Year-In-Review for NEP and MMT

By Stephanie Kelton

Another year has come to pass, and we at NEP would like to offer our sincere appreciation to all of you, our readers. NEP was launched in the summer of 2009 when Stephanie Kelton, Randy Wray and Bill Black teamed up to offer commentary and policy advice about the most dreadful economic meltdown of our time. Many of you have been with us from the beginning – engaging us in the comments section, challenging us to do more, and spreading our ideas beyond NEP – and some of you have even joined us as contributors. A lot has happened since 2009, and we could not have achieved all that we have without your support. So thank you!

Before we turn the page on another year, we’d like to take a moment to look back on some of our proudest moments from 2013.

In just a few years’ time, NEP has achieved a place among the most influential economics blogs in the world. We moved up 10 spots (to #45) in the most recent ranking, and we’re surrounded by many other MMT-oriented  (Bill Mitchell, Center of the Universe, Mike Norman Economics) and MMT-friendly blogs (like Naked Capitalism and Credit Writedowns), whom we also thank for generously featuring many of our posts on their incredible sites.

We also thank Rohan Grey for organizing the Modern Money Network, a tremendous series at Columbia Law School, which has featured NEP contributors Randy Wray, Stephanie Kelton, William K. Black, Scott Fullwiler, Pavlina Tcherneva, Eric Tymoigne, Fadhel Kaboub and Marshall Auerback.

Pavlina Tcherneva had an exciting year. She presented with Joe Stiglitz at the inaugural session of his INET seminar series at Columba University, taught a weeklong course on MMT and Fiscal Policy to policy makers and other government officials at FLACSO University, Ecuador, Quito, introduced the core principles of MMT at the first of its kind MMT event in Bulgaria, taped a podcast with the smart and witty folks from Disorderly Conduct, and did numerous public radio Interviews: “Background Briefing” with Ian Masters, KPFK-LA on Money, The Fed and Yellen’s appointment; John Munson “At Issue,” Wisconsin WPR on Jobs and the State of the Union Address.

Photo: Pavlina Tcherneva (center) with Warren Mosler (right) and Ryan Markov (left)

Stephanie Kelton spent much of the year traveling and giving talks to large audiences in the financial planning community. She was a keynote speaker at the Financial Planning Association’s NorCal conference in May and a spotlight speaker at Charles Schwab’s IMPACT conference in November. Two of the financial industry’s top publications Investment News and Advisor Perspectives featured stories about Kelton/MMT, and she made three appearances on Chris Hayes (the first to discuss the super hot Platinum Coin, an idea which itself began on an MMT blog, with provocation from NEP contributor Joe Firestone). In October, Stephanie presented MMT alongside Joseph Stiglitz at a conference organized by Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and in December she presented to a group of students at Harvard Kennedy School. Somewhere in between, she launched NEP’s podcast.

Photo: Stephanie Kelton giving the keynote address at FPA NorCal in May, 2013

Randy Wray and Bill Black were busy as usual, writing and traveling more in a year than most people do in a lifetime. Randy published his latest book, The Rise and Fall of Money Manager Capitalism, Routledge (with Eric Tymoigne), and he continued to work on his macro textbook with Bill Mitchell while writing countless papers and working on an INET grant with Mariana Mazzucato. He gave numerous radio and TV interviews and recently spoke to Parliament (House of Commons) at a Workshop on Financial Governance for Innovation and Social Inclusion.

 

Bill Black landed in Quito, Ecuador at 10:00 p.m. local time planning to give a training talk to Ecuador’s Planning Ministry the next morning and a series of presentations at an international conference on antitrust enforcement and ended up adding to those activities addressing a dozen members of Parliament about a bizarre banking crisis in which the largest banks in Ecuador sought to spark a run on their own banks in order to try to defeat an excess profits tax on the banks. Bill was quoted widely in Ecuador’s leading papers and interviewed on television. The banks’ threats collapsed and made President Correa even more popular.

On another trip to Ecuador later in 2013, Bill gave talks on repudiating unjust debt, gave advice to Ecuador’s antitrust agency on an investigation and a more general lecture on investigative techniques, advised the Planning Ministry on a potential regulation, and gave a lecture on control fraud to the Universidad Tecnica de Manabi, where he explored potential partnerships with the UMKC.

Bill made a series of presentations at Kilkenomics IV, an incredible festival is in Kilkenny, Ireland that pairs economists and professional comedians to present to thousands of paying fans.

Bill was one of the leaders in the effort to block Larry Summers from being appointed as Ben Bernanke’s replacement as head of the Fed. He did so through a series of posts in NEP that led to many interviews.

Bill exposed “Third Way” (a purported progressive Democratic think tank) as “Wall Street on the Potomac” in many NEP columns.  Bill’s work was widely cited when Third Way’s leaders wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal attacking progressives in general and Senator Elizabeth Warren in particular for daring to criticize Wall Street’s frauds.

