Mish Shedlock, Dr Tim Morgan, Warren Mosler and Conventional Pieties.#politicalEconomy #EnergyEconomics #StakeholderDemocracy #Direct Democracy #Subsidiarity

Ultimately, this was all about a loss of trust. Even a perfectly sound bank can collapse, if trust is lost. Because banks are in the business of borrowing short and lending long, there is no way that they can call in loans if depositors are panicked into pulling their money out.

This sentence from Dr. Tim Morgans Blog on how lack of faith in currencies could be the story of the next collapse set me off this morning.
Having already encountered a rather bilious offering from Mitch Shedlock.on Universal Basic Income.

“Useless Trials

Such schemes cannot possibly work. But that does not stop fools from trying.”


 “Free Money Proposals Do Not Scale”

Anyway In the cacophony of WTF? confusion what Is I think evident is that a new ground up approach to Distribution is required and to start with we need to figure out What we can produce, How many people are to be addressed and at what level of organisation do we start looking for solutions and systems.

Sovereignty and subsidiarity

Who makes the rules and enforces them is sovereign. Direct democracy is about the legislative decisions, the rules, being made by the people for the people.

The people that are affected by the rules should be deciding which rules need to be defined in that affected group. Rules that affect only a small group should be defined by consensus in that small group. For legislation that affects a larger group the consensus needs to be developed in that larger group. This is the essence of the Principal of Subsidiarity, which implies that authority should be with the most decentralized entity possible and more centralized entities should primarily support the decentralized ones.

Questions, Universal Income or Job Guarantee?
How should we measure value in Society, does this imply different thinking as to what our Structural contributions are culturaly to our own communities, how are these measures to be reconciled geopolitically?
This is a Scrap Book cut and paste post which has the current imponderables which I am currently pondering. 
“What’s the good of Mercator’s North Poles and Equators,
   Tropics, Zones, and Meridian Lines?”
So the Bellman would cry: and the crew would reply
   “They are merely conventional signs!

rogerglewis 11:04 am on September 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply | Edit | Follow 

Guaranteed Income and Living Wage Schemes Cannot Possibly Work 

Skepticism awaiting added argument.
In its basic form, universal basic income means “everyone gets a paycheck, whether they have a job or not.”
Many expect even more. They want a guaranteed “living wage”.

