Some general and fundamental ideas may assist in benefiting (if possible) from the material here.
I -1. I See reality as composed of two components - categories -
a. the material, physical world of things and actions involving things that exist Outside the human mind- the realm of action - and
b. the imaginary world of ideas, thoughts, beliefs, theories, decisions that exist Inside the human mind - the realm of thought.
II - The articles and books discussed in this list include some that are descriptions of category 1, what exists exists now or narratives about the development of category 1 things and actions throughout history.
But by far most of them are denizens of category 2 - that is ideas and beliefs - and especially theories about category 1. I believe (my theory) is that it is important to recognize the differences and keep them separate since they require different methods to evaluate.
III - There are three sets of pairs into which both categories a and b may be compared:
- rulers vs ruled
- producers vs consumers
- debtors vs creditors.
These exist in category (1) material form and they also exist in category (2) ideas and theories about category 1.
And these ideas and theories have been the subject of disagreement and contention throughout history since they were first enunciated. (Actually, long before but we don't have written examples of those theories.)
This disagreement is the subject of this effort in which I have attempted to include at least examples of the writing of the major contending theoreticians.
And they 'contend', do not agree, about the relationships between the two 'sides' in each pair nor in the relationships between any combination of the pairs themselves.

So this is what the material here, should you choose to scan it, is all about.

These are some of my favorite books on political/economy and economic history. (I write 'favorite' meaning important, because I do not agree with some, most, or all of the theories proposed in them).
I term this 'political/economy' because many (or most) authors writing with focus on some economic issue such as money or banking or financial crisis, do so with their own political theories and objectives in mind.
I began assembling this list years ago and have been adding recent books to the list in no particular order. I realize it is a long list, so I have highlighted severalfor priority study. For some books I have written (or am now writing) a more detailed review - for these I have a link here with the little blue button. This is but a small fraction of the thousands of books and articles I have studied over 70 years from which I seek knowledge and at least derive opinions. A larger but still a limited list of books is in my library lists.
I believe these are essential for an understanding of contemporary political/economic conditions. Perhaps the comment will provide ideas for other choices. Some of the most important books are far down in the list now. Taken together, I believe these studies will show that the popular conception of a 'free market' is a myth, that there is always a tight inter-relationship between politics and economics and that the 'welfare state' originated by Bismarck for political purposes in Germany is now reaching its culmination in chaos and collapse.
In his excellent book, Basic Economics, Dr. Thomas Sowell opens with Lionel Robbins' definition of economics: "Economics is the study of the use of scarce resources which have alternative uses." He points out the key term 'scarce' which means that 'people want more than there is'. And this means that what there is must be allocated among the people according to some process.
My own definitions are: Economics is the non-coercive process of allocation of scarce resources in response to the desires of people (the ruled), while Politics is the coercive process of allocation of scarce resources in accordance of the desires of the rulers.

My other fundamental position is about the process rulers and ruled employ for taking action. Humans have ideas, strongly held ideas become beliefs, beliefs generate decisions, and decisions result in actions. So as Prof. Weaver noted Ideas have Consequences. To understand human actions one must understand the ideas that resulted in those actions. And one should recognize that the authors who present their ideas in the books discussed here are seeking to influence the readers' actions. As Dr. McCloskey termed the process in a different context, they are seeking THEIR OWN 'betterment'.

Dr. McCloskey in her three books on the Bourgeois uses the term 'betterment' to describe the universal human motivation on which they base decisions for actions hoped for or expected to better one's conditions or at least to decrease its opposite. However, academics focused on different narrow aspects of human behavior tend to equate 'betterment' with the aspect they study - for instance economists consider 'economic man' and students of politics focus on political activity:
Similarly with anthropologists and psychologists and sociologists. Naturally, academics - authors - don't consider that they also are motivated by what form of 'betterment' they actually seek.

I will continue to add more references, mainly focused on current economic events and concepts, but the literature is growing rapidly.` My problem is that the integration of the hundreds of new references really requires that I return to many of the older books and at least mention the relevance and relationships between the different new and old sources.
I will attempt to include also some especially relevant articles from the press. Virtually every issue of Barron's, The Economist, and the Wall Street Journal and Imprimiscontain essays and reports relevant to the current crisis - either explanations of what is happening or denials by establishment apologists that anything serious is coming. Likewise the free weekly reports and essays in the Internet by John Mauldin, the authors at Evergreen GaveKal, Danielle Booth, and at Donald Boudreau (cafeHayek) can be found via Google and subscribed. There is an outpouring of essays and articles from Hoover Institute, AEI, Mises Wire, CATO and many other organizations as well. I also include some Wikipedia entries that may expand background, such as bio's of important authors or definitions of economic terms.
For longer lists of books in the Xenophon library check here{short description of image} and here {short description of image}. I am develping another book list on political economy

I include authors from the various decidedly different 'schools' of economics who champion fundamentally conflicting theories about the essential bases of economic activity in the 'real world' such as the concepts about 'value', 'money', 'credit', 'debt', 'human motivation' , 'savings', 'capital', 'private property', and others.

I list Thomas Kuhn, Michael Polanyi and Karl Polanyi first in this list due to the influence of their broad concepts about knowledge and how new knowledge development has had on economic and political theory. Dr. Kuhn's theories , in particular are relevant because he developed the concept of a 'paradigm' as the reigning fundamental consensus theory (belief) of scientists who study a particular subject, and according to his definition there is no such 'paradigm' among economists.

There also are several of the relevant Great Courses lectures that I find worth while.

As an introduction I list some economic terms:
The description of these terms is taken, mostly, from their Wikipedia entries. These may be considered the 'standard or establishment' definitions. A search on duckduckgo for these terms will turn up many different links, but in general the Wikipedia entries are best. It is important to understand the common definitions because they are among the main concepts used by and argued over by economists. Much of the writing in the entries here are arguments over these subjects. For each entry the blue button is to a link either to the Wikipedia entry itself or to an extract with comment that I edited for convenient reading.

Political economy {short description of image}
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Geoeconomics {short description of image}
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Analytic Philosophy {short description of image}
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Decision Theory {short description of image}
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Deductive Reasoning {short description of image}
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Inductive reasoning {short description of image}
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Philosophy of economics {short description of image}
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Positive economics {short description of image}
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Normative economics {short description of image}
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Economic ideology {short description of image}
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Economic Systems {short description of image}
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Classical economics {short description of image}
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Macroeconomics {short description of image}
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Microeconomics {short description of image}
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Anarcho Capitalism{short description of image}
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Credit {short description of image}
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Credit theory of money{short description of image}
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Debt {short description of image}
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Debt theory of Money is same as Credit theory

Money {short description of image}
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Money Market {short description of image}
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Medium of exchange{short description of image}
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Unit of account {short description of image}
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Store of value {short description of image}
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Value {short description of image}
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Value theory {short description of image}
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Just price theory{short description of image}
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Velocity of money {short description of image}
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Seignorage{short description of image}
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Retained earnings {short description of image}
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Production{short description of image}
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Consumption{short description of image}
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Capital {short description of image}
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Interest {short description of image}
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Rent - economic rent{short description of image}
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Profit{short description of image}
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Inflation{short description of image}
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Deflation{short description of image}
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Debt deflation {short description of image}
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Market liquidity{short description of image}
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Liquidity preference {short description of image}
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Financial engineering {short description of image}
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Finance(al) capitalism {short description of image}
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Industrial capitalism {short description of image}
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Mercantilism{short description of image}
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Monetary economics {short description of image}
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Monetary policy{short description of image}
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Modern monetary theory - MMT{short description of image}
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Consumer theory {short description of image}
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Political choice theory {short description of image}
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Administrative state {short description of image}
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Welfare state {short description of image}
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Commodity money{short description of image}
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Fiat money {short description of image}
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Coin and currency {short description of image}
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Bank notes {short description of image}
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Banking{short description of image}
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Bank run{short description of image}
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Lender of last resort{short description of image}
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Digital money {short description of image}
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Representative money{short description of image}
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Praxeology{short description of image}
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Catillactics{short description of image}
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Ceteus Parabis {short description of image}
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Rentier {short description of image}
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Barter{short description of image}
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Chartalism {short description of image}
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Monatarism{short description of image}
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Metalism {short description of image}
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Game Theory{short description of image}
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Metodenstreit {short description of image}
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Thomas S. Kuhn{short description of image}

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Univ. of Chicago Press, 4th edition, 2012, 217 pgs., index, footnotes, paperback - with introduction by Ian Hacking

Intellectual history, history of science, knowledge

This book itself, along with Dr. Kuhn's lectures, created a revolution in scientific circles. He used the term 'paradigm' to mean the established fundamental conceptions that are practically 'givens' at a particular time or era within the scientific community. Once established the concept becomes the basis for any further investigations upon which scientists stake their claims. Thus, it becomes difficult to replace it even in the face of increasing deviation of new knowledge from the standard 'paradigm'. He chose 4 fundamental beliefs that were fought over for years or centuries.

I include the following two articles in which Dr. Kuhn's ideas and their influence are described.
My personal observation is that the continual conflict between the theories about economics used by professionals in that field indicates that there is and never has been a 'paradigm' in Kuhn's definition with respect to an 'approved' standard in economic theory. I consider them all to be 'secular theologians' as the wide divergences of thought in the example reference listed his indicates.

Thomas Kuhn

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Thomas Kuhn- bio

Wikipedia entry {short description of image}

Intellectual history, history of science, knowledge

An excellent brief biography and longer discussion of Kuhn's professional influence.

Thomas Kuhn

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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Wikipedia entry: about{short description of image}

Intellectual history, history of science, knowledge

A summary of the ideas in the book and longer discussion of its influence and criticism it generated.

Michael Polanyi -{short description of image}

Science, Faith and Society

Phoenix Books, Chicago, 1946, 1964, 96 pgs., paperback

Intellectual history, history of science, knowledge chemistry

This is the author's concept and description of how scientific investigation and discovery actually takes place. He compares theory with reality. He was influenced by Thomas Kuhn and other theoreticians, and also the reverse. The book should be studied along with Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Michael Polanyi {short description of image}

Michael Polanyi - bio

Wikipedia entry {short description of image}

Intellectual history, history of science, knowledge chemistry

He was the elder brother of Karl. His interests began in the physical sciences such as chemistry but like Thomas Kuhn expanded into thinking about the nature of science.

Karl Polanyi {short description of image}
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The Great Transformation; the political and economic origins of our time{short description of image}

Beacon Press, 1944, 312 pgs. index

Political and economic history in relation to intellectual history

The Wikipedia entry has much information on the author and book plus a link to an interesting review of the book and its contemporary influence. He is the author of many other influential articles that advocate changes.

J. B. Bury{short description of image}

The Idea of Progress: An Inquiry into its Origin and Growth

Dover Publications, N.Y. 1932-1955, 357 pgs., index, paperback

Intellectual history

Introduction by Charles Beard who writes "The world is largely ruled by ideas, true and false. " and "At all events an idea contains potential energy in no mystical sense." The author begins with discussion of Machiavelli and Bodin. He then contrasts ancient ideas about the course of history with modern ideas. His thesis is that the 'modern' idea of 'progress' in civilization rather than decay was revolutionary and critical for progress itself.

Thomas P. Neill

Makers of the Modern Mind

Bruce Publishing, Milwaukee, 1958, 420 pgs., index, paperback

Intellectual history

The author devotes chapters to 11 major 'thinkers' from Renaissance times to 20th century - Luther to Dewey

Books in Liberty Fund catalogue {short description of image}

Listing of books on liberty

Liberty Fund

Intellectual history - economics, politics


Joseph Schriber

Theories of Knowledge

Great Courses - Teaching Company, 2019, outline is 216 pgs.

