Tag Archives: gold standard

What is it about money?

I was going to hold off blogging until the New Year, but irritation drove me to posting … In a recent article, Alan Kohler had this to say: The real war is between monetary policy and the Digital Revolution – between the world of finance trying to reduce the value of money and therefore debt, […]

Money, prices, assets and evasions of responsibility

Understanding the equation of exchange can help see what a massive evasion of institutional responsibility lies behind the Great Recession and the Eurozone crisis. Economist Irving Fisher developed the original algebraic formulation of the equation of exchange, in his The Purchasing Power of Money (1911): MV = PT Money x Velocity = Prices x Transactions. Fisher’s use of […]

Ben Bernanke, the Fed and the Tea Party

Ben Bernanke is not a Tea Party sort of person. An academic appointed as Chair of the US Federal Reserve (“the Fed”) by a Republican President (Bush II) and re-appointed by a Democrat President (Obama) who helped organise the bailout of Wall St in response to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), he is the epitome of […]

Bubble trouble: not an easy money problem

The notion that “easy money” created asset booms is levelled (famously by Austrian school economists such as von Mises and Hayek) against the 1920s boom and by a range of commentators about the Great Moderation boom. In both cases, the Fed (dominated by Benjamin Strong as New York Fed Governor up to 1928 and by Alan Greenspan as Fed Chair 1987-2006) is held to be to […]

Human societies as studies in relative scarcity: the price of children, the cost of capital

That modernising societies experience a “demographic transition“–a change from high fertility and high death rates to low fertility and low death rates with an intermediate period of high fertility and low death rates–is well known. The likely reason is lags in adjusting to changes in death rates. The price of children Having children is a […]

Value and ambit

ADDENDA: I have added in three extra paragraphs, because I came to realise a key part of the argument, and a key relevant distinction, was missing. ADDENDA II: My thinking on these issues is a work in progress, and I would put the transaction utility point somewhat differently now. As economist Frank Mehrling has observed (pdf): […]

They did it again

One of my basic analytical principles is that things reveal their nature in history (including the history that has not happened yet — that is, what has happened is not the sum of possibilities). If one wishes to understand current events, then cultivate a sense of history for the past is the cause of the […]

The surreal glitter of gold

Blogging at Free Banking, Kurt Schuler wants us to have a debate about gold (as in the gold standard). Let’s not. I will concede that there is, as he states, much superficial dismissal of the utility of a adopting a gold standard. It is also true understanding the dynamics of gold, silver and bimetallist standards are […]

The misbegotten birth of macro

As folks may have noted, I like graphs; they can be very useful illustrations, particularly of historical trends.  Consider this graph, taken from the 2012 US Federal Budget (via). What is striking is the long-run stability of economic growth in the US, apart from one episode which stands out fairly dramatically. Very dramatically (pdf) given that: […]