Economics & Finance
I have collected a number of articles on the topics of finance and economics. They are a blend of ideas but I’m not sure I would approve of the texts from only a couple of years ago, as I always try to develop and improve, but they might nevertheless contain interesting reasoning. Some might be dated but none the less extremely relevant. I haven’t been allowed to publish things due to the nature of my professional life, put have published a number of articles under pen name as well. Enjoy!
[Jan 3 2013] Gold as Unit-of-Account
What unit-of-account are you using? Is it the best one or the one the tax man asks you to use? Here’s the free alternative. Article at SafeHaven.com.
[Jan 1 2013] Major Market Performances 2012
Here is a summary of the performances of the major stock markets and currencies for 2012. There definitely are some lessons for the future in there. Article at SafeHaven.com.
[Jan 1 2013] 10 Secrets About Economics
How many do you know? Article at SafeHaven.com.
[Dec 25 2012] Dear Fellow Gold Bug
The question whether the price of gold is high or low is rather misstated, or so I argue. Article at SafeHaven.com.
[Mar 16 2012] Warren Buffett vs. Real Cash
How well has Buffett really been doing? Article at SafeHaven.com.
[Mar 4 2012] Real Bills or 100% Reserves – A False Dichotomy?
How well has Buffett really been doing? Article at SafeHaven.com.
[7 Oct 2010] Why Gold?
Few people I know seem to have any idea what makes gold so special. Is it only a ‘barbarous relic’, as Keynes put it? Top story at LewRockwell.com and Mises.se. Available in Swedish as well – Varför guld?.
[13 Sept 2010] Monetary Freedom, Monetary Magic
What is needed for us to have real monetary freedom? Do we have to repeal legal tender laws? Abolish the central bank? Introduce a gold standard? Denationalize money à la Hayek? Or perhaps to introduce some other major policy change? Not really. We just have to use some magic, some monetary magic. Top story at LewRockwell.com.
[27 Aug 2010] Fiat Currencies – Is Legal Tender The Problem?
You often can hear people saying that legal tender is the essence of the problem with fiat currencies. But is that really the case? Time to learn more about legal tender and what the essence of the problem really is. Article at SafeHaven.com.
[28 July 2010] The Grossly Problematic Gross Domestic Product
There might be many other valid concerns about the concept of Gross Domestic Product, but the perhaps most acute one is that one particular component of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) remains on a net basis. ‘A fallacy of epic scale’, as a reader put it. Learn also of an alternative gross measure, including some real numbers and a new analytical tool as well as the explosion of a major popular myth. The results recently showed up in a Morgan Stanley report. Article at LewRockwell.com.
[2 July 2010] Stabilize Your Investment Portfolio
It’s a well-known fact that modern international investing involves a fair amount of volatility and risk. But it seems totally unknown that a lot of this volatility and risk comes from the unit-of-account you are using to record and monitor your investments. You could very well avoid this, thereby reducing volatility and risk. Here’s a basic do-it-yourself-guide. Article at LewRockwell.com.
[27 May 2010] (Hyper-)Deflation followed by (Hyper-)Inflation?
Here’s my tale on whether we will have inflation or deflation, hyperinflation or hyperdeflation. Article at SafeHaven.com.
[11 May 2010] Who Bailouts the Bailouter?
With a serious of bailouts, super-bailouts and mega-bailouts of big businesses and banks, the question is indeed relevant. Article at LewRockwell.com.
[18 Mar 2009] The Global Financial Crisis 101
With the GFC hitting at full force, few understand the impact on balance sheets of (1) unsound accounting practices and (2) serial halving of the rate of interest. Article at SafeHaven.com.
[14 Oct 2005] The Classical Monetary System – According to the German School of Monetary Freedom
A set of largely unknown Germans, writing under heavy Nazi censorship, still managed to put together some brilliant texts on monetary freedom, free banking and the way the montary system works. These Germans include Rittershausen, Beckerath, Zander and Zube. This introduction is a definite must read. Article at SafeHaven.com.
[Mar 2005] Deflation and Japan Revisited
With the radically different view on deflation of the Austrian School of economics, a new view of the Japanese so-called malaise emerges. Article in the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 8(1), Spring 2005,as well as in the Journal of Monetary Economics (ICFAI). Presented at the SDAE conference in San Antonio, Texas, November 21-23! Front page of Scandinavia’s largest daily business newspaper (text here).
Most downloaded working paper in Scandinavia May-September, 2003!
[Mar 2005] Subjectivism, Intrinsicism and Apriorism: Rand Among the Austrians?
