As regular readers would know, I have been developing a computer program for building strictly monetary dynamic macroeconomic models. New readers might have seen this article in The Economist:
where my work received the following mention:
Steve Keen, an Australian economist, has long argued that macro needs to incorporate these ideas, and has developed a prototype of a computer program, called “Minsky,” that can be used to model economies as monetary systems. So while most economists have not embraced Mr Borio’s agenda for the reformation of macro, some have. That is encouraging news. (Click here for Claudio Borio’s paper)
The program is called Minsky in honor of the late and great monetary economist Hyman Minsky. It is not a model of the economy as such, but a visual tool by which models can be developed.
It has been under development for roughly a year now, thanks to a US$128,000 grant from the Institute for New Economic Thinking. That has enabled me to hire one brilliant programmer, Dr. Russell Standish, for about 10–20 hours a week–the most that a contract programmer can afford to devote to a single project. Consequently, the program as it currently exists represents about 3–4 months of programming time. That’s produced a functional program, but it is still in its infancy. I want to take it to adulthood, and for that I need serious funding that will enable me to hire several top-notch programmers for several years.
That’s where you come in–if you are willing. Next Wednesday I will launch a campaign on Kickstarter to raise development funding for Minsky.
The amount I’m asking for on Kickstarter–US$50,000–is quite modest. To push the analogy, that’s enough to get the program from infant stage to toddler. But obviously I’m hoping to raise a lot more–enough to get Minsky to the end of high school, so to speak.
That would require hiring Russell full-time for at least 3 years (otherwise he’ll only be able to devote half or less of his time to Minsky), as well as two brilliant and dedicated young programmers Nathan Moses and Kevin Pereira, who have almost completed the development of a version of Minsky that can be run from a website and on tablets. That will take about US$1 million.
So if you agree that economics needs reform, if you’ve enjoyed my work to warn of the economic crisis over the last seven years, and if you’d like to help economics finally overcome its fear of money and dynamics, please make a contribution to the development of Minsky.
You can preview the campaign here:
The campaign will go live on Wednesday December 19th. Please get ready to put some finance into building Minsky. To make a contribution, all you need at your end is an account at Amazon.