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Can the Central Bank Control Interest Rates?

Friday, October 3rd, 2014 by posted in Economics.

In my last post, I brought up the fact that Paul Krugman seems to be saying two different things: On the one hand, he excoriates the ECB for tightening in 2011 by raising interest rates, and on the other hand,

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We’ll buy your bonds only if we give you the money to repay us

Friday, October 3rd, 2014 by posted in Banking, Economics.

From today’s Open Europe news summary: ECB disappoints markets by holding policy The ECB yesterday held interest rates and revealed the details of its purchases of covered bonds and asset backed securities – the former will begin in the second

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Housing Bubble on the Thames

Friday, October 3rd, 2014 by posted in Economics.

With London England the new place to be for oil-rich Russian oligarchs and Middle Eastern sheiks, the question going around is whether house prices are in a bubble. Despite a brief blip down with the credit crunch in 2007-08, prices

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Krugman’s Gross Mistake

Friday, October 3rd, 2014 by posted in Economics.

Several of Krugman’s most recent posts have been of the familiar category where he runs victory laps on his inflation/interest rate calls, pointing out that the people who disagreed with him are not only worse economists, but horrible people as

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Learning the Virtue of Capital Accumulation

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

In the American slapstick classic Monkey Business, Groucho Marx retorted, “Oh, I know it’s a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.” Marx was no

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International Conference of Prices & Markets Schedule Released and Registration Open

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 by posted in Announcements.

2014 International Conference of Prices & Markets Toronto, Canada November 7-8, 2014 We are very excited to be able to release this year’s ICPM schedule. For this our third event (formerly the Toronto Austrian Scholars Conference) we are expecting an engaged

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Update on Austrian Economics Conference

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 by posted in Economics, Education.

The Organizing Committee of the Fifth International Conference “The Austrian School of Economics in the 21st Century” reminds you: 1) Simultaneous Interpretation will be available during the event. 2) The deadline for abstracts and enrolment forms reception is extended up

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Uncle Sam´s Annual Borrowing 14 Times Worse Than Thought

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

Lots of people like to concentrate on the deficit when looking at public finances. In 2013, he federal government of the United States ran a budget deficit of $614 billion, which is quite a bit, but seemingly small relative to

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The Folly of Compulsory Voting

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by posted in Politics.

In many ways, Canada has been surpassing the United States as a bastion of freedom in North America, with lower tax rates and an increasing trend towards deregulation of business. While this is all very wise, a recent idea dreamed

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Will an ordinary German citizen challenge the lawless ECB?

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Economics, Law, Politics.

From today’s Open Europe news summary: German economist Hans-Werner Sinn writes in the FT, “Deflation is not a danger for southern Europe, but an essential precondition for restoring competitiveness.” He describes the ECB’s latest asset purchase plan as “nothing less than

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Intellectuals and Over-Parenting

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by posted in Lifestyle.

Like many upper middle-class 20-somethings, I am the product of what has been disparagingly termed “helicopter parenting”. Although cosseting, over-concerned parents have long been a trope in modern society, only in Generation Y has it become the norm. Helicopter parents,

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More European “Growth” Shenanigans

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

Europe got some good news in early June as the EU changed its statistical guidelines on how to compute GDP. Among other changes, expenditures on prostitution and illicit drugs (hookers and blow, colloquially) will now be included. Of course, some

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Is New York City’s Proposed Ban on the Use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits for Purchases of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Effective Policy?

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by posted in Economics, Politics, Regulation.

In 2011, New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg proposed a ban on using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (commonly known as food stamps) for the purchase of sugar-sweetened beverages. While the plan has been criticized by food and beverage

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The Ethics of Disease Control

Monday, September 29th, 2014 by posted in Civil Liberties, Philosophy.

As the threat of the ebola virus looms large and the Center for Disease Control issues what are undoubtedly hyperbolic projections of over a million casualties to the disease by January, we owe it to ourselves as libertarians to ask

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About Those Monotonic Transformations…

Monday, September 29th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

If you have spent an egregious portion of your life in economics classrooms, you have doubtless heard that the utility functions used therein are representations of purely ordinal preference rankings. As your professors likely told you, although utility functions assign

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More Evidence That Canadian Success Story Didn’t Rely on Loose Money

Sunday, September 28th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

In a previous post, I reviewed the great Canadian success story involving relatively large budget cuts as a way to turn around the fiscal crisis of 1995. On the surface, this seems anomalous to those who think Aggregate Demand is

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Krugman vs. Krugman on Conservative Canadian Cockroach

Friday, September 26th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

You really have to feel bad for Paul Krugman. No matter how many times he tries to kill the idea that 1990s Canada serves as a lesson for today’s policymakers, it just keeps coming back, like a cockroach. In case you

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New Taxes on the Way

Friday, September 26th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

The province of Ontario is a financial basket case. The provincial government pays nearly 10% of its tax revenue on interest to cover the $270bn. debt load (over $20,000 per Ontarian). To put this in perspective, the slow-motion train wreck

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Civil Society and Order

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by posted in Civil Liberties, Law, Regulation.

This past summer was anything but good for limited government supporters. We saw yet another killing of an unarmed black teenager by a white cop, followed by a military-style occupation by police of a suburban community. Parentless children along America’s

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The World´s Largest Subprime Debtor

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Economics.

Do you have a friend who consistently borrows 30% of his income each year, is currently in debt about six times his annual income, and wanted to take advantage of short-term interest rates so that he needs to renegotiate with

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