Friday , November 22 2019
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Devin Smith

Devin Smith



Articles by Devin Smith

Trump: The Most Corrupt President in US History

4 days ago

So says NEP’s former federal investigator Bill Black, who defines with fine detail what will likely be emerging from the impeachment hearings in this appearance on The Real News Network. You can view with transcript here.
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Wray Appearing Before Congress

5 days ago

L. Randall Wray will be providing testimony for Congress on November 20 at 10 am. The topic is the government debt and deficits. His full statement will be available at 10:30AM at the Levy Institute. His goal is to explain a) why we needn’t fear sovereign government deficits and debt; b) why in some important sense, deficits and rising debt are “normal”; c) the deficit is in any case largely outside the control of Congress; d) deficits and rising debt ratios will not lead to government insolvency or bankruptcy; e) all government payments can be made on time, unless f) Congress forces a default (due to the debt ceiling it imposes). The statement will provide a lot of new data related to these topics.
The link to the webcast

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Is it Cynical to Believe the System is Corrupt?

September 4, 2019

While a new poll shows most US citizens believe the political and economic system is rigged against them, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren also echo this sentiment. Some conservatives are now pushing back. But what says the evidence? NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News Network and analyzes the situation. You can view here with a transcript.
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Trump’s China Trade War Increases Risk of Recession

August 12, 2019

Trump accuses China of currency manipulation because their currency devalued in the wake of his tariffs. However, as NEP’s Bill Black explains, this accusation has no basis in fact. Instead, Trump’s trade war only increases the likelihood of a recession. You can view here with transcript.
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Why Is Homeownership Among Blacks Lower Than Ever?

July 19, 2019

Segregation and housing discrimination are affecting Black homeownership today as much as in the days before the 1964 Civil Rights Act. What happened and how can this be reversed? NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News Network and discusses this. You can view here with transcript.
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Facebook’s Libra Currency Monetizes Identity and Threatens Privacy

July 8, 2019

NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News Network and discusses Feacebook’s new proposed crypto-currency, called “Libra.” Facebook could use this technology to standardize identity and create a world of ultimate surveillance, and then profit from it. You can view here with a transcript.
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Billions Stolen From Black Families by Predatory Lending

June 24, 2019

NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News Network and analyzes the new study, “The Plunder of Black Wealth in Chicago,” opening the way for a fruitful conversation about reparations and our future. You can view here with a transcript.
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United Technologies – Raytheon Merger Is the Definition of Crony Capitalism

June 17, 2019

Trump opposes the merger of these two arms manufacturers, which would create the world’s largest such corporation, but why? NEP’s Bill Black appears on the Real News Network and gives us the interesting answer as well as explores why these mergers are dangerous and on the rise. You can view here with a transcript.
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How to Pay for the Green New Deal – Levy Institute

May 31, 2019

L. Randall Wray
How to Pay for the Green New DealWORKING PAPER NO. 931 | May 2019
This paper follows the methodology developed by J. M. Keynes in his How to Pay for the War pamphlet to estimate the “costs” of the Green New Deal (GND) in terms of resource requirements. Instead of simply adding up estimates of the government spending that would be required, we assess resource availability that can be devoted to implementing GND projects. This includes mobilizing unutilized and underutilized resources, as well as shifting resources from current destructive and inefficient uses to GND projects. We argue that financial affordability cannot be an issue for the sovereign US government. Rather, the problem will be inflation if sufficient resources cannot be diverted to the GND. And if

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ZEN and the Art of Modern Money—Part 3

May 13, 2019

MMT for People in a Hurry
By J.D. ALT
POST #3  (Post #1, Post #2)
OPERATION #2—The federal government buys something big for the collective good.
NOTE: A much appreciated comment at Naked Capitalism re: Post#1 suggested that the term “Combustion Chamber” was misleading since the “fuel” (money) put into the chamber is not burned as in a motorcycle engine but is redistributed to other accounts. I was planning to point this out further into the narrative but the comment showed that would be too late. So, beginning now, I’ve changed the name “Combustion Chamber” to “Production/Consumption (P/C) Chamber,” of which we have two: a Public P/C Chamber and a Private P/C Chamber.
OPERATION #1 looked at a transaction in private commerce—an exchange of money occurring in the Private P/C Chamber

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How Far Can We Push This Thing? Some Optimistic Reflections on the Potential For Economic Experimentation

April 29, 2019

Crossposted from Phil Pilkington’s Blog – Fixing the Economists.
Readers are probably aware that there is quite a lot of discussion of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and the potential for fiscal experimentation batting around at the moment. Others have weighed in on this already, and I have little to add.
It is striking, however, that most of the push-back — where there is push-back — is not focused on trying to discredit the idea that we should engage in fiscal experimentation. Indeed, the notion that we should engage in fiscal experimentation seems to be, if not mainstream, at the very least part of the discussion.
Yet, vulgar strawman-style arguments against MMT aside, no one seriously disputes the fact that if too much fiscal expansion is undertaken the economy will eventually hit a

