Money Matters

Economics, Banking, Finance, and Supply Chains

Who else in the MMT universe is worth paying attention to? Part 3

MMT Economists (sort of): Image of Mark Blyth and David Graeber
This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Who figured out Modern Monetary Theory?

Since Warren Mosler accidently created this MMT thing, what is considered to be a new school of economic thought (or perhaps it’s a subset of the post Keysenians school – I’m not sure), it has come to the attention of what I’ll call “real” economists, and political economists, and others, by which I mean people with PhDs who teach economics and/or political economics and/or public policy at Universities.

The list of people I identify in this series is by no means all inclusive. I’m stumbling across more economists who accept the implications of having a sovereign currency and floating exchange rates every month. As such, this list should grow over time.

Mark Blyth

Mark Blyth is a Professor of International and Public Affairs at The Watson Institute at Brown University.

Technically, he’s not an economist, as all his degrees are in political science.

This dude is one of my top two favorite economists, even though he’s not really an economist. Not because he necessarily knows the most, or is the best at explaining complex concepts in simple terms (although he is pretty good at that), but because he’s so damn entertaining.

And yes, as he points out in some of his public talks, his Scottish accent does sound like Shrek.

I read somewhere he used to do stand up comedy. I read someplace else that someone just made that up. Either way, he would make a great Stand Up Economist, if that was a thing.

He’s also someone who does not straight out identify as an MMT economist, but definitely talks MMT concepts in his lectures.

Mark came to fame when he accurately predicted both the outcomes of the UK Brexit election and the US election of Donald Trump several months prior to those elections occurring.

He claims they’re both symptoms of a broader economic dynamic he calls Trumpism (Trump being the most well known example).

His analysis is sufficiently compelling that he seems to be the economic darling of both Tucker Carlson of Fox AND Jimmy Dore. Both of them have said he’s one of the smartest people they’ve ever interviewed.

He is currently a professor of international political economy at Brown University’s department of political science.

He is the author of a well-known book titled “Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea”, the co-author of “Angrynomics“, and regularly lectures on this topic.

His twitter handle is @MkBlyth.

David Graeber (not an Economist)

David Graeber is not an economist. He’s an anthropologist who taught at the London School of Economics before he died in Sep of 2020. While he died during Covid, my understanding is he did not die of Covid.

He came across as a bit of weird guy for what one might call an “establishment academic”, which is a label he might have rejected.

He is considered an incredibly good anthropologist, although I’m so far removed from anthropology that I have no idea what that even means.

He gets a VERY special mention in this blog because it was while watching a video of him talking about a book he wrote about the history of debt “Debt, The First 5,000 Years” when I had my eureka moment, and all the bits and pieces of information I had heard about MMT suddenly snapped into a coherent framework.

He is also the author of the book “Bullshit Jobs: A Theory”.

He was involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011 from at or near the beginning, before the movement setup their occupy camp in Zuccotti Park.

I heard someone else (wish I could remember who) credit him with one day throwing out the phrase “We are the 99%”.

His twitter handle was @davidgraeber, but obviously has now gone silent.


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