View original post 171 more words


“However, any benefit to the trial participants must at the expense of a bigger deficit or higher taxes on everyone else”.
We can learn a lot from the Swiss referendum on Citizens Income as discussed here.
´However, the nearly universal misunderstanding of money is a major obstacle. For too long we’ve allowed a small coterie of bankers and “court economists” to hold the secrets and “tutor” us. So, it’s time for total openness.
First, regarding the claim that the Swiss proposal would’ve been too costly, what’s entirely omitted from the discussion is that the proposal (and similar proposals elsewhere) appear to call for re-distribution of existing money—taking money from certain sectors through taxation and re-allocating it to the people at-large.
The implication is that the money supply is basically static and that re-distributing limited funds would require tough budget decisions—sparking tax hikes and associated spending increases in several areas; hence the claim “costs too much.”
But a successful basic income plan can and must be based on the creation of new money, or “distributism,” not on reshuffling existing money, which is “re-distributism.” That’s the “state secret” that no one wants to touch.´´
This question is rather deeper than Your summary dismissal Mitch, further, there is the question also regarding Energy Returns on Investment, As Energy resources become more expensive in terms of Watts invested for Watts extracted the present inefficient concepts of money how-ever Honestly or soundly grounded will fail to provide a useful analog to production realities. Factor in also automation and you get to a new era of enclosure, whereby whole livelihoods disappear in a fundamental sense, Uber is an interesting intermediary case study, which through fraud basically based upon huge debt leverage they have been forcing viable mini cab businesses out of business, its a similar process to ENclosure of common lands and then outlawing gleaning.
In the existing paradigm, Aggregate demand is collapsing in the world the solution lies in something new, what that is is a very open question, raising the question and making proposals for treating some of the obvious symptoms in the meantime is not a foolish task, it may help to alleviate some of the huge problems already evident in the nascent collapse of the petrodollar.
  • Is the statement below expected to remain so?
    “Energy Returns on Investment, As Energy resources become more expensive in terms of Watts invested for Watts extracted”
    Liked by you
    • There is a conceptual Curve known as the Energy Cliff Movement along the curve is possible in either direction, it does though seem likely that a return to very high return on energy invested that was enjoyed when the most accessible HydroCarbons were in full flow is unlikely under current technology.http://euanmearns.com/eroei-for-beginners/
      • A couple of thoughts roger.
        A) “under current technology” – it won’t stand still. I am an optimist some of the time and expect shift down in energy costs. Predicting precisely what shifts it – fusion, energy storage + renewable sources, etc is way beyond me, as is timing, but humans are special. Humans want lower energy costs, they’ll get it one way or another. Current wind in UK is cheaper than new (efficient?) Nuclear. I expect further shifts down.
        B) Under the Paris Climate deal, if applied, there is potentially 4x more (possibly even 5x -6x) more hydrocarbons already discovered than will be extracted to meet C02. Granted extraction costs higher than the past but massively potential supply if need be and extraction costs will fall imho into a reduced demand market. What happens if there is a wash out in the oil sector? Massive resources could be picked up cheap and costs shift down as previous discovery costs are sunk. The only thing stopping a shift down in cost in that scenario is the Climate According that may not hold anyway. The Accord might accelerate a wash-out if oil has to be parked for a while. Complex.
        3) C02 capture alongside 2) above. What impact?
        I still consider deflation in the energy complex to be possible.
        There’s too much at stake to accept ever rising energy costs and humans are ingenious.
        • Hi,
          As a cornucopian, I agree We Humans are ingenious, solving the energy question is well within our compass of ingenuity, what is a problem and obstacle to doing so is though the Existing monetary paradigm which is both poorly understood and also disputed.
          With respect to Mish´s post regarding Universal Basic Income, those arguments are based upon certain assumptions as to Scarcity, Employment, and Work-based measures of contributing to society.
          The Current monetary Paradigm does not, even, with all the ingenuity in the world, get us away from the exponential function, and the problem our ingenuity needs to solve is actually how to stop the Debt/finance dog wagging the Economy Dog. For Economy read all stakeholders in society, ultimately one assumes that human ingenuity is aimed at the Pursuit of Happiness.
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  • rogerglewis 10:08 am on September 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply | Edit | Follow 

    An idiots guide to arguing with bankers 

    Posted this to Facebook Back in 2011, sadly so little has changed .
    I was recently drawn into a petty dispute with a total stranger on Facebook about the causes of the financial crisis. Although the individual (who I will allow to remain anonymous) has some pretty bizarre views on the EU and the welfare state, his positions on the cost of the bailouts are illuminating. The exchange has some useful lessons for anyone who becomes embroiled in an argument with a financial whizz kid who thinks they can explain away the crisis using the same bankrupt thinking that caused it. I have posted the (rather long) exchange below, but I would summarise the key lessons as follows:
    1) Do not get sucked into number crunching – the key point is that the numbers are essentially meaningless, and as soon as the markets lose faith in the validity of the numbers they cease to count. If you put positive assumptions into the number…
    View original post 4,464 more words


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  • rogerglewis 10:14 am on September 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply | Edit | Follow 

