You’re the best!!

Still laughing!!!

58 Responses

  1. Hi Warren, this is Giovanni from Italy (Rimini in May…) I always read you and I noticed you were right in predicting a rebound of markets since June on the assumption that the “ECB can write the check” and therefore somehow it will and and also the deficits are now wide enough on average, even in Europe, to sustain some modest growth.

    However from now I am not so sure. The Euro made a bottom but just held around 122, did not follow the markets going up as before, bonds and bund gave back some, China, Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, Australia, UK, Italy, Spain data are materially worse than 3 months ago, only Germany, Canada, Sweden and the US are showing decent data, Japan is mixes inspite of a 10% gov deficit (!). Actually in Germany it is really only the exports that saved from recession, the IFO is still plunging. China data are horrible, its exports were +1%, worse than Italy’s exports (!), its exports to Italy -27% year on year, Lombard Research says true GDP growth is maybe 2% not 8% if you look at VAT, electric consumption, shipments and exports.
    More importantly there is no sign yet that anyone at the ECB is signing any check, the northern countries repeat that austerity for ever in exchange for the check.
    Italy’s industrial production is at 82 now compared with a max of 110 in 2007, so -24% and companies are going bankrupt by the thousands because unlike the S&P 500 here are small companies, pay a lot of taxes unlike the Google, AAPL and GE, do not get credit and do not delocalize
    Public deficit is -2% in Italy, like in Germany, but interest expenses are about 4.5% of GFP and 2/3 go the foreigners and banks that own BTP, so the italian residentsa are actually facing a 1% surplus.
    A country with industrial production down -23% from 5 years ago, 100 billions euro in additional taxes (austerity) since 2010, a net gov surplus of +1% (for residents taking into account interest expenses distribution) is doomed
    Even if “they write the check” at the ECB all it does is: 1) push up the Euro from 122 to 125 maybe 2) push down the interest on BTP on average from 5% to 4%. The 2 things cancel them out.
    Spain is even worse because it does non have as much export as Italy and has more unemployment.

    I do not see really how, even in an MMT framework, Italy and Spain can stay in the Euro for long. You and Mike Norman seem to say that the Euro can stay together because “the ECB can pay for BTP”, but so what ? when the economy is in a Depression for 5 years in a row and is not made of multinationals that produce in China like Apple, but of small companies that are going bankrupt by the thousands, things break down. Nobody is even thinking of cutting taxes here, all they think is to bring 5 year gov bond down by 1%

    The Northern Leauge and the “5 star movement” ara talking a referendum on the euro this week in Italy, in Austria in September a new party will start created by the billionaire founder of Magna (biggest auto parts company in the world), in Finland the foreign minister yesterday talked a euro break up
    The Euro is gonna break even with a MMT analyis

    1. Hi Giovanni, and thanks for watching out for me in Rimini!

      And I agree it’s looking very bad in the euro zone.
      The referendum might indicate whether the population wants to stay with the euro?

      I assume that’s Frank Stronach starting the new party in Austria? I’ve met him and served as a board member for a while for Magna Entertainment while it was in bankruptcy. He never could understand how the currency worked and is therefore likely to be highly counterproductive, seems?

      in any case, i fully agree with your analysis and the inherent risk of disintegration. July numbers for the euro zone will be coming out soon that may indicate whether or not the economies in question are showing any signs of stabilizing. If current deficits aren’t high enough for stability, it means the economies will continue to deteriorate until the deficits do get high enough. And the societies may not be able to hold together that long.

      1. @WARREN MOSLER, Just back from 2 weeks in Italy and Giovanni’s observation are truly reflective ..small businesses are struggling with high taxes and discounting ..tourism this year has not picked up ..with budget cuts you can easily imagine how most of the infrastructure will deteriorate ..maybe one can conjure up flat growth for the eurozone but the southern countries are hurting and unless the ECB not only writes the Check but allows increases in deficit spends these countries will need to exit if they want to continue as countries and not just be the southern states of Europe ..

    2. Hi, and also, as I’m sure you recall, we discussed that idea that there were two issues, solvency and a bad economy, and that the ECB would solve the solvency issue, which would trigger a market adjustment to ‘undiscount’ that issue, which leaves the bad economy, which seems to be pretty much what happened?

  2. This guy is great. And he needs to get out there (Jon Stewart to start?), because although we’re right, we’re not winning.

    1. @vincent,

      I disagree. First of all, why is he shouting at the video camera? He comes across as a used car salesman – “No credit? No problem!” Second, he is making claims about MMT which simply aren’t true. MMT is a descriptive model, not a predictive model.

      Sure, one can use MMT as a framework in which to understand various macroeconomic variables and perhaps make predictions from there, but did MMT really tell us that the economy would slow down, but not too much, and that interest rates would go down and the stock market would go up? I don’t think so.

      In fact, one thing MMT does tell us is that the optimal size of the deficit is determined by savings desire, which is not a directly observable macro parameter. What should the size of the deficit be this year? I have no idea, and I’m pretty sure that neither Mike nor Warren know either. Another thing MMT tells us is that interest rates are completely determined by the Ben Bernank. Now if MMT included mind-reading capability, then we’d really be onto something.

      I’ve understood MMT for over 10 years, and I have not been able to beat the market with that knowledge alone (or any knowledge, frankly). Actually, the greatest predictive power MMT has is to help one determine which market commentators to ignore.

      1. @Fin,

        But I think MMT does have some predictive applications, for example knowing qe does nothing for aggregate demand may temper your enthusiasm for the market when the fed does it. Certainly warren has made some good market calls based on his understanding of how monetary operations.

      2. @ESM, totally agree about his style. he sounds like a lunatic which won’t help promoting MMT. his style might work when facing some other lunatic on TV, but it doesn’t make any sense in this kind of video.

        as for the predictive power of MMT, or lack of thereof, I think you are mostly right with the caveat that I think it’s done a pretty good job in predicting the general dynamics of the macroeconomy during this crisis, and in the case of the Euro crisis, it did it a long time ago.

