"Given my interpretation of Keynes (Minsky, 1975, 1986) and my views of the problems that economists need to address as the twentieth century draws to a close, the substance of the papers in Eatwell and Milgate (1983) and the neoclassical synthesis are (1) equally irrelevant to the understanding of modern capitalist economies and (2) equally foreign to essential facets of Keynes's thought. It is more important for an economic theory to be relevant for an understanding of economies than for it to be true to the thought of Keynes, Sraffa, Ricardo, or Marx. The only significance Keynes's thought has in this context is that it contains the beginning of an economic theory that is especially relevant to understanding capitalist economies. This relevance is due to the monetary nature of Keynes's theory.I gather, from second or third-hand accounts, that debates along these lines became quite acrimonious at the annual summer school in Trieste during the 1980s. I've always imagined Paul Davidson and Pierangelo Garegnani would be the most vocal advocates of the extremes in these debates. And I think of Jan Kregel, Edward Nell, and Luigi Pasinetti as being somewhere in the middle, going off in different directions. I don't know much about monetary circuit theory, but such theory may provide an approach to integrating money into Sraffianism.
Modern capitalist economies are intensely financial. Money in these economies is endogenously determined as activity and asset holdings are financed and commitments of prior contracts are fulfilled. In truth, every economic unit can create money - this property is not restricted to banks. The main problem a 'money creator' faces is getting his money accepted...
...The title of this session, 'Sraffa and Keynes: Effective Demand in the Long Run', puzzles me. Sraffa says little or nothing about effective demand and Keynes's General Theory can be viewed as holding that the long run is not a fit subject for study. At the arid level of Sraffa, the Keynesian view that effective demand reflects financial and monetary variables has no meaning, for there is no monetary or financial system in Sraffa. At the concrete level of Keynes, the technical conditions of production, which are the essential constructs of Sraffa, are dominated by profit expectations and financing conditions." -- Hyman Minsky "Sraffa and Keynes: Effective Demand in the Long Run", in Essays of Piero Sraffa: Critical Perspectives on the Revival of Classical Theory (edited by Krishna Bharadwaj and Bertram Schefold), Unwin-Hyman (1990)
Of course, Minsky's theories and Davidson's proposals for national and international reforms are of great contemporary relevance.