    #105: Anticipating the next crash 

    Re-Blogging before commenting. In this very complex question separating Apples from Oranges and avoiding inevitable circular reasoning is an important and non-trivial task.
    Because the global financial crisis (GFC) was caused by a collapse of trust in banks, it can be all too easy to assume that the next crash, if there is one, must take the same form.
    In fact, it’s more likely to be different. Whilst the idiocy-of choice before 2008 had been irresponsible lending, by far the most dangerous recklessness today is monetary adventurism.
    So it’s faith in money, rather than in banks, that could trigger the next crisis.
    Introduction – mistaken confidence
    Whenever we live through a traumatic event, such as the GFC of 2008, the authorities ‘close the stable door after the horse has bolted’. They put in place measures that might have countered the previous crisis, if only they had they known its nature in advance.
    The reason why such measures so often fail to prevent…
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Convention I A Philosophical Study
David Lewis
  • Convention: A Philosophical Study, Harvard University Press 1969.
It is the profession of philosophers to question platitudes that others
accept without thinking twice. A dangerous profession, since philosophers
are more easily discredited than platitudes, but a useful one.
For when a good philosopher challenges a platitude, it usually turns
out that the platitude was essentially right; but the philosopher has
noticed trouble that one who did not think twice could not have
met. In the end, the challenge is answered and the platitude survives,
more often than not. But the philosopher has done the adherents
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of the platitude a service: he has made them think twice.
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(10) Suppose we are tradesmen. It matters little to any of us what
commodities he takes in exchange for goods (other than commodities
he himself can use). But if he takes what others refuse he is stuck
with something useless, and if he refuses what others take he needlessly
inconveniences his customers and himself. Each must choose
what he will take according to his expectations about what he can
spend–that is, about what the others will take: gold and silver if
he can spend gold and silver, U.S. notes if he can spend U.S. notes,
Canadian pennies if he can spend Canadian pennies, wampum if
he can spend wampum, goats if he can spend goats, whatever may
come along if he can spend whatever may come along, nothing if
he can spend nothing.
(10) A medium of exchange–say, coin of the.realm–has its special
status by a convention among tradesmen to take it without question
in return for goods and services. Some conventional media are better
than others: bulky or perishable ones are bad; ones that would retain
some use if the convention collapsed are good–but the inconvenience
of accepting a bad medium of exchange is less than the inconvenience
of refusing it when others take it, or of taking What one can neither
use nor spend. Again, as in (4), there is the complication of legal
sanctions, refusal to accept legal tender makes a debt legally unenforceable.
But again, such sanctions are superfluous if they agree with
convention, are outweighed if they go against it, are not decisive either
way, and therefore do not make our regularity any the less conventional.
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I suppose we may safely define a medium of exchange as any good
that is conventionally accepted in some population in return for goods
and services. This definition raises an annoying question: is it right
to say that we have a convention to accept our media of exchange
in return for goods and services? It is false to say that our convention
is that we accept our media of exchange in return for goods and
services. For what follows “that” does not state any convention
because it is true, by definition, of any population. On the other hand,
it is true to say of our media of exchange that our convention is that
we accept them in return for goods and services. My question was
ambiguous. It can be read opaquely or transparently.6 It is like the
question whether Hegel knew that the number of planets is greater
than seven. He did not know that the number of planets is greater
than seven. But he did know, of the number of planets–namely
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nine–that it is greater than seven.


Banks do not need any deposits to make loans

Posted on July 17 2017

The old chestnut of what came first, the savings or the loan, came up on the blog over the weekend.
I have argued for many years that it is, of course, the loan, and that the savings can only exist because a loan brought them into being. I had to work this out from first principles when I was in my twenties because I had always been taught the opposite. It took a long time to find others of similar persuasion. And it was some comfort to find the Bank of England finally agreed in 2014. One of the things they did when doing so was issue this video:
What they say is:
  1. Loans are made without any need for there to be deposits in a bank;
  2. Loans are quite emphatically not the recycling of depositors’ money: all loans are made from newly created money;
  3. All savings are therefore created by lending, representing the unspent and so deposited part of funds created out of monies borrowed;
  4. There is, then, no such thing as fractional reserve banking and those thinking so; those economics text books that say there is; and those who based their economic thinking on this idea, are all wrong.
There are some things I should add I do not agree with in the video: the description of how QE works is just wishful thinking and not what has actually happened. It is also not true that QE has a cost: the interest paid on reserves is in real terms negative at present.
And there are things the video does not say. In particular it does not make clear that because of the argument made, savings do not serve a useful economic function as a source of funding for investment in the modern economy when that role has been supplanted by credit. Nor does it say that as a result the entire saving sector can in that case to some degree be seen as rent seeking and the whole edifice of the financial services industry that is built upon it a largely pointless activity that does not add value. But I won’t develop that argument further here: my point at present is to reiterate that savings are not required to permit banks to make loans. This is a myth now known to be wholly untrue. Those who say otherwise are from the economic dark ages.
A Lost century in economics: Three theories of banking and the conclusive evidence
Under a Creative Commons license
open access


