The Greatest Danger to Bitcoin

The greatest danger to Bitcoin may come from its early adopters and advocates.

While the U.S. government and other governments around the world certainly have Bitcoin in their sights, one of the greatest dangers to the success of that digital currency will be from some of its early adopters and advocates.

Bitcoin news website CoinDesk recently posted an article discussing a video created by the Dutch bank ING, in which one of their economists proposed an “improvement” to the Bitcoin protocol consisting of an algorithm to match money supply with money demand.

Yellen’s Message to Congress

Janet Yellen testifies before the Senate Banking Committee during the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress.

Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen recently completed her semiannual round of testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee. As at most Congressional hearings, the testimony itself was largely a rehashing of previously-made statements and the real meaty responses were expected in the question and answer session.

But even at hearings as important as these, the questions themselves were largely uninspiring, many revolving around the same theme of “Madame Chairman, don’t you agree that if the Federal Reserve and/or the federal government don’t do what I or my political party want to do that the country will be ruined?” And because many of the questions didn’t specifically revolve around monetary policy, most of the answers didn’t either. Nevertheless, there were a few interesting observations.

Dallas Fed: Don’t Blame Us For Inflation

Reichsmark Hyperinflation

The regional Federal Reserve Banks in the United States perform a number of functions. They assist in the execution of monetary policy, are involved in supervision and regulation of banks, and publish research papers on economic topics. One recent paper published by the Dallas Fed that piqued our attention was entitled “Inflation Is Not Always and Everywhere a Monetary Phenomenon.” (PDF link) Given Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher’s reputation as one of the more hawkish Fed presidents with respect to the Fed’s monetary policy, why would the Dallas Fed publish this paper as their monthly economic newsletter?

Central Bankers for Financial Stability

Given the long history of governments and central bankers driving their currencies to destruction through relentless inflation, many people both within and without the Austrian School of Economics would view “Central Bankers for Financial Stability” if not as an outright joke, then at least as a prime candidate for the world’s smallest and most exclusive…

July 4th – A History

Declaration of Independence

While millions of Americans will spend today celebrating Independence Day, very few will realize how close this country came to losing the Revolutionary War. Nor will they realize that it was paper money that nearly caused that loss.

FedSpeak Translated

FedSpeak

Ever find yourself listening to a Federal Reserve Chairman and trying hard to keep your mind from drifting to something more interesting? Me neither. But while most of the media was trying to glean tidbits about upcoming monetary policy decisions from Chairman Yellen’s speech at the IMF, they missed some pretty important statements. Here are a few that I picked out and translated into everyday English to make them more accessible to the layman.

The Invisible Coup

Janet Yellen

Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen delivered a speech at the International Monetary Fund today, on the topic of “Monetary Policy and Financial Stability.” The speech’s topic is one which is not unusual for Washington nowadays, as financial stability seems to be mentioned during any discussion of the banking system. And given Chairman Yellen’s diminutive stature and colorless delivery, you can just imagine the IMF bureaucrats sitting in the room sneaking glimpses at yesterday’s World Cup highlights on their iPads as they struggled to stay awake for yet another boring speech. Yet behind that dry title lies a major policy shift that has gone largely unnoticed.