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Lee Kelly in a recent guest post here on The Market Monetarist discussed the implication of excess demand for money for the development of barter and Free Banking. I found Lee's discussion extremely interesting and think that it could be interesting to see how monetary disequilibrium actually could work as a catalyst for the development of alternative monetary systems - for example the development of so-called local currencies in Greece.
While driving home from a family vacation in the West of Denmark (Jutland) today we were listening to the news on the radio. The news had two stories, which in some odd way were related to each other as both stories were about happiness. The first story was about Denmark (again!) being ranked number 1 in something called the World Happiness Report. The second story was more sad - it was about a 77-year-old Greek man who killed himself in Athens' busy Syntagma Square on Wednesday morning. The man apparently killed himself in disappear over his own and his country's economic situation.
Scott Sumner and other Market Monetarists including myself have been greatly frustrated with the behaviour of central bankers - especially the the Federal Reserve and the ECB. According to Market Monetarists the Great Depression was caused by overly tight monetary policies on both sides of the Atlantic and therefore central banks could long ago have taken us out of the crisis by having eased monetary policy. I have often been asked the question "Lars, if it is so easy why don't central banks just not do what you suggest?" Scott has an answer to this question:
It official! Bob Hetzel's book "The Great Recession: Market Failure or Policy Failure" is finally out. Buy it! Needless to say I ordered it long ago.
Some of the most clever economists I have encountered are actually not formally educated economists. In fact a number of Nobel Prize winners in Economics are not formally educated economists. One of my big heroes David Friedman is not formally educated as an economist, but to me he is certainly an economist - one of the greatest around. Another example is Gordon Tullock who was trained as a lawyer, but he is certainly an economist - in fact to me Gordon Tullock is one of the most clever economists of his generation and it is a complete mystery to me that he has not yet been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics. The way I perceive people's skills as economists has nothing to do with their formal education. To me Economics is not an education. Economics is a state of mind.
I have for some time wanted the young and talented Lee Kelly to write a guest post for The Market Monetarist. I am happy that he now has done so. Anybody who follows the market monetarist blogs will be familiar with Lee’s name and his always insightful comments.