Jörg Guido Hülsmann: The Ethics of Money Production

In these times of quantitative easing, where $600 billion dollars is slipped into existence in the middle of a dull paragraph, in a dull article, I thought Cobden Centre readers might want to try to make sense of it all by reading Jörg Guido Hülsmann’s excellent book, The Ethics of Money Production, which is freely available as a PDF.

“A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money.”

Senator Everett Dirksen, US politician (1896 – 1969) (alleged quotation)

Here is Professor Hülsmann speaking about his book:

Here are the contents of his book:



  • Money Production and Justice
  • Remarks about Relevant Literature

Part 1: The Natural Production of Money


  • The Division of Labor without Money
  • The Origin and Nature of Money
  • Natural Monies
  • Credit Money
  • Paper Money and the Free Market
  • Electronic Money

Money Certificates

  • Certificates Physically Integrated with Money
  • Certificates Physically Disconnected from Money

Money within the Market Process

  • Money Production and Prices
  • Scope and Limits of Money Production
  • Distribution Effects
  • The Ethics of Producing Money
  • The Ethics of Using Money

Utilitarian Considerations on the Production of Money

  • The Sufficiency of Natural Money Production
  • Economic Growth and the Money Supply
  • Hoarding
  • Fighting Deflation
  • Sticky Prices
  • The Economics of Cheap Money
  • Monetary Stability
  • The Costs of Commodity Money

Part 2: Inflation

General Considerations on Inflation

  • The Origin and Nature of Inflation
  • The Forms of Inflation

Private Inflation: Counterfeiting Money Certificates

  • Debasement
  • Fractional-Reserve Certificates
  • Three Origins of Fractional-Reserve Banking
  • Indirect Benefits of Counterfeiting in a Free Society
  • The Ethics of Counterfeiting

Enters the State: Fiat Inflation through Legal Privileges

  • Treacherous Clerks
  • Fiat Money and Fiat Money Certificates
  • Fiat Inflation and Fiat Deflation

Legalized Falsifications

  • Legalizing Debasement and Fractional Reserves
  • The Ethics of Legalizing Falsifications

Legal Monopolies

  • Economic Monopolies versus Legal Monopolies
  • Monopoly Bullion
  • Monopoly Certificates
  • The Ethics of Monetary Monopoly

Legal-Tender Laws

  • Fiat Equivalence and Gresham’s Law
  • Bimetallism
  • Legal-Tender Privileges for Money Certificates
  • Legal-Tender Privileges for Credit Money
  • Business Cycles
  • Moral Hazard, Cartelization, and Central Banks
  • Monopoly Legal Tender
  • The Ethics of Legal Tender

Legalized Suspensions of Payments

  • The Social Function of Bankruptcy
  • The Economics of Legalized Suspensions
  • The Ethics of Legalized Suspensions

Paper Money

  • The Origins and Nature of Paper Money
  • Reverse Transubstantiations
  • The Limits of Paper Money
  • Moral Hazard and Public Debts
  • Moral Hazard, Hyperinflation, and Regulation
  • The Ethics of Paper Money

The Cultural and Spiritual Legacy of Fiat Inflation

  • Inflation Habits
  • Hyper-Centralized Government
  • Fiat Inflation and War
  • Inflation and Tyranny
  • Race to the Bottom in Monetary Organization
  • Business under Fiat Inflation
  • The Debt Yoke
  • Some Spiritual Casualties of Fiat Inflation
  • Suffocating the Flame

Part 3: Monetary Order and Monetary Systems

Monetary Order

  • The Natural Order of Money Production
  • Cartels of Credit-Money Producers

Fiat Monetary Systems in the Realm of the Nation-State

  • Toward National Paper-Money Producers: European Experiences
  • Toward National Paper-Money Producers: American Experiences
  • The Problem of the Foreign Exchanges

International Banking Systems, 1871–1971

  • The Classical Gold Standard
  • The Gold-Exchange Standard
  • The System of Bretton Woods
  • Appendix: IMF and World Bank after Bretton Woods

International Paper-Money Systems, 1971– ?

  • The Emergence of Paper-Money Standards
  • Paper-Money Merger: The Case of the Euro
  • The Dynamics of Multiple Paper-Money Standards
  • Dead End of the World Paper-Money Union


  • Two Concepts of Capitalism
  • Monetary Reform

Written By
More from Andy Duncan
Peter Schiff: Business as usual
In the first of two new video blogs, Peter Schiff discusses why:...
Read More
3 replies on “Jörg Guido Hülsmann: The Ethics of Money Production”
  1. Thanks for posting this brief overview of The Ethics of Money Production; Hülsmann is an excellent exponent of the Austrian School and more than repays time spent reading his work.

Comments are closed.