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Steve Keen on HARDtalk on the financial crisis and the economy

This time it’s Steve Keen on the hot seat on HARDtalk. Now, Steve is one of the few economists who actually predicted the global financial crisis. But what about the possibility of another Great Depression? That possibility and how to avoid it were the topics of conversation in this 25-minute interview. Great stuff.

Watch it.

P.S. – Steve believes like me that the Japanese scenario is the best we can hope for – not an uplifting view but hopefully inspiration enough for policy makers to stop dithering and get on with the credit writedowns and debt forgiveness that lies ahead. Also, check out Steve’s book Debunking Economics too. He has just released a second edition

About 

Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty years of business experience. He is also a regular economic and financial commentator on BBC World News, CNBC Television, Business News Network, CBC, Fox Television and RT Television. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College. Edward also writes a premium financial newsletter. Sign up here for a free trial.

15 Comments

  1. ChrisBern says:

    Keen’s plan is pure science fiction!  Ignore the ridiculousness of the planning/allocation details for a moment (the details that Keen was hemming and hawing about in the video).  If the Fed were to print $10T or $15T and go helicopter with the money, just consider the response from the international community. 

    First, the U.S. debt that is owed to foreigners would have to be considered in default by any credible ratings agency or CDS arbiter, given the instant one-day devaluation of the currency.  Ask China or Japan how they like this idea.  Similarly, the WTO would be fully justified in letting any/all of our trading partners put whatever tariffs on our goods that they want, considering again we just devalued our currency by 50% or whatever. 

    Think the USD will still be the world’s reserve currency?  Plans would have to be made quickly by international organizations to change that, perhaps moving towards SDRs or something else.  The Fed and the entire U.S. financial system (and government) would simply hold no credibility after this move were made.  The ripples across the currency, equity, and bond markets would likely bring down the entire world financial system–an “unintended consequence” that (unfortunately) economists often don’t recognize will happen.

    • Anonymous says:

      When the UK personal debt hit £1 trillion, in 2006 mainly for housing I was very concerned. I saw that property was in a huge bubble but politicians and banks were happy, so nothing was going to change. I tried to warn friends. Though they went ahead and bought. Last year that same friend asked me what I thought where the housing market was headed. Earlier this year he admitted that I was the only one who was right. The others he asked were all in the property market, as builders or estate agents etc. I still think that it is going down, I think that the UK still has another 40% to fall. Yet if you ask most banks they predict either a small increase or broadly the same at the end of the year.  

      I like Keen’s idea. Don’t forget that Central banks gave many trillions to the banks. The UK’s Bank of England is rumoured to have given more than a £100 billion in secret extra funding to the banks, if not more. Now that could have been given to the UK residents at £10 000 each, with the proviso of paying down debts, the deleveraging that was needed would happen without mass bankruptcies. Though what we are about to experience will be more than two decades of slow asset deflation and mass bankruptcy. It will lead to mass homelessness and serious levels of political instability. That creates the opening for extremists parties to rise to power. I do agree with his analysis of world leaders. They are all too fixated on getting back into power that they follow polls for key swing groups. Hence the rise in the term “Squeezed Middle.” 
      He did say that the problem was that the market was now too interconnected to have a jubilee, so something else was needed. Though if all countries are forced to repatriate overseas holdings then these could be netted off. So the chinese get repaid in full. 

      Also this is a debt issue so might be outside the remit of the WTO. 

      As for the repercussions bringing down the financial system. You clearly missed the bit about bankrupting the banks, nationalising them and restarting the financial system from scratch. This is what I have supported for three years. Nouriel Roubini said that the banks were insolvent in 2007 and nothing much has changed, apart from a lot of accounting tricks. 

