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RP’s Diary

What would be the ideal money?

German newspaper discusses the concept behind the Ikon

To prevent a new eruption of the financial volcano we need deep monetary reform – much more radical change than anything discussed by governments or economists as yet. So any signs of such an interest are encouraging. On July 8 and 14 of this year, Gerald Braunberger, economics editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung,  wrote two articles…
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Money, civilisation and their discontents

QE increases state money but reduces the quality of money

The usual way to destroy the social value of money is through inflation, and that has indeed been the fate of most fiat currencies. Yet there are other ways to reduce the quality of money and thus its ability to support a civilisation. Money becomes less useful, for example, when the objects you can spend…
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Between Debt and the Devil: A Review

According to Adair Turner, Britain’s former chief financial regulator, the global financial crisis had one big cause: bad ideas.  These are ideas that Turner disapproves of. The key proposition of his new book is simply stated: “banking systems left to themselves are bound to produce too much of the wrong sort of debt, instability and…
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‘The Money Trap’ now

Three years after publication, it is time for a new look at the arguments put forward in the book.

The book argued that the crisis was the joint product of  inflation targeting, irresponsible banking and a weak international monetary system. The book tried to show how these were inter-related: First, inflation targeting, which had been a valuable tool in combatting 1970s inflation, had by the 2000s outlived its usefulness as a guide and discipline for…
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William White: Why we need to debate exchange rates

A currency war or a war on currency?

William White, formerly head of monetary and economic affairs at the Bank for International Settlements and now chair of a key OECD committee,  is one of the few mainstream economists willing and eager to keep the debate about exchange rates systems alive. Most of them want to bury it. In a paper published by the…
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A few encouraging signs

China's challenge is good news

  Thank you for visiting my site. I am taking a sabbatical to research a new project so will not update my website for the next few months. Suffice to say that nothing governments or central banks have done since the crisis has changed the analysis or policy recommendations I offered in The Money Trap…
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Does the ‘reserve’ dollar harm America?

The flawed international monetary system is to blame for the crisis

  For many years  Lewis E. Lehrman and John D. Mueller have been calling attention to what they call the “reserve-currency curse.” Since some politicians and economists have recently insisted that the dollar’s official role as the world’s reserve currency is instead a great blessing, it is welcome that they have recently revisited the issue…
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Why we remain in the debt trap

Hervé Hannoun gave an important speech last week (see link below). This is my own paraphrase of it.

  Total non-financial debt had risen substantially over the last 15 years. Public finances are not yet under control. Debt is excessive and poses a serious risk in a number of countries. What are the main risks? First, there is a risk of debt deflation – a situation in which the attempt to repay debt…
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Haldane , Rajan on the future of central banking

The real battle for the future of finance will be fought after the next crisis

  In his contribution to Central Banking’s 25th anniversary issue, Andrew Haldane, chief economist of the Bank of England, describes the “giant steps” that central banks have taken to “reinvent” themselves post crisis. These have involved innovations not only in monetary policies and in market operations but also the development of macro-prudential policies. Central bankers…
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G20 fails to act

CEOs of banks that rigged markets must go

  People know we haven’t cracked the problem. Anaemic, faltering growth has brought a sense of greater security and well-being only to those in work or those with assets like shares and city property that have floated up on the rising tide of central bank liquidity. Since 2007 vast disparities of wealth have become even…
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