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Developing a monetary model of financial instability… Steve Keen University of Western Sydney.

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1 Developing a monetary model of financial instability… Steve Keen University of Western Sydney

2 Minskys Financial Instability Hypothesis A non-neoclassical vision of capitalism: –capitalism is inherently flawed, being prone to booms, crises and depressions. –This instability, in my view, is due to characteristics the financial system must possess if it is to be consistent with full-blown capitalism. –Such a financial system will be capable of both generating signals that induce an accelerating desire to invest and of financing that accelerating investment. (1969: 224; emphasis added) Foundations in Marx, Schumpeter, Fisher, & Keynes Skip Quotes Skip Quotes

3 Marx Theoretical: a dialectical theory of prices –What... is … the price of the loaned capital?... What the buyer of an ordinary commodity buys is its use- value; what he pays for is its value. What the borrower of money buys is likewise its use-value as capital; but what does he pay for? Surely not its price, or value, as in the case of ordinary commodities. (Marx 1894: 352) Colourful: a sceptical view of banking: –...The credit system … gives this class of parasites the fabulous power, not only to periodically despoil industrial capitalists, but also to interfere in actual production in a most dangerous mannerand this gang knows nothing about production and has nothing to do with it." (Marx 1894: )

4 Schumpeter Well-known cyclical view of capitalism –Creative destruction, clusters of innovations, etc. Less well-known endogenous view of credit: –[I]n so far as credit cannot be given out of the results of past enterprise … it can only consist of credit means of payment created ad hoc, which can be backed neither by money in the strict sense nor by products already in existence... (Schumpeter 1934: 106) –this again leads us to … the heresy that money, and … other means of payment, perform an essential function… (95)

5 Fisher Debt-deflation theory of Great Depressions: –Non-equilibrium analysis: New disturbances are, humanly speaking, sure to occur, so that, in actual fact, any variable is almost always above or below the ideal equilibrium (1933: 339) –two dominant factors are over-indebtedness to start with and deflation following soon after Thus over-investment and over-speculation are often important; but they would have far less serious results were they not conducted with borrowed money… I fancy that over-confidence seldom does any great harm except when, as, and if, it beguiles its victims into debt. (Fisher 1933: )

6 Keynes Well-known (if neglected) views on uncertainty –Formalised in Kaleckis principle of increasing risk (Kalecki 1937, 1990: ) Investment limited not by declining marginal efficiency of capital but increasing financial risk Also post-General Theory two-price level analysis –The scale of production of capital assets depends, of course, on the relation between their costs of production and the prices which they are expected to realise in the market. (Keynes 1937a: 217) All blended by Minsky to produce Financial Instability Hypothesis:

7 Financial Instability Hypothesis Economy in historical time Debt-induced recession in recent past Firms and banks conservative re debt/equity ratios, asset valuation Only conservative projects are funded Recovery means conservative projects succeed Firms and banks revise risk premiums –Accepted debt/equity ratio rises –Assets revalued upwards

8 The Euphoric Economy Self-fulfilling expectations –Decline in risk aversion causes increase in investment Investment causes economy to grow faster –Asset prices rise Speculation on assets becomes profitable –Increased willingness to lend increases money supply Credit money endogenous –Riskier investments enabled, more asset speculation Emergence of Ponzi financiers –Cash flow always less than debt servicing costs –Profits made by selling assets on a rising market –Interest-rate insensitive demand for finance

9 The Assets Boom and Bust Initial profitability of asset speculation: –reduces debt and interest rate sensitivity –drives up supply of and demand for finance –market interest rates rise But eventually: –rising interest rates make many once conservative projects speculative –forces non-Ponzi investors to attempt to sell assets to service debts –entry of new sellers floods asset markets –rising trend of asset prices falters or reverses

10 Crisis and Aftermath Ponzi financiers go bankrupt: –can no longer sell assets for a profit –debt servicing on assets far exceeds cash flows Asset prices collapse, drastically increasing debt/equity ratios Endogenous expansion of money supply reverses Investment evaporates; economic growth slows or reverses Economy enters a debt-induced recession... High Inflation? –Debts repaid by rising price level –Economic growth remains low: Stagflation –Renewal of cycle once debt levels reduced

11 Crisis and Aftermath Low Inflation? –Debts cannot be repaid –Chain of bankruptcy affects even non-speculative businesses –Economic activity remains suppressed: a Depression Big Government? –Anti-cyclical spending and taxation of government enables debts to be repaid –Renewal of cycle once debt levels reduced Persuasive verbal model; but no successful mathematical rendition –My research objective

12 Employment rate Workers share of output Mathematical Foundations Goodwins predator-prey growth cycle model: –Verbal truisms: Workers share of output will rise if (real) wage demands exceed sum of population growth and labour productivity Employment will rise if the rate of economic growth exceeds the rate of population growth –In mathematical form, two coupled differential equations: Phillips Curve Investment Function Depreciation, Productivity & Population growth rates

13 Mathematical Foundations Generates closed cycle: Add financial truisms: – –Banks finance investment and charge interest Generates 3 rd order system – –Debt to output ratio added: Net real interest rate Profit now net of interest payments

14 The beginnings of chaos Two classes of outcome –Convergence to equilibrium… If capitalists accumulate negative debt But if they dont…

15 The beginnings of chaos An unstable cycle… And debt that ratchets up over time to a debt-crisis… How well does this simple model match empirical data? – –Not very… Because the empirical data is much worse!Because the empirical data is much worse!