Intellectual history, philosophy, psychology

An excellent series of lectures with printed courses outline and also a full transcript. The author examines an extensive list of theories and philosophies that attempt to find a 'solid' rational basis on which one can base the assumption that this is a fully valid source and method for claiming that what he believes he 'knows' is true. All of these are themselves either inadequate or at lest doubtful.

Scott P. Stevens

Mathematical Decision Making

Great Courses - Teaching Company, 2015, outline is 263 pgs.

Information theory, mathematics

This series of lectures with course outline and transcript describes the critical processes (with problems) that more and more are necessary to analyze any issue and find solutions

Tim Chartier

Big Data: How Data Analytics is Transforming the World

Great Courses, Teaching Company, 2014, outline is 179 pgs.

Information theory, computer science

The course describes the practical effects on all sorts of decisions from the application of computers today to analyze massive collections of data made possible by the increasing capacity to create such collections and to rapidly employ computers to reach conclusions that humans would require lengthy time to reach even it possible.

Talithea Williams

Learning Statistics concepts and Applications

Great Courses, Teaching Company, 2017, outline is 408 pgs.

Information theory, computer science

The lectures include practical examples and uses of computer language to provide the skills necessary to understand and apply statistical analysis to typical problems (issues) needing decisions.

Scott P Stevens

Games People Play: Game Theories, Life, Business and Beyond

Great Courses, Teaching Company, 2008, outline is 124 pgs.

Mathematics, Decision making - game theory

The course describes many different situations in which individuals employ analysis of a variety of methods for reaching decisions in competition in order to achieve their objectives.

Edward F. Stuart

Capitalism vs. Socialism

Great Courses, Teaching Company, 2018, transcript is 540 pgs., illustrations


This is 24 lectures comparing the two economic systems

Andrew R. Wilson

Masters of War: History's Greatest Strategic Thinkers

Great Courses, Teaching Company, 2012, transcript is 484 pgs. bibliography

Military History and theory

This is 24 lectures on Strategy and some of the published authors from Thucydides to the present, including Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, Napoleon, Jomini, Clausewitz, Mahan, Corbett and Mao Tse-tung

Robert Ardrey {short description of image}

African Genesis

Atheneum, N. Y., 1961, 380 pgs., index, bibliography, illustrations


Subtitle: A Personal Investigation into the Animal Origins and Nature of Man
This became both influential and controversial. The author sought to link the aggressive and social behavior of various animals with behavior of man. The author relied on the field work and written reports of others.

Robert Ardrey{short description of image}

The Territorial Imperative: A Personal Inquiry into the Animal Origins of Property and Nations

Dell, N.Y., 1966, 390 pgs., index, bibliography, illustrations, paper back


Ardrey expanded his concept in the effort to show that man's desire to control territory also has its basis in animal behavior.

Robert Ardrey{short description of image}

The Social Contract: A Personal Inquiry into the Evolutionary Sources of Order and Disorder

Atheneum, N.Y., 1970, 405 pgs., index, bibliography, illustrations


Ardrey again expanded his concepts, now in an effort to show that the organizational structure of society itself also is a result of evolutionary development from animal behavior. Note the book is dedicated to Jean Jacques Rousseau, one of the proponents of social contract. Today, with 'racism' being claimed everwhere the book might be banned.

Robert Ardrey{short description of image}

The Hunting Hypothesis: A Personal Conclusion Concerning the Evolutionary Nature of Man

Atheneum, N.Y., 1977, 244 index, bibliography, paper back


Ardrey brings his theories together and considers the impact of climate also on mankind's evolution from animal behavior.

David R. Henderson, editor, with multiple authors

The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics

Liberty Fund, Indianapolis, 2008, 637 pgs., index, large format, paperback


And a concise encyclopedia it is, with multiple entries by knowledgable authors.

Alex Epstein

Fossile Future

Portfolio Penguin, N. Y. 468 pgs., index, notes, graphs

Economics, Public policy

Tha author analyzes the contemporary 'experts' demand for drastic elimination of all fossile use to create energy claiming that the world faces a catastrophy from the 'climate change' (formerly global warming) due to increase in CO2 gas and other 'polutants'. He demoststates the falsity of that idea and instead claims that what is needed to continue raising human betterment is an increase in the use of fossile fuels.

David Henderson

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"The Assault on  Wealth"

Hoover Institute, in the Hoover Defining Ideas , Dec. 4, 2019 and reprinted in the Hoover Digest Spring 2020, Defining Ideas

Public policy,

In this short 8 page article the author discusses the current expanding political policy idea of government confiscating 'wealth' from the wealthiest Americans. He objects on both moral and economic grounds.

David R. Henderson

'Income Inequality isn't the Problem'

Hoover Institute February, 20, 2018

Economics, Public policy

The author gives an example based on the idea of 'good vs bad' inequality. But the example is really about 'good vs bad' Ways to achieve wealth inequality.

Joachim Klement{short description of image}

Geo-economics: The Interplay between Geopolitics, Economics and Investments,

CFA Institute Research Foundation, 2021, 290 pgs., Available on line as a PDF and as a e-book - many tables and graphs, bibliographies.


Economics, investments, Critical geo-economic issues.
See Peter Zeihan for more on geo-economics.

This is a much needed and very significant addition to the study of not only geo-economics itself but also of what are the critical issues facing investors in markets today. The author is correct in stating that not enough attention is paid to geo-economics by investment analysts and wealth managers. He organizes his descriptions, facts and conclusions extremely well. The table of contents here well describes the content.

Laurence M. Vance{short description of image}

"Myth of Just Price"

Mises Institute - Mises DailyArticles, 03/31/2008 - [The Lou Church Memorial Lecture in Religion and Economics at the 2008 Austrian Scholars Conference at the Mises Institute.

Philosophy, economics, interest rates

This is a typical libertarian concept written in polemical style. The author includes attacks on various other topics he considers related. He uses this topic as a vehicle for his attacks on religion, especially Catholic. He relies on and quotes Murray Rothbard.

Wikipedia entry{short description of image}
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"Just Price Theory"


philosophy, ethics, interest rates,

The just price is a theory of ethics in economics that attempts to set standards of fairness in transactions. With intellectual roots in ancient Greek philosophy, it was advanced by Thomas Aquinas based on an argument against usury, which in his time referred to the making of any rate of interest on loans. It gave rise to the contractual principle of laesio enormis.

Wikipedia entry{short description of image}

"Value Theory"


philosophy, ethics, economics

This contains a brief history of value theory mentioning various authors. It is a very interesting essay that should be read by economists and stockmarket investors. In the social sciences, value theory involves various approaches that examine how, why, and to what degree humans value things and whether the object or subject of valuing is a person, idea, object, or anything else. Within philosophy, it is also known as ethics or axiology.

Will Kenton{short description of image}

"What Is Value?"

Investopedia, June 17, 2020 What is value?

philosophy, economics, ethics

This is a standard economist definition of 'value' in its various uses in finance and investment. But it does not mention that 'value' is a subjective opinion of individuals based on many relative conditions in time and location and supply and the individuals' desire to have an item in relation to having the many other items then available.

Wikipedia{short description of image}
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"Store of Value"



This is the standard idea of the economics profession. But 'value' cannot be stored. "Value' exists only in the mind of individuals and varies accoding to time, place, relation to other available goods and services and the current desire of the individuals in society.

John Sloan{short description of image}

China Strategy

Various books

Current Chinese - CCP - strategy

This is a list of references to books and articles related to current CCP strategy, policy, goals and actions to achieve their 100 year plan to become the leading world hegemon by replacing the United States and EU.

John Sloan{short description of image}

Money Value

A list of references

history of money and "value"

In this essay I attempt to describe 'money' and 'value' in real terms and identify the most common fallacies one reads in the common literature. Also included is a lengthy, consoladated list of references on money, monetary history, banking, and monetary theory. Many ofthe references are also included as separate entries in this list.

Wikipedia{short description of image}
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economics, economic history

The article repeats the standard conceptions about the origin, use and value of money. The reader here should not believe all of this theory. It confuses 'money' as a metric for measurement of 'value' and the tokens used to record those values and to express values as an intermediate thing to record the value of assets being exchanged between buyers and sellers - or creditors and debtors.
Among the typical myths' expressed here is the theory of 'barter'.

Wikipedia {short description of image}
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"History of Money"


economic history,

This is an excellent description of the history of money that includes also the development of the various theories held by economists and others about not only its history but also the theories. The opening section is very correct in noting that: that: "Consequently, any story of how money first developed is mostly based on conjecture and logical inference. Indeed it is all deductive theory. Moreover, so much of writing about it today is simply retelling the story popular in the 18th century, before knowledge of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt was available. The article removes that absence.
Thus, the whole story about 'barter' exchange is a 'myth. Anthropologists have been striving for years to dissuade economists of their 'myth'. The authors of this essay describe the controversy and give due credit to the late anthropologist David Graeber for his efforts.

John H. Wood{short description of image}

Monetary Policy in Democracies

American Institute for Economic Research, Great Barrington, 2019, 99 pgs., end notes, bibliography, paperback

Economic history, monetary policy

The subtitle is Four Resumptions and the Great Depression. Resumptions means the central bank or government decides to reopen the 'gold window' to resume allowing holders of paper money (bank notes) to exchange that for gold. The four examples are: Great Britain 1821; U.S 1811-20; U.S. Civil War era 1862-79; Great Britain 1925 and the Depression chapter is about what the FED did and didn't do during that disaster. The important result of the four was that the exchange caused a deflation - depression.

Armen Alchian

Collected works Vol 1 - Choice and Cost under Uncertainty

Liberty Fund, Indianapolis, 2006, 829 pgs., index, tables, graphs, paperback


Armen Alchian has been called 'the economists' economist. He was professor at UCLS and trained a generation of noted economists. This is a collection of essays and articles

Armen Alchian

Collected works Vol 2 - Property Rights and Economic Behavior

Liberty Fund, Indianapolis, 2006, 760 pgs., index, paperback


Armen Alchian has been called 'the economists' economist. He was professor at UCLS and trained a generation of noted economists. Another collection of excellent essays.

Armen Alchian & William R. Allen

Exchange and Production: Competition, coordination & control - 3rd ed.

Wadsworth Pub., Belmont, Calif,, 1983, 475 pgs., index, tables, graphs, paperback

Economics text book

A terrific text book, complete with questions and discussion topics at the end of each chapter. The material is organized in a logical way that flows from basic issues to the complex. Unfortunately there is so much more he would have included if his book were to be published in 2015.

Armen Alchian & William R. Allen

Universal Economics

Liberty Fund, Indianapolis, 2018, 716 pgs., index,

Economics text book

Another terrific text book, complete with questions and discussion topics at the end of each chapter. The material is organized in a logical way that flows from basic issues to the complex. It is a continuation of Exchange and Production.

Armen Alchian {short description of image}

Armen Alchian - bio

Wikipedia entry

Very influential economist, author and professor or economics


Arnold Kling

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Specialization and Trade: A Re-introduction to Economics

Cato Institute, Wash. D.C., 2016, 208 pgs., index, paperback


A short but powerful examination of establishment economic theory that shows it is mostly wrong. Very easy read with explanations for everyone.

