Thomas Palley has a new Op-Ed for The Globalist titled The U.S. Federal Reserve and Shared Prosperity in which he argues against ““pre-emptive inflation tightening” that sacrifices wage growth and full employment versus “testing the waters” that gives wage growth and full employment a chance.” He asks the Fed to abandon its 2% inflation target with many compelling reasons. The largely neoliberal economics profession has maintained that if inflation is low and stable, full-employment will take care of itself. Palley argues against this ideology.

The article is a short version of a full paper titled The Federal Reserve and Shared Prosperity: A Guide to the Policy Issues and Institutional Challenges.


The Federal Reserve is a hugely powerful institution whose policies ramify with enormous effect throughout economy. In the wake of the Great Recession, monetary policy focused on quantitative easing. Now, there is talk of normalizing monetary policy and interest rates. That conversation is important, but it is also too narrow and keeps policy locked into a failed status quo. There is need for a larger conversation regarding the entire framework for monetary policy and how central banks can contribute to shared prosperity. It is doubtful the US can achieve shared prosperity without the policy cooperation of the Fed. That makes understanding the Federal Reserve, the policy issues and institutional challenges, of critical importance.

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Derailed: Wynne Godley On The Euro Area

by Ramanan on 20 February 2015

I am in favour of Britain having much closer ties with other European countries, provided that appropriate institutions are created and the whole thing is brought under effective political control. But I have never been able to understand what it is that those who support the Maastricht Treaty think they are going to get out of it. Maastricht supporters are keen on ‘not being left out’. But left out of what exactly?

It seems clear that the Maastricht criteria for the establishment of ‘convergence’ were far too narrowly conceived. To fulfil the conditions necessary for a successful currency union it is not nearly enough that member countries agree to follow simple rules on budgetary policy and achieve some minimum period of low inflation and currency stability. They need to reach a degree of structural homogeneity such that shocks to the system as a whole do not normally affect component regions in drastically different ways. Moreover, arrangements should be made which ensure that when substantial changes of a structural kind do turn up the federal authority is equipped to share out any burden which ensues. It would be wrong to suppose that there exist well-defined ‘fault lines’ which can be cured once and for all. Structural changes are always going to be taking place as a consequence of political earthquakes, or for other reasons, and the Community must have some way of dealing with them.

– Wynne Godley, Derailed, 1993

A list of articles by Wynne Godley on the Euro Area:

  1. ‘Commonsense Route To A Common Europe’, Observer,  6 January 1991, page 28 (scan)
  2. ‘Maastricht And All That’, London Review of Books, Vol. 14 No. 19, 8 October 1992, pages 3-4 (link)
  3. ‘Derailed’, London Review of Books, Vol. 15 No. 16, 19 August 1993, page 9 (link, more here)
  4. ‘Curried EMU – The Meal That Fails To Nourish’, Observer, 31 August 1997, page 24 (scan)

Wynne-Godley-July-1981Wynne Godley, July 1981
(picture source)

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Anthony Thirlwall’s New Book On Keynesian And Kaldorian Economics

28 January 2015

During the global economic and financial crisis Keynes became popular again but Nicholas Kaldor’s ideas and the mention of the man himself didn’t take off as much. It’s unfortunate, as Kaldor played a huge role in the development of Keynesian economics itself. Kaldor’s own ideas are a subject of its own. Anthony Thirlwall is releasing […]


JKH On Paul De Grauwe’s Fiscal Arithmetic

21 January 2015

In a recent article for VOX, Paul De Grauwe and Yuemei Ji write about potential fiscal effects of a possible asset purchase program by the Eurosystem (European Central Bank and the National Central Banks in the Euro Area). In that the authors take an extreme stand suggesting that a default by a Euro Area government […]


The Devil Is In The Detail

15 January 2015

There are two ways in which the terminology “net lending” is used. In national accounts, it is the difference between saving and investment for any economic unit or a sector. “S − I”. It is the financial surplus. Bankers and central bankers use “net lending” a bit differently. Here there is “netting” when redemptions are netted.  For example, suppose […]


New Book: The Encylopedia Of Central Banking

10 January 2015

Via ROKE’s Facebook page: Post by Review of Keynesian Economics. (I have two articles on this: Open Mouth Operations and Reflux Mechanism, the latter co-authored with Louis-Philippe Rochon.)


Keynesian Economics And Thievery

23 December 2014

In a WSJ opinion piece titled An Autopsy for the Keynesians, John H. Cochrane makes the following accusation on Keynesian Economics: By Keynesian logic, fraud is good; thieves have notoriously high marginal propensities to consume. Cochrane’s piece reads as assertions after assertions trying to prove that fiscal policy is impotent. Keynesians emphasize the role of effective demand […]


Sergio Cesaratto’s Debate With Marc Lavoie On Whether The Euro Area Crisis Is A Balance-Of-Payments Crisis

22 December 2014

Sergio Cesaratto has a new paper Balance Of Payments Or Monetary Sovereignty? In Search Of The EMU’s Original Sin – A Reply To Lavoie. (html link, pdf link) I obviously agree with Sergio Cesaratto. As long as there is no supranational fiscal authority, a Euro Area nation’s economic success is more restricted by its exports than otherwise […]


John McCombie Reviews Marc Lavoie’s Post-Keynesian Economics: New Foundations

13 December 2014

John McCombie is one of my favourite economists. He is the co-author of the book Economic Growth And The Balance-Of-Payments Constraint, one of the most supremely insightful books. McCombie has written a review of Marc Lavoie’s book Post-Keynesian Economics: New Foundations, which is the second edition of his book titled Foundations of Post-Keynesian Economic Analysis. He […]


Economists Without Borders (Economistes Sans Frontières)

25 November 2014

by Thomas Palley Inspired by the work of Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières), I have recently started a project called Economists Without Borders (Economistes Sans Frontières). Its purpose is to inoculate the global economy against the virus of neoliberalism. Last week, I had two difficult “missions” to Vienna and Warsaw. In Vienna, I confronted […]