Politics

China’s Digital Yuan: A Threat to Freedom

Many observers are treating China’s plan for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) as a strictly progressive, technical move that other nations should emulate.  The United States, in particular, is concerned that China already has a large head start, which may threaten the dollar’s dominance as a reserve currency. Although the alleged purpose of supplying […]

Politics

Reifschneider and Wilcox’s Case for a Three Percent Inflation Target

In view of the Fed’s failure to achieve two percent inflation for much of the post-2007 period, the suggestion that it will find it easier to hit a higher target may well strike many as perverse—as if someone suggested that a pole vaulter unable to manage a six-meter vault should try for seven instead. Yet […]

Politics

The End of Bretton Woods, Jacques Rueff, and the “Monetary Sin of the West”

August 15, 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the day President Richard Nixon “closed the gold window,” ending the postwar Bretton Woods international monetary system. It is an appropriate moment to reconsider the internal inconsistencies of the Bretton Woods system. As its contemporary critics understood, Bretton Woods was doomed to fail if it could not […]

Politics

Wide World of ESG: Understanding Investor Demand

As we continue to span the globe to bring the constant variety of ESG topics, I’m reminded of my favorite part of watching live sports: being part of a crowd. The energy inside the stadium is never more electric than when something great happens for your team. At times like those—a walk-off home run or […]

Politics

A Primer on Inflation

Everyone is talking about inflation, but what is it?  Why does it matter? What causes it? And what can the Federal Reserve do about it? This primer will address those questions with the goal of improving the public’s understanding of inflation and the role of the central bank. What Is Inflation? Inflation is best described […]

Politics

The Fable of the Cats

The comparison has by now been made so often that it may qualify as a platitude. I mean that between stablecoin issuers and “wildcat” banks, the fly-by-night scams that supposedly flooded the antebellum United States with notes nominally worth some stated amount of gold or silver, but actually worth little more than the rag paper […]

Politics

Should We Fear Stablecoins?

A “stablecoin” is a cryptocurrency whose value is pegged to a fiat currency, gold, or another continuously traded asset. USD Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC), the two stablecoins with the largest values in circulation, are each managed to maintain a price centered on and close to $1.00 (usually within 1 cent). Both Tether and […]

Politics

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Politics

The Bitcoin Law: Counterfeit Free Choice in Currency

“Why should we not let people use freely what money they want to use? [They] ought to have the right to decide whether they want to buy or sell for francs, pounds, dollars, D-marks, or ounces of gold. I have no objection to governments issuing money, but I believe their claim to a monopoly, or […]