16 The Ponzi Economy Australias private debt to GDP ratio has risen exponentially at 4.2% p.a. for over 43 years: Not for the first time in our history either Long term RBA data released last month in speech by Deputy Governor Ric Battellino: – –(augmented by data from RDP )

17 The Ponzi Economy

18 Correlation isnt causation, but… Clearly exponential process Biggest bubble in our history There is a macroeconomic link: – –Aggregate demand = GDP + change in debt – –As debt rises, dependence on change in debt has risen Now accounts for 18% of aggregate demand – –Unemployment increasingly linked to change in debt…

19 The Ponzi Economy Correlation debts contribution to aggregate demand of to unemployment initially trivial Exceeds -0.9 by early 1980s Formation of debt also increasingly dominated by speculation rather than investment:

20 Ponzi Households Lending for housing rises from 5-25% of GDP: Proportion that financed housing construction falls from 30% to under 10%: Back to modelling: – –Clear omissions from basic Minsky model are – –Endogenous money – –Speculative lending…

21 Endogenous Money Exponential growth in credit despite regulatory regime implies endogenous (market-determined) money Common belief in non-neoclassical schools of thought Empirically supported by Kydland & Prescott: But no accepted mathematical model of process One can be derived from double-entry book-keeping: Skip Systems Note Skip Systems Note

22 A simple approach to dynamic systems Each column represents a stock (system state) Each row entry represents a flow between stocks Specify relations between system states across rows… Dynamic System System States Stock AStock B…Stock ZAccounting Flows + Flow 1- Flow 1……Sum ……+ Flow 2- Flow 2Sum To generate the model, add up each column – –Sum of column is differential equation for stock

23 Money creation in a pure credit economy Stylized linear model with three (classes of) agents: –Banks: lend money to firms record all transactions –Firms: own factories that produce output; and –Workers: work in factories. Model starts with loan $L from bank to firm –Created out of thin airsimply simultaneous recording of asset (debt) and liability (deposit) in banks double-entry book-keeping system:

24 Money from nothing, but your cheques aint free Loan an asset of bank Simultaneously creates liability of money in firms deposit account: Sets off series of obligations: – –Interest charged on loan at r L % p.a. – –Interest paid on deposit at r D % p.a. where r L > r D – –Third account needed to record this: Bank Deposit B D

25 Money from nothing, but your cheques aint free Full system is: Interest flows: bank<>firm Wage flows: firm>workers Interest flows: bank>workers Consumption flows: bank & workers>firms System of coupled differential equations: System conservative: Amount of money – –(& debt) remains constant Add up terms Get equation

26 Money from nothing, but your cheques aint free System stable but no growth: Growth in output requires new money to – –Hire more workers – –Pay for intermediate inputs Simultaneous creation of new debt and new money: Violates Walras Law Supports Schumpeter & Minsky on credit New money flows: bank>firm Skip Quotes Skip Quotes

27 Money from nothing, but your cheques aint free Schumpeter –in so far as credit cannot be given out of the results of past enterprise … it can only consist of credit means of payment created ad hoc, which can be backed neither by money in the strict sense nor by products already in existence... (Schumpeter 1934: 106) Minsky –If income is to grow, the financial markets … must generate an aggregate demand that … is ever rising. For real aggregate demand to be increasing,... it is necessary that current spending plans, summed over all sectors, be greater than current received income… –It follows that over a period during which economic growth takes place, at least some sectors finance a part of their spending by emitting debt or selling assets. (Minsky 1963 [1982]: 6)

28 Money from nothing, but your cheques aint free Money and debt now grow over time: System dissipative: Rate of growth of money = rate of growth of debt

29 Repayment and Re-lending of Principal Model so far omits loan repayment Easily added by including seignorage free bank Vault –Repaid loans have to go somewhere –If into bank deposit account, bank can pay for goods using its money as IOUs NOT the same as re-lending deposited fiat money –Pure credit money system requires quarantining of bank asset accounts from income (deposit) accounts Bank assets now sum of –Outstanding Loans –Loan Repayments

30 Repayment and Re-lending of Principal Repayments of Loans; and Recycling of Loans –Transfer money from income to asset accounts: Repayment flows: firm>bank Relending flows: bank>firm Wages flow shown as share of production surplus Surplus from production drives all net income P is turnover period s is share going to firms (1-s) goes to workers

31 Would you like a credit card with that? Can now see what happens to bank income as –New Money is created –Loans are repaid –Repaid money is re-lent Surprise surprise! Bank income rises if – –Loans are repaid slowly (or not at all) – –Repaid money is recycled more quickly; and – –More new money is created Bank profits by extending more credit… Structural explanation for real world phenomenon of rising debt to GDP ratio

32 For future research Combine two models to produce monetary Minsky model Speculative investment motivated by increase in asset price index –Adds to debt; does not add to productive capacity First stage: a monetary Goodwin model –Also includes Phillipss full Monty Wage change related to –Rate of employment –Rate of change of employment –Lagged response to inflation: Skip Model Skip Model

33 A monetary Goodwin model Now six system states But remarkably simple model Physical Capital Money Wage Inflation Lagged wage response Technical change & Population growth Generates open cyclical model With Phillips surface rather than Phillips curve inflation and unemployment dynamics

34 Meanwhile, in the real world… Combination of record Debt/GDP, high nominal interest rates and low inflation means huge real interest burden: Debt burden; Aggregate demand effect of debt reduction Serious downturn inevitable Counter forces – –China boom – –Possible global warming/peak oil inflation

35 Selected References Joseph Schumpeter (1934), The Theory of Economic Development: An Inquiry into Profits, Capital, Credit, Interest, and the Business Cycle (republished 2004 by Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick) Charles Whalen, The U.S. Credit Crunch of 2007: A Minsky Moment, Some web-accessible references on Minskys work: – A Google Scholar search on Minsky – Some web-accessible references on endogenous money –

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