Tag Archives: milton friedman

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 […]

That trading thing people do

Canadian economist Nick Rowe made a comment on a blog post on comparative advantage that bugged me: The way I teach it, all gains from trade come either from differences between people, like comparative advantage, or else from economies of scale. So I think gains from trade is not more basic than comparative advantage. Gains […]

Ronald Coase (1910-2013)

I was intending to make this my Wednesday post for last week, but my iPad ate my draft in Pages (it will not open or email the document: any suggestions for getting to the document would be welcome). But delaying for a week allowed me to provide a more complete post.   Ronald Coase, the […]

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 […]

Check your expectations (3) Milton Friedman not going far enough

Milton Friedman’s 1967 Presidential Address (pdf) is something monetary economists regularly say anyone interested in monetary economics should read. Having recently read it, I have come to the conclusion that it is something anyone interested in monetary economics should read. As is normal with Friedman, it is beautifully clear, one his great attributes. His analysis holds […]

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: […]

Friedman centenary

Today (Tuesday 31st) is Milton Friedman’s centenary.  It seems appropriate to link to some Milton Friedman quotes here and here.  Various bloggers have offered their comments, including Bryan Caplan’s ode, Tyler Cowen notes how much he is still needed, Lars Christensen writes him a letter, and David Glasner continues his campaign against the Wall St […]

Broken by the fix

What do the goldzone Great Depression (1929-3?) and the Eurozone Great Recession (2008-?) have in common? They were both created by European central banks with the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) as accessory during and after the fact. (Yes, the monetary shock which set off the Great Recession started in Europe though the responsibility of the […]

There is no such thing as just money

I have been doing a fair bit of reading in the history of money and monetary theory to try and understand money, particularly its origin and use. A thing reveals its nature through history, to understand the history of something is to much better understand it. I was aware that modern macroeconomics is bedevilled by […]