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Macro n Cheese

Business & Economics Podcasts

Macroeconomics has never been so ... delish! Macro and Cheese explores the progressive movement through the lens of Modern Monetary Theory, with hot and irreverent political takes, spotlights in activism, and the razor sharp musings of Real Progressives Founder and host Steve Grumbine. The cheese will flow as experts come in for a full, four course deep dive into the hot queso. Comfort Food for Thought!

Macroeconomics has never been so ... delish! Macro and Cheese explores the progressive movement through the lens of Modern Monetary Theory, with hot and irreverent political takes, spotlights in activism, and the razor sharp musings of Real Progressives Founder and host Steve Grumbine. The cheese will flow as experts come in for a full, four course deep dive into the hot queso. Comfort Food for Thought!


United States


Macroeconomics has never been so ... delish! Macro and Cheese explores the progressive movement through the lens of Modern Monetary Theory, with hot and irreverent political takes, spotlights in activism, and the razor sharp musings of Real Progressives Founder and host Steve Grumbine. The cheese will flow as experts come in for a full, four course deep dive into the hot queso. Comfort Food for Thought!








A Road Less Travelled and the Media with Alexandra Scaggs

Our guest, Alexandra Scaggs, is a senior writer at Barron’s, where she covers markets and fixed income. The episode begins as an interview about financial journalism and dealing head-on with the neoliberal economic narrative, but evolves into a conversation that is both personal and political in which she and Steve share their experiences with everything from sobriety to learning about MMT. As Alexandra tells it, news organizations maintain the mainstream narrative through ways both...


The Economics of Martin Luther King Jr. with Mathew Forstater

The mainstream media has created a pasteurized and homogenized version of Martin Luther King, Jr, befitting the neoliberal cultural bell jar. That being said, our friend Mathew Forstater reminds us that Dr King had a laser-like focus on economics and unemployment. The massively successful August 1963 march was called The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom for a reason. Without economic security, the social and political advances of the civil rights movement cannot take hold. Steve...


Empire with Ajamu Baraka

In the midst of the chaos of the campaign season, it’s important to remember that there’s a whole world out there, where people are suffering in large part due to the actions of the US. Our guest Ajamu Baraka is never far from that reality and his global perspective is woven throughout this interview. He is an internationally recognized leader of the emerging human rights movement in the U.S. and has been at the forefront of efforts to apply the international human rights framework to social...


Colored Property: A History of Redlining with David Freund

The post-war years are widely trumpeted as the golden era for America’s middle class. This is when we became a nation of suburban homeowners. Most would agree that federal programs - like the GI Bill and the FHA - contributed to this prosperity. Where some will differ is the extent to which the government is responsible. Our guest, David Freund, sets us straight. David pierces through the propaganda and exposes the reality behind the sunny fantasy of the post-war economy. His book, Colored...


Sanders v. Warren and the Overton Window with Robert Hockett

On a podcast that’s primarily about macro, today we’re compelled to talk about the cheese. The last time Bob Hockett was here, he told a skeptical Macro & Cheese audience that Elizabeth Warren was genuinely progressive and, he believed, deserving of our trust. We’ve seen him on Twitter, getting into testy exchanges about her motives. Now he sadly acknowledges that those motives are less than pure. Last week on the debate stage, Warren called into question Bernie’s truthfulness. In...


Event Horizon: A Climate In Crisis with Steve Keen

If you thought you understood the urgency of climate change, our guest, Professor Steve Keen, will shatter those illusions. We’ll be straight with you, this is not an easy episode to hear - but you need to listen anyway. How can we deal with the effects of climate change if we don’t understand the urgency? Professor Keen won’t sugar coat it but he can back up every statement with facts, figures, and astute analysis. Throughout the interview, he refers to - and debunks - the work of...


The Paradox of Enlightenment with Lua Kamál Yuille

What are the mental roadblocks to achieving a system that creates prosperity for all? We often talk about the neoliberal narrative on this podcast, but this week’s guest, Lua Yuille, peels the onion a few more layers to reveal the structure beneath the story-telling -- what some may call brain-washing -- showing us how our minds have been colonized and need to be untrained. Our entire legal system is framed and structured to convince people that they are achieving or failing on their own....


How to Lose an Election in 60 Days with Patricia Pino

The UK’s MMT Podcast has been an inspiration to us since well before we launched Macro n Cheese. As fellow MMT promoters from outside the academy, we consider the co-hosts, Patricia Pino and Christian Reilly, to be kindred spirits. So it’s always a treat to have them as guests on our show. This week, it’s Patricia’s turn to explain the behavior of our UK cousins as we seek to learn lessons from their most recent electoral debacle. When Steve spoke with Patricia, she was still feeling...


Reclaiming The Brexit with Bill Mitchell

In April of 2018, Jacobin Magazine published “Why the Left Should Embrace Brexit,” which made the case for this radical break from neoliberalism. To gain perspective on Labour’s trouncing in the recent elections, we called upon our friend, Bill Mitchell, one of the co-authors. Bill has been writing and speaking about the UK’s entry into the Eurozone since the 1990s. As an outside economist, his warnings about the dangers of ceding fiscal control fell upon deaf ears. He addressed these...


