Thursday, 19 October 2017

Economic Policy

Jobs, and Obama’s Common Sense

May 11, 2012
in Blog

Reuters reports that employers cut back on hiring, again, in the month of April. Certainly this is a very important outcome in an election year. The perceived health of the economy can play in favor or against the candidate – in the opposite direction. A perceived healthy economic outlook favors the incumbent President, but works […]

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“The Return of Stagflation” – WSJ

Posted by Tom Duncan
May 24, 2011
in Blog

“‘Stagflation” is an ugly word for an ugly situation: persistent high inflation combined with high unemployment and stagnant demand in a country’s economy. The term was coined by British politician Iain Mcleod in a speech to Parliament in 1965. We haven’t experienced it here in the United States since the bad old days of the […]

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“Debt-Ceiling Strategies” – NRO

Posted by Tom Duncan
April 26, 2011
in Blog

“The conventional wisdom in Washington — on the left and among many on the right — is that the debt ceiling must be raised in order to avoid defaulting on the national debt, a potentially catastrophic scenario, the thought of which has business and financial leaders lobbying hard to raise the ceiling. Plenty of conservatives […]

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“Monetary Reform: The Key to Spending Restraint” – WSJ

Posted by Tom Duncan
April 26, 2011
in Blog

“No man in America is a match for House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan on the federal budget. No congressman in my lifetime has been more determined to cut government spending. No one is better informed for the task he has set himself. Nor has anyone developed a more comprehensive plan to reduce, and ultimately […]

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Deficit Spending on the Backs of the Poor

Posted by Tyler Watts
April 25, 2011
in Blog

Rejecting any serious cuts to government spending, President Obama stated recently, “Nothing is easier than solving a problem on the backs of people who are poor, for people who are powerless and don’t have lobbyists or don’t have clout.” Exactly. In the context of Obama’s much-discussed budget speech of a few days ago, one would […]

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“A Good Exit Strategy Proposed by Philadelphia Fed President Plosser” – WSP

Posted by Tom Duncan
April 21, 2011
in Blog

“Previous statements about exits by Fed officials simply listed the tools that could be used in an exit strategy, but did not actually put forth an exit strategy. In contrast, President Plosser describes a specific strategy. Two things are very attractive about strategy. First, it aims is to return monetary policy to one in which […]

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The Shell Game, Part III

Posted by Gonzalo Schwarz
April 20, 2011
in Blog

The Conclusion: The native inhabitants of Shell Island were living under growing pressure. For generations they had lived quiet lives tending their coconut trees, weaving their straw hats, and perfecting their massage techniques. With the arrival of the Outsiders, however, things had changed… The Outsiders had made it illegal for the Islanders to raise prices […]

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“Fed’s Monetary Stimulus Won’t Completely End in June” – Atlantic

Posted by Tom Duncan
April 20, 2011
in Blog

“In fact, there’s a big difference between the three scenarios before the Fed. One option would be to keep QE2 going after June, continuing to grow the Fed’s balance sheet. The second option would be to kill QE2, but keep QE1.5 intact, leaving the size of the Fed’s balance sheet unchanged. The third option would […]

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“Robust Political Economy and the Federal Reserve” – Boettke and Smith

Posted by Tom Duncan
April 20, 2011
in Blog

“The economics profession not only failed to predict the recent financial crisis, but has been struggling in its aftermath to reach a consensus on the cause(s) of the crisis. While competing narratives are being offered and evaluated, the narrow scope of the debate on strictly technical aspects of monetary policy has precluded the examination of […]

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Stop Printing Money, Inc.

