Control over money is the legal privilege of the monetary authority. But the monetary authority is not above reproach.
The Fed has a monopoly on the creation of base money, the fundamental asset underlying the banking and financial system. And over decades, with each instance of financial turbulence, the Fed has become less constrained in how, when, and why it creates base money.
The Great Recession of the 2000s shaped a generation of macro- and monetary economists. We can debate the details. But three things warrant widespread agreement.
That one set of payments providers gets access to the core payments system while another is shut out seems quite arbitrary.
Interest rate manipulations by central banks through monetary policy are similar to price controls on other goods.
Wouldn’t the world fall apart? Not at all. I predict that the news would be front page for the usual 48-hour news cycle and then the world would move on. No big deal. There is no downside. And a huge upside. All it requires is some political courage.
By making these lost Spooner treatises available again after more than a century in seclusion, it is my hope that they will both further our historical understanding of the time in which they were written and offer relevant insights to the evolution of economic ideas in the present day.
The public discourse concerning the state of the financial system that once took place in trade associations and committees of concerned citizens has disappeared, replaced by a cold and sterile managerialism practiced by an insular and self-perpetuating macroeconomic elite.