Is gift exchange necessarily kinder, gentler?
Monetary exchange constrains the power that one might wield over others in personal relationships and enables our personal relationships to be based more on want than necessity.READ MORE
On the price of oil
This article appeared in the June 2016 issue of Globe Asia. Since its high of almost $108/bbl in June of 2014, we have witnessed a stunning collapse in the price of oil. Indeed, in February 2016, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was trading at …READ MORE
Op-ed: Trump’s problem with the Fed
This piece originally appeared in The Hill By Judy Shelton Donald Trump has a problem with the Federal Reserve. You could call it a love/hate relationship. He loves low-interest rates because, as a builder, low-cost financing enables him to develop ne …READ MORE
IMF economists criticize “neoliberalism”
In a recent Finance & Development piece, several IMF economists came together to criticize neoliberal reforms made by governments across the globe. Their main argument is that, “Instead of delivering growth, some neoliberal policies have increased …READ MORE
Decline in the volatility of bitcoin
The price of bitcoin remains more volatile than other major currencies. But the gap is shrinking.READ MORE
Should Italians be crucified on a cross of euros?
There is no doubt that ordinary Greeks feel that they have been financially crushed by the foreign-creditor-mandated austerity policies in recent years. The nation’s real output has been declining for several years and the rate of decline understates t …READ MORE
Monetary policies misunderstood
Ever since the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) began to consider raising the federal funds rate, which it eventually did in December 2015, a cottage industry has grown up around taper talk. Will the Fed raise rates, or won’t it? Each time a consensus congea …READ MORE
Polycentric banking and financial resilience
In my previous post, I argued that the institutions underlying laissez-faire banking systems, as approximated by historical cases in Scotland, Canada, and Sweden (among others) provided market actors the incentives and information necessary to maintain …READ MORE
Austrian business cycle theory and the marginal entrepreneur
A few days ago Alexander W. Salter wrote an interesting post on the problem of optimal resource allocation during an Austrian business cycle. His argument is that the Austrian business cycle theory (ABCT) can be understood within “a framework of ration …READ MORE
Helicopter money: dropping money from the sky?
In the past few years, most major central banks have failed to achieve the higher rates of inflation they claim to want. They tried both “quantitative easing” and “zero-interest-rate policies” with no success. Now there are press reports that in Europe …READ MORE
The monetary challenges of bitcoin
On Tuesday, the Cato Institute hosted an excellent conference on Cryptocurrency: The Policy Challenges of a Decentralized Revolution. I had the pleasure of discussing the monetary challenges of cryptocurrencies in general and bitcoin in particular with …READ MORE
One of the most interesting areas within the analysis of governance regimes is the literature on polycentricity. Polycentric governance systems are characterized by fractured and concurrent authority. In other words …READ MORE