This blog entry is for anyone who believes, as John Tamny here puts it, that “Fractional reserve banking quite simple IS.” Among the many good points Tamny makes in his article, there is the underlying assumption that our system is, in some important sense, a fractional-reserve system. But is this a valid contention? My contention…Continue Reading “Why We Do NOT Have a Fractional-Reserve System”

In his excellent book The New Lombard Street, Perry Mehrling writes of “a world that never was … Jimmy Stewart banking of blessed memory” (p. 117). This is an obvious  reference to one of Jimmy Stewart’s most famous roles: George Bailey in the holiday classic movie It’s a Wonderful Life. In the movie, Bailey is…Continue Reading “Jimmy Stewart Banking versus James Steuart Banking”

The euro seems to be on its last legs, and the vision which inspired its genesis seems to have vanished from the politicians sponsoring it. The recent spat with England and Prime Minister Cameron has only served to highlight the vacuum in vision. Previously, whenever England was scapegoated, English politicians skulked like whipped curs, and…Continue Reading “How to Make the Euro Project Work”

“Quantitative Easing” is the latest thing to get in a tizzy about these days. Everyone seems to have an opinion on quantative easing, either in favor (deflation-countering inflation is a good thing) or opposed (depreciation is a bad thing). An investment analyst whose work I recommend, Nicholas Vardy, the “Global Guru,” recently jumped on the…Continue Reading “Much Ado About Easing”

If the Fed wants to boost economic activity, it should think about raising the federal funds target rate. Why? Wouldn’t that restrict lending? Paradoxically, it would likely increase lending. This would force banks to engage in more lending in order to make a profit. Currently, banks can make money doing virtually nothing, as they borrow…Continue Reading “Why the Fed Should Boost Interest Rates”