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.

Launching Kingston’s Rethinking Economics Group

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Reposted from the Rethink­ing Eco­nom­ics website

Stu­dents at Kingston Uni­ver­sity kicked off a cam­paign for a new approach to eco­nom­ics with the suc­cess­ful launch of new soci­ety Rethink­ing Eco­nom­ics Kingston this week.

Almost 100 peo­ple squeezed in to hear Pro­fes­sor Steve Keen – newly appointed head of the School of Eco­nom­ics, Pol­i­tics and His­tory – launch the new soci­ety with a speech on what’s wrong with main­stream eco­nom­ics and how stu­dents should change it.

Pro­fes­sor Keen — author of Debunk­ing Eco­nom­ics and well-known critic of main­stream eco­nom­ics – described how the­o­ries taught in most eco­nomic classes were unable to pre­dict, under­stand or even take on board the recent finan­cial crisis.

Hard Evidence: is the UK facing another financial crisis?

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Taken at face value, David Cameron’s warn­ing this week about risks in the global econ­omy sounds like it might be won­der­fully pre­scient. Here’s the country’s eco­nomic chauf­feur, care­fully check­ing his instru­ment gauges, and sure enough, sees the same signs today that should have given us warn­ing of the cri­sis of 2007-08. Time to apply the brakes.

There’s only one prob­lem: the eco­nomic dash­board that Cameron relies upon did not warn of the cri­sis before it hap­pened. Instead, that dash­board advised Cameron and other lead­ers around the world that every­thing was look­ing rosy, and that going full throt­tle was entirely safe.

Crash Boom Pop in the Wall Street Journal

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The Crash Boom Pop! car­toon book ver­sion of Debunk­ing Eco­nom­ics has just been cov­ered in the Wall Street Journal:

Over­heard: Pow! Zap! Wham! Get Ready For Comic Book Economics

WallStreetJournal

So Wall Street Jour­nal read­ers, if you’d like to pay back those main­stream econ­o­mists who forced you to suf­fer through classes on the “Effi­cient Mar­kets Hypoth­e­sis”, or worse yet, assured you that the econ­omy was fine in June 2007, head over to Kick­starter and fund a car­toon that will take the mickey out of them.

Click here to go to the Crash Boom Pop! Kick­starter page

Late notice: Minsky seminar at Kingston tomorrow

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This is late notice for a sem­i­nar being held tomor­row (Wednes­day 12th) from 6-8pm at Kingston University’s Pen­rhyn Road cam­pus in room JG4003 (4th floor of the main teach­ing build­ing at Kingston) to intro­duce the sys­tem dynam­ics mod­el­ing pro­gram Minsky.

Sys­tem dynam­ics pro­grams allow dynamic mod­els to be con­structed using flow­charts to define and sim­u­late the equa­tions of a sys­tem. Min­sky adds some­thing no other pro­gram has: a sim­ple means of mod­el­ing finan­cial flows.

This sem­i­nar will intro­duce the con­cept of sys­tem dynam­ics in gen­eral, and also the unique fea­ture of Min­sky: the use of a double-entry book­keep­ing tool called a “God­ley Table” to model finan­cial flows, which are impos­si­bly dif­fi­cult to model in the stan­dard flow­chart par­a­digm employed by all other sys­tem dynam­ics programs.

What Austerity Hawks Ignore

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My fel­low Post Key­ne­sian and good mate Pro­fes­sor John Har­vey pub­lished an excel­lent piece on his Forbes blog today, point­ing out the fal­lacy of com­po­si­tion in the pro-austerity. He took his cue from anti-austerity riots in Belgium:

Riot police have fired tear gas and water can­non dur­ing clashes with demon­stra­tors as at least 100,000 peo­ple marched through Brus­sels in the first mass protests against gov­ern­ment aus­ter­ity mea­sures. (“Bel­gian pro­test­ers clash with police over pen­sions and pay”, BBC News Europe)