1000 Castaways: An MMT Journey with Clint Ballinger

We admit that Macro n Cheese can be quite wonky. We interview an impressive array of scholars and a typical episode looks at functional finance on a granular level. This episode is a treat for the rest of us, with a guest who makes a point of speaking in plain English. Clint Ballinger’s book, 1,000 Castaways: Fundamentals of Economics, is meant to be a primer, bringing macroeconomics to those with no special background in the subject. Its title - and dominant model - is a reaction to the...


Austerity and the Consumer Debt Trap with Emma Caterine

Steve’s guest, Emma Caterine, is a consumer rights attorney with special interest in predatory lenders like loan sharks and payday loan companies. She begins by talking about credit as a social construct, To fully grasp the causes of Great Recession we must understand the difference between consumer debt, with a high risk of default, and federal spending, which is new money and can never default. When our economy grows through private debt, it’s unsustainable and leads to crises like the...


Race For Profit with Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

The Great Recession was a maelstrom that hit many Americans hard - lost jobs, lost homes, for some everything but the clothes on one’s back. Despite the stock market, real recovery has been glacial at best. Yet many don’t know just how deep the crisis' roots go when it comes to the Black community. Keeanga Yamahtta-Taylor explains the origins of the systemic discrimination behind the housing policies that skipped over, then exploited, Black families trying to find a safe, sound, and...


The Green New Deal: Non-Fiscal "Pay-Fors" and Balance of Payments with Nathan Tankus

“How do you pay for The Green New Deal?” is a serious question in today’s political environs -- though as Nathan Tankus clarifies, not for the reasons you might think. In Part 3 of his interview with Steve Grumbine, he recognizes that MMT and the US Bond market don’t finance spending in financial terms but shows us how non-fiscal “pay-fors” can give the US economy resource room to reallocate workers and energy through financial and environmental regulation. This can be accomplished without...


The Green New Deal: Public Banking and Non-Fiscal "Pay-Fors" with Nathan Tankus

Public banking is a hot topic in progressive circles. We at Macro n Cheese support it as long as it serves the public purpose, but not all visions of public banking are equal. Luckily, we have Nathan Tankus to help us navigate the shoals. In this second episode of a three-part series, Nathan begins by addressing the overall question of banks as public institutions. All banks, whether private, public, or democratic cooperatives, are given government charters and must abide by regulations....


Repo Mania: Has The Fed Bailed Out Wall Street Again? with Nathan Tankus

If you follow the financial press you’ve probably noticed some recent hysteria about the “repo market.” Since this involves the dealings of the Federal Reserve, it falls under our purview here at Macro ‘n Cheese. Because unraveling the strands of this dense subject requires someone more knowledgeable than we are, we called upon friend-of-the-podcast Nathan Tankus to help us out. Nathan is Research Director at Modern Money Network and can often be found on Twitter, educating the world about...


Demand Congress Serve the People with Brad Voracek

This 2017 interview features a younger Steve Grumbine speaking with a younger-still Brad Voracek. Brad was in the first graduating class of the masters’ program at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His real-world experience as a teacher and mentor in Arizona is vastly different from Steve’s, a father of nine in Pennsylvania, who has had to cope with the medical challenges and expenses faced by his late father -- and now, his own. It’s refreshing to hear a young person explain...


The Spectrum of Monetary Sovereignty in Developing Nations with Ndongo Samba Sylla and Fadhel Kaboub

Modern Monetary Theory is often accused of only being relevant to the US. While this is a ridiculous claim, some of us might be a bit guilty of lacking in-depth knowledge about Africa and developing nations. That ends today. We’re excited to introduce our listeners to Ndongo Samba Sylla, whom we met at the 3rd International MMT Conference where he delivered the keynote on “Money, Imperialism, and Development.” Fadhel, an old friend of this podcast, needs no introduction. Ndongo is an...


Trade, Foreign Exchange and Modern Monetary Theory: A Field Guide with Bill Mitchell

For non-economists to learn essentials such as the balance of payments, currency exchange, and trade between nations, presentation matters. The brilliant Bill Mitchell, as always, distills complex concepts in such a way that everyone comes away with valuable knowledge. He doesn’t simplify, but presents them as common sense. We recently came across this gem from Steve’s interview with him last year and immediately saw that it’s too valuable to gather dust in the library. Bill begins by...


Exposed! A Serial Whistleblower's Story with Bill Black

Regulatory agencies taking on Savings & Loan fraud may not be everyone’s idea of a swashbuckling tale, but for us nerdy types at Macro N Cheese it’s pure gold. It has villains like Charles Keating and the Keating 5. (No, that’s not an English rock group from the 70's.) It has unsung heroes whose names aren’t known to most Americans, including our special guest, Bill Black, and the cofounders of Bank Whistleblowers United. Had people like them been allowed to do their job, the Great Financial...


Organizing, Democracy, and Modern Monetary Theory with Mitch Green

Mitch Green joins host Steve Grumbine to talk about his work with Democratic Socialists of America in Portland, OR, and the role Modern Monetary Theory can play in DSA. As an eco-socialist, Mitch’s focus is on the climate crisis, and as an economist, he uses MMT to answer the ubiquitous question concerning solutions: “how will you pay for it?” Even when people are not open to accepting MMT, he finds it effective to simply ask them the price of continuing to live like this. The standard...