The a priori method in economics – In defence of Ludwig von Mises (essay)

Ludwig von MIses

I gave a speech on this topic at the Libertarian Alliance in March. A link to the video recording of that speech is here. The following essay covers similar ground but is not identical with the speech. I develop the argument differently here. My hope is that this text is a better articulation of my views and hopefully a good basis for further debate. The topic of this essay is broadly the method of economics: What phenomena does economics deal with? How do economists develop and test economic theories? What type of … [Read more...]

DS joins Mises Canada

Mises Canada

Interest in the Austrian School of Economics and the work of Ludwig von Mises has been on the rise for some time, and happily, this trend seems to be continuing, as can be seen, among other things, from the spread of Mises institutes around the world. It gives me great pleasure to announce that I have just joined the advisory board of the Ludwig von Mises Institute Canada. I look forward to being part of a high-caliber and highly motivated team there. Of course, I will have to dispense my advice from the distance, that is, … [Read more...]

Economics and the a priori: In defense of Ludwig von Mises

Mises in his library

Last week I gave a talk on this topic at the monthly meeting of the Libertarian Alliance (LA). The video is now up on youtube and you can see it here. Please excuse some of the background noise. Conditions were far from ideal. In the room next to ours students were showing a movie. But Nico Metten, who records all the LA meetings and is a professional sound engineer, did a great job reducing the noise level. It felt much worse on the day. The video may seem long at two hours but it breaks down to about 56 minutes of my talk … [Read more...]

Final blog: Thank you and good-bye for now.

Detlev Schlichter

This is the final blog entry in the ‘Schlichter Files’. Pretty soon, this website will be taken offline. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my readers for following my commentaries, essays and occasional rants over the past two-and-a-half years. Thank you. I would like to express a special gratitude to all who provided comments. I have found so many of the comments from readers to be perceptive and thoughtful, and enjoyed them even when I didn’t respond (as has usually been my policy). Somewhat to my … [Read more...]

Money demand and banking – Some challenges for the “Free Bankers”

Mises in his library

Within the Austrian School of Economics there has long been disagreement and therefore occasionally fierce debate about the nature and consequences of fractional-reserve banking, from here on called simply FRB. FRB denotes the practice by banks of issuing, as part of their lending activities, claims against themselves, either in the form of banknotes or demand deposits (fiduciary media), that are instantly redeemable in money proper (such as gold or state fiat money, depending on the prevailing monetary system) but that are … [Read more...]

Roubini attacks the gold bugs

Nouriel Roubini

Earlier this month, in an article for “Project Syndicate” famous American economist Nouriel Roubini joined the chorus of those who declare that the multi-year run up in the gold price was just an almighty bubble, that that bubble has now popped and that it will continue to deflate. Gold is now in a bear market, a multi-year bear market, and Roubini gives six reasons (he himself helpfully counts them down for us) for why gold is a bad investment. Roubini does not quite go so far as to tell his readers that there is no role … [Read more...]

Oxford Hayek Society talk followed by Q and A

Detlev at Oxford Hayek Society

The Oxford Hayek Society invited Detlev to give a talk at Christ Church on 14th May 2013. This was followed by a lively discussion afterwards ... … [Read more...]

“Watching your money disappear” – Speech to senior representatives of the UK pension fund industry

money symbols getting sucked into a vortex

 Last week I spoke at the Open Forum Seminar organized by the European Pension Fund Investment Forum (EPFIF). The event was held at The Magic Circle, an organization for magicians that runs a theatre and a museum in London, both dedicated to the art of magic. Hence, the title of the seminar “Watching your money disappear.” Below is a transcript of my speech. Needless to say – but I say it anyway – the views expressed below are mine and not those of the EPFIF, any of the pension funds or any other speakers present at the … [Read more...]

All power to the state! – Money madness at the IMF

IMF headquarters

You cannot escape an all-pervasive sense of crisis these days. Impending doom does not only announce itself in actual events but also via the proliferation of ever more hair-raising schemes that claim to solve our problems. Maybe it should not surprise us if, at a time when the world’s most powerful central banks keep interest rates at zero for years on end and keep printing quantities of money that are simply outside the facilities of human imagination (trillions? quadrillions?), bravely hoping it will end differently this … [Read more...]

The fallacy of nominal GDP targeting

Book cover Cantillon An Essay of Economic Theory

In a truly remarkable piece for the Financial Times yesterday, Wolfgang Münchau took another swipe at the Euro-sceptic and ECB-critical community in Germany, which he accuses of inflation-paranoia and of simply not getting 'modern central banking'. Well, I know of many qualified commentators - many non-German - who swallow a tad harder when reflecting on the new reality of unlimited and open-ended QE in the US and unlimited bond buying by the ECB. As the central bank bureaucrats declare that they will not stop printing base … [Read more...]