Dear AFEE colleagues,

I am delighted to share this note with you. It's the first Newsletter from
the Binzagr Institute, a brand-new heterodox public policy think tank.
Please share the link with other colleagues and follow us on social media
for more frequent updates:

Note some of the papers by John Henry, Scott Fullwiler, Jim Cypher, Oren
Levin-Waldman and many more familiar names.

Best wishes,

Fadhel Kaboub
(apologies for cross-posting)
                         *June 2015 Newsletter*
click here to view newsletter in your web browser
        Welcome from the President          [image: Fadhel Kaboub]
Dear Friends of the *Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity*,
It is my distinct pleasure to welcome you to our first e-Newsletter. *The
Binzagr Institute *is an independent public policy think tank dedicated to
the promotion of interdisciplinary research in the service of an improved
quality of life for all members of society. We believe that providing
decent employment opportunities for everyone ready, willing and able to
work at a socially established living wage is an institutional prerequisite
for social justice and sustainable prosperity.
        I would like to invite you to read more about the *Institute*'s
and to engage with the Institute's publications via our social media
presence. Our goal is to engage both the academic and non-academic
communities in meaningful conversations about alternative policy solutions
to the major challenges facing society today. We believe that the path to
sustainable prosperity is not only achievable and affordable, but also
unavoidable. Our common destiny as a global community simply means that
every decision we make as individuals, organizations, or governments must
carefully consider not just its financial sustainability, but more
importantly its impact on people and the environment; hence our
slogan: *People.
Planet. Prosperity. *

I am indebted to my teacher, mentor, and dear friend, Dr. Mathew Forstater
for serving as the Research Director of the *Institute*. His expertise and
leadership are tremendous assets for our mission. We are both very grateful
to Mr. Saeid Binzagr
the Binzagr family for embracing our vision for the *Institute* and for
their generous financial support. We are also excited to welcome a group of
distinguished scholars and public policy experts who have kindly agreed to
serve on the Institute's Advisory Board
namely Bradley W. Bateman (President, Randolph College), Charles Goodhart
(Professor, London School of Economics), Rebeca Grynspan (Secretary General
of SEGIB), Jan Kregel (Senior Scholar, Levy Economics Institute), Julianne
Malveaux  (President Emertia, Bennett College for Women), and john a.
powell (Director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society).

*The Binzagr Institute* is also proud to partner with Denison University
and the economics department at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC
Both universities have offered us a fantastic group of *Research Assistants
and *Research Fellows
We are excited about the opportunity to engage our team of *Research
through our annual conference, workshops, seminars, and other activities at
Denison and UMKC.

Finally, I'd like to invite you all to forward this newsletter to your
colleagues and friends and, in turn, to invite them to subscribe and to
follow us on social media. I am very excited about the Institute's agenda
and I look forward to engaging with you in this important work.

Best wishes,

Fadhel Kaboub
President, *Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity*
Associate Professor, *Denison University*         Save the Date: Oct. 2-3,
2015         *The Binzagr Institute* will host its first annual conference
on *Sustainable Prosperity* at Denison University
in Granville, Ohio on *October 2nd and 3rd, 2015.* Mark your calender and
stay tuned for more information about the conference program and
registration as well accommodations and logistics. In case you are unable
to join us in person, you can still watch the entire conference online via
live stream and you can participate with questions and comments via our
social media channels. >> Click here to add it to your calender.
Our Team         We are delighted to work with a very talented and diverse
group of *Research Scholars
*Research Fellows*
and* Research Assistants
Our team of *Research Scholars
includes: Ellen Brown, James Cypher, Lorenzo Esposito, Scott Fullwiler,
John Henry, Michael Hoexter, Sara Hsu, Nikolaos Karagiannis, Michael
Kelsay, Oren Levin-Waldman, Yan Liang, Giuseppe Mastromatteo, Mark Peacock,
Timothy Sharpe, Pavlina Tcherneva, and David Zalewski.

The *Institute*'s *Research Fellows*
are four young scholars who are in the process of completing their graduate
studies: Shama Azad (UMKC), Raúl Carrillo (Columbia Law School), Olafur
Margeirsson (Univesity of Exeter), and Brian Werner (UMKC).