James Buchanan and Robert Tollison ed. {short description of image}

The Theory of Public Choice II

Univ of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 1984, 452 pgs., paperback

Economic, Politics,

A series of 25 essays by economists all relating to the concept of public choice - It is an effort by academic economists to find ways to use economic theory to substantiate what historians have known for centuries about the objectives, policies, and methods of rulers to achieve their own personal 'betterment'.

James Buchanan & Gordon Tullock

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The Calculus Of Consent

Univ of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 1962, 361 pgs., notes, paperback


Economic theory from an econometrican view-point

Sub-title: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy This is the efforts of two economists to develop economic theories based on their theory of 'social choice' to provide legitimacy of rule by democratic theory, especially with respect to establishing decision-making rules.

George Selgin and coauthors {short description of image}

Money Free and Unfree

Cato Institute, Washington D. C., 2017, 379 pgs., index, references, notes, figures, tables

Libertarian theories, Monetary policy, Banking, FED, Economic history

An excellent historical study of central banking, monetary policy and related political decisions with focus on the background for the financial crisis of 2008. But the author's adamant libertarian philosophy prevents him from understanding the origin and function of 'money' itself. Based as it is on deductive instead of inductive reasoning methods it fails. The author ignores the economic history of ancient societies.

George Selgin {short description of image}

"The Myth Of The Myth Of Barter"

Published by Ideas for Alternative Monetary future,March 15, 2016 - January 9, 2017. 11 pgs.

Libertarian theories, Monetary policy, Banking, FED, Economic history

This is a contentious attack of David Graeber's book - Debt by a libertarian Director of the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives at the Cato Institute. The controversy over the existence and claimed role of barter as the mechanism for exchange within societies is directly related to the theory of the origin of money, its creator, and its role in exchange of goods and services. From Adam Smith to Carl Menger to Ludwig von Mises to the present with Murray Rothbard, the presumption that exchange in primitive societies MUST have been conducted by direct barter (goods for goods) between two or more direct participants is presented as an obvious fact needing no examples as proof by those who want to claim that money was and is a gradual development by society itself - in other words the private sector.
The underlying political advocacy this effort seeks to justify is the libertarian abhorrence of 'big government' and presumption that everything in life can be accomplished by individual action without government 'interference'. This is the basis for all of Professor Selgin's articles.

George Selgin {short description of image}

"Graeber, Once More"

Ideas for a Alternative Monetary Future, 2016, 6 pgs.

Libertarian theories, Monetary policy, Banking, FED, Economic history

Prof. Selgin is simply Wrong - as always, he relies on Theory based on deductive reasoning rather than historical evidence. If one does not rely directly on the late Dr. Graeber then read the history of Mesopotamia and references such as Drs. Podany and Hudson (listed below)
This is a rejoinder attacking Graeber's response to Selgin's earlier article, "The Myth of the Myth of Barter, in The Alt-M. org publication, listed above.
Apparently this 'discussion' has been conducted via 'tweets'. These 'worthies' attack each other but do not provide specific historical factual examples to analyze with each other. Graeber relies (as he did in his book - Debt)on anthropology (his speciality) rather than documentary history. Selgin relies on theories expounded by Adam Smith, Menger, Jevons and similar economist theoreticians . But those well known economists did not and could not know anything about ancient Mesopotamia or Egypt because the documentary sources were not even found, let alone translated, for a century and more.

George Selgin {short description of image}

"MMT'S Big Coin Gambit'

Ideas for an Alternative Monetary Future, March 20, 2019, 10 pgs.

Libertarian theories, Monetary policy, Banking, FED, Economic history

The idea that the US Treasury could dispose of the Federal debt by minting a huge platinum coin has been mentioned by various authors such as Paul Krugman. Dr. Selgin mentions several. In this his libertarian philosophy serves him well.

George Selgin {short description of image}

" The Modern New Deal That's Too Good To Be True"

Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, CATO Institute, February 8, 2019, 4 pgs.

Libertarian theories, Monetary policy, Banking, FED, Economic history

Reviewer Comment:
Kelton is wrong (along with the rest of the MMT fans) but that does not make Selgin right.

Yes, we now receive this kind of remarkable mythology from accredited professors of economics. Heaven help today's students. It is no wonder that we have Representatives in Congress spouting off such nonsense as we receive from AOC.
In this brief note the author is replying to an op-ed by Stephanie Kelton that appeared in the Huffington Post and in turn to his own brief 'tweet' in which he noted that MMT is simply a 'naive' kind of Keynesianism. And that 'tweet' in turn has generated much condemnation by MMT fans. In this response he elaborates.
His main point is that Professor Kelton has no evidence on which to base her claims that today the massive spending fueled by massive 'printing' of more credit money required to fulfill even parts of the GND would not trigger inflation and economic dislocations. This is correct, but coming from someone who relies on deductive reasoning his pitch is ironic.

George Selgin {short description of image}


CATO Institute, Wash. DC., 2018, 205 pgs., index, references, Appendix, Paperback

Libertarian theories, Monetary policy, Banking, FED, Economic history

Subtitle: How a Misguided Fed Experiment Deepened and Prolonged the Great Recession, A libertarian view of what occurred and who was responsible. He may be correct, but largely for the wrong theories.

George Selgin {short description of image}

"Fractional Reserve Banking" Fractional reserve banking and Austrian Business cycles

Alt M

Libertarian theories, Monetary policy, Banking, FED, Economic history

This is has links to three parts of Dr. Selgin's essay on fractional reserve banking. His thesis is that 'fractional reserve banking' does not equate with the 'Austrian' school theory of the business cycle. Each of these article which appeared on the alternate money web site generated much comment. Professor Selgin replies to most of them. It seems to me that there is no real consensus about what 'money' itself is or is not - let alone what banking practices with respect to making loans on the basis of their deposits will do to the total money supply. And as far as I can see the discussion ignores the role of financial instruments such as CDO's. The discussions delve into what the most important 'Austrian school' doyens may or may not have believed - these included von Mises, Hayek, Rothbard and Manchup.

George Selgin {short description of image}

The Theory Of Free Banking: Money Supply Under Competitive Note Issue

Rowman & Littlefield and Cato Institute, 1988, 180 pgs., extensive bibliography, notes, graphs - .

Libertarian theories, Monetary policy, Banking, FED, Economic history

The key word in the title is "Theory".
It is available by free Internet down load from the Liberty Fund {short description of image} And the link to the PDF is adjacent. The book is a development of the author's Ph.D. dissertation. It is indeed 'theory'. In this he attempts to defend the theory and practice of free banking. That is a banking system formed by private banks that are all able to compete in issuing money certificates (bank notes). This is perhaps the opposite of a system controlled by a centralized monopoly (central bank) that alone can issue currency. This discussion is one of many that propose different concepts of what 'money' actually is, who creates it, what are its uses, and what form a banking system should take. In many general histories of the development (evolution) of 'money' throughout history one reads that when it comes to modern times the content changes into more of a discussion of banking. Dr. Selgin is a prolific writer advocating the libertarian view on all sorts of economic issues, especially money and banking in a highly polemic style.

George Selgin {short description of image}

"Mammon Dearest"

Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, CATO Institute, August 11, 2017, 5 pgs.


Libertarian theories, Monetary policy, Banking, F ED, Economic history

This is a republication in 2017 of Dr. Selgin's critique of David Graeber's book -Debt- and of Felix Martin's book - Money: The Unauthorized Biographyposted in 2014. For openers Selgin remarks that Graeber's book is so terrible that he is considering assigning a intern to compile a list of the economists who have praised it so that he can remember to refrain from taking them seriously.
Typical Selgin polemics and he is wrong about both of his targets.
Dr. Selgin describes Martin's writing style as 'good prose'. His book is full of fun stories about money. But, he writes: "Mr. Martin ends up exposing, not so much money's mysteries as his own incomprehension of it." He goes astray, first of all, in assuming that, because credit rather than barter came before money, money consists, not of any physical stuff, but solely of a more-or-less elaborate system of IOUs.
Whether credit came before money or not, there are many writers who define money as a system of IOU's.

George Selgin {short description of image}






Robert Murphy

{short description of image}

"The Origin of Money and its Value'

Mises Institute, Mises Daily Articles, 09/29/2003


Economics, money

This is standard Austrian School theory about 'money'. They pride themselves for their use of deductive reasoning that avoids study of historical facts in favor of developing theories. They elevate the theories developed by Menger into a gospel. The author, here, creates a 'strawman' that is easy to refute. But he assumes without evidence the 'myth of barter' created by Adam Smith which has become an accepted axiom for many economists

Robert Murphy

{short description of image}

"Four myths about Money that Ought to Die Forever'

This article is from the Mises Institute Daily Articles on May 19, 2021- Originally published February 28, 2006, as "What Money Isn't"

Economics, money

This is an account by Dr. Murphy similar to his article on the Origin of Money and Value. A central guiding concept for Austrian School economists. He replaces the 'myths' he wants to die with the standard 'Austrian' myths. As usual he conflates 'money' with currency, but most 'money' used as a medium of exchange is in the form of credit.

Charles Sellers and Henry May

{short description of image}

A Synopsis Of American History

Rand McNally Co., Chicago, 1963, 434 pgs., index, maps, further reading, chronological lists of events, paperback.

American history

There are a huge number of large histories of the United States, some text books fill two volumes - one pre Civil War and one Post Civil War - and courses in American History frequently are divided by a semester in each. The great detail is valuable for students, but can be overwhelming when wants to focus on a specific, significant issue. This synopsis provides a convenient source for such information. Re-reading American history one finds that many of the same issues that created considerable political and social conflict from colonial times are still at the center of conflicts today; such as the role of banks, nature of money, agricultural versus industrial special interests and rural versus urban interests..

Ian Morris {short description of image}

Why the West Rules - for Now

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, N.Y., 705 pgs., index, illustrations, bibliography, paperback

Economic History, Political History

The subtitle is The Patterns of History and What they Reveal about the Future. The author attempts to show when, where and why the rapid expansion of world standards of living - materialist economics.

Bernard Bailyn{short description of image}

The New England Merchants in the Seventeenth Century

Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1955, 249 pgs., index, endnotes

Economic History - American history

A very detailed study of actual economic practice naming individuals and events in the 17th century colonization of New England - shows major role of credit financing and government activity trying to improve the economic situation. Should dispel myths and confirm other theories.

Donald J. Boudreaux

Hypocrites & Half-wits

Free to Choose, 2012, 230 pgs., end notes, illustrations

Economics, politics,

A compendium of letters to editors from the author over the past decade or so. Biting and choice commentary on the perennial mistakes in basic economic theory and practice seen daily in the public square. Dr. Boudreaux's daily blog - Cafe Hayek is available, free, in the Internet.

Geoffrey Ingham{short description of image}

The Nature of Money

Polity, Cambridge U.K., 2004, 254 pgs., index, references, notes, paperback

Economic History, money

Very important analysis of the real nature of money in society throughout history. The author bases his analysis on sociology.

Jacob Goldstein{short description of image}

Money, The True Story of a Made-up Thing

Hachette Books, NY., 2020, 257 pgs., index, notes

Economic History, money

The author comes closer than any other I have read in explaining the real nature of money. His historical examples skip many centuries between ancient and 17th century eras. He sometimes mixes currency and credit. But he does claim that money is an idea.

