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Economics

Wanted: Austro-Monetary Economist for Ron Paul

Lew Rockwell has announced an exciting opportunity in the US:

Ron Paul has been named chairman of the Domestic Monetary Policy subcommittee, and will have one committee staffer. Ron and his chief of staff Jeff Deist are looking for a smart, young economist, “thoroughly Austrian, and preferably with an advanced degree. The candidate needs strong knowledge of the Fed and monetary policy generally, and must be an effective writer. He or she will be responsible for organizing hearings; summarizing data and Fed actions for Dr. Paul; writing statements; dealing with Financial Services committee staff; and various other tasks.”
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This can be a life-changing experience for the right young person. Imagine an 18th century classified: “Wanted, Economist-Assistant to Thomas Jefferson.” This is the equivalent, although Jefferson was not as principled in office as Ron Paul.

Let us hope that British monetary policy one day finds itself in the hands of a “thoroughly Austrian” economist.

Economics

Gordon Brown, according to Gary North

I was cheerfully minding my own business, on the 6:53 into Paddington this morning, when I was startled into alertness by the following quote on Gordon Brown.  This was buried within an article by Dr Gary North, a regular columnist on Lew Rockwell’s web site, entitled Why Gold is Rising.

Here’s the quote:

The Legacy of Gordon Brown

When Gordon Brown, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer for Great Britain, sold off half of the bank of England’s supply of gold in the late 1990s and early years of this century, he provided an enormous subsidy to those of us do not trust paper money. He in effect subsidized those of us who are gold bugs. I certainly am very grateful for Mr. Brown for being a Keynesian idiot, and also a Keynesian idiot in a position to implement his idiocy by selling off half of the gold of Great Britain. He certainly did me a great favor, and did a great favor to my subscribers who bought gold under $300 an ounce.

We have not seen any other national figure equally ignorant of economics, equally committed to Keynesianism, and equally powerful. Gordon Brown was unique in the late 20th century. It would be hard to find any other political figure who cost his government more money in forfeited assets in peacetime than Gordon Brown.

We should not expect to see any national political figure as economically ignorant as Gordon Brown. It is unlikely that any of them wants to wind up as Gordon Brown did. No politician wants to run for national office after having sold half of his nation’s gold reserves at the bottom of the market two decades after the peak. In the history of finance, no other decision-maker at the senior level matched what Gordon Brown did. Nobody lost that much money on the basis of setting a single policy that backfired more loudly than he did.

Because of this, we should not expect to see governments and central banks selling off large quantities of gold in order to depress the price. Brown did it for ideological reasons, for he took seriously the words of Keynes, namely, that gold is a barbarous relic. Gordon Brown is now a political relic. Other politicians are not interested in matching his legacy.

Remarkable.

There is much else in the piece that makes it worth reading, but I think this particular quote is worth its weight in a certain elementary metal.

Personally, I am still waiting for Gordon Brown to apologise for this grievous error.  Obviously, he won’t, even when he becomes head of the IMF and starts making similarly stupid mistakes with global gold reserves rather than merely British ones.

However, I always try to live in hope.

Economics

Wall Street Unspun

In this world of economic turmoil into which the Keynesians have plunged us, it is vital to keep up with the latest pivotal developments in the financial world, on a global basis. One of the best ways to do this on the Metropolitan and City underground line from Baker Street to Moorgate is via Peter Schiff’s weekly radio broadcasts and his ‘Wall Street Unspun’ programme; these broadcasts are also available via podcast.

Peter and his regular co-hosts generally provide an initial 15-minute roundup of the latest world economic news, which they try to view through the clear, unspun, and undistorted lens of Austrian economics, before following this with questions and answers in a 45-minute phone-in. Although the programmes are admittedly US-centric, with Euro Pacific Capital having a policy of investing outside of the US and with global finance being so inter-connected, there is still plenty of coverage of the rest of the world, including Britain.