      3. @MamMoTh,

        MamMoth & ESM – I suspect that neither of you have ever attempted to produce a video. At times it can be difficult enough to communicate with another person one on one and face to face, but when you put a TV or computer screen in between the parties it becomes all the more challenging. Putting aside content, the key to communicating effectively with a targeted audience on a video is to necessarily exaggerate verbal communication with vocal volume, tone, pitch, inflection, body language and of course humor. Mike Norman does this in spades which is why this video is so effective. It gives the viewer a punch in the nose sense of reality about why MMT market calls have been largely right compared with other forecasters. That said, one way the Mike could improve on his presentation would be to use lots of graphics. A picture can say a thousand words and there are many compelling stories that can be told about MMT market calls with pictures.

      4. @MamMoTh,


        Sorry, Ed. It’s not a video production issue. I’ve seen lots of great, low-budget videos on youtube where somebody makes a boring point clearly, calmly, credibly, and in an interesting way.

        Maybe Mike’s in-your-face, crazy man, braggadocio works for some people. It doesn’t work for me, and I’m skeptical it works for people who are naturally skeptical.

        Ironically, Mike reminds me of an Austrian – this one. :^)

      5. @ESM,
        I disagree, in part, with your disagreement ESM. On interest rates, the MMT grasp of how they work did give a clear indication of what would happen. I foolishly wimped out on buying US treasuries about a year ago after Warren made a correct MMT-based call and lost out on picking up many thousands of dollars. The ETF I had planned on buying rose almost 50% within a few months. Foolish me.
        With respect to other aspects, they are largely politically driven so it is very difficult to figure which way things will go. Is such and such political or central bank figure pandering to some constituency when they say something silly or are they actually planning on doing the opposite of what they say? This has happened a few times in Europe.
        Will the US government really cut back on deficit spending the way it keeps saying or is that just playing to an uninformed audience? That’s a tough call. So far it’s in between.
        Compared to others MMT has done well and I totally agree that it definitely gives you an underestanding of who knows what they are talking about and who doesn’t. But even there, someone who is clueless can be right, for a time, if it represents a generally held clueless view. I believe Keynes said that (much more eloquently) 80 years ago.

  3. Why would anyone want the Euro to stay together? Why the assumption that keeping the Euro together is best for the people?

    The Euro is run by a group of unelected corporate bankers.

    The Euro is anti-democracy and anti-free market.

    The sooner the Euro breaks apart the sooner the countries of Europe can elected leaders to fix each of their economies.

  4. Vincent
    Pressure’s building, slowly but surely.
    Randy’s new book is a big help.
    Keep plugging away and the dam will burst

  5. Yes Warren is Frank Stronach,–magna-s-frank-stronach-back-on-the-political-stage-in-austria
    its new party is about getting Austria out of the Euro. Since you come in October to launch a platform for Italy’s debt with Paolo Barnard and the Euro maybe we can contact Mr Stronach to send someone)

    On another note with regard to a platform or manifesto for Italy in October I would draw your attention to the submission of Professor Richard A. Werner and others of Positive Money to the UK Independent Banking Commission about giving the CB the power to issue money. It is a fully operational proposal with a lot of detail about “The Mechanics of Creating New Money”
    It is interesging because it addresses also the accounting issues in broad terms of a model of money creation directly through the CB that the government could spend$ into circulation by covering expenses or reducing taxes or distributing directly to citizens (to reduce their debt Steve Keen way). These guys do not call themselves MMT and they stress the bank credit creation side of the issue but it seems to me the final proposal is correct (and then there is 100% banking also as an addition…)
    So if you will have the time to look just at the operational mechanism they propose for the UK and you do not find mistakes I was going to translate into Italian and submit in October at the meeting. As you can see it is fully operational proposal

    1. That banking proposal looks like much ado about nothing?

      the govt will still have to pay interest on any ‘created’ money if it wants to keep it’s rate target above 0% no matter how it labels the accounts.

      and 100% reserve requirements still means bank lending is not reserve constrained. and a 100% capital requirement means no lending beyond the investors equity, which means there’s no point in having a bank at all.

      if you think i’m missing something I’ll read it, but looks like a clone of the sill K bill in the US congress

      Regarding Frank, I’ll wait for him to call me.

  6. Giovanni
    I think they need to decide what happens when a bank lends before they submit this. I mean which is it?

    “As the Bank of England’s 2007 Q3 Quarterly Bulletin states: “When banks make loans, they create additional [bank] deposits for those that have borrowed the money”. Put another way, the money supply of the real economy depends entirely on the lending decisions of the banking sector.”

    “Reducing Moral Hazard: Risk Stays with the Bank & InvestorUnder the current system, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) guarantees bank deposits in eligible banks up to £50,000. This means that a savings account with a bank is seen to be risk-‐free, even though the money may be used for mortgage lending, personal loans or risky proprietary trading.”

  7. There is an extremely interesting article in The Telegraph.

    No, not about exchanging Mr. Assange for the imprisoned members of Pussy Riot.

    I would call it The Mother of All Lies. It looks that the author is about to press the big red “Panic” button because the neoliberal/Austerian consensus in the UK might be slowly crumbling.

    From the article:

    “We used to think you could spend your way out of recession and increase employment by boosting government spending,” boomed the Prime Minister, Jim Callaghan, at the 1976 Labour Party conference. “I tell you, in all candour,” he went on, “that that option no longer exists. And in so far as it ever did exist, it only worked on each occasion… by injecting a bigger dose of inflation into the economy, followed by a higher level of unemployment as the next step…”

    (my comment, A.K. – here The Big Lie is spelled:)
    ” “Growth versus austerity”, however, is a false and dangerous dichotomy. It is a misleading policy choice, as this column has often said, formulated and fed to electorates by opposition politicians and their pet intellectuals. “Economic growth” isn’t a choice that governments can make. It is, instead, a useful outcome that can be achieved in a variety of ways, none of which is guaranteed.
    There are, on the other hand, many ways to make sure that growth doesn’t happen, and that a country’s economic situation gets worse. One tried and tested method, as Callaghan knew well, is for a country to borrow so much that creditors lose patience and refuse to roll over sovereign debts. Growth certainly won’t happen during the chaos of a creditors’ strike, when markets are in meltdown and interest rates spiral out of control. ”

    (My comment A.K.: Here comes the diagnosis of the root cause of the recession, obviously not based on a stock-flow consistent model. “Not enough private credit” on the supply side.)

