Book Review: Who Needs the Fed? by John Tamny

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

In a time when it seems like central banks call the tune that everyone has to dance to, a book named Who Needs the Fed? (2016) is a deliberate provocation. Like his earlier book Popular Economics (2015), John Tamny takes on the potentially arcane …

The Devaluation of the British Pound, September 21, 1931

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

Today, we are making use of a new weekly dataset just released by the Bank of England. It is here: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/research/Pages/onebank/balancesheet.aspx I thought I’d use it to get an idea of what was going on when the British pound was devalued on September 21, …

China Is Laying The Foundation For The Next World Gold Standard System

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

(This item originally appeared at Forbes.com on May 5, 2016.) http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanlewis/2016/05/05/china-is-laying-the-foundation-for-the-next-world-gold-standard-system/#418c41091803   On April 19, the Shanghai Gold Fix officially began. The pricing mechanism is intended to be a replacement for the London Gold Fix, the primary price-discovery mechanism for gold bullion today. The …

George Gilder Takes On The Big Question: What Is So Great About “Stable Money”?

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

(This item originally appeared at Forbes.com on April 9, 2016.) http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanlewis/2016/04/09/george-gilder-takes-on-the-big-question-what-is-so-great-about-stable-money/#1b7081ad20fe George Gilder’s new book The Scandal of Money takes on one of the big questions — “what is so great about ‘stable money’?” – and delivers what will probably be the definitive answer …

Credit Expansion and Contraction of the 1920s and 1930s

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

We’re continuing our look at some of the things that have been said about the 1920s and 1930s, particularly regarding monetary affairs. February 7, 2016: Blame Benjamin Strong 2: So Obvious It’s Hard To Believe January 31, 2016: Blame Benjamin Strong December 13, 2015: …

The Simple Simplistic Simplicity Of ‘Nominal GDP Targeting’

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

(This item originally appeared at Forbes.com on March 24, 2016.) http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanlewis/2016/03/24/the-simple-simplistic-simplicity-of-nominal-gdp-targeting/#5a5f8b3e5a44 It really makes some economist-types angry when I say that most economic discussion today is a modern version of Mercantilism. James Denham Steuart is considered the “last of the Mercantilists.” Adam Smith wrote …

The “Price-Specie Flow Mechanism”

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

I’ve been revving up to talk about the “price-specie flow mechanism,” which is often ascribed to gold standard currencies in the past, whether as simple coinage only or in the form of gold-based banknotes. January 17, 2016: David Hume, “On the Balance of Trade,” …

The Myth Of ‘Price Instability’ During The Gold Standard Era

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

(This item originally appeared at Forbes.com on March 3, 2016.) http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanlewis/2016/03/03/the-myth-of-price-instability-during-the-gold-standard-era/#c6cb9b040b90 Academics often claim that today’s floating-fiat currency era has much more stable “prices,” at least in the short term (year to year), than the pre-1914 era of gold-based currencies. For example, a February …