The Sound Money Project was founded in January 2009 to conduct research and promote awareness about monetary stability and financial privacy. The project is comprised of leading academics and practitioners in money, banking, and macroeconomics. It offers regular commentary and in-depth analysis on monetary policy, alternative monetary systems, financial markets regulation, cryptocurrencies, and the history of monetary and macroeconomic thought. For the latest on sound money issues, subscribe to our working paper series and follow along on Twitter or Facebook.

Advisory Board: Steve H. Hanke, Jerry L. Jordan, Lawrence H. White
Director: William J. Luther
Senior Fellows: Nicolás Cachanosky, Gerald P. DwyerJoshua R. Hendrickson, Thomas L. Hogan, Gerald P. O’Driscoll, Jr., Alexander W. Salter
Fellows: James L. Caton, J.P. Koning

Is the Fed Paying Banks Not to Lend?

– June 6, 2021

“The evidence shows that banks treated excess reserves as a profitable alternative to loans. High rates of IOER caused them to increase reserve holdings and decrease their loan allocations. The Fed was indeed paying banks not to lend.” ~ Thomas L. Hogan

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Why Do Inflation Expectations Matter?

– June 3, 2021

“Powell is telegraphing to the market that he hears their concerns about inflation. We will have to wait through the next several months to learn whether or not investors will be convinced.” ~ James L. Caton

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Fighting Ransomware Doesn’t Require Banning Cryptocurrency

– May 29, 2021

“With OFAC as coxswain, an embargo might achieve everything that a ban on cryptocurrency promises to achieve without depriving gamblers, outsiders, and hobbyists of a product they utilize. It would also be more effective than the status quo, which is not capable of stopping criminals who operate with impunity from noncompliant jurisdictions.” ~ J.P. Koning

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There Is No Avoiding the Long Run: A Low Interest Rate Environment Is a Low Growth Environment

– May 14, 2021

“We’ve trod down the post-Bernanke path long enough to learn that the cost of following a policy of resource allocation by the Federal Reserve instead of allowing a modestly higher rate of inflation is lower growth of real income.” ~ James L. Caton

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Monetary Control: Central Banks Today

– May 13, 2021

“The Fed’s operating framework systematically tends towards the abuse of life, liberty, and property. If we want to fix this, we need to take a much closer look at the relationship between money and freedom. Only if we understand this relationship, philosophically, economically, and historically, will we be in a position to fix what’s gone wrong with our monetary institutions.” ~ Alexander W. Salter

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Assessing Potential for Higher Inflation

– May 12, 2021

“Monetary policy is intentionally supporting fiscal policy and supporting levels of indebtedness from the Federal government that are unprecedented. The result has been an explosion of M2 that increases the risk of inflation. There is a fair chance that policymakers will succeed. But, for the possibility of success, they risk a monetary-fiscal crisis.” ~ James L. Caton

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The Rise of Bitcoin

– May 6, 2021

“The blockchain technology at bitcoin’s core provides a new and fundamentally different way to process payments. It relies on neither decentralized nor centralized clearing. Instead, it processes transactions over a distributed network. And, by solving the double spending problem without recourse to a trusted third party, it has the potential to offer a degree of financial privacy comparable to decentralized payment mechanisms like cash.” ~ William J. Luther

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Why Do Cryptocurrencies Use So Much Energy?

– April 30, 2021

“Critics are upset about the energy consumption of cryptocurrencies. But it’s not the energy needs of these products that is the problem. Let niche communities enjoy their strange energy-intensive activities. Rather, what is disturbing is that most consumers of cryptocurrencies don’t perceive the true cost of the services they are using. And so these very, very expensive products have, by accident, gone mainstream.” ~ J.P. Koning

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The Promise of Cryptocurrencies

– April 7, 2021

“Cryptocurrencies have the potential to improve upon both commodity and fiat monies. If designed properly, a cryptocurrency would anchor long-run expectations and provide timely supply adjustments at a lower cost than commodity and fiat monies.” ~ William J. Luther

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Gift Cards: When Good Products Do Bad Things

– April 2, 2021

“For now, Apple is free to keep providing gift cards as before. Which means that scammers will probably not face additional hurdles to coopting gift cards for extortion payments. As for the rest of us, that means we get to keep enjoying a hassle-free gift card experience.” ~ J.P. Koning

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Understanding The Rise In Inflation Expectations

– April 1, 2021

“Bond markets are currently pricing in a little more than two percent inflation on average over the next ten years, which suggests inflation will pick up. So far, Fed officials seem willing to permit inflation to run a bit high over the next decade. Whether they will remain so permissive when the inflation numbers start rolling in––or, ratchet up IOR to bring inflation down to two percent––remains to be seen.” ~ Nicolás Cachanosky

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Rising Interest Rates and Inflation

– March 31, 2021

“A 5 to 10 percent jump in inflation expectations could be enough to set off a fiscal crisis for the federal government. And a fiscal crisis could be enough to generate a crisis of confidence in the dollar. There are numerous traps to avoid on the road ahead. Yet, monetary and fiscal policy both continue on expansionary paths with the greatest boldness that we have seen since the chairmanship of Arthur Burns.” ~ James L. Caton

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