Whether a black swan or a scapegoat, Covid-19 is an extraordinary event. Declared by the WHO as a pandemic, Covid-19 has given birth to the concept of the economic “sudden stop.” We need extraordinary measures to contain it.
This essay analyses how the role of central banks changed since the global financial crisis, and how this directional change was accelerated by the outbreak of Covid-19.
Since 2007, central banks of industrialized countries have counteracted financial instability, recession, and deflationary risks with unprecedented monetary policy operations. While generally regarded as successful, these measures also led to an exceptional increase in the size of central bank balance sheets. The book first introduces the subject by explaining monetary policy operations in normal times, including the key instruments (open market operations, standing facilities, reserve requirements, and the collateral framework).
The mandate of central banks has seemed clear for decades : keep inflation low. Nevertheless borders between monetary, financial and economic policy have been blurry even before the pandemic.. Faced with the challenges of the climate crisis, slow growth, unemployment and inequality, does the financial and monetary system need a new constitutional purpose.
More than a century after Hartley Withers's "The Meaning of Money" and 80 years after Keynes's "Treatise on Money", the fundamentals of how banks create money still needs explaining and this book meets that need with clear exposition and expert marshalling of the relevant facts.
What’s inflation? Why is it relevant? And is there an agreed theory about its roots and causes, or is it a contentious concept? That’s what this text is all about: We define what inflation actually means before we delve into the theoretical debate with an interdisciplinary and pluralist approach: What gives rise to it, what factors might influence it, and, consequently, what might be done about it?
Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is a school of monetary and macroeconomic thought that focuses on the analysis of the monetary and credit system, and in particular on the question of credit creation by the state.
How was money actually invented? Where does it come from? In this first episode of a video lecture, Dirk Bezemer from the University of Groningen presents the origins of money and how it's related to debt. It's a basic historical review and you can get an idea of how money is created and how banks work. The following episodes aim at giving an overview of the last debt crisis.
What is money and how does it work? The short film reveals common misunderstandings of where money comes from, explains how money is created by banks and presents consequences of money as credit. The video is part of the campaign positive money, promoting the democratic control over money creation.
Sheila Dow discusses the concept of radical uncertainty and the failure of neoclassical economics to integrate it into its analysis. As to the implications for financial regulation that arise from the presence of radical uncertainty she argues for institutional overhaul, where the banks see themselves as a licensed partner of the central bank and where rules, values, and conventions would be subject to a cultural shift. Also, Sheila Dow advocates for a renewed focus on retail banking.
Economist and politician Costas Lapavitsas: presents differing theoretical definitions of financialization, namely from Marxist and Post-Keynesian thinkers and compares their approaches. By presenting pattern and features of the economic and financial crisis, he interprets the latter as a crisis of financialization. Lapavitsas emphasizes his arguments by presenting data from the U.S. and Germany on the transformation of business, banks and households.
The page "Positive Money" gathers text and short videos which explain how money is created by banks by giving loans. It furthermore presents the consequences of this process on housing prices, inequality and the environment and its role in the financial crisis. The dossier is provided by the campaign "Positive Money" which aims at a democratic control over money creation. Besides texts by the campaign, the page makes available links to journal and conference articles on the topic. The page focuses on the banking system of the UK.
John K. Galbraith recounts episodes in the history of money such as the creation of the bank of Amsterdam, John Law's fraudulent Bank Royal, the inception of the Bank of England and of the Federal Reserve to illustrate concepts such as money creation by commercial banks, the bank rate, open market operations or the money supply in general. The emotions, myths and struggles surrounding money are addressed and explained in a clear and consistent manner.
For some days, global financial markets are in turmoil. Central banks and governments are dealing with the unfolding crisis on a daily basis with seemingly u...
"Bank Underground" is the staff blog of the Bank of England, founded to publish the views and insights of the people working for one of the world's oldest central banks. The blog covers a wide range of macroeconomic topics, mostly linked to the effects of monetary policy, of course, but not all the time. It provides timely, relevant analysis of contemporary challenges in economic policy and is thus often a perfect primer.
This teaching pack focuses on the practice and real-world activities of central banks. It assumes students have a grasp of basic macroeconomic concepts already, and is therefore most suitable to be used at the end of introductory macro courses, or in more advanced macro or monetary economics courses.
Examine what would happen if we were to deploy blockchain technology at the sovereign level and use it to create a decentralized cashless economy. This book explains how finance and economics work today, and how the convergence of various technologies related to the financial sector can help us find solutions to problems, such as excessive debt creation, banks getting too big to fail, and shadow banking.
Finance at the Threshold offers a unique perspective from an English economic and monetary historian. In it the author asks: Why did the banks stop lending to one another, and why now? Was it merely a matter of over-loose credit due to the relaxation of traditional prudence, or did global finance find itself at its limits?
