I Call Bullshit

56
Sun, Feb 17, 2019 - 12:34pm


I remember playing Monopoly by the hour with my friends throughout the early 1970s. We loved that game! I recall one rule in the game that we actually had to invoke because our games would get so long:

Just write on a piece of paper! What a great idea! Maybe I just think about this a lot because I have a millennial daughter that really likes the idea of free money. But something does not smell right. Isn’t it interesting that it was JP Morgan’s image used for the banker and monopoly? Decades ago, kids were being taught about Modern Monetary Theory--also known as MMT, and currently the rage among socialists and academics (pardon the redundancy).

I work in a university full of young people. I would estimate that 90% of them will vote Democrat in the next election, and will also be highly motivated to get out and vote. Meanwhile my more conservative generation is retiring and even passing into the night. As the pendulum swings left, this younger generation, a generation that does not understand economics, will be seduced into demanding free money.
In short, Modern Monetary Theory MMT is the mechanism that explains why and how a nation can extend the national debt infinitely. It is a “theory.” And we are acting upon it already. If it is wrong, disaster will follow. If it is right, we can all relax, go back to our pre-prepper lives, and cheer on Socialism in the hope that it will solve society’s problems.

Common sense and a plethora of pundits tell us that you just cannot keep printing money in real life. Yet our youth, and many politicians, don’t see it that way. They don’t read ZH or blogs like this. They are sophisticated, but also immersed in their own world, concerns about careers and activist agendas to make the world a fairer place. They listen to their own teachers, and what academics are teaching about economics these days enables the youth to put their trust in Socialism. A recent presentation by Dr Stephanie Kelton provides a fine example.

IN fact, since she was Bernie Sanders economic adviser the 2016 election, she may be the leading voice on this matter. The heart of her argument is just over 20 minutes long. After watching it the other day, I sat there scratching my head. Could she be right? I was confused. Her thesis is that you CAN just keep printing more money.
Trying to dispel my confusion, I watched it again, and again. Slowly, the truth began to emerge—like watching a magic trick over and over, one begins to notice the skilled sleight of hand of the magician, and the hidden mechanisms that make the trick possible. My university training in rhetorical criticism (bullshit detection) began to kick in.

In what follows we will look more closely at Kelton’s central argument, and show how obfuscation, failure to mention relevant facts, blended with solid facts, and just a dash of sophistry can produce a strong argument promoting socialism that will be ravenously devoured by weaker minds.
I hate it when people lie to my kids!

Kelton begins by pointing out the big question posed by critics whenever we consider new government programs: “How are we going to pay for it?” She believes we can move past this question and get onto to discussing solutions for the future. But a good persuader must refute the arguments against their proposal prior to presenting a new plan.

She has edited a video montage of politicians saying the debt will harm our children & future, followed with images of cartoons & headlines from 1937 to date, bemoaning the debt. We’ve all seen it. No need to panic, she suggest. We just need a paradigm shift to see debt in a different light. We all need “therapy” to get us past this hang-up about spending too much.

She asserts that we are mistaken to understand the USG as a household that cannot continue to spend more than it makes (taxes). Kelton claims that the Federal budget does not work the way a personal budget works—a Federal deficit isn’t the same as when I run up my credit card.This claim is warranted, in her view by distinguishing between currency users and currency issuers—a nice play on words. These sort of linguistic devices always seem to have a ring of truth to them.When I borrow, I am a currency user who borrows from a bank—who is the currency issuer. But the US Government is both the issuer and the user, thus, according to Kelton, “can never go broke, can never have bills coming due that it can’t afford to pay, can’t become insolvent, can’t end up like people you know … forced into bankruptcy.”

