How the neo-liberals perverted Adam Smith @ www.ianfraser.org Mr. Fraser argues that our present brand of capitalism has distorted the ideas of its intellectual founder Adam Smith (AS), whose ideas were cherry-picked by the likes of Milton Friedman and the ‘Chicago School’ in the 1960s and 1970s and, with the help of political followers such as Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and their successors, spread their market fundamentalism throughout much of the rest of the world. Sadly however such people focused exclusively on Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776), ignoring his earlier work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments(1759), where AS gives the “invisible hand” a moral context: AS argues that the beginnings of morality are innate, in the sense that our connection to other human beings makes us sensitive to their needs and sentiments. The article could have gone well beyond the denunciation of global crony capitalism and dealt with wider concepts, such as neo-feudalism…and its roots.
Will central banks cancel government debt? by Gavyn Davies @ blogs.ft.com (requires free registration) where Mr. Davies hints at the possibility of western central banks cancelling the huge amounts of government debt sitting in their balance sheets and the inflationary risks involved by that policy. What is most remarkable is that such radical and potentially catastrophic ideas are gaining mainstream status in some academic and government circles. The intellectual underpinnings of these proposals can be found in a, until now, obscure monetary theory: Chartalism. Under Chartalism, government expenditure is financed not by the issue of government bonds to the private market, but by the issue of currency. Scary.