The Gold Mining Boom of the 1850s

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

(Note: This was originally written as a Forbes.com item, but it soon got too big for that venue.) The idea behind a gold standard system is to produce a currency that is perfectly stable in value. Alas, perfection is not really possible in these …

‘Nominal GDP Targeting’ Is Just Another Red Herring To Divide Conservative Monetary Consensus

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

(This item originally appeared at Forbes.com on January 21, 2016.) http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanlewis/2016/01/21/nominal-gdp-targeting-is-just-another-red-herring-to-divide-conservative-monetary-consensus/#1dcd5c7f1c3e In U.S. history, various forms of “soft money” have been favored by Democrats and other lefty/socialist types. It is a natural extension of their vision of government influence and control in all aspects …

David Hume, “On the Balance of Trade,” 1752

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

Today, we will look at a famous essay by David Hume, “On the Balance of Trade.” It was written in 1752. Hume was an early “classical” economist, in contrast to the Mercantilist tradition which was dominant in Britain from 1600 until it was definitively …

Steve Forbes Shows The Way Out Of Governments’ Spiral of Self-Destruction

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

(This item originally appeared at Forbes.com on January 11, 2016.) http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanlewis/2016/01/11/steve-forbes-shows-the-way-out-of-governments-spiral-of-self-destruction/ “Thank goodness for Steve Forbes,” is something you hear pretty often these days. I give him personal credit for igniting the Flat Tax Revolution with his 1996 and 2000 presidential campaigns – a …

The History of “Gold” Is Really the History of the Gold/Silver Complex

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

The History of “Gold” Is Really the History of the Gold/Silver Complex December 26, 2015 (This item originally appeared at Forbes.com on December 26, 2105.) http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanlewis/2015/12/26/the-history-of-gold-is-really-the-history-of-the-goldsilver-complex/ Sometimes, funny-money promoters like to dangle the idea that the “gold standard,” in U.S. or world history, was …

Money and Credit 2: Credit

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

Money and Credit 2: Credit December 13, 2015 “Money and credit” have tended to be mishmashed together, but they are very distinct. This confusion stems from the common practice of banks in the past (mostly before 1914) to both issue currency and also make …

40 Out Of 40 Economists Agree: The Monetary System That Made America Great Is Nonsense

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

40 Out Of 40 Economists Agree: The Monetary System That Made America Great Is Nonsense December 10, 2015 (This item originally appeared at Forbes.com on December 10, 2015.) http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanlewis/2015/12/10/40-out-of-40-economists-agree-the-monetary-system-that-made-america-great-is-nonsense/ For 182 years – 1789 to 1971 – the United States embraced the principle of …

Let’s Meet The (Wildly Diverse) Gold Standard Family

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

Let’s Meet The (Wildly Diverse) Gold Standard Family December 3, 2015 (This item originally appeared at Forbes.com on December 3, 2015.) http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanlewis/2015/12/03/lets-meet-the-gold-standard-family/ Anyone who investigates the topic of gold-based money for a little while soon runs into an incredible diversity of opinion, accompanied by …

Let’s Resolve the Gold Standard “Deflation” Fallacy

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

Let’s Resolve the Gold Standard “Deflation” Fallacy November 21, 2015 (This item originally appeared at Forbes.com on November 21, 2015.) http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanlewis/2015/11/21/lets-resolve-the-gold-standard-deflation-fallacy/ Among the various things you hear about gold standard monetary systems — the monetary approach that the United States embraced for nearly two …

Greg Ip Gets It Wrong: What A Gold Standard Really Was, And Could Be

In Full Archive by Nathan Lewis

Greg Ip Gets It Wrong: What A Gold Standard Really Was, And Could Be November 13, 2015 (This item originally appeared at Forbes.com on November 13, 2015.) http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanlewis/2015/11/13/greg-ip-gets-it-wrong-what-a-gold-standard-really-was-and-could-be/ Wall Street Journal economics reporter Greg Ip took on the topic of what a gold standard …