Friday, May 3, 2013

Warren Mosler on the History and Future of the Euro

A great talk here by Warren Mosler on the past and future of the Euro, and some basic points about MMT.


  1. What attracted you to Post-Keynesian economics and MMT to begin with? A lot of this is fascinating for sure.

  2. Originally just held a type of New Keynesian position on economics, though this was merely from some limited reading, e.g., Joseph Stiglitz's work.

    But then after about 2008 discovered the non-neoclassical, heterodox Post Keynesian tradition, and after lots of reading found its arguments and theories of economics to be more convincing.

    Old American Institutionalism in the tradition of John Kenneth Galbraith is also pretty good, closely related to Post Keynesianism.

    Post Walrasian economics (e.g., Axel Leijonhufvud's work), I think, is worth looking at too, though still not completely free of some neoclassical ideas.

  3. Warren Mosler is not the greatest economist. Some of his views, in my opinion, are just wrong.

    His view that the US should continually run the biggest trade deficit it possibly can while compensating with a budget deficit just seems absurd given what is known about how America's economy grew over the past two centuries.

    Moreover, I just read on his web site that he thinks private debt is a non-issue. Furthermore, he actually believes that...wait for it...that mainstream economists do consider private debt to have dangerous destabilizing potential. Clearly he doesn't know that Krugman's views on private debt are not exactly mainstream (although they are totally wrong).

    I still cannot believe he thinks this. Does he even know who Hyman Minsky is? Steve Keen? Mike Hudson?

    How on Earth could any Post Keynesian with half a brain regard private debt as no problem? I just don't get it man.

  4. LK,

    Was Stiglitz/New Keynesian thinking your first introduction to economics? Or were you/are you an "economist by training?"

    1. Not an economist by any formal academic degree. Am a historian, however, and moving into economic history now.

      New Keynesian texts and books were what I first seriously read to understand economics.

    2. LK,

      Is there any particular "historical school" (history philosophy) you most closely identify with or were schooled in?

    3. No particular historical school.

  5. LK,

    Pardon all the curiosity here it just helps me parse what I read. Did you have a particular moral/philosophical approach you found most convincing, then?

    I was trying to understand if you came to economics (and history?) as a "tabula rasa" or if you had made previous inquiry in other disciplines that influenced you as you learned about economics and history.

    I find the diversity of viewpoints on these issues fascinating and how a person manages to connect the dots is easier to understand when I know something else about how they think outside of the particular discipline being discussed.

    1. I've done some philosophy. I essentially favour the Anglo-American analytic tradition.

      Dislike postmodernism/poststructuralism and regard it as pretentious gibberish.

      I would hold a physicalist/materialist ontology, though these days I suspect maybe a pluralist ontology is defensible if one holds a moderate realism and regards certain abstract entities as having real (but not concrete) existence.

      I firmly think the correspondence theory of truth is right:

      On ethics, I think consequentialism is on the right track but it needs some concern with justice, fairness and rights:

      Have an interest in philosophy of science, philosophy of history and philosophy of economic in the sense of epistemology, but it's one of those things where I need to do much more reading.

      I would regard economics as needing a strong empirical approach. Economics needs to be grounded in reality, e.g., we know fixprices are an important part of modern capitalism, but the neoclassical and Austrian price theory is mostly irrelevant to reality.