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Minsky on Banking: Early Work on Endogenous Money and the Prudent Banker

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  • L. Randall Wray

Abstract

In this paper, I examine whether Hyman P. Minsky adopted an endogenous money approach in his early work--at the time that he was first developing his financial instability approach. In an earlier piece (Wray 1992), I closely examined Minsky's published writings to support the argument that, from his earliest articles in 1957 to his 1986 book (as well as a handout he wrote in 1987 on "securitization"), he consistently held an endogenous money view. I'll refer briefly to that published work. However, I will devote most of the discussion here to unpublished early manuscripts in the Minsky archive (Minsky 1959, 1960, 1970). These manuscripts demonstrate that in his early career Minsky had already developed a deep understanding of the nature of banking. In some respects, these unpublished pieces are better than his published work from that period (or even later periods) because he had stripped away some institutional details to focus more directly on the fundamentals. It will be clear from what follows that Minsky's approach deviated substantially from the postwar "Keynesian" and "monetarist" viewpoints that started from a "deposit multiplier." The 1970 paper, in particular, delineates how Minsky's approach differs from the "Keynesian" view as presented in mainstream textbooks. Further, Minsky's understanding of banking in those years appears to be much deeper than that displayed three or four decades later by much of the post-Keynesian endogenous-money literature.

Suggested Citation

  • L. Randall Wray, 2015. "Minsky on Banking: Early Work on Endogenous Money and the Prudent Banker," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_827, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_827
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    1. L. R. Wray, 1990. "Money and Credit in Capitalist Economies," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 474.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Banks; Deposit Multiplier; Endogenous Money; Financial Innovation; Financial Instability Hypothesis; Horizontalists; Minsky; Originate to Distribute; Prudent Banking; Say’s Law; Securitization;

    JEL classification:

    • B3 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals
    • B50 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - General
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit

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