Then he pointed out that the pro-austerity argu­ment is fal­lacy of com­po­si­tion. That’s a hard con­cept to get through—especially, it turns out, to con­ven­tion­ally trained econ­o­mists. So John used a bril­liant exam­ple from Amer­i­can football:

Crash Boom Pop! on The Keiser Report

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Car­toon­ist Miguel Guerra and I went on The Keiser Report to talk about the project to pro­duce a comic book (or “graphic novel”) ver­sion of Debunk­ing Eco­nom­ics. Check out the inter­view, and then please head over to either Kick­starter or Startjoin to help this project come into being. We’re inter­viewed in the sec­ond half of the show, start­ing at the 12 minute mark in the video below.

Samuel­son once wrote that he didn’t care who wrote a country’s laws, so long as he wrote the text­books. Let’s get in front of Samuel­son, and write the comic book that under­mines his text­books.

SOAS Fundraising event for Fred Lee Scholarship

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SOAS is hold­ing an event to recog­nise the late Fred Lee’s out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to devel­op­ing a real­is­tic microeconomics.

Fred Lee

Date: 22 Novem­ber 2014

Time: 9:00 AM-7:00 PM

Venue: Rus­sell Square: Col­lege Buildings

Room: Khalili Lec­ture Theatre

Fred’s work is well known to Post Key­ne­sian econ­o­mists, espe­cially through his mon­u­men­tal work Post Key­ne­sian Price The­ory, which doc­u­mented the many empir­i­cal stud­ies into the actual cost struc­tures of firms–all of which con­tra­dict the fairy tale of ris­ing mar­ginal cost por­trayed in main­stream eco­nomic text­books. He also cam­paigned to pro­mote the real­is­tic approach to eco­nom­ics that is the hall­mark of Post Key­ne­sian economics–in con­trast to the “let’s assume we have a can opener” approach of Neo­clas­si­cal economics.

Crash! Boom! Pop! On Boom! Bust!

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The won­der­ful team of Erin Ade, Ed Har­ri­son and friends at Boom Bust did a fan­tas­tic item on the Crash! Boom! Pop! project. Check out the inter­view and the bril­liant graph­ics they put together to show­case Miguel Guerra’s artis­tic tal­ents. And then pop over to Kick­starter or Startjoin to help bring this project to life. The whole pro­gram is worth watch­ing, but the item on Crash! Boom! Pop! begins halfway through the show (14 min­utes & 50 sec­onds in).

If you want to get straight to the item, click on the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-AFmeP19mE#t=889

Support Crash! Boom! Pop! on Kickstarter & Startjoin

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A bril­liant team of graphic artist Miguel Guerra, lay­out artist Suzy Dias, and writer Genevieve Tran have com­bined to pro­duce what I can describe as a “car­toon ver­sion of Debunk­ing Eco­nom­ics”. They plan to pro­duce up to six graphic nov­els around the theme of “M” (Money, Mayhem–the Finan­cial Crisis–Method, Macro and Micro), to use visual media to take the mickey out of eco­nom­ics for those who don’t want to wade through a 500 page book.

They’re run­ning a Kick­starter cam­paign now–starting on the 85th anniver­sary of Black Tues­day 1929.

About $7500 raised thus far for Standish-Minsky

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Rus­sell Stan­dish asked me to thank those who have donated to keep him avail­able for the Min­sky project: A total of about $7500 has been raised to date.

I have set up the pay­ments now so that they go straight to Russell’s Pay­Pal account. One user did ask about alter­na­tive pay­ment meth­ods; Russell’s com­ment was that bank fees make a direct bank account trans­fer only worth­while either for an Aus­tralian dona­tion, or for a very large sum from a non-Australian bank account.

I am con­tin­u­ing to explore other poten­tial fund­ing options–and there are a cou­ple of promis­ing leads. But until they come through, con­tin­u­ing sup­port from the com­mu­nity would be most welcome.