Author Archives: Stephanie Kelton

A Moment of Mourning

Fred LeeThe Department of Economics at UMKC lost a member of its family last night. Fred Lee, prolific scholar, humanist, and devoted husband, father and grandfather, spent the last several months battling a startling diagnosis — a non-smoking variety of stage 4 lung cancer. Like the disease itself, Fred was a rare type.  His commitment to the advancement of heterodox economics built an infrastructure of newsletters and list serves to enable this community of scholars to engage and build ties.  He recorded this podcast with me shortly after learning that his diagnosis was terminal.  Fred left an indelible mark on the UMKC Economics Department and on heterodox economics. We will miss him terribly.  ~Stephanie Kelton

*Podcast audio starts garbled but quickly resolves.

Click here to watch Fed’s last lecture in his MA-level Micro theory course. 

Bill Black Helps Defendants win “Unprecedented Acquittal”

By Stephanie Kelton

I knew my colleague had been in Sacramento this summer, and I knew he was there to testify in a federal case involving mortgage fraud.  But I didn’t know the details of the case.  I didn’t know the defendants had been the homebuyers or that they were on trial for mortgage fraud. This morning, I learned these details and more in this story from the Sacramento Bee.  The whole thing is astonishing, and I doubt anyone but Bill could have helped to persuade a jury that, in spite of all the evidence, the real fraudsters were the elite bankers who looked the other way, even as borrowers falsified loan applications.

The jurors heard shocking testimony from ‘control fraud’ expert William Black that regular people who got loans they were unable to pay back did not (defraud) the banks. The elite bankers commit the fraud while prosecutors look the other way and prosecute the wrong people.”

Go Bill!

Seeping into the Mainstream?

By Stephanie Kelton

Scott Fullwiler spent part of the afternoon reading (and reacting to) a paper that John Cochrane just gave at a conference on central banking in Stanford, CA. I haven’t read the paper yet, but judging by Scott’s reaction on Twitter, there’s lots to like about it. (Mostly because it appears to draw heavily from a broad swath of at least a decade of published work from MMTers.)

STF

We’ll have to wait for Scott’s forthcoming post to see just how close the parallels are (and how much Cochrane 2014 departs from Cochrane 2009). It will be interesting, particularly because several years ago Cochrane wasn’t interested in garnering insight from outside the mainstream. “Every now and then,” he confessed, “there’s an excluded subgroup that turns out to be right.” But he readily admitted — nay, disparaged — “I haven’t read their specific work. I’m busy, and I try to read what is considered interesting and valid.” Being right matters, and I think that’s why MMT has begun to seep into the mainstream. The risk (though this is not how Noah sees it) is that “all the interesting heterodox ideas [will] quickly get incorporated into the mainstream in some slightly bastardized form,” leaving the discipline as a whole only marginally better off, while those who did the heavy lifting remain at the margins.

 

 

Stephanie Kelton Talks with Randy Wray

Stephanie’s latest podcast. This episode is a broad-ranging discussion of conventional economics and the heterodox alternatives to IS/LM, Ricardian equivalence, among others.

 

Stephanie Kelton talks with Fred Lee

Stephanie’s latest podcast. She talks with UMKC Economist Dr. Fred Lee about the micro/maco distinction, Post-Keynesian price theory, the problems with neoclassical economics and his ideas about how to move the discipline in a more useful direction.  (Note: There are some audio quality issues but only for the first 30 seconds).

Turn That Frown Upside Down

(Updated – slides added)

Stephanie Kelton’s keynote address to the students, faculty, and visitors at Augustana College’s (Sioux Falls, SD) Undergraduate Research Symposium on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 10am. Stephanie begins at 2:40. The topic of the keynote is Debt and Deficits in the Modern Economy. The slides are available below the video.

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PBS goes MMT, Cites JKG

What gives money its value?  PBS explores. You can check it out here.

Why Minsky Matters

minskyAmerican economist Hyman Minsky died in 1996, but his theories offer one of the most compelling explanations of the 2008 financial crisis. His key idea is simple enough to be a t-shirt slogan: “Stability is destabilising”.

BBC Radio 4’s Analysis program has an episode on Minsky and looks at topics such as:

  • In the aftermath of the financial crisis, why did Minsky die an outsider?
  • What do his ideas say about the response to the 2008 crisis and current policies like Help to Buy?
  • And has mainstream economics done enough to respond to its own failure to predict the crisis and the challenge posed by Minsky’s ideas?

The Triumphant Return of NEP’s Podcast

By Stephanie Kelton

It’s been a long time, but I finally carved out enough time to record a new podcast. Although they’re my colleagues, Bill Black, Randy Wray and I see surprisingly little of one another these days. I did manage to catch up with Bill in Minneapolis last week, where I happened to be giving a talk (more on that in the coming days), but for the most part we’re all just trying to keep up with requests, which is a good problem to have when you think about it.

It was nice to slow down and talk with Randy this afternoon. We promised one another we’d do it more often. Anyway, here is today’s podcast.  We hope you enjoy it.

How Fiat Money Works

By Chris Mayer*

Warren Mosler tells a good story that shows how our economy works at its most basic level.

Imagine parents create coupons they use to pay their kids for doing chores around the house. They “tax” the kids 10 coupons per week. If the kids don’t have 10 coupons, the parents punish them. “This closely replicates taxation in the real economy, where we have to pay our taxes or face penalties,” Mosler writes.

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