Free Banking is now Alt-M

Forty years ago, in the spring of 1978, I had no intention of becoming an economist. Instead, I was studying marine biology at Duke University’s Marine Lab at Pivers Island, on the beautiful North Carolina Coast. There, when the wind was up, my classmate Alan Kahana and…

The post Interest on Excess Reserves: The Hobie Cat Effect appeared first on Alt-M.

In 2014 the government of Ecuador, under then-President Rafael Correa, announced with great fanfare that the Ecuadorian Central Bank (BCE) would soon begin issuing an electronic money (dinero electrónico, or DE). Users would keep account balances on the central bank’s own balance sheet and transfer them using…

The post The World’s First Central Bank Electronic Money Has Come – And Gone: Ecuador, 2014-2018 appeared first on Alt-M.

Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. Crude exports earn the country 95 per cent of its foreign exchange. That figure used to be lower, but relentless nationalization and the government’s insistence on controlling prices and exchange rates have made other exports unviable. Not that…

The post Venezuela’s Petro: Fool’s Oil appeared first on Alt-M.

The seven-year saga of Madden v. Midland began as a dispute over a four-figure consumer debt. But billions of dollars’ worth of loans, and the future of consumer lending markets, now hang in the balance. Madden began in 2011 as a lawsuit based on a claim of…

The post Invalid When Made: The District Court’s Madden v. Midland Decision appeared first on Alt-M.

Yi Gang, an American-trained economist who taught at the University of Indiana, will take over as governor of the People’s Bank of China. Since 2008, he has been deputy governor under Zhou Xiaochuan, who became head of the bank in 2002. The unexpected appointment of Mr. Yi…

The post Yi Gang to Head China’s Central Bank appeared first on Alt-M.

In the book I advertised in my last post, I argue that the Fed’s decision to switch to a “floor”-type operating system “deepened and prolonged the Great Recession.” Yet the Fed is only one of several central banks that have adopted floor systems for monetary control during…

The post New Zealand’s Floor System Experience appeared first on Alt-M.

Alternative monetary policy targets continue to gain advocates. While Chair Powell was waiting to take over leadership at the Fed, internal support for rethinking the current inflation rate target was building. And while there are various possibilities to consider — such as raising the inflation rate target,…

The post 2018: The Year of Nominal GDP Targeting? appeared first on Alt-M.