A Minsky Moment on the BBC

Michael Stephens | April 1, 2014

For those of you who haven’t seen it already, Duncan Weldon did a feature on Hyman Minsky for the BBC last week, including this short article and a 30-minute piece for BBC radio.

In the radio segment, Adair Turner says this about Minsky’s contribution and his departure from the mainstream (a description of the pre-crisis orthodoxy which is probably baffling to many unfamiliar with the field):

“The dominant strain of modern economics had assumed, before the crisis, that you could largely ignore the details of the financial system and banks in particular. The phrase that was used was that finance was simply a sort of veil through which relationships between savers and borrowers passed and it didn’t have an influence, and at the … core of Minsky’s analysis is the fact that financing contracts and banks in particular have a crucial influence.”

Weldon devotes a great deal of the program to the “financial instability hypothesis,” for which Minsky is, perhaps, best known, but Minsky also offered an approach to re-regulating the financial system that makes his work as useful as a prescription for a more stable capitalism as it is as a diagnosis of financial crises. (The Levy Institute’s short ebook, Beyond the Minsky Moment (pdf), includes a survey of Minsky’s views about how to reconstitute the financial structure and explains why Dodd-Frank falls well short. The Minsky archive has also been digitized to provide access to many of Minsky’s unpublished papers and notes.)

The annual conference inspired by Minsky’s work will be held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC next week.

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