    “The UK is refusing to grow for one main reason – because our banking system is broken. It remains broken because vast unaudited liabilities continue to lurk within banks’ off-balance sheet vehicles, ensuring that the inter-bank market remains paralysed by fear of counter-party risk. As such, the availability of finance remains rock-bottom. The annual rate of UK bank lending just dropped from -4.7pc to -6.2pc, a record low.
    Credit-worthy firms and households are being starved of the working capital that is the very essence of enterprise. That’s why we have no growth. I don’t buy the banks’ line, either, that no one is seeking finance.”

    (The article was signed by “Liam Halligan, chief economist at Prosperity Capital Management”)

    A more balanced view about the genesis of 1976 IMF crisis can be found here:

    “Documents show civil servants warned the UK may have to give up its Polaris missiles to economically survive 1976.
    Jim Callaghan’s Labour government was forced to turn to the International Monetary Fund to prop up the country.
    The hugely controversial IMF deal saved the pound – but destroyed Labour’s economic reputation with voters.
    Jim Callaghan moved into 10 Downing Street in 1976, and was immediately told the economy was facing huge problems, according to documents just released at the National Archives.
    The world’s financial markets were losing confidence in Sterling as the British economy stumbled. The Treasury could not balance the books. At the same time, Labour’s strategy emphasised high public spending which it appeared could no longer be paid for.
    Callaghan was told there were three possible outcomes: a disastrous freefall in Sterling, an internationally unacceptable siege economy or a deal with key allies to prop up the pound while painful economic reforms were put in place.
    By the autumn, the pound was indeed plunging and the government called in the International Monetary Fund, the body co-founded by the UK to tackle economic crises.
    The IMF demanded massive public spending cuts in return for urgently needed loans. ”

    (My comments A.K.)

    The crisis of 1976 was related to high inflation and falling foreign reserves rather than the inability to ‘borrow” in the British own currency, the Pound. The British Labour decided to “manually” deflate the economy under the pressure from the IMF rather than allow for a floating exchange rate to fall low enough to rebalance the flows while inflation would be contained by introducing price and wage controls.

    It is now being painted as the proof that state economy during a recession is in the “invisible” hands of the market and investors. It is true that in 1976 the “Keynesian consensus” in the UK crumbled. It was gradually replaced by the new-old paradigm, the pre-1929 Monetarist agenda, a “hands-off” approach. It worked somehow for a while – when the private sector was financing growth from the rising level of the private sector debt. Mr. Halligan probably doesn’t want to see the following graph:

    In 2012 due to the saturation of the economy with the private debt, the new-old neoliberal paradigm can only produce deflationary stagnation far worse than the stagflation of the 1970s.

    Instead of facing the gerontocracy of the Brezhnievian Soviet Union, the West is competing against modern China and other rapidly developing countries. The world is not standing still. 5 or 10 more years of Austerity and Europe will be reduced to the same role it played in the Medieval times, right after the collapse of the Roman Empire.

    The Americans should closely watch the outcome of the British experiment.

  8. Warren Mosler “…That banking proposal looks like much ado about nothing?
    the govt will still have to pay interest on any ‘created’ money if it wants to keep it’s rate target above 0% no matter how it labels the accounts….”
    Maybe I miss something, but why should it matters that the Central Bank is able to set interbank rates if (quoting the authors)… you give it the power to control directly the quantity of money in circulation by directly increasing or decreasing money which would then be allocated trhough gov spending ? Banks would be able to tranfer existing purchasing power between savers and borrowers through maturuty transformation of dhe deposits, but not be able to expand the amount of money. In this framework you can let interest rates set by markets because the Gov/CB control directly controlo the quantity of money

    Now, the basic issue is the SoftCurrencyEconomics and your are other writings seem to imply that banks do NOT expand the money supply, only gov deficits creates new money, new purchasing power…
    However banks have created trillions of private debt that is money, purchasing power, the increase in private debt is 80% correlated with the increase in GDP and employment in the last 20 years, I do not understand how this enormous increase in private debt since 1990 fits into the SoftCurrencyEconomics framework. To me, and others better qualified such as Steve Keen or Michael Hudson, this is money creation in the form of debt and is the No.1 issue for western economies
    Something has to be done about it. Right now any state issued money has to backed by governement debt and that debt piles up and has to serviced, in parallel with an enormous amount of private debt. You have to reduce trillions of debt through issuance of money from the Gov

    If you take away from banks the ability to create new deposits through new lending then by definitions only the CB can create new noney. How ? the CentralBank credits the gov account held with her. Then this money gets spent by gov o used for tax rebates. This new money is not a liability of the CB but an asset of the state and a liability of the general public, because the accounts held by Gov at the CB are held off balance sheet and therefore not considered liabilities of the CB. The new money in those accounts at the CB are owned by the holder of the account, the gov.

    Se this central bank money is a unit of account and medium of exchange, but not a liability of the CB, it is gov money issued by the CB so there is no need for the CB to accumulate assets to match this new quantity of Central Bank Money…And who cares of Fed Fund rate target setting…

    1. someone in gov has to set the marginal cost of funds for the clearing system, or else it pretty much just stays at 0, and we get a japan like 0 rate policy, which is fine with me, by the way. but if gov wants a positive rate they have to pay it on net clearing balances, one way or another. so the fed currently pays interest on the excess reserves created by qe for example to keep the rate a tad above 0.

      Yes, with 100% capital requirements banks are limited to lending their equity, which means there’s no point in being a bank apart from transactions fees, which is certainly an option. But the proposed 100% reserve requirements don’t work like that to limit lending, unless the govt goes to a fixed exchange rate policy and fixes the dollar to some other currency, gold, etc. That’s the only way the CB can control the ‘quantity of money’ though I put that in quotes as I can only guess as to how you are actually defining that.

      What i say is only fiscal alters net financial assets, which is something different than you say above. And I do say banks and other lenders can facilitate people borrowing to spend which increases total spending via private sector credit expansion- private sector agents spending more than their incomes.

      Yes, bank credit expansion increases purchasing power and is responsible for growth as you indicate. The problem is when it falls short of the reverse- private sector unspent income going into pension funds, corporate reserves, and other ‘demand leakages’.
      The bottom line is always that if govt spending isn’t sufficient to cover the tax liabilities and any residual net savings desires the evidence is unemployment. So note that in the late 90’s the US ‘savings desires’ went negative with the private sector going into debt maybe 7% of gdp funding .com’s and y2k projects, and so unemployment got down under 4% and the govt ran about a 2% surplus. The problem was that soon after the private sector was no longer willing/able to expand it’s borrowing to spend, and the govt. didn’t proactively reverse directions and either cut taxes and/or increase spending, and so the economy collapsed/unemployment spiked.

