About Steve Keen

I am Professor of Economics and Head of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University London, 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 private debts accumulated globally, and our very low rate of inflation.

Economists Prove That Capitalism Is Unnecessary

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Actu­al­ly they’ve done no such thing. But they do effec­tive­ly assume that it’s unnec­es­sary all the time.

This tran­scen­den­tal truth became appar­ent to me in the reac­tions I have had from main­stream econ­o­mists to a lec­ture I gave to my Kingston stu­dents this month (which is post­ed on my YouTube chan­nel and blog).

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Lecture 3 in Becoming an Economist at Kingston University

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This lec­ture intro­duce the Aus­tri­an school of thought, which is close­ly relat­ed to the Neo­clas­si­cal mainstream–in that it shares its util­i­tar­i­an the­o­ry of val­ue, accepts basic sup­ply and demand analy­sis, and sees cap­i­tal­ism as gen­er­al­ly tend­ing towards equi­lib­ri­um. But it is also high­ly crit­i­cal of the main­stream for the absurd assump­tions about indi­vid­ual knowl­edge that it is will­ing to make to pre­serve its equi­lib­ri­um-ori­ent­ed math­e­mat­i­cal approach. It sees cap­i­tal­is­m’s strengths as how it encour­ages inno­va­tion, which is an equi­lib­ri­um-dis­turb­ing process, and regards mon­ey as being both inte­gral to cap­i­tal­ism and the pri­ma­ry source of eco­nom­ic cycles.

Edinburgh University Talk: financial instability, endogenous money & government budgets

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This talk cov­ers all “the usu­al sus­pects” for me–the Neo­clas­si­cal obses­sion with equi­lib­ri­um, finan­cial insta­bil­i­ty, the Loan­able Funds myth and the real­i­ty of Endoge­nous Mon­ey, and the fool­ish­ness of gov­ern­ments try­ing to run a sur­plus as if they are house­holds, when the bet­ter anal­o­gy is that they are banks and should run deficits to cre­ate part of the mon­ey sup­ply the non-bank pri­vate sec­tor needs.

Click here to down­load the Pow­er­point file (Min­sky files are embed­ded in it and can also be extract­ed and saved to your PC, if you’d like to play with them).

Lecture 2 in “Becoming an Economist” at Kingston University

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Becom­ing an Econ­o­mist is the intro­duc­tory course on eco­nom­ics for under­grad­u­ates at Kingston Uni­ver­sity. This is the sec­ond of 11 lec­tures in the sub­ject; I’ll post the oth­ers as I write them over the next few months. This lec­ture dis­cusses why the Main­stream approach, start­ing from the fun­da­men­tal ques­tion Wal­ras posed “Can a sys­tem of free mar­kets reach a set of prices that ensures that sup­ply equals demand in all mar­kets?”

The answer was “No”, but that did­n’t stop the “Equi­lib­ri­um Fetish Jug­ger­naut” that Wal­ras unleashed.

This is the Pow­er­point file for the lec­ture.

Call for papers for new journal on private debt

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The Pri­vate Debt Project (this web­site will become active as of Decem­ber 2015) invites pro­pos­als for arti­cles, papers, and research notes relat­ed to the study of pri­vate debt and its rela­tion­ship to eco­nom­ic growth and finan­cial sta­bil­i­ty. The Project will pro­vide hon­o­rar­i­um for all pub­lished work. In cas­es involv­ing papers with orig­i­nal research, it will also con­sid­er small research grants to help cov­er the cost of the research.

Com­mis­sioned arti­cles, papers, and research notes will be pub­lished on The Pri­vate Debt Project’s on-line jour­nal and will be dis­sem­i­nat­ed to a wide audi­ence of aca­d­e­mics, pol­i­cy experts, gov­ern­ment offi­cials, investors, and busi­ness lead­ers.

Fellowship for economic journalism

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The Friends Prov­i­dent Foun­da­tion has just estab­lished a Fel­low­ship for UK jour­nal­ism to pro­duce a “a sig­nif­i­cant work of long form jour­nal­ism in any medi­um on the theme of build­ing resilient economies.”

I’ve copied the full press release below. For fur­ther details, click on this link. The full press release is copied below.

Journalist Fellowship 2016

The Foundation’s trustees have cre­at­ed a jour­nal­ist fel­low­ship to build a bet­ter under­stand­ing of eco­nom­ics in the wider pub­lic by work­ing with a lead­ing jour­nal­ist to cre­ate a sig­nif­i­cant work of long form jour­nal­ism in any medi­um on the theme of build­ing resilient economies.

Lecture 1 in “Becoming an Economist” at Kingston University

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Becom­ing an Econ­o­mist is the intro­duc­to­ry course on eco­nom­ics for under­grad­u­ates at Kingston Uni­ver­si­ty. This is the first of 11 lec­tures in the sub­ject; I’ll post the oth­ers as I write them over the next few months. This lec­ture dis­cuss­es why econ­o­mists dis­agree with each oth­er, and draws analo­gies with astron­o­my at the time when Galileo dis­cov­ered craters on the Moon, and moons orbit­ing Jupiter and Sat­urn.

This is the Pow­er­point file for the lec­ture, which includes links to the Youtube videos used in this lec­ture:

Lec­ture 1: Why Econ­o­mists Disagree–Lessons from Astron­o­my

Talking Interest Rates with Phil Dobbie

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One of the peo­ple I miss talk­ing with in Aus­tralia is radio jour­nal­ist and tech and inter­net expert Phil Dob­bie. For­tu­nate­ly there’s Skype, and we reg­u­lar­ly now chat mat­ters eco­nom­ic on his inter­net radio show Balls Radio. Here’s the lat­est com­plete pro­gram, includ­ing our dis­cus­sion of why inter­est rates are so low and are not going to move up until the lev­el of pri­vate debt falls dramatically–which is unlike­ly to hap­pen.

Discussing the UK with Simon Rose on Share Radio

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One of the very enjoy­able aspects of being in Lon­don is speak­ing reg­u­lar­ly with Simon Rose on the busi­ness-ori­ent­ed inter­net radio Share Radio. I know I can talk under wet cement; I think Simon could man­age to talk after it had set sol­id. We have a great time ban­ter­ing about top­ics eco­nom­ics, and I hope it’s of inter­est to the audi­ence as well. Here’s the lat­est install­ment, with some ear­li­er ones avail­able here.

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Should The Fed Raise Rates?

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For sev­en years now, the rate The Fed sets to deter­mine the price banks pay to bor­row from it and from each oth­er has been zero, or so close to zero that the dif­fer­ence is imma­te­r­i­al. This is, his­tor­i­cal­ly speak­ing, not nor­mal, and The Fed has a des­per­ate desire to return to what is nor­mal, which is rate a few per cent above the rate of infla­tion (see Fig­ure 1).

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