OK, I’m kind of punting on this post, just so you know. I’ve been ludicrously busy with other developments this past couple of weeks and haven’t had time to do much writing of my own. Hopefully that will be changing relatively soon, but in the mean time, please allow me to direct your attention to some excellent writing by someone else:
In addition to being a remarkably prolific writer (some of his articles take me upwards of an hour to get through!), William K. Black is a criminologist, a former banking sector regulator, and an associate professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. He shows up in a lot of places online, but almost everything he does also winds up on the blog New Economic Perspectives. His book about the Savings & Loan crisis, called “The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One,” is an excellent account from the trenches of the fight over financial deregulation in the 1980s.
This article of his isn’t too long, and it’s a good blow-by-blow of one of the more heated debates in modern economics. I can’t say I’m a fan of any of the economists in the piece, but the plain fact is that their viewpoints have a lot to do with shaping US and international economic policy, and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. With any luck, you’ll find it informative and only minimally painful.
Please, enjoy! And, as always, let me know what you think.
Quick Final Note: On balance, New Economic Perspectives (and the Econ Dept. at UM-KC in general) is closely aligned with a (relatively) new framework for post-Keynesian economic policy called Modern Monetary Theory, or MMT. MMT generally exists well outside the boundaries of the mainstream economic debate, though a recent NYT hit piece on economist Warren Mosler suggests that might be changing (first they ignore you, then they ridicule you…). That said, one of the dirtiest secrets of current mainstream economic thought is that most of it is based on commodity-backed currencies that (at least in the U.S.) don’t actually exist anymore, and while I’m not really an expert on MMT, I’ll give it credit for any attempt to acknowledge and correct that particular issue. The point, for now, is that UM-KC and Mr. Black have a dog, even if it isn’t in this particular fight.