How the U.S. Treasury avoided Chronic Deflation by Relinquishing Monetary Control to Wall Street

As published in the Social Sciences Research Network Michael Hudson University of Missouri, Economics Department, 211 Haig Hall, 5120 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA and Peking University, No.5 Yiheruan Road, Haidan District, P.O. Box 1008/71m, Beijing, P.R. China The Eurozone today is going into the same deflationary situation that the U.S. did under Jackson’s destruction of the Second Bank, and the post-Civil War budget surpluses that deflated the economy. But whereas the Fed’s creation was designed to inflate the U.S. economy, Europe’s European Central Bank is designed to deflate it — in the interest of commercial banks in both cases. 1. Introduction Deflation was the main U.S. financial problem prior to 1913. To replace the Treasury conducting its fiscal operations independently from the banking system, ...

Incorporating the Rentier Sectors into a Financial Model

by Dirk Bezemer and Michael Hudson As published in the World Economic Association's World Economic Review Vol #1. ABSTRACT Current macroeconomics ignores the roles that rent, debt and the financial sector play in shaping our economy. We discuss the Classical view on rents and policy responses to the rentier sector in the 19th century. The finance, insurance & real estate sector is today’s incarnation of the rentier sector. This paper shows how financial flows can be conceptually and statistically studied separately from (but interacting with) the real sector. We discuss finance’s interaction with government and with the international economy. 1. Introduction Now that the Bubble Economy has given way to debt deflation, the world is discovering the shortcoming of models that fail to explain how ...

Europe’s Transition From Social Democracy to Oligarchy

As first published in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung The easiest way to understand Europe’s financial crisis is to look at the solutions being proposed to resolve it. They are a banker’s dream, a grab bag of giveaways that few voters would be likely to approve in a democratic referendum. Bank strategists learned not to risk submitting their plans to democratic vote after Icelanders twice refused in 2010-11 to approve their government’s capitulation to pay Britain and the Netherlands for losses run up by badly regulated Icelandic banks operating abroad. Lacking such a referendum, mass demonstrations were the only way for Greek voters to register their opposition to the €50 billion in privatization sell-offs demanded by the European Central Bank (ECB) in autumn ...

Krugman, China and the role of finance.

Here’s the quandary that the U.S. economy is in: The Fed’s quantitative easing policy– creating more liquidity so that banks can lend more – aims at helping the economy “borrow its way out of debt.” But banks are not lending more, for the simple reason that a third of U.S. real estate already is in negative equity, while small and medium-sized businesses (which have created most of the new jobs in America for the past few decades) have seen their preferred collateral (real estate and sales orders) shrink. How can banks be expected to lend more to re-inflate the economy’s asset prices while wages and consumer prices continue to drift down? The “real” economy as a whole therefore must shrink. What ...