Archive for June 2012 – Page 2

Misesians in Mordor

Recently Circle Bastiat members Peter Klein and Jeffrey Herbener testified before Ron Paul and other congressmen.

This Thursday, Joseph Salerno and John Cochran will also testify, as well as Lawrence White.

House Subcommittee to Examine Fractional Reserve Banking and High-Powered Money


Congressman Ron Paul, Chairman of the Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Subcommittee, announced today that the subcommittee will hold a hearing this week to examine fractional reserve banking.

“Fractional reserve banking underpins the entire banking system, yet its effects on society are completely ignored,” Paul stated.  “Our financial system consists of vast amounts of credit pyramided on top of very small amounts of real savings—all backstopped by explicit and implicit government guarantees. This poses significant risks to the stability of the economy and monetary system, which ought to give pause to any serious observer of financial markets. Hopefully this hearing will create a greater understanding among the American people about the nature of the banking system, and begin the movement towards serious systematic reform,” Paul continued.  “The American people deserve a financial system that is stable and efficient; one that operates without taxpayer subsidies and bailouts.”

The hearing, entitled “Fractional Reserve Banking and the Federal Reserve: The Economic Consequences of High-Powered Money,” will be held on Thursday, June 28, at 2:00 p.m. in room 2128 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Witnesses scheduled to testify:

Dr. John Cochran, Emeritus Professor of Economics and Emeritus Dean, School of Business, Metropolitan State College of Denver;

Dr. Joseph Salerno, Professor of Economics, Lubin School of Business, Pace University;

Dr. Lawrence H. White, Professors of Economics, George Mason University.


Austrian Economics in Verse

Some lovely Austro-libertarian poems by Andrew Criscione:

The Subjective Value Theorem


I trade A for B and, see,

This means B is good for me

And if A’s not good for you

You would not be trading, too

And because you trade with me

“Good” exists subjectively

I might value B o’er A

You think just the other way

Read More→

Fed Data Since 1915

Here are some fascinating charts of the Fed’s assets & liabilities since 1915. (Thanks to Aftab Singh.)

Thornton Skyscraper Interview

Mark Thornton discusses his work on skyscrapers and business cycles at the Libertarian Standard.  Also it has recently been reported that China is planning to build the next “world’s tallest skyscraper.”  Uh oh.

A Tribute in German to The Theory of Money and Credit

Thorsten Polleit writes:

On 18 June 2012, I succeeded in placing an article on the centennial publication of Ludwig von Mises’s “Die Theorie des Geldes und der Umlaufsmittel” (“The Theory of Money and Credit”) in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (F.A.Z.), one of the more widely read newspapers in the German speaking world. I got quite a good response from readers, with people saying that they want to hear and learn more about what Mises and the Austrians have to say.

In case you read German, here is the article.

Die Lehre vom Geld

Measuring Value and Exchange

“The basis of modern economics is the cognition that it is precisely the disparity in the value attached to the objects exchanged that results in their being exchanged.  People buy and sell only because they appraise the things given up less than those received.  Thus the notion of a measurement of value is vain.  An act of exchange is neither preceded nor accompanied by any process which could be called a measuring of value.”

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Gitta on Mises and Music

Gitta Serény, Mises’ stepdaughter, who recently passed, is mentioned in several places in Jörg Guido Hülsmann’s biography of Mises.  At one point, for a while, Mises and his wife were desperate to know whether Gitta escaped from Nazi-occupied France.  Here Hülsmann discusses Gitta’s memory of Mises’ love for music.

Mises did not share the Viennese acceptance of Schlamperei when it came to politics, but he did share their passion for music. It would endure throughout his life. His stepdaughter, Gitta Serény recalled her ninety-year-old stepfather sitting next to her at a performance of Strauss’s “Blue Danube” in New York City. The old man’s eyes were shining as he hummed along with the music.

Gitta Serény (1921-2012)

Mises’s step-daughter Gitta Serény, the well-known author, has died at age 91.  Here are details from the Guardian and the NYT.

Schulak and Unterköfler Reviewed in JHET

Good news!  The Austrian School of Economics: A History of Its Ideas, Ambassadors, and Institutions by Eugen-Maria Schulak and Herbert Unterköfler has been reviewed for Cambridge’s Journal of the History of Economic Thought.

Why Classical Liberalism Rejects War

“The liberal critique of the argument in favor of war is fundamentally different from that of the humanitarians.  It starts from the premise that not war, but peace, is the father of all things.  What alone enables mankind to advance and distinguishes man from the animals is social cooperation.  It is labor alone that is productive:  it creates wealth and therewith lays the outward foundations for the inward flowering of man.  War only destroys; it cannot create.  War, carnage, destruction, and devastation we have in common with the predatory beasts of the jungle; constructive labor is our distinctively human characteristic.”

–Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism: The Classical Tradition