Monetary Policy and Financial StructureThis program explores the structure of markets and institutions operating in the financial sector. Research builds on the work of the late Distinguished Scholar Hyman P. Minsky—notably, his financial instability hypothesis—and explores the institutional, regulatory, and market arrangements that contribute to financial instability. Research also examines policies—such as changes to the regulatory structure and the development of new types of institutions—necessary to contain instability.
Recent research has concentrated on the structure of financial markets and institutions, with the aim of determining whether financial systems are still subject to the risk of failing. Issues explored include the extent to which domestic and global economic events (such as the crises in Asia and Latin America) coincide with the types of instabilities Minsky describes, and involve analyses of his policy recommendations for alleviating instability and other economic problems.
Other subjects covered include the distributional effects of monetary policy, central banking and structural issues related to the European Monetary Union, and the role of finance in small business investment.
In the Media | July 2016The Economist, July 28, 2016. All Rights Reserved.
From the start of his academic career in the 1950s until 1996, when he died, Hyman Minsky laboured in relative obscurity. His research about financial crises and their causes attracted a few devoted admirers but little mainstream attention: this newspaper cited him only once while he was alive, and it was but a brief mention. So it remained until 2007, when the subprime-mortgage crisis erupted in America. Suddenly, it seemed that everyone was turning to his writings as they tried to make sense of the mayhem....
Read more: http://www.economist.com/news/economics-brief/21702740-second-article-our-series-seminal-economic-ideas-looks-hyman-minskys />
In the Media | July 2016
Andrea TerziPublic Debt Project, July 14, 2016. All Rights Reserved.
Twice in the second half of the twentieth century, in the midst of a robust economy, economists optimistically talked about the taming and even “the death of the business cycle” based on the belief that advances in macroeconomics had reached a point of perfection. Yet, both times, the economy underwent serious turbulence and the policies that seemed to have “solved the problem” proved inadequate to the challenges presented by unexpected realities. In the 1970s, the “neo-classical synthesis,” with its faith in forecasting and macroeconomic “fine tuning,” succumbed to stagflation and a new theory, the Monetarist paradigm, came to prominence....
Read more: http://privatedebtproject.org/view-articles.php?Connecting-the-Dots-Debt-Savings-and-the-Need-for-a-Fiscal-Growth-Policy-21
Working Paper No. 869 | June 2016
Phases of Financialization within the 20th Century in the United States
This paper explores from a historical perspective the process of financialization over the course of the 20th century. We identify four phases of financialization: the first, from the 1900s to 1933 (early financialization); the second, from 1933 to 1940 (transitory phase); the third, between 1945 and 1973 (definancialization); and the fourth period begins in the early 1970s and leads to the Great Recession (complex financialization). Our findings indicate that the main features of the current phase of financialization were already in place in the first period. We closely examine institutions within these distinct financial regimes and focus on the relative size of the financial sector, the respective regulation regime of each period, and the intensity of the shareholder value orientation, as well as the level of financial innovations implemented. Although financialization is a recent term, the process is far from novel. We conclude that its effects can be studied better with reference to economic history.Download:Associated Program(s):Author(s):Apostolos Fasianos Diego Guevara Christos PierrosRelated Topic(s):Region(s):United States
Working Paper No. 868 | June 2016
The ECB’s Belated Conversion?
This paper investigates the European Central Bank’s (ECB) monetary policies. It identifies an antigrowth bias in the bank’s monetary policy approach: the ECB is quick to hike, but slow to ease. Similarly, while other players and institutional deficiencies share responsibility for the euro’s failure, the bank has generally done “too little, too late” with regard to managing the euro crisis, preventing protracted stagnation, and containing deflation threats. The bank remains attached to the euro area’s official competitive wage–repression strategy, which is in conflict with the ECB’s price stability mandate and undermines its more recent, unconventional monetary policy initiatives designed to restore price stability. The ECB needs a “Euro Treasury” partner to overcome the euro regime’s most serious flaw: the divorce between central bank and treasury institutions.Download:Associated Program(s):Author(s):Related Topic(s):
Working Paper No. 867 | May 2016
This paper examines the issue of the Greek public debt from different perspectives. We provide a historical discussion of the accumulation of Greece’s public debt since the 1960s and the role of public debt in the recent crisis. We show that the austerity imposed since 2010 has been unsuccessful in stabilizing the debt while at the same time taking a heavy toll on the Greek economy and society. The experience of the last six years shows that the country’s public debt is clearly unsustainable, and therefore a bold restructuring is needed. An insistence on the current policies is not justifiable either on pragmatic or on moral or any other grounds. The experience of Germany in the early post–World War II period provides some useful hints for the way forward. A solution to the Greek public debt problem is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the solution of the Greek and wider European crisis. A broader agenda that deals with the malaises of the Greek economy and the structural imbalances of the eurozone is of vital importance.Download:Associated Program(s):The State of the US and World Economies Monetary Policy and Financial Structure Economic Policy for the 21st CenturyAuthor(s):Related Topic(s):Region(s):Europe
Bloomberg, May 12, 2015. All Rights Reserved.
Senior Scholar L. Randall Wray discusses the US national debt and inflation with Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal on “What’d You Miss?”
Full video of the interview is available here.
By Michelle JamriskoBloomberg, May 11, 2016. All Rights Reserved.
Donald Trump’s about-face on the relevance of a ballooning U.S. debt continues his campaign’s hallmark of zigging and zagging on policy issues, landing him now on economic proposals favored by economists to the left of Bernie Sanders.
The billionaire businessman has advocated for the federal government to take advantage of cheap interest rates by boosting spending on initiatives such as rebuilding infrastructure -- a position shared by traditional Keynesian economists and skewered by budget hawks who say his numbers won’t add up. Now, Trump’s post-Keynesian approach is throwing out budget balancing, and declaring American immunity to a default....
Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-05-11/trump-is-now-running-to-the-left-of-sanders-on-federal-debt
Reviewed by William J. BernsteinSeeking Alpha, May 5, 2016. All Rights Reserved.
A few decades ago, Paul Samuelson wrote a letter to Robert Shiller and John Campbell, in which he discussed the notion that while the stock market was “micro efficient,” it was also “macro inefficient,” by which he meant that although profitable security choices were swiftly arbitraged away, the stock market as a whole irrationally swung between extremes of valuation.
Hyman Minsky would have made a similar point about the economy: While it is highly efficient, it is also unstable….
Read more: http://seekingalpha.com/article/3971589-book-review-minsky-matters
Working Paper No. 864 | April 2016
In this paper we analyze options for the European Central Bank (ECB) to achieve its single mandate of price stability. Viable options for price stability are described, analyzed, and tabulated with regard to both short- and long-term stability and volatility. We introduce an additional tool for promoting price stability and conclude that public purpose is best served by the selection of an alternative buffer stock policy that is directly managed by the ECB.Download:Associated Program(s):Author(s):Warren Mosler Damiano B. SilipoRelated Topic(s):