Tag: Federal Reserve

What’s a Geezer to Do? »

In 1968, I went to work as a faculty member at the University of Washington. Two years later, I noticed that a large deduction had been made to my monthly pay, and I inquired about it. I discovered that it was my personal contribution to a retirement plan. Because I had no recollection of...
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Anna Jacobson Schwartz (November 11, 1915–June 21, 2012) »

Anna Schwartz was one of the best economic historians of the past century. With Milton Friedman, she wrote (among many other works) that century’s most influential economic history book, A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960 (1963). Although not an economic theorist of Friedman’s caliber, she was a fine economist in her own...
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Krugman’s Mythology of U.S. Banking History »

Do the banking panics of the late 19th century prove that a safe and sound financial system requires government oversight of banks? Paul Krugman (and most every pundit) seems to think so. In his New York Times column of May 13, he writes: “Current right-wing mythology has it that bad banking is always the...
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Economists Testify on Federal Reserve Before House Committee Chaired by Ron Paul »

On May 8th, five economists, including our Research Fellow Peter Klein, appeared in testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Subcommittee, chaired by Congressman Ron Paul. The panelists included two economists from the Austrian School, two Keynesians, and one monetarist: Peter G. Klein, Research Fellow, The Independent...
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Inflation Update »

Conventional wisdom today is that the threat of inflation is low, despite the Fed’s easy money policy, and notwithstanding some economists in the minority (I’m in that minority) who see the Fed’s easy money policy as laying the groundwork for inflation. The March Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers were recently released, so let’s see...
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The Independent Review—Spring Issue Now Available »

We are delighted to announce the publication of the Spring 2012 issue of the Independent Institute’s peer-reviewed journal, The Independent Review. This issue’s articles and book reviews deal with the following questions: What does evidence from hunter-gatherer societies suggest about whether human beings are better adapted for individualism or collectivism? Read the article. What...
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Likely Fiscal and Monetary Legacies of the Current Crisis »

I am not a prophet, nor do I play one on TV. Nevertheless, I will hazard some conjectures here about certain likely legacies of the current crisis. I focus on fiscal and monetary matters. In a future post, I will deal with regulatory and ideological matters. I will try to avoid mere guesses or hunches...
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New Rasmussen Poll on Presidential Race »

As America heads toward “Super Tuesday” on March 6th in which primaries or caucuses will be held in ten states, the Christian Science Monitor reports in “Ron Paul poll shocker: He beats Obama head-to-head” that the influential Rasmussen Poll has released its latest findings of the views of likely voters in which the four...
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The Fed’s Immiseration of People Who Live on Interest Earnings »

As I have noted previously, the Fed’s policy of acting to hold interest rates well below free-market rates in recent years has had the effect of greatly diminishing the earnings of people who rely on interest income. Such people include especially many retirees who do not wish to hold risky assets with substantial variability of...
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Social Engineering and the Roots of the Financial Crisis »

Many books and articles have been written about the financial crisis of 2007–2008. Unfortunately, much of this literature is deeply flawed, mistakenly treating, for example, unscrupulous mortgage lenders and securities dealers as the primary cause of the calamity rather than as factors subordinate to more fundamental causes. One book exempt from this criticism is...
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