Of “loose money and credit generated by the Fed”

25 11 2008

Jeffrey A. Tucker, editor of Mises.org (http://mises.org/) has written an article titled “Business Cycles, Not Our Fault”  In this article, Tucker argues that the real cause of the current calamity in the U.S financial system is “loose money and credit generated by the Fed”.  It is an interestingly relevant and thought provoking article.  Some relevant exerpts are presented below.  The full article can be found at the following web address: http://mises.org/story/3226 

“Business Cycles, Not Our Fault”

By Jeffrey A. Tucker, November 21, 2008

“We are told that the economy has tanked because foreigners invested too much in the US, that foreigners saved too much money, that we all lived beyond our means, that greedy capitalists fed our materialist instincts until we popped, or any combination of the above. Or maybe business cycles are just like weather, cold one season and hot the next. Regardless, it is the government that must come to the rescue with the usual combination of cockamamie schemes.”

“Discovering the Austrian business cycle theory, then, is a revelation, because through it, you learn how the whole business traces to loose money and credit generated by the Fed. The money is pumped into the capital-goods fashion of the day, in this case housing. The whole sector becomes overbuilt and unsustainable and it turns, tanking many other affected sectors. The only answer to the problem is not more of the poison that caused the problem but a real liquidation.”


Source: Welker’s Wikinomics website (www.welkerswikinomics.com)

“Lord Lionel Robbins wrote in 1934. His book called The Great Depression, ….. (in it he) presents the Austrian theory in a very precise way, and documents how the Fed and the Bank of England inflated the money supply and loosened credit in the latter half of the 1920s, leading to the bust. His is a cautious treatise in some way.”

“After all, he was blaming the central bank — not exactly a position that was politically wise — and we aren’t just talking about the equivalent of a blogger today. He was Lionel Robbins, the most influential economist in Britain until Lord Keynes stole the show with his whiz-bang policy ideas. And why? Robbins counseled letting the bad investments wash out of the system. Keynes thought you could use the state to rev the bad back to life.”

“The Theory of Money and Credit” by Ludwig von Mises (First edition, 1912)

“As another example, and really the definitive one, Ludwig von Mises himself was writing all throughout the late twenties and early thirties about the business cycle. He nails it all in essay after essay: the credit expansion, the malinvestment, the folly of counter-cyclical policy, the dangers of protectionism and reflation, and so much more. These essays could all be written today, and what is also impressive is Mises’s focus on theory. He never makes empirical claims that aren’t backed up by an attempt to explain the theoretical apparatus behind the analysis.”

 Economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)

“All of this leads up to Rothbard’s America’s Great Depression, the book that is often cited as the one to show that the episode was caused not by the market but by the central bank. It is getting all new attention today. But if you follow his citations, they lead right back to Garrett, Robbins, and Mises — three of the observers of the time who saw precisely what was happening. They had to be ignored by the New Dealers, for they utterly demolish the case for stabilization policy.”



For other information on economics that is running counter to the present stream of thought in regards to appropriate and needed government policy actions in response to current economic crises around the world, I encourage you to visit website for “The Ludwig von Mises Institute” (http://mises.org/).

Have a great Thanksgiving Holiday!  Here is an appropriate economic cartoon for your holiday meditations.









Source: Economist Stefan Karlsson’s Blog (here)

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, African Continent (19,340 feet in elevation)




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