Tag Archives: money

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 […]

The real convenience of money

I recently read Adam Fergusson’s history of the early 1920s hyperinflation in Weimar Germany–which also covers contemporary hyperinflations of Austria and Hungary. (Well-spotted if you noticed that they were the losing Powers of the Dynasts’ War–aka WWI; this was not a coincidence.) One of the striking things about the period is how misguided conventional wisdom […]

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): […]

A fight over money

Over the last twelve months or so, the blogosphere saw another round of a long-standing fight over money. Not over getting more money (though that is an element too), but its nature and history. A story about debt The aforementioned tussle has been provoked by the publication of David Graeber’s intriguing, but seriously flawed, book Debt: The […]

The insidious reach of error

I have become deeply interested in the origins of money, which means reading the work of various historical anthropologists. As is often the case when reading other social scientists on matters of economic significance, one comes across a fair bit of economist envy. Compared to other social science academics (and, for that matter, humanities academics), […]

The mystery of the human and the trade-offs of control

What is the biggest difference in decision-making between buying equipment and hiring a person?  The characteristics of the equipment are much easier to discern. Sure, there can be hidden flaws in machinery and buildings. You may have to take the equipment for a test run, you may need some expert to have a look at […]

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 […]

Some Thoughts on Lorenzo on Austrian Economics (guest post by Steven Horwitz)

This is a guest post by Steven Horwitz which was originally posted at Critical Thinking Applied but which Dr Horwitz has kindly agreed to be also posted here. Dr. Horwitz is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY. He is the author of two books, Microfoundations and Macroeconomics: An Austrian Perspective (Routledge, 2000) and Monetary […]

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 […]

Don’t mention the A-word

The Eurozone, the US, Japan and the UK are all suffering prolonged economic stagnation. [You can see how serious it is in the US here.] It is sensible to suggest that they are doing something (or perhaps many things) wrong and need to change policy. What is not sensible is ignoring a developed world economy […]