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Mike Norman

Mike Norman

Mike Norman is an economist and veteran trader whose career has spanned over 30 years on Wall Street. He is a former member and trader on the CME, NYMEX, COMEX and NYFE and he managed money for one of the largest hedge funds and ran a prop trading desk for Credit Suisse.

Articles by Mike Norman

House Approves Huge Military Budget, More War in Afghanistan — Glenn Greenwald

1 day ago

Military spending and endless war are about the only matters on which there is bipartisan agreement in US politics, other than favoring capital as foundational to policy because "growth," and "a rising tide lifts all boats."

Think this will change in the next election if the Democrats win? Think long and hard on that one.

In the first place, the military-industrial complex is entrenched in the economies of all congressional districts, incentivizing representatives of the people not to rock the boat. This is not accidental. It even has a name — "pork."

Secondly, the campaign donations needed for political campaigns come from the ownership class, because that is where the money is. Noting is going to change without meaningful campaign finance reform, ending lobbying, and locking

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The government has no money of its own?— Peter May

2 days ago

Now if Thatcher had said as she should have, that the government has actually got all the money but has no labour which it has to hire in, that would have been correct.

But the neoliberal financialisation of our society might have been stopped in its tracks.

The deification of her misunderstanding has been Conservative philosophy ever since and I’m pretty certain that subsequent Labour oppositions and indeed governments, were persuaded to believe much the same thing.
Progressive PulseThe government has no money of its own?
Peter MaySee also by Peter MayTaxpayers’ money doesn’t exist and is in the hands of the receivers

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The Left Case against Open Borders — Peter Turchin

2 days ago

About power.

Marx got this, so it was ruled out of polite conversation and conventional economics, which acknowledges power ("monopoly power") but seldom investigates it or calls it out. 

Adam Smith got it, too. That  is seldom mentioned though. Instead Adam Smith is misrepresented as basing his analysis on "the invisible hand" of the market, which Smith scholar Gavin Kennedy shows he did not do. It’s a fiction that seems to originate with Paul Samuelson.Cliodynamica — A Blog about the Evolution of CivilizationsThe Left Case against Open BordersPeter Turchin | professor at the University of Connecticut in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Mathematics, and the vice president of the Evolution Institute.

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Zero Hedge — Supreme Court: Nearly Half Of Oklahoma Is Indian Reservation

2 days ago

While all eyes were on the Supreme Court’s Thursday decision granting New York prosecutors access to President Trump’s taxes, a ruling earlier in the day recognized roughly half of Oklahoma as an Indian reservation – in a move which could have wide-ranging legal implications for the 1.8 million people who now live in "Indian Country," according to the New York Times.

The decision, authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch, holds the United States to an 1866 treaty that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation signed with the United States after the Civil War over land which was home to the "Five Civilized Tribes"; the Creek, Cherokee Nation, the Seminole, the Chickasaw Nation, and the Choctaw Nation, according to The New Republic.
The "Indians" (Native Americans) finally win a battle. Anyone familiar with

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What Is MMT? (Short Version) — Brian Romanchuk

2 days ago

My argument why MMT is awkward to grasp for people with already fixed views about economics is that we need to draw a distinction between two concepts of MMT: a narrow version (or core MMT), and a broad version. (This is my preferred wording, but is probably non-standard.) Most MMT primers on the internet focus on the definition of narrow MMT, while many of the interesting questions in economics (which show up in financial macro analysis) end up in broad MMT. It should come as no surprise that if you are interested in broad MMT, watching an online video about narrow MMT will leave a lot of questions unanswered. However, based on comments of MMT critics, this is exactly what many of them have done.

Finally, in the interest of brevity, I am presenting this overview from my perspective,

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Bill Mitchell — How hard is it for the government to create some jobs?

