Work

Peer Reviewed Books and Articles:

Financial Underpinnings of the European Crisis: Financial Deregulation, Privatization, and Asymmetric State Power; Edgar Elgar Publishing; 2017.

“Financial Liberalization and the Onset of Financial Crisis in Western European States Between 1983 and 2011: An Econometric Investigation.” Accepted by The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, 09/15

Working Papers:

The Ambiguous Effects of Targeting Current Account Surpluses

Ceteris Paribus, current account surpluses may be preferable to current account deficits. Export surpluses should increase domestic GDP, and they may lend economic and political power to industries and states in domestic and international systems. However, the frame of analysis matters when considering the net benefits or costs of pursuing current account surpluses: benefits of pursuing export-led strategies may change over time, they may be unevenly distributed within a given economy, and they may create problems for trade partners, depending on the trade-boosting strategies deployed. This chapter considers potential downsides of pursuing current account surpluses over time, across economic sectors, and at the international level. It surveys work on export-led growth, neomercantilism, and import-substitution strategies in work by a range of economists in Post-Keynesian, structural development, and world-systems theories. Every economy cannot run a trade surplus all of the time: the costs of avoiding this inevitability may be greater at the global level or over time than the benefits of accruing current account surplus in the moment.

“Fiscal Expenditure and the Structuralist Approach to Money: Liquidity Structures, Endogenous Money, and Government Spending”

In times of financial crisis, central banks typically provide liquidity support to at-risk banks. Since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, governments have often provided financial support to banks at risk of failure through guarantees and direct lending to financial institutions, sometimes in tandem with monetary authorities, and sometimes in the absence of monetary authorities’ interventions. As shadow-banking has increased in systemic importance, the value of government bonds as collateral for banks’ refinancing and for governments’ own potential to spend and place debt has grown. However, these dynamics have different effects for economies with exorbitant privilege than for economies perceived to be less systemically important, especially during crises. This paper introduces government activity into Chick and Dow’s Structuralist Approach to Endogenous Money. It demonstrates how government expenditure can provide liquidity and endogenous money, though governments may themselves require liquidity support during crises. The relative ease with which governments may access this liquidity depends partly on private perception of the value of that governments’ bonds, and partly on central banks’ willingness or ability to act as the government’s bank, which is influenced by historical, political, and other structural factors. Recent experiences during the Global Financial Crisis, the Eurozone Crisis, and the COVID-19 Crisis illustrate the importance of understanding the monetary and financial factors that may constrain governments’ abilities to fund deficits, especially given the importance of fiscal expenditure as a stabilizing economic force, or as a potential driver of economic development.

Institutions, Liquidity Preference, and Reserve Asset Holding in the Eurozone Core and Periphery Before and After Crises: Some Stylized Facts

The monetary integration of the Eurozone initially accommodated endogenous money creation across its members; however, liquidity crises that followed the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) revealed structural disparities in liquidity provision in response to funding crises. By refusing to act as a lender of last resort, the European Central Bank pushed governments across the Eurozone to guarantee domestic financial liabilities. The importance of repurchase agreements to fund Eurozone banking and the predominance of European government bonds in general collateral left peripheral governments vulnerable to decreased private demand for their debt, and financially constrained by private intermediaries’ refusal of peripheral sovereign bonds in general collateral. This constraint created accelerated the sovereign debt crises driving the Eurozone crisis. This paper analyzes Eurozone banks’, National Central Banks’, and governments’ balance sheets to show how they have internalized the lessons from the GFC. We find that these entities have returned to holding larger concentrations of reserve assets, a practice that some architects of the Eurozone had hoped monetary integration at the supranational level would end. As Eurozone governments consider how to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, liquidity crunches that hurt financial and fiscal activity across the Eurozone remain a risk.