      If banks and others don’t lend the govt then has to deficit spend sufficiently to offset the demand leakages ‘all by itself’ to sustain full employment with higher deficits, which isn’t a problem, but a shift from what we are now doing.

      And in any case the untaxed (net) dollars the govt spends are accounted for as govt liabilities of some kind, just like any tax credit. Doesn’t matter to the economy whether they are called Fed liabilities, Tsy liabilities, General liabilities, Congressional liabilities, etc.

      1. @WARREN MOSLER,

        So much confusion over tactics, strategies & policies is inevitable, Warren, when so little attention is paid to defining success.

        What’s the goal of Public Purpose? That hasn’t been discussed very succinctly since FDR, Abe Lincoln, and the Founding Fathers.

        As you say, many permutations of tactics/strategies/policies can get us where we want to go. First requirement is clarity on where that is.

        ps: The very presence of an Output Gap indicates we’re not setting our sights high enough. Anything less than approaching a zero Output Gap gets boring pretty quickly.

        Problem? We prepare our electorate to spend more time practicing how to distract themselves, rather than challenging themselves.

        How do you get people to explore their options? First, get ’em some practice at least perceiving them!

      2. @roger erickson, Erickson last night I was watching the military channel and they had secretary of defense gates talking about “able archer” in 1983 and how we almost ended the planet. I knew most of the details but what was new to me was that Reagan had been briefed that we could win nuclear war with only 150 million USA deaths. He had just seen the movie “the day after” and gates said Reagan concluded 150 million us deaths was not a win. We need more mnt propoganda pieces like this that can influence policy. Erickson what mmt “public purpose” movies are out there? Are there monetary themed/centric movies about the 1776 revolution or civil war, where they have spaulding or a mcgeer as a central figure?

      3. @roger erickson, Erickson Lets study a little bit about our education system and how financial currency memes evolved in the west the past 1000 years:
        The notion of tax-driven money can be found throughout the history of economic thought, in the works of a remarkable range of authors representing various time periods
        and schools of thought. The idea also appears in policy discussions and in fields outside economics, such as political science and history. Neither is the idea unique to the West,
        as Von Glahn’s work demonstrates. It also appears that monies previously thought to be “primitive,” such as the cowrie, were actually tax-driven. Nevertheless, the idea is conspicuously absent from textbooks and works on monetary theory and history.
        One possible explanation for the silence concerning the notion may have something to do with the implications of the TDM idea for the relation of the economy
        and the state. Orthodox and even many heterodox approaches view the economy as
        relatively ‘autonomous’ and theory often assumes a ‘pure’ economy with no government.
        The TDM perspective implies that not only is money a creature of the state, but that
        much else about the economy is as well. The traditional distinction between
        “endogenous” and “exogenous” factors may need to be re-examined, or even discarded.
        There may, then, also be important methodological implications of the TDM view. More
        research needs to be conducted in all these areas.

        Why would such important history be absent?

        The tremendous social and economic costs of unemployment and the arguments for full employment have been we’ll-documented. There is no alternative to either supporting a guaranteed job or a guaranteed income, it has to be one or the other, if we are talking capitalism. One or the other has—or one and the other have—to provide a solid ground for society. The only alternative to
        guaranteed jobs and/or guaranteed income is the transformation from capitalism to socialism or some
        other economic system.
        Again, these aren’t mutually exclusive—a guaranteed public service job may
        be the short run policy and the transformation to full economic democracy the long run solution.

        The history of economic thought reflects the historical development of capitalism, and capitalism
        is first and foremost a system that does not provide employment for every person willing and able to
        work. Mining the history of economic thought for insights concerning unemployment—and full employment—is not an exercise in admiring antiquated ideas. It is a task that is inseparable from practical considerations of public policy.

        What does the Muslims say? There are 2 billion of those right?

        Which politician will be brave enough to challenge the wealthy bankers and their friends in the leveraged corporate boardroom? The prize awaiting a successful challenge will be huge. Such a nation will be a light for the world to follow. Imagine no more debt. Imagine all those bankers being released from their unproductive industry (the largest by value on the London Stock exchange) to do something useful instead. Imagine a world free of dominance by a few huge firms, huge and dominant because they have been leveraged with the bankers created money. Imagine what we once had before all of this. A world of small businesses, a world of variety, of individual responsibilities and co-operating communities.

        Mosler does say the financial sector is more trouble than it is worth, that our brightest minds go into useless abstractive finance, it even sucked Mosler himself into the blackhole abyss, and look at the MANY people that come here to this blog and elsewhere being sucked into that useless blackhole instead of curing cancer. Erickson what do your DC friends say to the Muslisms beating us in leading the way into 21st century Finance and being a light for the world?

      4. @roger erickson,

        SA says: “Erickson what do your DC friends say to the Muslisms beating us in leading the way into 21st century Finance and being a light for the world?”

        Not that I’m in contact with that many movers & shakers, but all the Congressional contacts I’ve met or heard literally do not have a clue. None I’ve interacted with showed either the ability to comprehend nor the inclination to even read any of the articles you reference.

        Policy-wise, we’re flying blind. That’s my interpretation.

        Was trying to explain the same to my neighbors tonight, at a get together. They were not “comfortable” with the thought that their policy leaders don’t know what they’re doing.

        Our policy staff are incompetent & clueless, and our electorate, if not clueless, is largely in denial. I fear for our country – indeed.

      5. @roger erickson, I am in great fear as well, I see corporations, supranationals who believe in a global market system where self regulation is supreme to any global regulatory system imposed by world regulator. Already sheila bair and others say these multinationals are beyond the scope of any national government and the global regulatory framework is beyond disgraceful.

        “Orthodox and even many heterodox approaches view the economy as relatively ‘autonomous’ and theory often assumes a ‘pure’ economy with no government.”

        As moslers cfeps people show, Our education system failed to properly ground these new global citizens and leaders into good ethics and “public purpose” and I don’t see how he re-educates them when at the fundamental level they are so broken. Maybe your efforts erickson will achieve success in the next generation.

