the world and listening to the stupid sh—t we have to deal with in this country.”  The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch” described Dimon’s fervor.

“J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s outspoken CEO on Friday broke into an impassioned, expletive-tinged rant.”

The WSJ, in the introduction of an online video interview of Paul Gigot, its editorial page editor, termed it a “remarkable diatribe.”

Continue reading

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 recognized that law in fact constitutes and shapes modern economies and the monetary regimes that underpin them. For example, Knapp argued explicitly that money was a “creature of law.” Similarly, Keynes, in A Treatise on Money, stated:

“The State…comes in first of all as the authority of law which enforces the payment of the thing which corresponds to the name or description in the contracts. But it comes in doubly when, in addition, it claims the right to determine and declare what thing corresponds to the name, and to vary its declaration from time to time-when, that is to say, it claims the right to re-edit the dictionary. This right is claimed by all modern states and has been so claimed for some four thousand years at least.”

Today, many of the core propositions of MMT can be understood as essentially legal arguments. Here are a few examples:

Continue reading

Monetary Sovereigns, Monetary Subjects: Modern Money & The Criminal Legal System

By Raúl Carrillo

I delivered the talk published below as part of a panel at Yale’s annual Rebellious Lawyering Conference, on February 17th, 2017. The panel, entitled “Financing Criminal Justice”, co-hosted by The Modern Money Network, focused on the connections between fiscal austerity and the horrors of the U.S. criminal legal system. I was joined on the panel by Thomas Harvey, Co-Founder and Executive Director of ArchCityDefenders, Judge Jaribu Hill, Director of the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights, and Mitali Nagrecha, Director of Harvard Law School’s National Criminal Justice Debt Initiative.

Together, we discussed how financially-strapped local government entities, charged with public safety, perpetuate social violence, especially upon low-income communities of color. My presentation focused on macroeconomic context. More specifically, I attempted to build a bridge between the insights of MMT and arguments asserted by opponents of mass incarceration, police brutality, and criminal justice debt.

Good afternoon, everyone. Buenas tardes. In my short legal career, I have had some hands-on experience with these issues. After law school, I joined the Enforcement Division at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We did (some) work at the intersections of private consumer debt and criminal justice debt. I’m currently at New Economy Project, an anti-poverty organization, in New York City. Some of our clients do wind up behind bars because of failures to appear and failures to pay. Some do leave incarceration only to return home to frozen accounts and judgment liens in addition to the fees they were charged for their time in the system. I’m not here to speak about all that, though. I’ll leave it to the experts.

Continue reading