The Mark-To-Market Flaw in MMT?


This is just a conjecture about whether or not using the mark-to-market method on any asset that you want to know the value of needs to be taken into account in MMT (Modern Money Theory).

My most recent post about MMT that was posted before I started thinking about this possible flaw was When Will the White House and OMB Ever Learn About Sector Financial Balances?

I haven’t figured out yet how to pose this question to MMT experts. Following the above link to learn what mark-to-market is, I am reminded that the issue is far broader than the example I am going to use to show the problem.

MMT has a nice theory that depends on their definition of what is and what isn’t external money and internal money. MMTers then describe how people and the economy must behave, based on these obvious definitions. The issue is not whether or not the definitions are logically consistent or not. The issue is how people and markets actually behave. The issue of stock value and mark-to-market, is that whether or not you, as an MMTer, believe the value of one’s stock holdings represents a fair account of real money or not, people and the economy to some extent behave as if it were real money.

The goal we are trying to achieve is not to come up with a logically consistent definition of money. That may or may not be a path to understanding how people, markets, and economies behave. Describing and understanding that behavior is the real goal. Intermediate achievements are only important if they get us to the ultimate goal.

My most recent posts that show what started me thinking along these lines are

A Critique of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and At INET Conference, Warren Adds Two Pieces to Her Financial Reform Framework.

Older posts that show that I have always had an interest in the ramifications of mark-to-market are Musings on Mark-To-Market and A Replacement For Mark-To-Market.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.