        I just watched the nicolas cage guy in the movie Knowing, is so funny, the spacemen give the world 50 years advance knowledge of armageddon, but it all falls on deaf ears.

        Erickson what are some good films so we can educate our communities and children to effective “public policy” and MMT type memes relating to money? I am really struggling to come up with many movies centered around international banking, government, regulation, economics, focusing on policy battles and such.

        The International, Falling Down,

        This is the best list the quant boyz can come up with, this is a sad state of affairs. Rickards is winning the propoganda war, Mosler when did you reach out to any filmmakes to make an MMT movie? I would LOVE to see a movie or miniseries about the founding of the nations currency during the civil war and the political battles that took place of all the bankers/politicians involved. As JSN suggested, you could use secretary spauldings book to do the script, and you Mosler and your buddy Norman could be important politicians or bankers in the movie (and maybe get mike masters and some of your other friends/politician buddies to play equally important roles)

        Is there not 1 good movie in all of mankinds history illuminating good “public policy” and MMT memes relating to currency and money? How are you gonna reach the masses when most watch tv and go to the movies?

      6. @roger erickson,

        Newspaper, Tv, theatre, web, mobile & game venues are rapidly changing as we speak, and dividing pretty much by age silos.

        An effective campaign would be wise to take all venues into account.

        Place to start is probably mobile apps & mobile game venues. Several mobile game companies have already hired in-house economists, although most orthodox ones.

        A movie could have an impact. Look at the brief publicity that “Hunger Games” received. “Blunder Games” ?

        But a YouTube channel soliciting 100 knock offs for every cartoon produced would have even more impact.

        If you want to channel your rants here into more productive direction, may I suggest you start visiting the media & theatre arts sections of colleges, community colleges & high schools?

        let me know how that works rge [at] Operations Institute [dot] com

        I’m doing the same.

    2. @giovanni,

      Trouble with pure government created money system is that without debt, net financial wealth position quickly goes up and people start spending much earlier not generating enough savings from which to finance investment. And of course, investments are Alfa & Omega of productivity growth.

      Ann Pettifor says that banking system is great civilizational advance:

  9. Warren or anyone, rickards is going into top secret policy briefings showing the Jane Fonda 1981 movie ROLLOVER. It is about a middle east engineered global economic collapse. It is effective propoganda that is influencing policy. What mmt type movie can I show similarly?

  10. ——————————-
    If banks and others don’t lend the govt then has to deficit spend sufficiently to offset the demand leakages ‘all by itself’ to sustain full employment with higher deficits, which isn’t a problem, but a shift from what we are now doing.
    Yes, but once deficit spending has covered the “output gap” or “demand leakage” you still have the issue that the private sector has already accumulated a huge debt burden and the banks by creating their own funds in a boom are the major source of business cycle fluctuations, sudden increases and contractions of bank credit that are not driven by the fundamentals of the real economy, but that themselves change those fundamentals. In system with little reserve backing for deposits, and with gov cash having a very small role relative to bank deposits, the creation of a nation’s broad monetary aggregates (M2, M4…) depends almost entirely on banks’ willingness to supply deposits. Because additional bank deposits can only be created through additional bank loans, sudden changes in the willingness of banks to extend credit must therefore not only lead to credit booms or busts, but also to an instant excess or shortage of money, and therefore of nominal aggregate demand. So this keeps creating the “Demand Leakage”….that instead you will eliminate more easily turning to gov created money, of x% of GDP annually

    …someone in gov has to set the marginal cost of funds for the clearing system, or else it pretty much just stays at 0, and we get a japan like 0 rate policy, which is fine with me, by the way. but if gov wants a positive rate they have to pay it on net clearing balances…
    What is the problem once you shift to gov issued money and shrink therefore sistematically public debt ? the stock of reserves, or money, newly issued by the government is not a debt of the government, fiat money is not redeemable, holders of money cannot claim repayment in something other than money etc… and therefore should properly treated as government equity rather than government debt, which is exactly how treasury coin is currently treated…
    In this contest banks have to borrow reserves from the treasury to fully
    back these large liabilities, the government acquires a very large asset vis-à-vis banks. highly negative. Governments could buy back government bonds from banks against the cancellation of treasury credit (bonds). I mean in this context the Fed Fund rate target issue becomes almost irrelevant

    Yes, with 100% capital requirements banks are limited to lending their equity, which means there’s no point in being a bank apart from transactions fees, which is certainly an option. But the proposed 100% reserve requirements don’t work like that to limit lending, unless the govt goes to a fixed exchange rate policy and fixes the dollar to some other currency, gold, etc.
    Why ? I have seen many discussion of the Chicago Plan and I do not recall this issue raised. Let me quote from the IMF paper just out
    You require 100% backing of deposits by government-issued money, and ensure that the financing of new bank credit can only take place through earnings retained in the form of government-issued money, or through the borrowing of existing government-issued money from non-banks, but not through the creation of new deposits, ex nihilo, by banks. Why can’t you have floating rates if you prevent banks to create their own funds in a boom (and viceversa in a bust) ?
    A nd even so, once you reduces business cycles oscillations, see above, you do not need to smooth them out with floating rates like now

    Anyway, the key is that the quantity of money and the quantity of credit would become completely independent of each other. This would enable policy to control these two aggregates independently and therefore more effectively. Money growth could be controlled directly via a money growth rule. The
    control of credit growth would become much more straightforward because banks would no longer be able, as they are today, to generate their own funding, deposits, in the act of lending, an extraordinary privilege that is not enjoyed by any other type of business. Rather, banks would become what many erroneously believe them to be today, pure intermediaries that depend on obtaining outside funding before being able to lend. Having to obtain outside funding rather than being able to create it themselves would much
    reduce the ability of banks to cause business cycles due to potentially capricious changes in their attitude towards credit risk. Basically the majority of money in circulation would be created issuing gov money which pays no interest. Both public and private debt would contract, but not money in circulation because you would fund gov deficits when needed in terms of unemployment and inflation

  11. I quoted at length from this paper of the IMF that came out a few days ago that concludes that all this woul work, reduce gov debit, reduce private debit, reduce booms and busts and eliminate bank runs. I do not see why you write

    (“… That banking proposal looks like much ado about nothing?
    the govt will still have to pay interest on any ‘created’ money if it wants to keep it’s rate target above 0% no matter how it labels the accounts….and 100% reserve requirements still means bank lending is not reserve constrained…)

    This Plan was backed by some of the most brilliant economists of century such as Irving Fisher and Knight, (it is not Dennis Kucinich idea) and even the IMF surprisingly just now finds that it would work.

