Category Archives: Monetary Circulation

Why and How the Basic Expansion Fails to be Implemented

In the ideal pure cycle, the long-term expansion proceeds from a static phase through a proportionate-expansion phase , then through a surplus-expansion phase, then through a basic-expansion phase, and finally into a higher static phase.

At (the beginning of a basic expansion) an economic system is confronted with an intrinsic test. It success will be established if it can complete the major basic expansion and – without mishap, without inflation, without unemployment, without a break in confidence –  make its way serenely into the haven of the stationary state.  I mean of course, not the stationary state of mere backwardness, not the stationary state of stagnation when a disastrous crash follows on an earlier apparent triumph, but the stationary state that preserves all the gains of the preceding major expansions.  It is (then) content to produce their gains at a constant rate.  Its duration may be short or long, for in each case it must wait until such time as further new developments are grasped by human intelligence and eventually become practically conceived possibilities. [CWL 15, 80] (Continue reading)

FMD’s Take on Greg Mankiw’s Take on Modern Monetary Theory


  • .I. Introductory
  • .II. The “legal” basis of our criticism; the “laws” of the process
  • .III. Key objections to Modern Monetary Theory
  • .IV. Observations re “A Skeptic’s Guide to Modern Monetary Theory”
  • .V. Why and how the Basic Expansion fails to be implemented
  • .VI.  Addendum #1: Primary relativities of the economic process
  • .VII. Addendum #2: Excerpts re the drift to totalitarianism

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The Process is Always the Current, Purely Dynamic Process, etc. (See full title specification below.)

The process is always the current, purely dynamic process.  The analysis is purely functional, purely relational and explanatory analysis.  The theory is general and universally applicable  to concrete determinations in any Instance; The theory is a normative theory having a condition of equilibrium.

Our subheadings in this treatment are as follows:

  • Always the Current Process:
  • A Purely Dynamic Process Requiring a Dynamic Heuristic:
  • A Purely Functional Analysis:
  • A Purely Relational, Explanatory Analysis:
  • A Theory, General and Universally Applicable to Concrete Determinations in Any Instance:
  • A Normative Theory Having a Condition of Equilibrium:

Always the Current Process: Continue reading

Lonergan’s functional, analytic distinctions are prior to and more fundamental than changes in prices, interest rates, and employment

Lonergan is alone in using this difference in economic activities to specify the significant variables in his dynamic analysis… no one else considers the functional distinctions between different kinds of (production flows) prior to, and more fundamental than, … price levels and patterns, … interest and profits, and so forth….only Lonergan analyzes booms and slumps in terms of how their (explanatory) velocities, accelerations, and decelerations are or are not equilibrated in relation to the events, movements, and changes in two distinct monetary circuits of production and exchange as considered both in themselves (with circulatory, sequential dependence) and in relation to each other by means of crossover payments. [CWL 15, Editors’ Introduction, lxii]

The Intrinsic Cyclicality of the Productive Process

The economy is composed of the production of two conceptually distinct, mutually-definitive types of goods.  Depending on the context they may be named

  • basic goods or surplus goods,
  • consumer goods or producer goods,
  • accelerated goods or accelerator goods,
  • point-to-point goods or point-to-line goods.

An expansion of the surplus production function causes a later acceleration of the basic production function.  First one surge, then later the other surge.  Note the symbols for time (t) and (t-a) in the following formula, “the lagged technical accelerator.” (continue reading)

kn[f’n(t-a)-Bn] = f”n-1(t) – An-1        CWL 15, p. 37 


New Foundations in 30 Minutes

New foundations for a new science of macroeconomics are grounded in

  • a scientific, dynamic heuristic
  • the technique of implicit definition
  • precise, purely relational, analytical distinctions between fundamental terms representing functional flows of products and money
  • the functional interrelations among these interdependent, mutually defining, explanatory functional flows

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Insight into the Baseball Diamond, Comprehending All in a Unified Whole

As both Aristotle and Lonergan acknowledged, forms are grasped by mind in images.

τα μεν ουν ειδη τον οητικον εν τοις φαντασμασι νοει

[Aristotle, De Anima, III, 7, 431b 2] and [CWL 3, title page]

Thus, if we want to have a comprehensive grasp of everything in a unified whole, we shall have to construct a diagram in which are symbolically represented all the various elements along with all the connections between them. [McShane 2014, 11 (quoting CWL 7, 151)]

We wish here to suggest the insights the reader should have to fully appreciate all that is contained in the Diagram of Rates of Flow. (continue reading)

Why Analyze the Rhythmic Pattern of the Productive Process First?

Why did Lonergan analyze the structure and rhythm of the productive process before he analyzed the monetary aspects of exchange and the inner contradictions of the manipulation of interest rates?

Quick answer: Money is to buy goods and services.  Payments of money are congruent with the network of the production and provision of goods and services.  The production of goods and services is prior in the order of understanding to the correlated payments for goods and services. Therefore, the structure of the current, purely dynamic, productive process – as to factoral makeup, functional interdependencies, flow quantities, and timing – sets the pattern for the pattern of payments.  It is conceptually prior to, and really determinate of, the normative flowings of money.

real analysis (is) identifying money with what money buys. … And that is the source of the problem in real analysis.  If you want to treat money that doesn’t make a difference, you can have a beautiful liberal monetary theory.  But it doesn’t say the way the thing works. [CWL 21, xxviii] (continue reading)

A New Paradigm

The Editors’ Introduction in Macroeconomic Dynamics: An Essay in Circulation Analysis [CWL 15] contains a 4 ½-page Section 5 (pp. liv-lix) entitled Macroeconomic Dynamic Analysis as a New Paradigm of Economic Theory.  It is difficult to imagine that any macroeconomist, who has read that section, would fail to be motivated to study seriously Lonergan’s Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics. That section should be read in its entirety. Here are some of the particular items in that section:  (If discontinued here, click on the title above)
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