Posted by Tom Duncan
April 18, 2011
in Blog

“America currently has $14 trillion in debt on the books and another $70 trillion or so in unfunded entitlements and pensions that are not yet on the books. These debts will never be repaid with dollars at current value. Either America will devalue its currency through inflation or it will default on its promises and […]

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Inflation, Unemployment, and Monetary Policy – Solow and Taylor

Posted by Tom Duncan
March 30, 2011
in Blog

“We have learned much about the unemployment-inflation trade-off and about monetary policy during the last 25 years. Both economic research – especially the research surrounding the rational expectations revolution of the 1970s – and historical experiences – in particular, the inflation and disinflation of the 1970s and 1980s – have contributed to this improved understanding. […]

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“Does the U.S. Economy Need Inflation?” – William Anderson

Posted by Tom Duncan
March 29, 2011
in Blog

“One would hope that the supposed “great minds” at the Fed and in academic economics would better understand inflation and its destructiveness, but that is not to be. First and most important, the lack of inflation is not the enemy of the economy. The economy does not remain in recession because government is not debasing […]

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“The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of Supply-Side Economics” – Forbes

Posted by Tom Duncan
March 29, 2011
in Blog

“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the American dream was going to hell in a handbasket. I speak, of course, of 1980, a time that seems as remote to the elite imagination as those of the days of America’s founding. The news then was dominated by “the misery index” measuring high […]

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The Only Financial Regulation You’ll Ever Need

Posted by Tyler Watts
March 28, 2011
in Blog

Financial industry regulation has been a hot topic in the wake of the Panic of 2008 and ensuing recession. Many pundits blamed the crisis on a vaguely-defined concept of “deregulation.” Over the years, they argue, governmental oversight of financial institutions was reduced, allowing banks—especially large ones—to build up too much risk. This allows bankers’ greed […]

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Is the Supply of Money a Natural Monopoly?

March 24, 2011
in Blog

In conventional microeconomics the monopoly is associated with inefficiency. Under perfect competition there are no deadweight losses. This means that resources are efficiently allocated. The monopoly, on the other hand, provokes inefficient production by choosing a low level of production. This inefficiency could be reduced by the involvement of the government; that is, by regulation. […]

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“Monetary Calculation and the Extension of Social Cooperation into Anonymity” – Horwitz

Posted by Tom Duncan
March 24, 2011
in Blog

“The question of how humans come to trust anonymous others has been addressed by both economists and evolutionary psychologists recently. However, the idea of monetary calculation, as articulated by Ludwig von Mises and other Austrian school economists, is missing from their accounts. Game theory and evolutionary psychology might tell us why we trade at all […]

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Prosperity and Depression – Harberler

Posted by Tom Duncan
March 24, 2011
in Blog

“Are you serious about business cycle theory? In 1937, back when economists thought big and coherent thoughts about the boom-bust cycle, long before mainstream economists began to doubt the existence of theoretical universals, Professor Gottfried Haberler, an exponent of the Austrian theory, wrote a full and wonderful treatise on the topic. He sought to answer […]

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“Easy Money: Prelude to Recession” – Freeman

Posted by Tom Duncan
March 23, 2011
in Blog

“Why is the American economy plagued by recessions? The simplest way to answer this question is to focus our attention on individuals. Once we know why individual businessmen experience economic setbacks, we will have the key to understanding why the entire economy intermittently goes through periods of recession. A businessman suffers heavy losses when he […]

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“Stimulus Spending and Jigsaw Puzzles” – Coordination Problem

Posted by Tom Duncan
March 23, 2011
in Blog

“In a series of newspaper columns last year, Don Boudreaux compared the economy to a giant jigsaw puzzle with billions of pieces that can fit together in numerous combinations only a small number of which produce a meaningful pattern or picture. We learn which combos work because they “beep” every time we get one “right” […]

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“Should America Adopt the Gold Standard?” Ebeling vs Barsky – March 29

Posted by Tom Duncan
March 20, 2011
in Blog

On Tuesday, March 29, Northwood University will be hosting “Should America Adopt the Gold Standard?” , a debate between Dr. Richard Ebeling of Northwood and Dr. Robert Barsky of the University of Michigan. Should the United States return to a gold standard? Hear the debate and decide for yourself! The debate will be held at […]

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Larry White on Free Banking and Gold

