Was Neoliberalism Oversold?

Has economic freedom been oversold? That was the question asked (and ultimately answered) in a new paper by the research arm of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The agency is the international “central bank to central banks” which swoops in and provides cash to bail out entire nations – for a price, of course. That price has always been a little bit of austerity for the government and de-regulation all around.

The guiding philosophy goes by a handle which may seem off to many in the United States – Neoliberalism. It was a response to the failure of classical Liberalism, or reduction of state power in favor of free markets, which failed in the last Depression. This depression seems to have been about as kind to the general concept for many of the same reasons.

As always it’s worth talking about in the sense that we are again confronted with the possibility that “everything the experts know is wrong” – a feeling certainly stirred up elections throughout the developed world lately.

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World Currency

Another summer re-run, this one from 2012.  It’s still valid, if more than before, as Russia and other nations work to reduce the influence of the US Dollar.

Imagine a single currency, all around the world.  No more converting between Dollars and Euros and Pounds, the money in your wallet is your ticket to ride anywhere.

Sound like a fantasy?  Throughout history it’s been more or less the standard.  The coins from one era might come from Rome or Madrid or London or Beijing, but one accepted unit of exchange was the norm until very recently.  In many ways, the standard now comes from twelve Federal Reserve banks in paper form, printed with green ink.

But we’re a global society now, with total worldwide trade taking up nearly $8T of the global product of $52T.  Is it time for a new global currency that isn’t subject to the needs and politics of one nation?  More and more, the answer is “yes”.  But getting there, as with anything international, is the hard part.

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