    Just tapping a demand gap or leakage with gov spending leaves open the issue of che accumulation of private and public debt in excess of 350 or 400% of GDP in the west. Only Paul Krugman and the neo-keynesians still think that debt does not matter. You have to switch from credit creation from banks to money creation from the state

    1. @giovanni zibordi,

      Just because some useless hack could work – in theory – doesn’t mean it is an adaptive path.

      Viewing 100% banking “reserves” as useful in a fiat currency system flies in the face of nearly all known history – barring only that tiny bit of fraudulent history the finance industry has itself created, as a facade.

      Real stuff is created by the organized actions of people. You don’t need currency BEFORE goals/policies/strategies/tactics. Currency is always created after the fact, to denominate any & all required adjustments & reactions – no matter how insanely agile.

      Fiat currency is NOT something tangible that must be first acquired, then stockpiled as “reserves” by specialists before being grudgingly used. That whole paradigm is a convenient myth created by bankers on behalf of an aristocratic class or clan uselessly trying to cling to unwarranted wealth & power.

      We had to jettison the gold std in order to survive, and we’ll also have to jettison the dead-weight of “money-class” thinking if we’re going to survive and scale our economy up even further.

  12. The U.S.S.R always had full employment because they followed similar ideas as MMTers and Mosler.

    Starting with guaranteed minimum wage and guaranteed jobs.

    1. @Alex The Truth,

      The class of failed paradigms coincidentally including supposed calls for guaranteed employment & income is huge, random & does not correlate with anything predictive. In politics it’s easy to say things that are never seriously pursued.

      Slavery, enlightened monarch, fascism, yada, yada … even periods in the history of both our current political parties have included those ideas. Trotting out such irrelevant coincidences helps nothing & only degrades your standing in the community.

      Good way to get people to associate your tag with nonsense.

    2. @Alex The Truth,

      While USSR suffered from overconsumption (someone wrote book by the name ‘economics of shortage’) we are now suffering from underconsumption. Odd that any of those old-timers that wrote about economics of shortage can’t draw 1+1 together…

  13. May be repetitive but if this guy is the spokesman, you have ZERO chance of being deemed credible. Also, MMT has predicted about 20 of the past 2 recessions.

      1. @WARREN MOSLER, Let’s just say you’ve historically been a little more pessimistic than the average bear going back 15 years. I think the quote was that we haven’t run a surplus in our history without an economic depression, which was your concern at the tail end of the Clinton presidency. All just vague though.

        On another note, you and I have talked about the relative benefits of reaching full employment through spending increases and/or tax cuts. I know you’ve supported both. My concern with spending increases is that it is far more difficult to pull back on a program that is already in place. Medicare is a prime example where Ryan is being accused of gutting the program. In reality, Medicare spending grows exponentially under Ryan and Obama, just less under Ryan. Taxes are far easier to adjust and are also more effective automatic stabilizers. I believe across the board tax cuts should be the message coming from the MMT camp. MMT should be front and center in supporting Romney’s tax cuts and explaining why we won’t go broke as a result. Extending tax rates that have been in place for 10 years are not cuts. I believe you can capitalize on the current political climate by being a vocal tax cut supporter. You can even de-politicize the argument slightly by allowing the rates for the wealthy to remain unchanged and the rates for everyone else to move lower. This tact will appeal to 50+% of Americans. However, once you start with spending programs, you lose people.

    1. @Ivan, I listened to Warren on Mike’s show in late 2007 where Warren went negative (this is the last time he did imo) as the Financial Obligations Ratio went to it’s typical previous top and Warren urged extreme caution.

      That was a ‘top-tick’…

      Then in early 2009, as the Obama stimulus was being passed and the S&Ps were down at 800 or wherever, Warren told Mike to “buy the S&Ps and go play golf for a year”…

      Warren has not urged such caution since imo and this was the best macro calls all throughout these times imo… looks like the only thing he got wrong is that I dont think Mike plays golf…

      btw the Obligations Ratio is still falling:

      This is something that we should continue to look at probably…


      1. @Matt Franko,
        His calls have been very good of late. As he knows, however, the negative carry on a good call if the timing is too early can wipe out any profits. You’re never betting against the static yield curve or static stock prices, you’re always betting against forwards.

      2. @Ivan, Although to clarify, any long position out the curve has been profitable with positive carry, as has any long stock portfolio of dividend paying stocks.

      3. @Matt Franko,

        If in fact Warren’s macro calls are better than average, something which I have not tried to quantify, I attribute them more to his skill as a Fed watcher, and not to MMT per se. He seems to have good insights into the way the Fed thinks, probably because he has some long-standing connections there.

        His bearish “call” in late 2007 was a pretty obvious one, given that the private label mortgage market (representing over 60% of mortgage originations) had completely blown up and shut down by August 2007, and it was becoming clear with each passing month that the government did not have the understanding or political will to prevent the roof from caving in. If anything, MMT would have recommended being only cautiously bearish, since it was always within the power of the federal government to solve the problem quickly through an appropriate fiscal adjustment.

      4. @ESM, Esm, Matt Franko, Mike Norman, and Ed Rombach, specifically you guys, but certainly many others too, are we on the same planet? Where are you guys coming from? Because I definitely do not RELATE.

        Ed Rombach has suggested we turn this blog into a “moslers mmt market call” blog. Mike Norman says he has been able to make personal profit based on Moslers MMT market calls and benefit from a better understading of the crooked financial system that I thought Warren mosler said we must totally obliterate?

