The Economic Crisis & Crisis Theory II

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This panel explored causes of the Great Recession and the continuing economic sluggishness since the recession’s ended, as well as how the left can respond to this situation. In keeping with the conference theme, panelists addressed what different analyses and theories imply about the kind of socioeconomic change that is called for. Alan Freeman spoke on “Consumption, Profit and Finance: why can’t the left get it right?” He will explore why so many academic left thinkers persistently avoid normal methods of enquiry after truth. Focusing on Marx’s theory of crisis, the share of wages in US income, and the relation between finance and profitability as examples, he will discuss how prejudice and the desire to find “evidence” to support a political ...

Left Forum: Austerity Isnt Working

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I am speaking in two panels at the Left Forum - I hope you can join us. Austerity isn't Working, Can Keynesian Reforms Save the System?
 Saturday, 8th of June 10:00am-11:50am Pace University, New York City
 Room: W613 Abstract: Three contributions on the question, Is a Reformist Solution Possible? Hillel Ticktin looks at the conflict between the Keynesians and those who favor a return to 19th Century capitalism; Michael Hudson asks whether Austerity is simply a European mis-step or is the Class War Back in Business, and Robert Brenner analyzes the roots of the crisis looking at Finance and the Real Economy. Suzi Weissman chairs/moderates. Chair, Speakers: Suzi Weissman -- Saint Mary's College of CA and KPFK Los Angeles, Hillel Ticktin -- Editor, Critique Journal, ...

Government Debt and Deficits Are Not the Problem. Private Debt Is.

There are two quite different perspectives in the set of speeches at this conference. Many on our morning panels – Steve Keen, William Greider, and earlier Yves Smith and Robert Kuttner – have warned about the economy being strapped by debt. The debt we are talking about is private-sector debt. But most officials this afternoon focus on government debt and budget deficits as the problem – especially social spending such as Social Security, not bailouts to the banks and Federal Reserve credit to re-inflate prices for real estate, stocks and bonds. To us this morning, government deficit spending into the economy is the solution. The problem is private debt. And in contrast to Federal Reserve and Treasury bailout policy, we view ...

Modern Money and Public Purpose

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Here is the recording of the presentation I gave at the Modern Money and Public Purpose seminar recently. My delivery begins at the 43 minute mark. I highly recommend Randy's presentation beforehand. Moderator: William V. Harris, William R. Shepherd Professor of History and Director, Center for the Ancient Mediterranean, Columbia University Speaker 1: L. Randall Wray, Research Director of the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability and Professor of Economics, University of Missouri-Kansas City Speaker 2: Michael Hudson, President, Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends and Distinguished Research Professor, University of Missouri-Kansas City Tuesday, September 11, 2012 About the Seminar Series: Modern Money and Public Purpose is an eight-part, interdisciplinary seminar series held at Columbia Law School over the 2012-2013 academic ...

Upcoming Events

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There are three upcoming events I will be presenting at: Sept 11: Modern Money & Public Purpose, Jerome Greene Hall, Room 104, Columbia Law School, 435 West 116th St, New York The event will be streamed live and questions can be asked via twitter. Reading Resources September 20-23: The American Monetary Institute’s 8th Annual AMI Monetary Reform Conference, Chicago. I will give a paper with Steve Keen on the mathematical model of the economy we are making. The essence is to add credit (or subtract net debt service to (from) income to get a measure of demand, to distinguish the FIRE sector (overhead) from the rest of the economy, and to distinguish commodity price inflation from asset-price inflation fueled by commercial bank ...

Financial Predators v. Labor, Industry and Democracy

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Europe’s sovereign debt crisis in historical perspective Sankt Georgen University, Frankfurt, June 22, 2012 Michael Hudson's new book The Bubble and Beyond can be purchased here. The Eurozone lacks a central bank to do what most central banks are supposed to do: finance government deficits. To make matters worse, the Lisbon Agreement limits these deficits to 3% – too small to pull economies out of depression by offsetting private-sector debt deflation. Even if central banks could monetize higher levels of deficit spending, there are good reasons not to subsidize unfair tax systems and tax cuts on the real estate and financial “free lunch” windfalls that classical economists urged to be the tax base. Under classical tax policy, Europe would not have had a ...

Veblen’s Institutionalist Elaboration of Rent Theory

Michael Hudson's new book The Bubble and Beyond has just been released and can be purchased here. Speech given at the Veblen, Capitalism and Possibilities for a Rational Economic Order Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, June 6th, 2012 Simon Patten recalled in 1912 that his generation of American economists – most of whom studied in Germany in the 1870s – were taught that John Stuart Mill’s 1848 Principles of Political Economy was the high-water mark of classical thought. However, Mill’s reformist philosophy turned out to be “not a goal but a half-way house” toward the Progressive Era’s reforms. Mill was “a thinker becoming a socialist without seeing what the change really meant,” Patten concluded. “The Nineteenth Century epoch ends not with the theories of ...

The Weaponization of Economic Theory

Europe’s three needs: a debt write-down, a real central bank, and a more efficient tax system Brussels Talk, Madariaga College, Governing Globalisation in a World Economy in Transition, June 27, 2012 What can Europe learn from the United States? First, the United States – like Canada, England and China – have central banks that do what central banks outside of Europe were created to do: finance the budget deficit directly. I have found that it is hard to explain to continental Europe just how different the English-speaking countries are in this respect. There is a prejudice here that central bank financing of a domestic spending deficit by government is inflationary. This is nonsense, as demonstrated by recent U.S. experience: the largest ...