Added April 15 through 17

To Debates & Controversies

Rohan Grey’s Twitter Thread on @dylanmatt’s Vox piece on MMT
— Rohan Grey (@RohanGrey) April 16, 2019

Modern Monetary Theory, explained • A very detailed walkthrough of the big new left economic idea.
— Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt) vox.com Apr 16, 2019

Tom Friedman Just Noticed that the UK “Has Gone Mad” (Part 2) • Blair, Brexit, and Friedman Show the Need for MMT Insights
— William Black (@WilliamKBlack) New Economic Perspectives April 11, 2019

Tom Friedman Just Noticed that the UK “Has Gone Mad” (Part 1)
— William Black (@WilliamKBlack) New Economic Perspectives April 11, 2019

Democracies With Sovereign Currencies Can Dance
— Anonymous New Economic Perspectives April 11, 2019

MMT, Models, Multidisciplinarity
— Pavlina Tcherneva (@PTcherneva) New Economic Perspectives April 8, 2019

Why Does Everyone Hate MMT DOWNLOAD
— James Montier, GMO April 3, 2019

A Must Read: Why does everyone hate MMT?
— L. Randall Wray, New Economic Perspectives, March 26, 2019

To News & Op-Eds

The Untold Story Of How Clinton’s Budget Destroyed The American Economy
— Joe Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) Business Insider (@businessinsider) Sept 5, 2012

Added April 5 through April 14

To Basics

Investment Perspectives: Modern Monetary Theory, and why you’re about to hear a lot more about it • Part 1
— Chris Bedingfield LiveWire & QuayGlobalInvestors, April 3, 2019


To News, Op-Eds & Reviews

Modern Monetary Theory Finds an Embrace in an Unexpected Place: Wall Street • Money managers, chief executives and business analysts maintain that modern monetary theory offers important insights. Far from finding it fanciful or deranged, they are using M.M.T. to build economic forecasts and even trading strategies.
— Patricia Cohen (@PatcohenNYT) NY Times April 5, 2019

Note: worth getting past cheap shots and sloppy reporting such as “The package of eccentric ideas” and unpacked reference to “University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.”


To (the recently added) Debates & Controversies

MMT, Models, Multidisciplinarity
— Pavlina Tcherneva (@PTcherneva), New Economic Perspectives, April 8, 2019


To Federal Job Guarantee

Macroeconomic Stabilization Through an Employer of Last Resort
— Scott Fullwiler SSRN 2005

Full Employment Through a Job Guarantee: A Response to the Critics
— William F. Mitchell, L. Randall Wray SSRN Jan 1, 2005


To Expand Social Security
Does Social Security Need Saving? Providing for Retirees throughout the Twenty-first Century
— Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, L. Randall Wray The Jerome Levy Economics Institute of Bard College 1999

Debates & Controversies

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” ~ Labor Organizer Nicholas Klein, 1914

While the boundaries aren’t precise, we seem to have blown past ‘ignore’ and through much of the laughter phase and are perhaps entering a real sea-change. There are a number of pull-no-punches posts for background and context, suggesting that it may be IS time for a new page on this site. Meanwhile, in chronological order, here’s what I found (which form the start of a new page Debates & Controversies):

Modern Monetary Theory is On the March. Posted Feb 18, 2019 on New Economic Perspectives by William Black (@WilliamKBlack), Associate Professor of Law and Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

MMT: Sense Or Nonsense? Posted March 5, 2019 in Forbes by John Harvey, Professor of Economics at Texas Christian University

MMT Takes Center Stage – and Orthodox Economists Freak Posted March 11 on New Economic Perspectives by William Black (@WilliamKBlack)

MMT Responds to Brad DeLong’s Challenge Posted March 12 on New Economic Perspectives by L. Randall Wray, Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Research Director with the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability and Senior Research Scholar at The Levy Economics Institute.

Three Natural Experiments Documenting Krugman’s Bias Against MMT Posted March 14 on New Economic Perspectives by William Black (@WilliamKBlack)

Wolfers Blames MMT for Orthodox Economists’ Ignorance of MMT Posted March 14 on New Economic Perspectives by William Black (@WilliamKBlack)

The Chicago Booth Survey on MMT Posted March 14 on MacroMania by David Andolfatto (@dandolfa), Senior V.P, Economic Research, Federal Reserve Bank, St. Louis.

Four “Tells” That Show Krugman Knows He Cannot Win an Honest Debate Posted March 15 on New Economic Perspectives by William Black (@WilliamKBlack)

The Day Orthodox Economists Lost Their Minds and Integrity Posted March 15 on New Economic Perspectives by William Black (@WilliamKBlack)

A Conspiracy Against MMT? Chicago Booth’s Polling and Trolling Posted March 18 on New Economic Perspectives by L. Randall Wray

Is there a better model to explain economics in the Trump era? Published March 20 Boston Globe (@GlobeOpinion) by James K. Galbraith, Chair in Government/Business Relations and Professor of Government, University of Texas.