Martin Armstrong

A Brief History of World Credit & Interest Rates

Armstrong Economics{short description of image}

Economic History, Credit, Money

An excellent study of money, credit, interest beginning with ancient Mesopotamia. There are 4 sections: 3000 B.C.- 500 A.D.. The Ancient Economy; 500 A.D. - 1690 A.D. The Fall of Rome to End Dark ages; 1690 - 1774 A.D. - The Dawn of Capitalism; 1775 - Present: The World Revolution
The author notes that the widespread use of credit even predated the forms of money that are commonly assumed.

Martin Armstrong

Armstrong Economics{short description of image}

Economics Politics, Current Events

The author publishes a 'blog' that includes comment and information on a wide range of current issues, especially the connections between economics and politics.

George Cooper {short description of image}

Money, Blood and Revolution

Hartman House, Hampshire, U.K., 2014, 204 pgs., index, bibliography, graphs

Economics, Politics, Current Events

Subtitle: How Darwin and the doctor of King Charles I could turn economics into a science. The author expands on his previous book, The Origin of Financial Crises, {short description of image}in which he claimed that the 'Efficient Market Theory' is a fallacy to claim that the entire economics profession (or most of it) is based on fallacy. In part I of this book the author selected several real scientists whose revolutionary theories completely altered human thinking. In part II he proposes that current diverse theories about economics are due to a 'paradigm shift', if only people would pay attention.
His point is that the current diversity of opinions about the central and fundamental theories about economics is a symptom of the field being in a chaos typical of a time in which its basic paradigm is in flux. He proposes to offer a new paradigm. He draws on Kuhn's observations about such shifts in the underlying paradigm that takes the place of a previous one as scientists reluctantly accept the evidence they can no longer refute.

George Cooper {short description of image}

The Origin Of Financial Crises

Vintage Books, New York, 2008, 194 pgs, index, appendix, paperback

Economics, Politics, Current Events

The book was written in 2008, at the depth of the financial crisis and resulting economic recession. There have been many books written by authors then and later in which they sought to explain the causes of the financial fiasco. The author has some interesting ideas and proposals based on his personal career in the finance industry. But his discussion of the history of 'money' is very much faulty and based on ideas of history he reads in secondary literature. He has published a new book (listed above) that expands on his theories.

Philip Coggan{short description of image}

Paper Promises

- Public Affairs NY., 2012, 302 pgs. index, notes, paperback

Economics, public policy, investment

Subtitle - Debt, Money and the New World Order - Another of the many books and articles on 'money' listed here.

John Sloan

{short description of image}

Dr. McClosky's books

Essay summarizing the three books

Economic History - philosophy, analysis of current political/economic ideas

Here is my personal effort to summarize the thoughts of Dr. McCloskey found in her three very large books on the critical role of the Bourgeoise in enabling and participating on the 'Industrial Revolution" or Revaluation or 'betterment' as she coins that term. I attempt to put the essence of her thesis into a broader context including concepts she does not state explicitly in the texts. The three books are listed here. My extensive comments are found at each link. Together, the three volumes comprise a very complex discussion of a very complex event (process) in world history and its continuation to today. I try to review and comment more explicitly below as well as in more detail with each volume. The author has three very different audiences (readers) in mind - the general public - her professional academic colleagues in economics and history - and public policy makers (rulers).

Deirdre McCloskey {short description of image}

The Bourgeois Virtues - Ethics for an Age of Commerce

Univ of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2006, 616 pgs., index, notes, bibliography, illustrations, paperback

Economic History - philosophy, analysis of current political/economic ideas

Volume 1 of three that advance the author's theory on the real causative factors for the unprecedented expansion of economic activity that resulted in huge increase in world-wide living standards. See also my consolidated comments on the three books together. {short description of image}

Deirdre McCloskey {short description of image}

Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics can't Explain the Modern World

Univ of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2010, 571 pgs., index, notes, bibliography, illustrations, paperback

Economic History - philosophy, analysis of current political/economic ideas

Volume 2 of three that advance the author's theory on the real causative factors for the unprecedented expansion of economic activity that resulted in huge increase in world-wide living standards.

Deirdre McCloskey{short description of image}

Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World

Univ of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2016, 787 pgs., index, notes, bibliography, illustrations

Economic History - philosophy, analysis of current political/economic ideas

Volume 3 of three that advance the author's theory on the real causative factors for the unprecedented expansion of economic activity that resulted in huge increase in world-wide living standards.

Deirdre McCloskey{short description of image}

"How Growth Happens"

Economic History Seminar Northwestern University Kellogg Global Hub, 3301 4:30-6:00, Thursday, November 29, 2018

Economic History - philosophy, analysis of current political/economic ideas

This is both a summary of her ideas expressed in the above trilogy and direct arguments with her contemporary professional academic economists. Her idea (theory) is that the critical change that enabled the massive increase in world wide living standards was the unleashing of 'liberalism' as a belief that enabled freeing of individual economic initiative. She discounts many alternative 'causes' proposed by other economists. Her concept is based on the role of 'belief' in decision making and execting resulting actions - good, but belief is in the imaginary world. To put the belief into paractice in the material world one needs change in that world - this was accomplished by the financial system of expanded credit.

Ray Dalio

{short description of image}

"Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises'

Bridgewater Westport Ct., 2018, 65 pgs., tables and graphs, available on line. This is the main text. The full book has many pages of appendices

Economics, Economic history

The main part of this extensive study of the causes and possible cures of national 'debt crises' is 66 pages long, the remainder is the historical examples included as annexes. He also describes his theory in a very interesting video available on Youtube. Of course my effort here is limited to a superficial summary of his ideas. I urge the readers to study his entire book, including the hundreds of pages devoted to detailed analysis of specific debt-credit cycles.
I want to point out that to me the term 'cycles' is misleading. The author, himself, notes that they are not actually cyclical - that is circular - but rather waves, They are described as such in The Great Wave, by David Fischer, although Fischer's 'waves' are much greater in both amplitude and lifetime than those that concern Mr. Dalio.

Ray Dalio

{short description of image}


Simon and Schuster 592 pgs.,

Reviewed by Burton Malkiel in Barron's November 13, 2017. He is mostly critical of the application Dalio uses of his 'principles' in his control of his 'hedge fund' Bridgewater.

Ray Dalio

'Why and How Capitalism Needs to be Reformed"

Bridgewater Associates



Ray Dalio

{short description of image}

The Changing World Order


Bridgewater Associates



Ray Dalio {short description of image}

"Time to Look More Carefully at " Policy 3 (MP3)" and "Modern Monetary theory (MMT)""

Bridgewater Associates, April 30, 2019, 17 pgs., tables, graphs,

Economic theory - money, politics

This is Ray Dalio's personal observations and analysis of the financial and general economic condition in the United States (and world) with specific consideration of the 'business cycle' - meaning cycles of 'boom and bust' related to changes in interest rates. He describes the role of monetary policy and fiscal policy both as partial causes and as potential sources for amelioration for the results. His basic idea is that these two policies (monetary being the tool of the Federal Reserve) and (fiscal being the tool of the Government) should be structured into a single, coordinated process that would dampen the booms and moderate the busts. This article is elaborated more fully in his massive book, Principles For Navigating Big Debt Crises. In both essays he provides a great amount of detailed description and analysis of historical examples. He names monetary policy as MP1 and fiscal policy as MP2 and his conception of the combined, coordinated application of the two together as MP3. His concern is the effects of the 'bust' phase and his recommendation is to institute his ideas during the 'boom' phase.

Ray Dalio

"Populism: The Phenomenon"

Bridgewater Daily Observations, March 22, 2017, 44 pgs., tables, graphs

Economics, politics

The essay is available on line but copyright. It contains an excellent result of the Bridgwater effort to create an comparison of recent manifestations on 'populism' in many countries. This is an excellent historical look on the origins and developments of populist movements, with focus on the current examples. However, the author considers them to be too current for analysis because they are still active and the full extent of their activities is yet to come. His idea is to compile in detail the history of the rise, development and full career of his prototype populists and from that create his archetype against he can compare the current examples. Using analysis of historical examples of his subject to create these archetypes is his usual method - for instance in his book on Big Debt Crises. He limits his list of examples to the 20th century except for two Americans, Andrew Jackson and William J. Bryan.

Peter Zeihan{short description of image}

The Accidental Super Power

Hachette Books, N.Y. 2014, 373 pgs., index, maps, tables, paperback

International relations, economics, geopolitics, demographics.

The first of this trilogy, Subtitle: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and The Coming Global Disorder. The author's thesis is that in comparison with the rest of the world the United States has the best fundamental sources of power in its demography, geography, and economic system. It is strongly based on dominance in energy production. These are all in the category 'Geo-economics'.

Peter Zeihan{short description of image}

The Absent Super Power

Zeihan Geopolitics, Austin Texas, 2016, 417 pgs., graphs, tables,

International relations, economics, geopolitics, demographics.

The second book in the trilogy. In this one the author continues with an expanded analysis of oil and gas production from Shale and correctly shows that the U.S. 'revolution' in such production has made it the world leading power. Based on this he predicts significant in international relations and increased competition.

Peter Zeihan{short description of image}

Disunited Nations

Harper Collins, N. Y. 2020, 453 pgs., index, graphs, maps

International relations, modern history, economics, geopolitics, demographics.

The final book in the trilogy. The subtitle: The Scramble for Power in an Ungoverned World. The author analyses the geopolitical status of major countries - US, China, UK, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, Iran, Turkey, and others and (building on his first two books) predicts that having become the world superpower in energy production the US will withdraw its protection of international commerce leaving the world in a chaos of power struggle. But, he did not consider the aggressive and preemptive strategy of the Chinese regime to attack the U.S. economy (especially energy production) and the internal American political power structure that gains wealth from the very international 'global - one world' regime and will fight to prevent the outcome that he predicts.
New president Biden will destroy the American shale oil industry. The central political objective of the globalist - one world - elite establishment is to oppose and prevent the very future that Zeihan describes.

Peter Zeihan

{short description of image},

The End of the World is Just Beginning

Harper Collins, N. Y. 2022, 497 pgs., index, graphs, maps

Geo-economics ,modern history, geopolitics, demographics, international relations

This volume builds on the prior three. The expanded thesis is that the era of attempts to expand 'globalization' 'one world ideas' - is ending and nations must rely on their own resources. Theauthor describes the resources, strengths and weaknesses of the major nations.


{short description of image}

A Crucible of Nations

Stratfor, Austin Texas, 2011, 122pgs, maps, tables, paperback

Geopolitics, modern history. demograpics

This is a practical use of geopolitics and geoeconomics to analyze the current situation in the TransCaucasus, that is Georgia, Armenia and Azerbajan in the wider context of Russian, Turkish and Irainian policy and influence.

Marin Katusa

{short description of image}

The Colder War


Geopolitics, Energy, economics

Subtitle: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America's Grasp

Marin Katusa

{short description of image}

The Rise of America

Katusa Research Pub.

Geopolitics, gold, investment, money

Subtitle: Remaking the World Order

Gregory R. Copley

{short description of image}

The Art of Victory

, Threshold Edition, Simon & Schuster, 2006, 328 pgs., index, bibliography, paperback

history- warfare - leadership -

Subtitle: Strategies for Personal Success and Global Survival in a Changing World

Gregory R. Copley

{short description of image}

The New Total War

, The International Strategic Studies Association, 2020, 316 pgs., index, bibliography, glossary, paperback

History, warfare, national security

Subtitle: And the Trigger of the Fear Pandemic

J. B. Say{short description of image}

Wikipedia entry- bio


Economic theory, classical economics

J. B. Say was a French economist considered one of the central theoreticians in the 'classical school' with Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Karl Marx. His theory was mostly accepted as central until it was denounced by Lord Keynes in the 1930's.