      Ultimately this will happen otherwise we have more than twenty years of pain. Though in order to have that twenty years of pain you need a government running deficits so that the private sector can have a surplus and pay down that debt. Japan has been running a deficit for twenty years, only possible because of the high Japanese savings rate. That is impossible for the US, and most western countries. So bankruptcy and a total collapse of the financial system is the most likely anyway. So take your pick. Bankruptcy now or in the future. That is why politicians are in extend and pretend mode. They want to push the collapse onto the next government. We are in a depression, which has only being delayed by trillions of QE and government spending plans. Now that the GOP are refusing to extend it, and Europe on austerity programs then a resumption of economic collapse is inevitable. 

      • Dave Holden says:

         Re “extend and pretend” I think we’re now very much leaning more toward pretend – the UK governments recent attempt to subsidize mortgage loans with tax payers money gives you an idea of how desperate they’re becoming.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes it is total fantasy. They will not allow enough affordable homes to be built because it will lower the value of current housing stock. I feel sorry for Generation X who are suckered into a 95% mortgage when house prices fall up to another 40%. Guaranteed bankruptcy and a lost generation to support housing. Also this means that those guarantees will have to be paid and that means more austerity for the majority. 

      • ChrisBern says:

        I’m 100% in favor of insolvent banks either recapitalizing on their own (likely through very expensive equity) OR being forced into bankruptcy/conservatorship, leaving their shareholders empty-handed and their bondholders with a bunch of equity that might or might not be worth anything after restructuring.  I believe the majority of citizens would be in favor of doing this TODAY.  There is no love for the TBTF banks in America…well, outside of Washington anyway.  Insolvent institutions and markets need to NOT be propped up any longer by the government, and asset prices need to fall naturally to their actual (market) levels ASAP.

        But this notion of helicoptering every American $50K (my arbitrary number) or whatever…it’s pure and utter science fiction.  Let’s say it’s politically feasible, which it’s not, but let’s say it is.  What on earth would be the logistics of this?  First, WHO gets the $50K?  Every citizen?  Every resident?  Every man, woman and child?  Every household?    Every taxpayer?  One can’t even answer this very basic question without enormous questions of fairness arising. 

        Second, Keen said if you have debt, you have to pay it off with the $50K.  What kind of debt?  Mortgage?  Only at a certain LTV?  2nd home mortgage?  Rental home mortgage?  Student loans?  Credit card?  Automobile?  Small business loan?  Loan to a friend?  Who is going to enforce this policy and how?  There is NO way this policy could be enforced…first it’s utterly, incomprehensibly complicated and second, what you’d ultimately have is many/most of the debtors simply keeping the $50K and not paying off their bills.  And why not?  The currency just got devalued by 35% or whatever…ergo a house that was worth $300K and that I owed $325K on is now worth $400K and I still owe $325K on it.  Upside down homeowner:  “Why would I bother paying down the debt?  I think I’ll buy a new BMW instead, since the one I bought with my home equity loan in 2005 is 6 years old now.” 

        I’m not even going to get into moral hazard (“the government bailed out the citizens last time…they will the next time too”), or repeat the issues I mentioned in my last post (ZERO credibility for the Fed as a defender of its “price stability” mandate, issues with foreign creditors, overseas citizens, etc.)  It’s simply a pie-in-the-sky plan that could ultimately never be implemented and would have severe unintended consequences the likes of which could never be calculated or predicted ahead of time.

        • Anonymous says:

          I agree about the bond equity swaps for the default banks. Let the bond holders run the banks. 

          As for the $50k do not let it be restricted to any type of official debt. So it could be used for any existing student loans as well. Though a change in bankruptcy law so that all debts can be eliminated in bankruptcy is also essential. For an underwater home owner it could be used to reduce the debt to below the value of the home. Also why not per person, even children. The children’s share could go towards the family mortgage. So for a four person family that would give $200k off the family mortgage. As for the not paying off debts pay it into bank accounts so that it cannot be spent. Also it can be done in stages. $10K each till the economy is moving again. Gradually as debts are eliminated, household incomes will improve so that they can either spend or accelerate other debt clearance. It could be done as a household list. Each household sends in details of its family debts and then those debts are cleared centrally. Not impossible. That will eliminate debts that are not by a financial institution. Then each institution can mail the debtor that their debt is cleared. With peoples debts cleared they will have more disposable income for spending. What is needed apart from a helicopter drop are regulations that stop people taking on excessive debt again. So in the case of someone underwater they will be able to get out of that state. Also as they will no longer be underwater they will have more incentive to pay the rest. For those that were close to clearing their mortgage they will become debt free and with no debt repayments their disposable income increases. Then they can either save or spend. 

