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…

cryptocurrencies, libra, currency alternatives, currency choice, currency competition

The French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, delivered a scathing rebuke to Libra, the Facebook-led digital currency initiative, in the Financial Times this morning. Coming on the heels of several U.S. companies' withdrawal from the initiative after they received threatening letters from Senators Sherrod Brown and Brian…

real bills doctrine, the fed, gold, timberlake, humphries, cato, milton friedman

The Cato Institute's newest book, Gold, the Real Bills Doctrine, and the Fed: Sources of Monetary Disorder, 1922–1938 is out now—and it's already getting rave reviews for challenging conventional wisdom on the Great Depression. In Gold, the Real Bills Doctrine, and the Fed, preeminent monetary historians Thomas…