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The triumph of politics » The Cobden Centre

At The Cobden Centre, Detlev Schlichter explains that, The biggest threat to your property and to your individual liberty does not come from markets and not even from the bankers. It comes from politics. I feel sure he is right. We’ve had decades of excessive political promises paid for by high taxes on people of ordinary incomes, deficit spending, national debt and currency debasement. That has inevitably caused a financial, economic and social crisis. And yet still it seems politicians and […]

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Gold – an independent money?

Occasionally, someone will describe me as “a gold bug”. I shouldn’t be surprised. My usual answer when someone asks me why I always have an ounce of silver in my pocket is, “I can’t afford to lose an ounce of gold.” The truth is that the debate over commodity-backed money is just one of the axes along which scholars of money and banking take different views. A good money must have a number of important qualities — durability, divisibility, recognizability, […]

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Low rates and the damage they are doing to the economy and society

Via Another “Operation Twist” will cause more damage to the economy » The Cobden Centre, Frank Shostak explains the damage that will be done by further credit market interventions: Last week the US central bank has announced that it will expand its “Operation Twist” program to extend the maturities of assets on its balance sheet and also said it stands ready to take further action to put unemployed Americans back to work. The US central bank will prolong the program […]

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Gold Wars, Ferdinand Lips

In Gold Wars, Swiss banker Ferdinand Lips sets out the case that gold and freedom are inseparable. Over 254 pages, he shows how governments fight against gold, a vital restraint on their spending and therefore interventions in the lives of free people. It’s a case which ex-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan made in his classic essay, Gold and Economic Freedom, available in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. He wrote, An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which […]

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The CPS demonstrates smaller government is better for society

Via the CPS, a report and video, explaining that small (though not that small) government is better for society: Tim Knox, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, commented: This paper shows that smaller government results in higher growth – making a mockery of the current austerity vs. growth division. This should give our politicians confidence to pursue a smaller state to achieve long-term, lasting prosperity. There is extensive evidence both in this report and from the 2020 Tax Commission, […]

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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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William Hague: “There’s only one growth strategy: work hard,” but hard work needs honest money.

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In today’s Telegraph, William Hague tells the Government’s business critics to stop complaining and work hard to deliver jobs. However, Mr Hague forgets that a day’s hard work is rewarded with a day’s pay: if that pay is in a money which someone else is producing at near zero cost, the value of hard work is undermined. People who are slogging their guts out to make ends meet in an environment of rising living costs are bound to take the Telegraph’s reporting of […]

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Two videos celebrating 15 years of the Monetary Policy Committee

SaveOurSavers are celebrating 15 years of the Monetary Policy Committee with the following video. It’s rather too harsh on the Governor: effective central planning of the price of money is just as impossible as the planning of other prices and surely more counterproductive. That is, the Monetary Policy Committee are trying to do something which cannot be done. The video below from Dominic Frisby goes to the heart of the matter: our system of inflationary money which is loaned into […]

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On double-dip recession, Tullett Prebon rightly ask “What’s the big idea?”

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The latest strategy note from Tullet Prebon asks, “What’s the big idea?” with the subtitle “the imperative need for a new ideology”, writing: Effective government is not simply a matter of management. Even in good times, competence is barely enough. In bad times, ideological clarity is imperative, and the lack of a clear, ideas-based strategy is the black hole at the heart of the coalition administration. This chart is particularly informative: They comment, “The centre-right is in desperate need of a […]

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Expect the Bank of England to be surprised by inflation in the next couple of months

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The Bank of England’s latest Inflation Report forecasts falling inflation: However, my preferred measure of the money supply, MA from Kaleidic Economics, is now rising at 6% year on year, in contrast to the Bank’s measures of broad money: There are other factors at work too but there’s a certain inevitability about headlines like “Bank surprised by shock inflation data” before the summer is out.

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