Econintersect: Italian investigative journalist Paolo Barnard organized what may have been the world’s first major conference on MMT (Modern Monetary Theory). The official name given to the meeting, held February 24-26, 2012 in Rimini, Italy, was “The Italian MMT Summit.” Click on graphic for larger image of summit poster.
The invited panelists were: Stephanie Kelton and William Black, University of Missouri Kansas City; Alain Parguez, University of Franche-Comte, Besancon (France) ; Michael Hudson, Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends; and Marshall Auerback, Madison Street Partners LLC, consulting economist for PIMCO, Senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and Research Associate at the Levy Institute.
Panelist Kelton has shared some of her post-conference thoughts with Econintersect about how she found the reception in Italy. She said she felt overwhelmed when she saw more than 1,900 people in the meeting hall when she arrived on the first evening.
“For the next two days, 2,000 people sat in hard plastic chairs and listened to us talk about politics and economics for more than 8 hours each day,” Kelton said. Attendees were lined up to talk to the panelists after every session. The most common questions were about how ordinary people can bring change in monetary policy. “How do we leave the euro was a common question,” Kelton reports.
Kelton also said that attendees were concerned about Italy accepting the German “solution.” She told Econintersect: “They know that what this race-to-the-bottom will mean for them, and they don’t want to a ticket on the train to Bangladesh. They want their sovereign currency back, and they want to use it to achieve a more democratic and prosperous Italy.”
Panelist Black has reported that some attendees expressed concern that governments could abuse knowledge of modern monetary operations for increasing control over populations rather than for the benefit of populations.
Here are short videos showing some local geography and some scenes from the conference itself, which was held in a sports arena. The official count from site security for the three day attendance was 6,012.
Disclosure: Kelton, Black, Hudson and Auerback have all had articles published on Global Economic Intersection blogs.
- 2,181 Italians Pack a Sports Arens to Learn Modern Monetary Theory: The Economy Doesn’t Need to Suffer Neo-Liberal Austerity (Michael Hudson, New Economic perspectives, 01 March 2012)
- Addressing the Dominant Critique of MMT (William K. Black, New Economic perspectives, 29 February 2012)