Legal Institutionalism: The Public/Private Law dialectic, Accounting and Post Keynesian Monetary Macroeconomics

Summary

The EU and the Eurozone are in deep crisis. So are orthodox and heterodox economics.  While orthodox neoclassical economics have “no room for money” and nothing to say about financial crises and deflationary depressions, heterodox Post Keynesians do better in that regard but lack a shared paradigm. They also lack a systematic and precise legal foundation, without which the numerous institutional flaws of the Eurozone and the EU cannot be detected. Some Post Keynesians, notably Modern Monetary Theorists, notice the lack of sovereign taxing power at the Eurozone level.  The lack of private (property and contract) law and a weak, patrimonial state infrastructure in general in parts of the southern periphery, Post Keynesians typically overlook. Only some neoclassical institutional economists perceive this, but they in turn typically overlook the lack of federal taxing power at the Eurozone level.

Some people admonish that a “political union” would have had to precede the monetary union, but what specifically a “political union” would entail – a federal european state holding the legitimate monopoly of force on european territory – is left in the dark.  A precise comparative look at how such loose confederations of states historically arrived at federal unions is missing entirely, since both neoclassical and post keynesian economists work with abstract universalist models and show deliberate disinterest in history and the historical specificity of capitalism.

We need to build coherent, systematic legal foundations for post keynesian monetary macroeconomics if we want to not only challenge the neoclassical paradigm, but address the crisis of Europe in a comprehensive way.  This can be achieved by systematically linking Legal Institutionalism and the Legal Theory of Finance to post keynesian monetary macroeconomics by way of simple, but precise accounting concepts.  On April 4, we presented our ideas at the 2016 Symposium on Property Rights, set up by WINIR, the World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research. Our presentations can be found here:

Systematic Legal Foundations for Monetary Economics – An Essential Step Towards a New Paradigm for Political Economy

Why Assets Are Not Things, Why Buying is Not Paying, And Why a New Macroeconomic Paradigm Needs to Add Both Microeconomic Insights

We sketch an outline of this connection below.  To download the papers we present above, click here.

Property, Freedom and the State

Property and contract law form the core of private law. They guarantee personal freedom, institutionalize core human rights of european civilization and fundamentally decentralize power. Property and Freedom (of contract) are the foundational ideas of european civilization, ancient (greco-roman) and modern. The first wave of modern liberalism did not come from economists. It came from liberal philosophers of law, like John Locke in England, Immanuel Kant in Germany and Jean-Jacques Rousseau in France. Property and contract are based upon the ideas of freedom, equality and consent. They make possible secure impersonal exchange beyond the circles of kin and personal acquaintances.

Yet, free citizens can institutionalize private law only within the context of public law, which presupposes a centralized sovereign state that monopolizes the use of physical force in order to make both private and public legal rights and obligations enforceable and thus, reliable. Public law, however, is based upon bondage, subordination and command.  These principles run directly counter to the principles of private law. Right at the heart of the legal system of european civilization (or capitalism), there is an inescapable contradiction of principles. In Economics, this has given rise to various forms of fundamentalism. Radical Liberals (like Milton Friedman’s son David, for example) took sides with the market (based upon private law) and against the state, which they essentially want to do away with completely. Radical Socialists, on the other hand, wanted to eliminate private property (the very foundation of private law and the market) altogether and have all productive activities coordinated by a central state. Keynes, who had attempted a “third way” between those extremes, from the mid 1970s on came to be pushed into the statist’s corner by Milton Friedman, F.A. Hayek and others, after his theory that was designed to be a general theory and a monetary theory of production had been re-integrated into the “neoclassical synthesis” as a “special case” of the neoclassical model he had wanted to overcome.

Today, 27 years after the collapse of state socialism, it is the market fundamentalists who are winning the day. State functions are privatized, governments even replace police forces by hiring different private security firms to do their job in order to save money. This approach to privatize state functions endangers the law itself.

In order to get over such fundamentalisms, it is helpful for economists (who typically do not look at and underconceptualize law) to first clearly understand the contradictory nature of the law and legal system itself, and then remember how this is mediated in law by way of constitutional law.

The paradox of seemingly contradictory principles of decentralized private law (freedom/equality, consent, market) and centralized public law (subordination, command, state) has, after an absolutist phase of state building (Bodin, Hobbes, Machiavelli), historically been mediated through the concepts of popular sovereignty (Rousseau), the rule of law (Montesquieu) and democratic government (taken from the ancient polis) as core ideas of western constitutional law.

