Tag Archives: Economics

Legal systems very different from our own

Economist David Friedman talking on legal systems very different from our own, the title of a course he teaches and of a forthcoming book (the draft of which is up on his website for comment). He sets out how medieval Sharia worked, before the rise of the nation-state. Including observing that (in its dynamics): Sharia […]

Yes, the law really does abhor a penalty

Sinclair Davidson at Catallaxy has written a post on excessive fees charged by banks, and said this: [The argument that the fees were designed purely to enrich the bank] is a bit hard to take. When you begin a banking relationship you normally sign a contract that includes the fees that you’ll pay for various […]

Easy Guide to Monetary Policy

What money is We use money to transact and the money we use is fiat money, money backed only by government decree. In economic terms, money is a transaction good and all that fiat money is, is a transaction good; the only point in holding such money is to be able to engage in transactions—its expected swap […]

What is this thing called property?

My nomination for the most misleading metaphor in modern philosophy is John Locke’s notion that, in a state of nature, one mixes one’s labour with something to rreate property. In John Locke’s words: The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out […]

On the stupidity of (some) Central Banks – Guest post by Lorenzo

[LE: Regular commenter Lorenzo has written a post on what the role of central banks ought to be in setting financial monetary policy goals. He starts with some historical examples, and continues on to contemporary central banks. Part of the issue (as I read his post) is that people must get some idea of where […]

Conservative Government of the Talents

David Cameron has promised up to 200,000 extra affordable homes and 400,000 new jobs in an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show. The PM ruled out a U-turn on spending cuts but denied he was “sitting back” in the face of economic stagnation. He cited plans to boost the “right-to-buy” in England and release […]

Dishonesty, looting and theft

This post is inspired by a comment of Dave Bath’s on DEM’s cartoon about the London riots. Dave said: Well, the looters of the City did worse damage, and government bent over backwards to (a) not remove moral hazard (b) not punish but pay to clean the mess. If the rioters were wearing white collars […]

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Miss Candy recommended I should read Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational, as she thought I should enjoy it. She was right. I like behavioural economics. I like to know the strange things which influence our decision making and the way in which we value certain things. Thus far, one of the most interesting experiments detailed in […]

Putting your money where your mouth is

For those who live overseas, the Australian Prime Minister has recently unveiled a plan to introduce a carbon tax, after brokering an acceptable deal with independent and Green MPs. In this post, I want to look at a possibly interesting shift in opinion about the need for direct action on climate change, upon which the […]

GST and online sales

Over here in Australia, we’re trying to distract ourselves from the calamitous cricket result by focusing on other fights. (God, I can’t even watch said cricket any more. Too upsetting.) Retailer Gerry Harvey sparked a furore a few days ago by demanding that the government impose GST on internet sales. The Australian Retailer News reports: […]