Steve Keen (born 28 March 1953) is an Australian economist and author. He considers himself a post-Keynesian, criticizing neoclassical economics as inconsistent, unscientific and empirically unsupported. The major influences on Keen's thinking about economics include John Maynard Keynes, Karl Marx, Hyman Minsky, Piero Sraffa, Augusto Graziani, Joseph Alois Schumpeter, and François Quesnay. Keen's full-range critique of neoclassical economics is contained in his book Debunking Economics. Keen presents a wide variety of critiques on neoclassical economic theory, and argues that they show neoclassical assumptions are fundamentally flawed. Keen claims that several neoclassical assumptions are empirically unsupported (that is, they are unsupported by observable and repeatable phenomena) nor are they desirable for society at large (that is, they do not necessarily produce either efficiency or equity for the majority). He argues that economists' overall conclusions are very sensitive to small changes in these assumptions.
Steve Keen proposed a Modern Debt Jubilee (forgiveness of debt). A Modern Jubilee would create fiat money in the same way as with Quantitative Easing, but would direct that money to the bank accounts of the public with the requirement that the first use of this money would be to reduce debt. Debtors whose debt exceeded their injection would have their debt reduced but not eliminated, while at the other extreme, recipients with no debt would receive a cash injection into their deposit accounts. Debtors would have their debt level reduced. Non-debtors would receive a cash injection. The value of bank assets would remain constant, but the distribution would alter with debt-instruments declining in value and cash assets rising. Bank income would fall, since debt is an income-earning asset for a bank while cash reserves are not. The income flows to asset-backed securities would fall, since a substantial proportion of the debt backing such securities would be paid off. Members of the public (both individuals and corporations) who owned asset-backed-securities would have increased cash holdings out of which they could spend in lieu of the income stream from ABS’s on which they were previously dependent.