gold, bimetallism, silver, gold standard, bitcoin

When Bitcoin's price spiked in 2017, so did public mentions of the cryptocurrency, as measured by a Google n-gram plot. When William Jennings Bryan promoted bimetallism during his run for President in 1896, mentions of bimetallism similarly spiked. Noting this parallel, economist Robert Shiller compares the two…

fed independence, alternative currencies, fed, federal reserve, cato monetary conference

  From President Trump lobbing invectives against Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Twitter to progressives clamoring for the Federal Reserve to use monetary policy to finance social projects, our central bank's independence looks increasingly tenuous. Recently, Chairman Powell called for an internal "strategic review" of how…

Milton Friedman (1951, 1960) provided influential back-of-the-envelope estimates of the costs devoted to extracting gold under what he called a "strict" gold standard. I have criticized those estimates elsewhere (White 1999, pp. 42-48) for exaggerating the volume of gold reserves used by actual gold-standard economies, and thus…