Dec 24, 2020
Welcome to episode 60 of Activist #MMT. Today is part three of my five-part conversation with one of MMT’s original developers, Mathew Forstater. Today, Mat and I start with a light-hearted conversation about music, parenting, Twitter, and the book club his two sons gave him for his birthday this year. He then proceeds to tell many stories from the history of heterodox economics, his own career, and his role in the early history of MMT. Along with several other UMKCers and MMTers, Mat was recognized by a 2015 Bloomberg article (original, archive) for properly predicting the Euro currency would be a disaster. The other MMTers are Wynne Godley, Warren Mosler, L. Randall Wray, Warren Mosler, and Stephanie Kelton (along with the seriously-not-MMTers, Milton Friedman and Margaret Thatcher!).
UMKC is one of the few universities in the world with a PhD program in economics through an MMT lens. With the assistance of Warren Mosler, the program was begun by Mat, Stephanie Kelton, Randall Wray, and others. Over the years, the program has resulted in hundreds of MMT-educated professors now teaching around the country.
Mat also discusses the economist who is the subject of his own dissertation, Adolph Lowe. Lowe was a professor at The New School, and one of Lowe’s students, Robert Heilbronner, later became Mat’s own professor at The New School. Mat describes the early history of The New School, originally called "The University In Exile,” which was created by a group of disaffected professors from Columbia University.
In part four, Mat tells the full story of how his then-undergraduate student Pavlina Tcherneva became involved in the MMT project.
But for now, let’s get right back to my conversation with Mat Forstater.