Monday, 27 March 2017

Author Archives Alexander W. Salter

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 […]

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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 […]

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The price of time and the price of money

November 2, 2016

When discussing the market for money balances, many reputable macroeconomics and money and banking textbooks say that the price of money is the interest rate.  This ‘liquidity preference’ theory is misguided.  The kernel of truth therein is that, in holding higher money balances, an individual is forsaking earning a nominal rate of return on assets […]

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Don’t blame central bankers for persistently low interest rates

August 23, 2016

Many who are supportive of free markets blame central banks for the low interest rates that have prevailed since the end of the 2007-8 financial crisis.  This is a mistake. Central banks can, in the short run and all else being equal, lower market interest rates through expansionary open market operations.  But this ‘liquidity effect’ […]

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Against monetary democracy

July 13, 2016

Thanks in part to high-profile and controversial public policy since the financial crisis, and to a lesser extent politicians such as Ron and Rand Paul, the monetary and financial arrangements of the United States have become a surprising source of public indignation.  Monetary and financial policy, previously a subject that would put almost all voters […]

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Polycentric banking and financial resilience

May 4, 2016

In my previous post, I argued that the institutions underlying laissez-faire banking systems, as approximated by historical cases in Scotland, Canada, and Sweden (among others) provided market actors the incentives and information necessary to maintain aggregate demand stability.  This also means a laissez-faire banking system does a good job of maintaining short-run macroeconomic stability, although this […]

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