          As for the moral hazard that is why reforms of loans needs to be made. Regulate the maximum loan to income means that borrowers cannot legally get into trouble. Have rules about loan to value as well so that similar problems disappear. Hardly rocket science. 

          Unless something is done to reduce the personal debt burden the US economy will stagnate for decades. As people walk away from mortgages they will drive down real estate again and that will impact every other resident through lower property values. Without some improvement the US become a spent force.

        • Dannyb2b says:

          I think it is quite easy to helicopter stimulus/bailouts to the public quite efficiently. A variation of Keen’s proposal would be to expand the money supply in an orderly and consistent fashion directly to the public not to the banks. A new system of monetary policy could transfer funds to the public say at a rate of 100 dollars a week to every adult citizen. These funds would be akin to stimulatory monetary policy. But its preferable to the current system where the cb attempts to create extra demand by reducing the interst rate on lending to banks and then hope for them to pass money on to the economy. 

    • Dannyb2b says:

      The fed already did go helicopter with trillions in bailouts and the international community didnt do anything negative in response indeed they advicated for it. The US debt owed to foreigner wouldnt be defaulted on. A large amount of funds would be created to bailout the public to pay off private sector debts. Debts wouldnt be defaulted on. 

      • ChrisBern says:

        Everyone (more or less) did fiscal and/or monetary stimulus in 2008/2009 IN RESPONSE TO A GLOBAL FINANCIAL MELTDOWN.  This can’t be reasonably compared to the U.S. by itself doing a massive helicopter drop when it’s GDP is rising by 2ish percent a year.  That’s why the international response would be different this time–to a bondholder, there’s no difference between a 35% currency devaluation and a 35% bond haircut.  Anyone who’s not forced to politically deny it would call that a default.  And again, the unintended consequences of this type of massive economic intervention are literally impossible to predict.

        Ignoring all of this for a moment, and assuming you’re correct for the sake of discussion, there is zero political appetite for any of this in America anyway.  America has money-printing fatigue.  The Fed, TODAY, already has very little credibility with Americans.  Unless Obama is re-elected, Bernanke (thankfully) will be ousted when his term ends in Jan 2014.  Besides, what we’re talking about (helicopter-drop) is FISCAL policy, and therefore would need to be enacted by Congress.  There is approximately a zero chance that they would pass such a drastic money-printing jubilee given the current political environment.  I’m not even sure that a congressman would risk his credibility by even INTRODUCING this type of drastic money-printing legislation, much less voting for it.

        My question is, why does the answer to every problem have to be money printing and interventionism?  Ludwig Von Mises must be turning in his grave…

        • Dannyb2b says:

          a 50% bond haircut shouldnt mean a 50% currency valuation. If transfering funds in large amounts to citizens in order to reduce their debts does result in a massive currency devaluation one possibilty is to do it in increments of for example monthly payments over a period of 5-10 years. This would be akin to fiscal or monetary stimulus. I think the outcome of this action are relatively safe in terms of collateral damage. I agree there is no political will for this proposal or any productive solution. Any solutions will have to be forced upon the political establishment by sheer public pressure. 

  2. ChrisBern says:

    Keen’s plan is pure science fiction!  Ignore the ridiculousness of the planning/allocation details for a moment (the details that Keen was hemming and hawing about in the video).  If the Fed were to print $10T or $15T and go helicopter with the money, just consider the response from the international community. 