Next, she demonstrates the concept by pulling 10 one dollar bills from inside the lectern and saying, “suppose I’m the federal government and I’m going to spend ten of these into the economy. She gives 10 dollars to a volunteer, then immediately takes 4 back as “tax.” She defines the federal deficit as “the government spends more into the economy than it taxes back out.” Thus, in her example, the government has a $6 deficit.
Following this, she claims that the money remaining in the economy is a “surplus” for the economy, which I’ll concede is true—that money pays salaries, hires contractors who build infrastructure, funds Medicare and other socialist programs, but is also handed out to people who won’t work so they can buy fentanyl manufactured in China, mixed with Mexican heroin and smuggled into the country to enrich MS-13 and other such parasitic organizations.

When that money is spent on the wrongs things, taking it out of our economy, even the socialists admit that the economy can get in trouble.

Thus the government borrowed the amount of the deficit. To illustrate the borrowing Kelton “sells” 6 treasury bonds to the volunteer to get back the $6. She then mentions paying interest on the T-bonds—interest that goes the fine gentleman from the audience. Here is where things get more interesting: Kelton defines the 22 trillion on the national debt clock as the “national savings—dollars in the form of treasuries in somebody’s savings account.” I wonder whose?

To wrap it all up, she brought Greenspan out, putting his pic on the screen as he responded to Sen. Paul Ryan in a Congressional hearing, asking how we will pay for all of it: Greenspan “There’s nothing to prevent the federal government from creating as much money as it wants and paying it to somebody.”
So we are back to the key issue: In the case of the US Federal Budget, is the issuer (printer) of the money the same person as the user of the money, as Kelton claims?

Decidedly not!

As we are aware, the Federal Reserve Bank is not part of the Federal government, but a private a corporation owned by large commercial banks with its USG influence only in the form of the appointment of three of the nine FED governors, who are not beholden to the USG in their policy decisions. Greenspan should have said, “There nothing preventing the FED from creating as much money as it wants, and loaning it to the US government so they can spend it.” All of Kelton's other claims, supported by charts & graphs, mistake correlation for causation. Her clever wordplay--calling a deficit for one a surplus for another simply distracts us away from the nature of this FED & USG relationship. In fact, she never mentions the Federal Reserve bank, always suggesting that the government prints the money.

Sometimes it is difficult to follow someone’s convoluted argument and point to the key fact where it breaks down. But this time it is clear. The FED and the USG are not the same entity—the “Issuer,” as Kelton assumes and Greenspan states. That is why Kelton never mentions the FED. She employs the misleading quote from Greenspan to make this point.

I have been taught recently, by pundits and bloggers, that the Federal Reserve is not “federal” and is owned by private interests. Not wanting to assume these bloggers are correct, I did a bit of digging and found lots of confusion about ownership of the FED. I will err on the side of caution if I must, attributing “partial ownership” to the USG, but majority ownership in private hands. More importantly, the USG cannot dictate policy to the FED.

As a corporation, the FED admits that “member banks” of each of the 12 districts own stock and receive dividends. These “member banks” are privately owned. But the remainder of the earnings of the FED are paid the US Treasury, indicating at least a partial ownership by our government. The private banks received 30 Billion in dividends in 2017 while the Treasury received 80 billion in dividends.
But then, the USG paid the FED 62 billion in interest for the treasuries they hold. That 18 billion difference that stayed with the USG, only represents 38% of paid dividends, compared to the 62% paid to the member banks—all private corporations.

This relationship is obfuscated. Oh! It’s so much easier for Kelton to just let her listener assume the USG and the FED are one!

What is most important is that the FED’s majority owners—the “member banks” will never “call the note due” for the US government borrowing. I was not so lucky when I defaulted on a home loan.
For Kelton to say that the US government issues the money it uses is patently false, even if a portion of dividends do find their way back into the US treasury. While the point is that the note for 22 trillion will never be called due, an equally problematic issue for MMT is that the US government pays 550 Billion in interest on the 22 Trillion it has borrowed each year, and must borrow to pay it.

Question: So can the FED keep “printing money,” allowing the USG to use it by selling bonds to the rest of the world?
Answer: Only as long as the treasury bond owners value the bonds.

