Monetary Theory

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Hoist That Load

Monetary TheoryPhilosophy and MethodologyPolitical Theory


Our town council, who loves taxes like my cat loves cream is talking about a sales tax increase: a frequent subject of their deliberations. Only a miniscule addition they say. Pennies. Who'll miss a 5 penny penalty on a 5 dollar purchase. We should line up to give our political servants this...

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New Lenders of Last Resort?

Money and BanksMonetary TheoryMoney and Banking


From today's New York Times:

Three of the nation's largest banks, working together at the behest of the Treasury Department, announced this morning that they were creating a large fund to serve as a buyer of bonds and other debt at a time when many investors are avoiding...

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The cost-price doctrine on Böhm-Bawerk and Reisman

Monetary TheoryMoney and Banking


Mises and Rothbard created a very strong following of fine scholars and brilliant minds. But critiques are always a feature that a very much alive tradition such as the Austrian School needs to have and use for improvement. And sometimes improvement implies bringing back forgotten doctrines of...

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Adam Smith and Karl Marx's basic and monumental (in consequences) error

Capital and Interest TheoryMonetary TheoryValue and Exchange


What could these two thinkers, considered to be opposites, have in common? It turns out that Karl Marx inherits from Adam Smith a very basic error, one which has monumental consequences and has changed the world forever.

Adam Smith tells us in his famous treatise on the wealth of nations...

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And Thus It Came to Pass

Business CyclesMonetary Theory


August 2 saw Matthew Beller's Daily Article "The Coming Second Life Business Cycle," which sounded at first blush like yet another announcement of the coming Rapture. But it described the fiat money (Linden Dollars) of the fiat world of the Internet,...

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Good Question Marty

Money and BanksMonetary TheoryMoney and Banking


In his new NBER working paper Martin Feldstein writes that "Reducing the large current account deficit will require both a higher rate of national saving and a more competitive dollar."

I love it: "a more competitive dollar"


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The Next Best Use for Extortion

Monetary TheoryPhilosophy and MethodologyPolitical Theory


George Washington University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg steps down today after 19 years in office. As a onetime GW student and longtime neighbor of the school, I long held a mixed view of Trachtenberg's tenure, on the one hand applauding his efforts to develop the physical campus—...

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Accounting and Accountability in Government

Big GovernmentMoney and BanksMonetary Theory


This is a story about Linda Combs, who cleaned up the government's financial reporting process.

A remarkable fact jumps off the page at me: "Nineteen of the 24 agencies received unqualified audit opinions in 2005...

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"Insider Trading" is Back

Legal SystemCapital and Interest TheoryMonetary TheoryPhilosophy and Methodology


The ancient transgressions of murder, pillage, bestiality, thievery, and rape still shout from the headlines. O Tempora, O Mores, as the ancients proclaimed in dismay a couple millennia ago: meaning what crummy people, what crummy times. They ought to read this morning's paper — they'd yearn for...

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