Tag: Inflation

FDR Redux: A Cartoon Guide to Cutting the National Debt by 40% with the Stroke of a Pen! (Part I) »

Robert Higgs noted here on July 6th that FDR defaulted on the national debt by “going off the gold standard.” Moreover, FDR was (and is) much praised for his courageous action in favor of the “little guy” and against “sound money” bankers. FDR did this with a stroke of the pen (Executive Order) and...
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The Continuing Puzzle of the Hyperinflation that Hasn’t Occurred »

Since late December 2008, the bank prime lending rate—the interest rate banks charge their best corporate customers—has remained steady at 3.25 percent. Meanwhile, during the same period, the excess reserves that commercial banks hold at the Fed have increased from $2 billion in August 2008 to $1,513 billion in May 2011. Ordinarily, one would have expected...
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Inflation Update »

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the Consumer Price Index data for May, and the CPI is up about half a percent (actually, 0.47%) since April. The annual inflation rate (year over year increase since May 2010) is now 3.6%. Most of this increase has come in the last six months, because the...
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When All You Have Is a Hammer »

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is troubled by the unemployment rate that has crept back upwards, and the “frustratingly slow” economic recovery. And so what does he propose? More of the same, of course. More liquidity and a base interest rate kept near zero. You see, this is practically the only tool he has: monetary...
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CARTOON VIDEO: What About Bob? Social Security Talk in 2035 »

In 2011, the state of Illinois public pension was on the brink of disaster, with unfunded liabilities upward of $100 billion. By adjusting the benefits and contributions of current workers, the disaster was averted for those then retired. Those workers of 2011 “did their part” and are still working today, many of them into...
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Emily Skarbek Is Interviewed on the Government Cost Calculator on Reason TV »

Independent Institute Research Fellow Emily Skarbek is interviewed here by Nick Gillespie of Reason TV regarding the Institute’s very timely and far-reaching Government Cost Calculator. The Calculator enables any American to clearly understand three aspects of federal government spending. First, the Calculator helps you determine how much a person will pay for various federal...
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A Conversation about Gasoline Prices »

According to yesterday’s weekly federal report, This Week in Petroleum, the average price of regular gasoline is up to $3.96 per gallon, just 15 cents shy of its July 2008 peak. A friend writes: So I’m deciding to ask an economist. It appears to me that the oil companies are really just gouging the...
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Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Rap Video Round Two »

“Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two” is the superb and very timely sequel to the phenomenally successful and insightful, rap video pitting the views of macroeconomist John Maynard Keynes against those of Austrian School economist Friedrich A. Hayek, “Fear the Boom and Bust.” The original has attracted to date more than...
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The Fed as the U.S. Economy’s New Central Planner »

The Federal Reserve emerged from the financial crisis of 2007–2009 with new powers to allocate credit to specific firms, including non-bank institutions. This development in effect makes the central bank the U.S. economy’s central planner. But why did Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke lobby for the new lending powers, rather than rely on the Fed’s...
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Inflation on the Way? »

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures today, and it shows that inflation has picked up in the past few months. Looking at the past year, the CPI has increased 2.7% from March 2010 to March 2011. But most of that increase has been recent. In the seven months...
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