Recent Posts

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Pivot To Fiscal?

The final Mario Draghi press conference had him underlining the importance of fiscal policy. Since I am supposed to be working on my slides for my presentation in the panel "MMT: Who is Listening?", one might argue that it looks like a lot of people. However, it is unclear how significant the shift in opinion is from a practical perspective.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Manuscript Update

This is just a short update on the situation on my latest book manuscript. As I noted earlier, I am splitting my text on recessions into two parts, and publishing the first volume before finishing the second. (Whether or not that is a mistake remains to be determined.)

The working title is "Recessions: Volume I." The manuscript is about 50,000 words, with some previously written material moved to Volume II. There is no new content to add, and it is now just a question of editing. I am not making any promises about a publication date, but before year end seems plausible.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Sustained Unsustainable Trends: Canadian Edition

Figure: Canadian Debt to Disposable Income

I have not been commenting on Canadian data recently, but I just wanted to update the above chart of the debt-to-disposable income ratio. (It caught my eye as I was inserting the chart into my manuscript.) It was very easy to declare the rise in the debt-to-income ratio "unsustainable," yet it has been sustained for a long time.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Thoughts On My MMT Conference Panel Talk

I will be presenting in the panel "MMT: Who is Listening?" on September 27th, with Bill Mitchell, Glen Hadden (missing from preliminary agenda), and Alexandra Scaggs at the Third International MMT Conference. (Link:

The following is the outline of the points I expect to cover. I will be presenting last, and my discussion will most likely overlap with that of other speakers, so I expect that my live presentation will require reacting to previous points.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Is The Treasury Market Wrong Because Of Hedgers?

Chart: U.S. Treasury and Mortgage Rates

I have some seen some commentary about hedging demand and Treasury yields. One typical interpretation is that hedging demand is pushing Treasury yields "too low," and so the signal from the yield curve is distorted. Furthermore, one could argue that this represents some form of "bond bubble."

Sunday, August 25, 2019

So Are We All MMTists Now?

Larry Summers attracted a great deal of attention with arguments that post-Keynesian theories ought to be taken into account, and the ability of central banks to stimulate the economy are limited. One could argue that the zeitgeist is shifting in the direction of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT): the role of fiscal policy may be increasingly important. However, I am unsure how far actual economics debates will shift.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Comments On "Business Cycle Anatomy"

George-Marios Angeletos, Fabrice Collard, and Harris Dellas released a working paper "Business Cycle Anatomy." They did some econometric analysis to decompose the movements of various economic time series, tying the results to Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) theory. I think the paper will be interesting to anyone with an advanced knowledge of economic theory.