Say's Law

{short description of image}
{short description of image}

Say's Law - Wikipedia entry


Economic theory, Economic history

Reviewer's comment: The authors provide both a discussion of what Say's Law meant and a discussion of the history of the contentious arguments about what he meant and its validity in terms of what the commentators want to think he meant.

In classical economics, Say's law, or the law of markets, is the claim that the production of a product creates demand for another product by providing something of value which can be exchanged for that other product. So, production is the source of demand. In his principal work, A Treatise on Political Economy (Traité d'économie politique, 1803), Jean-Baptiste Say wrote: "A product is no sooner created, than it, from that instant, affords a market for other products to the full extent of its own value." Say's law has been another name for the law of markets ever since John Maynard Keynes used the term in the 1930s.

Steven Horowitz {short description of image}

Understanding Say's Law of markets

Published by the Foundation for Economic Education, January 1, 1997. {short description of image}

Economic theory, Economic history

J. B. Say was a French economists contemporary with Adam Smith and David Ricardo. He developed and advanced the 'classical school' of economists with his work on business cycles. He opposed Malthus. He wrote many ideas about economics and markets but his most well known theory was expressed with the phrase that supply will always find demand. There could be no general national excess of supply of goods because people's demand was infinite. This was opposed and then ignored by Lord Keynes and his Keynesian economics followers.
Professor writes an excellent refutation of Keynes' ideas.

Richard M. Salsman {short description of image}

'Say's Law Versus Keynesian Economics"

American Institute for economic Research entry

Economic theory

A brilliant refutation of Lord Keynes and description of what his false concepts have caused in public policy since. His line of reasoning is different from that of Horwitz. But he, unfortunately, mentions in passing a 'barter economy' myth) and mixes up ideas about what 'money' actually is. Read the full article.

Richard M. Salsman {short description of image}

"Gold and Liberty'

American Institute for Economic Research, Great Barrington, Mass., Economic Education Bulletin, Vol XXV No 4, April, 1995, 135 pgs, sources

Gold as the only 'real' money The libertarians seek 'liberty' but by deductive reasoning they think making only gold the basis for 'money' they would achieve liberty.

This is a 'libertarian' pitch promoting the concept that the only stable money is and always has been gold. The author also includes lengthy discussion of 'free banking': another basic libertarian policy desire.
I disagree with much of the historical issues, especially the role of barter, the extent to which gold has been a major currency (money) throughout history, and the actual economic results of the periods in the U.S. when 'free banking' was active. All these theorie are controversial. Some authors support one or another of the three ideas but not all three, while others reject all three. On pages 128 and 129 the author provides two graphs - the first depicts the purchasing power of the dollar from 1792 to 2000 and the second depicts the purchasing power of gold over the same period. They show that the increases and decreases of both are identical until 1933 (obviously because the two were priced in a fixed ratio to each other), but from then on the dollar as declined drastically while gold also decreased between 1933 and 1970's because the price of gold was fixed to that of the dollar, but the purchasing power of gold has increased dramatically from the date it was freed from the fixed price in dollars.
But the book does contain a very extensive and useful bibliography related to these subjects. I add a few references about these issues.

Economic discussion net {short description of image}

Say's Law of Market Explained

Published by Economic discussion net. {short description of image}

Economic theory, Economic history

This is a full discussion of Say's Law including the various mistakes about what it actually means that many commentators have made.

Steven Kates -

{short description of image}

Why Your Grandfather's Economics Was Better than Yours: On the Catastrophic Disappearance of Say's Law

Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics13, No 4 Winter 2010, Mises Institute, 32 pgs., {short description of image}

Economic theory, Economic history

This is the text of an address Mr. Kates delivered to the Austrian Scholar's Conference at the Ludwig von Mises Institute on 13 March 2010. His theme is to refute Keynes' refusal to believe in J. B. Say's 'law of markets'. And he repeats a comment of von Mises that Keynes' entire economic theory is based on his concept of the importance of demand (lack of enough leading to recession). He discusses several other fallacies and simple refusals to believe what classical economists had believed for over a century. This is a very important article. As the author notes, practically the entire economist profession simply follows Keynes in his fundamental errors. And this is especially a dangerous fallacy on which so many FED economists base monetary policy.

Ludwig von Mises{short description of image}

-Lord Keynes and Say's Law

Mises Institute, Mises Daily Articles, Feb. 3, 2018, 6 pgs., plus reader comments, The article is available on line from{short description of image}

Economic theory, Economic history

This is a reprint of an essay von Mises wrote in the 1950's. The article is relevant today because supporters of Lord Keynes continue to challenge the validity of Say's Law. For an 'establishment' discussion of Say's Law today go to the Wikipedia entry. {short description of image}In fact many economics text books today devote considerable attention to 'refuting' Say. The reason Say's Law is attacked (or totally ignored) today is that his theory opposes the demands of politicians now who advocate expansion of money via credit. Establishment economists today relay on politicians to fund their existence. In this short essay, as in so many other full books, von Mises excoriates such economists.

Charles and Louis-Vincent Gave {short description of image}

Clash of Empires: Currencies and Power in a Multipolar World

GaveKal Books, 2019, 43 pgs., graphs

Geo-economics, politics,

The book is about the contest between the United States and China for hegemony. The conflict is being waged in finance and economy. The authors focus on money and banking. A conclusion: "The world seems to be dividing into three distinct monetary zones: A European zone and American zone and an Asian zone. Their investment advice is to buy Asian equities and 'high-yielding bond markets in this Asian zone including a core position in 10-year Chinese government bonds. I disagree first off with their concept and definition of 'money' confusing it with currency (and possibly credit). And I would not enhance Chinese military power by providing the capital they sorely need to execute their global geostrategy.
See Pillsbury and Wood books below in this list.

Louis Vincent Gave{short description of image}

New World Order will have China on Top

Barron's June 17, 2019, pgs. 16-17 - Edited interview by Leslie Norton

Geopolitics, China future

Louis-Vincent Gave is one of the most astute economics and world political scene analysts. He is based in Hong Kong and has detailed information from Chinese sources on the real economic and political situation in the country. His new book, written with Charles Gave, is titled: Clash of Empires: Currencies and Power in a Multipolar World. His view expressed in the book is summarized in this interview. He recognizes that the Chinese rulers are seeking to become a world power. His view about the coming economic power of China corresponds to that of Jonathan Ward, Martin Jacques and Michael Pillsbury.

Charles Gave{short description of image}

Velocity in Asset Allocation

GK Research, October 22, 2013, 9 pgs., graphics,

Economic theory, finance and markets

A very clear description discussing the idea that money circulates in an economy based on the standard economists' theory about the relation of 'money' to economic activity as expressed in Fischer's formula MV=PQ. The author claims that M is a dependent variable in this tautology. He includes 11 vivid graphs that purport to demonstrate the results of this 'velocity', actually they depict relationships between his GVI and market variables.
I disagree with the concept that 'money' circulates. What the author provides in this article is his history of how he created a surrogate he uses to assist in predicting future market moves and some of the results he has obtained. That is an excellent idea. So his graphs actually depict changes in market variables in relation to his personal surrogate rather than of 'velocity' itself.

Charles Gave{short description of image}

"The Velocity Of Money In The Time Of Covid-19"

GaveKal Research, The DailyFeb. 26, 2020, 2 pgs. diagram

Economic theory especially about the nature of money and how it is measured today.

The fundamental problem for nearly everyone is the conceptual way they compare the 'value' of a unit of 'money' say a dollar versus the 'value' of a thing (material or immaterial) in the exchange. They think of the 'value' of the thing in terms of 'money'. But they should think of the 'value of 'money' in terms of things. For instance, people think how many dollars I need to buy a pan - but they should be thinking how many pans can I buy for a dollar. "Money" itself is an abstract concept - it was developed when it became necessary to quantify the different 'values' of debts and things being created and exchanged. Initially it was expressed only in ledgers showing credits and debts in which it was necessary to have a uniform set in terms of quantities of value for different things such as grain versus labor days versus houses versus beer, etc. It was a measure of account but NOT a medium of exchange in markets- that function was performed by clay balls.
First among the 'debts' were physical transgressions such as personal injuries. Thus the quantity of debt=credit is created and destroyed when a cause is created and dissolved when the cause is satisfied. Money represents a standard quantification of the amount of the debt=credit outstanding - which means the value of the transactions NOT completed.






Louis-Vincent Gave

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The Knowledge Revolution And Its Consequences

Evergreen GaveKal, EVA, December 13, 2019

Current economic situation and its impact on investing.

As the title indicates, the author's subject is to link the 'knowledge revolution', which he takes for granted, with its likely social-political, cultural consequences. And his final effort is to assess the result of all this for investments. For this he cites a few historical examples. This appears to be a simple, straight forward piece, but do count on Louis-Vincent Gave for some remarkable surprises.

Vincent Deluard {short description of image}

From the New Normal to the New Crazy

This is a commentary on the excellent essay by Mr. Deluard in the September 16, 2016 issue of the weekly GaveKal newsletter

banking, financial systems, economics

The subject is the current and potential impact on the economy of the massive Treasury- FED - commercial banking system expansion of credit the value of which is denominated in dollars. This essay is both the conversation between David Hay and Vincent Deluard and my comments about their ideas.

Vincent Deluard {short description of image}

Italy's Monetary Lunatics Have Interesting Ideas - Subtitle: but no one will listen to them,

The European View, May, 2018, 5 pgs., This is a private publication from INIT FCStone Financial Inc. It is not for distribution.

Current economic events and policy in Europe

The author, Vincent Deluard, presents excellent analysis of his subject, the financial ideas of two Italian "populist" academics on Italian public debt. They are Mr. Di Maio and Mr. Savini. Apparently they are well known to Deluard's readers as is the venue in which they proposed the ideas under review. I believe he is correct both in describing their ideas as interesting (even worthwhile) and that they will be ignored. He notes that their two main ideas are controversial. Read on to see why. They are meant to apply to Italy's government debt in the European context, but they apply to the United States as well, which is the point of my comments here.

David Hay{short description of image}

Bubble - List Of Articles -use link to see the list - further links to the original articles are forthcoming.

Evergreen GaveKal EVA{short description of image}

Economics, Investments, banking and credit creation of money

David Hay plans to compile these individual essays into a book. The series, as is seen below, has been expanding for two years. The articles are published on Fridays as part of the weekly Evergreen reports on various subjects of current investment - financial - interest. All the weekly EVAs are valuable - they are accompanied by a table showing the asset classes and types that Evergreen classifies as 'likes' neutral and 'dislikes'. But this expanding series is focused on the central monetary - financial - fiscal - environment of our time, which determines the future success and failure of the American economy and of individual investors. This is the unprecedented simultaneous combination of 'depression-level interest rates, boom- time level of equity prices and graveyard-level volatility readings'. A view expressed by (in my opinion) the most important author in Barron's - James Grant.

David Hay

Bubble 3.0


This is an eagerly awaited new book in which David Hay consolidated his ideas from his many weekly articles.

Walter Bagehot {short description of image}
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Lombard Street

Wikipedia entry and recent edition of the book

Economic history, banking, monetary policy,

This was a very influential book by the editor of the Economist who also was a practicing banker. It is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Lombard Street in London was the venue of the banking and financial industry and received its name from the Italian - Lombards - who were the principle money lenders there during the late Middle Ages.
The book is now available from Amazon and other sellers .

