Tag: macroeconomics
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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It’s Housing, Stupid! Parallels Between the 1920s and the 2000s

In response to my recent essay “Obama and Hoover: Two ‘Smart’ (Stupid) Presidents”, one commenter did me the service of rehashing the old myths about the 1920s and the causes of the depression and how Herbert Hoover did little, FDR did a lot and Hoover has nothing in common with “Wonder Boy” Obama. (Coolidge...
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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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Debating the Great Depression: Steve Horwitz’s Latest Contribution

The Great Depression has been a deeply contested subject from the very beginning. After John Maynard Keynes’s General Theory became sacred writ for most mainstream economists, Keynesian interpretations generally prevailed, notwithstanding pockets of resistance among older economists, in general, and Austrian school economists, in particular. Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz’s monumental Monetary History of...
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Regime Uncertainty: Reports Keep Coming In

Each summer, Wall Street strategist Byron Wien convenes a meeting of high rollers to discuss the outlook for investment. This year’s meeting brought together fifty individuals, including more than ten billionaires. Their expectations, as reported by CNBC, are gloomy: “They saw the United States in a long-term slow growth environment with the near-term risk of recession quite...
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Regime Uncertainty: Are Interest-Rate Movements Consistent with the Hypothesis?

Regime uncertainty has gained increasing recognition as the current economic troubles have persisted with little or no improvement since the economy reached a cyclical trough early in 2009. As described in my 1997 paper, regime uncertainty pertains to the likelihood that investors’ private property rights in their capital and the income it yields will be...
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Romer’s Research: Expiration of Bush Tax Cuts Will Be Highly Contractionary

Christina Romer, Chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley, has published an article (co-authored with David Romer) in the June 2010 issue of the American Economic Review titled “The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks.”...
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“Fear the Boom and Bust”: Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Video

Here is a splendid and insightful, new rap video pitting the ideas of Nobel Laureate, Austrian School economist Friedrich A. Hayek against those of Lord John Maynard Keynes. As Hayek has shown, economic crises of boom and bust are created by governments that expand credit through central banks, creating unsustainable bubbles that ultimately crash....
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Economists’ Pro-Fed Petition Discredits Its Signers

A passel of bigwig economists has signed a petition urging Congress and the executive branch “to reaffirm their support for and defend the independence of the Federal Reserve System as a foundation of U.S. economic stability.” In support of this defense of the Fed against those now challenging the secrecy of its undertakings and,...
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Crunchy Credit

Robert Higgs has offered several very interesting posts about the supposed “credit crunch,” (here, here, and here) noting that this is not in fact a technical economic term but rather a phrase invented by journalists and pundits. He asks the important question: if it’s a “credit crunch,” why aren’t real interest rates soaring? Then,...
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