This is an unplanned post that partly pre-empts what I’ll be writing in the February Debtwatch Report, where I will explain in full my theory of money creation in a pure credit economy. So this is somewhat out of sequence, and will undoubtedly be badly explained compared to what I put together for February.
Click on the cover to buy the eBook
Debunking Economics was first published in 2001 by Pluto Press (Australia) and Zed Books (UK). There has been renewed interest in it since I began warning of the impending financial crisis, and I decided to release the book in electronic format to make it more accessible (the hard copy can still be purchased, if your bookshop will order it, from Zed Books UK, or online from Amazon).
Two days ago the FBI indicted Bernie Madoff, principal of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, on securities fraud. Though the case has yet to run, in the indictment the FBI reported that Madoff confessed that his was “basically a giant Ponzi Scheme” that may have lost some extremely high net worth individuals over US$50 billion.
University of Texas Economics Professor James Galbraith is a son of the great US Institutional economist John Kenneth Galbraith, and a leading non-orthodox economist in his own right. He has developed highly innovative methods to measure economic inequality that are well documented here; he is a strident critic of conventional economics; and he has been as active in the USA as an analyst of and commentator on this financial crisis as I have in Australia. His many interviews on the topic are linked from this site.
Several people have commented on the speech by Glenn Stevens (for international readers, Stevens is the Governor of Australia’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia) yesterday in which he commented, inter alia, that:
Ross Gittins finally comes aboard the debt-deflation train, with an article in today’s (December 8 2008) Sydney Morning Herald entitled “It’s not inflation that did us in, it’s the borrowing”. For non-Australian readers, Ross has been a regular economic commentator for Sydney’s leading newspaper for about forty years.
The UK Government has taken the first tentative steps towards a solution to this crisis with its decision today to give stressed borrowers an interest repayment holiday of up to two years (New scheme to help people at risk of repossession).
What’s Really Going On? or…
Why Did I See it Coming and “They” Didn’t?
Part 2: The Models
“But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is long past the ocean is flat again.” (Keynes, A Tract on Monetary Reform, 1924)
There is some technical glitch affecting the blog at present that delays approval of new posts, and often results in multiple postings from the same post. I know these would be irritating to receive, but they are the fault of either the underlying software (WordPress) or my ISP host, or both.
Reports that the USA government’s total financial commitments from the financial crisis now top US$5 trillion raise the obvious question “Can they afford it?”.
The answer isn’t obvious. Some economists, from a range of schools of economic thought, argue that the government sector (lumping the Treasury and the Federal Reserve together) has a limitless capacity to pay debt as a consequence of its status (especially since the US dollar is still the world’s reserve currency).