German Public Banks, Financial Competition, and Crisis: Institutional Change in German Banking and Financial Vulnerability Before the Global Financial Crisis” September 2020

This paper asks why Landesbanks, public banks designed to provide credit to German firms in regions underserved by private banks, embraced risky asset and liability balances in the years before the Global Financial Crisis, and subsequently lost billions of dollars in write-downs after the US subprime mortgage bubble burst in 2007. It argues that the German government’s decisions to eliminate protections for Landesbanks increased competitive pressure for public banks, increased the propensity for those banks to adopt risky strategies in order to maximize profits. These actions by Landesbanks and large private banks exposed German households and firms to greater risk and financial vulnerability, and indirectly exposed European financial systems to subprime mortgage risk. It uses balance sheet analysis for different sectors of German finance to show that Landesbanks and Germany’s large private banks adopted higher risk asset and liabilities, engaged in more international activity, and shifted from lending to security acquisition while competing for profits, while Sparkassen, small public savings banks, did not adopt such risky strategies, and successfully shielded German households and small businesses from credit market spillovers following the Global Financial Crisis. The paper contributes nuance to debates about whether public banks are beneficial institutions to promote, and shows that Landesbanks’ failures stemmed from external pressures for them to increase their profits, which increased financial and economic instability in Germany and beyond.

“Network Analysis of European Wealth, Elites, and Integration, Pre- and Post-Eurozone Crisis.” A network analysis of connections between the 50 largest European firms, government, quasi government institutions, and higher education, mapping change in these connections from 2000 through 2017. Particularly explores the changing shares of private versus public connections, as well as evolution after the Eurozone Crisis.

“Monetary Policy Under the Eurosystem: Space for Dispute and Contradiction Between National Central Banks and the European Central Bank?” This paper evaluates the tension between the European Central Bank (ECB) and National Central Banks (NCBs) under the Eurosystem. It considers the evolution of the responsibilities and agency of these institutions within the Eurozone, especially the controversies surrounding those institutional developments, and discusses the potential for contradiction and conflict in the event of disagreement between the ECB and a specific NCB in the context of a crisis. It then applies these ideas to several case studies. It first considers the scope for NCB bailouts prior following the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, and then it considers the interplay between the ECB and NCBs in the context of the Eurozone Crisis, after most NCBs and governments had bailed out national financial systems.

Other Publications:

The Case for More Solyndras” – MIT Tech Review; co-authored with Mark Paul. November, 2020.

Ooh La La: Der Kapitalismus Ist Vorbei.” Jacobin.De. July 10, 2020.

The End of Capitalism: Ooh La La.” Blog Post, Progress in Political Economy. May 27, 2020.

Learning All the Wrong Lessons From the 2008 Financial Crisis.” Op-Ed; Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting. May 12, 2020.

Economic Reporting on Hardships of Pandemic Should Explore Market Failures.” Op-Ed; Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting. April 26, 2020.

Rethinking the Theory of Money, Credit, and Macroeconomics: A Review Essay,” in Review of Political Economy (2020): 1-8.

“Can America Truly Turn Socialist?” December, 2019 Challenge, 63(1), 40-51.

“Too Good to be True: What the Icelandic Crisis Revealed About Global Finance,” in The Political Economy of International Finance in an Age of Inequality: Soft Currencies, Hard Landings, edited by Gerald Epstein. November, 2018. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing

Presentations:

July, 2020: Association for Heterodox Economics, “Liquidity, Assets, and Power in Monetary Policy for the European Core and Periphery, Before and After the Euro”

March, 2020: Boston University, Global Development Policy Workshop, “German Finance and the Eurozone Crisis”

February, 2020: Eastern Economic Association Conference — “Roundtable on James Crotty’s Keynes Against Capitalism: Socialism, Keynesianism, and Crotty for Our Times“; “Trade and the Desirability of Deficits in Post-Keynesian Economics”

January, 2020: American Economic Association Conference — “Special Drawing Rights, Target2 Balances, and European Monetary Policy, Before and After the Eurozone Crisis”

June, 2019: History of Economics Society Annual Conference; John Smithin Symposium

March, 2019: Eastern Economic Association Conference — “Too Good to Be True: What the Icelandic Crisis Revealed About Global Finance” [Union for Radical Political Economics]

January, 2019: American Economic Association Conference — “Network Analysis of European Wealth, Elites, and Integration, Pre- and Post-Eurozone Crisis.” [Association for Social Economics]

Grant Applications:

November, 2020: URI College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Summer Faculty Research Program, 2021: “Network Analysis of European Wealth, Elites, and Integration, Pre- and Post-Eurozone Crisis”

May, 2020: SSRC — “Macro Fears — Theory vs. Practice — in Responses to Past Crises, and Lessons for the Covid-19 Pandemic”

July, 2019: Rebuilding Macroeconomics — Institutions Hub: Network Analysis of Corporate Connections to the Bank of England [Finalist]