Interview mit Stephanie Kelton

11 Jan, 2021 at 11:50 | Posted in Economics | 6 Comments

Kelton: Die Vorstellung, dass Staaten nur eine begrenzte Menge an Geld zur Verfügung hätten, kommt aus einer Zeit, in der die Währung in den meisten Ländern in der einen oder anderen Form an Edelmetalle wie Gold oder Silber gekoppelt war. Heute ist das nicht mehr so. Geld wird einfach gedruckt – genauer gesagt: im Computer erzeugt. Es lässt sich beliebig vermehren.

defZEIT: Das klingt jetzt so, als würden Sie einem Kind sagen: Süßigkeiten machen nicht dick. Nimm dir, so viel du willst!

Kelton: Nein, nein! Es gibt eine Grenze für die Staatsausgaben. Aber diese Grenze wird nicht durch die Höhe der Verschuldung bestimmt, sondern durch die Inflationsrate.

ZEIT: Wie meinen Sie das denn genau? Wir in Deutschland denken beim Thema Inflation normalerweise an Massenarbeitslosigkeit und staatlichen Kontrollverlust.

Kelton: Ich meine etwas anderes. Die Inflation ist auch eine Begleiterscheinung des Wirtschaftens. Um im Bild zu bleiben: Sie entsteht, wenn die Restaurants nicht mehr halb leer sind, sondern voll und sich in den Läden die Menschen drängeln. Denn dann werden irgendwann die Arbeitskräfte knapp. Die Folge: Die Restaurantangestellten können höhere Löhne durchsetzen, die Restaurantbesitzer erhöhen die Preise. In einer solchen Situation wäre es falsch, die Wirtschaft durch staatliche Ausgaben zusätzlich anzuheizen, denn dann würde sie heißlaufen. Wenn aber viele Menschen keine Arbeit haben, liegen Ressourcen brach, die der Staat nutzbar machen kann. In den meisten Industrieländern ist genau das derzeit der Fall.

Die Zeit

6 Comments

  1. “it arises when the restaurants are no longer half empty but full and people are jostling in the shops. Because then at some point there will be a shortage of labor. The result: the restaurant employees can enforce higher wages, the restaurant owners raise the prices. In such a situation, it would be wrong to additionally heat up the economy through government spending, because then it would overheat. But when many people have no work, resources lie idle that the state can make usable. This is exactly what is currently the case in most developed countries.”
    .
    The problem is “at some point.” Bond markets illustrate the flaw in Kelton’s story: US debt has increased in supply, like a restaurant building out capacity, but debt auctions are still oversubscribed, and the return has dropped dramatically. Demand for US debt exceeds supply, which results in bond inflation. This market is so large, it makes restaurant production a rounding error. The price of US debt inflates by the auction process, even as supply increases. Why is demand so high? To answer, one needs to understand that the money created by banks in the financial sector is far more significant an object of study than the real effects of such money creation. Kelton is focusing on maybe 5% of what is actually going on.

    • The turnover in financial markets might be huge – the relevant question is, what effect does it have on the real economy?
      .
      The financial markets game is a game played by the well off. Because of the gross inequalities in income distribution, the well off have accumulated so much wealth they have no idea what to do with it. All they can do is load themselves up with financial assets.
      .
      The central banks have added to the demand for some financial assets as the result of QE.
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      The huge turnover in financial markets does not reflect the marginal effects its has on the real economy. It only impacts the real economy in a significant way when financial markets are in melt down.

    • @rsm/Robert Mitchell

      Doubtless you would love to create financial assets and increase their turnover because on your understanding this would increase real world GDP and welfare.
      The following links (and many others) will enable you to do this and maybe also become very rich yourself:
      https://www.betfair.com/
      https://sports.betway.com
      https://www.betfred.com/sports/vote

      • Kingsley, I simply try to describe the existing out-the-window financial realities, which remain a huge blindspot for mainstream economics. Financial markets are what you should be studying and when you do, you find money creation everywhere with only beneficial inflation.
        .
        If I want to bet I’ll go to robinhood.com where I can use options to make perfectly hedged bets …

  2. Henry, you ignore housing booms driven by financial innovations such as mortgage-backed securities. Defaults are higher now than in 2008 but the insurance piece was fixed so banks, and AIG, are fine thanks to the Fed put. Housing impacts the real economy. Traditional economists such as Kelton completely miss this very real interaction.
    .
    The upshot is that money comes first, capitalist production is secondary. The solution to inflation is to print money faster and encourage saving by raising financial market returns. Inflation is being exported to financial markets. Again, Kelton is blind to this.

    • Robert,
      .
      Firstly, a distinction has to be made. There are housing development booms and housing price booms.
      .
      Housing development booms are caused by real factors.
      .
      Housing price booms stem from housing development booms and are fed by monetary factors,
      .
      Financial innovation is both the cause and the demise of housing booms. Financial innovation is not a real factor and is another aspect of rich people playing games with their money.
      .
      Your solution to inflation seems perverse.


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