By Milton Friedman
Discusses the construction of price, explains the function of economic conception, and the current financial method of the USA. The island of stone funds -- The secret of cash -- The crime of 1873 -- A counterfactual workout : estimating the impression of continuous bimetallism after 1873 -- William Jennings Bryan and the cyanide strategy -- Bimetallism revisited -- FDR, silver, and China -- The reason and healing of inflation -- Chile and Israel : exact rules, contrary results -- financial coverage in a fiat global -- An epilogue Friedman makes transparent as soon as and for all that nobody is immune from financial economics-that is, from the consequences of its conception and its practices. He demonstrates via ancient occasions the mischief that may consequence from false impression the financial approach. Index
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Extra info for Money mischief : episodes in monetary history
Since both prices and nominal income will be rising at 10 percent a year, real income will be constant. Since the nominal quantity of money is also rising at 10 percent a year, it stays in a constant ratio to income—equal to 4⅓ weeks of income from the sale of services. Attaining this path requires two kinds of price increase: (1) a once-and-for-all rise of 20 percent, to reduce real balances to the level desired when it costs 10 cents per dollar per year to hold cash; (2) an indefinitely continued inflation at the rate of 10 percent per year, to keep real balances constant at the new level.
I personally experienced a remnant of the use of cigarettes as money in 1950, by which time monetary stability had been restored to Germany and the paper German mark was again the common medium of circulation. S. S. occupation authorities, I had to refill the gasoline tank of the "Quatre Che-vaux" (a small Renault car) that I was driving. As it happened, I had no marks with me, because I was to get an allotment of them when I arrived in Frankfurt. But I did have dollars, French francs, and British pounds.
In 1903 an American anthropologist named William Henry Furness III spent several months on the island and wrote a fascinating book about the habits and customs of its inhabitants. He was particularly impressed by the islanders' monetary system, and accordingly he gave his book the title I have given this chapter: The Island of Stone Money (1910). [A]s their island yields no metal, they have had recourse to stone; stone, on which labour in fetching and fashioning has been expended, is as truly a representation of labour as the mined and minted coins of civilisation.