Yesterday's GDP numbers (a sprightly gain of 0.3 per cent at basic prices in July) ensure that there will not be a so-called "technical recession" in Canada -- at least, not yet.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who prides himself on being an economist, has characterized his government's fiscal policy as "expansionary."
The UNTCAD just published its annual report on Trade and Development, titled "Post-crisis Policy Challenges in the World Economy."
European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet does not seem to get it. Far from acknowledging that last month's interest-rate hike was premature, he touts "price stability."
TD Economics released a rather gloomy report, putting the odds of a U.S. recession at 40 per cent, and arguing that the Canadian economy is more vulnerable to recession than it was in 2008.
Both the Governor of the Bank of Canada and the Finance Minister conceded to the House of Commons Finance Committee that the economic outlook is indeed significantly less rosy than they had thought.
How to reconcile what we know happened in 1920s Germany (money printing, hyperinflation), with MMT views? After all, MMT theorists tend to downplay worries about "money printing."
While Modern Monetary Theory deals with the details of monetary and fiscal matters, the implications of its analysis are much broader, especially in current political times.
Once we start talking about "printing money," the danger is that misunderstandings about what money is get amplified. It is the belief that a colourful piece of paper has a certain value that matters.
I am concerned that too many of us are willing to play in the frame, the box, the straightjacket of modern discourse about fiscal and monetary policy.