In October, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics to Robert A. Mundell. The Nobel Committee cited Mundell "for his analysis of monetary and fiscal policy under different exchange rate regimes and his analysis of optimum currency areas."
It may seem that the Nobel announcement, and press articles and editorials describing the award, have honored Mundell "far above our poor power to add or detract." Nevertheless, I'd like to put in my two cents, not only to acknowledge an intellectual debt, but also because I'm not sure that even his closest friends have succeeded in conveying exactly why Mundell is regarded as a great economist, even by those who have disagreed with him.
... In the last 100 years, there has been unbridled recourse to fiat currency. This column draws heavily on a benchmark address by Lewis E. Lehrman on “The Federal Reserve and the Dollar” at the 31st Annual Monetary Conference at the Cato Institute, Washington DC.,US (November 14, 2013).
Lehrman quotes Keynes in “Indian Currency and Finance”, to say that whether a central bank holds its reserves in gold or in foreign exchange “is a matter of comparative indifference …India, in her Gold-Exchange Standard… far from being anomalous, is in the forefront of monetary progress …(heading towards) “the ideal currency of the future”. What glory for India!
... It is difficult to interpret [Jeb] Hensarling’s declaration to hold hearings on “the entirety of their hundred year history and what America has looked like since adopting a fiat currency” as anything but an intention to bring the Commission up for a vote. Hensarling promises to process vast amounts of information. The constraints on a committee hearing, and on a committee staff, cannot do such a huge topic justice. As Rep. Kevin Brady put it in his own remarks at Cato, a “brutally bipartisan” Commission — with Hensarling a Commissioner — is called for.
Publisher's Note: Originally released in June/July of 1991, this detailed report discusses Jacques Rueff's economic theories and applies them to modern economic events.
By John D. Mueller
The Problem of Say's Law
For several decades, the theories of John Maynard Keynes replaced the classical theory which had dominated policy-making for more than a century until the Great Depression. This brought things full circle, because the classical economists had succeeded the Mercantilists. And the Mercantilists were proto-Keynesian in their contention that, left to itself, the economy has a tendency toward “under-consumption,” which, they argued, must be combated by public spending, combined with measures to increase the money supply.
"Double-entry bookkeeping developed in 14th century Italy, whence the precise, simplified ledger and balance sheet accounting basis for the development of a 'fractional' reserve banking system emerged. In such a banking system a new kind of 'abstract' fiduciary money developed – subject to transfer by checks. They came to be called book entry bank deposits, bank advances, credit money, or checking accounts, sight liabilities, or demand deposits. The banks held bullion or coin reserves against this new credit money. The precious metal reserves were equal to a prudent 'fraction' of the total bank note and deposit money circulation, hence the phrase 'fractional reserve banking system'."
We are pleased to announce the publication of– Money, Markets, and Government: The Next 30 Years.
The articles in Money, Markets, and Government were first presented at the Cato Institute’s 30th Annual Monetary Conference, held on November 15, 2012. The 2008-09 financial crisis and Great Recession have vastly increased the power...
Speaking in Berlin November 21, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi declared: "Let me react towards what is a nationalistic undertone in some of our countries whereby we [are said to] act against the interests of some countries and in defense of our own countries." German members of the European...