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

Two Financial Instruments that made the Modern World

Following my Mr. Darcy piece that outlined the use and convenience of British government debt instruments in the eighteenth (and predominantly the nineteenth) century, I thought to extend the discussion to two particular financial instruments. In addition to the Consols (homogenous, tradeable perpetual government debt) that formed the center of public finance – and whose … Continue reading Two Financial Instruments that made the Modern World

Monetary Progression and the Bitcoiner’s History of Money

In the world of cryptocurrencies there’s a hype for a certain kind of monetary history that inevitably leads to bitcoin, thereby informing its users and zealots about the immense value of their endeavor. Don’t get me wrong – I laud most of what they do, and I’m much looking forward to see where it’s all … Continue reading Monetary Progression and the Bitcoiner’s History of Money

Davies’ “Extreme Economies” – Part 2: Failure

In the previous part of this three-part review, I looked at Davies’ first subsection (“Survival”) where he ventured to some of the most secluded and extreme places of the world – a maximum security prison, a refugee camp, a tsunami disaster – and found thriving markets. Not in that pejorative and predatory way markets are … Continue reading Davies’ “Extreme Economies” – Part 2: Failure

A Short Note on Fraudulent Banking

In my piece over at American Institute for Economic Research the other week, I discussed the phenomenon of selling property that one does not (yet) own. I mentioned a left-wing and a right-wing version, but focused my efforts mostly on the right-wing “Fractional-Reserve-Banking-is-Fraud” idea. My main point was to, by analogy, point to other fiduciary … Continue reading A Short Note on Fraudulent Banking

Asking questions about women in the academy

Doing the economist’s job well, Nobel Laureate Paul Romer once quipped, “means disagreeing openly when someone makes an assertion that seems wrong.” Following this inspirational guideline of mine in the constrained, hostile, and fairly anti-intellectual environment that is Twitter sometimes goes astray. That the modern intellectual left is vicious we all know, even if it’s … Continue reading Asking questions about women in the academy

Davies’ “Extreme Economies” – Part 1: Survival

Late to the party, I relied on the quality-control of the masses before I plunged into Richard Davies’ much-hyped book Extreme Economies: Survival, Failure and Future – Lessons from the World’s Limits (see reviews by Diane Coyle and Philip Aldrick). I first heard about it on some Summer Reading List – or perhaps Financial Times’ … Continue reading Davies’ “Extreme Economies” – Part 1: Survival

Those revenue-raising early central banks

In a piece on a rather different topic, George Selgin, director for the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives and editor-in-chief of the monetary blog Alt-M, gave a somewhat offhand comment about the origins of central banks: For revenue-hungry governments to get central banks to fund their debts is itself nothing new, of course. The … Continue reading Those revenue-raising early central banks

Mr. Darcy’s Ten Thousand a Year

On popular demand, I’m reviving a reoccurring theme of mine: teaching economic history through the lens of popular culture. Today: bonds, yields and 18th century English financial planning. In what is probably my favourite piece ever written, I tried to estimate exactly how rich Mr. Darcy was – Mr. Darcy, of course, of Jane Austen’s … Continue reading Mr. Darcy’s Ten Thousand a Year

Economists vs. The Public

Economics is the dismal science, as Thomas Carlyle infamously said, reprising John Stuart Mill for defending the abolishment of slavery in the British Empire. But if being a “dismal science” includes respecting individual rights and standing up for early ideas of subjective, revealed, preferences – sign me up! Indeed, British economist Diane Coyle wisely pointed … Continue reading Economists vs. The Public