Democratic Constitutions and the Rule of Law

The basic idea behind these core institutions of western civilization is to subordinate public law to the free citizens as well, by turning the free citizens – subjects of private law – into partial little sovereigns (“popular sovereignty”) who govern themselves by means of the state’s legitimate monopoly of force.  As subjects of private law or bourgeois, citizens create legally binding, enforceable rights and obligations by contract.  As subjects of public law or citoyen, they create legally binding, enforceable rights and duties by public legislation – either directly, or, in representative democracies, through an elected parliament. In either case, it is the free citizens who are the creators of the laws, not an absolute monarch; and the idea is that they submit to the law they themselves created, i.e. to the secular “rule of law”, not to an absolute monarch that rules theocratically by “divine right” bestowed upon him from the heavens.  The principle of theocracy still evident in the Vatican or Islamic theocracies such as Saudi-Arabia was moved from the sphere of government to the sphere of private entertainment by the ancient greeks already, and again by renaissance philosophers – secular law and government are core principles of european civilization.

But the “rule of law” implies more important principles, which – while relying on the state’s monopoly of force – are fundamentally directed at weakening and controlling this monopoly.  The free citizens use the old strategy of “divide et impera” against their state monopoly of power.  They historically devised three major ways of dividing or separating the monopolized power of the state: the first, probably least recognized but most important division, is the division between the spheres of public law, which is based upon command and subordination of subjects to a sovereign, and the sphere of private law, which is based upon contracting by consent and equality of free citizens before the law.  The second division is vertical division of power – federalism.  The power of the centralized government is divided into a number of vertical levels, typically the federal level (in german, Bundesebene), the state level (in german, Landesebene) and the community level (in german, kommunale Ebene), each of which has their own elected government and retains sovereignty in a number of areas.  The third and most well-known division is horizontal division of powers within each federal level, between a legislative, an executive and a judicial branch of government.

Each of these massively divides and thus weakens the monopolized power of the centralized (federal) state – while presupposing that such a monopoly exists in the first place, because only a unified monopoly of power can guarantee and enforce private law in the same way for all citizens, and only a monopoly of force can be divided up without losing the internal coherence a united federal state must provide in the interest of the public.  The trick is to effectively restrain but retain the  centralized monopoly of force.

There is another dialectic at work here, that between unified power and divided power. Both principles contradict each other, but by way of this contradiction, they create a dynamic which disappears as soon as one of the two polar opposites of the contradiction is eliminated.

Edmund Burke has described the difficulty of understanding building such a contradictory legal order in the following beautiful words:

“To make a government requires no great prudence. Settle the seat of power, teach obedience, and the work is done. To give freedom is still more easy. It is not necessary to guide; it only requires to let go the rein. But to form a free government, that is, to temper together these opposite elements of liberty and restraint in one consistent work, requires much thought, deep reflection, a sagacious, powerful, and combining mind.” (Edmund Burke, “Reflections on the Revolution in France”, 1790)

And even when such an ambitious project succeeded, historically it has been of shortlived success: anacylosis  (or kyklos), the cycle from centralized to more decentralized forms of government and back to more centralized forms, has been a recurrent pattern in the history of western civilization and therefore a classic topic among republican thinkers from Aristoteles and Polybios to Cicero, Machiavelli and Kant.

These problems have to be dealt with in state building – be it in “developing” nations who want to emulate the western model, or be it in the case of Europe, that ever since World War II has pursued the project of unification. How have different states dealt with this problem, how did they develop, and why (and how) did some arrive at a full-fledged “liberal democracy” while others ended up in dictatorships or corrupt in-betweens?

Francis Fukuyama asks this question in his latest studies on Origins of Political Order (2011) and Political Order and Political Decay (2014), and presents a comparative history of state building, starting in ancient China.  Curiously, he completely omits the ancient greek polis and the ancient roman civitas – the origins of western civilization and its fundamental ideas of property, freedom, democracy and rule of law. Curiously, he also omits an analysis of the european attempts at union building, which could be illuminated in many ways by his comparative approach, creating a more realistic perspective that the superficial current european public debate about whether “more Europe” or “less Europe” is needed is exhibiting.

