Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Market Decline Will Lead To Pension Collapse, USD Devaluation, And NWO - Raymond_Matison
2.Uber’s Nightmare Has Just Started - Stephen_McBride
3.Stock Market Crash Black Swan Event Set Up Sept 12th? - Brad_Gudgeon
4.GDow Stock Market Trend Forecast Update - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Gold Significant Correction Has Started - Clive_Maund
6.British Pound GBP vs Brexit Chaos Timeline - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Cameco Crash, Uranium Sector Won’t Catch a break - Richard_Mills
8.Recession 2020 Forecast : The New Risks & New Profits Of A Grand Experiment - Dan_Amerman
9.Gold When Global Insanity Prevails - Michael Ballanger
10.UK General Election Forecast 2019 - Betting Market Odds - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
Tory Seats Forecast 2019 General Election Based on UK House Prices Momentum Analysis - 9th Dec 19
Top Tory Marginal Seats at Risk of Loss to Labour and Lib Dems - Election 2019 - 9th Dec 19
UK House Prices Momentum Tory Seats Forecast General Election 2019 - 8th Dec 19
Why Labour is Set to Lose Sheffield Seats at General Election 2019 - 8th Dec 19
Gold and Silver Opportunity Here Is As Good As It Gets - 8th Dec 19
High Yield Bond and Transports Signal Gold Buy Signal - 8th Dec 19
Gold & Silver Stocks Belie CoT Caution - 8th Dec 19
Will Labour Government Spending Bankrupt Britain? UK Debt and Deficits - 7th Dec 19
Lib Dem Fake Tory Election Leaflets - Sheffield Hallam General Election 2019 - 7th Dec 19
You Should Be Buying Gold Stocks Now - 6th Dec 19
The End of Apple Has Begun - 6th Dec 19
How Much Crude Oil Do You Unknowingly Eat? - 6th Dec 19
Labour vs Tory Manifesto Voter Bribes Impact on UK General Election Forecast - 6th Dec 19
Gold Price Forecast – Has the Recovery Finished? - 6th Dec 19
Precious Metals Ratio Charts - 6th Dec 19
Climate Emergency vs Labour Tree Felling Councils Reality - Sheffield General Election 2019 - 6th Dec 19
What Fake UK Unemployment Statistics Predict for General Election Result 2019 - 6th Dec 19
What UK CPI, RPI and REAL INFLATION Predict for General Election Result 2019 - 5th Dec 19
Supply Crunch Coming as Silver Miners Scale Back - 5th Dec 19
Gold Will Not Surpass Its 1980 Peak - 5th Dec 19
UK House Prices Most Accurate Predictor of UK General Elections - 2019 - 5th Dec 19
7 Year Cycles Can Be Powerful And Gold Just Started One - 5th Dec 19
Lib Dems Winning Election Leaflets War Against Labour - Sheffield Hallam 2019 - 5th Dec 19
Do you like to venture out? Test yourself and see what we propose for you - 5th Dec 19
Great Ways To Make Money Over Time - 5th Dec 19
Calculating Your Personal Cost If Stock, Bond and House Prices Return To Average - 4th Dec 19
Will Labour Government Plant More Tree's than Council's Like Sheffield Fell? - 4th Dec 19
What the UK Economy GDP Growth Rate Predicts for General Election 2019 - 4th Dec 19
Gold, Silver and Stock Market Big Picture: Seat Belts Tightened - 4th Dec 19
Online Presence: What You Need to Know About What Others Know About You - 4th Dec 19
New Company Tip: How To Turn Prospects into Customers with CRM Tech - 4th Dec 19
About To Relive The 2007 US Housing Market Real Estate Crash Again? - 3rd Dec 19
How Far Will Gold Reach Before the Upcoming Reversal? - 3rd Dec 19
Is The Current Stock Market Rally A True Valuation Rally or Euphoria? - 3rd Dec 19
Why Shale Oil Not Viable at $45WTI Anymore, OPEC Can Dictate Price Again - 3rd Dec 19
Lib Dem Election Dodgy Leaflets - Sheffield Hallam Battle General Election 2019 - 3rd Dec 19
Land Rover Discovery Sport Brake Pads Uneven Wear Dash Warning Message at 2mm Mark - 3rd Dec 19
The Rise and Evolution of Bitcoin - 3rd Dec 19
Virtual games and sport, which has one related to the other - 3rd Dec 19
The Narrative About Gold is Changing Again - 2nd Dec 19
Stock Market Liquidity & Volume Diminish – What Next? - 2nd Dec 19
A Complete Guide To Finding The Best CFD Broker - 2nd Dec 19
See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon - 2nd Dec 19
Will Lib Dems Win Sheffield Hallam From Labour? General Election 2019 - 2nd Dec 19
Stock Market Where Are We?  - 1st Dec 19
Will Labour's Insane Manifesto Spending Plans Bankrupt Britain? - 1st Dec 19
Labour vs Tory Manifesto Debt Fuelled Voter Bribes Impact on UK General Election - 30th Nov 19
Growing Inequality Unrest Threatens Mining Industry - 30th Nov 19
Conspiracy Theories Are Killing This Nation - 30th Nov 19
How to Clip a Budgies / Parakeets Wings, Cut / Trim Bird's Flight Feathers - 30th Nov 19
Hidden Failure of SIFI Banks - 29th Nov 19
Use the “Ferrari Pattern” to Predictably Make 431% with IPOs - 29th Nov 19
Tax-Loss Selling Drives Down Gold and Silver Junior Stock Prices - 29th Nov 19
We Are on the Brink of the Second Great Depression - 29th Nov 19
How to Spot REAL Amazon Black Friday Bargains and Avoid FAKE Sales - 29th Nov 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