James Grant{short description of image}

Bagehot: The Life and Times of the Greatest Victorian

W. W. Norton &Co., N.Y., 2019, 334 pgs., index, notes, bibliography, illustrations

Biography, economic, cultural and intellectual history

Walter Bagehot was a local banker, an editor of Economist, a confidant of Prime Ministers, an author of one of the most influential (still today) books on monetary policy and central banking - Lombard street. His biography does indeed encompass the Victorian era in Great Britain. The author is fully qualified to write this wide-scope portrait of not only its individual subject but also the details of monetary policy and central banking in the central hub of the world's financial system in mid-19th century.

Perry Mehrling

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The New Lombard Street, How the FED Became the Dealer of Last Resort

Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, 2011, 174 pgs,. index, references, notes

Economics, Finance, investments, public policy

The author takes his title from Walter Bagehot's book and compares Bagehot's recommendations about a central bank role as 'lender of last resort in the 19th century to today. This is a history of money and credit with application to discussion of the financial crisis of 2008

Nomi Prins

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Bold Type Press, N.Y., 2018, 35 pgs., index, notes, paperback

Federal Reserve, central banks, finance, market panics, money supply

This is a devastating expose of the personal motivations, manipulations and colusions in which the world central bankers and finance ministers have engaged while leading the world economy into financial crises.

Thorsten Polliet

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"Central Banks are Propping up stock Prices"

Mises Institute, Mises wire, April 11, 2019, 4 pgs.

Finance, economics, pubic policy, central banks

A libertarian view of the current actions of the FED. No doubt true. The questions are: "How long can this continue? and what will happen when it ends?"
Dr. Polleit questions the actual effectiveness of central bank monetary policy in which the investors in the financial markets show great confidence. He asks the question: "What is the actual relation between the interest rate and asset prices, stock prices in particular?" To answer he proposes to examine the "Gordon Growth Model" which 'shows the functional relation between a firm's stock priceand its profit level. the interest rate, and thefirm's profit growth rate."

Thorsten Polliet

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"Central Banks are Messing with Your Head"

Mises Institute - Mises Wire, March, 21, 2019, 4 pgs, at

Finance, economics, central banks, monetary policy

The author correctly describes the adverse and ultimately unsustainable results of modern governments' financial policies. But he places blame on the causes and results on central banks and fiat money. The real culprit is governments themselves. The central banks are merely the executors of faulty government policy and action. And it is not 'fiat' money itself but the persistnt govenment policy of creating more and more of it in the form of credit and then exchanging that for the real goods and services produced by the private sector, leaving less of that for the public to obtain. It is a major method for the transfer of wealth from producers to non-productive consumers.

Thorsten Polliet

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"Methodenstreit - why Carl Menger was, and is, right"

Presented at the SpringConference Research on Money in the Economy (ROME) Frankfurt, 20, MAY 2011 *FRANKFURT SCHOOL OF FINANCE & MANAGEMENT

Economic theory, the split in German economists between the Franfurt and Austrian "Schools"

Carl Menger (1840 – 1921), in his Untersuchungen über die Methode der Sozialwissenschaften und der politischen Ökonomie insbesondere (1883) refuted the methodology of the Younger Historical School. ?
His Investigations led to the Methodenstreit, the battle of method: It pitted the emerging Austrian School against the Historical School over a critically impor-tant question: what is the proper way to do social sci-ence??Menger explained that there are economic laws in the sense of “exact laws of reality”, and that the method of historical research was unable to discover these laws. ? Example of an “exact laws of reality”: A rise (decline) in the amount of money (in the economy) necessarily leads to a fall (rise) in the purchasing power of a money unit (compared to a situation in which the money sup-ply had remained unchanged). ? Mises (1984 [1969], p. 12) saw the Methodenstreit being about episte-mology: “The term Methodenstreit is, of course, misleading. For the issue was not to discover the most appropriate procedure for the treatment of the problems commonly considered as economic problems. The matter in dispute was essentially whether there could be such a thing as a science, other than history, dealing with aspects of human action.

Thorsten Polliet

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"The FED Has no Choice but to Return to Ultra-low Interest Rates"

Mises Institute, Mises wire, June 4, 2019, pgs.

Central banks , monetary policy, economic theory, public policy

This is another libertarian view. Dr. Pollett points out that the current boom is built mostly on credit. Yes, the government is exchanging mostly credit rather than currency for what it receives plus what it gives to its pensioners and to its voter supporters in welfare. The process is through the FED and commercial banking system which then expand the volume of money in the market by making loans. He writes: "The artificial increase in the supply of credit pushes market interest rates downwards - that is, below the levels that would prevail had there been no artificial increase in bank credit supply." He supplies excellent graphs to illustrate the financial results.
In pointing out that the FED 'has no choice' does not mean that Dr Polleit approves, he disaproves - his point isthat the FED has created its own problem.

David Chambers & Elroy Dimson, eds.

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Financial Market History

CFA institute Research Foundation, Univ. of Cambridge, 2016, 279 pgs, notes, bibliography, graphs, paperback

Monetary history, financial analysis, economics, central banks, interest, debt, credit, investment, bubbles, risk.

Subtitle: Reflections on the Past for Investors Today, This is a collection of essays by 22 financial academic schollars.

P. W. Singer & Emerson T. Brooking {short description of image}

Like War: The Weaponization of Social Media

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, N.Y. 2018, 405 pgs., index, extensive notes

Technology, politics, information war,

The book could not be more timely, given the expanding information war the authors describe.
The authors have conducted extensive research including interviewing many significant experts. The theme is that a huge, unlimited, amount of information about individuals, events, organizations, virtually everything; is now contained in the trillions of entries in the Internet. And it is all interconnected and available for anyone who knows how to use the right tools, The result was initially that individuals were able to find, collect, and analyze this massive stream of information to reveal government and private organizations' malfeasance and attack governments creating revolutions. But governments learned about this and are employing their own massive resources to block the creation and spread of information they don't like. Hence the 'war' between exposure and concealment of information.
Everyone is now exposed and is a participant in this war, whether they like it or not.

Anatole Kaletsky{short description of image}

Capitalism 4.0

Public Affairs, NY., 2011, 422 pgs., index, bibliography, paperback

Economics, politics, current events

The author describes 'capitalism' as an organic creature that evolves and reorganizes itself to suit external and internal conditions and circumstances as if it were alive seeking self preservation. Actually, it is an abstract concept and today's version of that concept far exceeded its original idea. He selects certain events that took place and dominant economic theories that were popular at times to identify stages in this evolution, which he divides into three major eras, each with several subdivisions beginning in the late 18th century with Adam Smith. All this is background leading up to his major theory that the world is now entering into a fourth and very distinct new phase of 'capitalism' brought about by the financial crisis of 2008-09, which, he believes, occurred due to a failure of stage three capitalism. This theoretical method greatly downplays the influence on events of the human actors responsible..


Frederic Bastiat

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Economic Sophisms

Cosmo Classics, N.Y., 2012, original published in English translation in 1873, 235 pgs., paperback

Economics, Public Policy

A classic exposee of socialist and all bureaucratic thinking and policies. The author creates dialogue between a proponent of official French economic policy and a liberal who shows these are based on sophisms. Unfortunately, most of these are still the basis of much public policy today.

Frederic Bastiat

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The Law

Foundation for Economic Education, Irvington-on-Hudson, N. Y. 1962, 75 pgs., paperback

Economics, Public Policy

Classic study and exposee of Socialism published in 1850 by great French economist and politician

Frederic Bastiat

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That Which Is Seen & That Which is Not Seen: The Unintended Consequences of Government Spending

The Waking Lion Press, 2006, West Valley City, Utah, 47 pgs., paperback

Economics, Public Policy

Another classic study and exposee of Socialism published great French economist and politician

Frederic Bastiat

The Law: Power, Liberty, and the Proper Role of Government

The Waking Lion Press, 2006, West Valley City, Utah, 40 pgs., paperback

Economics, Public Policy

Classic study and expose of Socialism published in 1850 by great French economist and politician

George Reisman

Marxism/socialism, A Sociopathic Philosophy, Conceived In Gross Error and Ignorance, Culminating in Economic Chaos, Enslavement, Terror and Mass Murder

TJS Books, Laguna Hills, California, 2018, end notes, paperback

Economics, Public Policy

The title describes the content and view point of the author. It is a summary of the thought contained in the authors major book, Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics.

Ziad K. Abdelnour{short description of image}

Economic Warfare

John Wiley & Sons, N.Y., 2012, index, notes,

Economics, politics, public policy

The subtitle is: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics. The 'economic warfare' the author describes in the internal conflict between 'progressives' Marxist revolutionaries and conservative - liberals. The former are determined to overthrow the American political- economic system and redistribute both wealth and power to their self-considered expert elite.

Roger D. Blackwill & Jennier Harris{short description of image}

War by Other Means: Geoeconomics and Statecraft

Harvard Univ. Press, 2016, 36 pgs., index, end notes

Economics, politics, international relations, Geoeconomics, foreign policy

The authors acknowledge the importance of the military component of national power, but believe that American strategy in recent decades has not given a sufficient role to "the systematic use of economic instruments to accomplish geopolitical objectives'. They point out that Russia and China 'and others now routinely look to geoeconomic means, often as a first resort, and often to undermine American power and influence."

Alain Bresson

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The Making of the Ancient Greek Economy

Princeton Univ. Press, 2016, 619 pgs, index, bibliography, notes, maps, table,

Economic history, Greek History

Subtitle: Institutions, Markets, and Growth in the Citi-states. This is a hugely important book since it is a study of what is left out of both Greek contemporary histories and most modern accounts as well, namely the the economic activity.

Peter Temin

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The Roman Market Economy

Princeton Univ. Press, 2013, 299 pgs., index, references, paperback

Economic history, Roman History

Dr. Temin describes the Early Imperial Roman Economy, as much different from that described in Michael Hudson's accounts.

Amanda H. Podany

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Brotherhood Of Kings

Oxford Univ. press, 2010, index, bibliography, notes, illustrations, maps, time line, list of personalities, recommended reading, paperback

Political history in ancient Mesopotamia, 'international' relations, diplomacy, family relations.

Subtitle - How International Relations Shaped The Ancient Near East, The book reveals a fascinating and (I believe) well know to scholars but little known to the general reader 'trade'. This is the highly organized 'gift giving' conducted by the 'brotherhood' of kings - especially among the 'high kings' that is 3 or 4 or sometimes 5 rulers of the major powers; Egypt, Mittani, Babylonia, Assyria, and Hatti. Dr. Podany's book is based on the surprisingly large troves of cuneiform tablets found mostly in various royal palaces or even private homes. She describes the real economy not the 'myth of barter'.

Amanda H. Podany {short description of image}

Ancient Mesopotamia

The Teaching Company, Chantilly, VA. 2018, 524 pgs., illustrations, bibliography -also DVD of lectures -


Ancient Mesopotamia history, society, economy, political system, law, economy

Subtitle: Life in the Cradle of Civilization, It comprises 24 lectures and the 24 chapter transcript. It is based on the most current results of expanding knowledge about ancient Mesopotamia gleaned from many thousands of cuneiform tablets and physical evidence from numerous sites, plus related information from Ancient Egypt. The content includes all aspects of personal, individual, family, and public life. Of special interest is the description of economic activity, trade, gift giving, credit money, financing enterprises and trade for many centuries before the invention of coinage.