Our partnership with UMKC and Denison offered us a terrific group of *Research
consisting of six UMKC
economics graduate students (Aqdas Afzal, Abdulelah Alrasheedy, Natalie
Brown, Andrew Kujaribu, Brian Matlock, and Usha Pradhan) and five
undergraduate students from Denison University (Alexandra Lloyd, Kristóf
Oltvai, Frances Osei-Bonsu, Philip Papaioannou, and Brenda Seng).
Papers          [image: John Henry]    *Thorstein Veblen, the Provisioning
Process, and the Need for a Job Guarantee Program (John F. Henry)*
Usinga Veblenian analysis, *John Henry*, Research Scholar, argues that in
the absence of a Job Guarantee program, the normal functioning of a modern
capitalist economy is unlikely to satisfy the requirements of the
provisioning process necessary to allow a viable social organization.
Beyond the issue of unemployment, a host of other concerns can at least
partially be addressed with such a program. >> Read complete text (pdf)
          [image: Mark Peacock]    *Market Processes and the Ethics of
Consumption (Mark Peacock)*
Consumers are often implicated in upholding unjust economic practices that
arise when they purchase commodities produced in ethically unacceptable
ways. Consumers are, however, ignorant about the production of many of the
commodities they buy, and so they often unwittingly consume such
products. *Mark
Peacock*, Research Scholar, asks whether consumers are culpable for their
ignorance about the commodities they purchase. >> Read complete text (PDF)
          [image: James Cypher]    *The Double Economic Bubbles of the 21st
Century: An End of the "American" Dream? (James Cypher)*
From the stock market crash, to the housing market collapse, the burst of
the financial bubble has had a tremendous impact on the U.S. economy. *James
Cypher*, Research Scholar, argues that the "American" dream has become
merely a mirage for tens of millions of U.S. households who once saw it as
their legitimate destiny. >> Read complete text (pdf)
          [image: Olafur Margeirsson]    Foreign Direct Investment: A
Focused Literature Review (Olafur Margeirsson) Foreign Direct Investment
can be a tool for many developing countries to boost economic efficiency.
However, *Olafur Margeirsson*, Research Fellow, argues that it can also
have costly consequences detrimental to development.  He discusses the
literature of the subject, as well as his own thoughts on the downfalls of
Foreign Direct Investment.
>> Read complete text (pdf)
           [image: Oren Levin-Waldman]    Taylorism, Efficiency, and the
Minimum Wage: Implications for a High Road Economy (Oren M.
Levin-Waldman) Refocusing
the argument of minimum wage back onto the essence of the existence of the
minimum wage, *Oren M. Levin-Waldman*, Research Scholar, addresses the
question of how we want our society to be. Through CPS data, he analyzes
today's working class of unskilled workers and argues the efficiency wage
theory proposed by Frederick Winslow Taylor could be applied to the
unskilled workers of the modern day. >> Read complete text (pdf)
Scott T. Fullwiler]    Sustainable Finance: Building a More General Theory
of Finance (Scott T. Fullwiler) Traditional financial theory is driven by a
narrow set of values—namely that only financial risk and financial return
matter. *Scott Fullwiler*, Research Scholar, argues that the emerging field
of sustainable finance—largely practitioner-driven until recently—provides
an opportunity to build a more general theory of finance that incorporates
a broader set of concerns and realities, demonstrating at the same time
that traditional financial theory is only a special case of the more
general theory. >> Read complete text (pdf)
           Policy Notes          [image: Ellen Brown]    *The Public Bank
Solution *
In this *Policy Note*, *Ellen Brown*, Research Scholar, proposes an
alternative banking solution in the form of public banks. She writes, “With
the full faith and credit of the government and the people behind them,
with transparent best practices enforced by democratic checks and balances,
and with a complimentary relationship to sustainable community banks,
public banks can serve all of the people, not merely a few shareholders."  >>
Read complete text (pdf)
          [image: Sara Hsu]
*China's Shadow Banking Sector*
*Sara Hsu*, Research Scholar, assesses the risks associated with the rapid
growth in China's shadow banking sector, which grew to 46 trillion RMB
($7.5 trillion) in 2013. In this *Policy Note*, Hsu also delineates the new
regulations imposed by China's Banking Regulatory Commission.  >> Read
complete text (pdf)
          [image: Michael F. Hoexter]    Governments Can and Must Lead
Climate Action via Public Investment
In this *Policy Note*, *Michael F. Hoexter*, Research Scholar, shifts the
debate away from the mainstream focus on disincentives and pollution
payments as policies to address climate change. Instead, Hoexter proposes a
comprehensive set of public investment strategies that can create jobs,
spearhead more innovation in green technology, and address the root causes
of global climate change. >> Read the complete text (pdf).
          [image: Raúl Carrillo]
Postal Banking: Finance for Everyone
*Raúl Carrillo*, Research Fellow, reports that 28% of US households are
either unbanked or underbanked. Carrillo argues that USPS can be
institutionalized as a bank to provide all households with access to
banking services as an alternative to predatory lending institutions. >>
Read complete text (pdf)