    First, the U.S. debt that is owed to foreigners would have to be considered in default by any credible ratings agency or CDS arbiter, given the instant one-day devaluation of the currency.  Ask China or Japan how they like this idea.  Similarly, the WTO would be fully justified in letting any/all of our trading partners put whatever tariffs on our goods that they want, considering again we just devalued our currency by 50% or whatever. 

    Think the USD will still be the world’s reserve currency?  Plans would have to be made quickly by international organizations to change that, perhaps moving towards SDRs or something else.  The Fed and the entire U.S. financial system (and government) would simply hold no credibility after this move were made.  The ripples across the currency, equity, and bond markets would likely bring down the entire world financial system–an “unintended consequence” that (unfortunately) economists often don’t recognize will happen.

    • Anonymous says:

      When the UK personal debt hit £1 trillion, in 2006 mainly for housing I was very concerned. I saw that property was in a huge bubble but politicians and banks were happy, so nothing was going to change. I tried to warn friends. Though they went ahead and bought. Last year that same friend asked me what I thought where the housing market was headed. Earlier this year he admitted that I was the only one who was right. The others he asked were all in the property market, as builders or estate agents etc. I still think that it is going down, I think that the UK still has another 40% to fall. Yet if you ask most banks they predict either a small increase or broadly the same at the end of the year.  

      I like Keen’s idea. Don’t forget that Central banks gave many trillions to the banks. The UK’s Bank of England is rumoured to have given more than a £100 billion in secret extra funding to the banks, if not more. Now that could have been given to the UK residents at £10 000 each, with the proviso of paying down debts, the deleveraging that was needed would happen without mass bankruptcies. Though what we are about to experience will be more than two decades of slow asset deflation and mass bankruptcy. It will lead to mass homelessness and serious levels of political instability. That creates the opening for extremists parties to rise to power. I do agree with his analysis of world leaders. They are all too fixated on getting back into power that they follow polls for key swing groups. Hence the rise in the term “Squeezed Middle.” 
      He did say that the problem was that the market was now too interconnected to have a jubilee, so something else was needed. Though if all countries are forced to repatriate overseas holdings then these could be netted off. So the chinese get repaid in full. 

      Also this is a debt issue so might be outside the remit of the WTO. 

      As for the repercussions bringing down the financial system. You clearly missed the bit about bankrupting the banks, nationalising them and restarting the financial system from scratch. This is what I have supported for three years. Nouriel Roubini said that the banks were insolvent in 2007 and nothing much has changed, apart from a lot of accounting tricks. 

      Ultimately this will happen otherwise we have more than twenty years of pain. Though in order to have that twenty years of pain you need a government running deficits so that the private sector can have a surplus and pay down that debt. Japan has been running a deficit for twenty years, only possible because of the high Japanese savings rate. That is impossible for the US, and most western countries. So bankruptcy and a total collapse of the financial system is the most likely anyway. So take your pick. Bankruptcy now or in the future. That is why politicians are in extend and pretend mode. They want to push the collapse onto the next government. We are in a depression, which has only being delayed by trillions of QE and government spending plans. Now that the GOP are refusing to extend it, and Europe on austerity programs then a resumption of economic collapse is inevitable. 

      • Dave Holden says:

         Re “extend and pretend” I think we’re now very much leaning more toward pretend – the UK governments recent attempt to subsidize mortgage loans with tax payers money gives you an idea of how desperate they’re becoming.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes it is total fantasy. They will not allow enough affordable homes to be built because it will lower the value of current housing stock. I feel sorry for Generation X who are suckered into a 95% mortgage when house prices fall up to another 40%. Guaranteed bankruptcy and a lost generation to support housing. Also this means that those guarantees will have to be paid and that means more austerity for the majority. 