The three theories of how banks function and whether they create money are reviewed
A new empirical test of the three theories is presented
The test allows to control for all transactions, delivering clear-cut results.
The fractional reserve and financial intermediation theories of banking are rejected
Capital adequacy based bank regulation is ineffective, credit guidance preferable
This is shown with the case study of Barclays Bank creating its own capital
Questions are raised concerning the lack of progress in economics in the past century
Policy implications: borrowing from abroad is unnecessary for growth


Can banks individually create money out of nothing? — The theories and the empirical evidence

Under a Creative Commons license
open access


This paper presents the first empirical evidence in the history of banking on the question of whether banks can create money out of nothing. The banking crisis has revived interest in this issue, but it had remained unsettled. Three hypotheses are recognised in the literature. According to the financial intermediation theory of banking, banks are merely intermediaries like other non-bank financial institutions, collecting deposits that are then lent out. According to the fractional reserve theory of banking, individual banks are mere financial intermediaries that cannot create money, but collectively they end up creating money through systemic interaction. A third theory maintains that each individual bank has the power to create money ‘out of nothing’ and does so when it extends credit (the credit creation theory of banking). The question which of the theories is correct has far-reaching implications for research and policy. Surprisingly, despite the longstanding controversy, until now no empirical study has tested the theories. This is the contribution of the present paper. An empirical test is conducted, whereby money is borrowed from a cooperating bank, while its internal records are being monitored, to establish whether in the process of making the loan available to the borrower, the bank transfers these funds from other accounts within or outside the bank, or whether they are newly created. This study establishes for the first time empirically that banks individually create money out of nothing. The money supply is created as ‘fairy dust’ produced by the banks individually, “out of thin air”.


Bank credit
Credit creation
Financial intermediation
Fractional reserve banking
Money creation

JEL classification



So the ‘money’ that banks create out of thin air is in fact a claim on base money. And there are limits to this extension, which I have highlighted in my many posts on endogenous money theory.
One of those limits is the adverse clearing that occurs during interbank settlement, which is barely discussed in Werner’s papers. Werner wrongly claims in his article that “for this fractional reserve model to work, Samuelson is assuming that the new deposit is a cash deposit, and the extension of the loan takes the form of paying out cash.” He further adds:
Thus a further inconsistency is that it is a priori not clear why customer deposits or reserves should be any constraint on bank lending as claimed by the fractional reserve theory: since deposits are a record of the bank’s debt to customers, the bank is not restricted to lending only as much as its excess reserves or prior customer deposits allow. It can extend a loan and record further debts to customers, shown as newly created deposits (as the credit creation theory states).
There is no need for cash to be paid out to be a drain on the reserve/liquidity position of the bank. And banks (individually, or as a whole) cannot expand indefinitely either. Interbank settlements, through the adverse clearing process, operate as a very good limiting constraint, unless there is an exact offsetting amount that the counterparty bank owes (in which case no reserve transfer occurs and limits to expansion are defined by other criteria).
Werner does eventually mention this point however, albeit too briefly given how crucial it is:
As long as banks create credit at the same rate as other banks, and as long as customers are similarly distributed, the mutual claims of banks on each other will be netted out and may well, on balance, cancel each other out. Then banks can increase credit creation without limit and without ‘losing any money’.
While this is theoretically true, this is highly unrealistic, as I have explained in this post:

  1. Ken G says : 17 March, 2017 at 13:03

    Summarizing, you have not shown that Werner is mistaken that banks create new credit from thin air. You merely show that adverse clearing is the practical limitation on this practice. With over 500 banks failed in the USA since 2005, it would appear true that more aggressive banks are prone to failure. This has always been known to be the case since the wildcat banking days of the 18th and 19th centuries.
    Werner is correct that as long as all the banks maintain the same reserve ratio the clearing will tend to net out. Therefore the effective average reserve in the system determines the dividing line between banks that will run into liquidity problems and banks that will accumulate more liquidity.
    • Julien Noizet says : 20 March, 2017 at 00:32