UK House prices predicting general election result

The Second Austrian Monetary and Business Cycle Theory Revival

Economics / Economic Theory Mar 22, 2010 - 02:59 AM GMT

By: Joseph_T_Salerno

Economics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleJoseph T. Salerno and Jeffrey A. Tucker write: [This article is adapted from introductory remarks delivered by the first coauthor at the Austrian Scholars Conference, March 11–13, 2010, Auburn, Alabama. Both the oral remarks and the written article are joint products of both coauthors.]


When the first Austrian Scholars Conference was held in 1992, we were at the very beginning of the Great Bubble Economy, brought to you by Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke and their associates at the Fed. This shiny, bubbly "new economy" has finally gone the way of all bubble economies in history, deflating into stale dishwater and swirling slowly but surely down the recessionary drain. But it has left in its wake something truly amazing, something that never could have been foreseen: a second Austrian revival.

The first Austrian revival blossomed in 1974 as a result of the conjunction of two unique events. In June, a group of 30 Austrian economists and graduate students met in the tiny hamlet of South Royalton, Vermont. (Some participants still swear that the place was haunted, but that is a story for another day.) In October, Friedrich A. Hayek, a protégé of Ludwig von Mises and an eminent economist in his own right, was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his pathbreaking theoretical work on money, capital, and business cycles. But despite these events, Austrian economic theory did not leave much of an impression on mainstream economics. Nor did it make inroads into the economic journalism and financial commentary of the day.

Hayek and Murray N. Rothbard, Mises's preeminent American follower, were relegated to the "soft" areas of economics, like methodology, political economy, and social philosophy. True, some mainstream economists did admit that the Austrians had insightful criticisms of positivist methodology and that they made a provocative, albeit extreme, case against socialism and for the free-market economy. But Austrian economic theory itself was either completely ignored or dismissed out of hand as backward and outmoded. Thus many young Austrians soon abandoned research in technical economic theory altogether and drifted off into methodology and comparative economic systems, where they could at least get a hearing for their views. Unfortunately, the lofty theorists of the mainstream considered these areas the intellectual backwaters of economics, whose inhabitants were mere essayists.

"Recognizing the inability of their sophisticated models to predict or even explain the financial collapse and subsequent Great Recession, leading macroeconomic theorists of the day have lapsed back into raw and simplistic Keynesianism."

All that has now changed with the sudden implosion of the false prosperity that was built upon more than a decade of low interest rates and fiat-money inflation. Without a landmark conference or the fanfare of another Nobel Prize winner, a second Austrian revival has grown spontaneously out of the failure of mainstream macroeconomists to adequately explain the inflation and bursting of the high-tech and real-estate bubbles. The subsequent collapse and the Fed bailout and virtual nationalization of the entire financial sector also caught the macroeconomists completely unawares, overturning their theory of central banking and monetary-stabilization policy that had been so carefully developed in countless journal articles since the 1980s.