Posted by Tom Duncan
March 18, 2011
in Blog

Larry White gives a lecture on the benefits of Free Banking and the Gold Standard at the Cato Monetary Conference in November, 2010. Watch it here. Larry White on Free Banking and Gold  Sheldon Richman Anything Peaceful, March 8, 2011.  Via the Foundation for Economic Education. Image by Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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“Blanchard on the Future of Macroeconomic Policy” – EconLog

Posted by Tom Duncan
March 17, 2011
in Blog

“Summarizing an IMF conference, Olivier Blanchard lists nine points. I will make extended comments below the fold. Here is a crucial sentence: ‘Monetary policy has to go beyond inflation stability, adding output and financial stability to the list of targets, and adding macro-prudential measures to the list of instruments.’ Thus does over thirty years of […]

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“Detached From Reality” – FreedomWorks

Posted by Tom Duncan
March 16, 2011
in Blog

“By 2020, public debt in the United States is set to reach 90 percent of GDP, a line that many economists demarcate as when accumulated debt pushes an economy to the precipice of fiscal demise. Entitlement spending remains on autopilot and some federal agencies, with “stimulus” money included, have received 180 percent increases in spending. […]

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“Higher Oil, Higher Inflation? The Fed Can’t Decide” – Fortune

Posted by Tom Duncan
March 10, 2011
in Blog

“Up until recently, there was pretty overwhelming support by central bankers to keep U.S. interest rates low by buying up bonds in a second round of quantitative easing with the goal of boosting our slow-growing economy. But the debate over the right policy prescription is about to get more complex (if it isn’t already), as […]

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“Two Years of Epic Stimulus Failures” – Steve Stanek

Posted by Tom Duncan
March 9, 2011
in Blog

“We’ve just passed the second anniversary of “economic stimulus” under President Barack Obama. Aside from spending on the stimulus itself—the actual price tag soon climbed from $787 billion to $862 billion—not much else has been stimulated. Well over half-a-trillion dollars have been poured into the U.S. economy courtesy of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act […]

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“The Fiscal Stimulus Follies” – Richard Wagner

Posted by Tom Duncan
March 8, 2011
in Blog

“If people individually reduce their spending, the fiscal stimulists claim that government can fill the void by spending more. This is a portrait of government spending as providing a “shot of adrenaline for a slumping economy,” to cite a common image. To shift metaphors, the fiscal stimulists portray an economy as if it was a […]

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“Fed Chief Steps Back Into Political Matters” – AP

Posted by Tom Duncan
March 7, 2011
in Blog

“The danger for Bernanke in politicizing the Fed, some economists and academics say, is that it makes it easier for Congress and the White House to pressure the Fed to make decisions that are politically popular but not good for the economy. “Bernanke should be fighting to maintain the Fed’s independence, rather than becoming more […]

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“Been There Done That: The Political Economy of Déjà Vu” – Boettke, Smith, and Snow

Posted by Tom Duncan
March 2, 2011
in Blog

“In the midst of the current financial crisis the economics profession has seen a monumental resurrection of Keynesian ideas. The debate, which Keynes started back in the 1930s, is being picked up again, not where it left off, but in exactly the same place it started. While Keynesian theories were carefully critiqued by new classical […]

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“Same Old Song and Dance” – FEE

Posted by Tom Duncan
February 28, 2011
in Blog

“Friedman, as with the other papers that day, found inflation to be a massive problem. In fact, next to the threat of a third world war, inflation is what he finds to be the most serious threat to the preservation of a free society. Friedman believed the source of inflationary pressure mainly stemmed from calls […]

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“Currency Wars Lose to Inflation Making Emerging Markets Winners” – BW

Posted by Tom Duncan
February 28, 2011
in Blog

“As recently as last month, governments of emerging economies from South Africa to Brazil warned that competitive devaluations might be needed to keep their strengthening currencies from stifling economic growth. Now, talk of currency controls is being abandoned and interest rates are rising as record food prices and oil at $100 a barrel make inflation […]

