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Modern Monetary Theory and the Recovery

Released: March 11, 2021. This book discusses the causes of slow growth in the developed world after the early 1990s from a Modern Monetary Theory perspective. Policy proposals from MMT proponents that aim to rejuvenate the labour market without causing a resurgence of inflation will be examined.

Modern Monetary Theory is an outgrowth of the heterodox post-Keynesian school of economics, and the overall scope of the theory is often obscured, or mangled, in popular discussions. This text outlines its key concepts with the objective of reducing confusion.

Given the reality that MMT arguments are hotly debated, this book concludes with a chapter of criticisms of MMT.

Recessions: Volume I

Released April 25, 2020. 
This book looks at the theory of recessions from a (mainly) post-Keynesian perspective. What are the mechanisms behind recessions, and what do various theories or models predict?

This volume is what might be described as a “guided survey”: there is a theoretical narrative, but it is developed by surveying existing theories. The writing style is at an intermediate level, being at about the same complexity as what might be seen in the business press, but with a large body of footnotes/endnotes to point readers to academic papers.

The main theoretical argument is that recessions are inherently hard to forecast. Anyone who has read financial market commentary for an extended period will not be surprised by this; missed recession calls are a pervasive phenomenon. The interesting question is: why are recessions hard to forecast? The mechanisms outlined in this book help explain why theory suggests that this should be so.

The second volume continues the argument with more advanced topics, as well as doing a survey that compares competing theories to historical recessions.

Breakeven Inflation Analysis

Released November 8, 2018

The great inflation of the 1970s in the developed countries provoked strong economic (and political) reactions. In finance, investors searched for ways to protect themselves from inflation. The United Kingdom launched the first modern inflation-linked bonds in 1981. In addition to being of interest to investors looking for protection against inflation, these bonds also provide a market-based measure of inflation expectations. Since investors have “skin in the game,” the resulting forecasts might be better than a purely survey-based inflation forecast. More reliable inflation forecasts should be useful for policymakers that aim to control inflation.

This report discusses the breakeven inflation rate that is implied by pricing in the fixed income markets. For those with a casual interest in the subject, it is probably good enough to view those inflation breakeven rates as a market-implied forecast for inflation. However, if one wants to delve into the analysis, it is necessary to come to grips with the complications in the subject. Is the forecast biased? Are there technical factors in the bond market that affect pricing? The objective of this report is to offer an intermediate-level introduction to these issues. The target audience is either those with an interest in finance and who are unfamiliar with inflation-linked bonds or economists who want to understand better the factors that affect inflation breakeven rates.

  • 978-1-7751676-4-8 Epub Edition
  • 978-1-7751676-3-1 Kindle Edition
  • 978-1-7751676-2-4 Paperback Edition

An Introduction to SFC Models Using Python

Released November 14, 2017

Stock-Flow Consistent (SFC) models are a preferred way to present economic models in the post-Keynesian tradition. This book gives an overview of the sfc_models package, which implements SFC models in Python. The approach is novel, in that the user only specifies the high-level parameters of the economic model, and the framework generates and solves the implied equations. The framework is open source, and is aimed at both researchers and those with less experience with economic models. This book explains to researchers how to extend the sfc_models framework to implement advanced models. For those who are new to SFC models, the book explains some of the basic principles behind these models, and it is possible for the reader to run example code (which is packaged with the software online) to examine the model output.

  • Paperback edition ISBN: 978-0-9947480-9-6
  • Kindle edition ISBN: 978-1-7751676-0-0

Link to book description.

Abolish Money (From Economics)!

Released January 30, 2017

We live in a monetary economy, so it is not surprising that money plays an important role within economic theory. The argument of this book is that this role has become too important, and has warped our ability to think about the economy. The important psychological role of money within society has been transferred to monetary aggregates, and they are given far more significance than they deserve. Economists have wasted considerable time discussing reforms to the monetary system, such as Quantitative Easing, Positive Money, and Helicopter Money. We need to instead focus our attention on non-monetary reforms.

This book consists of 22 essays that discuss the role of money within economic theory, and the controversies raised by debates about the role of money. The tone is informal, as the theoretical debates are translated into plain language.

  • Ebook edition published, paperback to be released around the end of February, 2017.
  • Around 43,000 words.

Interest Rate Cycles: An Introduction

Released: May 23, 2016.

Monetary policy has increasingly become the focus of economists and investors. This report describes the factors driving interest rates across the economic cycle. Written by an experienced fixed income analyst, it explains in straightforward terms the theory that lies behind central bank thinking. Although monetary theory appears complex and highly mathematical, the text explains how decisions still end up being based upon qualitative views about the state of the economy.

The text makes heavy use of charts of historical data to illustrate economic concepts and modern monetary history. The report is informal, but contains references and suggestions for further reading.

This text is aimed at readers who are comfortable reading discussions of b business cycle in the financial media. It will also be useful to more advanced readers who are not familiar with modern approaches to monetary policy.

Link to books2read - universal link for all ebook retailers.
  • Book length: 102 pages (excluding front matter). Around 27,000 words.
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9947480-4-1
  • Kindle ISBN: 978-0-9947480-2-7
  • EPUB ISBN: 978-0-9947480-3-4

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Understanding Government Finance

The government budget is not like a household budget. This report introduces the financial operations used by a central government with a free-floating currency, and explains how they differ from that of a household or corporation. The focus is on the types of constraints such a government faces, and the question of how such a government can default.

This report also acts as an introduction to some of the concepts used by Modern Monetary Theory, a school of thought within economics. Modern Monetary Theory emphasises the real limits of government action, as opposed to purely theoretical views about fiscal policy.

Link to books2read - universal link for ebook retailers.

  • Book length: around 34,000 words. Paperback is 103 pages, excluding front matter. 
  • 18 Figures and charts.
  • Kindle ISBN:  978-0-9947480-1-0
  • EPUB ISBN: 978-0-9947480-0-3
  • Paperback ISBN 978-0-9947480-5-8