While the FED may never start dumping bonds, I wouldn’t count on other nations to do the same. Kelton does anticipate my argument here, saying it doesn’t matter if China stops buying our bonds. But she fails to mention that China only holds 5% of the USG debt. If one nation quits the game, it may not matter much indeed. But what if half follow China’s lead and begin selling?

When multiple bond holders, responding to the same conditions and fearful for their investment, decide to begin dumping, it will force interest rates higher on new bonds as the unwanted existing bonds have to be discounted to find a buyer. And if the buyers’ appetites for US bonds are satiated altogether, and there are only sellers… ? The resulting economic chaos worldwide is too horrible to think about. But just like the bank that repossessed my home in 1988, and became the owner of my most valuable possession—though they had to sell it at a loss into a weak economy—those who own the Treasuries will own this country’s assets, whatever they may be, if they can collect.

And any socialist-style budget will be in the toilet long before this happens, with government shutdowns and funds withheld.

In conclusion, the FED isn’t going to call the loan to the USG due, or panic sell their 10% of the bonds. They will keep enabling the deficit spending by the USG. But Kelton’s MMT claims that the USG owns the FED is false, thus she concealed it. And her claim that the current system can continue indefinitely depends on the rest of the world to be foolish with their money--trusting and investing in an organization that throws fiscal responsibility out the window.

No wonder the central bankers of the world are beginning to hoard more gold! No wonder China and Russia are hoarding gold. Gold is the only security with no counterparty risk, if it is safely in your hands.

I think I’ll hoard more too.

And I call bullshit on Kelton, suggesting that she is a mercenary sophist in service of the central banks. And if she is genuinely mistaken, teaching a flawed Monetary Theory to the world, pity her, and those who believe her teaching.

MMT: perhaps we should call it Monopoly Monetary Theory

About the Author

  56 Comments

mike97
Feb 17, 2019 - 3:32pm

Good article Doc J

You mean we can’t ignore our debts forever.

silver66
Feb 17, 2019 - 3:40pm

First

mental slight of hand debunked by someone taught to think rather than feel

Excellent

Silver66

WingsofGold
Feb 17, 2019 - 4:04pm

Great Job, Doc

I would love to see her debate you or maybe......Mike Maloney, Chris Martenson, Ron Paul, or a few others I know would blow her out of the water. Thanks

Texas Sandman
Feb 17, 2019 - 4:11pm

petrodollar

that one creates a demand for the currency and the bonds. as that one goes away, underpinnings for the dollar do also.

that's why we let MBS get away with the murder of a permanent us resident ("green card holder") in their embassy in Turkey. House of Saud has us by the testicles. So our hearts and minds will surely follow. What's the life of one man when the petrodollar is at stake...

Marcus
Feb 17, 2019 - 5:24pm

free stuff

As far as "free stuff" goes, not much in life is free except for bullshit or some type of venereal disease, neither of which is very desirable (unless you're into that sort of thing). Socialism is nothing more than the forced redistribution of wealth at the point of a gun (a "gimme your stuff or I'll hurt you" way of thinking). Socialism failed in the Soviet Union, and in 1930s Germany, and in Maoist China, and in Pol Pot's North Vietnam, and in North Korea, and in Zimbabwe, and in Venezuela, and in every other place it has ever been tried (in its more virulent forms, it also provided a heap of bodies to go along with the misery it dished out). Really, socialism is going to work in America this time? Uh-huh.

NW VIEW
Feb 17, 2019 - 6:47pm

Well Dr.,

the 50+ % of Americans do not care about the national debt, nor what the true definition of fiat paper is, nor if the government finally is totally bankrupt. They do not lose one moments of sleep over owing 22 trillion fiat bucks. They have little, pay little in taxes, receive free XYZ, and know where to fish on opening day. They see the upper 25%, worrying about the economy, taxes, banksters, etc. and see it as a waste of time. They do not read the WSJ, nor follow Jim Kramer. jmo

(We all know that over 50% of Americans cannot raise $1000 fiat. Do we actually think they are concerned over the national debt?)

RickshawETF
Feb 17, 2019 - 6:53pm

Great Post!

