About Steve Keen

I am a professional economist and a long time critic of conventional economic thought. As well as attacking mainstream thought in Debunking Economics, I am also developing an alternative dynamic approach to economic modelling. The key issue I am tackling here is the prospect for a debt-deflation on the back of the enormous debts accumulated in Australia, and our very low rate of inflation.

A sudden conversion of property bubble doubts

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Back in the Olde Days, before the global finan­cial cri­sis, when I was one of a hand­ful rais­ing the alarm, some of the most stri­dent oppo­si­tion to my opin­ion about what this might mean for hous­ing in Aus­tralia came from Christo­pher Joye (who was then a Direc­tor at Ris­mark). We went head to head on many occa­sions, with me argu­ing that our prices were a debt-fuelled bub­ble, and Joye argu­ing that ris­ing house prices sim­ply reflected ris­ing house­hold incomes.

Vale Ted Wilshire

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There are very few peo­ple who qual­ify as unfor­get­table in your life, and Ted Wilshire was one of those for me. A larger than life char­ac­ter in every sense of the word, Ted was best known as the Research Offi­cer for the Aus­tralian Metal Work­ers Union (AMWU) who penned the then-influential pam­phlets Aus­tralia Ripped Off and Aus­tralia Uprooted in the days prior to The Accord under the Hawke and Keat­ing Gov­ern­ments.

How not to win an economic argument

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cri­tique of a yet-to-be-published paper of mine (“Loan­able Funds, Endoge­nous Money and Aggre­gate Demand”, forth­com­ing in the Review of Key­ne­sian Eco­nom­ics later this year; the link is to a par­tial blog post of that paper) by non-mainstream econ­o­mist Tom Pal­ley reminds me of one of my favourite ripostes by a politi­cian, back in the days before spin doc­tors stopped them say­ing any­thing offen­sive — or indeed any­thing interesting.

Putting China’s dramatic transformation into perspective

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I have been to so many coun­tries in the last decade that my car­bon foot­print is Yeti-size. But one coun­try I haven’t been to for 32 years is the one I’m in now: China.

What a dif­fer­ence three decades makes: my visit in 1981–82 coin­cided with the trial of the Gang of Four; now many sub-25 Chi­nese think that must be the name of a new boy band they yet haven’t heard of.

Monetary Realism from the Bank of England

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A cou­ple of weeks ago I took a swipe at Bank of Eng­land over a speech by its Gov­er­nor Mark Car­ney that was unre­al­is­tic about the dan­gers of a bloated finan­cial sec­tor (Godzilla is good for you? March 3). Today I’m doing the oppo­site: I’m doff­ing my cap to the researchers at Thread­nee­dle Street for a new paper “Money cre­ation in the mod­ern econ­omy,” which gives a truly real­is­tic expla­na­tion of how money is cre­ated, why this really mat­ters, and why vir­tu­ally every­thing that eco­nomic text­books say about money is wrong.

Minsky users please update

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The penul­ti­mate Win­dows ver­sion of Min­sky (released a few days ago) inad­ver­tently installed an old ker­nel with a very low exe­cu­tion speed. This has been fixed in the lat­est ver­sion. If you down­loaded a few days ago and now find that mod­els run very slowly, please down­load the lat­est ver­sion today (it has the same name: Minsky.1.D32). If you down­loaded before then, the exe­cu­tion speed will be fine, but a few bugs have also been fixed in this release: see Tick­ets for the details (from my per­spec­tive, the main bug was a fail­ure to pass LaTeX for­mat­ting codes between God­ley Tables).

Australia’s RBA is asleep at the wheel

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Last week I satirised Australia’s out­moded belief that the rate of inter­est can be used to fine tune the econ­omy. This belief was ensconced in the so-called “Tay­lor Rule”, which accu­rately described what cen­tral banks tended to do until the eco­nomic cri­sis hit in 2007. That rule saw the infla­tion rate and the unem­ploy­ment rate as the two key eco­nomic indi­ca­tors, and the inter­est rate as the key mech­a­nism needed to achieve an accept­able bal­ance between them.