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New York Sues Big Pharma for Opioid Crisis

April 15, 2019

Sackler and PurduePharma profited from “suffering and death,” NYC AG Letitia James says. NEP’s Bill Black discusses the case on The Real News Network. You can view with a transcript here.
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Democracies With Sovereign Currencies Can Dance

April 11, 2019

By Anonymous
April 9, 2019
The mainstream attack on MMT is nothing less than an attempt to disguise the glaringly obvious error at the center of the mainstream view of economic thinking.  Mainstream economics is a nihilistic theory devoid of moral anchor.  Mainstream economics ceased to explore the operation of the real economy decades ago and has become an intellectual exercise that assumes the organization of modern society is justified simply because that is how it is.  While some mainstream economists may want to tinker around the edges to make the system more fair few really want to call into question the organizing realities.  The biggest reality they do not wish to face is that money is a symbolic creation rather than an actual productive resource.
Mainstream economics

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MMT, Models, Multidisciplinarity

April 8, 2019

By Pavlina R. Tcherneva
The attacks on MMT are taking a comical turn. A recent one, courtesy of Noah Smith, takes aim at a paper I wrote in the 90s titled “Monopoly Money: The State as a Price Setter”.
It focused on a key MMT idea—that the currency-issuing monopolist (just like any other monopolist) is a price setter. The economics that I was taught didn’t even consider the implications. So I wrote down a few equations to look at different scenarios of prices paid and real resources purchased by a currency-issuing government, given the level of aggregate tax liability and private saving desires.
The paper was followed by other empirical work from the MMT community. So, while I initially started responding to Noah’s hysterical blog, I decided to say a few words about the implications

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The Incoherence of a Serious Economist

March 6, 2019

By J.D. ALT
Lawrence Summers, according to Lawrence Summers, is a “serious economist.” He has just written an op-ed in the Washington Post in which he seriously explains why Modern Money Theory—as proposed by “fringe economists,” as he calls them—is a recipe for disaster. I am going to leave it to the “fringe economists” to rebut Mr. Summers; (I’m confident that professors Wray, Kelton, Tcherneva, Tymoigne, and Fullwiler can take care of that job quite easily). What I want to consider is something even more fundamental: How is it that someone who presents himself as a “serious economist” can get away with speaking incoherently while expecting us—the everyday citizens of America—to take what he is saying as true?
Here is Summers’ first point about why MMT is a recipe for disaster:

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Middle Class Loses, Plutocrats Win With Trump’s Tax Cuts

March 1, 2019

Trump’s “middle class tax cut” is a tax hike. NEP’s Bill Black says Trump could have been a popular President, if he hadn’t lied about middle class tax cuts and building infrastructure in Bill’s latest appearance on The Real News Network. You can view with transcript here.
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Cryptocurrency Firms Regularly Lose Codes and Money

February 12, 2019

Recent developments in the cryptocurrency world highlight the dangers of trading in this type of “coin.” But how important is cryptocurrency to the financial world and why should we care? NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News to discuss this. You can view with transcript here.
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Understanding Modern Money – Video

January 27, 2019

Randall Wray presents in English the German version of his book “Understanding Modern Money”. The intro is in German, Randy’s presentation is in English.
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How Immoral are Laissez Faire Ideologues? Ask about Drones.

December 20, 2018

William K. Black
December 17, 2018     Bloomington, MN
In 1983, Federal Home Loan Bank Board Chairman Richard (Dick) Pratt published his Agenda for Reform about how to deal with the savings and loan debacle.  He had just made that debacle inevitable by deregulating and desupervising the industry.  In his Agenda, he called for some protective steps (none of which he took or even proposed as rules), but overwhelmingly called for more deregulation and desupervision while promising that the raging fraud epidemic he had super-charged could not occur.
Pratt put three quotations on the front and back covers of his Agenda.  Two of the passages admitted his knowledge that deregulating and desupervising the industry at a time when it was endemically insolvent could greatly increase losses.

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Who Said This?

December 6, 2018

William K. Black
Associate Professor of Economics and Law, UMKC
December 5, 2018     Bloomington, MN  55437
I cannot write many blogs during the fall semesters because I teach four classes (I co-teach one of them).  The fall term of instruction at UMKC is now over so I am writing one piece before turning to grading.  I have recently done additional research on a topic I know is of great interest – the prosecution of elite white-collar criminals.  I have organized it in the form of a game in which the reader guesses who authored the quoted passage.
Which President described the elite banksters of his era as “charlatans, chiselers and cheats?”
Which Vice President criticized prosecutions, enforcement actions, and even safety rules for the elite white-collar criminals of his era in these

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