A Must Read: Why does everyone hate MMT? Posted March 26 on New Economic Perspectives by L. Randall Wray

MMT Scholars’ Predictive and Policy Successes Posted April 1 on New Economic Perspectives by William Black (@WilliamKBlack)

MMT and Why Historians Need to Reclaim Studying Money Posted March 31 in History News Network (@myHNN) by Rebecca L. Spang (@RebeccaSpang) Professor of History at Indiana University

In the way it links monetary policy, fiscal policy, and social policy—the Jobs Guarantee and something like a Green New Deal are not things to be “paid for” via MMT, but are part of it—MMT rejoins the Enlightenment tradition of political/social economy. ~ Rebecca L. Spang

A Response to Rebecca Spang’s “MMT and Why Historians Need to Reclaim Studying Money” Posted April 7 in History News Network (@myHNN) by Maxximilian Seijo (@MaxSeijo)

MMT, Models, Multidisciplinarity Posted April 8, 2019 in New Economic Perspectives by Pavlina Tcherneva (@PTcherneva) Complete with suggested reading.

Added week ending April 4

To News, Op-Eds, Essays & Reviews

Does Our Bias Against Federal Deficits Need Rethinking? • Not everyone thinks federal budget deficits are bad. Say hello to Modern Monetary Theory, where red ink primes the economic engine and underwrites social good. Or does it?
— James Heskett Harvard Business School (@HarvardHBS) April 1, 2019

MMT and Why Historians Need to Reclaim Studying Money
— Rebecca L. Spang (@RebeccaSpang) History News Network (@myHNN) March 31, 2019

When DoJ and the FCC slowed inflation
— Brendan Greeley (@bhgreeley) ‏Financial Times Alphaville, March 27, 2019

Two weeks ago Alphaville published a clarification on modern monetary theory by Scott Fullwiler, Rohan Grey and Nathan Tankus. They argued that, counter to what had been reported, MMT does not rely exclusively on raising taxes to counter inflation. Proper MMT, they wrote, uses a lot of tools to manage inflation — taxes only one among them.

Is there a better model to explain economics in the Trump era?
— James Galbraith Boston Globe (@GlobeOpinion), March 20, 2019

What Is Modern Monetary Theory? An MMT Theorist Explains
— Lizzie Francis (@lizzy__francis) talks with Fadhel Kaboub, Fatherly (@FatherlyHQ) March 4, 2019

Everything in it’s place. For now.

This site concentrates on the contributions of the current principal architects of Modern Monetary Theory: the economists and academics who have done and continue to do the heavy lifting. When Dave and I launched the site shortly after I returned from the first international MMT conference last year, we set up some basic categories for the  purposes of sorting material into  categories that we expected would be intuitively sensible to journalists and commentators (like him) who would be interested in becoming MMT literate and then widening that circle of literacy; and to ordinary people (like me) who, drawn in by curiosity or chance, determined to learn more.  

These folks, mainly the academic teachers of macroeconomics, are nothing if not prolific.

After returning home from the second international conference, having fallen even further behind in adding content, it seemed necessary to further refine our organization. The earlier set of categories were beginning to resemble overfull closets. Time for additional closets. Accordingly, in the past few months, we’ve:

  • Moved “Primary Sources” up from the Resources drop-down menu to the top level of the menu and later created a “Teachers Teach” page for each of experts, our primary sources. Entries in “Teachers Teach” consist primarily of videos but also link to websites where they contribute their less formal thinking, and the occasional Twitter thread.
  • Under Resources,  podcasts are now separate from videos. 
  • Also under Resources, we have Nice Things We Can Have or Applied MMT. Under it, we’ve created separate pages for content related to the federal Job Guarantee, Student Loan cancellation, Medicare for All, Social Security, and Green New Deal.

This is the very definition of work in progress. Nothing is finished. I encourage our dozen readers to browse around. Suggestions are welcome.

MMT is Both Descriptive and Prescriptive

Harvested from Twitter. Because I needed it spelled out.

“It’s weird how people sometimes talk about MMT’s prescriptive side as if it’s not customary for a macro framework to have both descriptive and prescriptive elements. 1/x

Milton Friedman gave us the expectations-augmented Phillips Curve (descriptive, in his mind) as well as a (prescriptive policy) monetary growth rule. 2/x

New Classical economists gave us models rooted in rational expectations and then insisted on the importance of announced (vs. unannounced) changed in the money supply. 3/x

Real Business Cycle models emphasize technological shocks as drivers of macro fluctuations but advocate laissez faire, which *is itself a policy prescription*! 4/x

The point is, one’s understanding of the behavior of the macro system naturally invites a policy stance to complement the analysis and optimize performance. 5/5”

Gleaned from Twitter and Facebook

“The core MMT (Modern Monetary Theory – ed) academics have all been tenured (many of us more than once) based on strength of peer-reviewed publications, including heavy empirical/theoretical work. Please rise above this dismissive rhetoric.”
Stephanie Kelton

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”
— unknown, though often attributed to Ghandi

“The US government doesn’t use income. It generates government “money” when it spends, which becomes income for the private sector.

The federal budget goes through a lengthy process: In general, the President submits a budget to Congress which goes to the budget committees of the House and Senate, then on to budget resolutions. Congress can propose its own budget prior to the President’s. Whether or not spending must be constructed as a bill (legislation) depends on if spending is discretionary, or mandatory.

If spending is discretionary, this requires annual legislation passed by Congress and submitted to the President for signature or veto. If mandatory, spending simply occurs.”
Ellis Winningham