      • ChrisBern says:

        I’m 100% in favor of insolvent banks either recapitalizing on their own (likely through very expensive equity) OR being forced into bankruptcy/conservatorship, leaving their shareholders empty-handed and their bondholders with a bunch of equity that might or might not be worth anything after restructuring.  I believe the majority of citizens would be in favor of doing this TODAY.  There is no love for the TBTF banks in America…well, outside of Washington anyway.  Insolvent institutions and markets need to NOT be propped up any longer by the government, and asset prices need to fall naturally to their actual (market) levels ASAP.

        But this notion of helicoptering every American $50K (my arbitrary number) or whatever…it’s pure and utter science fiction.  Let’s say it’s politically feasible, which it’s not, but let’s say it is.  What on earth would be the logistics of this?  First, WHO gets the $50K?  Every citizen?  Every resident?  Every man, woman and child?  Every household?    Every taxpayer?  One can’t even answer this very basic question without enormous questions of fairness arising. 

        Second, Keen said if you have debt, you have to pay it off with the $50K.  What kind of debt?  Mortgage?  Only at a certain LTV?  2nd home mortgage?  Rental home mortgage?  Student loans?  Credit card?  Automobile?  Small business loan?  Loan to a friend?  Who is going to enforce this policy and how?  There is NO way this policy could be enforced…first it’s utterly, incomprehensibly complicated and second, what you’d ultimately have is many/most of the debtors simply keeping the $50K and not paying off their bills.  And why not?  The currency just got devalued by 35% or whatever…ergo a house that was worth $300K and that I owed $325K on is now worth $400K and I still owe $325K on it.  Upside down homeowner:  “Why would I bother paying down the debt?  I think I’ll buy a new BMW instead, since the one I bought with my home equity loan in 2005 is 6 years old now.” 

        I’m not even going to get into moral hazard (“the government bailed out the citizens last time…they will the next time too”), or repeat the issues I mentioned in my last post (ZERO credibility for the Fed as a defender of its “price stability” mandate, issues with foreign creditors, overseas citizens, etc.)  It’s simply a pie-in-the-sky plan that could ultimately never be implemented and would have severe unintended consequences the likes of which could never be calculated or predicted ahead of time.

        • Anonymous says:

          I agree about the bond equity swaps for the default banks. Let the bond holders run the banks. 

          As for the $50k do not let it be restricted to any type of official debt. So it could be used for any existing student loans as well. Though a change in bankruptcy law so that all debts can be eliminated in bankruptcy is also essential. For an underwater home owner it could be used to reduce the debt to below the value of the home. Also why not per person, even children. The children’s share could go towards the family mortgage. So for a four person family that would give $200k off the family mortgage. As for the not paying off debts pay it into bank accounts so that it cannot be spent. Also it can be done in stages. $10K each till the economy is moving again. Gradually as debts are eliminated, household incomes will improve so that they can either spend or accelerate other debt clearance. It could be done as a household list. Each household sends in details of its family debts and then those debts are cleared centrally. Not impossible. That will eliminate debts that are not by a financial institution. Then each institution can mail the debtor that their debt is cleared. With peoples debts cleared they will have more disposable income for spending. What is needed apart from a helicopter drop are regulations that stop people taking on excessive debt again. So in the case of someone underwater they will be able to get out of that state. Also as they will no longer be underwater they will have more incentive to pay the rest. For those that were close to clearing their mortgage they will become debt free and with no debt repayments their disposable income increases. Then they can either save or spend. 

          As for the moral hazard that is why reforms of loans needs to be made. Regulate the maximum loan to income means that borrowers cannot legally get into trouble. Have rules about loan to value as well so that similar problems disappear. Hardly rocket science. 

          Unless something is done to reduce the personal debt burden the US economy will stagnate for decades. As people walk away from mortgages they will drive down real estate again and that will impact every other resident through lower property values. Without some improvement the US become a spent force.