Two points:

1. I don't believe the USG is in any way a part-owner of the Fed! They hold none of those [ownership] equity shares. They do get to select three members of the Fed Board of Governors, but that is mere window dressing, since they do not have majority control, and can easily be outvoted. I consider the Treasury "remittance" [of earnings above the statutory 6% the Fed is allowed to earn on its "investments"] as more a "licensing fee" the Fed is more than willing to pay to the government to keep their monopoly privilege.

2. That leads to the greatest "theft" by the Fed since it was created in 1913. It happened in October, 2008. On that date, the Fed announced it was to begin paying interest [to their member banks] on reserve deposits held [for the member banks] at the Fed. My Spidey senses perked up (ok, it was actually my CPA senses):

A) The Fed begins paying interest to the banks (on their deposits)

B) "Interest" payments are an expense of a corporation (which the Fed is)

C) That reduces the Fed's profit

D) Since the Fed is allowed to earn 6% by law, they continue to get that 6%

E) Those interest payments to their member banks merely reduce the amount of profit (left over after that 6% is grabbed by the Fed) which is turned over to the Treasury!

It's as if the Treasury just took money given to them by the Fed's annual remittance, and handed it back out to the Fed's member banks -- thus depriving the government (us!) of that money. Talk about greed!

And how much are we talking about here? Well, in 2015 the Fed's remittance to Treasury (for the year) was $97.7 billion. And how much was the Fed's interest payments to its member banks, which came out of that remittance? $7 billion! And surprise, surprise -- in every year since, the amount of the Fed's total annual remittance to Treasury has gone down . . .


Feb 17, 2019 - 7:09pm

Rickshaw...

Thanks for your post.

If I can document your claim about ownership, I think I could publish an extended version of this short essay in a national journal. Kelter made many sophistic moves in her short lecture that will gt the attention of my colleagues. I am a out of my expertise somewhat here, not knowing everything about the FED, but my gut says that the argument is correct, and your expertise is supporting it.

I need to find a statement from within the FED that establishes its independence from the USG, admiting it is privately controlled. THAT will refute MMT.

I should also mention a correction here. MMT goes beyond socialism. The theory holds that we do not need to tax the rich, but can simply print the money needed for Sanders', or Ocasio-Cortez's plans for our nation.

Angry Chef
Feb 17, 2019 - 7:11pm
RickshawETF Doctor J
Feb 17, 2019 - 7:46pm

Here's the reference from the

Here's the reference from the Fed's own website, that they have shareholders, and pay a dividend to them:

https://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/appendix-b-dividends.htm

Obviously, the U.S. Government has no shareholders, as it's not a corporation . . .

My two references that got me to this source was either David Morgan or G. Edward Griffen, as I recall. Nose around that area of the Fed's site, and you may find more evidence.

Good hunting!

silver10sguy
Feb 17, 2019 - 8:18pm

Great Article Doctor J

How in the hell did we get to this point in time. We are either totally screwed or President Trump & the Q team better lock up all the criminals and create a new monetary system!

AGXIIK
Feb 17, 2019 - 9:02pm

DR J Thank you for refuting MMT and its fellow travelers

Wow! That was well done

Here is my hope.

Kelton's words could be subtly retasked to another purpose such as genocide, war, euthanasia, private pension plan conversions and other seemingly sound and preferred items on the government genocide agenda, we the people; people of color, national origin, religion, sexual preference or gender have seen in the last 100 years these moist pronouncements to be quite painful.

I don't say this to be greedy or obtuse but I would like to live in some modicum of comfort as long as I can. A 50 year slog to get to my age of 66, with 2 weeks and a wake up to 67, IMO deserves a little peace of mind. This thinking and feeling might be shared by a few others on these boards.

Listening to the wrecking crew of socialists, progressives and supplicants to the Modern Monetary Theory, a shake and bake version of any number of theories that have been traced back to a time when Roman emperors decided empire building had to come on the backs of the Roman slaves, citizens and territories, I am not sanguine that we will get past this insanity without some pain.

