Interest rates, money supply, and GDP, Alasdair Macleod

Alasdair Macleod is one of the few economists out there who actually touts honest economics and is not just a political whore. From Macleod at goldmoney.com:

That the world is on the edge of a monetary and economic cliff is becoming increasingly obvious. And becoming more obviously permanent than transient, price inflation will almost certainly lead to rising interest rates. Rising bond yields, falling equity markets and debt-triggered insolvencies will naturally follow.

According to the economists prevalent in official circles, a prospective mix of so-called deflation and rising prices are contradictory, should not happen at the same time, and therefore cannot be explained. Yet that is the prospect they now face. The errors in their lack of economic judgement have evolved from the time when central banks began to manipulate their currencies to achieve economic objectives and then to subsequently dismiss the evidence of policy failure. It has been a cumulative process for the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England since the 1920s, which can only now end in a final catastrophic failure.

The denial of reasoned economic theory, embodied in a preference by state actors for state-driven outcomes over free markets, has led to this cliff-edge. This article explains some of the key errors in economic and monetary theory that have taken the world to this point — principally the relationships between interest rates, money supply, and GDP.

Introduction

Following the First World War, central banks have not only acted as lender of last resort, which was the role the Bank of England and its imitators took on for themselves in the preceding decades, but they have increasingly tried to manage economic outcomes. The trail-blazer was pre-war Germany which grasped Georg Knapp’s state theory of money as justification for Prussia’s socialism by currency, eventually ending with the collapse of the paper mark in the post-war years. But the genesis of today’s monetary policies has its foundation in the then newly constituted Federal Reserve Bank, chaired by Benjamin Strong, who in the 1920s collaborated with Norman Montague at the Bank of England who was struggling to contain Britain’s post-WW1 decline.

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