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MMTed Q&A – Episode 3

I am going to use the Wednesday blog post for the time being as the place I publish our weekly MMTed Q&A series. There will also be some music for those who like to find some different music. I have just published – MMTed Q&A Episode 3 – on the MMTed YouTube channel (see overleaf). We covered some interesting questions and I hope you find it interesting. This episode is considerably shorter than the first two as we experiment with formats and improve the editing process.

MMTed Q&A – Episode 3

This is Episode 3 in the MMTed Q&A series.

It features Dr Dirk Ehnts from Samuel Pufendorf Society for Political Economy, which is based in Berlin.

He last book (2017) was – Modern Monetary Theory and European Macroeconomics – published by Routledge.

The two questions we discuss in this episode are:

1. “Could we have more details on MMT analysis of the process of destruction of/exit from fiat monetary unions like the Eurozone? (this was posed by Andrea)

2. “What would be the best option for the Eurozone to finance the appropriate and necessary extra spending by Member States in the current crisis? (this was posed by Julius).

The video goes for 22:05 minutes. We are working towards making the segment shorter.

This is the – YouTube link – for the video.

Some observations:

1. This series is an experiment – searching for a format that satisfies the myriad of requests I get from blog readers to deliver a regular Q&A via video.

I am not yet convinced that this is the best way to do it. And I will be varying the format next week somewhat (shorter more modular approach) to see whether that works better.

2. I am also not happy with the use of Zoom in this context.

The quality of the final audio and video is heavily dependent on too many influences that are well beyond my control.

At our end, we have high speed Internet but the Zoom interaction also depends on the quality of connection, types of computers etc used by my guests, and, the state of the Internet in between.

Combined, we are finding it difficult to get the quality audio and video that we desire.

I am not sure of what the solution is, if we want to continue having interesting guests appear, especially now that we are unable to travel and meet face-to-face.

So we are exploring options in this regard – perhaps we could get guests provide the video answers themselves without using Zoom.

That cuts down interaction but might work better.

3. We are also constrained in staffing capacity which means we do not have a dedicated audio-visual capacity yet.

So, overall, we are experimenting and may drop the whole project.

We will see.

Call for MMTed Support

We are working towards beginning course delivery in September.

But we still need significant sponsors for this venture to ensure that we can run the educational program with negligible fees and to ensure it is sustainable over time.

If you are able to help on an ongoing basis that would be great. But we will also appreciate of once-off and small donations as your circumstances permit.

You can contribute in one of two ways:

1. Via PayPal – which is our preferred vehicle for receiving donations.

The PayPal donation button is available via the MMTed Home Page or via the – Donation button – on the right-hand menu of this page (below the calendar).

2. Direct to MMTed’s Bank Account.

Please write to me to request account details.

Please help if you can.

Paul Butterfield – East-West

I dug this out this morning because I was thinking about 1950s Fender telecasters, for no other reason than I sometimes think about them. I have never owned one, having been a stratocaster player (mostly), and have rarely played one.

But the sound that Mike Bloomfield – extracted from his guitar when he was hot was hot. And influential.

Mike Bloomfield was the guitar player in the Butterfield Blues Band along with – Elvin Bishop.

Paul Butterfield – was the front man and harmonica legend. He died young – too many drugs.

But it was a mighty band with mighty players. Only Elvin Bishop, Jerome Arnold (bass) and Mark Natfalin (piano) survive today.

Their 1966 album – East-West – came out when I was just starting to be aware of things (early high school).

This track East-West reflected the influence that Miles Davis brought to the band through the release of the 1959 album – Kind of Blue – which introduced modal scales to jazz.

Reports say that when they did this sort of jazz-blues fusion number live they could jam for up to an hour. I wanted to jam for hours too. It was the era!

The other great song from the Album is Never Say No, where Paul Butterfield’s voice comes to the fore.

That is enough for today!

(c) Copyright 2020 William Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

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    This Post Has 4 Comments
    1. The problem we face in countries like Spain is that we have a double lock that won’t let us out of austerity:
      There is the Maastricht treaty with its SGP. Yes, the limits thereof have been temporarily suspended (escape clause). Yes, in theory, governments can run a deficit this year and the ECB will buy their debt instruments. But, this is temporary. A temporary walk outside the cell in the prison yard is not freedom and is hardly an incentive to increase spending as needed, especially when you know that you will be back in the cell in a shrot time. The authorities know that next year they might have to manage a debt reduction path.
      Then there is the Neoliberal ideology of the cabinet members: Minister of Economy Calviño is a former officer at the EC, Minister of Finance Montero was a regional Minister in Andalucia known for her ruthlessness in introducing spending cuts and the Prime Minister Sánchez was one of the authors of the budget deficit limit ammendment to the Constitution. These people are ideologically predisposed to austerity.
      Spain has increased spending but not sufficiently. Most of the effort comes in the form of bank guarantees and automatic stabiliizers.
      Many people in the Government predict a V shape recovery. I believe that they will be dissappointed.

    2. The Butterfield Blues Band played a concert at my high school in Rochester NY USA in 1968. Unfortunately, both Bloomfield and Bishop had left the band by that point. Nonetheless, it prompted some of us to buy the band’s earlier albums. At least two local bands incorporated numbers from the East-West album into their repertoires. I bought East-West in 1968 and cherish it to this day. I was later able to hear Bloomfield play in San Francisco in 1973, but he was a musician who really needed to be challenged by other musicians to achieve his peak and that particular evening was not like that.

      The scope and the tragedy of Mike Bloomfield’s music and life is excellently captured in David Dann’s “Guitar King: Michael Bloomfield’s Life in the Blues” (2019).

    3. Legal or not the ECB should just buy the bonds now and cancel the debt sometime soon.
      This takes away the long term threat of the 60% of GDP limit on the national debt. In fact the ECB should IMHO cancel all Gov. debt over the 60% limit for all EU nations (it can buy the non-euro Gov. national bonds with euros, right?)
      Then nations can, at least, start with a clean slate.
      Even better the ECB can let southern EU nations sell bonds and put the money into a bank somewhere for later. [Ya’ll right, that’s not going to happen.]
      .

    4. Thank you so much for these MMT ed sessions. Really interesting. Definitely worth it. There is plenty of good introductory MMT material out there. There are plenty of academic papers. But then there is a gap to be filled between the academic papers (which are quite challenging) and the basics for those who have a good grounding but aren’t up to the tough stuff.

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