Sunday, September 02, 2012

Bill Mitchell - European Commission major conference – Jobs for Europe

Quoted from Bill Mitchell's blog
"The European Commission is holding its – Jobs for Europe: The Employment Policy Conference – next week in Brussels (September 6-7, 2012).
The Conference site says:
The conference will build on the Employment Package put forward by the Commission on 18 April and on the outcomes of the 2012 European Semester, but also on a series of conferences which the Commission organised during 2011 in order to explore new dimensions of employment policy, notably regarding the functioning of European labour markets, wage developments, flexicurity in a crisis context, and inequalities.
One of the five main topics is “Pathways to full employment: job guarantee, social economy, welfare to work”.
I have been invited to lead a discussion on the Job Guarantee – which as regular readers will know – is a pet topic and something I first started working on in 1978 as an honours student (fourth-year undergraduate).
The EC has prepared this document – Issues paper: Job guarantee – Concept and implementation – to inform the session I am presenting. It is an excellent sign that the EC is now considering core Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) ideas to be of sufficient merit to include as one of the main topics of this major European conference.
The draft program is available HERE.
While attendance at the Conference is “by invitation only” it will “be web streamed live”. When I know more details I will announce them here."

Friday, August 03, 2012

Real estate - what the banks build their housing bubbles on

I found this description of real estate in a piece by Michael Hudson, who was in turn writing about the forgotten work of Thorstein Veblen who wrote in the late 19th and early 20th Century. The context is the United States and the growth of small towns, but who cares, the story is the same wherever in New Zealand now! Our housing bubbles are built upon the same naked search for something for nothing, what's called 'rents' and 'rent seeking' in economics. What the banks do is just spray financial petrol - credit - upon whatever real estate embers are already smoking.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

New Zealand has put public assets into a fire sale

The trick behind a firesale of public assets is to create a false liquidation crisis e.g. by saying NZ is in impossible debt (an 'unsustainable' budget deficit).

The panic this creates, creates the political conditions for public assets to be sold. The outcome of a sale of state owned industrial capital is, like the current liquidation crisis in the wider private sector, for the asset to be sold under valued. The private sector is in crisis because of its indebtedness. Assets sold in the private market are therefore all likely to be undervalued.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


EconoMonitor : Great Leap Forward » WHY MINSKY MATTERS: Part One by Randall Wray

"The two most important constraining institutions are the “Big Government” (national treasury) and the “Big Bank” (central bank). The first helps to stabilize the economy through a countercyclical budget: spending falls and taxes rise in a boom, while spending rises and taxes fall in a bust—so surpluses in expansion and deficits in recession constrain the cycle. The central bank can try to constrain lending in a boom (although Minsky was skeptical since profit-seeking banks innovate around constraints), but more importantly it can act as lender of last resort when a financial crisis hits. This prevents a run on financial institutions, which reduces pressure on banks to engage in firesales of assets to meet withdrawals."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Modern Money Theory (MMT)



Dear International Friends and would-be MMT organizers the world over,

I will not mince words: the Neoliberal, Neoclassical and Neomercantile elites are on the verge of finalizing what amounts to a decades long plan to emasculate sovereign democratic States, their monetary and fiscal powers and us, the citizens.

In other words: DEMOCRACY. The evidence of this unprecedented plundering of entire sections of our societies, of entire States like Greece or Ireland, and of the growing despair among millions of families and even firms is undeniable. No need to comment further. We must act.

The Italian MMT Summit

What is Modern Money Theory

Friday, December 02, 2011

"Barney Frank's campaign slogan 'Neatness isn't everything'  was a great stereotype buster. As to showering with straight military personnel, 'We don't get ourselves dry-cleaned' is pretty great too." - a comment posted here

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Full Employment

"…fundamentally, employment is a basic human right and this principle was enshrined in the immediate post-Second World War period by the United Nations. In 1945, the Charter of the United Nations was signed and ratified by 50 member nations. Article 55 defines full employment as a necessary condition for stability and well-being among people, while Article 56 requires that all members commit themselves to using their policy powers to ensure that full employment, among other socio-economic goals is achieved."
From 'Full Employment Abandoned - shifting sands and policy failures' 2008 - by William Mitchell and Joan Muysken.