I was musing today where I'd be in 30 years.

The picture of AGX gliding down the halls of Dole Geezer Arms, leaving my government paid for 90 square foot micro pod, I'm lofted 3 inches above the rumpled, stained paisley carpet by my government paid for thorium powered Crown Vic HovrRWalkR, listening to Muzak pumping out Queen 'We will we will rock you', visions of Betty White GGILF pornies hosed straight into my brain stem via a government paid for Tesla Apple cyber neural interface chip buried in my right mastoid process, comfortably numb and continually erect thanks to government paid for GSKPhizAbbott sindenafil-thorazine subcutaneous pumps, I scroll vidies of every female resident of the Arms to find the one in maximum rutitude.

My HovRWalkR is tasked to zero the object of my affections and ere****s, I dream the dreams of the somnolent seniors slaved 24/7 to government paid for Tinder4Fogys.

Uh, probably not.

It's more likely we'll be carried to the Soylent corporation ala EG Robinson by scoops, with a 20 minute musical serenade and whoosh, down the ramp to Sweeney Todd the Barber.

boomer sooner
Feb 17, 2019 - 9:11pm

Dr J. From past research

Dr J. From past research buried in the forums.

Federal Reserve NOT Government Agency

At least not "within meaning" of Federal Tort Claims Act.

https://nesara.org/court_summaries/lewis_v_united_states.htm

Court Cases Cited Within This Web Site

Lewis v. United States, 680 F.2d 1239 (9th Cir. 1982)

John L. Lewis was injured by a vehicle owned and operated by a federal reserve bank, and brought action alleging jurisdiction under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The District Court dismissed the case by ruling that the federal reserve bank was not a federal agency within meaning of the Federal Tort Claims Act and the court therefore lacked subject-matter jurisdiction. The Appeals court affirmed the decision.

The court stated “Examining the organization and function of the Federal Reserve Banks, and applying the relevant factors, we conclude that the Reserve Banks are not federal instrumentalities for purpose of the FTCA, but are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations.”

However, this does not imply, as so many wrongly interpret, that private individuals own the banks for the court also stated “Each Federal Reserve Bank is a separate corporation owned by commercial banks in its region. The stockholding commercial banks elect two thirds of each Bank’s nine member board of directors. The remaining three directors are appointed by the Federal Reserve Board. The Federal Reserve Board regulates the Reserve Banks, but direct supervision and control of each Bank is exercised by its board of directors. 12 U.S.C. Sect. 301. The directors enact by-laws regulating the manner of conducting general Bank business, 12 U.S.C. Sect. 341, and appoint officers to implement and supervise daily Bank activities. These activities include collecting and clearing checks, making advances to private and commercial entities, holding reserves for member banks, discounting the notes of member banks, and buying and selling securities on the open market. See 12 U.S.C. Sub-Sect. 341–361.

Serving a federal purpose does not necessarily imply being a federal agency.

https://www.tfmetalsreport.com/forum/6327/lawful-money?page=1#comments


Feb 17, 2019 - 9:49pm

Hmmm

Yet another epic AGXIIK post.

Boomer,

Thanks. When a Federal judge says the FED is not part of the Gov, then people ought to take notice. I plan to keep working this essay. Perhaps I can submit a lengthy version to the journal Rhetoric and Public Affairs.

J

Angry Chef
Feb 17, 2019 - 10:59pm
SteveW
Feb 17, 2019 - 11:57pm

MMT

The talk seems to be incredibly superficial and so is MMT as I understand it. It addresses a single issue in macro-economics and fails to thoroughly examine our monetary system. We are all here on a PM website because we have some understanding of the currency ponzi, but since there may be newer members I will make a more lengthy post.

So what is MMT. In essence:

G-T = S - I Government spending - Taxation = private Saving - Investment.

