The Real Problem Was Nominal: The Crash of 2008

Prof. Scott Sumner, who inspired the US programme of QE3 and was dubbed ‘the blogger who saved the US economy’ by The Atlantic, explains how central banks—not bankers—caused the 2007-8 crash. He goes on further, showing how the European Central Bank is repeating the mistakes the Fed and the Bank of England made in the dark days. And he argues that they can solve the slump and prevent future crises with a market-based, rule-based, stability-focused monetary policy of targeting the level of  nominal GDP.

(more…)

Quids In: How sterlingization and free banking could help Scotland flourish

An independent Scotland using the pound outside of a currency union would have a more stable financial system and economy than it has now or than a currency union could provide, argues Sam Bowman. ‘Adaptive sterlingization’ – a combined policy of unilateral use of GBP without a formal currency union and reform of Scottish banking regulations – would reduce risk-taking and increase competition in banking, significantly reducing the prospect of large-scale bank panics and financial crises. The ‘dollarized’ economies of Latin America – Panama, Ecuador and El Salvador – provide strong modern-day evidence that banking systems do better without central lenders of last resort.

(more…)

The life and legacy of Ronald Coase

The great economist Ronald Coase has died at the age of 103. Vuk Vukovic explains what made Coase such an influential and profound thinker.

(more…)

Why Marx was wrong about capitalism

Dr Madsen Pirie’s speech in opposition to the motion: “Karl Marx was right. Capitalism post-2008 is falling apart under its own contradictions.”

(more…)

What Hayek would do: How Austrian economists would fix the crisis

Robert CB Miller gives a modern Austrian explanation of the crisis, and argues that tightening the ‘loose joint’ of bank credit expansion is the key to preventing a repeat in the future. Based on the work of FA Hayek and other Austrian school economists, he says that the recession is a necessary part of the recovery process, as bad investments are liquidated and new profit routes discovered, but government draws out this process by regulating markets and restricting trade.

(more…)