Nevertheless, he is not shy to openly present his findings:  (1) “war made the state, and the state made war”, is the sobering result a comparative study of history shows for most cases. Fukuyama’s comparative history of state building also shows that (2) in most cases, a strong state monopoly of force could only be divided up and democratized when it first had been built up as such an (absolutist) monopoly before.  Finally, Fukuyama finds (3) that the principle of state (centralized coercion) conflicts with the principle of kinship and family relations. On one hand, it undermines kinship-based reciprocity/solidarity. On the other hand, the state is in constant danger of being repatrimonialized, that is, to be corrupted by clientelistic networks of “buddies” and relatives.

Fukuyama goes on to show this comparatively and in detail in the history of different states, including the states of ancient China, modern Prussia and the United States of America.  Interestingly, the U.S. does not score too well in reliable state building in its early phase in Fukuyama’s view.  According to Fukuyama, quickly building a democratic federation has led to a clientilistic political system that later was difficult to eliminate.  The progressive movement and the middle class did much to create a more reliable state and political system, but in Fukuyama’s view, patriamonialism and clientelism have returned big time in the U.S. today, in the form of Wall Street Lobbyism.

Can the way the U.S. Federation was formed in the years leading up to the 1787 constitution be a model Europeans can learn from in their attempts to build a union?  At least, it was one of the very few examples in history where a federal state was built in a democratic fashion, something the Europeans aspire to. Most successful attempts at union building in history were despotic – not just Asia, but also Prussia are among Fukuyama’s prime examples.

Europeans will have to look at the comparative history of state building if they want to find sensible solutions to the impasse the EU and the Eurozone have run into and get past the and the stalemated, superficial discussion that is now dominating public discourse.  There is much to learn from the comparative history of state building.

We see a primary problem in the fact that since 1992, the EU is on a wrong path, based upon false economic theories that essentially promote anti-working-class policy and bottom-up redistribution of wealth, deepens deflation und thus, the centrifugal forces within the union.  This runs counter to the original goals of the Europeans for their unification, but is still seen by political deciders and the majority of Europeans as without alternative; the only alternative people seem to be able to see at the moment is disbanding the Union altogether – without any sensible plan to move forward after such a freeing move.  The other problem we see in the fact that the Union has been grown way too fast, to 28 member states.  The monetary union was put before building a common state and a legal union based upon shared private and public law, with administrations enforcing it at a similar level of reliability and incorruptibility.

Thus, there are problems in macroeconomic policy as well as in the strategy of union building. Both challenges have to be addressed together. This can only be achieved by systematic cooperation of monetary macroeconomists with lawyers, political scientists (like Fukuyama) and historians on the basis of a shared, precise understanding of the relationship between family, state, law, and the financial system: business, macroeconomics and their paradox relationships.

Our goal is to bring people from these disciplines together to work on a better, more realistic plan for going forward with European integration on the basis of a shared paradigm built on law, the law-accounting-business-finance-macroeconomics connection (here, Stützel’s mechanics of balances and post-keynesian monetary macroeconomists are essential elements), and comparative history.  A systematically conceptually integrated perspective on european civilization is needed here, and the law-accounting-macroeconomics connection can provide that. We need to overcome their disciplinary isolation if the enormous challenges Europe is facing are to be tackled.

So, let’s move on to the law-accounting-finance-business-macroeconomics connection.

Business, Politics and Political Economy made in Law

Business and finance are based on this dialectic relationship between public and private law. Any balance sheet entry is a legal title, enforceable by a sovereign state: any “real asset” is a property right, any “financial asset” or “financial liability” is either a private – contract based – or a public – tax based – claim or obligation. Only enforceability through state institutions turns balance sheet entries into fungible assets and liabilities.

From a legal standpoint, business accounting is not accounting for assets and liabilities, but accounting for legally enforceable rights and obligations:  “real assets” and “immaterial wealth” such as trademarks, patents or goodwill are property rights,  “financial assets” are claims against specific other legal persons, and liabilities are obligations towards other specific legal persons.  The term “real assets” contains an implicit confusion of property rights with possessional rights:  What is usually called “real assets” are actually property rights  – rights of exclusion against everyone else including the state – which subjects can hold even without having physical control over the material thing. As an example, take the case of a rented home: it is not an asset for the tenant, but for the owner.  But it is the tenant who possesses the home, i.e. has actual physical control over it. The owner thus holds the asset (property right) but not the home itself (possession), because he transferred the right to possess and use the home to the tenant via the lease contract, while retaining the property right and thus, the asset: it is only the owner and not the tenant who can legally sell the home – even independently of who the tenant is and whether he has a right to continuing to possess the home or not.

