Don't listen to NPR with your coffee, listen to Dirk Bezemer!
[I'm leaving this sticky, dammit! I'm tellin ya -- this is great stuff! --lambert]
This presentation is from the iNet "Paradigm Lost" conference in Berlin (which I think is Soros-funded). IIRC, last year there was some agita because no MMTers were invited to a "new economic thinking" conference; I'm not sure, offhand, if any where, but certainly we're not listening to neo-Keynesians here; this stuff is interesting and provocative.
Listen to the whole thing. My takeaways are:
1. The history of money and credit is fascinating and useful and should be reclaimed by the people. (The populists did this, IIRC.) “Go back to Bronze Age economics” sounds like a great piece of snark, and it is, it is, but it's also true: Both money and credit are social constructions, abstractions, things of the mind (and heart); there's really no reason to regard the Sumerians as less sophisticated then we are in their ability to create social constructions, even if they hadn't invented the cell phone.
2. The idea that when the financial sector gets too big, it stops investing in "fixed capital" (ya know, the real economy that makes lives better) and starts investing in itself (M - M', as a Marxian would say). I think the figure is that right now the FIRE sector is about 10 times as big as it should be, to be "socially useful," and one way or another, it's going to shrink.
Also, the picture of Bezemer saying all these things to a room that contains at least some number of central banksters and billionaires and sonte 1%ers is a hoot.
I'm tellin' ya, listen to the whole thing. It's super!