Article in the ‘Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Volume 6, No. 2 – Spring 2005, the Centenary Symposium, Part II: Rand and the Austrians’. The article discusses the parallels between Rand and ideas on subjectivism, intrinsicism and apriorism among various adherents of the Austrian School of Economics. Hopefully, at least some parts are original and connections to Kant and philosophers like G.E. Moore and W.D. Ross definitely are. Other contributors to this issue of JARS are, among others, George Reisman, Walter Block, Peter J. Boettke, Steven Horwitz, Roderick T. Long, Larry J. Sechrest, Leland Yeager and Ed Younkins. For further details, see the JARS site. Also check out the review made by famous Bettina Bien Greaves.
[Jan 2005] Road Wear and the Kilometer Charge – A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis
Article in the Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, Volume 39, Part 1, January 2005, pp.53-74. JTEP probably is the foremost journal when it comes to transport economics.
[Jan 3 2005] Entrepreneurship and Self-Finance
Problems related to differences in individual judgement will always appear when financing entreprenuerial ventures by external sources (i.e. by banks, government, etc). Thus, there are strong theoretical reason for the empirical observation that self-financing matters. And there clearly are political obstacles to such self-financing. The argument was earlier put forward in an op-ed of almost a full page in Scandinavia’s largest daily business newspaper (text here in .pdf). Working paper at the Mises Institute and the Ratio Institute. Available in Swedish here.
[Oct 26 2004] Economic Freedom in Sweden 1950-2002
Paper presenting the ‘Swedish Economic Freedom Index 1950-1970’, an attempt to create an index comparable to the ‘Economic Freedom of the World Index’. Together the indices provide some interesting insights about changes in Economic freedom in Sweden 1950-2002. Available in Swedish here.
[Oct 2004] The Cost of Relying on the Wrong Power – Road Wear and the Importance of the Fourth Power Rule
Article in Transport Policy Vol 11 (4), October 2004, pp.345-353, discussing the costs of being wrong about one of the most famous rules when it comes to road wear.
[June 7 2004] Taxation and Domestic Free Trade
Tariffs vs. international free trade, and taxes vs. domestic free trade. The effects of taxes are in many ways worse than those of tariffs. Facing prohibitive tariffs, a country at least can trade freely within the borders, a possibility not open to the individual facing prohibitive taxes. The basis of all trade – the comparative advantage of the individual – vanishes with higher taxes. Mises Institute working paper.
[Apr 29 2004] Komparativa fördelar och arbetsdelningsvillkoret
Taxes make life especially hard for the the least productive. Paper in Swedish, published in the book ‘Skatter & värdighet’ (eds) Karlson, Johansson & Johnsson by The Ratio Institute. Here are the slides used when presenting the paper at the notorious Frihetsfronten on May 11 2004. Here are also the ASC10 from the presentation at the Austrian Scholars’s Conference (ASC10) in Auburn, Alabama, March 18-20, 2004. [No Download at the Moment]
[Jan 12 2004] On Ricardo and Free Trade
We all rely on our comparative advantages and it is these that then lend themselves to groups, companies, regions, countries etc, as Mises pointed out. The Ricardian principle is universal and still to be refuted. Mises Institute column.
[Dec 15 2003] The Fundamentals of a Falling Dollar
The dollar has fallen, no doubt, but so have probably all other fiat paper money. The exchange rates only measure the relative pace. After all, no fiat paper money has ever been known to maintain its value. Mises Institute column.
[Jul 7 2003] Rate Cuts and Profitability
Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Knut Wicksell and Ludwig von Mises seems to have shared the view that rate cuts are futile as a means of raising profits. Here’s why! The text gets more and more relevant each day. Mises Institute column. Available in French here.
[May 19 2003] The Liquidity Trap Myth
Japan seems not to have experienced a liquidity trap at all. In fact, the whole idea seems to be wrong. Here’s why! Greg Ransom of the Friedrich von Hayek Center writes: “The liquidity trap .. myth. Someone send Krugman a memo, “The evidence is conclusive-Japan hasn’t been caught in a liquidity trap”, so writes newly minted Ph.D in economics Richard Johnsson, who’s run the (Keynesian) numbers, decisively refuting Krugman’s favorite hobby-horse of the last 10 years (hobby-horse — a constructed child’s toy for playing pretend).” Mises Institute column. Available in Portuguese here.