No State, no Law; no Law, no Market; no Market, no Innovation (“Modernization”)

It is this possibility to transfer property rights to other citizens independent of the actual possession of the object that is absent in pre-state or weak-state societies that have not institutionalized a reliable system of private law, which in turn is impossible without a reliable state monopoly of power and a reliable state administration upon public law. As legal anthropologist and historian William Seagle states:

“The concept of “possession” rather than ownership is far more suitable in describing the primitive institutions … until the creation of legal obligations becomes habitual there is no need for any claim of ownership. (…) Even more emphasis is to be place upon the fact that absentee ownership is unknown in most primitive societies. The owner is also the occupant. Possession is the whole law.”  (William Seagle, “The Quest For Law”, 1941, 51-52; 55).

Efficient Markets do not magically “emerge” by themselves or laissez-faire “self-organization” once any government restrictions have been removed.  On the contrary:  without a strong state that is also willing and able to reliably grant property and contract law to its citizens, no efficient markets but simply chaos and anarchy will result, as Russia, who had fallen prey to western anarcho-liberal ideology after its collapse in 1990, painfully had to learn.

As Francis Fukuyama writes about such “fantasies of statelessness” believed in not just by anarcho-liberals like Milton Friedman’s son David Friedman, but also by Marxist romantics:

“… the kinds of minimal or no-government societies envisioned by dreamers of the Left and Right are not fantasies; they actually exist in the contemporary developing world. Many parts of sub-Saharan Africa are a libertarian’s paradise … Political Institutions are necessary and canot be taken for granted. A market economy will not and high levels of wealth don’t magically appear when you “get government out of the way”; they rest on a hidden institutional foundation of property rights, rule of law, and basic political order. A free market, a vigerous civil society, the spontaneous “wisdom of crowds” are all important components of a working democracy, but none can ultimately replace the functions of a strong, hierarchical government. ” (Francis Fukuyama, “Origins of Political Order”, 2011, 13-14)

Exploring the question how states historically came into existence in the first place in two large Volumes containing a broad, historically comparative analysis of state formation, Fukuyama concludes:

A number of the most successful modern states were created under authoritarian conditions, often by countries facing severe national security threats. This is true of ancient China, Prussia/Germany, modern Japan, and a handful of other countries. By contrast, when democracy is introduced prior to the consolidation of a modern state, it often has the effect of weakening the quality of government. The prime example of this is the United States, which invented clientelistic party government after the opening up of the democratic franchise in the 1820s and was thereafter saddled with a patronage-riddled bureaucracy for much of the next century. This is also the story of Greece and Italy, both of which developed sophisticated clientelistic systems that impeded the growth of modern state administrations. Clientelism remains pervasive among democratic countries in the developing world and undermines the quality of governments from India and Mexico to Kenya and the Philippines.”  (Francis Fukuyama, “Political Order and Political Decay”, 2014, 508)

Heterodox Monetary Economics: lacking systematic legal and institutional foundations

Heterodox post keynesian monetary economists have hitherto either taken this legal foundation simply for granted, or have shed only partial and unsystematic light on either its private law aspect (Heinsohn/Steiger’s Ownership Economics) or its public law aspect (Chartalists, Wray’s Modern Monetary Theory). This complete lack of legal and institutional foundations may well be one of the most important reasons for the continuing paradigmatic self-marginalization vis-a-vis a hegemonic necloassical model that empirically, has nothing to say about money, credit and financial crises, as evidenced in the classic Frank Hahn quote, “The most serious challenge that the existence of money poses to the theorist is this: the best developed (neoclassical, mm) model of the economy cannot find room for it.” (Frank Hahn, “Money and Inflation”, 1981, 1), to which Hayek adds, “It is self-contradictory to discuss a process which admittedly could not take place without money, and at the same time to assume that money is absent or has no effect.” (Friedrich A. von Hayek, “Pure Theory of Capital, 1941, 31)

Surprisingly, clear descriptions of the legal foundations for economics are hard to come by in the history of political economy and economics, but have been attempted by Henry Dunning MacLeod in the 19th century and John R. Commons in the first half of the 20th.  These simple insights are now being rediscovered by the “Legal Theory of Finance” and “Legal Institutionalism“, who are beginning to discuss this with monetary economists and with people from other disciplines.  Two japanese authors now also clearly recognize the origins of double-entry bookkeeping in roman law (focusing, however, only on private law).

