Tag Archive for: economics

What makes gold good money

People say that gold is rare this is why it makes good money. To make an analogy to the porridge in Goldilocks, the temperature could not be too cold or too hot. If gold were too common, or too rare, it would not work as money. Think of sand, which is too common, or blue […]

The Theory of Interest and Prices in Paper Currency

The behavior of the dollar system is nonlinear and counterintuitive. In my reading, I have rarely encountered understanding of even the mechanics, much less the dynamics that drive it. Most debate is stuck on level zero: money printing as panacea vs. imminent hyperinflation. This is a tragedy, because the monetary system is in the final […]

Introducing Yield Purchasing Power

The monetary debate seems artificially limited. On one side is Federal Reserve policy based on discretion. On the other is policy based on rules. It’s Keynes vs. Friedman. It’s central planning of our economy based on the reactive whims of wise monetary planners vs. central planning of our economy based on the proactive rules written […]

Real vs. Nominal Interest Rates

What is the real interest rate? It is the nominal rate minus the inflation rate. This is a problematic idea. Let’s drill deeper into what they mean by inflation. You can’t add apples and oranges, or so the old expression claims. However, economists insist that you can average the prices of apples, oranges, oil, rent, […]

Should the Gold Price Keep Up with Inflation?

The popular belief is that gold is a good hedge against inflation. Owning gold will protect you from rising prices. Is that true? Most people define inflation as rising prices. Economists will quibble and say technically it’s the increase in the quantity of money, however Milton Friedman expressed the popular belief well. He said, “Inflation […]

Interest on Gold Is the New Tempest in a Teapot

Zero Hedge published an article on Canadian Bullion Services (CBS) last week. Other sites ran similar articles. The common thread through these articles, and in the user comments section, is that CBS is committing criminal fraud. Or, if not, then it’s a conspiracy by the Canadian government to confiscate gold. Terms like fractional reserve and […]

The Economy is in Liquidation Mode

If you’re an American over a certain age, you remember roller skating rinks (I have no idea if it caught on in other countries). This industry boomed in the 1970’s disco era. However, by the mid 1980’s, the fad was fading. Imagine running a rink company at the end of the craze. You know it […]

Yield Purchasing Power: $100M Today Matches $100K in 1979

I wrote a story about poor Clarence who retired in 1979, and even poorer Larry who retired last year. I created these characters to challenge the notion of calculating a real interest rate by subtracting inflation. The idea is that the decline of a currency can be measured by the rate of price increases. This […]

There’s Your Hyperinflation

Hyperinflation is commonly defined as rapidly rising prices which get out of control. For example, the Wikipedia entry begins, “In economics, hyperinflation occurs when a country experiences very high and usually accelerating rates of inflation, rapidly eroding the real value of the local currency…” Let’s restate this in terms of purchasing power. In hyperinflation, the […]

Interest – Inflation = #REF

I have to admit that I derive some pleasure in taking on hoary old myths. For example, some economists assert that the interest rate you see on the Treasury bond is not real. You see, it’s only nominal. To calculate the real rate, they say you must adjust the nominal rate by inflation. Real Interest […]