By Ben Strubel
Recently, a nice man named George H. Rohrs Jr. from Price Asset Management, a firm that specializes only in commodities and managed futures investments, emailed me a copy of the newsletter his firm sent to clients in which he wrote a response to my article on commodity funds. Mr. Rohrs asserted:
I wouldn’t call Ben Strubel, the author of this article “stupid.” I would just call him “ignorant” and “unprofessional” and “biased.” I just believe that he ought to get his facts straight before embarrassing himself by publishing the compendium of misinformation contained in his article.
I wouldn’t call Mr. Rohrs an expert in the usage of quotation marks but I would call him a man with some very strong opinions about me. Let’s look at the points he raises in his article and find out if I am in fact ignorant, unprofessional, and biased. Okay. I’m currently sitting in my office not wearing my shoes, so I’ll cop to the unprofessional part.
By Payam Sharifi
The author is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Economics and Public Administration at the University of Missouri – Kansas City
One of the most common observations I make as I frequent the comments section of MMT blogs are the arguments in objection to it. When one mentions “keystrokes”, these posters immediately think of Weimar Germany and machines printing money and throwing them out into the streets (via helicopter or otherwise). After these commentators understand (through the help of other posters) that MMT notes that inflation is the only possible constraint to the issuer of a sovereign currency, they typically have their “gotcha” moment. Quantitative Easing (QE), they note, has been responsible for higher commodity prices and hence, MMT’ers are a bunch of crazy fanatics who want to turn the nation and the world into Weimar (or Zimbabwe). The even larger implication is that enacting goals for the public purpose is not something the government should be involved with. The view that QE is responsible for higher commodity prices is not entirely without merit, but not for reasons typically ascribed to it. By understanding the institutional aspects that MMT describes, one will understand not only the real transmission mechanism but also some other problems and solutions associated with higher energy prices. This post makes an outline of these issues.