Monday, 27 March 2017
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    Against the War on Cash

    March 27, 2017
    In recent years, economists and central bankers have been advocating moving away from cash transactions towards an economy relying fully on financial transactions. At prima facie, this seems to be a good idea. Using checks and financial transfers can be more secure; the fact that every transaction is recorded makes illegal transactions (drug deals, etc.) […]

    Cash and the Zero Lower Bound

    March 22, 2017
    This is the fourth (and, perhaps, final) post on Ken Rogoff’s The Curse of Cash. As summarized in an earlier post, Rogoff argues that the benefits of banning cash (e.g., preventing crime, enabling effective monetary policy) exceed the costs (e.g., a reduction in financial privacy). He does not attempt to estimate the benefits and costs […]

    The End Of Currency Wars?

    March 20, 2017
    This piece originally appeared in Hedgeye “From its creation in 1913, the most important Fed mandate has been to maintain the purchasing power of the dollar; however, since 1913 the dollar has lost over 95 percent of its value” -James Rickards One of the least talked about proposals of the future Trump administration is the one […]

    Nominal is Real; Real is Artificial

    March 13, 2017
    A basic tenet of macroeconomics and monetary economics is the difference between nominal variables and real variables. Nominal variables are expressed in current market prices. Real variables are adjusted to reflect the changing purchasing power of money over time (inflation or deflation). For example, the nominal interest rate is the rate that currently prevails in […]

    Sound Money Is Rising at the State Level

    March 7, 2017
    This piece originally appeared in Mises Institute Inflation is the most pernicious of taxes levied by our government. Officials systematically devalue the dollar, then levy capital gains taxes on assets when their dollar price rises. The “gains” are largely illusory. Rising asset prices over time reflect the fact that the dollar buys less of everything. But the […]

    What the Fed Can’t Do

    March 2, 2017
    The American economy is still in the doldrums.  It is growing and creating jobs at a snail’s pace compared to the years before the financial crisis.  There are several reasons for this.  But the actions of the Federal Reserve bear significant blame.  For now, the public’s anger at the Fed’s questionable activities during and after […]

    Cash and Crime

    February 21, 2017
    This is the third of several posts on Ken Rogoff’s The Curse of Cash. As summarized in an earlier post, Rogoff argues that banning physical cash has two major benefits: reducing crime and enabling effective monetary policy at the zero lower bound. In this post, I will address the first of these supposed benefits by […]

    Donald Trump’s Fed

    February 17, 2017
    This piece originally appeared in The New York Sun It’s hard to think of an opportunity quite like that shaping up for President Trump in respect of the Federal Reserve. The announcement Friday by Daniel Tarullo of his intent to resign from the central bank’s board means that Mr. Trump will have three immediate openings […]