FROM BOOM TO BUST – THE AUSTRIAN TAKE ON CYCLE THEORY

“It is not a matter of predicting the future, but of being prepared for it.”

~ Pericles

Dear Mountaineers:

It is with great pleasure that I present to you the first edition of Global Gold’s new publication, “The Clean Slate”, which will appear at different times throughout the year through Global Gold and the Mountain Vision updates.

The idea behind this publication is simple: we want to share with you the economic and sociological principles we believe in. We believe, for example, that every human being has the right to pursue happiness (in his own way) as long as he takes responsibility for his actions and doesn’t use force against others. Thomas Jefferson once said, “Educate the masses – they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.” In our view, today’s “one-size fits all” system, which is dominated and controlled by the government, isn’t actually what Thomas Jefferson meant!

Education in itself is essential, but the wrong kind can have disastrous effects. Sadly, the wrong kind of education has taken over when it comes to areas such as economics, finance and political science. It is fascinating to me how my 10-year-old son can sometimes grasp true economic principles and a PhD holder in economics simply can’t.

My son’s advantage? His clean slate! His mind is not preoccupied with trying to find elegant formulas to explain how the world would look under unrealistic assumptions. Instead, he sees the world as it is! This is why we chose the name “The Clean Slate” for our publication.

One of the most important aspects when it comes to understanding the economy is grasping the reasons behind economic cycles. We are therefore going to dedicate the first publication of The Clean Slate to the Austrian School’s Business Cycle Theory (ABCT).

Economies operate in cycles. They go through ‘booms’ and ‘busts’, ‘expansions’ and ‘recessions’, or what Ludwig von Mises described as the “wavelike” movement of the economy. Therefore, a ‘crisis’ should not come as a surprise.

Austrian School economists Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich A. Hayek argue that central banks don’t help in smoothing the amplitude of the cycles, but are actually the root cause of the business cycle and its adverse effects. While some may view that expansionary monetary policy can mitigate some of the adverse effects of a crisis, the Austrian School begs to differ. This position will become clearer in the course of this paper, as we apply the key arguments of ABCT on the major business cycles of the modern US economy. Finally, this will take us to the more striking question we ask ourselves today: Have we seen the end of it? Although Barack Obama believes that “we’ve cleared away the rubble from the financial crisis and begun to lay a new foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth”, this report will tell you otherwise.

In order to access the first Clean Slate Report, click here.

I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback. If you like what you read, please feel free to subscribe to Global Gold’s free newsletters and publications by going to www.globalgold.ch.

Yours Sincerely,

Claudio Grass
Managing Director, Global Gold

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