MMT stands for Modern Money Theory, a title that attached itself to the study of how money works right now, in our current fiat system. As such, it isn’t actually a theory–it’s fact–but the term “theory” seems to be stuck to it for good. Deal with it.
Currently we are plagued with immense amounts of misinformation about how money systems work. When president Nixon ditched the gold standard in 1971 possibilities opened up that were and are not well-understood even by bankers themselves. Over time, these options were discovered and used, but until now, never formally studied or documented. Luckily, one banker, Warren Mosler, noticed that what he was actually doing as a banker did not comport with what the economics textbooks taught, and he began discussing it with academic economists and wrote a book: The Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds. As a result, some brilliant researchers at the University of Missouri, Kansas City saw the potential and set out to explore the policy ramifications and explain it in plain language–an endeavor that they’ve done so well that MMT is now gaining ground in the economics world and is beginning to bring some clarity to the policy space.
For anyone just investigating monetary systems I highly recommend the following two videos:
For the *fun* introduction see Warren Mosler – Soft Currency Economics – Need for Larger Deficits and Lower Taxes.
And this one by Dr. Wray goes into the history of money and credit, gives the story of how the study of MMT came about and goes on to explain in crystal-clear language how present-day money systems work. Very pleasant introduction: On the Intellectual Origins of Modern Money Theory
- This is a good intro to sovereign money systems: Modern Money–the way a sovereign currency works.
- The initial development of MMT grew out of a series of posts that have since been published as the book Modern Money Theory Primer and is a fascinating and very easy introduction.
- Exhaustive collection of MMT papers: Center for Full Employment and Price Stability Publications
- A good video intro is Why You and I Can’t Spend More Than We Bring In, but the Government Probably Should
Dr. Hudson is an entertaining speaker. His knowledge of history and economics is immense. This is a nice start: Michael Hudson: Money & Debt
- Dr. Hudson’s youtube channel: Dr. Michael Hudson – Economic Historian
Dr. Keen is an Australian economist who researches the role of private credit in the economy. He’s not precisely MMT school, but quite compatible with it, and his research is eye-opening, to put it mildly.
Bill Black is a white collar criminologist who was the lead investigator in the S&L crisis–the first financial disaster following deregulation. He is the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One. Here he is on the Bill Moyers Show: William K. Black on Bill Moyers Show
- Dr. Black’s Youtube channel: Dr. William K. Black
- Marshall Auerback on Inflation and Hyper-Inflation which answers the vital question “When will we turn into Weimar Germany and Zimbabwe?”
Nick Hanauer is an investor and millionaire, (Amazon.com among others), and his views on inequality should be taken seriously. He points out, quite reasonably, that businesses can’t sell stuff if no one is able to buy.