According to Robert Murphy that is a tautology (right up your alley Doc) and he says "so what"

https://mises.org/library/upside-down-world-mmt

Ms. Kelton says: "When the government runs deficits they borrow, that's how the government currently does things." Ah yes the Treasury two-step so elegantly explained by Mike Mahoney in his excellent "Hidden Secrets of Money" video series. In the two step the government cause Treasury bonds to be printed which are then sold as interest bearing instruments to primary dealers for currency (or the electronic equivalent). The dealers take their cut and sell the bonds to investors including the Federal Reserve. So the currency is issued at interest and the money is debt money.

Ellen Brown in her book "Web of Debt" explains why this is unsustainable, unless there is a continually expanding pool of debt to pay the interest and Mike Maloney has terrific graphics showing that when debt is repaid the loaned currency ceases to exist. If only a fraction of global debt were repaid there would be no currency! The total debt far exceeds the currency principal. His video series should be required viewing. Of course the rentiers (people who live on investments or debt slaves) are quite happy to loan more currency and live off the labour of others.

Now only about 5% of circulating currency is in the form of coins and banknotes and the rest is issued by banks in return for mortgages etc. This short video is suitable for educating young children owing to its simplicity.

The Goldsmiths Tale

So why, as a sovereign, does the US Treasury issue money as debt and not simply issue and spend debt free money into circulation in payment for goods and services. Well at one time there were competing currencies but the silver certificates were phased out and could not be redeemed for silver dollars after 1968.

President Kennedy ordered the issuance of US Treasury notes in June of 1963. The order allowed for the production of over $4 billion. These notes were withdrawn after the November assassination.

President Lincoln financed the Northern government during the civil was by producing debt free sovereign notes that were used to pay for the goods the government needed.

In this way he did not have to borrow from European bankers at the 24% to 36% interest rates they were offering.

So while MMT is quite correct that the Treasury can issue currency they should aim for direct issuance of debt free currency. The reason given why this has been subverted to the Federal Reserve is that politicians are not capable of holding the purse strings and their fiscal excesses would lead to rampant inflation so monetary control is much better handled by the professionals at the Fed. Well, we can see how that worked out.

AKA AuAgforever AIJ
Feb 18, 2019 - 12:26am

sigh.....

All I hear is that, " The FED cannot keep printing because it's not right"

Sure, they will stop because it's not right........

The reality is that the FED cannot create an environment of normalized interest rates in an economy of massive debt. They proved this when they stopped raising rates....they are trapped...

What is next? Cutting rates? Then negative rates? Then what? More Yellow Vest action?

It doesn't matter as long as the following keeps happening:

  • As long as other countries accept the USD for goods in trade the game continues
  • As long as the miners sell precious metals at the manipulated paper price the game continues.

Some of this massive amount of Fiat will leak out into other sectors....find those and you can stay in the game......

AKA AuAgforever AIJ
Feb 18, 2019 - 9:58am
goldcom
Feb 18, 2019 - 10:01am

Interviewer and Chris Martinson discuss MMT

I have watched Dr Kelton explain it and I suppose it would have a pass with most Americans that have little to no experience or study of monetary systems, but I agree with the guy that interviews Martinson it is just an excuse to spend money.

This clip they discuss MMT at 7:50 among other things you may find interesting.

Chris Martenson - Dark Financial Clouds Forming
canary
Feb 18, 2019 - 10:03am

I doubt I'll be selling anything this year...

Regardless how bearish the COT will become....Any profit taking or pullback should be shallow...and I will accumulate.

When it comes to selling, I'm a chicken type personality...or rather canary-type. That's why I lost a lot when gold, silver and miners went all the way down.


Feb 18, 2019 - 11:09am

Great job, DrJ!

Just thought I would stop by to add that, though Comex is closed, the metals still traded in London and palladium just hit new ALLTIME highs!

chocolatechiphorses
Feb 18, 2019 - 11:59am

Great Post Dr J

Great comments as well.

Thank You All.

