Knut Wicksell

Johan Gustaf Knut Wicksell was the leading Swedish economist and founder of the Stockholm school. His economic contributions would profoundly influence both the Keynesian and Austrian schools of economic thought. He was married to the noted feminist Anna Bugge, having begun his career as a radical journalist with a gift for mathematics. Coming to economics late in life and yet effectively founding modern endogenous money theory, he taught on the Law Faculty of Lund University in southern Sweden.

Case Studies

II. 'Meso' Theory: Money, Capital, Finance, & Central Banking

Books and Papers in 'Mid-Level' Theory on Money, Capital, Banking, Central Banking, and Both Public and Private Enterprise Organization and Finance.

Image: James Steuart, whose Principles of Political Oeconomy antedates Adam Smith's Inquiry by a decade and affords the best early modern account of money.

Money Theory

These books and papers elaborate an account of money as both an emanation and a facilitator of collective agency, built upon promise and associated enforceable obligation (hence 'credit-money'), that enables individual efficacy in communion with others. This account renders money endogeneity, inflation, and deflation both intelligible and readily manageable.

Image: Rosa Luxemburg, distinguished leader of the German Social Democrats, whose The Accumulation of Capital advanced understanding of the imminent logic of capitalist 'globalization.'

Capital Theory

These books and papers develop an account of the role public credit plays in the generation of money and material wealth, hence the accumulation of physical as well as intellectual capital. One upshot is that by far the greater part of modern societies' capital stock is attributable to the public, hence properly managed and deployed by the same.

Image: Marriner Eccles, easily the most distinguished Chair the Federal Reserve Board has ever been graced by.

Central Banking Theory

These books and papers develop an account of central banking that shows why central banks' indispensable money-modulatory task, acknowledged by all but a few cranks to be critically necessary, cannot be effectively discharged, in an environment featuring endogenous credit-money and pervasive recursive collective action problems, without forthrightly engaging in allocation as well - allocation toward productive as distinguished from speculative uses.

Image: Irving Fisher, probably the greatest 20th century American economist nobody seems to have heard of, whose account of booms and depressions remains unequaled.

Debt Deflation & Asset Price Hyperinflation Theory

These papers develop the theory of endogenous credit-fueled asset price bubbles (hyperinflations) and their ensuing busts, rooting them in what Hockett dubs Recursive Collective Action Problems. This account affords a uniform explanation of all inflations and deflations, and indicates why exercises of collective agency specifically targeting the individually rational, collectively irrational decisions in question are the only means of averting or ending these devastating, equilibrium-less crises.

Image: Hockett's Public-Private Franchise Account of the Corporation, Commercial Banking, and the Financial System more broadly has become a dominant account of these institutional phenomena.

Banking, Corporate, & Financial Theory: The Public-Private Franchise Account

These books and papers develop and elaborate Hockett's influential public-private 'Franchise' account of the corporate and other limited liability enterprise forms, banking, capital 'markets,' and financial systems more broadly.

Image: Bob Dylan, who memorably sang 'He not busy being born is busy dying.'

Perpetual Development Theory

Bob Dylan memorably sang that 'he not busy being born is busy dying.' The same is true of economies. These papers explain why that is so, and develop implications for institutional design in the cause of egalitarian, agency-enhancing, perpetually self-renewing growth policy.

Image: Logo for the New Cornell Job Quality Index developed by Dan Alpert, Jeff Ferry, and Robert Hockett.

Updating Market Theory

These papers elaborate improvements on orthodox understandings of market phenomena in ways that track hitherto hidden opportunities ('money on the table'), new technological developments, or important data that that current indices do not track. The Job Quality Index (JQI) in particular is the first entry in a new project that Hockett is developing, called 'the New Indices Project.' The theory of 'Labor Capitalism,' or 'Laborism,' for its part affords a clearer understanding of enterprise organization, opening the way to a labor-owned economy.

Image: Marcus Tullius Cicero, an early exponent of natural law theory and the ius gentium, or 'law of peoples.'

General Legal & International Law Theory

These early works defend a traditional natural law account of international law, particularly as against certain sociopathic accounts then emanating out of the University of Chicago during the time that George W. Bush and other occupiers of the White House were engaging daily in war crimes and other acts of illegality.

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