Money remains the biggest conversation taboo

Money is a bigger taboo than sex, religion or politics, according to a survey by one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organizations.

In the global survey, conducted by deVere Group, 56% of those polled ranked personal finance as the most difficult subject to discuss with family, friends and colleagues.

It came ahead of sex (18%), politics (12%), religion (8%) and health issues (6%) in the poll of more than 700 clients in the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australasia.

Nigel Green, the founder and CEO of deVere Group, comments: “We’re moving towards the holiday period when people, typically, are more likely to get together with loved ones than at any other time in the year.

“But the survey shows that what they are least likely to be discussing is personal finance – including income, taxes, pensions, debt, savings and expenses. 

“Money remains the biggest social taboo.”

He continues: “The taboo of talking money needs to be broken down and normalized.

“We need to recognise and celebrate how money can truly provide individuals and their loved ones with incredible life-enhancing opportunities.  

“In addition, high-net-worth individuals tend to be society’s primary wealth and job creators, major tax contributors and philanthropists.”

He goes on to add: “The de-stigmatization of talking money would also help banish the ‘head in the sand’ attitude to personal finances that prevents many from achieving their financial goals.

“Plus, when money is an awkward topic of conversation, it is easier for people to get an unfair deal. These people typically tend to be women, younger people and ethnic minorities. Silence about money issues can often allow the unfairness to continue unabated.”

Mr Green concludes: “Finances can be complex and are specific to each individual. The answer is to seek independent, expert help from professionals who will be able to signpost people in the right direction.

“We use money every day, it’s an essential part of our lives. Therefore, we need to get more comfortable discussing it. 

“Beginning a conversation about money is the first step, but it should become a normal occurrence, because as our lives change so do our financial needs and wants. Tackling the money conversation taboo is likely to lead to enhanced financial freedom and security.”

deVere Group is one of the world’s largest independent advisors of specialist global financial solutions to international, local mass affluent, and high-net-worth clients.  It has a network of more than 70 offices across the world, over 80,000 clients and $12bn under advisement

Overview of the Controversial Modern Monetary Theory

Few theories have caused so many discussions as the Modern monetary theory (or MMT), which has been popularized by the leftmost sector of the Democratic Party, US, when it recurred to it to defend the huge expenses of the federal government on an attempt to detoxify the country from the fossil fuels and to finance a Medicare coverage for all.  

The re-birth of the Modern Monetary Theory  

MMT was created in the 1970s by the American economist Warren Mosler and shows similarities with older schools like Chartalism and Functional Finance. It was congresswoman and activist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who brought the debate to the table. In January 2019, she claimed that the government should implement Modern Monetary Theory to finance the Green New-Deal, applying political measures similar to those of the 1930s to augment the expenses but for ecologic reasons. In a public interview, she expressed that MMT should “be a larger part of the conversation.”

The approach

Despite the complexity and debate around MMT, there are some basic concepts shared by most of its adepts. The fundamental idea is that since the abandonment of the gold standard, a sovereign estate can print as much money as needed to finance public expenses and inject money into the economy, which they later withdraw in taxes.  They sustain that governments cannot go broke, as they can always create more money to pay off debts.

According to MMT theorists, we have been misled to think that substantial government debt is followed by financial collapse. Moreover, they state that if the spending creates deficit, it isn’t a real problem, as the national deficit is, in fact, the private sector’s surplus.

Modern Monetary Theory and inflation

Mainstream economists argue that it is ridiculous to think that central banks can finance massive spending without causing high inflation or even hyperinflation. Modern Monetary Theory, on the other side, reckons that there is a direct relationship between the circulation quantity of money and the level of prices. Yet, although they recognize the risk of inflation, they see it as a constraint that will keep decision-makers honest. Inflation is perceived as a result of real resource limits, and the Congress should set the spending, tax, and industry policies to keep inflation under control.

Restrictions on Modern monetary theory

Modern Monetary Theory advocates state that governments don´t have a budget constraint, and the only limit they have is the availability of real resources, like supplies and workers. If government spending is excessive in relation to the available resources, inflation could occur; therefore, the importance of proper policies.

It´s undeniable that Modern Monetary Theory keeps gaining attention and adepts, especially in the progressive political sectors. However, they haven´t provided a convincing response to the inherent problem of inflation yet.

Few theories have caused so many discussions as the Modern monetary theory (or MMT), which has been popularized by the leftmost sector of the Democratic Party

Is Modern Monetary Theory the panacea that will solve the world´s woes? Or is MMT just a new buzzword that keeps rising popularity? Implementing it would be a bold, risky experiment with no point of return or the miracle-solution we all crave for?

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