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How to follow IMF advice

Thursday, June 19th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Regulation.

From today’s Open Europe news summary: The FT reports that the IMF will today urge the ECB to consider US-style ‘quantitative easing’, including “large scale” purchases of government bonds, to tackle low inflation and boost growth in the eurozone. FT More monetary

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My letter to the Financial Times, London re: Fed oversight will not prevent shadow bank losses

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Economics, Regulation.

Dear Sirs: In his June 17th essay titled “Make shadow banks safe and private money sound” Mr. Paul McCulley displays a good understanding of the functional mechanics of commercial bank credit creation, shadow bank credit creation, and the powers of

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Inequality Did Start Around 1970

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Economics.

In this post by Bob Murphy, some commenters disagree with the use of the early 1970s as the point when income and wealth inequality started to become a problem. Thomas Piketty has recently gained some fame for pointing this out.

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Government Motors Fails Again

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 by posted in Uncategorized.

Reposted from Forbes General Motors has provided more fodder for Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra’s return engagement with Congress.The Detroit-based automaker recalled another 3.16 million 2000 to 2014 model year vehicles, according to a U.S. regulatory filing Monday. It was

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Meats and Poultry at Record Prices

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ index of meats, poultry, fish and eggs just hit an all time high. Nor are these higher prices confined to just food items. Consumer prices across the board are registering their sharpest price increases in

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Technology Doesn’t Make Education Better

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 by posted in Education.

Throughout the 19th century and much of the 20th, a liberal arts education meant basic knowledge of Greek and Latin, an understanding of mathematics, the basics of science, proficiency in music and art, in depth discussions of philosophy, and a

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We Don’t Owe It To Ourselves

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

Once upon a time it was claimed that the government’s debt didn’t matter because we “owe it to ourselves.” Each government bond is a claim on taxpayers, and if all of the bondholders are taxpayers from the same country the

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Institutions in Crisis, now online

Monday, June 16th, 2014 by posted in Announcements.

In the heat of the crisis back in 2011, I edited the book “Institutions in Crisis.” The emphasis was on the policy failings at the root of the European crisis, and how they were exacerbating the situation rather than bettering

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The Fallacy of Experts

Monday, June 16th, 2014 by posted in Philosophy, Politics.

I have long maintained that the defining characteristic of progressive ideology is a sort of dualistic vision of the human race. There are two kinds of people in the world, thinks the progressive, those who are smart and those who

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War for Prosperity

Monday, June 16th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Foreign Policy.

Economist Tyler Cowen always has an interesting view on things. He eschews the Austrian, deductive school in favor of a more data-driven approach. But he has sympathies for the heterodox view, and his own politics are described as generally libertarian.

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Wynne Wins on Promises She Cannot Afford

Monday, June 16th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

Following her election win, Kathleen Wynne can finally move forward with her long-promised plans to update and expand Toronto’s transit system. The new premier of Ontario pledged to include $15 bn. of transit infrastructure for the city of Toronto and

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Shouldn’t EVERY Factor of Production Get Paid Its Marginal Product?

Sunday, June 15th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

A popular Marxist slogan is that the workers should be paid the “full value of their product.” Ironically, Austrian economists have no problem with the motto, it’s just that Karl Marx and his disciples failed to see that market forces generate

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Saving Socialists From Themselves

Saturday, June 14th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

French Socialist President Francois Hollande won his election in 2012 on a platform to soak the rich and protect the generous welfare state. Now his Prime Minister Manuel Valls is warning that such policies could cause the French left to

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The Tyranny of Choice

Friday, June 13th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

My colleague Logan Albright loves attacking the notion that obesity is some kind of national epidemic in America. Starvation was a defining feature of mankind for centuries. It was an insurmountable obstacle that wasn’t overcome until the advent of labor

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IP Holders Want It Both Ways

Friday, June 13th, 2014 by posted in Intellectual Property.

The debate over intellectual property has been a divisive sticking point within the libertarian community for some time. The framers of the U.S. Constitution recognized, for what appear to be purely pragmatic reasons, that some level of patents should be

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Canada’s Housing Problem

Friday, June 13th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Economics.

Stephen Poloz, Governor of the Bank of Canada, thinks Canada may have a housing problem on its hands: On the home front… high house prices and record household debt remain the most important “vulnerabilities” in the Canadian financial system –

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Europe Protests Progress

Thursday, June 12th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

Striking taxi drivers snarled traffic in several European cities yesterday in a show of solidarity against a common threat. Unlike other protests of the past few years which have largely been against austerity measures, this time workers from London, Paris,

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Solve Public Teachers’ Strikes Once and For All

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Education.

The British Columbia’s teachers union just voted 86% in favour of an all out strike. If a settlement is not reached with the provincial government before the end of this week, nearly 40,000 teachers could be walking the picket line

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The Impossibility of Negative Interest Rates

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Capitalism, Economics.

Central bankers must be getting desperate. After the futile effort to boost the global economy via synchronized money printing en masse, they are doubling down on the same failed policy. Now it’s no longer enough to produce endless supplies of

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Persecuting the Mentally Ill Based on Anecdotes

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 by posted in Civil Liberties.

In the last several weeks we have seen another mass shooting by a disturbed teenager, as well as a horrific murder committed by two clearly troubled 12-year-old girls at the behest of internet fiction Slender Man. Predictably, tragedies like this

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