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 the problem not as real estate prices too low to ...

Modern Money and Public Purpose

By , , , , Permalink

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 year. The series aims to present new perspectives and progressive ...

Upcoming Events

By No tags Permalink

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 credit. Dave Kelley tells me that he ...

Financial Predators v. Labor, Industry and Democracy

By , , Permalink

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 land-price bubble in the first place. “Free lunch” economic rent ...

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 Mill but with the more logical systems of Karl Marx ...

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 money creation in American history has gone hand in hand ...