commodity money, monetary policy primer, federal reserve, fiat money, alternative monetary policy, monetary alternatives

This primer is supposed to introduce readers to the workings of the present U.S. monetary system. So it's only natural that it should take established monetary arrangements for granted, including an official, "fiat" dollar currency managed by the Federal Reserve System. And while I haven't hesitated to…

lender of last resort, bank runs, panics, monetary primer

So far, throughout this primer, I've claimed that central banks have one overarching task to perform:  their job, I said, is to "regulate the overall availability of liquid assets, and through it the general course of spending, prices, and employment, in the economies they oversee." I've also…

Inflation Expectations, interest on reserves, interest rate targeting, natural rate of interest, QE

Having considered the Fed's pre-crisis approach to monetary control, with its emphasis on interest-rate targets reached with the help of open-market operations, we must now come to grips with the quite different methods it has been employing since, and how the switch to them came about. The…

asset bubbles, Great Recession, inflation targeting, monetary policy, NGDP targeting

In the first, 1922 edition of Money, his own now-classic primer on monetary economics, the great Dennis Robertson included a chapter he called "Money in the Great Muddle," about the blow World War I dealt to England's once (relatively) rock-solid monetary system, and to other monetary arrangements…