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
    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%...

  • Blog
    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...

  • Blog
    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...

  • Blog
    Wrong solution to a misunderstood problem

    From today’s Open Europe news summary: Business Secretary says growth must take priority over deficit as Carney warns Brexit risks beginning to ‘crystallise’ Bank of England Governor Mark Carney yesterday warned that the financial risks of Brexit “have begun to crystallise” and relaxed rules on banking capital, with the aim of releasing as much...

  • Blog
    My letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer in defense of Brexit

    Dear Sirs: Trudy Rubin claims that “Brexit would be a huge step backward”, but she never explains why. Oh, she does correlate the growth of the EU regulatory state with the collapse of the Soviet Union, but this is not cause-and-effect. The Soviet Union collapsed because NATO stood guard over the Western democracies until...

  • Blog
    Puerto Rico needs better advisors

    Re: House passes bill to restructure Puerto Rico’s $70 billion debt The US House of Representatives has passed a bill to appoint a special commission to restructure and renegotiate Puerto Rico’s unsustainable debt. The hubris of Congress that it and its appointed commissioners have superior knowledge regarding public finance is farcical. It...

  • Blog
    Trade negotiations are not necessary

    From today’s Open Europe news summary: WTO chief warns of “complex and drawn-out” trade negotiations after Brexit Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of the WTO, has warned that it could take Britain decades to disentangle its trading relations with the EU and negotiate new ties with the rest of the world after Brexit. He told...

  • Blog
    Defending property rights cures the bathroom controversy

      The current tempest in a teapot among the “rights” advocates is that no one should be restricted from using the gender specific bathroom of his choice. The “rights” advocates want to use the police power of the state to ensure this outcome. The federal government has come down on the side...

  • Blog
    Another reason to get rid of the euro

    From today’s Open Europe news summary: European Commission considering new tools to prevent cash outflows from failing banks According to a document seen by the Financial Times, the European Commission is considering proposing a new ‘moratorium tool’ that would give national regulators the power to freeze payments to bondholders and potentially halt depositor...

  • Blog
    My response to an email blast by Roger Helmer, member of the European Parliament

    Per your recent email: “But the key point is that the UK is a massive importer (and net importer) of EU goods.  We will in fact be the EU’s largest export customer.  Bar none.  This is undesirable from a balance-of-payments point of view, but it gives us enormous negotiating clout.” Dear Roger, One...

  • Blog
    Is an increase in German exports a good thing for Germany?

    From today’s Open Europe news summary: German exports rise unexpectedly German exports rose by 1.9% month-on-month in March 2016, according to new data released by the National Statistics Office (Destatis) yesterday. It was the largest monthly increase in half a year, and came as a surprise to analysts who did not expect...

  • Blog
    Another step toward cash confiscation in Europe

    From today’s Open Europe news summary: ECB to halt production of €500 note, but it will retain its value The European Central Bank announced yesterday that it would stop printing the €500 note from the end of 2018 due to, “concerns that this banknote could facilitate illicit activities.” However, the bank confirmed...

  • Blog
    Draghi espouses the old “excess savings” nonsense

    From today’s Open Europe news summary: Draghi rebukes ECB German critics In a speech on Monday, the President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, delivered a blunt rebuke to German criticism of the ECB’s low interest rate policy saying “There is a temptation to conclude that…very low rates…are the problem… But...

  • Uncategorised
    Can rules prevent money printing?

    Two ways to increase money   Today’s fiat dollar is created by two methods. One, the central bank (The Fed) creates new money when it purchases an asset. This money is credited to someone’s bank account, a liability on some bank’s books, and is matched on the bank’s asset side by new...

  • Blog
    A proper rejoinder to an empty threat

    From yesterday’s Open Europe news summary: French Economy Minister: UK “won’t be in a position to negotiate something better” after Brexit French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron told an audience in London yesterday, “After a Brexit vote, you are not in a position to negotiate something better…Leave the club and you will be...

  • Blog
    German and Dutch objections to ECB QE are ignored

    From today’s Open Europe news summary: ECB Minutes show deep divisions over stimulus measures Minutes of the March meeting of the ECB governing council, released on yesterday reveal deep divisions amongst its members over the latest round of ECB stimulus. The Dutch and German members were fiercely against, The Financial Times reports,...

  • Blog
    My letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer re: The consumer always pays

    Dear Sirs: I have been following your reporting of Mayor Kenney’s proposed tax on sugary drinks. Please keep one thing in mind–consumers pay every tax; corporations merely collect it. Coca Cola and Pepsi must pass on the cost of any tax to the consumer or go out of business. Do not be confused with supposed “research”...

  • Blog
    Do what I say or I’ll shoot myself

    From today’s Open Europe news summary: Spain warns of consequences for Gibraltar if Britain votes for Brexit The Times reports that Spain may end its agreements with Gibraltar, and could even close the border if Britain votes to leave the EU. A Spanish official told the paper that “We do not see Britain...