Contrary to the market or state fundamentalist ideology of the cold war era however, the resulting system is a priori hybrid and based on essentally contradicting principles (private consent/public command and private freedom/public subordination).  We call this the private/public law dialectic. Property and Contract based private law leads to credit relationships between free citizens, turning mere barter and gift exchange (positive reciprocity) between kinship members or fraudulent exchange with strangers (negative reciprocity) into legally enforceable, credit-based monetary business transactions: western civilization (capitalism) is made in law.

Inherent Instability of Credit, the State-Market-Cycle and the Dialectic of Parts and Whole

Credit based markets are inherently instable, because monetary claims and obligations are nominally fixed while property titles (“real assets”) are constantly re-evaluated with respect to expected future returns. In line with the resulting cycles of credit expansion (booms) and contraction (financial crises), the hybrid system then historically oscillates between market/private law dominance and deregulation and state/public law dominance and regulation, as Schulmeister and Soros have described in some detail:  the dominance of markets during the first decades of the 20th century was followed by a strong swing to state dominance with the New Deal in the USA, the Rise of Fascism in Europe and the Keynesian period after WW II, lasting until the End of the Bretton Woods System in 1971.  Then, led by Friedman’s monetarist attack on Keynesianism, another period of market and privat law dominance set in, which led right up to the financial crisis of 2008.  Another swing to the state side is clearly visible on the horizon, as state weakness is now again regarded as a major problem of international problems, and a renewed call for “institutions” and state building is slowly making itself heard.

Fashion Cycles in Political Economy

Taking into account the hybrid and contradictory – and thus, dialectical – nature of the basic structure of western civilization – private law/market/business  vs. public law/state/politics – helps to recognize the different principles that individual business strategy and economic policy have to follow, to decipher the central bank as the mediating institution between private and public credit money creation, and brings into view the public political process through which the dominant economic policy is decided. In a simple way, it becomes clear how private interest groups use economic theories and ideologies (traditionally, Marxism, Neoclassic, Keynesianism, back to Neoclassic) as rhetorical weapons to gain power over government policy by influencing public opinion through campaigning and politicians through lobbying.

This helps to understand the cyclical change of fashion in economic theory, from classical economics to marxism (1867-ca. 1900), to neoclassical economics (ca. 1900-1936), to Keynesianism (ca. 1936 – 1975) back to neoclassical economics (ca. 1975-today), to … something now in development:

“Economics has been in crisis many times – usually at times when it was consulted because developments of the national and global economy were less than satisfying. It appeared to be successful only at times when it “proved”, that the view currently dominating public discourse anyway represents a “true” description of empirical economic reality. If Economics is a servant like other sciences, then it did not provide orientation. Quite the contrary: it provided the “conditional clauses” that allowed the majority in society to believe that what it did anyway was also “rational”.

Economics has always been “political” in this sense. It was political in another sense than is commonly believed: out of the existing economic models, the actors in the economy have promoted and financed that theory that supported their own goals and plans. Thus, the economic theory that best served the interests of the majority parties tended to dominate. This explains its temporary success and crises (i.e. after the first world economic crisis of 1857, Marxism; from about 1900 to the great depression, neoclassical economics; after the great depression of the 1930s, Keynesianism; from the mid-70s until about 2008 Neoclassical Economics; right now, we are in the midst of another “paradigm shift”, A.N.). A theory is accepted as long as it justifies circumstances and politics that a majority of voters sees as being in their interest – not because it is a sufficient explanation of the economy. A theory remains marginal if that is not the case.” (Stadermann/Steiger, “Schulökonomik”, 2001, 13, my translation)

The ideology promoted under the name of monetarism since the 1970s, that the central bank has to be independent by all means, focus on monetary stability only and a government household has to be managed like a private household thus becomes decipherable as part of a power scheme that was devised to curb the political power of labour parties, which had reached a pinnacle at the end of the 1960s. This new regime, which also included anti-statist deregulation, privatization and forced government austerity, then gradually led to the 21st century version of finance capitalism with massive bottom-up-redistribution that finally crashed in 2008.

Maybe it even helps to explain the cyclical change of forms of government that Polybios described as anacyclosis – an analysis that is echoed somewhat in Francis Fukuyama’s latest book, “Political Order and Political Decay“.

