Central Banks and Our Dysfunctional Gold Markets

Опубликовано в Articles in English августа 01 2015

Marcia Christoff-Kurapovna

July 23, 2015

Many investors still view gold as a safe-haven investment, but there remains much confusion regarding the extent to which the gold market is vulnerable to manipulation through short-term rigged market trades, and long-arm central bank interventions. First, it remains unclear whether or not much of the gold that is being sold as shares and in certificates actually exists. Second, paper gold can theoretically be printed into infinity just like regular currency — although private-sector paper-gold sellers have considerably less leeway in this regard than central banks. Third, new electronic gold pricing — replacing, as of this past February, the traditional five-bank phone-call of the London Gold Fix in place since 1919 — has not necessarily proved a more trustworthy model. Fourth, there looms the specter of the central bank, particularly in the form of volume trading discounts that commodity exchanges offer them.

Five Steps to Fixing Greece’s Debt Problem

Опубликовано в Articles in English марта 05 2015

Frank Hollenbeck

March 4, 2015

The ECB decision to limit liquidity to Greek banks was another nail in the euro-coffin, and rumors of a "Grexit" caused bank withdrawals to accelerate. Over 25 billion euros have been withdrawn from Greek banks since the end of November 2014. But there's a problem. Fractional-reserve Greek banks do not have the funds to cover all the withdrawals if trends continue. Current non-performing bank loans in Greece are close to 40 percent and banks hold large amounts of high risk Greek government debt.

Should Economics Emulate Natural Sciences?

Опубликовано в Articles in English декабря 22 2014

Frank Shostak

December 16, 2014

Economists have always been envious of the practitioners of the natural and exact sciences. They have thought that introducing the methods of natural sciences such as a laboratory where experiments could be conducted could lead to a major breakthrough in our understanding of the world of economics. But while a laboratory is a valid way of doing things in the natural sciences, it is not so in economics. Why is that so? A laboratory is a must in physics, for there a scientist can isolate various factors relating to the object of inquiry. Although the scientist can isolate various factors he doesn't, however, know the laws that govern these factors.

The Cultural and Political Consequences of Fiat Money

Опубликовано в Articles in English ноября 24 2014

Jörg Guido Hülsmann
November 20, 2014

It may seem unusual that an economist would talk about culture. Usually, we talk about prices and production, quantities produced, employment, the structure of production, scarce resources, and entrepreneurship.

But there are certain things that economists can say about the culture, and more precisely, that economists can say about the transformation of the culture. So what is culture? Well, to put it simply, it is the way we do things. This can include the way we eat — whether or not we dine with family members on a regular basis, for example — how we sleep, and how we use automobiles or other modes of transportation. And of course, the way we produce, consume, or accumulate capital are important aspects of the culture as well.

Why Money Doesn’t Measure Value

Опубликовано в Articles in English октября 27 2014

Robert P. Murphy
October 24, 2014

Anyone who knows him personally would attest that David Gordon is a troublemaker. He lived up to this label with a recent review of the new book by Steve Forbes and Elizabeth Ames. Gordon took them to task for referring to money as a measure of value, analogous to a ruler or clock; Gordon cited the authority of Ludwig von Mises while rejecting such a view. In a previous post here at Mises Canada, I then defended Gordon from the reply of John Tamny. Yet now I see that economist Marc Miles has jumped in the fray, also thinking that Gordon is ignorant of basic economics.
Let me be clear: Gordon (and Mises) are right; money is not a "measuring rod" of value. However, the reason Tamny and Miles are astounded by Gordon's position is that they think he is denying the (obvious) fact that people acquire money merely as a means to a further end. In the present post, let me try to clear up all of this confusion that the mischievous Gordon stirred up. As we'll see, it's precisely because people use money as a means to a further end, that it is NOT analogous to a ruler or clock or scale.

Richard M. Ebeling
September 06, 2014

We live at a time when politicians and bureaucrats only know one public policy: more and bigger government. Yet, there was a time when even those who served in government defended limited and smaller government. One of the greatest of these died one hundred years ago on August 27, 1914, the Austrian economist Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk.

The Myth of the Unchanging Value of Gold

Опубликовано в Articles in English сентября 01 2014

Joseph T. Salerno

August 29, 2014

According to mainstream economics textbooks, one of the primary functions of money is to measure the value of goods and services exchanged on the market. A typical statement of this view is given by Frederic Mishkin in his textbook on money and banking. "[M]oney ... is used to measure value in the economy," he claims. "We measure the value of goods and services in terms of money, just as we measure weight in terms of pounds and distance in terms of miles."

Six Myths About Money and Inflation

Опубликовано в Articles in English августа 25 2014

Patrick Barron

August 21, 2014
The following are six of the most prevalent economic myths that appear time and again in the mainstream media. I will give a brief description of each and a brief description of the economic reality, as seen from an Austrian perspective.

You Can’t Run an Economy with Spreadsheets

Опубликовано в Articles in English августа 25 2014

Nicolás Cachanosky
August 22, 2014

Argentina's economic minister, Axel Kicillof, has become famous for his assertion that it is possible to centrally manage the economy now because we have spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel. This assertion comes from the mistaken view that the cost of production determines final prices, and it reveals a profound misunderstanding of the market process. This issue, however, is not new. The first half of the twentieth century witnessed the debate over economic calculation under socialism. Apparently, Argentine officials have much to learn from this old debate. The problem is not whether or not we have powerful spreadsheets at our disposal; the problem is the impossibility of successfully creating a centrally-planned market.

Government Spending and Negative Interest Rates

Опубликовано в Articles in English августа 18 2014

In June, the European Central Bank (ECB) made a historic and downright diabolical announcement. They decided to inaugurate negative interest rates for overnight deposits.

Dickson Buchanan
August 14, 2014 

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