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“Let Them Eat Chips” – O’Driscoll

Posted by Tom Duncan
February 25, 2011
in Blog

“Unfortunately for defenders of Fed policy, today’s paper is filled with stories of rising inflation. In Singapore, consumer price inflation is running at 5.5%. In Vietnam, consumer price inflation is running at over 12%. There are food riots in India. In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, George Melloan detailed the linkage between economics and turmoil in […]

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The Crime Known as Quantitative Easing – Cobden Centre

Posted by Tom Duncan
February 23, 2011
in Blog

“Rather helpfully, on the Bank’s website there is an explanation of how Quantitative Easing was supposed to improve the economy. Quite clearly, the Bank explains that they purchased British Government bonds (gilts) and high quality (investment grade) bonds from private sector companies (banks, pension funds, insurance companies and non-financial institutions). The Bank’s concern was that […]

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Housing America: Building Out of a Crisis

Posted by Tom Duncan
February 23, 2011
in Blog

“About seventy percent of American households own their own homes, and for many their homes represent the majority of their net worth. As evident by the cascading mortgage market meltdown and widespread defaults and financial bankruptcies, housing policy not only affects the quality of community life but also has a direct impact on their economic […]

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“More Than Just Greed” – Miron

Posted by Tom Duncan
February 17, 2011
in Blog

“In asking whether the recent financial crisis could have been avoided, the crucial fact is that crises of various flavors have occurred for centuries in countries around the world. Thus, any explanation based mainly on recent factors — subprime lending, derivatives trading, or financial deregulation — cannot be the whole story. A full account must […]

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“Lost in a Maze of Monetary Aggregates” – Mises Daily

Posted by Tom Duncan
February 16, 2011
in Blog

“One of the most important concepts in economic theory is the quantity of money. However, when going from theory to practical application, things get messy. In the real world, it’s not obvious how to count up the amount of “money” in the economy at any given time. Because of this ambiguity, economists have developed several […]

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Ron Paul Monetary Hearing

Posted by Tom Duncan
February 16, 2011
in Blog

On February 9, 2011, Ron Paul held the first meeting of the Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology subcommittee since he became Chairman. The video can be found here, via LewRockwell.com.  Image by Pixomar / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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Review of Ron Paul’s End the Fed – FEE

Posted by Tom Duncan
February 10, 2011
in Blog

“Of all the blunders in American history, perhaps the greatest was the decision to put control of money and banking in the hands of a cabal of big bankers operating under the highfalutin title “Federal Reserve System.” Unfortunately, few among us know anything about the Fed, much less have any inkling of how badly it […]

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The Economic Conscience of Our Country – FEE

Posted by Tom Duncan
February 10, 2011
in Blog

“Henry Hazlitt spent his career in journalism promoting the works of the Austrian School of economics. What separated Hazlitt from the rest, and lead Mises to call him our leader, was his understanding of economics. Although he had not been an economist by training or profession, his work proved he understood the economic concepts better […]

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Boudreaux on Monetary Misunderstandings – EconTalk

Posted by Tom Duncan
February 9, 2011
in Blog

“Don Boudreaux of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts on some of the common misunderstandings people have about prices, money, inflation and deflation. They discuss what is harmful about inflation and deflation, the importance of expectations and the implications for interest rates and financial institutions.” Listen to it here.  Boudreaux on Monetary […]

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“Fed Missing Inflation, Should Raise Rates: Rep. Ryan” – CNBC

Posted by Tom Duncan
February 8, 2011
in Blog

“The Federal Reserve should start raising interest rates now in order to head off inflation later, Rep. Paul Ryan told CNBC. Speaking a day before Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to visit Capitol Hill for a congressional hearing on monetary policy, the Wisconsin Republican and head of the House Ways and Means Committee expressed […]

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“Bond Market Flashes Inflation Warning” – WSJ