[Mar-Jun 2003] “Austrian” subjectivism vs. Objectivism Part I and Part II
Discusses the relation between a subjective and an objective value theory. Originally appeared as a two part article in The Free Radical #55 (March-April 2003) and #56 (May-June 2003). The article also appeared in a book edited by Prof. E. Younkins called ‘Philosophers of Capitalism’, released during 2005. Other contributors include Tibor R. Machan, Larry J. Sechrest, Ricardo F. Crespo, Walter Block, Barry Smith, Chris Matthew Sciabarra, Douglas B. Rasmussen, Jeffrey M. Herbener, Murray N. Rothbard, Gloria Zuniga, Samuel Bostaph and Ed Younkins himself.
[Mar 6 2003] Transport Tax Policy Simulations and Satellite Accounting within a CGE Framework
Ph.D. Thesis, Department of Economics, University of Uppsala, Sweden, Economic Studies 71. Here’s a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model in action.
[Dec 12 2002] Why the GDP Shows No Bust, But GDR Does
Explains why the U.S. bust of 2001 doesn’t show up in GDP figures. By using an alternative gross measure, GDR, the severity of the bust becomes clearly visible, also in nominal terms. Mises Institute working paper. The results recently showed up in a Morgan Stanley report.
[Oct 3 2002] Fiduciary Media and Banking in Medieval Venice Revisited
Applies von Mises ideas on fractional reserve banking to the history of banking. The paper was accepted to the Austrian Scholars Conference 9, March 13-15, 2003. However, due to the unlimited powers of government – this of course being the greatest threat to peace and security of any kind – yet another war was imminent and I decided to stay at home. Mises Institute working paper.
[unpublished draft Dec 11, 2003] Alternativ till Bruttonettonationalprodukten (BNP) [in Swedish]
In national accounting, either you use a gross measure containing only gross terms, or a net measure containing only net terms. It seems there could be no justification whatsoever for the use of a measure that cointains a mix of net and gross terms. Yet, such a measure is almost all we here about – GDP. Paper in Swedish presenting an alternative, with Swedish figures for 1993-2000.
[unpublished draft] Gustav Cassel och köpkraftspariteten [in Swedish]
Discusses the origins of the term Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), of historical interest since it shows that Cassel, at least according to himself, was the first to use the term. This finding gave me a top grade with a ‘+’ on this graduate course paper, awarded by one leading expert on Cassel. I also discuss the meaning of the term.
[unpublished draft] Småhusbarometern under luppen – underliggande data säger mer
Short paper put online Sept 21 2003. Dissecting the Swedish real estate market data, as of August 2003, in turn causing Statistics Sweden to criticize me – they have now changed the data along my critique.
Nevertheless, the critique and the positive analysis are still very relevant.
[unpublished drafts] Amagi Småskrifserie 2002 [all in Swedish]
These 18 short pieces in Swedish were written largely for myself, to digest some new ideas that I had encountered. I have since then moved on and learnt more, even come to opposed some of the things I wrote. The tone is also a bit too intolerant – I was young back then. 😉 Some of the texts have appealed to both left and right, and on popular request I now put them back on-line. The .pdf-files are found below. Enjoy!
2002:1 Den felande länken, Del I
Shows what’s wrong with GDP and introduces the reader to GDR
2002:3 Nominell vs real vinst – effekten av inflation
Shows how an increasing money supply boosts nominal profits while real after-tax profits actually could be falling
2002:4 Konsument- och kapitalvaror; en utredning av begreppen
The logical distinction between consumption and production, as propounded by the Classical economists
2002:5 Den felande länken, Del III
2002:6 Den felande länken, Del IV
2002:7 Några neo-merkantilistiska fallgropar, Del I: växelkursteori
Discusses some common fallacies in relation to exchange rates
2002:8 Om spekulation
Discusses the significance of speculation
2002:9 Om kvantitetsteorin
Introducing a non-static and non-mathematical version of the quantity theory of money
2002:10 Riksbanken – Den vite riddaren eller ulven i fårakläder?
Discusses how we are made to believe that the Central Banks protects our currencies
2002:11 Ett ekonomiskt laboratorium
Introducing the concept of ‘invariable money’, from Ricardo to Reisman
2002:12 Prisbestämning och modern matematisk nationalekonomi – ett cirkelresonemang
Reveals one of Neo-Classical economics’ major cases of circular reasoning
2002:13 Om Say’s lag, Del I: Produktion skapar efterfrågan, inte vice versa
The perhaps most important proposition in economics, Say’s law
2002:14 Källorna till vinsterna i ekonomin, Del I, Nettokonsumtionen
Introducing George Reisman’s theory of profit and interest
2002:17 Den heliga tillväxten
Discusses the meaning and relevance of growth
2002:18 Den österrikiska konjunkturteorin – state-of-the-art
Introduces the Austrian business cycle theory