Basic Reports

Central Planning Vs. Economics, Report 29 Dec

We have spilled barrels of electronic ink, making the point that central banks are wreaking havoc. They hurt the poor, the middle class, and the rich. They hurt the wage earners, the business owners, the investors (aka the “rentiers”), and the pensioners. They have variously inflicted rising interest rates, too-high rates, falling rates, and too-low […]

Open Letter to John Taft, Report 17 Dec

Dear Mr. Taft: I eagerly read your piece Warriors for Opportunity on Wednesday, as I often do about pieces that argue that capitalism is not working today. You begin by saying: “Financial capitalism – free markets powered by a robust financial system – is the dominant economic model in the world today. Yet many who […]

The End of an Epoch, Report 8 Dec

“There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.” What the heck did […]

Money and Prices Are a Dynamic System, Report 1 Dec

The basic idea behind the Quantity Theory of Money could be stated as: too much money supply is chasing too little goods supply, so prices rise. We have debunked this from several angles. For example, we can use a technique that every first year student in physics is expected to know. Dimensional analysis looks at […]

Raising Rates to Fight Inflation, Report 24 Nov

Physics students study mechanical systems in which pulleys are massless and frictionless. Economics students study monetary systems in which rising prices are everywhere and always caused by rising quantity of currency. There is a similarity between this pair of assumptions. Both are facile. They oversimplify reality, and if one is not careful they can lead […]

The Perversity of Negative Interest, Report 17 Nov

Today, we want to say two things about negative interest rates. The first is really simple. Anyone who believes in a theory of interest that says “the savers demand interest to compensate for inflation” needs to ask if this explains negative interest in Switzerland, Europe, and other countries. If not, then we need a new […]

What’s the Price of Gold in the Gold Standard, Report 10 Nov

Let’s revisit a point that came up in passing, in the Silver Doctors’ interview of Keith. At around 35:45, he begins a question about weights and measures, and references the Coinage Act of 1792. This raises an interesting set of issues, and we have encountered much confusion (including from one PhD economist whose dissertation committee […]

Targeting nGDP Targeting, Report 3 Nov

Not too long ago, we wrote about the so called Modern Monetary so called Theory (MMT). It is not modern, and it is not a theory. We called it a cargo cult. You’d think that everyone would know that donning fake headphones made of coconut shells, and waving tiki torches will not summon airplanes loaded […]

Bitcoin Myths, Report 27 Oct

Keith gave a keynote address—the only speaker with an hour to cover his topic—at the Gold and Alternative Investments Conference in Sydney on Saturday. Said topic was the nature of money. “Money is a matter of functions four: a medium, a measure, a standard, a store.” Most of the talk was structured around discussing these […]

Wealth Accumulation Is Becoming Impossible, Report 20 Oct

We talk a lot about the falling interest rate, the too-low interest rate, the near-zero interest rate, the zero interest rate, and the negative interest rate. Hat Tip to Switzerland, where Credit Suisse is now going to pay depositors -0.85%. That is, if you lend your francs to this bank, they take some of them […]