2 days ago

The – Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights – for the UN was released this week (July 7, 2020). It was Philip Alston’s last report in that role. It is a shocking indictment of the way neoliberalism has distorted our societies and the way the governments with the capacity to ‘move mountains should they wish’ have been co-opted as agents of capital and perpetuate those distortions. The Report is 19 pages of horror. It also resonates with the latest information coming out of Australia’s Closing the Gap campaign, which aims to bring indigenous Australians up to the material level of non-indigenous Australians. The first ten years of the campaign have been an abject failure. And the latest targets don’t inspire any confidence that the outcomes will be any

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Bill Mitchell – The Job Guarantee. MMT Episode 6

2 days ago

So, mainstream economists were all for more efficiency, eg, getting the trains running on time, but it put millions out of work and so the country become inefficient instead.With more unemployed, the government collects less taxes which means it needs to increase taxes on everyone else.More social programs are needed too, plus police & prisons when many of the destitute turn to drugs and crime. And more healthcare needed as poverty increases illness and stress.Is there a better way?Bill Mitchell – The Job Guarantee. MMT Episode 6
[embedded content]

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Modern monetary theory gets to Westminster — Richard Murphy

3 days ago

More high level exposure for MMT thanks to The Deficit Myth.Tax Research UKModern monetary theory gets to WestminsterRichard Murphy | Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City University, London; Director of Tax Research UK; non-executive director of Cambridge Econometrics, and a member of the Progressive Economy Forum

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‘Either you are fighting to eliminate exploitation or not’: A leftist critique of the Green New Deal — James Wilt interviews Max Ajl

3 days ago

But there has been growing criticism from some parts of the left of the proposed Green New Deal, particularly relating to its potential impacts on the Global South and undefined relationship with capitalism. There is no singular Green New Deal that exists–with plenty of debate among supporters of it–but it is possible to speak about the most popular version of it as proposed by the likes of Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders.

It’s a vision that scholar and author Max Ajl is deeply concerned about. Ajl is an associated researcher at the Tunisian Observatory for Food Sovereignty and the Environment and writes on rural development, especially in the Arab region. His book, A People’s Green New Deal, is forthcoming from Pluto Press in 2021.

His critiques of the Green New Deal are careful and

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Complex Ideas — Peter Radford

3 days ago

Important post on the philosophy (foundations) of economics as a discipline. Short for the amount of information it contains. Should read even though it is not directly relevant to MMT.In it indirectly relevant to MMT, however, in that it recognizes that the social world is complex, as is the biological world and to a lesser degree the physical world. MMT economists get this by taking an open-ended approach that assumes reflexivity (learning) and emergence (synergism) in complex adaptive systems.Conventional economists complain that MMT lack formal expression. Peter Radford explains why that is a distraction from the task at hand of explaining real world economies.Basic to this is the systems approach, but not through formal systems. Social science is more akin to biology than physics as

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MMTed Q&A – Episode 6 — Bill Mitchell

3 days ago

Here is Episode 6 in our weekly MMTed Q&A series. This is the second-part of my discussion on the Job Guarantee with Dr Pavlina Tcherneva and in this episode we discuss the central role that employment buffer stocks play in Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), a point that is often missed by those who think it is just a job creation program and of secondary (and dispensable) importance to the ‘banking’ aspects of MMT. As you will hear (and see), the Job Guarantee is an integral part of MMT and that status is derived from the elemental insights that MMT offers about the way a currency works. If a person thinks the Job Guarantee is an unnecessary add-on to MMT, then they haven’t understood the basics of MMT. It is as simple as that.
Point of clarification: Bill writes, "If a person thinks the Job

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A universal jobs guarantee is the bold new solution for how to bring back all the workers sidelined — Allana Akhtar

4 days ago

Pavlina Tcherneva, a Bard professor and one of the economists pioneering research into Modern Monetary Theory, said federally guaranteed jobs may address poverty and help communities better than universal basic incomes.
The coronavirus pandemic wiped out millions of jobs, and one report estimated that 17.6 million unemployed Americans may not return to their pre-pandemic jobs.
Tcherneva said guaranteeing a public service job could lead to improvements on community-wide issues like public health and access to food — while eradicating unemployment completely. 

