With the coronavirus pandemic, Modern Monetary Theory met its moment. A sudden and massive loss of output globally was met with an unprecedented response by governments and central banks and at least some official regret about excessive fiscal austerity after the 2008-09 crisis.
Stephanie Kelton's The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People's Economy found a ready audience and remains in the New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction Best-Seller List six months after publication. Yet, one criticism of her book and of MMT generally is that its proponents, examples and policy proposals are overwhelmingly American and built on assumptions about having a sovereign and dominant global currency. Dirk Ehnts, a leading MMT proponent, seeks to address this criticism in Modern Monetary Theory and European Macroeconomics (Routledge, 2016). In 2020, he published an updated edition in German as Money and Credit: A European Perspective (Metropolis, 2020).
Dirk Ehnts earned his doctorate at the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg and has worked as an academic economist at the Berlin School of Economics and Law, the Free University Berlin, Bard College Berlin, the Technical University of Chemnitz and the University of Flensburg. In 2019, he organised the first European MMT conference and has scheduled the second for September 2021.
*His own book recommendation is Reclaiming the State by William Mitchell and Thomas Fazi (Pluto Press, 2017).
Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley Global Advisors.
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