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Thank you again for all the details. Every central banker knows this is false. That is what they are for. That is all…Each and every time a bank makes a loan, new bank money is created — brand new money. The reality of how money is created today differs from the description found in some economics textbooks: Rather than banks receiving deposits when households save and then lending them out, bank lending creates deposits. When you take out a loan at your bank, the bank electronically credits your checking account in the amount of the loan.
Money is originated at local banks by the extension of credit. Deposits, then, are created by loans. The money loaned was not in the bank when the borrower got the loan. A salient feature of the going misconstrual of how banks work claims that banks are limited in the number of loans they may extend by reserve requirements imposed by the central bank. But this is not how reserves function.
Reserves never leave the banking system and bear no relation to the amount banks lend. They are held at the central bank and are available to commercial banks on demand without limit. The banks need these reserves on a daily basis, but not in order to make or cover loans. Reserves are used by banks in their relations with other banks, e.
You borrow from your bank; the bank credits your checking account in the amount of the loan. As you spend what you borrowed, i. In order that the check be cleared, your bank must obtain reserves from the central bank. The nature of these transactions leaves all reserves within the banking system as a whole, and does not change the amount of reserves in circulation.
As with the Fed, nothing in or out of the system, nothing that is not self-imposed for political reasons, limits the amount banks can lend. Such regulations need not limit the amount banks can loan. But they can prohibit, in the public interest, bubble-generating speculative loans unrelated to production or beneficial research. And the absence of regulation can, as we have seen in the course of the current crisis, limit both the amount banks are willing to lend to one another, and their willingness to lend to financially hobbled households and businesses.
The going script says that large scale government spending is hazardous because it promotes runaway inflation. Inflation resulting from imprudent lending is possible, but in deflationary circumstances such as those that prevail in almost all the developed capitalist countries, forewarnings of inflation are disingenuous. In fact, there are very few historical instances of inflation, under conditions similar to those of post capitalism, caused by promiscuous government spending.
Why, after all, does a rational government issue significant quantities of new money? Because there are too many idle machines and workers. In each case the private sector was unwilling to provide work for legions of un- and underemployed. Government expenditures to train and employ workers directly addresses the core of such a crisis. This would of course add to the money supply but when the additional liquidity is used to provide employment and spending power to households and thereby induce the sale of excess inventories and bring idle capacity into production, the money is circulated through the system, bolstering employment and output.
Nothing in this scenario threatens hyperinflation. Talk of deficit spending should, in the light of the realities of the monetary system, completely disappear. Two considerations are pertinent. First, as we have seen, there is no monetary-systemic operational connection between federal spending and tax receipts. Consider the only periods -six of them- in American history when government attempted to balance the federal budget and reduce the national debt: , , , , and finally Each of these periods was followed by a major economic depression.
From the end of the Second World War to the mids there was no systematic debt reduction. This was also the longest period in U. Then, for the first time since the s Bill Clinton balanced the federal budget and in fact produced a public-sector surplus. It is a tautology of national income accounting that if the public sector runs a surplus, the private sector must run a deficit, i. The stage was set for the crisis of ff. Government must always spend more than its tax revenues if the economy is not to collapse. Taxation reduces consumer demand and contributes to economic contraction.
In order to offset this tendency to economic slowdown, government must not merely replace the lost spending power, it must create more effective demand than taxation has reduced. Thus, even if there were no taxation, government would have to spend in order to avert economic depression. Why characterize federal spending at all by its relation to tax receipts? Let government spend whatever needs to be spent to meet the legitimate needs of the people.
Linking federal spending to tax receipts is entirely arbitrary and serves only the needs of that class whose needs should be foiled by all means. The category of deficit spending has no place in rational economic discourse. A central bank owned by the public -and the Fed is not such a bank- will record the democratically determined social needs of the people and provide the monetary means of meeting those needs. It will properly disregard the surplus or deficit position of the Treasury, understanding these to have no bearing on the matter at hand.
The money to do what needs to be done is always available. Once done it is there. Nothing can take it away from us. There is no reason for the federal tax burden. It should be eliminated. Government borrowing is equally otiose; it is an unnecessary public subsidy to private investors. There is no rationale for private banks charging interest for loans. We have seen that there is no limit to the amount of credit that can be created by commercial banks. Since credit is not a scarce good, then, even by mainstream standards, credit is a free good. There need be no charge for borrowing money.
As Keynes put it in the Treatise On Money. And why should they charge a fee for what costs them little or nothing? The implications of a realistic understanding of modern money are, I think, far more radical than we have imagined. They are incompatible with capitalism and point to some form of democratic socialism.
The Left has conceded too much to the prevailing monetary ideology. And cf. Activities — It is still a free country and people are allowed to make their own choices. Again, your speculation about the motives of other voting adults is misguided.