      Ken, everyone is able to ‘create money out of thin air’. But this is irrelevant. Everyone already knows that fractional reserve banking implies creating ‘money of out thin air’.
      What is relevant and important though is that this process is not infinite.
      Regarding the claim that Werner is correct about the very specific and unlikely case in which banks maintain the same reserve ratio, it is also irrelevant as it is totally unrealistic.
      • NeilW says : 5 June, 2017 at 19:29

        The process is finite by price, not quantity.
        For a payment to leave a source bank the target bank has to take the original depositors place in the source bank. So the target bank ‘lends’ to the source bank by default. There is no need to ‘secure clearing’. The process of payment (bearing in mind that the customer of the target bank is expecting to be paid) ensures it happens.
        The central bank merely provides a clearing house for these lending transactions that reduces collateral requirements. If there is a shortage of interbank lending (i.e. some other bank has the jitters and wants to maintain a positive balance at the central bank) then the central bank starts to lose control of their interest rate target as interbank rates are bid up and must step in to *defend the integrity of the payment system* by replacing the missing interbank lending *in a way that drives the target rate*.
        (That’s the bit you’re missing with your ‘endogenous contraction’. There is no contraction unless the central bank ‘puts the interest rate up’ by failing to supply missing interbank lending that is compatible with the target rate).
        The termination condition in banking is when the banks run out of creditworthy borrowers prepared to pay the current price of money. Then the lending stops.
        Nothing within the banking structure stops the process before that though. Loans create deposits. Capital is available in exchange for those deposits at a price. The central bank ensures the integrity of the payment system while defending an interest rate target – including supplying sufficient replacement interbank lending at a rate that is compatible with the interest rate target.

https://www.rt.com/shows/renegade-inc/379579-uk-finance-curse-suffer/For many years, we’ve been told that finance is good and more finance is better. But it doesn’t seem everyone in the UK is sharing the benefits. On this program, we ask a very simple question – can a country suffer from a finance curse? Host Ross Ashcroft is joined by City veteran David Buik and the man who coined the term Quantitative Easing, International Banking and Finance Professor Richard Werner.


Mosler on “Where Does Money Come From?”

Questions, Universal Income or Job Guarantee?
How should we measure value in Society, does this imply different thinking as to what our Structural contributions are culturaly to our own communities, how are these measures to be reconciled geopolitically?

  1. Hi Tim, when you say this,
    “Ultimately, this was all about a loss of trust. Even a perfectly sound bank can collapse if trust is lost. Because banks are in the business of borrowing short and lending long, there is no way that they can call in loans if depositors are panicked into pulling their money out”
    I wonder how it either clarifies or helps in making the point which you make? Surely Banking is defacto a state institution all be it Privatised for a privileged click of essentially very highly paid Civil servants.
    If one follows the logic through A Loss of Faith in Sovereign currencies is no different to a lack of faith in an individual bank they are merely differences of degree and not differences of Kind.
    Fundamentally I can not help think that its our conceptions of Value and useful, profitable work or services that is sending us astray we have an ethics and moral philosophy problem in our political Economy more than a mere Economics problem.
    You touch on this is your answer to the 2011 riots question: where amongst other things you say,

