The End Of Currency Wars?

– March 20, 2017

This piece originally appeared in Hedgeye “From its creation in 1913, the most important Fed mandate has been to maintain the purchasing power of the dollar; however, since 1913 the dollar has lost over 95 percent of its value” -James Rickards One of t …


Nominal is Real; Real is Artificial

– March 13, 2017

A basic tenet of macroeconomics and monetary economics is the difference between nominal variables and real variables. Nominal variables are expressed in current market prices. Real variables are adjusted to reflect the changing purchasing power of mon …


What the Fed Can’t Do

– March 2, 2017

The American economy is still in the doldrums.  It is growing and creating jobs at a snail’s pace compared to the years before the financial crisis.  There are several reasons for this.  But the actions of the Federal Reserve bear significant blame.  F …


Donald Trump’s Fed

– February 17, 2017

This piece originally appeared in The New York Sun It’s hard to think of an opportunity quite like that shaping up for President Trump in respect of the Federal Reserve. The announcement Friday by Daniel Tarullo of his intent to resign from the central …


How Much Cash is Used by Criminals and Tax Cheats?

– February 8, 2017

This is the second of several posts on Ken Rogoff’s The Curse of Cash. In this post, I consider Rogoff’s estimate for the extent to which cash is used by criminals and tax cheats. If you have not yet read the book, I offer a brief summary in a previous …


What interest rates really are and what happens when governments change them

– February 6, 2017

This piece originally appeared in Learn Liberty By Nicolás Cachanosky  When you pay interest, what are you paying for? Interest rates are one of the most confused subjects in economics. What are they, really? And what is their role in economic crises l …


The Curse of Cash

– February 1, 2017

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have been reading Ken Rogoff’s new book, The Curse of Cash. Rogoff is a very smart guy who has been thinking about this proposal for roughly two decades. It deserves serious consideration and I intend to give it suc …


Bitcoin and the Bailout

– January 25, 2017

To what extent did the Cyprus bailout announcement encourage some to reconsider bitcoin?


Rogoff on Seigniorage

– January 11, 2017

In his book, The Curse of Cash, Harvard economist Ken Rogoff offers an excellent discussion of the modern seigniorage process: Instead of having the government print money and buy things directly, modern-day seigniorage is a three stage process. In sta …


“Strong” and “Weak” Currencies

– January 10, 2017

Is a “strong dollar” good or bad?  If the currency of another country is pegged to the US dollar, and the US dollar is “strong,” is that good or bad for the other country? A recent Wall Street Journal article was titled “Heat is on Currencies with Pegs …


Tools of Monetary Policy

– December 13, 2016

For several decades the money we use in everyday life is “fiat currency.”  That is, it is created by central banks and its value is not anchored to anything of intrinsic worth such as gold.  The workings and decision making of central banks is therefor …


Public infrastructure: Welcome to the world of waste, fraud, and abuse

– November 28, 2016

This article appeared in the December 2016 issue of Globe Asia Economic policy is subject to fads and fashions. The most recent economic-policy fad is public infrastructure. Its advocates include progressives on the “left” – like President Obama, Hilla …