“Indeed, the Minsky moment has become a fashionable catch phrase on Wall Street.”-The Wall Street Journal
John Maynard Keynes offers a timely reconsideration of the work of the revered economics icon. Hyman Minsky argues that what most economists consider Keynesian economics is at odds with the major points of Keynes's The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money. Keynes and Minsky refuse to ignore pervasive uncertainty. Once uncertainty is given center stage, recurring episodes of financial system crises are all but inescapable. As Robert Barbera notes in a new preface, “Benign economic circumstances...invite increasingly aggressive financial market wagers. Innovation in finance is a signature development in a capitalist economy. Once leveraged wagers are in place, small disappointments can have exaggerated consequences.” Thus for Minsky economic calm on Main Street engenders financial system fragility which, in turn, ensures a perpetuation of boom and bust cycles.
Minsky colleagues Dimitri B. Papadimitriou and L. Randall Wray write in a new introduction, “We offer this new edition, in the hope that it will contribute to the reformation of economic theory so that it can address the world in which we actually live-the world that was always the topic of Minsky's analysis.”
In his seminal work, Minsky presents his groundbreaking financial theory of investment, one that is startlingly relevant today. He explains why the American economy has experienced periods of debilitating inflation, rising unemployment, and marked slowdowns-and why the economy is now undergoing a credit crisis that he foresaw. Stabilizing an Unstable Economy covers:The natural inclination of complex, capitalist economies toward instability Booms and busts as unavoidable results of high-risk lending practices “Speculative finance” and its effect on investment and asset prices Government's role in bolstering consumption during times of high unemployment The need to increase Federal Reserve oversight of banks
Henry Kaufman, president, Henry Kaufman & Company, Inc., places Minsky's prescient ideas in the context of today's financial markets and institutions in a fascinating new preface. Two of Minsky's colleagues, Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, Ph.D. and president, The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, and L. Randall Wray, Ph.D. and a senior scholar at the Institute, also weigh in on Minsky's present relevance in today's economic scene in a new introduction.
A surge of interest in and respect for Hyman Minsky's ideas pervades Wall Street, as top economic thinkers and financial writers have started using the phrase “Minsky moment” to describe America's turbulent economy. There has never been a more appropriate time to read this classic of economic theory.