This just in from the Department of Understatement:

The International Monetary Fund’s top economist today acknowledged that the fund blew its forecasts for Greece and other European economies because it did not fully understand how government austerity efforts would undermine economic growth.

On a related note, I’m liking what I’ve seen by Stephanie Kelton so far. Her ideas remind me of what my uncle had to say about the Great Depression — minus the parts about planting the median strips in broccoli. From the October 28, 2012 transcript of Le Show with Harry Shearer (my emphasis added):

HARRY SHEARER: I’m getting the idea that what one of the things you folks are doing, aside from trying to redirect our attention towards the actual way that the monetary system works in the post-1971 era, is – if this is not the purpose, this seems to be the effect – is to take the moralizing out of it. We’ve been taught, by what we’ve been hearing in the so-called national debate, that there’s something immoral about having a high debt. There’s something immoral about having these deficits. There’s something that is against the way people should – again, from the household analogy, obviously – but there’s a morality factor here that I think moves Americans who don’t even, wouldn’t know the Federal Reserve if they walked into the front door of it.

STEPHANIE KELTON: Yeah, I – for whatever reason, I just started thinking about Murdoch. And, you know, it’s obviously not God’s will that the federal government be in deficit. There is a moralizing – we’re – it’s a de facto sign that you’re behaving imprudently, right? If there’s a negative number on the ledger, we’ve done something wrong. We’ve gone wrong somewhere. And what we’re trying so hard to do is to get people to recognize that if they spend 10 and only take away 9 from us, that we got the extra 10, you know? That their deficit is our surplus, that their redding is our blacking. And it’s a very hard thing to flip that switch and get people to spin the way that they view, you know, the government’s deficit and the debt and so forth, and it’s a very powerful narrative, as you said, playing into morals and fear, and the fear of China, and the fear of the rating agen– there’s, both of those things are extremely difficult to get people to overcome. Both the moral aspect and the fear.

More Stephanie Kelton (and Modern Monetary Theory) on CapitalAccount (if you can stand the chirpy host) and C-SPAN. (And this article’s title from the Department of Dave Berg Department.)

  1. You have to understand the money trail to understand what people in power want. The people who want to privatize Social Security want to use those funds to balance the budget so that they can run it up again. Them they want to sell you a voucher from an insurance company to replace it. That way the insurance company makes a huge profit from it, the sales man makes a nice commission, and they are happy. Then what will happen is that the insurance company will over expand their buying, lost a ton of money, have to be bailed out like AIG, or go bankrupt. Then your retirement funds goes down the tube. Buy the way, most house holds have a debt. It’s called a mortgage or even a car loan.

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