Author Archives: L. Randall Wray

DEBT-FREE MONEY AND BANANA REPUBLICS

By L. Randall Wray

Some time ago, I labeled the “debt-free money” campaign a non sequitur in search of a policy. (See here.) However, this non sequitur refuses to die. I went on to joke that if they want a debt-free money, they ought to propose that government issue bananas as currency.

I frequently am asked to do interviews and I almost always accept them. However, when I was asked last week to participate in a radio show devoted to debt-free money, I struggled mightily to get out of it. As you’ll see, the program’s producer took my idea of banana republics and ran with it. I thought readers might get a kick out of this exchange (the producer’s emails are in italics, my responses are in bold). After the exchange, I’ll summarize my objections to the notion of debt-free money.

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CHINA’S STOCK MARKET TUMBLE AND THE OUTLOOK FOR THE GLOBAL ECONOMY

Interview of L. Randall Wray by Dasha Chernyshova, Moscow reporter for the Sputnik News Agency

Q: In simple terms, how is the slowdown in China affecting the Eurozone?

A: I think the impact is overstated. China is still growing relatively rapidly. Her consumers enjoy rising incomes. They want high quality foreign manufactured goods—prestige goods, luxury goods. Over the short run, the Eurozone will still enjoy positive growth of Chinese demand. The bigger impact could be on commodities exporters (Russia, Brazil). China is learning how to economize on use of natural resources in her attempt to move toward sustainable growth.

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Modern Money Theory – Part 1

Part 1 of an interview with Randy Wray for attactv in Spain. Randy is explaining  Modern Money Theory.


Teoría Monetaria Moderna – Randall Wray – Parte… by attactv

Public Banking and Boom Bust Boom

By L. Randall Wray

While in Spain for the launch of my Modern Money Primer in Spanish, I gave a long interview for Public Television. Parts of that interview are interspersed in this segment on Public Banking.

My interview is in English (with Spanish subtitles) while the rest is in Spanish. Other portions of my interview will be broadcast later.

The Boom Bust Boom movie on Minsky will be released next month. Watch for it. I do not know how widely it will be distributed, but it is well worth seeing. Here’s a nice piece from the Guardian:

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The Modern Money Primer: Spanish Language Edition

By L. Randall Wray

For our Spanish speaking followers, my Modern Money Primer has just been released in Spanish and is available.

mmpesp

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Jobs for Greeks and for Americans, Too

By L. Randall Wray

Here’s a nice piece:

The Workers’ Think Tank: With an eye on the United States and Greece, scholars at the Levy Economics Institute are developing plans to ensure full employment, by Sasha Abramsky, February 2, 2015, The Nation.

As Sasha notes, the Levy Institute has a novel approach to fighting unemployment: JOBS! Hardly anyone ever thinks about that–that the cause of unemployment is lack of jobs.

For some reason, virtually all policy-makers and economists (including progressives) think that jobs will magically appear. True, some suggest that US unemployment is created because China (et.al.) “steals” jobs that are rightfully due to America. Hence, the solution is to steal them back.

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Jobs for Greeks

By L. Randall Wray

With Syriza in the driver’s seat, Greece now has some hope for the end to austerity imposed by Germany and the Troika.

Here’s a good short piece by C. J. Polychroniou, a research associate and policy fellow at the Levy Economics Institute. As he explains, what Syriza wants is no more—and no less—radical than what the USA did in the 1930s to deal with its Great Depression: “the bulk of Syriza’s economic program for addressing the catastrophic crisis in Greece, which has evolved into a humanitarian crisis, is inspired by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs”.

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Ferguson, MO

By L. Randall Wray

This article rings true.

Since the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson by a cop, we’ve seen video after video of cops killing unarmed young men and even boys. The excessive militarization of our domestic police has come into question. The institutionalized racism among our police forces is only part of the problem.

It certainly looks like our police are literally scared to death of the population they are sworn to protect. The operative notion seems to be that our police should not take any risks—they should assume all boys and men—at least if they are black–are armed and dangerous, hence police should shoot first and sort things out later. In any event, prosecutors do not indict police who are doing their job, and juries rarely convict them for bad judgment. Better to err on the side of their own safety. It is indeed hard to second-guess them. I say this sincerely even if I find this unacceptable.

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Odds and Sods: Some Good Reads For a Cold Winter Friday

By L. Randall Wray

If you, too, are living in one of the sub-zero climes right now, you want some stimulating reading for Friday.

  1. Here’s one of the best and fairest summaries of MMT that I’ve seen:

As Joe says: “Few matters of economic importance are as woefully misunderstood as modern money. It can seem a fiendishly complicated subject, even to economists. Schumpeter confessed to never having understood money to his own satisfaction, while Keynes claimed to know of only three people who really grasped it: ‘A Professor at another university; one of my students; and a rather junior clerk at the Bank of England’.”

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Is It Time for MMT To Become Mainstream to Save Us from the Second Global Financial Crisis of the Millennium?

By L. Randall Wray

Some of you will remember that MMT got its first huge mainstream exposure through a Washington Post article written by Dylan Matthews.  He’s just written another excellent story, this time about Stephanie Kelton going to Washington. Finally, there might be an alternative to the deficit hawk and timid deficit dove lovefest!

As Dylan says: “For years, the main disagreement between Democratic and Republican budget negotiators was about how to balance the budget — what to cut, what to tax, how fast to implement it — but not whether to balance it. Even most liberal economists agree that, in the medium-run, it’s better to have less government debt rather than more. Kelton denies that premise. She thinks that, in many cases, government surpluses are actively destructive and balancing the budget is very dangerous. For example, Kelton thinks the Clinton surpluses are nothing to brag about and they actually inflicted economic damage lasting over a decade.”

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