Joseph Warren
Feb 18, 2019 - 12:12pm

Debt Jubilee

This article and the various comments by Turdites display a far deeper understanding of economics than you will generally find in government, academia, the media, or among a brainwashed public. - - We The People are trapped in a counterfeiters Ponzi scam. We are the collateral for made-up-outta-thin-air Nothing 'debt'. This is what 'the full faith and credit of the United States' means - - they can steal ('tax') your real property and your labor from you to satisfy this fake 'debt', which can never be satisfied.. Many of the American founders warned against this. These men recognized what real commodity money is and wrote it into the US Constitution. The 'dollar' was nothing more than the name given for a certain quantity and purity of precious metal. Gold & silver cannot be conjured up outta thin air.

Historian Michael Hudson's ideas on debt Jubilee seemed 'nutty' to me when I first encountered them several years ago. I was introduced to Hudson's ideas by an article written by Paul Craig Roberts. - - The 'debt' is an illusion. Like all Ponzi scams, it must be constantly rolled over & expanded to keep it from immediately collapsing. When it reaches that inevitable point, a new name for the same ole ' con is rolled out (Bank of International Settlements/ SDR next time ?) This is why government spending constantly grows. This is why there are never ending wars; wars are expensive & keep the Ponzi going. This is why there is the growing police state - to keep an eye on the increasingly grumbling population of serfs. The serfdom treadmill will never stop until all the fake 'debt' is repudiated and we return to the US Constitution.

Yes, there will be a lot of pain associated with this. But historically, wars have been used to re-set the game board at the cost of millions of lives. How 'bout we just call a Jubilee on the unpayable fake 'debt' and start all over without the mass murder of the debt serfs this time around ?

Read Michael Hudson's books with an open mind & you'll likely find that he makes a lotta sense.

AgstAger
Feb 18, 2019 - 12:41pm

MMT is a fancy new name for an age old fraud.

Terrific post Doc. I’ve been trying to alert my friends to MMT for about a month now. I don’t see it as novel at all. The justification that a sovereign can never default because it prints its own fiat is a truism, but entirely beside the point. Moreover, I don’t believe the fact that the USG and the FED are separate entities matters either.

Assuming the USG did print its currency to pay its bills directly rather than via borrowing, the result would be no different so far as I can see. Regardless of whether the USG prints to pay bills directly or uses the FED to create money which it borrows, creditors and investors will ultimately demand value for value. Creditors won’t give $1 in value in exchange for a diluted $1 in return forever. Similarly, investors won’t lend to the government $1 in exchange for a 2% return when the USD is being devalued faster than 2%.

To my mind, MMT is just another rather obvious lie. It says that money printing, not productivity, creates wealth and economic expansion. It assumes that people (creditors and/or investors) will act irrationally in response to economic prompts. Sometimes they do act irrationally. Sometimes people can be fooled, for a while. But ultimately, they don’t act irrationally. Ultimately they act in their own economic best interest. It’s not in anyone’s best interest to lend higher value in exchange for lower value in return.

Like all money printing schemes, MMT can end only one way, in a deeply devalued dollar and exploding interest rates.

To take a corollary of a famous Shakespeare line, a turd by any other name still smells like shit. The turd in our story is money printing, or, more specifically, money debasement. MMT is just a new fancy name for an old turd.

jack3617
Feb 18, 2019 - 12:45pm

Dr J

Great article! Thanks for your thoughts & time.

Angry Chef
Feb 18, 2019 - 12:53pm
Angry Chef
Feb 18, 2019 - 12:55pm

Honest Government Ad | A message for People Smugglers

Honest Government Ad | A message for People Smugglers (MedEvac Bill)
cashonly
Feb 18, 2019 - 1:32pm

Only at TFM

Only at TFM can I read a BULLSHIT article and enjoy it!

AgstAger
Feb 18, 2019 - 1:41pm

Craig, I'd like to suggest this post and thread be made public.

It's a good opportunity to show folks what goes on here outside of PM discussions. More importantly, MMT is an up and coming justification for making matters worse. It would be a good public service for members here to be able to share it. Thanks for considering.
AgstAger
Feb 18, 2019 - 1:56pm

It IS public

How can you tell? On the homepage, posts with this key are Vault only.

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