The word “economy” comes from the Greek “oikos” meaning “hearth” or “household”. Everybody has a household economy that looks slightly different from that of their neighbors. However, because of the nature of a monetary economy, household economies are linked quite tightly together and trends that effect one household start to have effects in other households soon or over the longer term. While within the same economy some households can prosper while others do not, generally there is a movement in tandem for some obvious reasons related to how society and the monetary system work. Continue reading →
Thursday, September 29, 2012, William Black, Randall Wray and Michael Hudson appeared on KCUR.org’s Central Standard. The discussion was a roundtable on all things Post-Keynesian. This link will take you to KCUR’s page where you can listen the discussion.
Most of the US political class has been infected with the “mind virus” of austerity that suggests to them that either virtue or necessity consists of cutting government spending and government programs. Under the influence of this “folk economics” with no evidentiary support, the equivalent of economic superstition, politicians seem prepared to slash vital supports to the economy despite the ability of monetarily sovereign governments, like the US federal government, to afford continued spending on current and even expanded government programs. Continue reading →
I was having lunch today at the Council on Foreign Relations before a meeting with one of the national leaders in town for the UN General Assembly. At my table was William F. McDonough, president of the New York Fed from 1993 to 2003. That meant he was vice chairman and a permanent member of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which formulates U.S. monetary policy.
The real weak link now in the Eurozone is Spain, where the data is a disaster. It is Greece writ large. And this is before Madrid, under Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, has submitted to a new ECB program of agreed austerity in exchange for the ECB backstopping the nation’s bonds via a renewed Securities Market Program (SMP).
I explained in a prior column that Gregory Mankiw, Governor Romney’s lead economist, wrote a column endorsing the regulatory “competition in laxity.” “Romney’s Lead Economist Urges Policies that will Cause the Next Financial Crisis.” One of the key events in “winning” the regulatory race to the bottom is welcoming significantly dangerous institutions (SDIs). The SDIs are the leading contributor to U.S. politicians – and the politicians of many nations). The difficulty is that “too big to fail” (TBTF) institutions are unpopular with both parties’ voters. Historically, TBTF was a misleading phrase, for TBTF banks could fail. TBTF actually meant that the general creditors would be bailed out by the government.
The polling since the conventions shows that Democrats are doing better than expected. President Obama now apparently has a clear lead over Mitt Romney. Democratic Party control of the Senate seems likely to survive this election year of many more Democratic rather than Republican Senate seats up for election. And, even in House races, it looks like the Democrats will pick up a number of seats; though whether they can pick up enough seats to take back the House is still an unlikely prospect, and without the House President Obama’s second term is likely to be much like his last year and three-quarters, rather than his first two years.