Bill is speaks to and participates in local efforts that advocate in favor of full employment and a far higher minimum wage. He writes in NEP in support of these policy ideas and local efforts in support of those policies.

Photo: Bill Black at the Kilkenomics IV in Kilkenny, Ireland.

What we do here at NEP is part of a broader effort among MMT-oriented economists to advance theory and improve real world policies at the international, national, and local level. We have enjoyed many small victories over the years, and we remain hopeful that, over time, we will succeed (on a grand scale) in exposing the neoliberal lie that There is No Alternative (TINA) to deprivation and secular stagnation.

Helping us to reach even bigger audiences with this message of hope is award-winning documentary filmmaker Paul Thomas, whose current project (now in development) will bring MMT to the silver screen, hopefully sometime next year. We hope you’re as excited as we are about 2014. And thanks again for sticking with us on this journey.

Finally, in case you missed it, John Carney’s satire, The Economics of Christmas, which includes a special shout-out to MMT, is a great way to say farewell to 2013.


17 Responses to Year-In-Review for NEP and MMT

  1. From a virtual-innumerate, almost-empty-nester, still-suburbanite who was lucky enough to take a Cockefair Lecture series from you NEP/MMT-ers in 2009: THANK YOU for your insight, wisdom and fierce dedication!

    Here’s to the snowball effect in 2014!

  2. Great stuff, NEP. Keep it up!

    And I hope the movie includes zombies. And gold bars. ;)

  3. Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah! Hope there’s room for something in Chicago on your 2014 schedules! Keep up the good work!

  4. And it was earlier this year I found this blog and it changed my entire outlook on economics, and I wish to pursue the school of thought now.
    Thank you all and keep up the good work!

  5. Good job! Thanks for all your hard work. Keep that MMT train barreling down the track. It will pay off in end.

  6. Great site and great contributors! I expect to keep posting links to your articles from Opednews, as I’ve been doing for over a year now.

  7. Pingback: Year-In-Review for NEP and MMT | The Money Chro...

  8. Bruce Campbell

    Stephanie,
    Thank you for the Best post Educational Experience possible!
    With continued education & awareness may we all help enlighten our family, friends, and colleagues. Here’s to a very prosperous New Year for us all!
    Best,
    BTC

  9. Thanks for all you’re doing. I stumbled upon MMT about 2 1/2 years ago. At first, I had to find all the basic articles and videos, and read and watch them over and over and over… and over… just to get old ideas out of my head and make room for new ones.

    Shows the power of dominant cultural ideas.

    Now, of course, the MMT perspective seems only reasonable :)

    Thanks again for a great education.

    Katie

  10. Thank you all for your tireless struggles to get the important messages of MMT out against a very strong tide!

  11. Best wishes for 2014 and thanks to everyone for all the posts.
    Great work all round.

  12. Would also like to add Marshall Auerback’s blog to the list.
    MMT has come much further than I ever thought. I read Wray’s book Understanding Modern Money in 2001. Back then cfeps.org and CofFEE were about the only MMT stuff (wasn’t called MMT at the time) on the internet. Warren started a blog and the only commenter was someone named WinslowR.
    It is great to see all the MMT sites and commenters. And the trillion dollar coin making it all the way to the president gives me hope. Keep up the good work Stephanie and others. You have turned my doubts into optimism. Thanks.

  13. Thank you all. I was lucky to be able to attend your excellent keynote at FPA NorCal, Stephanie, and it was absolutely fantastic.

  14. You are all doing amazing work. It is enough to give a bunny hope for the future.

    Please do not forget to include Joe Firestone. All the great work he has done on, DailyKos and elsewhere, has had tremendous impact in terms of reaching MMT “virgins” within the rapidly growing and strengthening progressive movement. As you all know, MMT evangelism is essential and people like Joe who speak primarily to grass roots and grass top political organizers perform a service which will, ultimately, make all the difference. It is important and necessary to convert today’s bankers and business leaders but those aren’t the people who got us to Janet Yellen. The power of the progressive movement, when it stomps down hard on a united theme (like killing the Larry Sanders nomination) is not to be underestimated. Joe, who writes as “LetsGetItDone” on DailyKos, is one of the grass tops that makes a real difference in igniting progressives.

  15. I discovered MMT not to long ago. After watching several interviews from Dr.Hudson (who’s work on economic history is fascinating) I was intrigued enough and discovered this place. Thank you to the group for all your hard work and I hope 2014 is a phenomenal year for MMT and NEP.

  16. Considered by economists to be a rare and extreme form of recession, a depression is characterized by its length, by abnormally large increases in unemployment, as well as shrinking output as buyers dry up and suppliers cut back on production and investment.

    Are we in a depression? If so, what should it be called? The Second Great Depression?