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Cultural Consequences of Monetary Interventions

Jörg Guido Hülsmann

Abstract

Hayek and Keynes are usually perceived as antipodes in one of the grand macroeconomic debates of the twentieth century. But they also agreed on some basic issues of monetary theory, most notably on the harmful character of money hoarding and the desirability of a flexible money supply to offset or neutralise changes in the demand for money. In our paper we highlight some of the cultural implications of a permanent expansion of the money supply. We will focus on the specific case of credit expansion (ex nihilo creation of money through credit) which has held centre stage of the monetary evolution of the past two hundred years and, even more specifically, on credit expansion pushed to such an extent that it entails permanent price-inflation.

Resume

Hayek et Keynes sont communément perçus comme étant les antipodes d’un des grands débats macroéconomiques du 20e siècle. Cependant ils partageaient un certain nombre de convictions relatives à la théorie monétaire, telle sur les effets nocifs de la thésaurisation et sur les effets désirables d’une offre de monnaie flexible qui s’adapte à la demande de monnaie. Dans le présent article nous allons souligner quelques-unes des conséquences culturelles qui résultent d’une expansion permanente de l’offre de monnaie. Nous allons nous concentrer sur le cas spécifique de l’expansion du crédit, au centre de l’évolution monétaire des deux derniers siècles, et plus particulièrement encore, sur l’expansion du crédit poussée à un niveau tel qu’il en résulte une inflation-prix permanente.

JEL: B53; E31; E51; N10; Z13

Acknowledgments

The present paper is based on chapter X of Hülsmann (2013), translated by Ruth and Robert Grözinger. The author gratefully acknowledges comments from Pascal Salin, Alain Wolfelsperger, Daniel Pilisi, Bertrand Lemennicier, and Georges Lane.

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Published Online: 2016-6-30
Published in Print: 2016-7-1

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