        • Dannyb2b says:

          I think it is quite easy to helicopter stimulus/bailouts to the public quite efficiently. A variation of Keen’s proposal would be to expand the money supply in an orderly and consistent fashion directly to the public not to the banks. A new system of monetary policy could transfer funds to the public say at a rate of 100 dollars a week to every adult citizen. These funds would be akin to stimulatory monetary policy. But its preferable to the current system where the cb attempts to create extra demand by reducing the interst rate on lending to banks and then hope for them to pass money on to the economy. 

    • Dannyb2b says:

      The fed already did go helicopter with trillions in bailouts and the international community didnt do anything negative in response indeed they advicated for it. The US debt owed to foreigner wouldnt be defaulted on. A large amount of funds would be created to bailout the public to pay off private sector debts. Debts wouldnt be defaulted on. 

      • ChrisBern says:

        Everyone (more or less) did fiscal and/or monetary stimulus in 2008/2009 IN RESPONSE TO A GLOBAL FINANCIAL MELTDOWN.  This can’t be reasonably compared to the U.S. by itself doing a massive helicopter drop when it’s GDP is rising by 2ish percent a year.  That’s why the international response would be different this time–to a bondholder, there’s no difference between a 35% currency devaluation and a 35% bond haircut.  Anyone who’s not forced to politically deny it would call that a default.  And again, the unintended consequences of this type of massive economic intervention are literally impossible to predict.

        Ignoring all of this for a moment, and assuming you’re correct for the sake of discussion, there is zero political appetite for any of this in America anyway.  America has money-printing fatigue.  The Fed, TODAY, already has very little credibility with Americans.  Unless Obama is re-elected, Bernanke (thankfully) will be ousted when his term ends in Jan 2014.  Besides, what we’re talking about (helicopter-drop) is FISCAL policy, and therefore would need to be enacted by Congress.  There is approximately a zero chance that they would pass such a drastic money-printing jubilee given the current political environment.  I’m not even sure that a congressman would risk his credibility by even INTRODUCING this type of drastic money-printing legislation, much less voting for it.

        My question is, why does the answer to every problem have to be money printing and interventionism?  Ludwig Von Mises must be turning in his grave…

        • Dannyb2b says:

          a 50% bond haircut shouldnt mean a 50% currency valuation. If transfering funds in large amounts to citizens in order to reduce their debts does result in a massive currency devaluation one possibilty is to do it in increments of for example monthly payments over a period of 5-10 years. This would be akin to fiscal or monetary stimulus. I think the outcome of this action are relatively safe in terms of collateral damage. I agree there is no political will for this proposal or any productive solution. Any solutions will have to be forced upon the political establishment by sheer public pressure. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    We have a crisis of socialism, too much interference in the economy. Now Keen wants to triple that undoubtedly with tens of thousand of civil servants dishing out trillions.

    What about a good old revolt and let capitalism do its work? That will sort out everything – more importantly everybody – in a year.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is not a crisis of socialism if it were why is the US suffering so badly? It is a crisis of banking still. These rely on sovereign back stops, and the fact that it is now apparent that these sovereign backstops are really paper tigers because they are currency users not currency issuers is the cause of the euro crisis. Sweden is probably far more socialist than any country in Europe and is doing far better than most of Europe. So it is really a crisis of banking and government incompetence in not stopping the bubbles which we are now all paying for by austerity.

      Also a revolt may not return a capitalist society. I do think that if the banks had failed in 2007 then much of our current problems would not be here now. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    We have a crisis of socialism, too much interference in the economy. Now Keen wants to triple that undoubtedly with tens of thousand of civil servants dishing out trillions.

    What about a good old revolt and let capitalism do its work? That will sort out everything – more importantly everybody – in a year.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is not a crisis of socialism if it were why is the US suffering so badly? It is a crisis of banking still. These rely on sovereign back stops, and the fact that it is now apparent that these sovereign backstops are really paper tigers because they are currency users not currency issuers is the cause of the euro crisis. Sweden is probably far more socialist than any country in Europe and is doing far better than most of Europe. So it is really a crisis of banking and government incompetence in not stopping the bubbles which we are now all paying for by austerity.

