In the years since the financial crisis, central banks across the world have struggled to stimulate adequate aggregate demand. Most mainstream economists agree that this is due to inherent impotence of monetary policy at the zero lower bound, although some, including some central banks, now say that the effective lower bound, though finite, is below zero. The Swiss and Danish central banks are currently testing that idea. [more inside]
Currency Wars, or Why You Should Care About the Global Struggle Over the Value of Money In October 2010, the Brazilian Finance Minister made news by claiming an 'international currency war' had broken out. The term 'currency war' promptly became a buzz phrase with commentators and public officials warning about the dangers of these wars and their historical roots in the Great Depression. The U.S. government, in turn, has applied the idea to China, which it has accused of currency manipulation for the better part of a decade. So why does this matter? And how unusual is this all? Historian Steven Bryan puts currency wars in historical perspective and reminds us that currency policy is inextricably linked to national interests and that manipulation is the historical norm, not the exception. [more inside]
The complete guide to America's jobs crisis and the failure of monetary policy using animated gifs
Fed Up. Matthew Yglesias explains how the Federal Reserve System works, and why progressives should care. A more recent column: What is "Austrian economics"? (And why is Ron Paul obsessed with it?) And the Economist has a roundup of heterodox economic theories: Austrian economics, neo-chartalism/MMT (previously), and market monetarism.
A Look Inside Two Central Banks: The European Central Bank And The Federal Reserve [PDF], 2003 article comparing and contrasting their basic structure and management from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank's magazine Review (blue ribbon for Most Generic Magazine Title). Author Patricia S. Pollard is now with the IMF. [more inside]
Money as Debt. Paul Grignon's 47-minute animated presentation of "Money as Debt" tells in very simple graphic terms what money is and how it is created.