Tag: Federal Reserve

A Vulgar Keynesian Visits My Chamber »

I heard a noise that seemed to come from my chamber door. I opened it, and then . . . Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams some Austrians dared to dream before; But recession was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token, And the only words…
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Krugman’s Coin »

Paul Krugman has made a tongue-in-cheek proposal that has set tongues wagging—having the U.S. Treasury Department mint a $1 trillion platinum coin in order to circumvent the federal debt ceiling. Actually, Krugman was not the first to propose this solution he himself calls “silly” but he has given it wider exposure. In these weird…
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Unprecedented Household Deleveraging since 2007 »

For decades, American families espoused the not-quite-Cartesian ontology: I go into debt; therefore I am. Household debt climbed ever higher through good times and bad. Since the onset of the current recession, however, household debt has contracted substantially for the first time in more than half a century. After reaching a peak at $13.82…
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Krugman Attacks Us »

When Paul Krugman starts attacking us, we know we’re doing something right. John Maynard Keynes’s presumptive heir, Krugman apparently doesn’t like the findings of our recent book edited by Research Fellow David Beckworth, Boom & Bust Banking: The Causes and Cures of the Great Recession, exposing the profound fallacies of Lord Keynes’s love affair…
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The Fiscal Cliff and Policy Uncertainty »

In today’s issue of the Wall Street Journal, economics editor David Wessel has a useful column about policy uncertainty—worries about government spending, the expiration of provisions in the tax code, inflationary expectations, and the like—and its role in hampering economic growth by discouraging private investment. (The piece is available online to WSJ subscribers here.)…
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Crisis and Leviathan, 25th Anniversary Edition »

The Independent Institute is delighted to announce the publication of the 25th Anniversary Edition of Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government, by Independent Institute Senior Fellow Robert Higgs. First published in 1987, this classic work introduced to the reading public the notion that national crises—the Great Depression, the two…
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Extraordinary Demand to Hold Cash—The Mystery Persists »

Since the fall of 2008, the Federal Reserve System has pumped an almost incomprehensibly large amount of reserves into the commercial banking system—about $1.4 trillion. In normal circumstances, this action would have given rise to hyperinflation. Of course, not only has no hyperinflation occurred, but scarcely any inflation at all has occurred, and policy…
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The Engine of Economic Growth Is Running, but Hardly at High Speed »

Real private fixed investment—the main driver of genuine economic growth—has recovered less than half of its loss between 2006 and 2010. As of the second quarter of this year, the amount of real private fixed (i.e., not including inventory) investment had barely recovered enough to exceed the low point it hit during the dot.com…
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QE3: An Example of Regulatory Capture »

One of Nobel Laureate George Stigler’s best-known articles is his “The Theory of Economic Regulation,” in which he argues that over time, regulatory agencies that are designed to regulate industries for the public interest become “captured” by the industries they are supposed to regulate. Stigler’s “capture theory of regulation” concludes that regulators end up…
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GM, QE3, and Crony Capitalism »

Yesterday on The Beacon I noted that the Federal Reserve’s new “quantitative easing” measure, QE3, is an example of crony capitalism: the use of public policy to increase the profitability of specific firms and industries. Today I want to compare QE3 with another example of crony capitalism to reinforce the point. General Motors provides…
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