Business Insider
A universal jobs guarantee is the bold new solution for how to bring back all the workers sidelined …
Allana Akhtar

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China’s yuan policy has made Hong Kong redundant — Paola Subacchi

4 days ago

Hong Kong no longer plays the same financial role for China as it once did. Most of the rest of the world hasn’t realized this yet. Hong Kong will continue as a financial hub of Asia, but it won’t be the top dog anymore, and it is not now. Shanghai aims to be the major competitor of New York and London in a world in which the renminbi (RMB) plays a major role.

The renminbi is the Chinese currency, and the yuan (CNY) is the unit of account. "Renminbi" means "the people’s currency" in Chinese.Nikkei Asian ReviewChina’s yuan policy has made Hong Kong redundant
Paola Subacchi
(h/t Automatic Earth)

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Mariana Mazzucato — Public Policy for Inclusive, Sustainable Growth

4 days ago

Public policy for public purpose, taking into consideration changed conditions.MARIANA MAZZUCATO — Economics – Innovation – Inclusive GrowthNo More Free-Lunch BailoutsThe coronavirus recovery is an opportunity to do everything differently, not go back to normal
Mariana Mazzucato | RM Phillips chair in the Economics of Innovation at SPRU in the University of Sussex

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Modern monetary theory: the rise of economists who say huge government debt is not a problem — John Whittaker

4 days ago

Another economist offers a weak criticism of MMT.The lack of affordability argument based on government as a big firm or household has been tossed in the trashing. The rebuttal is so obvious not one wants to touch it anymore.The pivot is to eventual inflation looming — some day. Like MMT economists have ignored that.The Conversation
Modern monetary theory: the rise of economists who say huge government debt is not a problem
John Whittaker | Senior Teaching Fellow in Economics, Lancaster University

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A Pair Of Weaker MMT Critiqiues… — Brian Romanchuk

4 days ago

I ran into a pair of MMT critiques recently. Since I am writing a chapter on MMT criticism, I want to see whether I can use them as material. Unfortunately, I am not sure whether either qualifies as being of enough interest to qualify for inclusion into my book. This is slightly surprising, since one of the articles was the John H. Cochrane review of The Deficit Myth that free marketeers were gushing about. I am noting these articles and making a quick response as a placeholder…. 
Bond EconomicsA Pair Of Weaker MMT Critiqiues…Brian Romanchuk

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Bill Mitchell – We can have full employment again in a green world

4 days ago

Must-read.
Last Saturday, the Weekend Australian, Rupert Murdoch’s daily national newspaper, had a relative Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) avalanche, with two core MMT-style articles published and two that were supportive rather than hostile. That tells you something about the way the world is shifting. I have received a bit of flack for publishing an Op-Ed piece in that newspaper from those who style themselves as Leftists. It is the same old argument – dealing with the devil. And the same old reply – if you want to influence policy then you have to talk to those who make policy. It is easy plotting revolutions over lunch. There has been a lot of groundwork laid over the last several months to bring people into the conversation. It is quiet stuff. Discreet. And as things unfold I will make

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Robert Kuttner – Neoliberalism: Political Success, Economic Failure

4 days ago

The invisible hand is more like a thumb
on the scale for the world’s elites. That’s why market fundamentalism has been
unmasked as bogus economics but keeps winning politically.

A long read, but excellent. 

Absolute freedom brings the opposite: oppression and control by the few. Libertarians and free market fundamentalists will give their blogs and sites names like, Liberty Radio, Liberty News, Learn Liberty, Freedom Radio, etc, but it’s not freedom they offer, but enslavement: a harsh boss, long hours at work, poor pensions, low quality health care, anxiety and fear. 

The grand neoliberal experiment of the past 40 years has demonstrated that markets in fact do not regulate themselves. Managed markets turn out to be more equitable and more efficient. Yet the theory and

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