Thursday, 19 October 2017

Monthly Archives December 2014

“Bank capital punishment and other nostrums”

December 31, 2014
in Blog

Across the globe, governments and their central banks have embarked on a witch hunt against bankers, imposing new capital requirements, regulations and even launching investigations against them. While policy makers need scapegoats to blame for the financial crisis of 2009, targeting bankers creates a problem as it “constrains the growth of money broadly defined.” This […]

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Defending the dollar in Ecuador

December 30, 2014
in Blog

This past August, Mary O’Grady made a claim in the Wall Street Journal that few people would argue against when she stated that “few economic injustices are more villainous than stealing from the poor.” Really, she was speaking about the devaluation of currency at the hands of governments and their central banks. As O’Grady notes, currency devaluation was […]

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Common criticisms of the gold standard

Posted by Thomas L. Hogan
December 29, 2014
in Blog

Many mainstream economists believe that adopting a gold standard would be an economic disaster. But most of their objections appear to be inconsistent with the actual historical evidence. My new working paper, “Ben Bernanke and the Gold Standard,” co-authored with Robin Aguiar-Hicks and Daniel Smith, considers many economists’ common beliefs about the gold standard to […]

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Selgin’s Bitdollar and a simple step toward sound money

December 17, 2014
in Blog

Over at the Free Banking Blog, George Selgin replied to some recent criticisms that appeared in the Economic Policy Journal (here and here.) The criticism is aimed at what Selgin calls the “Bitdollar,” which is the idea of a tamper-proof-Bitcoin-type protocol that automatically adjusts the supply of base dollars in a way that a measure of nominal income keeps […]

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Op-ed: The Yellen tug of war

December 16, 2014
in Blog

This week, Ralph Benko published a piece in Forbes that outlined what I would consider two fundamental problems with Janet Yellen’s Federal Reserve: its willingness to experiment and its growing politicization. As Benko states in the opening of his piece, economic mobility depends on when and how quickly the Fed decides to tighten or raise […]

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Money and productivity

Posted by Jerry Jordan
December 15, 2014
in Blog

Traditionally, economists talk about things being produced using some combinations of land, labor, and capital, where capital is taken to mean tools, machines, buildings, and so on. Productivity— productive efficiency—improves when the same output can be obtained with less of at least one of these inputs. Some economists include “money” in the production function as […]

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The political economy of Bitcoin

Posted by William Luther
December 10, 2014
in Blog

I have a new paper with Joshua Hendrickson and co-blogger Thomas Hogan titled The Political Economy of Bitcoin. Here’s the abstract: The recent proliferation of bitcoin has been a boon for users but might pose problems for governments. Indeed, some governments have already taken steps to ban or discourage the use of bitcoin. In a […]

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Economic performance and the Federal Reserve

Posted by Thomas L. Hogan
December 8, 2014
in Blog

Many economists argue the Fed can improve economic performance by moderating booms and busts in the economy. Indeed, some studies propose that the volatility of GDP growth has declined under the Fed, especially during the “Great Moderation” from the mid-1980s to the present day. My recent paper “Has the Fed Improved U.S. Economic Performance?”, soon […]

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The MIT Bitcoin Project

Posted by William Luther
December 3, 2014
in Blog

The MIT Bitcoin Project plans to give $100 worth of bitcoin to every undergrad at MIT. Ignoring any overhead, the program will cost a little less than half a million dollars. Why would they do that? Payment vehicles like bitcoin are subject to what economists call network effects. That means individuals are concerned not only […]

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Does monetary equilibrium equal NGDP targeting?

December 1, 2014
in Blog

In the last recent years, the idea of NGDP targeting as a better, if not the optimal, target for central banks has received special attention. Surely the idea is not new, but the recent increase in interest is hard to deny. The idea is that the central bank should not target an interest rate, like […]

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