        Is that the message warren comes here to promote? That you can get rich if you listen to warren mosler, that you can make profitable trades if you learn MMT? That warren moslers ego needs inflation based on the length of zeroes in his trading portfolio and the zeroes he can add to the rest of our portfolio if we just listen to him? If we just trade like him and adopt tax strategies like him (3% LOL)

        I am on the wrong blog if that is the purpose I think. Warren says he is a loser, he did not make money on soap company, on ramo plane company (in fact he may potentially lose his ASS in court on that one) He is not making money on car company and trying to sell it. I have read where there are talks by the government to take potentially 400 acres of his land to make a USVI national park. He is not really actively trading any large hedge funds. The small success he has with small funds at his bank (60% annually?) is trivial to any real alpha boyz, even warren buffet readily admits a good alpha dawg can take a small portfolio and EASILY return 50% a year, its when you start trading the real billion and trillion dollar stuff that the men are sepearated from the toddlers. Warren mosler is a loser lately from what I see on his personal business success, or at least its time to put this old bond trader out to pasture (so other people can now send bean pit traders to execute misconstrued trades to pervert capital markets)

        All this is silly. I really thought the purpose of this blog was to effect public policy that is USEFUL for all of mankind, not useful for the trading profits of a few currency dawgs, in all due respect, you all really make me sick to my stomach. You mike norman, and you ed rombach, and the rest of you that come here and think you are going to get a piece of warren mosler to rub off on you that is going to personally enable your trading profits disgust me to no end. I don’t care about my personal trading profits, take all my damn profits, I care about the world becoming a better place, I think you guys have lost sight of what this blog is supposed to be about, or maybe I am the one who has lost sight and have fooled myself. 10 years ago on the old board warren mosler said there was no need for a government bond market.

        I dont want a piece of warren moslers trading strategies, damn them to hell, warren mosler can fall off his boat tomorrow and all his damn trading strategies with him (and the whole uselessly complex financial system they exist under), good riddance (the financial sector is more trouble that it is worth), but if warren moslers policy proposals for jobs and deficits die with him, good lord at the loss to humanity and us all. You guys make me ashamed. Pathetic.

        Why do you encourage this Warren Mosler? I thought you agreed with the muslim bankers I quoted, the brain drain that is being consumed by financial abstractions must be stopped, that you should PUT down the mouse and stop clicking buttons back and forth playing star wars online (oh excuse me – currency fx strategies – same freaking difference – both about as useless to the really macro picture)

        But you put mike norman up on a pedestal because he says he can take MMT ideas and go further into the black hole abyss of financial abstrations and make more zeroes at the end of his portfolio, disgusting.

        I want to hear from the ANTI mike norman, the guy that stands up and says MMT will hurt my ability to use capital markets to enrich myslef and make me more powerful and wealthier than the commoner, that MMT goverment policy will REDUCE the gini coefficient, that I am slitting my own financial throat and yes maybe killing the ENTIRE financial system that I profit from through currency trading if MMT gets into and impregnates our governemnt. That is who I thought warren mosler was, was I wrong?

        What are you going to be remembered for Warren Mosler? That you gave ed rombach and mike norman excellent trading advice and made them use more of thier time and lives to go deeper into financial abstraction la la land? Or that you brought MMT to the masses, completely changed the government, the people’s perceptions of the public use of money, reduced the gini co-efficient, and made the whole world a better place.

        How can you say the financial sector is more trouble than it is worth, there is no need for a govt bond market, that our best minds are wasted on useless financial abstractions, but then cheerlead people like mike norman that if they just get a little piece of you, they can go deeper into financial complexity and be winners. You seem to be very confused in the message you are trying to deliver, which is it?

        Moyers and Zinn thought they had a champion for the people, but he was just another wolf in sheeps clothing teaching rombachs and normans how to go deeper into financial trading, instead of blowing up the useless system.

      5. @ESM,


        Like Mike Norman, I can quote Gordon Gekko approvingly:

        “… greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms — greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge — has marked the upward surge of mankind.”

        Greed in humans is as inevitable as the sun rising in the East. Once you recognize and accept that, and are not ashamed of greed, you can harness it and build a better system around it.

        Also, I’m going to take your grandiose rejection of filthy lucre with a rather large grain of salt, given that your brief strawberry picking career apparently made you so rich that you are now able to travel the world without having to work anymore.

      6. @ESM, ESM Oliver Stone’s daddy was in the stock market, he said greed was not good. Stone modeled hal holbrooks character off his dad. When you look into the Abyss Bud, that tests a man real character.

        The grandfather of MMT and founder of the bank of canada had this choice quote:

        “When the lucrative profession of usury becomes likewise a post of honour, the State is ruined and the people are doomed to the wretchedness of destitution.”

        Yet many here are awestruck by the moslers who send bean pit traders to pervert our capital markets. They are awestruck by the billionaires and crooks. They see an evil system and awestruck by the game players of that system who profit from it.

        They want to be like gordon gecko or paulson.

        They are not enlightened enough to think maybe the whole system needs to be redesigned. But hey, this is an MMT blog, who gives a darn what the grandfather of MMT said about hero worship of banksters and hedge funders and how that would be the END of the state eh? 😉

        Greed is so last millennia, so easy a caveman can do it!

  14. Save America

    If you believe in MMT, the best way for it to get exposure is through a money making track record. Nobody knew John Paulson before he made billions shorting the ABX. After, he was treated as a credible expert on housing. Want MMT to be accepted in the mainstream for the benefit of all? Make a few billion dollars.

    BTW, Warren has made plenty of money over time using MMT strategies. The big Italian trade in the mid 90’s comes to mind. When Americans have to start apologizing for making money (which seems to be a trend), the principles this country was built on are dead.

    1. @Ivan, Ivan did you watch the 2 hour video with moyers honoring zinn? Please do so. Mosler ALWAYS says for people to read the mandatory readings, he repeats that often. I have, and lila, and everything else anyone has ever posted or linked or referenced, because you have to have perspective.

      I don’t post the link just to waste peoples time. It seems very relevant, moyers comes down hard on the plutocracy, it made him angry when he saw it in a 2005 citigroup report, and then showed it to zinn.

      Right now the number 1 book for democrats according to Amazon is the peoples history of the united states, that was authored by zinn.

      Zinn was a bomber in ww2, a few weeks before the end of the war he was ordered to go drop the first napalm on germany citizens, there was no purpose, the war had already been declared to be over in a few weeks. It was just outright slaughter and murder. This weighed heavily on the current number 1 democrat author for the rest of his life. Ivan here was one of my first posts to Mosler 9 years ago, it was about an economic hit man named tony perkins who had become disgusted with the death and violence he had helped engineer on behalf of Empire.