Today’s Challenge: A New International Order

One of the challenges today is to develop an economics that serves the interest not of the top 5% of the population (as neoliberalism does), but the interests of the rest. This clearly involves not only providing a solid legal and institutional foundation for heterodox monetary economics, but a massive change in political strategy:  a change of direction in redistribution, from bottom-up to top-down, and a reduction of the massive international imbalances – net creditor vs. net debtor positions – which of course have to be financed and are a very simple, but often neglected source of “financialization” and the rise of the global finance industry.  The ancient solution of hebrew law for this redistribution from creditors to debtors was called a jubilee – a sensible alternative to a global financial crash, but a major challenge for national political institutions, since huge paradoxes of competition have to be overcome to cooperate internationally, and the interest groups who would have to take major losses are still very powerful and influential on politics.  Right after the financial crisis of 2009, this insight flashed into the minds  of decision makers, many of whom then called for a reorganization of the international financial system along the lines proposed by Keynes in Bretton Woods in 1944, only to disappear a historical second later to be replaced with “national business as usual”.

Another huge challenge we face presently after the 2008 financial crisis is how to regulate transnationally mobile financial institutions with immobile national legal systems.

This challenge calls for supranational regulation that can best be accomplished by centralized supranational state institutions (which the IMF, World Bank, and UN are not). Thus, transforming the para-state EU into a true federal state becomes an imperative step towards a new international financial order. But this cannot be done along the lines it has been done since 1992, led by unrealistic economics without any institutional foundations.  Serious legal and institutional harmonization would have had to precede the enlargement of the EU.  This was not done, integration went much too fast.  The Eurozone is a misconstruction based upon flawed economic theory and cannot survive in its present state. The Eurozone and the EU have moved themselves into an impasse. Fundamental rethinking, and a realistic strategy based upon realistic economics based upon law, accounting, and monetary macroeconomics – including mechanics of balances – is needed.

But there is another challenge, probably even bigger in scope: the challenge to pick up the pieces of decades of failure in development aid and development economics, and show countries a practical way to a modern economy, which can only start the way it started in Europe, the home of capitalism, as well: by state building. Simple international debt restructuring without such a strategy may well lead to a repetition of the history of development failures of the past 40 years.

Europe faces the most complex combination of challenges and really needs to get clear about its own foundations to develop an ability to ahead and valiantly solve them. To even detect them, Europe needs a New European Political Economics that firmly rests on a clear understanding of the legal concepts and institutions that form the basis of western civilization and their relationship to “economics” and “politics”. The european challenge is twofold:  not only a major change in macroeconomic policy is necessary (as it was in the 1930s), but also some serious institution building. Keynesians and Post-Keynesians still fail to understand the latter, thus remaining on a path of paradigmatic self-marginalization.

The wrong direction the EU and Eurozone have been moving in, and the deeply incoherent response to the financial crisis of 2008, are based upon a lack of solid macroeconomic understanding. Post Keynesians rightly stress this point. But they miss the institutional flaws of the eurozone and the EU as a whole, because their models completly lack a solid legal and institutional foundation.

Our goal is to build a solid legal and institutional foundation for monetary macroeconomics, in order to have the analytical tools to understand the crisis of the Eurozone and the EU as a whole in an integrated way, and to be able to develop a sensible strategy that not only involves a massive change in economic policy (as the post keynesians rightly demand), but also serious state and institution building.

The challenge is huge, and not many people even perceive it in its entirety.  We have not even touched upon the huge challenges in the field of demographics, family, migration and violence Europe will be facing in the coming decades.

But we need to tackle the problems and the first rational step is clarifying our perception by using sharper, more integrative and appropriate concepts that start from the legal system and connect it to monetary macroeconomics and finance by way of accounting and mechanics of balances.

This is our goal. As a very first step, we presented our ideas at the 2016 Symposium on Property Rights of the World Interdisclipinary Network for Institutional Research in Bristol, April 4-6, 2016:

Systematic Legal Foundations for Monetary Economics – An Essential Step Towards a New Paradigm for Political Economy

Why Assets Are Not Things, Why Buying is Not Paying, And Why a New Macroeconomic Paradigm Needs to Add Both Microeconomic Insights

To download the papers we present above, click here. We invite and hope for your support, discussion, criticism and feedback. Thank you very much.

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