My New Book – The Philosophy of Debt

debt coverMy new book, The Philosophy of Debt, is coming out as part of Routledge’s Economics as Social Theory series. You can see a few reviews and the table of contents here.


4 thoughts on “My New Book – The Philosophy of Debt

  1. John

    Oh, I was so hoping for a chapter on so-called “foreign aid” and “development” from a modern money perspective. For instance, does “foreign aid” and “development” have different constraints to any other kinds of endogenous money?

    Given that almost all “foreign aid” comes right back to the source of the “aid” and/or is a straight out subsidy to the major economic sectors, what constrains the host source of the aid from running the presses (key stroking like a madman)? After all, it is a great economic benefit to the country supplying the “aid”.

    I’ve never seen an MMT perspective on “foreign aid”. Is it just international trade by another name, or is there something more subtle going on? Does anyone have a good source on this?

    1. axdouglas Post author

      I don’t think there is a special MMT answer to the problem of development (there’s some mention of it here:

      Developing nations usually suffer from bigger problems than shortages of effective demand. They’re poor in real terms. Yes, if they use foreign currency, or peg their currencies, the currency-issuers can supply as much as they need to maintain full employment. And if they float their currency, they can do this for themselves (though *maybe* it will then be harder for them to buy imports). But their problem is a shortage of real productive capacity, not of effective demand. You need a lot more than money to feed and clothe a nation.

  2. John

    My apologies, I was too longwinded and caused confusion.

    The question is about “foreign aid” not from the perspective of those receiving the “foreign aid” but those *giving* the so-called “foreign aid”.

    When the UK, for instance, gives 0.7% of GDP in foreign aid, development, what are the effects on the *UK* from an endogenous money perspective.

    The politics of “foreign aid” are rotten to the core (it’s thoroughly neocolonial in what it attempts to achieve), yet that doesn’t stop tiresome reactionaries bleating that the UK “can’t afford” to give money to poor countries, or that its “time we spent that money here”, or that “we have our own problems to deal with” is very suspect politically, but it seems to me that from an endogenous money perspective the whole enterprise of “foreign aid” raises many questions.

    1. axdouglas Post author

      Ah, in that case isn’t the answer is the same as any other ‘can the government afford this’ question? Inflation is the only constraint. And I can’t see developing countries that receive foreign aid being such big spenders that they drive inflation.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s