      Why does any of this matter to me? My dad came back from vietnam, at the start he had to drive trucks filled with ammo, little kids would be sent out into the road to stop the trucks, they had grenades and if you stopped you would get blown away or sniped and the enemy would get ammo, he and others had to run over the children, he was insane, it drove him to madness. (and maybe today you folks suffer my insane ravings passed down psychologically through him) At the end of his life he told me no man should ever have to live the horror he and other veterans did, EVERY night hearing innocent childrens skulls crush under his tires in his nightmares. Yet I look out on the world today, still lots of death and killing, needlessly.

      I think there are a lot of people out here like me Ivan, and they have become so jaded or cynical, that ANYTHING you link with profit, expansion, control, it just sickens them to the core. Now you have some rich white guy saying follow MMT, you can get rich and PROFIT from it, and I am telling you, that is going to turn SO MANY people away from the message you will lose 10’s if not 100’s of millions of possible converts.

      That is not an effective way to market this idea from where I sit. You may be from a group of people who will only listen to someone if they have made lots of money, but I am in a group of people who listen to the bill moyers and tony perkins and zinns and pscyhopathic war vets in this world, not the billionaires, and if making a few billion dollars is involved, we want nothing to do with it and will do everything we can to throw a monkey wrench into it.

      I hope you can understand my perspective, as I will try to understand yours. A lot of people don’t care about billions or people that make billions, they are struggling just to survive, and if you start trying to reach them by telling them about profits and billions, you are put on thier enemy list and never listened to again.

      I am ecstacic if warren or norman want to bring mmt to help people, but if it is sold as a way to get rich or profit, this is finished. Of course that is just my perspective, maybe I am wrong and you can get common folk the world over to listen to a billionaire who doesn’t really feel their pain. Another link maybe you can watch? He sure doesn’t seem to be saying that you have to be a billionaire to be listened to, but Ivan, you sure think that way.

    2. @Ivan,


      I think you are getting confused as to who the bad guys really are here. The nature of society is that there will be power concentrated in the hands of the few. You focus on the so-called 1% – rich people or “banksters” who are in the position of being able to direct or allocate vast sums of money around the globe with the click of a mouse. But the real power is held by government bureaucrats, both elected (and I use that term somewhat loosely) and unelected. It is only by shrinking the vast power of government that freedom is restored to the so-called 99%. Giving more power to government (even if it mostly involves the power to regulate and redistribute the wealth and income of the 1%) simply empowers a different 1% to a far greater extent. By making the 99% even more dependent on a nanny-state for survival, the 99% is further emasculated and enslaved.

      All of your grievances and examples of injustice, by the way, involve the corruption of government decision makers. If you don’t see that, then you are not looking deeply enough.

      As for MMT, it is not a panacea precisely because it has the potential to empower government. Spending increases, while economically possible, or even desirable in the short term, serve to increase the government’s role in the economy which further empowers the bureaucratic 1% and enslaves the 99%.

      I will go off the beaten track now by making an analogy to Star Wars, which I suspect has shaped your philosophy from early childhood. The case can be made that the Republic was bad, the Empire was good, and the rebellion was evil. This is my view of things actually. I would have thought George Lucas was a genius, making a very deep point about pride and envy, except that I know he is a left-wing nutjob so his worldview is actually quite shallow (as are his screenplays).

      The Jedi are like the liberal elites of today. They are so blinded by their belief in their own goodness that they can’t understand (or at least refuse to admit) when their actions are venal, and stupid, and evil. They make grandiose displays of rejecting greed and selfishness, but in those displays, they evince those “sins” on a much deeper level. In some respects, their overt displays of “goodness” are used to expiate past sins. This is very similar to some of the progressive icons. For example, Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton fought vigorously for so-called women’s issues in part to cover for the fact that they were sexist pigs. Robert Byrd fought hard for civil rights later in his life (earning a 100% score from the NAACP in 2003-4) to atone for the fact that he was actually a virulent racist. People like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, John Kerry, Alan Grayson, etc. (and really the Kennedys in general) make big displays about being generous to poor people with other people’s money to cover for the fact that they got rich themselves through less than honorable means.

      Personally I think such people are moral cowards. They essentially are in the business of buying indulgences with other people’s money. Joe Biden can say whatever stupid and insensitive thing he wants to an audience of black people and everything is forgiven because he’s a Democrat. Warren Buffett gets a pass on all of his little sweetheart deals with the government and all of the money he’s made on Goldman Sachs because he supports a tax increase on “millionaires.” The list goes on and on.

      1. @ESM, ESM will sasso on bill clinton and kennedy, the real purpose of the oval office. Hilarious.

        And Danny Boy with willie. I can’t stop laughing.

        The crats are about to send big dog willie out on the campaign trail in the battleground states, he is gonna get the female vote fo sho! LOL!

      2. @Save America,

        “… I don’t feel shame for it or consider myself a sexist pig.”

        I have no problem with people paying for (or selling) sex in principle. As Milton Friedman describes in that Ford Pinto gas tank video, we’re probably all prostitutes in principle. It’s only a matter of price.

        Patronizing prostitutes does not make one a sexist pig at all. The problem with people like Ted Kennedy, John Kennedy, or Bill Clinton is that they treat/treated women as objects, not even as businesswomen. If they were actually willing to negotiate a legitimate business transaction with a woman instead of just pressuring her for sex, or even assaulting her, then their libidos would not even be worth mentioning.

        For the record, I think it’s more degrading to give someone a pedicure for money than sex, but I’m willing to live and let live.

      3. @ESM, We have a real issue now! Of all the things said on this blog, my statement that the Marilyn Monroe, Monica Lewinsky, and Arnold’s maid are a bit beefy for my taste gets edited out? Are you kidding. We have a guy who talks about frequenting prostitutes and my comment gets edited out????

  15. @Save America

    If we all team up and offer you $10 mln made from speculation, will you take it or would that compromise your integrity?

    1. @Ivan,

      Ivan, what do you think Kennedy meant when he made this speech about exposing secrets? Was he talking about protecting the billionaires? He seemed genuinely concerned that the USA was going to be corrupted to do vast evil on this planet, what price do you think he should have sold out for?

      1. @Ivan, Thats easy, he wanted sex with marilyn monroe, ESM told me so. Wouldn’t you sell out for an affair with her? Or Lewisnky? Or shwarzaneggars maid? Woman, the downfall of great leaders from Ceaser to mark antony, helen of troy, up to kennedy and clinton. The real power aint money, real power is more animalistic and biological than that. LOL!

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