Rates of Interest

Do you agree that higher interest rates will reduce demand and output/employment? Simon Wren-Lewis asked in this recent twitter feed. (Itself a rich source of all sorts of education!) I replied perhaps, possibly. And I’m beginning to wonder if even that was much too certain…. For a start, since the interest rate on my credit… Read more

Bernard Lietaer RIP

Bernard Lietaer,the most famous Belgian of whom you’ve never heard, has died at the young age of 77. He was the original economist who dared to talk about money, having been warned by Paul Krugman that talking about money would impede his career development, which was almost definitely correct. But when, as the Belgian Central Bank’s… Read more

Food – Project Fact

Some very worrying research has come from the University of Liverpool and Imperial College London, which suggests that the shortage of fresh food which would certainly be caused by the disruption engendered by any no deal Brexit and also, importantly, a free-trading agreement with the EU and even with third-party countries. All scenarios would necessitate… Read more

MMT as nonsense economics – or not

The first point—that (fiat) money is ultimately a governmental construct in modern capitalist economies, and central banks can indeed produce as much of it as they want—is not news…. is the promising way Jonathan Portes kicks off his argument in ‘Prospect’ against Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), which he calls ‘Nonsense Economics’. He continues: a sovereign… Read more

Contracting out democracy – why not?

During the 1971 debates over the UK’s entry to what was then called the “European Communities”, the violinist Yehudi Menuhin suggested that Britain offer other countries a “rent-a-government” service, so great were the UK’s politics and civil service. Actually I would have probably – just about – agreed at the time – but how are… Read more