    In other words, “thwarted consumerism”. Personally, I’d prefer it if we stopped promoting consumerism, and put greater emphasis on more fundamental values.”
    Junkers speech to the EU parliament ( State of the Union Speech) the other day is a very real sign of just how out of ideas the Leadership of Europe is, the problem is just as Bad in the US and every where else.
    An obscure quote I am fond of from Coleridge is this one.
    Table Talk.
    this from 27th April 1823.
    The national debt has, in fact, made more men rich than have a right to be so, or, rather, any ultimate power, in case of a struggle, of actualizing their riches. It is, in effect, like an ordinary, where three hundred tickets have been distributed, but where there is, in truth, room only for one hundred. So long as you can amuse the company with any thing else, or make them come in successively, all is well, and the whole three hundred fancy themselves sure of a dinner; but if any suspicion of a hoax should arise, and they were all to rush into the room at once, there would be two hundred without a potato for their money; and the table would be occupied by the landholders, who live on the spot.
    If one looks at Natural resources as the potatoes the way that the US is presently acting regarding Myanmar, and countless other resource-rich ( sovereign ) markets? It would seem that those waiting for a call for the second and third sittings will be disappointed.
    Sorry for the rambling comment and blog post link Tim, I think you are on the right track with your EROI work , sadly I think that looking for any salvage within the existing system is a waste of time, that system is no longer fit for purpose, it is only narrow vested interests that have prevented its replacement, that coupled with the failure of mother nature to comply with the Carbon Taxing Mafia Settled Sceance dogmas, there would surely have be seen a breathing out tax enforced by THE secular Religous AGW thought police by now. allowing a further roll of the debt peonage dice.,


  • The point I was making – clear to you, I’m sure, but perhaps not to everyone – about banks is this. The vast majority of liabilities (deposits) are at immediate call, so customers can demand all their money back instantly (and even wholesale funding is short term). The bank cannot make immediate calls on its loans, which tend to be long term (most obviously mortgages, but other loans too).
    So any run on a bank can destroy it, even if the bank is perfectly solvent. No bank, however solvent, is sufficiently liquid to cope with a loss of confidence, even if that loss of confidence is wholly mistaken. No realistic level of reserve capital can prevent this.
    The reason I emphasise this is that it should have a bearing on government actions. Say a bank, although solvent, faces a run on liquidity, caused by unfounded rumours, mass panic etc.. It can make sense for the state to step in, because the bank should be fine when confidence is restored.
    The case is different where the bank is not only illiquid (as all banks are) but is insolvent as well. In that instance, the bank should fail. But this risks collateral damage, so the state might take over an insolvent bank with the aim of orderly winding down.
    However, the real problem is “too big to fail”. Efforts to create “living wills” for banks haven’t been all that effective. So “too big to fail” is still with us.
    Finally, the 2008 bail-outs didn’t just rescue banks, but rescued bankers as well. That was politically mistaken – and remains so.
  • Hi Tim
    The main thing here for me is that the banks have to be supported by LOLR facilities, almost come what may.
    As you say, insolvent banks should be allowed to fail but solvency is not something that is easy to judge and it may be years before it can be determined with certainty. The collateral effects of failing to act as LOLR are potentially catastrophic. I believe the BOE is only supposed to lend to solvent institutions but i can’t see that you can determine this in the window that would be required.
    It’s not only that the banks are TBTF; they are, in effect, utilities which cannot be allowed to misfunction let alone fail and this is the galling reality we are stuck with.
  • Hi Tim,
    Banks do go out of business through Bank runs, that’s what happened to Northern Rock although not all Banks are created equal and that’s before we get into shadow banking.
    Werner Makes an interesting claim in this Video.


    @-11.13 starts, Banks do not take deposits and do not lend money. A deposit is not a Bailment etc it is merely a loan to the Bank. Banks Borrow from the public, they do not lend money they are in the business of purchasing securities.@ – 10.03.
    The problem in the UK rests in that 95% of all deposits are ( or 95% of all bank borrowing from the public) is carried out by just 5 Banks. Contrasted with Germany where 75% OF all securities purchased from the Public, are performed by over 1200 much smaller local banks.
    The systemic risks in each model are quite clearly discernable to most, that said Deutsche Banks derivatives position is still a huge Systemic risk not just to the German but to the world economy.
    I don´t wish to labor the point, but It should be very clear that Banks are not intermediaries and as such the common way of explaining bank insolvency is highly misleading. Lehmans was allowed to go to the wall as their CEO was generally despised by the other equally culpable Wall Street Banks who had maintained a Balance of Political Capital, and modern Banking is about Political Capital more than financial, I would argue.

Author: rogerglewis

https://about.me/rogerlewis Looking for a Job either in Sweden or UK. Freelance, startups, will turń my hand to anything.

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