We can date the second Austrian revival almost precisely to the fall of 2008. From that point on, the use of online Austrian resources on Mises.org abruptly doubled from one year earlier, as investors, media commentators, and the public at large frantically sought answers from all quarters while witnessing one iconic financial institution after another topple into bankruptcy. In addition, the Austrians have benefitted from bestselling books, public figures who champion their cause, prominent financial experts who defend the Austrian point of view, new research tools made available via digital media, and a burst of new interest from a new generation.

But happily, unlike the first revival, the second revival of Austrian economics has focused on the economic theory of Mises, Hayek, and Rothbard. Paul Krugman and Brad DeLong, two prominent ultra-Keynesians, now felt compelled to learn about and try to refute the Austrian theory of the business cycle. Other macroeconomists such as Lee Ohanian of UCLA were inspired to reexamine the historical record and found that Rothbard was right about the causes of the severity of the Great Depression. In an article published in one of the leading mainstream theoretical journals, the Journal of Economic Theory, Ohanian concluded,

My analysis also provides a theory for why low nominal spending — deficient aggregate demand — generated such a large depression in the 1930s, but not in the early 1920s, which was a period of comparable deflation, but when industrial firms cut nominal wages considerably. In the absence of Hoover's program, my analysis indicates that the Depression would have been much less severe. The 1930s would have been a substantially better economic decade had the government not adopted programs that artificially raised real wages in industrial labor markets and prevented those markets from clearing.[1]

Recognizing the inability of their sophisticated models to predict or even explain the financial collapse and subsequent Great Recession, leading macroeconomic theorists of the day have lapsed back into raw and simplistic Keynesianism. They call for ever more fiscal and monetary stimulus via massive deficits and zero interest rates. These traditional stimulus policies have failed to ignite a strong recovery even though they were implemented on a massive scale.

But the manifest failure of such policies does not give their proponents pause; it only incites them to propose ever more bizarre schemes. One such proposal is inspired by the monetary crank Silvio Gesell, who Keynes once called a "strange, unduly neglected prophet." The modern version of Gesell's plan calls for a tax on the public's bank deposits and currency holdings as a means of driving nominal interest rates below zero and thereby stimulating total spending.[2]

"Fear the Boom and Bust" a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap…

The only coherent alternative to this antiquated Keynesianism and monetary crankism is Austrian monetary and business-cycle theory. It is the 1930s revisited. The dust has settled, and the wreckage of modern macroeconomics has been cleared, and once again the Hayekians face the Keynesians across the intellectual battlefield. Indeed this message has been brought home even to the layperson in the recent online Keynes–Hayek rap-video sensation, "Fear the Boom and Bust," produced by John Papola and Russ Roberts.

It is important to note that the renewal of interest in Austrian theory might have never occurred or quickly fizzled out if the resources had not been available to support it. These intellectual resources were provided by the Mises Institute, which almost singlehandedly kept the Austrian tradition in monetary and business-cycle analysis alive.

Examples abound. Rothbard's America's Great Depression was kept in print, and a second edition of his Mystery of Banking was brought out in 2008. Prices and Production and Other Works, a collection of Hayek's most important theoretical writings, many long out of print, was published in 2008. This was followed by A Tiger by the Tail in 2009, a compact collection of excerpts from Hayek's work, tailored to a popular audience. The Mises Institute also published fresh perspectives on Austrian macroeconomics, most notably Jesús Huerta de Soto's treatise on Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles, published in 2006 and, in a second edition, in 2009. In addition, the Mises Institute has made available online almost all the important works in Austrian economic theory that have been published since the founding of the school by Carl Menger in 1871.

The result of all this material and intellectual preparation is that the battle between the Austrians and Keynesians is likely to turn out very differently this time around. The Austrians are well armed with sound and true theoretical weapons that have been renewed and enhanced since the clashes of the 1930s. Keynesianism in all its variations has been repeatedly tried and found wanting. It has lost its tactical advantage: it is no longer new and never was true. Its intellectual leaders are in a state of disarray and confusion. The long run is at hand for Keynesianism, and it is ready to be interred.

So this year the Austrian Scholars Conference marks something very special. We gathered, not just to teach and learn from one another, but to set the agenda for the future of economic science.

Joseph Salerno is academic vice president of the Mises Institute, professor of economics at Pace University, and editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He has been interviewed in the Austrian Economics Newsletter and on Mises.org. Send him mail. See Joseph T. Salerno's article archives. Comment on the blog.

© 2010 Copyright Ludwig von Mises - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules