The importance of gardening, isonomia, federation, and free banking

I’ve recently taken up gardening, in a very amateurish way. Right now I’ve got two plants growing out of a bucket filled with dirt. I water them every day. I talk to them. I rotate them so that different sides face the sun at different times of the day. I spray them with water, too. … Continue reading The importance of gardening, isonomia, federation, and free banking

On Scottish Free Banking (a Canadian Perspective)

Yesterday, George Selgin responded on Alt-M to a series of (relatively) recent paper that posit the impossibility of private money. While Selgin does criticize the theoretical reasoning of the papers, the majority of his case is based on the historical experience of private money – notably the Scottish experience with free banking. I wanted to write something on … Continue reading On Scottish Free Banking (a Canadian Perspective)

A Tale of Free Banking

Herewith we visit an imaginary future where free banking prevails. Government regulation of banks is a thing of the past. Banks have the freedom and the responsibility that they lacked under government regulation. In particular, private banks are free to print money, either literally, in the form of paper banknotes for the shrinking number of … Continue reading A Tale of Free Banking

Fractional Reserves in Free Banking

by Fred Foldvary A bank is a firm that accepts funds as deposits. The generic term “bank” includes various institutional types, such as credit unions. The bank is an intermediary between savers and borrowers. The interest paid by borrowers pays the expenses of the bank, and what remains is paid to the depositors. There are … Continue reading Fractional Reserves in Free Banking

Free Banking Beats Central Banking

In “More Bits on Whether We Need a Fed,” a November 21 MarginalRevolution blogpost, George Mason University economics professor Tyler Cowen questions “why free banking would offer an advantage over post WWII central banking (combined with FDIC and paper money).”  He adds, “That’s long been the weak spot of the anti-Fed case.” Free banking is better than central banking … Continue reading Free Banking Beats Central Banking

Free Banking Explained

Free Banking is free-market banking. In pure free banking, the money supply and interest rates are handled by private enterprise, there is no restriction on peaceful and honest banking services, and there is no tax on interest, dividends, wages, goods, and entrepreneurial profits. Free banking provides a stable and flexible supply of money, and allows … Continue reading Free Banking Explained

Tamny on Fractional-Reserve Banking: Right Conclusion, Faulty Analysis

John Tamny has posted a long and thought-provoking piece entitled “The Closing of the Austrian School’s Economic Mind.” He begins with a cogent critique of the anti-fractional-reserve stance of certain Austrian economists at the Mises Institute. Unfortunately, he follows that with a discussion of fractional reserves, the money multiplier, and other issues in which he … Continue reading Tamny on Fractional-Reserve Banking: Right Conclusion, Faulty Analysis

Federal Deposit Insurance: A Banking System Built on Sand

Federal deposit insurance grew out of a turbulent time in American history: the Great Depression. During two waves of bank failures in the 1930s an astonishing 9,000 banks closed and millions of depositors lost some or all of their savings. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) began operations in 1934, insuring deposit accounts up to … Continue reading Federal Deposit Insurance: A Banking System Built on Sand

Financial History to the Rescue: The Harder Money Wins Out

This article is part of a series on bitcoin (and bitcoiners’) arguments about money and particularly financial history. See also: (1) ‘On Bitcoiners’ Many Troubles’, Joakim Book, NotesOnLiberty (2019-08-13) (2): ‘Rothbard’s First Impressions on Free Banking in Scotland Were Correct’, Joakim Book, AIER (2019-08-18) (4): ‘Bitcoin’s Fixed Money Supply Is a Weakness’, Joakim Book, AIER … Continue reading Financial History to the Rescue: The Harder Money Wins Out

Financial History to the Rescue: On Bitcoiners’ Many Troubles

This article is part of a series on bitcoin (and bitcoiners’) arguments about money and particularly financial history. See also: (2): ‘Rothbard’s First Impressions on Free Banking in Scotland Were Correct’, Joakim Book, AIER (2019-08-18) (3): ‘The Harder Money Wins Out’, Joakim Book, NotesOnLiberty (2019-08-19) (4): ‘Bitcoin’s Fixed Money Supply Is a Weakness’, Joakim Book, … Continue reading Financial History to the Rescue: On Bitcoiners’ Many Troubles

Joakim Book

Joakim Book holds a MSc in Economic History from the University of Oxford, and he obtained his undergraduate degree in Economics and Economic History at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Appropriately enough, his research interests include banking and financial history, monetary economics, Austrian economics, central banking and free banking – all topics well suited … Continue reading Joakim Book

When Should Intellectuals be held Accountable for Popular Misrepresentations of their Theories?

Often an academic will articulate some very nuanced theory or ideological belief which arises out of a specialized discourse, and specialized background knowledge, of their discipline. It is not too surprising that when her theory gets reprinted in a newspaper by a non-specialist journalist, taken up by a politican to support a political agenda, or talked … Continue reading When Should Intellectuals be held Accountable for Popular Misrepresentations of their Theories?

On doing economic history

I admit to being a happy man. While I am in general a smiling sort of fellow, I was delightfully giggling with joy upon hearing that another economic historian (and a fellow  Canadian from the LSE to boot), Dave Donaldson, won the John Bates Clark medal. I dare say that it was about time. Nonetheless … Continue reading On doing economic history