Book Reviews

Markets for managers

I’m delighted to announce that my Austrian economics textbook is now available.
The book is aimed at time poor but economically curious people. It is based on lecture material from my courses on Managerial Economics and covers a lot of ground. The writing style is intended to be engaging but not patronising. My website contains some additional resources, including videos and reading lists:
If you have any questions I’d be delighted to receive feedback. Here’s the blurb:

Markets for Managers helps managers to see markets in a new light, to appreciate how they operate, and to reflect on their results. This important resource shows not only how markets operate but why they are remarkable complishments of human interaction. Written in a highly accessible style, Markets for Managers incorporates a diverse and applied perspective in economics and deals in a comprehensive manner with micro– and macroeconomics from a global perspective. Written by Prof. Anthony J. Evans, the book brings to life the major contributions in economics, and some of the most important debates surrounding the topic. This valuable resource offers an understanding of how markets work in the real world, and includes insights on how they fail. Most importantly, Markets for Managers contains information on how managers can employ markets as a management tool – both in terms of internalising the insights into their everyday routines, and in terms of adopting processes that can be applied across the organisation. Evans shows how markets generate social prosperity and how managers can use markets – and the principles on which they rest – to generate value. The book covers the key foundations of economic analysis and shows how to apply them to specific concepts such as economic value added, price discrimination, and valuebased pricing. Markets for Managers encompasses the bigger economic picture and includes biographies of famous economists, refers to the seminal books and articles, and highlights the key moments in economic history. Evans offers examples of market failure, such as monopolies, asymmetric information and behavioural anomalies, and explains why these failures can in fact strengthen the case for markets. Managers, financial professionals, and researchers will find Markets for Managers to be a substantial yet approachable guide that fills in some of the holes, and stretches out a broad and serious look at the discipline of economics.

Book Reviews

Paper Money Collapse 2nd edition teaser

One of the interesting things that happened at the End of the World Club on Monday evening, was a teaser of what’s new about Detlev Schlichter‘s Paper Money Collapse (2nd edition). We are promised some discussion about Bitcoin (which really got going about the time PMC first appeared on bookshelves).

Also promised is an update of Detlev’s views and he hopes to include discussions that have taken place in various forums (such as on his blog).

Further updates as we get them.




Bitcoin – The Future Of Money?

I have begun work on a new book.

It is called Bitcoin – The Future Of Money? Once again I am funding it with Unbound.

As the more observant will deduce, it is about the new form of digital money known as Bitcoin.

You might of the view that Bitcoin is up there with tulips and South Sea companies in the greatest-ever-bubbles parade.

Alternatively, you might feel that this new digital cash technology is going to change the way we transact. Not only that, it will alter the very nature of money with huge social, political and economic ramifications.

There is also the third possibility – which cannot be ignored – that you couldn’t give a flying #$@*%! either way.

The story of Bitcoin is an amazing one – from its birth amongst the ‘cypherpunk’ revolutionaries, who believed they could change the world through computer hacking and cryptography, to its million-fold rise in price to the mystery surrounding its creator, who may as well have be aboard the Mary Rose for all we know about him.

I’ll tell this story, I’ll take you on a walk along the Silk Road (the Amazon-like website where you can buy what we’ll call ‘black market goods’), I’ll consider how Bitcoin might change the world, if at all, whether you should buy some and how to, and, most of all, I explain what the bloody thing is and how it works.

Unlike Life After The State, I am not planning to solve all the world’s problems this time around, so you should see a comparatively quick return on your money in the form of a book.

Please help make it happen by pledging here.

We only launched last week and we already over 70% funded, thanks to people’s excitement and generosity. It is happening in record time.

Both fame and glory await you when you pledge and get your name in the back of this seminal work*.

The link is here in case you missed it.

With fond regards wherever you are in the world,


* Most of the statements in the sentence are almost certainly not true


Jeffery Tucker is a man of great many talents, energy and vision. He has set up an online pro-liberty community: This will be one for all of us free market, pro-peace and anti-excessive-state people to get involved with.

You can find out more about Jeff via his Twitter feed.

Here’s a brief introduction, taken from his Wikipedia page:

Jeffrey Albert Tucker is CEO of[1] and publisher of Laissez Faire Books.[2]Tucker is also a Distinguished Fellow of the Foundation for Economic Education,[3] an adjunct scholar with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy[4] and an Acton Universityfaculty member.[5] He is past editorial vice president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and past editor for the institute’s website,

Tucker compiled an annotated bibliography of the works of Henry Hazlitt, entitled Henry Hazlitt: Giant For Liberty, which is now in print. A Foundation for Economic Education review described the book, which “includes citations of a novel, works on literary criticism, treatises on economics and moral philosophy, several edited volumes, some 16 other books and many chapters in books, plus articles, commentaries, and reviews,” as “an apt eulogy of Henry Hazlitt.”[7]

As a writer, Tucker has contributed scholarly efforts and humorous essays to, the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and elsewhere. Examples of the latter essays include his defense of morning drinking,[8] his advice on “How to Dress Like a Man”,[9] his attack on shaving cream,[10] and his admiration for the speedy-service haircut.[11] He is a critic[12] of the Grameen Bank which, along with its founder Muhammad Yunus, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.[13]

Tucker was editor of from 1997 until late 2011 when he was hired by Addison Wiggin as executive editor of Laissez Faire Books.[2]

He is now CEO of[1]


Why is JPMorgan so quick to agree to a $13B fine?

