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Same and different

The Great Depression in Britain versus the current slump

Great Depression (1929-31) Current (since 2008)
Length of contraction 6 quarters (1930Q2-1931Q3) 6 quarters (2008Q2-2009Q3)
Time to surpass previous peak output 4 years (1930Q1-1934Q1) 4 years plus (since 2008Q1)
Monetary policy Gold standard (to September 1931 trough), then floating Floating, with inflation target
Monetary authority Central bank (privately owned) Central bank (state-owned)

Sources: James Mitchell and Solomos Solomou, “Monthly GDP Estimates for Inter-War Britain” (working paper, 2011); U.K. Office for National Statistics.

Discuss among yourselves.

And now for something completely different. Having mentioned Ayn Rand in my previous post in connection to Paul Ryan, I direct your attention to a New York Times Magazine article last weekend about the influence of Friedrich Hayek on Ryan. The article describes Hayek as “largely ignored,” which is comical given that the staff writer on economics at The New Yorker — yes, The New Yorker — has described the 20th century as "the Hayek century."

Finally, for readers who may  be wondering what is the opposite of this blog, I give you a site I just came across today, the American Monetary Institute. Here is a description of some themes of its upcoming conference:

"What are these broad national parameters supported by over 3000 years of history? That the control of the money system must shift away from private control toward governmental control. Away from commodity money notions; away from fractional reserve banking – using debt for money. Towards money issued interest free by government and spent into circulation for the common good. All serious reformers understand that we must replace our private credit system with a government money system, ending what is known as fractional reserve banking."