Free Banking

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.

Whenever a government agency gains a new power, there’s a risk that, whatever the power’s original intent, it will end up being put to other uses, perhaps good, but often bad. Such is the case for the Fed’s power to pay banks interest on their Federal Reserve…

The post Interest On Reserves: A Secret Fiscal Weapon We’re Better Off Without appeared first on Alt-M.

Having considered the Fed’s pre-crisis approach to monetary control, with its emphasis on interest-rate targeting achieved with the help of open-market operations, we must now come to grips with the quite different methods it has been employing since, and how the switch to them came about. The…

The post A Monetary Policy Primer, Part 9: Monetary Control, Now appeared first on Alt-M.

In the first, 1922 edition of Money, his own now-classic primer on monetary economics, the great Dennis Robertson included a chapter he called “Money in the Great Muddle,” about the blow World War I dealt to England’s once (relatively) rock-solid monetary system, and to other monetary arrangements…

The post A Monetary Policy Primer, Part 8: Money in the Latest Great Muddle appeared first on Alt-M.

Sebastian Mallaby’s biography of Alan Greenspan does just about everything right. Despite its length, it’s eminently readable. Yet there’s nothing superficial about it: Mallaby seems no less comfortable with economics than he is with English, allowing expert monetary and macro-economists to join non-expert readers in both enjoying and…

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