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Book review: Mises, The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science


Remember the issue of The Economist with a textbook of “Modern Economic Theory” melting away? And HM the Queen asking why economists didn’t see this crisis coming? She might now ask why most economists have also demonstrated their inability to predict even the general pattern of events. Ludwig von Mises’ 1962 essay, The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science: An Essay on Method is never going to top the best seller lists but it does indicate why so many highly-trained professionals […]

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Good and bad economic news


Today, we learn, Europe’s leaders are poised this morning to cut the European Union’s budget for the first time in its 56 year history following a major victory for David Cameron. Great news and congratulations to the Prime Minister and the negotiating team. Let’s hope MEPs don’t block it. On the other hand, In his first public appearance in the UK, Mark Carney, the current Governor of the Bank of Canada, said Britain might benefit from a commitment to keep […]

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Ending crony capitalism – how markets work


Crony capitalism — businesses capturing the state for commercial advantage, serving politicians and officials instead of the public — ought to be brought to an end. A prerequisite to that is a good understanding of how social cooperation in the market works. Israel Kirzner’s, How Markets Work: Disequilibrium, Entrepreneurship and Discovery (PDF) provides a brief and readable explanation. From the book’s page at the IEA: Human action consists of ‘grappling with an essentially unknown future’, not being confronted with clearly-specified […]

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The missing link in the professional debate about the economic crisis: production time


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Roger W Garrison’s Time and Money: The Macroeconomics of Capital Structure bursts with insight but this from the final chapter could be the missing link in the debate about the economic crisis: [D]oes the existence and variability of production time have a first-order claim on our attention? This is the question which divides the schools of economic thought. If the answer is ‘no’, then conventional macroeconomics is right to ignore production time when dealing with questions of short-run variations in output […]

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Documentary on the financial crisis: The End of the Road


I have just watched a fascinating documentary about the financial crisis by Austrian School thinkers including Peter Schiff, author of the superb book How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes: Two Tales of the Economy: The End of the Road. It was interesting and easy to follow. It was also pretty accurate apart from some simplifications about the money creation process. Here’s the trailer: The full film is available online for $5. You might also want to look out […]

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