Posted by Tom Duncan
February 7, 2011
in Blog

“The U.S. bond market has begun sending a message that inflation risks are rising and the Federal Reserve may be too slow to act, potentially marking a significant turning point in the economic recovery. In the past week, Treasury-bond yields have jumped to their highest levels since last spring. Yields on 10-year Treasurys surpassed 3.5% […]

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“The Fed Has No Clothes” – O’Driscoll

Posted by Tom Duncan
January 28, 2011
in Blog

“Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser gave a major speech on Monday at the Central Bank of Chile. In the polite language of central bankers, the speech constitutes a systematic criticism of not only current Fed policy but of the Fed’s entire response to the financial crisis. Plosser’s speech updates Milton Friedman’s 1967 presidential speech to […]

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“Transcript: GOP Response From Rep. Paul Ryan” – NPR

Posted by Tom Duncan
January 26, 2011
in Blog

“Millions of families have fallen on hard times not because of our ideals of free enterprise — but because our leaders failed to live up to those ideals; because of poor decisions made in Washington and Wall Street that caused a financial crisis, squandered our savings, broke our trust, and crippled our economy. Today, a […]

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Judy Shelton on Just Facts Radio!

Posted by Tom Duncan
January 26, 2011
in Blog

“On January 25, 2011 Jim Agresti and Steve Cardone interviewed eminent economist and global finance specialist Dr. Judy Shelton about the importance of sound money. Dr. Shelton is Co-Director of the Sound Money Project at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. She has provided expert testimony on numerous occasions before the Joint Economic Committee, Senate Banking, […]

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“Global Price Fears Mount” – WSJ

Posted by Tom Duncan
January 24, 2011
in Blog

“Mr. Trichet argues that budget discipline would help growth in Europe more than renewed stimulus, and called on the euro zone’s 17 member countries to strengthen “surveillance” of each other’s fiscal policies. In Europe, budget discipline benefits growth and job creation by “improving confidence of households, enterprises, investors and savers,” said the 68-year-old Frenchman. In […]

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“New Push at Fed to Set an Official Inflation Goal” – WSJ

Posted by Tom Duncan
January 24, 2011
in Blog

“Federal Reserve officials last year, prodded by Chairman Ben Bernanke, seriously considered adopting an explicit target for inflation of 2%, but Mr. Bernanke failed to forge a consensus and backed away. The issue could resurface in 2011. The Fed informally has said its goal is inflation of around 2%. But after years of internal debate […]

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“John Taylor: The Republicans’ Shadow Fed Chairman”

Posted by Tom Duncan
January 21, 2011
in Blog

“Taylor’s followers include the new GOP House leadership, the chairmen of key House committees, Presidential hopefuls, conservative thinkers, and others suspicious of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s stimulative monetary policy and perceived alliances with Obama Administration officials. His Economics One blog is a must-read for Republicans seeking an alternative economic blueprint—and for Democrats hoping to […]

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“Can Austrian Theory Explain Construction Employment?” – Robert Murphy

Posted by Tom Duncan
January 20, 2011
in Blog

“As a service to readers of the Mises Daily, I immerse myself in the sometimes-stultifying skirmishes of the economics blogosphere. Recently, those arguing that the solution to our current economic woes involves a pumping up of “aggregate demand” seem to have scored a major victory over the economists who believe the housing boom led to […]

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“Put Off Badly Needed Budget Cuts? Austerity Doesn’t Mean No Growth” – Reynolds

Posted by Tom Duncan
January 19, 2011
in Blog

The Times’ real point was to argue that, “Whatever the sum .. . cutting billions would be foolish at a time when joblessness is high and the recovery needs stimulus, not tightening. … Spending cuts need not and should not start today, but the nation needs to put a credible plan in place now to […]

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“Dodd-Frank and the Return of the Loan Shark” – WSJ

Posted by Tom Duncan
January 19, 2011
in Blog

“Banks can also drop riskier borrowers completely. In his letter to shareholders last spring, Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan Chase reported that, “In the future, we no longer will be offering credit cards to approximately 15% of the customers to whom we currently offer them. This is mostly because we deem them too risky in […]

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