Mayer on Monetary Collapse
Bill Bonner's daily economic and financial commentary, The Daily Reckoning, features frequent Mises.org author Christopher Mayer (publisher of an economic-financial letter, Capital and Crisis) on monetary collapse (go to link then scroll about half way down.) Mayer takes an Austrian view on the manner that the boom and bust cycle is driven by the central bank, presents a brief history of central banking, and muses about what might have happened had central banks not developed along the lines that they had. (Bonner is the author of one of the more interesting and Austrian-oriented financial books in the last year; see Mark Thornton's review.) Also of interest last week from the DR is another piece on the housing bubble, In ARMS' Way. Mayer writes:
The central bank of today enjoys a prominent place in world finance that would have shocked even the early advocates of central banking. Smith notes, too, the irony that when laissez-faire thinking was at its apogee in other industries, banking was still carved out as a special business, even by otherwise ardent free-traders and thinkers. It was from the beginning given an exempt status, which the principles of free trade seemed unable to penetrate from a public policy point of view. This was one of the unfortunate turns of history, where one can only imagine what might have been had banking been able to develop along more natural lines.