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Tom There are certainly many environmentally responsible reasons for owning a 4WD F Planting trees is probably one of those good reasons. No one is perfect and we all make environmentally destructive choices. Most of the time those choices are unconscious. The point of a carbon tax is to impose a little more self-reflection into our choices. The carbon tax approach is the adult way to address climate change. My larger point was that one of the hidden political agendas behind MMT is to present it as a palatable way to get toddlers to eat their vegetables.
Light truck sales are not dominating the market because car buyers are becoming leaner and more rugged. Not all priorities are equally laudable. He also believes in pink unicorns. When you use present5 tense, he automatically transforms it to future tense. I suspect that they quite sincerely believe that a crass and painless form of MMT could be implemented without bad economic consequences. If a person has doubts about MMT they should be happy that Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are bringing it into the spotlight.
Can I swear that Menzie never would have done the post up above or certainly timed it now if not for the existence and political rocketboost of a very sharp lady from the Bronx?? Because you are now seeing people on the left give MMT a much harder time than they ever gave supply-siders.
Certainly in the Reagan years, and I can make a strong argument clear up to this very day. I wish I had better access to my past Angrybear posts where I routinely mocked the supply-siders. I take your word on it, that is enough proof. So no need to hunt down old posts.
If I have an issue with Menzie a rarity I think he knows I would take him on very directly. I think no one here has doubts in my ability to be blunt, wherever they rank my intelligence quotient. All good stuff but something tells me that some in the MMT crowd are going to argue with how you framed what they are trying to say.
The debate between Krugman and Kelton was at one level brilliant how Krugman posed the questions and at another level very sad her replies. I had the pleasure of sitting through 2 semesters of James Tobin presenting his version of macroeconomics when I spent one year at Yale. There is nothing that the MMT crowd has written that was not in some way covered by Tobin. Paul Krugman must have done the same given how he warmly remembers the late Dr. And yet we have to endure their long winded lectures on how we are not living up to the true tradition of Keynes.
All because Krugman supported Hillary and not Bernie I guess. BTW — in an open economy model with floating exchange rates I would think monetary policy would still have a transmission mechanism as long as it could influence interest rates. When this is brought up some MMTers revert back to closed economy thinking.
I guess if the Trump trade wars continue, this assumption might become valid! At which point some MMTers get all huffy and puffy and start lecturing us on how banks actually work in the real world. Which is sort of funny as they seem to be copying and pasting from my old money and banking notes. Here lies the problem. MMTers strike me as some old dog chasing its own tail. I sort of lose track with their real point even is. Nor would the man who followed Volcker, who pushed out the bubble to hydrogen bomb expansion and then shrugged his shoulders afterwards.
Which interest rate? See Economist. Economics debates are often passionate, and frequently become too personal. But MMT debates are stuck on infinite recursion, and they take place in a thunderdrome entirely their own. The depth of the resentments between veteran partisans is astonishing. MMT arguments escalate almost immediately to thinly veiled campaigns to publicly expose ones opponent not merely as mistaken, but as a fraud, an idiot, a hypocrite, or a traitor to some Left cause. Like members of hostile tribes doomed over centuries to share the same tiny valley, each side points to perfidies and massacres perpetrated by the other, the Twitter horde that harassed for weeks, the line taken out of context and publicly mocked.
But you know — we do live in Trump world so such overhyped arguing with little purpose has become the norm. Did Waldman give examples of which specific MMT economists were bickering?? With all of these excellent links and discussions, maybe some graduate student with an interest in History of Thought might write a dissertation on Keynes v.
Hicks did well with his Keynes v. If there is hysteresis and it works in both directions, this debate gets a lot more complicated. I agree hysteresis is an issue which would change the results. I think it was kind of implicit in the Friedman interpretation of the Bernie Sanders plan; see here. We have lots and lots of empirical episodes where govt control of resources through money printing led to high inflation.
Are there any empirics attached to MMT? I think the debate over MMT will become very serious if a substantial downturn comes in near future, because the traditional monetary policy response will be hampered by low interest rates and expansionary fiscal policy will look dangerous owing to the big deficits and climbing debt, but painful unemployment will exert pressure for policy makers to do something, just about anything.
Since merely raising interest rates will not prevent capital flight, the only option is to peg the currency to a stable foreign currency. And when output has increased and prices have risen, the effect of this on liquidity-preference will be to increase the quantity of money necessary to maintain a given rate of interest. I like to think I am immune to that. Beings that I am a lefty on most things with the possible exception of gender politics where I tend to lean farther to the right and that I am very sympathetic to Keynesian economics and yes, also at least to a degree sympathetic to MMT economics.
Is that a coincidence?? I spend too much time the past week reading about Boeing Max 8 accidents. I have worked on military aircraft design, delivery and support. My philosophy is challenged. Recently our town issued some municipal bonds. What for??? And YES, the same with the public school tennis courts. Who uses those??