Since the last-but-one financial crisis abated and governments responded to better times by clawing back their stimulus packages, a once-obscure economic philosophy has been gaining a growing following on the left. But, following the extraordinary policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic, even some conservative commentators and policy makers are showing an interest in Modern Monetary Theory or MMT.
Not so fast, warns Gerald Epstein in his What's Wrong with Modern Money Theory? A Policy Critique
(Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). While this progressive economist welcomes any resistance to austerian economics and the policy rethink that the new theory is triggering, he warns against MMT's seductive appeal and its significant practical shortcomings.
co-directs the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Tim Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley Global Advisors (FT Group) in London.