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: Liberty.me. 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 Liberty.me and publisher of Laissez Faire Books.Tucker is also a Distinguished Fellow of the Foundation for Economic Education, an adjunct scholar with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and an Acton Universityfaculty member. He is past editorial vice president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and past editor for the institute’s website, Mises.org.
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.”
As a writer, Tucker has contributed scholarly efforts and humorous essays to LewRockwell.com, the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and elsewhere. Examples of the latter essays include his defense of morning drinking, his advice on “How to Dress Like a Man”, his attack on shaving cream, and his admiration for the speedy-service haircut. He is a critic of the Grameen Bank which, along with its founder Muhammad Yunus, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.
Tucker was editor of Mises.org from 1997 until late 2011 when he was hired by Addison Wiggin as executive editor of Laissez Faire Books.
He is now CEO of Liberty.me.
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.”
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.
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).
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:
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 email@example.com (with “TASC 2013” in the subject line of the e-mail).
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.
I 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.
This article was previously published at SteveBaker.info.
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:
This month’s meeting of the London Mises Circle will take place at the Institute of Economic Affairs on April 25th.
Abhinandan Mallick will give a talk on the Austrian School approach to the theory of value and price in the tradition of Menger and Bohm Bawerk, and its distinctive features in comparison to the dominant neoclassical approach.
He will mainly focus on how the Austrian School approach can genuinely explain and shed light on the process of price formation, and touch briefly on its application to understanding the dynamics of price relations along capital structures.
Abhinandan is a research analyst at IHS, hold Master’s degrees in Theoretical Physics and Economics from the University of Birmingham and Birkbeck College, University of London, and is a former research fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
Arrive at 6:30 for a 7pm start. Any queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The March meeting of the London Mises Circle will take place at the Institute of Economic Affairs on Thursday 21st March.
We will be having a talk from Robert C B Miller, economist, businessman, and former Senior Fellow of the IEA, on his recent paper for the Adam Smith Institute titled What Would Hayek Do? A discussion will follow.
We will be aiming to get going at 6:30pm with a fairly prompt 8pm finish.
All are welcome. If you have any questions please email email@example.com.