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?
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
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
by Mario Rizzo For those who have access to the Financial Times, a must-read is the opinion piece by Saifedean Ammous. Saif attended our NYU colloquium regularly during his last year as a graduate student at Columbia University. Congratulations. See the FT online here.
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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”
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
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
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
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
by Jerry O’Driscoll In Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, George Melloan makes the case that savers and investors lose under the Fed’s low-interest policy. He also argues that the policy leads to greater risk-taking by those pursuing yield. Presumably it is leading to the next asset bubble. But where?
by Herbert Spencer The great political superstition of the past was the divine right of kings. The great political superstition of the present is the divine right of parliaments. The oil of anointing seems unawares to have dripped from the head of the one on to the heads of the many, and given sacredness to … Continue reading A Birthday Message for America
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
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
by Jerry O’Driscoll Today I reread F. A. Hayek’s Nobel Lecture, “The Pretence of Knowledge.” Hayek was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in 1974 and delivered his lecture on December 11, 1974. I was amazed at how modern it was, and appropriate once again for the times. The 1970s were terrible times: stop-go demand management … Continue reading Hayek after 35 Years
by Mario Rizzo Did you ever wish that you could get Carl Menger's comments and approval of your work? Maybe not. But the next best thing (or even better) is the essay contest named after the founder of the Austrian School of Economics. If you are an undergraduate student, take a look here. Good luck. … Continue reading Carl Menger and You
by Jerry O’Driscoll I have an op ed in today’s (Tuesday, April 20, 2010) Wall Street Journal. I extend Hayek’s argument about prices as information transmitters to other essential elements of a market economy, such as accounting statements and representations made to customers. Prices and interest prices were distorted in the boom, but so, too, … Continue reading Hayek on the Crisis
by Roger Koppl Bill Butos edited the latest volume of Advances in Austrian Economics, which is devoted to “The Social Science of Hayek’s The Sensory Order.” It is a terrific volume demonstrating that Hayek’s classic 1952 book in psychology matters for the social sciences, including economics. Contributors include G. R. Steele, Leslie Marsh, Lorenzo Infantino, Francesco Di … Continue reading Why do we trade with strangers?
by Mario Rizzo My frequent coauthor, Glen Whitman, has the lead essay on new paternalism at Cato Unbound this month. There will be responses by Richard Thaler (Chicago), Jonathan Klick (U of Penn), Shane Frederick (Yale). This is the most important thing you can read this month -- better than anything anywhere else in the blogosphere, … Continue reading The Most Important Thing You Can Read
by Mario Rizzo The Wall Street Journal has an excellent editorial "ObamaCare and the Constitution" in Friday's edition. It covers ground similar to my post below. However, there is sentence that bothers me, not because it is wrong, but because it expresses the temper of our times: Judicial and media liberals are trying to dismiss … Continue reading Sign of the Times: A Note