Patrick Barron

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Patrick Barron is a consultant to the banking industry. He teaches Austrian school economics at the University of Iowa and Bank Managemant Simulation for the Graduate School of Banking, University of Wisconsin. Visit his blog. Send him mail.

  • Blog
    Free the Arctic!

    From the Sunday, August 27th New York Times: Russian Tanker Completes Arctic Passage Without Aid of Icebreakers A new Russian tanker with a reinforced hull has cut shipping time from Europe to Asia by thirty percent. One would think that such an event would be hailed by all who desire the betterment of all...

  • Blog
    The Real EU Aim in Brexit Talks and Why It Will Fail

    From today’s Open Europe news summary: German MEP says EU wants to punish UK in Brexit talks Writing in The Times, German MEP Hans-Olaf Henkel argues that the European Parliament Brexit negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt, and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, want to “punish” Britain in the Brexit talks. He adds,...

  • Blog
    Why Sound Money Does Not Need a Central Bank, Only the Rule of Law

    The money that all nations use today is composed either of reserves created by a central bank and/or credit money created by banks via fractional reserve banking. In the first case, a central bank can create reserve money via open market operations, whereby the central bank buys an asset–any asset–with reserves that...

  • Blog
    No Nation Can Harm Another Economically

    My recent Mises Daily Article titled Two Common Objections to Unilateral Free Trade drew some criticism that I would like to answer.   Unilateral free trade rewards the country that adopts it   Several commented that my use of the term “unilateral” negated my argument. They resurrected the argument that free trade...

  • Blog
    Two Unfounded Objections to Unilateral Free Trade

      Recently I forwarded to my circle of friends what I considered to be a concise and accurate argument in favor of unilateral free trade. The author was Professor Don Boudreaux of George Mason University, writing in his daily blog Cafehayek.com. He responded to Mr. Daniel Dimiccio, former CEO of Nucor Steel,...

  • Blog
    The true reason for the EU’s call to beef up financial regulation

    From today’s Open Europe news summary: European Commission considers beefing-up powers of pan-EU financial supervisors The Financial Times reports that the European Commission is considering plans to beef-up the powers of the three pan-EU financial supervisors, in a bid to address potential supervisory loopholes ahead of Brexit. Valdis Dombrovskis, a vice-president of...

  • Blog
    End Banks’ Exemption from Normal Commercial Law

    Mr. Burke asked me to respond to the article below about how banks engage in money creation. Like many such articles, the one by Mr. Werner seems almost designed to be confusing and obtuse. My short explanation attempts to inform the layman of what is actually happening; i.e., that banks are exempt...

  • Blog
    A Sensible Economic and Foreign Policy: Part II

    Part II:   A Sensible Foreign Policy: Mind Your Own Business and Set a Good Example   For the sake of peace and prosperity in the world, the US should take the true leadership role in proving to the world that free trade and non-interventionism are all that is required. In other...

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    A Sensible Economic and Foreign Policy: Part I

    Part I: A Sensible Economic Policy: Laissez Faire   The Misesean insight that all economics is based upon methodological individualism plus the no harm principle calls into question the raison d’ entre of the regulatory state, including legal tender laws; i.e., the mandatory and exclusive use of state produced and controlled money...

  • Blog
    Theresa May leads the singing of Kumbaya in Davos

      (Here’s my response to British Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Find the full text of her speech below my comments.) Oh, boy…where to start?… If May wants to promote free trade and globalization, then why not just declare unilateral free trade for...

  • Blog
    The statist view of the world

    From today’s Open Europe news summary: Meanwhile, The Guardian reported that Lodewijk Asscher, leader of the Dutch Labour party (PvdA), which is currently a partner in the ruling coalition government, has said “I propose to come to a new trade agreement with Great Britain, but only if we can agree firmly upon...

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    My letter to the NY Times re: Free Basic Income Is Not a Solution to Unemployment

    Re: Free Money for the Jobless Dear Sirs: Your article about Finland’s experiment in providing a free basic income to the unemployed fails to address the main question–what exactly is the cause of unemployment and what is the best way to eliminate it? The cause of unemployment is a change in the...

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    The Chimera of State Regulation of Health and Safety Standards

    Federal regulation of health and safety is based upon several illogical premises. Unfortunately these premises are never discussed. Instead we are bombarded with scare stories that business intends to make its profits with no consideration to the health of the public or the safety of its workers.   Illogical premise number one:...

  • Blog
    Germans favor a self-destructive policy

    From today’s Open Europe news summary: Majority of Germans want Merkel to take tough stance in Brexit negotiations A poll for the Körber Foundation reveals that 58% of Germans think Chancellor Angela Merkel should ‘negotiate tough’ with the UK while 40% say she should be ‘ready to compromise’. Within Merkel’s CDU party...

  • Blog
    Raising taxes is “tax harmonization”; lowering taxes is “Brutal Brexit”

    From today’s Open Europe news summary: European Commission plans corporate tax rule harmonisation The European Commission will announce plans today to harmonise corporation tax policy across the EU. The plans would not mandate a single tax rate across Europe, but would instead seek to “eliminate the mismatches and loopholes between national tax systems, which...

  • Blog
    Should the Fed Raise Interest Rates?

    For some time now the Fed has been hinting that it will moderate its interventions–monetizing government debt by printing money to buy government bonds and now quantitative easing by printing money to buy corporate bonds–in order to drive down the interest rate to unprecedented low levels. The Keynesian theory behind these interventions...

  • Blog
    Italy wants other European nations to pay its unemployment bills

    From today’s Open Europe news summary: Italy to propose Eurozone joint unemployment insurance scheme La Repubblica reports that Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan will later this month submit to his Eurozone counterparts a draft plan for a joint unemployment insurance scheme. Eurozone countries would contribute gradually to the tune of 0.5%...

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    There is no such thing as a negative interest rate

    We Austrian economists are used to having terms corrupted, misused and redefined by statists and others who love and advocate strong central control of money and power. The term “inflation” is a prime example. We Austrians refer to “inflation” as creating new fiat money–as in inflation of the money supply. This is...

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    A wonderful new book about Austrian economics for the layman

    Blind Robbery! How the Fed, Banks, and Government Steal Our Money by Andreas Marquart and Philipp Bagus Reviewed by Patrick Barron   The purpose of this book is nothing less than to foment a revolt against the economic and monetary status quo, which, if continued, will destroy civilization as we know it....

  • Blog
    The Real Lesson of Brexit

    The Real Lesson of Brexit by Patrick Barron   Following the surprise vote by the UK to leave the European Union, most commentators are trying to understand the rationale behind the British vote. Let me be a contrarian and ask, why does it matter? Undoubtedly there is no single reason that millions...