Is the Fed Independent?

by Mario Rizzo In today's Wall Street Journal frequent contributor to ThinkMarkets, Jerry O'Driscoll, has an important opinion piece, "Why the Fed Is Not Independent." There has been much discussion recently of the importance of "preserving" Fed independence. But is the Fed independent? Independent of what? Jerry concentrates on the link between the Fed's monetary … Continue reading Is the Fed Independent?

Of Interest to All Market Process Economists

by Gene Callahan Dan Klein responds, on the meaning of economic coordination, mostly to Israel Kirzner, and secondarily to several others, including me. Here is Klein's abstract: The Fall 2010 issue of the Journal of Private Enterprise featured a complicated set of papers. The lead article was a long paper by Jason Briggeman and me, … Continue reading Of Interest to All Market Process Economists

We should pay more attention to Radley Balko

by Roger Koppl On June 14th, Radley Balko posted an article on Huffington Post entitled "Private Crime Labs Could Prevent Errors, Analyst Bias: Report."  He explains some of the problems of forensic science in the US.  He suggests that "rivalrous redundancy" could improve the system and links to my 2007 Reason Foundation Report explaining how rivalrous … Continue reading We should pay more attention to Radley Balko

Great New Blog

by Bill Butos Friends of ours, including Richard Ebeling, Steve Horwitz, Gerry O’Driscoll, George Selgin, and Larry White, and others, are contributors to a new blog on “Free Banking”. Quoting its credo,  “The Free Banking blog is a venue for leading free banking advocates to share their insights with the world. This illustrious cast includes … Continue reading Great New Blog

Are market rates below the natural rate again?

by Andreas Hoffmann and Mario Rizzo We know from Wicksell’s (1898) Interest and Prices, there is something important about the interest rate that balances saving and investment in an economy over time. This equilibrium interest rate is called the “natural rate of interest”. When market interest rates are below the natural rate, an unsustainable credit … Continue reading Are market rates below the natural rate again?

The Good Sense of Ronald Coase

by Mario Rizzo   Ronald Coase was recently interviewed by Wang Ning on the occasion of Coase’s 100th birthday and to discuss the Ronald Coase Society in China. There is a good deal that is interesting about the interview, especially to those interested in China. However, here I’d like to point to a number of statements Coase … Continue reading The Good Sense of Ronald Coase

Pragmatic Road to Bankruptcy

by Mario Rizzo In the September 15th Wall Street Journal there is a chart that gives a quick view of the "pragmatic" expansion of entitlement programs that has led to where we are now. Who could have predicted the long-term consequences of case-by-case pragmatic problem solving?  I suggest Herbert Spencer, Ludwig von Mises, and Friedrich Hayek. The … Continue reading Pragmatic Road to Bankruptcy

Perils of Macro Aggregation

by Mario Rizzo   Richard Ebeling, as usual, does an excellent job of showing how the inability to see macroeconomic phenomena as the outcome of complex micro-processes leads to poor policy prescriptions. Take a look at his response, at EconomicPolicyJournal.com edited by Richard Wenzel, to a post by Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution. The upshot is … Continue reading Perils of Macro Aggregation

Ending Austerity in the Austerity Debate

by Mario Rizzo   What has been disappointing about the recent stimulus vs. austerity debate is the recycling of arguments that have been gone over many times before in many newspapers and blogs. The debate has become tiresome and unenlightening.   The major feature of the debate that is responsible for the lack of enlightenment is, well, … Continue reading Ending Austerity in the Austerity Debate

Tyler Cowen’s “Risk and Business Cycles”

by Mario Rizzo I am happy to report that Tyler Cowen's book, Risk and Business Cycles: New and Old Austrian Perspectives  is now available, as of July 15th, in a reasonably-priced paperback edition from Routledge. (I am sure that Amazon will be making it available soon.) This is not an orthodox Austrian approach. In fact, Cowen criticizes that version. However, … Continue reading Tyler Cowen’s “Risk and Business Cycles”

Summer Reading II

by Jerry O’Driscoll   Summer reading is eclectic and before getting to my second installment of notes on This Time is Different, I want to recommend a non-economics book. A Chance in Hell by Jim Michaels is a riveting account of how the military and political situation turned in Anbar province in Western Iraq. It is … Continue reading Summer Reading II

Keynes on Confidence

by Jerry O’Driscoll   Amity Shlaes has written an enlightening op ed on “FDR, Obama and ‘Confidence’” in today’s Wall Street Journal. She details how FDR destroyed investor confidence in the 1930s by his incessant attacks on business and businessmen, and by his policy inconsistency. Treasury Secretary Morgenthau at first served as FDRs “yes” man and … Continue reading Keynes on Confidence

Summer Reading

 by Jerry O’Driscoll   My summer reading actually began in the spring and included a number of books written on the financial crisis that I was asked to review by various publications.  My reviews will appear in fall issues. I can report that a number of the books written for the general public are quite good.  … Continue reading Summer Reading

Hayek versus Keynes in the Wall Street Journal

by Mario Rizzo The discussion of the Hayek-Keynes letters of 1932 in The Times of London continues in 2010 in the Wall Street Journal in today's issue. The opinion piece is by Jerry O'Driscoll, a frequent blogger at ThinkMarkets. My previous TM discussion is here. Update: For the ungated version of the WSJ article, place the … Continue reading Hayek versus Keynes in the Wall Street Journal

On Bentham and Utilitarianism

by Mario Rizzo An interesting discussion has begun at Marginal Revolution on "Benthamite utilitarianism." It started with a small comment I made on Tyler Cowen's remark regarding the discussion of Robert Frank's position goods idea. Then Tyler responded in a post. And then I made a comment. It is all here. Discussions of this subject can be interminable. So … Continue reading On Bentham and Utilitarianism

New Paternalism, Regulation and Cass Sunstein

by Mario Rizzo The New York Times magazine has an interesting, if somewhat uncritical, article on Cass Sunstein, the Obama regulation czar. The "best" part is the section about me: Some scholars dislike the strong, if subtle, governmental hand that is embedded in this last proposal. It seems more forceful than a nudge. “Once you get … Continue reading New Paternalism, Regulation and Cass Sunstein