The Director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives gives an eye-opening, 200-year history of today’s most powerful economic institution.

This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief:

  • Better news in the jobless claims this week
  • A new bitcoin adoption cycle?
  • Checking on Lebanon

Our main conversation is with Dr. George Selgin.

Dr. Selgin is a Senior Fellow and director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives as well as Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Georgia.

In this eye-opening conversation, he and NLW go deep on the history, present and future of central banks, including:

  • Why the Scottish and Canadian banking systems in the 19th century show that central banks aren’t a prerequisite for stability
  • Why the U.S. “free banking” system wasn’t free at all
  • Why the instability in the late 19th century U.S. banking system was caused by regulation, not the lack of a Federal Reserve
  • Why the Fed’s first decades were a disaster
  • Why the Fed gets more power when it underperforms
  • The problems with the Fed’s response to 2008
  • What lessons the Fed could have learned (but didn’t) between the Great Financial Crisis and COVID-19

Find our guest online:

Website: Alt-M.org

Twitter: @GeorgeSelgin