#6-2024 Robert Tino Sonora Clinical Professor of Finance and adjunct professor of economics at the College of Business, University of Montana

I reached out to Dr. Robert “Tino” Sonora, clinical professor of finance and adjunct professor of economics at the University of Montana and one of my oldest friends, because I had just listened to a “Planet Critical” podcast that posed the question, in countries that print their own currency, can we make the electrification transition faster. The premise of this question uses Modern Monetary Theory, which I cannot claim to understand, but in my simplistic mind I learned that we may want to question the politic argument that our federal government must balance the budget and that our $34 trillion dollar debt is a problem.  

The simplistic analogy that equates the federal economic budget to a family’s budget and debt is bogus.  Having a balanced family budget and little debt is important but on a nation state scale, and especially in a country that prints its own currency, it is not crucial. Look at the fact that the United States has carried a debt since 1775 in order to pay for the American Revolution. So this lesson in economics may just create more questions than it answers but I am so thankful to Tino for expanding our understanding of one aspect of the transition from a fossil fuel based economy to a renewable based economy.


Robert Sonora at University of Montana

Robert Sonora on LinkedIn

Planet Critical – “What We Get Wrong About Money , with Steven Hail”