Two unorthodox economists have written about the crisis in 1000 words or less. They’re both interesting because they depart so fundamentally from the mainstream story. Steve Keen says it’s all about debt; Michael Roberts, the rate of profit.
Both the crisis and the apparent boom before it were caused by the change in private debt. Rising aggregate private debt adds to demand, and falling debt subtracts from it… The crisis itself began in 2008, precisely when the growth of private debt plunged from its peak of almost 30% of GDP p.a. down to its depth of minus 20% in 2010. The recovery, such as it was, began when the rate of decline of debt slowed. Across recession, boom and bust between 1990 and 2012, the correlation between the annual change in private debt and the unemployment rate was -0.92.
Keen says that banks create money rather than money existing already, and…
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