Economics meets Antisemitism

On April 27 at approximately noon ET, this article was revised to note that Brian Eno is the English musician and musical producer.

What value should we place on economic analysis from someone with antisemitic views?

That was the question I asked when I viewed an on-line discussion, The Austerity Doctrine in the Time of Coronavirus, which was part of a series called “Let’s Talk it Over” (LTIO) that aired on April 15. It was hosted by Frank Barat – more about him later.

The panel caught my attention because it featured Stephanie Kelton, an economist whose work I admire. She is the most outspoken and articulate advocate of modern monetary theory (MMT).

The discussion itself had no insights that readers of Advisor Perspectives or followers of Kelton have not already heard. It was focused on the need for governments to spend more, through fiscal policy, to support social programs and for that spending to not be constrained by traditional budgetary limits.

However, I was alarmed by the makeup of the panel’s other participants, who I immediately recognized from their track record of antisemitic views: Brian Eno (the English musician and musical producer), Naomi Klein and Yanis Varoufakis.

Indeed, except for Kelton, every current and prior participant in the LTIO series has expressed antisemitic views or supported antisemitic policies.

Let me explain why their views are antisemitic and then come back to the question I raised in my opening paragraph.