Marfio Attilio Levi

Political Power in the Ancient World





Pittrim A. Sorokin & Walter A. Lunden

Power and Morality




R. G. J. Siu

The Craft of Power




Michael Hudson{short description of image}

... and forgive them their debts.

Islet verlag, Dresden, 2018, 311 pgs., index, huge bibliography, illustrations, paperback

Economics, public policy, economic history, the ancient Mesopotamian economy and the role of debt.

The subtitle: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption From the Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year. This a 'polemic' but nevertheless well researched historical study of the role of debt and its political results in ancient societies of the Middle East - Mesopotamia and Israel. The author seeks to relate the periodic abolishment of debt by rulers to advocacy of private debt today. But there is a big difference. The debt canceled by ancient rulers was that of private debtors to rulers - easy to do and important for the rulers themselves. Today the largest debt is that of rulers to the private sector. The opposite group would suffer the consequences.
The author is a student of ancient economies. Read also Podany on Mesopotamia.

Michael Hudson & Marc Van De Mieroop, eds.

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Debt and Economic Renewal in the Ancient Near East

CDL, Bethesda, MD. 2002, 355 pgs., bibliographies, notes, This is Vol. III from the Institute for the Study of Long-term Economic Trends and the International Scholars Conference on Ancient near Eastern Economics - A colloquium held at Columbia Univ. Nov, 1998.

Economic history - ancient history,

This is one of the excellent contributions of Michael Hudson to the understanding of economics, trade, money, credit, debt in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. It contains 12 entries authored by participants in the colloquium. Several of these are very detailed descriptions based on primary sources in the cuneiform documents found in various archeological sites in Mesopotamia. This was a highly focused meeting and resulting book. Another study that refutes 'barter' and considers 'credit' instead.

Michael Hudson{short description of image}

'The Archeology of Money'

Chapter 5 in Credit and State Theories of Money - Edward Elgar Pub. Cheltenham, U.K., 2004,

Ancient Mesopotamia, money, debt, banking, trade

Subtitle: Debt versus Barter Theories of Money's Origins - An excellent refutation of the 'myth' of barter made popular by Adam Smith and simply assumed to have existed. See Graeber for more.

Michael Hudson{short description of image}

Finance as Warfare

College Publications, UK., 2015, 151 pgs., notes, references, paperback

Economics, public policy, finance, money, credit, debt

The author states his thesis thusly: "The financial sector has the same objective as military conquest: to gain control of land and basic infrastructure, and collect tribute." But he considers this 'finance sector' as being separate from government when actually it can be and is an arm of government. It is one of the 'commanding heights' that government controls. Today Mr. Bill Gates is the largest land owner in the US and he seeks to control government policy.

Michael Hudson{short description of image}

A Travesty Of Financial History Which Bank Lobbyists Will Applaud

New Economic Perspectives. org, 15 July, 2016,


This article is an excellent refutation of the early history of money presented in William Goetzmann's book Money Changes Everything - How Finance made Civilization Possible,Princeton Univ. Press, 2016.
But more, it is also a refutation of the standard theory of many otherwise different 'schools' of economic theory that persist in believing that 'barter' was actually the method of market exchange prior to the invention of coined currency.
Professor Hudson has done extensive personal research into ancient economies, especially Mesopotamia and written extensively on the subject. He has specially focused on money, credit, debt, finance and trade in Near Eastern societies. Professor Goetzmann's book received rave reviews from main stream news publications and from many establishment economists. The theme of the book is that the developing financial industry was a major engine in expanding civilization. But Professor Hudson cites authoritative experts on Mesopotamia to show that Professor Goetzmann ignores and or misinterprets the contemporary documents which reveal the true roles of money, credit, debt, and political authorities in Mesopotamian trade. Then Dr. Goetzmann also ignores the fundamental changes from Mesopotamian civilization to that of Greece and Rome.

Michael Hudson

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Finance Capitalism and its Discontents

ISLET, Dresden, 2012, 275 pgs., paperback

Economics, politics, finance,

This is a collection of Dr. Hudson's interviews and speeches in which he advocates for fundamental changes in the U.S. financial and political/economy situation today. In these he makes clear his beliefs and motivation for the other books included here.


Michael Hudson

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'Financial Capitalism v. Industrial Capitalism'

Contribution to The Other Canon Conference on Production Capitalism vs. Financial Capitalism Oslo, September 3-4, 1998.

Economics, public policy,

This is one of an excellent series on 'financial capitalism'. Dr. Hudson in all his writing focuses on 'debt' rather than 'credit' Banks do not Issue debt but credit. The consumers need and use credit because they have not produced (created) enough to enter into the market by exchanging their production for that which they are buying. Debt is a promise to produce (create) something tangible to complete the exchange that will extinguish the 'credit'. In earlier market economies credit was extinguished, it did not add to the money supply. Dr. Hudson in his other books or articles also contrasts 'debt' in the ancient Mesopotamian societies with 'debt today. He recognizes, but does not then analyze the difference, that the in those ancient societies the workers owed the 'debt' to the ruler while today it is the rulers who owe the debt to the workers.

Michael Hudson

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Wikipedia entry extract

Economics, economic history, public policy

Michael Hudson, as these entries indicate, is a very significant and important current economist. He is a Marxist but disagrees with the majority of typical Marxists. He has devoted years to the study of ancient Mesopotamian and Egyptian economic history and has drawn conclusions about the origins of 'money' credit', 'debt' and how these functioned in ancient societies. Unfortunately in his publications he apparently has ignored a fellow Marxist dissident, Karl Wittfogel, who published Oriental Despotism in 1957 in which he reached similar conclusions about the same economic subjects in ancient societies but very different ideas about the societies' political structure - namely despotisms. (see Wittfogel in this list)

Michael Hudson & Baruch Levine eds.

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Privatization in the Ancient Near East and Classical World

Peabody Museum Bulletin 5 Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard Univ., 1996, 308 pgs.,

Economic history, Economics, Archeology,

This is a collection of the presentations by 9 expert participants in a colloquium focused on study and publication of economic aspects of ancient Middle Eastern societies (Mesopotamia) and to a lesser degree classical Greece and Rome

Michael Hudson

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Finance Capitalism vs. Industrial Capitalism




Michael Hudson

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Removing the Debt Barrier to Economic Growth




Michael Hudson

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America's neo-liberal Financialization




Michael Hudson{short description of image}

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The Bubble and Beyond Killing the Host

ISLET, Dresden, 2012, 533 pgs., index, many graphs tables and charts, paperback

Public policy, Economic history, Economic theory, Politics

Subtitle: Fictitious Capital, Debt Deflation, and the Global Crisis

Michael Hudson

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Finance Capitalism VS. Industrial Capitalism

The article is based on Chapter 1 of Cold War 20 The Geopolitical Economics of Finance Capitalism vs. Industrial Capitalism, Dresden, ISLET, January 27, 2021

Economics, economic history, public policy

Reviewer comment:
This is obviously a Marxist approach to the conflict the author identifies between the 18th 19th century original Industrial Capitalism and the later successor of Finance Capitalism. The author here summarizes his political theory published in his books.

Financial Capitalism

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Wikipedia entry

Wikipedia entry

Economics, economic history, public policy

Michael Hudson considers that 'financial capitalism' is now and has been for many years the reality that suplanted 'industrial capitalism' as the actual organizing basis for the modern economy to the great detriment of societies. Finance capitalism or financial capitalism is the subordination of processes of production to the accumulation of money profits in a financial system.
Financial capitalism is thus a form of capitalism where the intermediation of saving to investment becomes a dominant function in the economy, with wider implications for the political process and social evolution. Since the late 20th century, in a process sometimes called financialization, it has become the predominant force in the global economy, whether in neoliberal or other form.

Forbes Magazine

The richest 400 Americans -or the World's richest billionaires

The issues which I have are: April/May 2021; Oct. 2020; May 2020; Oct. 2019; March 2019; Oct. 2019; March 2018; Oct. 2018; March 2017; Nov. 2017; Oct. 2016; March 2016; Oct. 2014;

Each year Forbes publishes a special edition in which they have researched and studied the wealth of Americans or world wide billionaires.

The entry for each name includes an assessment of from which general industry they have generated their wealth. I have made lists counting the numbers listed for each of various industries of which 'finance - investment' is a leading one and manufacturing or creating anything is very rare. Analysis of these lists provides clear evidence that Michael Hudson is correct about 'financial capitalism having supplanted 'industrial capitalism

Fortune Magazine

'Painting a Picture of Corporate Misdeeds' and 'Share of nations' Income going to the Richest 10%'

April/May 2021

Financial, investment, business

SubTitle: Large penalties imposed for Regulatory Violations by Corporations -The diagram compares the number and seriousness of government fines assessed against various industries and the corporations in these. The Finance industry fines are shown to be greatly larger than the others. The categories are; financial, insurance and real estate: Energy and Extraction: Health care: Transportation: Manufacturing and industrials: IT Tech: Food, beverages, tobacco, consumer goods , retailing: Business services: Leisure, hospitality, entertainment, media. Bank of America alone has 4 very large fines and that industry has many fines for financial misdeeds: Business services has many tiny fines for employment related issues. The second title's subtitle is "The Wealthy are Getting Wealthier' This is a world map with graphs and countries in colors indicating the share of income going to their 'wealthiest' in %. For instance, in Czech Rep it is 29% and in South Africa is it 65%.

Paul Craig Roberts

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'A debt Jubilee for America?"


Debt- economics - political policy

This is a comment based on Michael Hudson's thinking published in the above books. It is a highly idealistic and distorted view of the nature of ancient Mesopotamian society and civilization. Karl Wittfogel termed the society "Oriental Despotism". The creditor-debt relationship today is different from that in ancient Mesopotamia.
Hudson, Roberts and their associates want to use this conception of ancient Mesopotamian economics as a claim that governments today should abolish debt. But do they really want governments today to revert to 'absolute despotisms?"

Robert T Kiyosaki

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Rich Dad Poor Dad

Plata Pub., 1997 - 2017, 351 pgs., paperback


Personal advice on how to invest for maximum profits. It is an autobiography focused on the author's early learning about investments for real wealth from his friend's father -the rich man, while his own father was the highly educated poor man.

Robert T. Kiyosaki

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Rich Dad's Guide to Investing

Plata Pub, 2012, 470 pgs., paperback


A further guide to investing - more elaborate with details about specific types of investment- especially in real estate

Robert T. Kiyosaki

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Cashflow Quadrant

Plata Pub., 2011, 283 pgs., paperback


Guide to Financial Freedom - details on how to invest to generate cash flow

Robert T. Kiyosaki

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Why "A" Students Work for "C" Students

Plata Pub., 2011, pgs., paperback


A guide especially for parents to tutor their children in Kiyosaki's methods for creating personal wealth

John Pender{short description of image}

Capitalism: Money, Morals and Markets

Biteback Pub., London, 2014. 334 pgs., index, notes

Economics, Economic history

The book includes some discussion of the history of money but is mostly about current financial problems

Lukas Milevski

The Evolution of Modern Grand Strategic Thought

Oxford Univ. Press, London, 2016, 175 pgs., index, bibliography, footnotes

Intellectual history, strategy, military science

A difficult read.. The content begins in 1805

Vikram Mansharamani{short description of image}


John Wiley &Sons, N.Y., 2011, 273 pgs., notes, index, figures

Economics, finance, monetary policy

Subtitle: Spotting financial bubbles before they burst. Analysis of how financial bubbles develop

Ruchar Sharma {short description of image}

The Rise and Fall of Nations

W. W. Norton & Co., New York, 2016, 466 pgs., index, bibliography, notes

Economics, Politics, Investment

The subtitle is Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World - This combination memoir and analysis of the world political-economic situation today is based on the author's extensive visits all over the world and his meetings with senior bankers, politicians and economists. He provides his clear assessment of the investment climate today.