An Employer of Last Resort for Italy: *It's cheaper than you think!*
Giuseppe Mastromatteo and Lorenzo Esposito]
Building on Hyman Minsky's work, *Giuseppe Mastromatteo *and* Lorenzo
Esposito*, Research Scholars, make the case for introducing an employer of
last resort program in Italy and demonstrate that it would be a superior
approach to macroeconomic stabilization than the lender of last resort
policies used by the European Central Bank. They also estimate that the $14
trillion spent by the EU and US to bailout the banking system could have
funded a true full employment program for 20 years. >> Read complete text
        Congratulations          [image: Aqdas Afzal]
*The Binzagr Institute* would like to congratulate *Aqdas Afzal*, Research
Assistant, who recently won the “Student Scholars Competition” held under
the auspices of the Association for Institutional Thought (AFIT). The prize
was awarded at AFIT’s annual meeting held in Portland, Oregon that took
place from April 8-11, 2015. Afzal is a Fulbright scholar from Pakistan and
is currently pursuing his doctorate in economics at the University of
Missouri- Kansas City.
        The prize-winning paper titled “What Does the Glorious Revolution
Really Tell Us About Economic Institutions?” evaluates how the Glorious
Revolution, a seminal event in British economic and political history, has
been analyzed within New Institutional Economics (NIE). Afzal argues that
the NIE’s institutional analysis, in general, and that of the Glorious
Revolution, in particular, shows significant theoretical weakness. Instead,
Afzal uses the Critical-Institutionalist method to present a comprehensive
institutional analysis of the Glorious Revolution. Bringing forth evidence
from economic history, Afzal forwards the changing nature of resource
distribution and technology in Britain as key variables. The paper also
highlights the role of the “Whigs” as key agents in bringing about the
economic and political changes that came to be known as the Glorious
Revolution. Afzal's paper can be accessed here
        Media Coverage         *CCTV Interview*
Fadhel Kaboub, President of the *Binzagr institute*, was interviewed by *CCTV
America *about the state of the U.S. economy. He suggested that the U.S.
should invest in people and in jobs rather than tax cuts and trickle down
economic policies. Kaboub proposed a federally-funded community development
jobs program to hire unemployed members of local communities in order to
assess and serve the needs of their communities. >> Watch the Video Here.

*Documentary on the Job Guarantee*
*The Binzagr Institute* was featured in a new documentary film
entitled *Transitions
for Society: Job Guarantee and Basic Income*. The film is produced by the*
Prosocial Progress Foundation*. It provides a basic introduction to the
benefits of a Job Guarantee program and how it can be implemented. >> Watch
the Video Here
Memoriam: Robert E. Prasch          [image: Robert E. Prasch]
We are deeply saddened by the loss of *Robert E. Prasch*, Research Scholar
at the *Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity* and Professor of
Economics at Middlebury College. Bob passed away suddenly and peacefully at
home in Amherst, MA on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at the age of 56. Bob was a
brilliant teacher, insightful mentor, original scholar, prolific writer,
and a wonderful person all around. He genuinely cared about his fellow
heterodox economists and never failed to mentor young scholars with whom he
crossed paths. We will always remember Bob’s intellect, generosity, humor,
kindness, and passion for making the world a more just, peaceful,
inclusive, and prosperous place for all.
        Before joining Middlebury College in 2000, Bob taught at Vassar
College, the University of Maine, and San Francisco State University. He
was educated at the University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D. Economics),
the University of Denver (M.A. Economics), and the University of Colorado,
Boulder (B.A. History and Economics). Bob served on the editorial boards of
the *Journal of Economic Issues *and the *Review of Political Economy*. He
also served on the Board of Directors of both the Association for
Evolutionary Economics and the Association for Social Economics.
Additionally, Bob was past President of the Association for Evolutionary

Bob published more than 120 academic articles, book chapters, and reviews.
He also wrote *How Markets Work: Supply, Demand and the ‘Real World*’
(2008) and co-edited *Thorstein Veblen and the Revival of Free Market
Capitalism* (2007) and *Race, Liberalism, and Economics* (2006). During the
last few years, Bob was in the process of finishing two books that will be
published posthumously: *A Wage of Her Own: The Rise and Fall of
Progressive Era Minimum Wage Legislation for Women: 1913-1923 *and *The
Political Economy of Empire.* Bob’s deep knowledge of history, politics,
and economics made him an insightful public intellectual. He wrote
frequently for a number of popular blogs including *New Economic
*Huffington Post*
*Common Dreams*
and *Translation Exercises*

Bob was one of the first political economists to join the *Binzagr
Institute*. He accepted our invitation with enthusiasm and expressed great
interest in contributing to our research agenda on financial sovereignty,
job creation, and sustainability. We have lost a great friend, scholar, and
public intellectual. Our hearts go out to his wife, Professor Falguni Sheth
of Amherst College, and to his entire family. May he rest in peace.
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