Category Archives: Economics

Corruption & Inefficiency Under Fascism

Corruption and inefficiency are phenomena which we tend to associate with government. And yet, under a fascist system where many large business enjoy a cushy relationship with government, we should not be surprised to encounter the exact same phenomena in those ostensibly “private” companies Continue reading

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On the Origins of Money and Bitcoin

Recent textual analysis done on the original bitcoin whitepaper leads down interesting paths. At a minimum, it is strong evidence that significant parts of the writing in the whitepaper entitled bitcoin.pdf came from Nick Szabo’s keyboard. Moreover, it seems clear that Szabo was one of the key thinkers contributing CPU-time to what eventually evolved into today’s cryptocurrencies. Continue reading

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Why Street Vendors Matter

Street vendors are part of the fabric of Chinese life, and there is no indication that this is going to change. For consumers, they substantially enhance quality of life. For the street vendors themselves, it represents both their livelihood and independence. Easy access to self-employment (in the sense of a 个体户), i.e. the ability to freely sell, trade and provide one’s services, is a basic prerequisite for a functioning free market. Continue reading

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High Time Preference + Low Interest Rates = ?

Under a free market regime for money, higher time preferences would translate into higher real interest rates. By contrast, under the one-size-fits-all euro regime prices will tend to rise over-proportionally in areas with higher time preference, leading to decreased competitiveness. Continue reading

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Challenge: How to differentiate between fake and real motor oil

Regardless of the extent to which any market is regulated or self-regulating, smart consumers don’t suffer from the illusion that some amorphous government official is “protecting them”. They judge and decide for themselves. Do they prefer to pay less and accept that they might get “fake” goods? Or would they rather pay more to get a higher grade product, and if so, how do they make this judgment? Continue reading

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Time Preference & Currency Zones

Over the course of the last decade multiple countries across Europe gave up their individual currencies (and interest rate levels) and adopted a common one: the euro. Of these, the Mediterranean countries traditionally had higher interest rates and occasional currency … Continue reading

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All Markets Are Political

All markets are political in one way or another. Major stockholders manipulate the stock of companies they control. Investment funds and banks manipulate stocks and commodities in which they are investing. And governments are certainly tempted to manipulate almost everything, from equities to commodities and certainly their own currencies. Continue reading

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