Monetary Policy

One Hundred Years of the Federal Reserve

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Two days before Christmas 1913, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act, creating America’s latest and current central bank, the Federal Reserve System. It’s a sobering thought that in the 100 years since the Fed’s creation, the dollar has lost 95 percent of its value. Had the Fed never been created, America would be dotted with Nickel Stores ... [click for more]

The Business Cycle Explained

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It Didn’t Have to Be This Way: Why Boom and Bust Is Unnecessary — and How the Austrian School of Economics Breaks the Cycle by Harry C. Veryser (Intercollegiate Studies Institute 2012), 318 pages. This is one instance where a book’s subtitle tells the reader much more about its content than the title does. You know at once ... [click for more]

One Hundred Years of the Federal Reserve

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Two days before Christmas 1913, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act, creating America’s latest and current central bank, the Federal Reserve System. It’s a sobering thought that in the 100 years since the Fed’s creation, the dollar has lost 95 percent of its value. Had the Fed never been created, America would be dotted with Nickel Stores ... [click for more]

Inflation Is the Last Thing We Need

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“Some economists say more inflation is just what the American economy needs to escape from a half-decade of sluggish growth and high unemployment,” the New York Times reports. One is Harvard economist Kenneth S. Rogoff, quoted in the Times: “Weighed against the political, social and economic risks of continued slow growth after a once-in-a-century financial crisis, a sustained ... [click for more]

Delete the Fed

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Who should run the Federal Reserve System when chairman Ben Bernanke’s term expires next year: Vice Chair Janet Yellen or former Obama adviser Lawrence Summers? Neither. Who then? No one. The fact is, we need the Federal Reserve like we need a hole in the head. Contrary to folklore, the Fed is not needed to stabilize the economy or to prevent unemployment. As ... [click for more]

Should the Purchasing Power of Money Be Stabilized?

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Economists have long debated the costs and benefits of stabilizing the purchasing power of money. Today, most First World countries’ central banks either pursue the stabilization of purchasing power as a primary goal, as in the case of the European Central Bank (technically, the stabilization of the rate of change of money’s purchasing power, by means of an inflation ... [click for more]

Deflation, Liquidation, and Necessary Revisionism

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During his ill-fated 1932 reelection campaign Herbert Hoover delivered a speech in which he said, In the midst of this hurricane the Republican administration kept a cool head, and it rejected every counsel of weakness and cowardice. Some of the reactionary economists urged that we should allow the liquidation to take its course until it had found its own bottom. ... [click for more]

QE Forever and John Q. Public

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The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) has voted to launch a third round of quantitative easing (QE3), this time focused on purchasing as much as $40 billion a month in mortgage-backed securities. This decision to provide liquidity ad infinitum could add nearly half a trillion to the Fed’s balance sheet annually and hold the federal-funds rate near zero ... [click for more]

The GOP’s Gold Plank

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The 2012 Republican Party platform contains a plank concerning a possible return to the gold or other metallic standard. The US dollar has been a fiat currency since President Richard Nixon suspended its convertibility to gold on August 15, 1971. The plank reads, Determined to crush the double-digit inflation that was part of the Carter Administration’s economic legacy, President Reagan, shortly ... [click for more]

The Roots of America’s Financial Crises

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Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream by R. Christopher Whalen (Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley, 2010); 393 pages. It is obvious by now that the massive U.S. debt cannot be sustained. Last year’s downgrading by Standard and Poor’s of the U.S. government’s credit rating is but the latest signal that the Obama administration’s policy of an ever-expanding ... [click for more]
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