Author Archives: Devin Smith

Latest Book Honoring Professor Fred Lee

fleeAdvancing the Frontiers of Heterodox Economics: Essays in Honor of Frederic S. Lee

Edited by Tae-Hee Jo and Zdravka Todorova
Series in the Routledge Advances in Heterodox Economics ISBN: 978-0-415-73031-0 (hardback), 358 pages, $160. August 2015, Routledge. (20% Discount code: FLR40)

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UMKC professor among handful of economist to predict Eurozone fiscal downturn

Video and article over at Kansas City’s KSHB highlighting NEP’s Randy Wray’s analysis of the problems with the European Monetary Union and his predictions that it would lead to the European crisis. You can view the video and read the article here.

If the Justice Dept Wants to Punish Corporate Crooks, Here’s How

NEP’s Bill Black appears with Richard “RJ” Eskow on the Zero Hour discussing the DOJ’s change in stance regarding prosecuting elite white collar criminals. You can view the video below.

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Endogenous financial fragility in Brazil: Does Brazil’s National Development Bank reduce external fragility?

By Felipe Rezende


The creation of new sources of financing and funding are at the center of discussions to promote real capital development in Brazil. It has been suggested that access to capital markets and long-term investors are a possible solution to the dilemma faced by Brazil’s increasing financing requirements (such as infrastructure investment and mortgage lending needs) and the limited access to long-term funding in the country. Policy initiatives were implemented aimed at the development of long-term financing to lengthen the maturity of fixed income instruments (Rezende 2015a). Though average maturity has lengthened over the past 10 years and credit has soared, banks’ credit portfolios still concentrate on short maturities (with the exception of the state-owned banks including Caixa Economica Federal [CEF] and the Brazilian Development Bank [BNDES]).

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Reactions to S&P Downgrade: S&P analyst confirms there is no solvency issue

By Felipe Rezende

In previous posts (see here and here), I discussed Standard & Poor’s (S&P) downgrade of Brazil’s long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating to junk status, that is, to ‘BB+’ from ‘BBB-‘ and its decision to downgrade Brazil’s local currency debt to a single notch above “junk” status.

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Credit Rating Agencies and Brazil: Why The S&P’s Rating About Brazil Sovereign Debt Is Nonsense

Felipe Rezende

So S&P has downgraded Brazil’s rating on long-term foreign currency debt to junk and lowered its long-term local currency sovereign credit rating to ‘BBB-‘ from ‘BBB+’.

First, what are sovereign debt ratings? Standard & Poor’s sovereign rating is defined as follows:

A current opinion of the creditworthiness of a sovereign government, where creditworthiness encompasses likelihood of default and credit stability (and in some cases recovery).

So that ratings are related to “a sovereign’s ability and willingness to service financial obligations to nonofficial (commercial) creditors.”

What does this tell us? To begin with, credit rating agencies have repeatedly been wrong. The same agencies that rated Enron investment grade just weeks before it went bust, the same people that assigned triple A rating to toxic subprime mortgage-backed securities are now downgrading Brazil sovereign debt. As the FCIC report pointed out “The three credit rating agencies were key enablers of the financial meltdown. The mortgage-related securities at the heart of the crisis could not have been marketed and sold without their seal of approval.” (FCIC 2011)

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MMT In Spain

To update our Spanish friends:

In an effort to bring MMT into the political debate in Spain, APEEP will be hosting Warren Mosler for his presentation of the Spanish translation of his  book “The Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy” during a one-week tour through Spain, starting with a presentation in Madrid, on the 14th of September; Valencia on the 15th of September; and Vila-real on the 17th of September.

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More on the DOJ’s Prosecution Policy

William D. Cohan in the later part of his post “Justice Dept. Shift on White-Collar Crime Is Long Overdue” over at NYT extensively presents and supports NEP’s Bill Black’s views from Bill’s recent post “Now the DOJ Admits They Got it Wrong“.

MMT Primer in Italian

For all our Italian speaking visitors, our friends over at RETE MMT have undertaken the arduous task of translating Randy Wray’s MMT Primer into Italian. The project is a work in progress and not all posts have been translated as yet. As they add to their list of translated posts, we will update this list to reflect their accomplishments. The links will take you directly to the relevant post on RETE MMT.

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Teoría Monetaria Moderna – Kindle Version

For our spanish speaking (and reading) friends, the spanish version of Randy Wray’s book Teoría Monetaria Moderna is now available as a Kindle e-book. The details are available here.