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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/11189/the-money-book-for-the-ages/

The Money Book for the Ages

December 8, 2009 by

Few serious books have had such little impact on contemporary thought and policy as this treatise. The world continues to ignore or reject it while it is clinging to antiquated notions and practices. FULL ARTICLE by Hans F. Sennholz

{ 12 comments }

Dick Fox December 8, 2009 at 11:50 am

Perhaps the most important book on monetary policy. A must read for any honest and serious economist. Anyone calling himself an Austrian economist who has not read the book is deluded.

Ralph Fucetola JD December 8, 2009 at 12:50 pm

What’s important to remember here is that this 1971 article reflects the intellectual state of the world before what must be called the “Misean Revolution” in economic thought began its slow ascendancy.

Today, with the collapse of the “world reserve currency” dollar teaching us about the nature of money and credit, the ideas so cogently expressed by Mises are becoming nearly commonplace among the talking heads of the financial news networks.

In the famous last paragraph of Human Action it was suggested that ignoring economic law does not repeal it. And that is the lesson the world is now learning the hard way, since the self-proclaimed economic authorities would not take Mises seriously enough back then…

Stephen Grossman December 8, 2009 at 1:59 pm

>[Sennholz] gold….cannot achieve the unattainable ideal of an absolutely stable currency. There is no such thing as stability and unchangeability of purchasing power.

Thus gold is an invalid ideal, just as God is an invalid ideal for man’s life. Economics serves the rational man’s life, not the reverse.

Stephen Grossman December 8, 2009 at 2:03 pm

CORRECTION TO MY PRIOR POST!
=============================
>[Sennholz] gold….cannot achieve the unattainable ideal of an absolutely stable currency. There is no such thing as stability and unchangeability of purchasing power.

Thus an absolutely stable is an invalid ideal, just as God is an invalid ideal for man’s life. Economics serves the rational man’s life, not the reverse.

ehmoran December 8, 2009 at 2:07 pm

I agree with your other statements; however, “God is an invalid ideal for man’s life” is completely wrong.

Without the idea of a supreme being and the idea of not answering for your deeds, good or bad, man soon places himself in the role of God, and nothing good ever comes from that for the rest of the peons.

Dale December 8, 2009 at 3:42 pm

gold is not an absolutely stable currency

another argument of the type
entity/idea A in the real world is not perfect, thus we can reject it and select or do entity/idea B, which is worse.

why is entity/idea B assumed to be worse, because if B was better you would state why B is better and not use this argument.

Gold is much more stable than paper money.
how many gold printing presses have you seen?

Stephen Grossman December 8, 2009 at 3:52 pm

>Without the idea of a supreme being and the idea of not answering for your deeds

So in your parallel universe, call it Keynesland, man can inflate money and credit and get away with it? But only if God intervenes, only then is there a depression? And in your parallel universe, there are no objective requirements for man’s life? You can eat nails rather than hamburger? And being smart has no survival advantage over being stupid? And a society of producers is no better than a society of thieves? Why, then, have almost all societies been religious, had almost constant wars, never even heard of individual rights, and been dirt poor? Why was America created in the least religious culture in history, the 18th century Enlightenment, and also the most rational culture since the Greeks? Coincidence? I think not. Man moral guide is his mind focused on reality, not fantasy.

ehmoran December 8, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Stephen Grossman,

Yeh, so when man starts making their own definitions to fit their own ideals instead of referring back to tradition. Yeh, hope that works out: Like this one. A human being will be defines as a biological object understanding his own demise between the ages of 2 and 65. That’s coming…..

Oh yeh, instead of Global Warming, define it as Climate Change.

Well, bad news, Climate change has been occurring for nearly 4.6 Billion years. Not quite sure humans were responsible for that?

What ever on some of your stuff, maybe why this Country’s culture is better than the Greeks, or least used to be, is because our constitution, which represents our traditional thinking, was built on the history of the Greeks and others……..

Russell Munves December 8, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Yes, The Theory of Money and Credit is filled with insightful ideas that better explain economic activity than any other theory. But it is not easy going. If one reads that book and Murray Rothbard’s Mystery of Banking, it will give you a very good fundamental grasp of how the system works and how it could be improved, especially the banking system.

Fractional reserve banking coupled with FDIC insurance and Fed interference with interest rates and the money supply is a lethal combination. There is no reason whatever to inflate the money supply. It interfere with supply and demand signals by those actually producing wealth and then consuming in proportion to their production.

Gold at least is not suseptible to printing by government though more can be found cause and increasing an increase in the money supply which leads to inflation.

Money is just a place marker for slicing up the economic pie. There is no need to increase the amount of money. If the pie gets bigger, the same money buys more. If the pie shrinks, it buys less.

One can just divide the money supply into smaller pieces when the pie increases in size and of course one pays more when the pie shrinks. There is simply no need for more money.

Keynsian theory and monetary theory lacks common real world sense. But it has great political appeal because it allows governments to appear to be doing something to ameliorate economic problems when in reality, they just exacerbate them.

Until the electorate as a whole understands this, they will be unable to resist the alure of government promises of prosperity through government management of the money supply. They will believe that government deficit spending and inflation is somehow good. It feels good for a while but so does heroin.

Dick Fox December 9, 2009 at 9:03 am

Stephen Grossman, if you are searching for an absolutely stable currency you don’t understand The Theory of Money and Credit.

Goods and services are constantly changing in value because the tastes of people change. If economics was physics perhaps we could have a stable currency but it is a behavioral science.

Gold has proven itself to be the perfect “money” because it is better than any other good to be used as a medium of exchange. You must not forget that we exchange goods not actually money (read the recent excerpt from Bastiat http://mises.org/daily/3807). Money lubricates transactions between traders. If you attempt to make an anything more than that you actually create friction in the economy rather than lubrication. That is one of the biggest problems today is that money have become a burden because it is constantly changing value because of manipulation so traders have to expend cost to hedge against monetary losses. This is what pushes an economy back toward barter and ultimately destroys the currency.

Chapter one of TTMC is critical but most monetary authorities are totaly ignorant of the concept.

Stephen Grossman December 9, 2009 at 11:24 am

>[Dick Fox]Stephen Grossman, if you are searching for an absolutely stable currency you don’t understand The Theory of Money and Credit.

But I rejected Sennholz’ claim that an absolutely stable currency is a proper ideal. The scientific ideal is contextual, the best possible, ie, gold, which changes so slowly in value, in a capitalist economy ,that it can be used as a practical standard.

As for _TMC_, I haven’t read it, was going to read it, but decided to read de Soto’s _Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles_ for now.

Stephen Grossman December 9, 2009 at 12:15 pm

>[ehmoran]Stephen Grossman, Yeh, so when man starts making their own definitions to fit their own ideals instead of referring back to tradition. Yeh, hope that works out

You evade the life-and-death difference between man-made definitions based on (1) the mind’s observation-based, and logical focus on reality and (2) emotions. And the appeal to tradition is a rationalization of the fear of independent judgment. America was created because Enlightenment philosophers rejected tradition for man’s independent mind.

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