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Accessible and insightful fiscal analysis with Ray Stevens


American musician Ray Stevens has produced this superb analysis of the Obama Budget Plan: I’m sure Ray has much to teach politicians and the public in the UK and Europe too, particularly about ethics and decency in the public finances. For more on that subject, see Jörg Guido Hülsmann’s brilliant book The Ethics of Money Production (PDF) and these sovereign debt projections from the Bank for International Settlements.

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Inflation and government borrowing


In his short article Inflation and You, Ludwig von Mises explains inflation itself, the social and economic effects of inflation, who inflation’s victims are, the futility of attempts to hedge against inflation, the moral and political effects of inflation and, finally, inflation and government borrowing. I thoroughly recommend the whole article, but I reproduce the section on government borrowing, which seems particularly pertinent at the moment: Inflation and Government Borrowing The writer, having witnessed the course of inflations in one European […]

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Inflation Must End in a Slump – Mises Institute


It was briefly fashionable to admit that interest rates were too low for too long, leading to a boom built on expansionist monetary policy. Unfortunately (related link my own): Economic theory has demonstrated in an irrefutable way that a prosperity created by an expansionist monetary and credit policy is illusory and must end in a slump, an economic crisis. It has happened again and again in the past, and it will happen in the future, too. If one wants to […]

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New Deal in Old Rome


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From the Mises store: How Government in the Ancient World Tried to Deal with Modern Problems What a fantastic way to learn ancient history: via the parallels with modern times. H.J. Haskell was a journalist with a huge background in ancient history, and here he does what everyone has wanted done. He details the amazing catalog of government interventions in old Rome that eventually brought the empire down. He shows the spending, the inflating, the attempt to fix prices and […]

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Inflation explained


Further to Quantitative Easing Explained, Inflation Explained: So inflation is a policy which hurts the poor while it helps certain types of rich people? Indeed, which is why we need fundamental bank reform: the banking system is institutionally inflationary and that is ruining society. Further reading here.

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Inflation Is Here, and It Is Going to Get Worse – Frank Shostak – Mises Daily


A great lesson on inflation from Frank Shostak appears on mises.org, including this quote from Ludwig von Mises: Inflation, as this term was always used everywhere and especially in this country, means increasing the quantity of money and bank notes in circulation and the quantity of bank deposits subject to check. But people today use the term “inflation” to refer to the phenomenon that is an inevitable consequence of inflation, that is, the tendency of all prices and wage rates […]

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The Crime Known as Quantitative Easing » The Cobden Centre


Via The Cobden Centre, The Crime Known as Quantitative Easing, a superb article by Robert Sadler: Rather helpfully, on the Bank’s website there is an explanation of how Quantitative Easing was supposed to improve the economy.  Quite clearly, the Bank explains that they purchased British Government bonds (gilts) and high quality (investment grade) bonds from private sector companies (banks, pension funds, insurance companies and non-financial institutions).  The Bank’s concern was that there was too little money “circulating” in the economy.  Using this […]

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On Inflation


Later, I’ll set out the case against inflation, which is caused by the instutional design of the banking system. For the moment, here’s a relevant article from the Cobden Centre: Mr Smith works hard, plans carefully, and saves what he can, putting his money into a building society. He pays his credit card bills off each month, and tries to overpay his mortgage when he can. Mr Smith got a 3% pay rise last year – inflation was only 2% […]

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Inflation and over-regulation


I had the pleasure this morning of visiting a medium-size third-generation Wycombe family business. These were the issues which came up: * Inflation is now distorting their business at all levels, from customers’ needs, through staff pay to input costs. * Over-regulation is grotesque in their industry. They must comply with over 12000 pages of rules introduced in the last ten years to protect consumers. Those rules don’t protect their customers; they protect the business and their suppliers. Meantime, the […]

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Bond bubble burst will gut gilt investors, warns Merrill Lynch – Telegraph Blogs


Compare and contrast: Via Bond bubble burst will gut gilt investors, warns Merrill Lynch – Telegraph Blogs: Never mind what the Bank of England monetary policy committee says about interest rates on Thursday. One of the biggest wealth managers in the world is discretely warning its income-seeking clients to beware of bonds issued by the British Government; generally known as ‘gilts’. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management fears that despite the apparent security of gilts, a combination of rising inflation – already […]

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