They are particularly keen to welcome international callers to the program, so if you want to ask Peter Schiff about anything economic that’s on your mind, he will generally place you at the top of his queue ahead of their usual American and Canadian callers.

I usually listen to the podcasts myself, as the radio programme goes out quite late to British listeners, however the radio programme is available for night owls over the Internet, at this address:

The podcast archives and iPod subscription details are available here:

There is also a YouTube channel below, although this is usually a little behind the curve on providing the latest broadcasts:

With Peter being heavily involved at the moment in his race for the US Senate, he is generally only making about one show in three, due to Republican party commitments. However, he is ably replaced for the remaining shows by other Euro Pacific Capital brokers, such as Andrew Schiff from New York, and Neeraj Chaudhary and Hemant Kathuria from their Los Angeles office.

For regular applications of Austrian economics to current financial analysis, the programme is hard to beat, and although it’s really difficult to listen to on the squeaky bit of the Bakerloo line between Paddington and Oxford Street, or that horrible grinding section in the centre of the Waterloo and City line, the pause button on my iPhone generally comes into play and rescues the day.

When I say hard to beat, there is one other Austrian-related podcast which challenges the team from Euro Pacific Capital, and that is the more sporadic ‘Lew Rockwell Show’ podcast series, which you can subscribe to here:

Although Mr Rockwell took a long rest recently, after an initial burst of about a hundred programmes, he appears to be back with a regular stream of interviews with all of the leading figures of Austrian economics, including Ron Paul, Joe Salerno, Jim Rogers, Charles Goyette, Marc Faber, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Tom Woods, Peter Schiff, and everyone else you have ever heard of.

The programmes generally take the form of a 15-minute interview, though sometimes this can stretch up to an hour, with longer interviews and occasional speeches; Mr Rockwell is also usually keen to interview more speculative trends forecasters, such as Gerald Celente.

As well as having a clear picture of what’s going on in the world, or what might be happening in the world in the next year or two, you’ll also know that you’re a true hard-core Austrian when you are a subscriber and you have removed all of your Genesis albums from your iPhone in order to squeeze on more Lew Rockwell shows.

Economics

Austrian economics, meeting Lew Rockwell and having time with Ron Paul

As previously mentioned on this blog, TCC’s Chairman Toby Baxendale and I traveled to Jeykell Island in the US the weekend before last to attend a major conference hosted by the good people of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Headed ‘The Birth and Death of the Fed’ not only was the event very impressive in its own right – very well organised with several hundred people in attendance – but there were lots of excellent speakers exploring money and banking from an Austrian school perspective. You can listen to the main highlights here through these links:

Robert P. Murphy – Only the Austrians can Can Explain Depressions

Christopher Westley - Why the Fed Got Birthed?

Peter G. Klein – Did Keynesian Economics Win the Battle of Ideas?

Doug French – Failure and Prosperity

Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. – Parallel Lives: Liberty or Power?

Joseph T. Salerno – The Macroeconomics of the Fed: Mainstream and Austrian

Mark Thornton – What Were They Saying in July 2007?

George A. Selgin – The Fed’s Dismal Record

Gary North – Heckle and Jekyll: How Murray Rothbard Got the Fed’s Story Right

Thomas E. Woods, Jr. - The Source and Workings of the Latest Crisis

Ron Paul – My Battle Against the Fed

For me, it was not only a delight to listen to and meet Lew Rockwell but it was also a particular pleasure to meet and talk with Congressman Ron Paul. A most intelligent and moral person, I found him to be every bit the gentleman I had expected.

Events

Toby and Tim off to the US

Tomorrow, Toby and I are off to the US for a conference. While I am not looking forward to the early start and the particularly long flight, I am looking forward to meeting Lew Rockwell of the Ludwig Von Mises Institute and Congressman Ron Paul.

I am also looking forward to meeting lots of other enthusiasts for the Austrian School of Economics and exchanging views and opinions with them.

Indeed, it is concerning these aspects of the trip, that I am reminded of what Churchill once said: “If you love your job, you will never work again!”