I've been loosely following discussion of Circuitism and Chartalism (Modern Monetary Theory) since late summer or early fall, though I have not yet had time to work through some of the details to my satisfaction. But it's clear to me that the core accounting principles emphasized by Modern Monetary Theory are accurate, and that the MMT perspective is highly relevant to the global economy right now. At some point I hope to address some of my current issues with it, but they take secondary priority.
On some of the blogs I visit I've seen a lot of time spent discussing the mechanics of various macroeconomic operations (though I haven't had time to read or comment in much depth), and it always strikes me that a lot of time could be saved with better reference material on this stuff, whether wiki-based or otherwise. Discussion threads seem to lead to a lot of repetition of the same topics, ambiguity in descriptions, people talking past each other due to having different understandings of what concepts mean, etc.
It occurred to me to go ahead and try to put together a visual tool myself to help visualize and document some of these macroeconomic concepts. It was also an excuse to play with SVG (browser technology) for the first time.
NOTE: This is a preliminary DRAFT copy of a tool to help visualize the balance sheet effects of these concepts. I am hoping for feedback from folks who are already knowledgeable on these topics and can correct my mistakes. If you are learning this like me, I recommend you skip this until an updated version is ready, otherwise you could be unnecessarily misled or confused. I will post another blog entry when a more polished version is ready — both more accurate, and with added features, usability, more accessible step-by-step walkthrough, etc.
Here's the tool: Macroeconomic Balance Sheet Visualizer (DRAFT)
I welcome anyone (but especially those with a better understanding than me) to offer corrections and constructive feedback in the comments section below or via email (the address is on my profile). Thanks!
P.S., I'll hopefully be adding additional operations (equity/stock offerings, more central bank operations, markets repricing tradeable securities, etc) as well as adding better visualization of flows rather than just stocks (quantities). Plus depicting asset bubbles, the balance sheet outcomes of Japanese vs Great Depression vs "ideal" resolutions, balance sheet breakdowns within each sector, etc.
List of Updates to Balance Sheet Visualizer:
UPDATE1 2/22/2010: Renamed assets held by Treasury from 'Reserves' to 'Treasury Deposits' (abbreviated for now until able to show more detail).
UPDATE2 2/25/2010: New feature: Mouse over a balance sheet name to compare the balance sheet side by side with a copy from before the last operation.