A Bloomberg appearance by Gordon Kerr, Cobden Centre advisory board member and founder of Cobden Partners

Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) — Gordon Kerr, consultant at Cobden Partners, talks with Guy Johnson about the potential $13 billion settlement by JPMorgan to end civil claims over its sales of mortgage bonds. He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse.”


In defence of ‘demand’ deposits

I owe a debt of obligation to my fellow Cobdenites for kickstarting a debate about money and banking amongst the UK Austrian community. As a participant in that debate – both on this blog and on the Cobden Centre mailing list – I decided to write up a working paper on the sound money debate. I’m delighted that it has now been published, and those with institutional access can find it here (PDF).

The abstract is:

This article contributes to a recent debate between Barnett and Block (J Bus Ethics 88(4): 711–716,2009), Bagus and Howden (J Bus Ethics 90(3): 399–406, 2009), Barnett and Block (J Bus Ethics 100: 299–238, 2011), Cachanosky (J Bus Ethics 104: 219–221, 2011) and Bagus and Howden (J Bus Ethics 106: 295–300, 2012a) regarding the conceptual distinction between demand deposits and time deposits. It is argued that from an economic perspective there is nothing inherently fraudulent or illegitimate about deposit accounts that are available ‘on demand’, but that this relies on certain contractual provisions. Particular attention is drawn to option clauses and withdrawal clauses, which “solve” the problems raised by Barnett and Block, and Bagus and Howden. Previous authors have also neglected the asset side of banks balance sheets, and this is shown to further justify the legitimacy of fractional reserve banking. 

If you don’t have access, please email me and I’ll be glad to send you a copy.


The Yakiniku recovery

Readers of The Cobden Centre blog may be interested in the recent report from Kaleidic Economics. It focuses on an analysis of Japan’s “lost decade”, and how this relates to the UK. In particular, it assesses some of the academic literature – especially from the Austrian school perspective – about whether the lost decade is a myth or reality, and what the root causes were. 

You can download the report here (PDF).


2013 Toronto Austrian Scholars Conference

For readers across the pond, or those tempted to make the journey …

The annual Toronto Austrian Scholars Conference (TASC) of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada will be held at the University of Toronto, November 2-3 (Saturday – Sunday).

TASC seeks papers that seek to improve the understanding of the role of markets in the economy. Submissions should seek to shed light on contemporary issues while being grounded in a praxeological reasoning. Papers are welcome from a variety of fields such as politics, sociology, and psychology, where ever they can bring relevance to economic and financial questions.

Scholars interested in presenting papers, serving as chairs/discussants, or proposing entire panels should submit proposals by Tuesday, October 1, 2013. With all submissions, please include the following information for each participant, including non-attending co-authors:

1. Name

2. Affiliation (title and institution)

3. E-mail address

4. Telephone number

5. Title of paper(s)

6. Abstract(s) of no more than 100 words

Please ensure that all attachments are either Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) or Word (.doc or .docx) format.

Please note that the conference organisers have to be free to place your paper or panel on any of the conference days. Organisers will entertain specific requests, however, if you prefer to present on either Saturday or Sunday, though no guarantees of such can be made in advance.

The registration fee for faculty members is $225, Independent Scholars $125, Observers $75, and Students $25.

Select papers from the conference will be published as Papers and Proceedings of the conference in the Journal of Prices & Markets, the flagship journal of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada.

Please send your submissions by email only to David Howden at (with “TASC 2013” in the subject line of the e-mail).


The injustice of easy money is going mainstream

The Daily Mail reports Interest rates: How keeping them at a record low is a deliberate government ploy to pay off its debts:

A stealth raid by the Bank of England has stripped savers of more than £170billion, a Money Mail investigation can reveal.

By slashing the base rate to a record low of 0.5?per cent and allowing the cost of living to soar for more than four years, the Bank has whittled away the value of cash sitting in High Street accounts through a ‘secret tax’.

And it is not just savers who have effectively had their money pinched. Anyone who has a fixed monthly income, such as pensioners, or has had a tiny pay rise, has also lost out.

campaign constantly against the injustice which is being manufactured by our centrally-planned system of money and bank credit so I am glad that the arguments are going mainstream.

We are in the midst of a great battle between debtors and creditors. Deeply indebted governments are on the side of those in debt. Too many claims on real goods have been created by bank lending so now the central banks are destroying those claims by stealth.

The implications for our society will be profound. I cannot help thinking that the whole enterprise would have already come crashing down if the public could see the tens and hundreds of billions of Pounds – and Dollars and Yen… – as paper in wheelbarrows going to governments’ favoured friends.

Given that the alternative is higher interest rates, sound money and a painful correction, governments and central banks think they are taking the easy way out. We’ll see.

See also:

This article was previously published at


Mises’ monetary theory compared to other theories

Lots of people talk about “The” Quantity Theory of Money and “The” Equation-of-Exchange. The terms have a familiar feel to them, they’re part of the furniture of Economics. On careful examination, that appearance changes. There isn’t really one Equation-of-Exchange, there are many. One reason for this is that different economists have different ideas about what counts as a transaction and should be included. The Quantity Theory is similar, most of the arguments against it criticise only one version. This is why arguments about these things often descend into confusion.

Anthony Evans and I investigated these problems. We looked at Ludwig Von Mises’ monetary theory and compared it to others. We found that Mises was aiming at something quite different to Fisher, Friedman or present-day quantity theorists. Our paper on this has now been published in the Review of Austrian Economics.

For those lucky people who work in Universities with journal access:

For us plebs without here’s a slightly earlier version: