Free Banking is now Alt-M

The Free Banking blog was a venue for leading free banking advocates to share their insights with the world. This illustrious cast includes academics, public policy experts, government officials, and rabble rousers. Guest bloggers will feature financial gurus, entrepreneurs, historians, celebrities, and many other different perspectives.

Alt-M is a blog devoted to exploring and promoting ideas for an alternative monetary future. Our goal is to reveal the shortcomings of today’s centralized, bureaucratic, and discretionary monetary arrangements, and to bring serious consideration of real alternatives to the center stage of current monetary and financial reform debates.

Alt-M.org is a joint project of the Cato Institute’s Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives and the Liberty and Privacy Network’s Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights.

Free Banking is now Alt-M

(Editor’s note: This is the second installment of a three-part article.) Intervention or Private Initiative? As I argued in my previous post addressing Fung et al.’s article on Canada’s private banknote currency, the imperfections of that currency appear, on close inspection, far less substantial than Fung et…

The post Wrong Lessons from Canada’s Private Currency, Part 2 appeared first on Alt-M.

I’ve referred often in these pages to the virtues of Canada’s late-19th century currency system, with its heavy reliance upon circulating notes issued by several dozen commercial banks, most of which commanded extensive nationwide branch networks. I’ve also lamented the fact that so few monetary economists today, let…

The post Wrong Lessons from Canada’s Private Currency, Part 1 appeared first on Alt-M.

It is well known that the Federal Reserve System expanded its assets more than four-fold during and after the 2007-09 financial crisis by making massive purchases of mortgage-backed securities and Treasuries. The balance sheet has not returned to normal since. Total Fed assets stand today at $4.45…

The post Why there is no Fiscal Case for the Fed’s Large Balance Sheet appeared first on Alt-M.

Kurt’s recent post on NGDP targeting just happens to come right on time to introduce one I’d been contemplating concerning the connection between such targeting and free banking. While many readers may suppose the two things to represent alternative, if not antagonistic, approaches to monetary reform, I…

The post Friday Flashback: Free Banking and NGDP Targeting appeared first on Alt-M.

Despite both the recent release of a set of “GSE reform principles” by the Mortgage Bankers Association and Treasury Secretary Designee Steven Mnuchin’s promise to prioritize reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as matters stand such reform seems likely to remain stalled for some time: while…

The post The Treasury Should Revive the Snow Plan for Limiting GSE Debt Issuance appeared first on Alt-M.

In a classic account of why prohibitions and other economic restrictions harmful to consumers arise and persist, economist Bruce Yandle noted that such restrictions are often promoted by a coalition between two groups. The first group are morally motivated do-gooders (“Baptists”) who think that the restrictions will…

The post Baptists and Bootleggers in the Organized Effort to Restrict the Use of Cash appeared first on Alt-M.