This course is an introduction to macroeconomics with a specific focus on the euro area. The theoretical part provides a critical presentation of the two key macroeconomic models: the (neo)classical approach and the Keynesian approach. This allows a comparative analysis of important macroeconomic topics: - unemployment - inflation - government debt and Modern Monetary Theory - banks and financial crises. The policy-oriented part discusses the monetary policy of the ECB and the specific challenges for fiscal policy in the euro area. The course also presents other euro area specific topics: Optimum currency area, euro crises, Next Generation EU and Green New Deal.
This article considers the strengths of agent-based modelling and the ways that it can be used to help central banks understand the economy. These models provide a complement to more traditional economic modelling which has been criticised in the wake of the Great Recession.
This is a new online course at bachelor level. It presents an introduction into macroeconomics with a specific focus on the euro area. The theoretical part provides a critical presentation of the two key macroeconomic models: the (neo)classical approach and the Keynesian approach. This allows a comparative analysis of important macroeconomic topics: unemployment inflation government debt and Modern Monetary Theory banks and financial crises. The policy-oriented part discusses the monetary policy of the ECB and the specific challenges for fiscal policy in the euro area. The course also presents other euro area specific topics: Optimum currency area, euro crises, Next Generation EU and Green New Deal.
With the onset of an economic crisis that has been universally acknowledged since the end of March, two main questions arise: To what extent is the corona pandemic the starting point (or even the cause) of this crisis? And secondly: can the aid programmes that have been adopted prevent a deep and prolonged recession?
This is an overview of (possibly transformative) proposals to address the economic consequences of the corona crisis
It is perhaps fitting that the seriousness of the coronavirus threat hit most of the Western world around the Ides of March, the traditional day of reckoning of outstanding debts in Ancient Rome. After all, problems and imbalances have accumulated in the Western capitalist system over four decades, ostensibly since it took the neoliberal road out of the 1970s crisis and kept going along it, heedless of the crises and problems it led to.
The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) is rapidly spreading around the world. The real economy is simultaneously hit by a supply shock and a demand shock by the spread of coronavirus. Such a twin shock is a rare phenomenon in recent economic history.
Michael Kalecki famously remarked “I have found out what economics is; it is the science of confusing stocks with flows”. Stock-Flow Consistent (SFC) models were developed precisely to address this kind of confusion. The basic intuition of SFC models is that the economy is built up as a set of intersecting balance sheets, where transactions between entities are called flows and the value of the assets/liabilities they hold are called stocks. Wages are a flow; bank deposits are a stock, and confusing the two directly is a category error. In this edition of the pluralist showcase I will first describe the logic of SFC models – which is worth exploring in depth – before discussing empirical calibration and applications of the models. Warning that there is a little more maths in this post than usual (i.e. some), but you should be able to skip those parts and still easily get the picture.
The general idea of a Job Guarantee (JG) is that the government offers employment to everybody ready, willing and able to work for a living wage in the last instance as an Employer of Last Resort. The concept tackles societal needs that are not satisfied by market forces and the systemic characteristic of unemployment in capitalist societies. Being a central part of the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), attention for the JG concept rose in recent years.
Post-Keynesians focus on the analysis of capitalist economies, perceived as highly productive, but unstable and conflictive systems. Economic activity is determined by effective demand, which is typically insufficient to generate full employment and full utilisation of capacity.
Mainstream inflation theories in economics do little to explain the recent acceleration in price increases. The associated economic policy recommendations further increase the misery of low-income groups.
As the Covid-19 fueled economic downturn begins to intensify this winter, an extended study of the Italian cooperative sector’s historical resilience in times of crisis can serve as a learning experience for other countries seeking to create policies that foster more stable economies, with job security, care for marginalized communities and adequate counter-cyclical policies. Particularly, the Italian cooperative sector’s contributions to three aspects should be noted in closing. Firstly, the innovative phenomenon of cooperative enterprises has contributed to social inclusion of immigrant communities, the activation of youth, the unemployed and people with disabilities, a true compensation for both a market and state failure. Secondly, they have contributed to a reduction in income and wealth inequalities at a time when the issue of inequality is of global significance. Thirdly, the Italian cooperative movement has helped local communities revitalize in the face of demographic shifts and rendered them more resilient to the ravages of globalization. Each of these in their own right is a remarkable achievement.
Feminist economics focuses on the interdependencies of gender relations and the economy. Care work and the partly non-market mediated reproduction sphere are particularly emphasised by feminist economics.
Steve Keen analyses how mainstream economics fails when confronted with the covid-19-pandemic. Mainstream economics has propagated the dismantling of the state and the globalization of production - both of which make the crisis now so devastating. More fundamentally, mainstream economics deals with market systems, when what is needed to limit the virus’s spread is a command system.