Archive for the 'deflation' Category

The Euro: a Step Toward the Gold Standard?

April 22, 2013

by Andreas Hoffmann (University of Leipzig)

In a recent piece Jesus Huerta de Soto (2012) argues that the euro is a proxy for the gold standard. He draws several analogies between the euro and the classical gold standard (1880-1912). Like when “going on gold” European governments gave up monetary sovereignty by introducing the euro. Like the classical gold standard the common currency forces reforms upon countries that are in crisis because governments cannot manipulate the exchange rate and inflate away debt. Therefore, to limit state power and to encourage e.g. labor market reforms he views the euro as second best to the gold standard from a free market perspective. Therefore, we should defend it. He finds that it is a step toward the re-establishment of the classical gold standard.

There has been much criticism of the piece that mainly addresses the inflationary bias of the ECB. I actually agree with much of it. In particular, imperfect currency areas have the potential to restrict monetary nationalism. This can be welcomed just as customs unions that allow for free trade (at least in restricted areas). But I have some trouble with De Soto’s conclusions and the view that adhering to the euro (as did adhering to gold) gives an extra impetus for market reform – in spite of the mentioned e.g. labor market reforms in Spain. Read the rest of this entry »

Emerging Hope in Greece

December 13, 2011

 by Chidem Kurdas

The Greek economy continues to shrink. With the wider European debt crisis and slump hampering Greek recovery, the recession may persist through 2013.   Amid the grim news, however, there is a small sign that austerity measures are starting to work. Read the rest of this entry »

Up, Up and Away (Again)

October 17, 2010

by Bill Butos

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is pushing for another significant round of “quantitative easing” – now dubbed “QE2” by Fed observers – on the grounds that the economy’s response to simulative macro policies since 2008 has been anemic.  What the economy needs, this thinking goes, is some inflation.  While much of the public sees the run-up of  growth in government and exploding deficits as keys concerns, Bernanke,  continuing his soft stance on deficits, has argued that fiscal restraint would threaten the recovery.   Instead, he argues that monetary policy still has arrows in its quiver that should be used to lower the unemployment rate and rejuvenate the economy while also preempting the dreaded prospect of deflation .  Read the rest of this entry »

Keynes versus Hayek: Past is Prologue

June 30, 2010

KEYNES HAYEK 1932 Cambridge vs.LSE

by Mario Rizzo  

My friend economist Richard Ebeling has discovered two extremely important letters. (Click the link above.)

In 1932 before John Maynard Keynes’s General Theory was written, these letters appeared in The Times of London regarding the appropriate economic policies for Britain to follow during the slump.  

There are a number of things that catch the eye. Read the rest of this entry »

Paul Krugman, Ipse Dixit 2

June 29, 2010

by Mario Rizzo  

Some time ago I wrote a post with this name.  

Now Paul Krugman is at it again with his ex-cathedra pronouncements. He says that because of the recent planned move by European countries in the direction of austerity and the talk in the US about austerity, we are on the verge on a “third” great depression in American history. 

It is hard to know how to respond. Krugman has no evidence. Read the rest of this entry »

Avoiding Deflation Without Bailouts

September 3, 2009

by Mario Rizzo  

I have not posted in a while since I have been on vacation. During that time an interesting dispute has arisen among friends Tyler Cowen, David Henderson, Arnold Kling, Peter Boettke, Bob Murphy, Steve Horwitz and others over whether Ben Bernanke was right to bail out specific banks. (Some of this has gotten mixed up with the issue of what Brian Boitano would have done — oops, I should say Milton Friedman.)  

I think the question could be simply stated in two parts. First, is it possible to prevent general deflation and not bail out big banks? Second, if so, what would be the effect on the economy of bringing the banks to bankruptcy court while preventing outright deflation?   Read the rest of this entry »

Bubble or Growth?

July 5, 2009

by Jerry O’Driscoll

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, German Chancellor Merkel called for an end to risky growth policies built on asset bubbles.  “In recent years we’ve had the Asian crisis, the new economy crisis, and now this great international financial and economic crisis — we can’t slide into a crisis every five to seven years.”  As she notes, however, the central banks of the major economies have implemented “unorthdox” policies to increase borrowing and lending in the current crisis.  Those policies risk yet another asset bubble. Read the rest of this entry »

Relative Prices Matter At All Times

May 5, 2009

by Mario Rizzo

Paul Krugman has written a column stating that wage cuts at this time are a bad idea. Following Keynes he claims that nominal cuts will do no good – they will not stimulate employment (or prevent unemployment) – because aggregate demand will fall. Real wages will thus remain unchanged.  

In part, Keynes directed this argument at a straw man.  The economist Arthur C. Pigou is supposed to have advocated wage cuts as the main cure for recessionary unemployment. This is not trueRead the rest of this entry »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,737 other followers