      Also a revolt may not return a capitalist society. I do think that if the banks had failed in 2007 then much of our current problems would not be here now. 

  5. Dave Holden says:

    Here’s a very interesting post talk Q&A with Keen (after 40 minute mark)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfXimjtz4GA

    where Keen highlights why the size of private sector matters and why he thinks MMTer’s conservative description of the monetary system is incorrect.

  6. Dave Holden says:

    Here’s a very interesting post talk Q&A with Keen (after 40 minute mark)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfXimjtz4GA

    where Keen highlights why the size of private sector debt matters and why he thinks MMTer’s conservative description of the monetary system is incorrect.

  7. Tyler Eepper says:

    Nationalising the whole financial system and starting again;  wow a sure
    recipe for disaster.  The quick way to ruin and depression. 

    Effectively governments will “give money away” anyway.  More likely through inflation and the printing of money.

  8. Tyler Eepper says:

    Nationalising the whole financial system and starting again;  wow a sure
    recipe for disaster.  The quick way to ruin and depression. 

    Effectively governments will “give money away” anyway.  More likely through inflation and the printing of money.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Keen’s rhetoric doesn’t measure up.

    And neither does his understanding of public monetary economics.

    On the rhetoric, I heard nothing specific about a debt-jubilee or on
    any hair-cutting to the dastardly bankers that caused the crisis.Rather he seems intent upon using the government’s latent power to “create money” to pay off those debts.Where’s the beef?

    From about 12:10 in:
    “” we have two sources of money in a capitalist economy – the banks can
    create money by extending loans..the government creates money by running
    a deficit.””

    Sorry, Steve, when government runs a deficit, it does NOT create
    money. The government MUST borrow its deficit balances from the private
    bankers who create the money out of nothing. There’s no reduction in
    private debt from government deficits – only an increase in government
    debt.

    If you want to change THAT dynamic, first identify how to enable the
    debt-free funding of government ‘deficits’, and the answer is in the
    Kucinich monetary reform Bill.
    http://www.monetary.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/HR-2990.pdf

    Finally, Keen seemed to not want to come right out and say that we
    MUST end the power of unregulated private ‘shadow’ bankers to CREATE
    leveraged, $-denominated debts for speculative purposes in the first
    place. THAT would be the radical corrective measure necessary.

    While this may be Keen’s most descriptive attempt to lay out his
    debt-jubilee proposal in public, I don’t come away with any more understanding of the
    fix.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Keen’s rhetoric doesn’t measure up.

    And neither does his understanding of public monetary economics.

    On the rhetoric, I heard nothing specific about a debt-jubilee or on
    any hair-cutting to the dastardly bankers that caused the crisis.Rather he seems intent upon using the government’s latent power to “create money” to pay off those debts.Where’s the beef?

    From about 12:10 in:
    “” we have two sources of money in a capitalist economy – the banks can
    create money by extending loans..the government creates money by running
    a deficit.””

    Sorry, Steve, when government runs a deficit, it does NOT create
    money. The government MUST borrow its deficit balances from the private
    bankers who create the money out of nothing. There’s no reduction in
    private debt from government deficits – only an increase in government
    debt.

    If you want to change THAT dynamic, first identify how to enable the
    debt-free funding of government ‘deficits’, and the answer is in the
    Kucinich monetary reform Bill.
    http://www.monetary.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/HR-2990.pdf

    Finally, Keen seemed to not want to come right out and say that we
    MUST end the power of unregulated private ‘shadow’ bankers to CREATE
    leveraged, $-denominated debts for speculative purposes in the first
    place. THAT would be the radical corrective measure necessary.

    While this may be Keen’s most descriptive attempt to lay out his
    debt-jubilee proposal in public, I don’t come away with any more understanding of the
    fix.