Beating Back the Ghosts: Be Gone Appeals to Reinhart and Rogoff Authority. Welcome the Triumph of Reason.
They’ve haunted me.Â Incessantly.Â The ghosts of Reinhart and Rogoff.Â Their research here, there, everywhere.
Bank of Canada speeches? Yes.Â Finance Department talking points? Check. House of Commons debates? Yup.Â Globe editorials? Ditto.Â Discussions with fellow progressives? Sadly, yes.
Results? Arguments conjured in their name.Â Reason decapitated.Â Modern Monetary Theorists (MMT) banished to the netherworld of cranks.
But we told you so. We told you so**:
- Randy Wray, writing a little more than a year ago, called them out, saying: “One hopes that the database they have assembled might provide more detail. We have tried contacting both authors to access the database, but so far with no response“
- Bill Mitchell: pointing to the inconvenient truth of the underlying analysis and its emphasis on external (not domestic) debt.Â And then the countless exaggerations that followed by the authors and their propagandists.
- Me, in private, countless times running through the arguments to no avail. Authority wins. Fear of trespassing on the sacred convention of balanced budgets wins.Â Fear of the narrative wins.
For a nice roundup of what I speak, cryptically because I dare not tempt the gods, please check out the following.Â Hopefully, this will suffice for the exorcism:
** I use we in the royal we sense not to mean me but the (far far far) more prolific MMT writers who I greatly admire.