Richard Cantillon {short description of image}

Essay on the Nature of Trade in General

This is an extract from the Wikipedia entry

Economic theory

Richard Cantillon has been overlooked in the 20th century and not credited with the significance he deserves. Undue credit goes to Adam Smith This Wikipedia entry specifically notes very important concepts that Cantillon enunciated. He was an Irish-French economist and author of Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en Général(Essay on the Nature of Trade in General), a book considered by William Stanley Jevons to be the "cradle of political economy".

Richard Cantillon {short description of image}

An Essay on Economic Theory

This is a PDF copy of Cantillon's original text translated by Chantal Saucier

Economic theory

Richard Cantillon died in 1734 but his important book - Essay on the Nature of Commerce in General was not published until 1755. He preceded Adam Smith who quoted him, but from another of his books. This book had a significant influence immediately but then was lost to public attention for a century until rediscovered and discussed by W. St. Jevons in 1881.

Frederick Hayek {short description of image}

Richard Cantillon

The introduction and comments by Frederick Hayek were published in the Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol VII, No 2, (Fall 1985) It is available in PDF form from Mises Institute.


Economic theory

After Jevons brought Cantillon to notice many others were influenced including Alfred Marshall. But, again, his essay was 'lost' until recently.

William Jevons

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Wiliam Jevons

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Money and the Mechanism of Excchange


William Jevons

{short description of image}

Ludwig von Mises {short description of image} 

Richard Cantillon: Founder of Political Economy

This is an extract from the article published by the Mises Institute.

Economic Theory


Adam Smith {short description of image}

The Wealth of Nations

Arlington House, N.Y., ND., 2 Vol, 446 & 575 pgs., footnotes

Economic history - economic theories

For me this is a much better original source of historical information than it is a book on economic theory, because it is just than on economics - a theory. But the economist profession jumped on it and has proclaimed it ever since.

Adam Smith

{short description of image}

The Theory of Moral Sentiments


James Otteson{short description of image}

The Essential Adam Smith

Fraser Institute, Canada, 2018, 76 pgs., Bibliography and further reading, footnotes - available as PDF

Economic history - economic theories

Professor Otteson focuses exclusively on Smith's theories on economics. He praises him, stating that the book "is often cited as the beginning of both economics and capitalism and its influence in the 242 years since its publication ranks it among the most important works of the last millennium". But, he also notes that, "Smith's reputation today tends to be based on impressions and second-hand reports rather than on Smith's work itself". Both comments are true. But economic theory began at least with Cantillon and capitalism began centuries before Smith. Few students probably never read "Wealth...". Professor Otteson's thesis is that Smith's two books - "Wealth..." and Theory of Moral Sentiments are compatible and form a unity.

Daniel Defoe{short description of image}

Robinson Crusoe

Oxford Univ. Press, 1981, 316 pgs., paperback

Economics - Production, consumption and time

This is an excellent study of practical prioritization of the three components of life - time, production and consumption to optimize the total standard of living. The author was a practicing merchant with experience in the real economy. I consider this book a better text on economics than Adam Smith's in which is discussion of economics is mostly theoretical.

Daniel Defoe{short description of image}

A Journal of he Plague Year

W. W. Norton & Co. N.Y. 1992, 359 pgs., paperback

Public Policy

This is a novel written as the retrospective account of someone who is telling the story of the great Plague in London of 1665 and considering a future plague coming in 1720. The author's point was to reveal and critique the reaction of the public and the responses of the government authorities.

William J. Federer

{short description of image}

Who is the King in America?

Amerisearch, 2018, 199 pgs., paperback,

Economic and political history, public policy

Subtitle: And who are the Counselors to the King? An overview of 6,000 years of history and why America is Unique. This is a brief, outline style, summary in which the authors point is basically the same as Stark's - that for centuries ruling elites suppressed the 'common people' and in doing so prevented economic improvement. Ruling elites today are attempting and achieving the same results.

Helmut Schoeck {short description of image}

Envy: A Theory of Social Behavior

Harcourt, Brace & World, N.Y., 1966, 408 pgs., index, notes, paperback

Psychology, Economics, Politics

A comprehensive study from many different perspectives, such as psychology, economics, politics, social justice

Jeremy Siegel {short description of image}

Stocks for the Long Run, 5th edition

, McGraw Hill, NY., 2014, 422 pgs., index, bibliography, tables, graphs.

Investment, finance, stocks, bonds, economics

A massive and comprehensive text that includes extensive historical description and analysis.

Danielle Dimartino Booth {short description of image}


Portfolio, Penguin, NY., 2017, 326 pgs., index, notes

Economics, Finance, Public Policy

Subtitle: An Insider's Take on Who the Federal Reserve is Bad for America

William J. Bernstein{short description of image}

Rational Expectations: Asset Allocation for Investing Adults

William Bernstein, 2014, 207 pgs., index, notes, paperback

Investment advice - economics

The author discusses asset classes and diversification into model portfolios. He includes use of ETF's. A useful book

William J. Bernstein {short description of image}

The Birth of Plenty

Mcraw-Hill, N.Y., 2004, 420 pgs., index, notes, graphs, paperback

Economic history, finance, intellectual history

The subtitle: How the Prosperity of the Modern World Was Created - A study of the factors that enabled the unprecedented growth of wealth that began in north-western Europe. - read with McCloskey, Gordon, Stark and Mokyr

Frank Trentmann{short description of image}

Empire of Things

Harper Collins, N.Y., 2016, 799 pgs., extensive notes

Economic history, cultural history

Subtitle: How we Became a World of Consumers, from the Fifteenth century to the Twenty-first. From the study of estate fillings and other primary sources the author demonstrates that even lower income families amassed continually greater quantities of manufactured goods during the period, much of which would have been considered 'luxury' or totally unavailable items in previous centuries even for the wealthiest elites. The book provides the evidence of expansion of material goods that is discussed in the books on economic theory

Joel Mokyr{short description of image}

Culture of Growth

Princeton Univ. Press, 2017, 403 pgs., index, references

Economic history, cultural and intellectual history

Subtitle: The Origins of the Modern Economy. The author stresses the significance of 'belief' that is the role is ideas in the economic affairs of societies. This is similar to Deirdre McCloskey's concept in her three books on the Bourgeois role, and Rodney Stark's How the West Wonand John S. Gordon'sAn Empire of wealth.

Diane Coyle {short description of image}

GDP:" A Brief but Affectionate History

Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton N.J. 2014, 159 pgs.,

Economic theory and practice

Reviewed by James Grant in WSJ., March 13,2014 - The author describes the origin, development, and current use of the concept of GDP - This claims to be a valid measure of the state of a country's economic condition. She admits, 'Of course it is a flawed measure," but nevertheless supports its role in evaluation and influence on government policy. A clear summary of the history of the creation of the abstract concept of a GDP - a statistic designed to give government policy makers an idea of the total economic output of a country for comparative purposes. The author shows the fundamental faults and short comings of the methods used to create this GDP but accepts that this is the best we can do, at least currently. The story shows that creation of abstract concepts of this sort are directly the result of government bureaucrats and politicians desire to expand the power of governments to control the economic activities in their countries. She indicates that this desire was increased when governments sought to wage war (WWII) and intervene during the Great Depression. Not specifically mentioned, but inherent in this process, was the creation of a new category of academic bureaucrats, economists, who sought to enhance and expand their power as government advisors and officials. It was this new breed of 'secular priests' who needed all the alchemy and augury they could create.

An objective study of the where, when, who, how and why the GDP was created and what is really is. Analysis of what its strengths and shortcomings are today. Very valuable

Peter J. Wallison{short description of image}

Hidden in Plain Sight: What Really Caused the World's Worst Financial Crisis and Why it Could happen Again

Encounter Books, N. Y., 2015, 411 pgs., index, end notes

Economics, Finance

This is a must read book. Analysis of the financial crisis of 2008-9 focused on the US Government effort to enable people with insufficient financial ability to purchase homes, and The massive expansion of credit=debt that could not be paid This refutes the liberal efforts to blame it all on bankers and lack of financial regulation Reviewed in Washington Times.

Rana Foroohar{short description of image}

Makers and Takers, Sub-title: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business,

Crown Business, NY., 2016, 388 pgs., index, bibliography, notes

Finance, economics, business, public policy

A general attack on the Wall Street bankers and finance industry blaming it for the financial crisis of 2008.

Neil Howe and William Strauss

{short description of image}

The Fourth Turning

Broadway Books, NY. 1997, 382 pgs., index, references, notes, paperback

Economics, finance. public policy

Based on the author's concepts of demographics - generations each have their own characteristics and proceed or follow each other in a cycle. The authors focus on predicting the immediate future based on their theory of what the coming generations will do.

John Hicks {short description of image}

A Theory of Economic History

Oxford University Press, Clarendon, 1969, 181 pgs., index, footnotes, paperback


A disappointing book - the theory is based on guess, imagination, supposition, presumption all stemming from reliance on deductive reasoning. There are many factual errors in the presumed conditions of ancient societies. But the book is worth reading as an example of an author who attempts to create a theory that explains conditions that conform to theories. It is rather a sample of his bias that he disparages historians for not relying on theory.

Jerry Z. Muller {short description of image}

The Mind and the Market

Anchor Books, N.Y., 2003, 487 pgs., index, end notes, paperback

Biographies, intellectual history economic theory, economic history

Subtitle: Capitalism in Western Thought Biographies of selected important theorists writing about capitalism before and after 1800.

Jerry Z. Muller{short description of image}

Thinking about Capitalism

The Great Courses, Chantilly, Virginia, 2008, 36 lectures on DVD and on line

Biographies, intellectual history economic theory, economic history

This is a 36 lecture course that expands on the same concept as Dr. Muller's book. It includes many more individual theorists who wrote and taught about capitalism. And there is a full transcript, so it may be studied along with the book - Mind and Markets.

Tyler Cowen & Alex Tabarrok

Modern Principles: Microeconomics, 2nd ed.

Worth Pub., NY., 2013, 490 pgs., index, illustrations, tables, charts, glossary, readings, paperback


Excellent text book for course in micro-economics with questions and examples

L. Randall Wray {short description of image}

Modern Money Theory

Palgrave, Macmillan, NY., 2012, 294 pgs., index, notes, bibliography, paperback

Economics, economic history,

Subtitle is A primer on Macro economics for Sovereign Monetary Systems - History of money with discussion of current monetary policy. But it is a thoroughly 'Chartalist' effort to provide an economic theory that supports unlimited central bank issue of credit money that would enable unlimited spending on such leftist political policies as unemployment relief and welfare. The author ignores real history of money.
There are more references to MMT in the list below

Mark Skousen{short description of image}

The Structure of Production

New York Univ. Press, NY., 2015, 402 pgs. , index, notes, references, paperback

GDP, investment, economics, monetary policy

An alternate view of economic reality - disputes the use of GDP and shows the importance of intermediate production activities in the full economic chain. Analysis of measures that describe the national economy such as GDP from an "Austrian School' view point . The author proposes a better measure that would include all the phases of production rather than only final prices.

Lev Baruch & Feng Gu{short description of image}

The End of Accounting

Wiley, NYC., 2016, 258 pgs., index, appendices

Economics, accounting, investments

Subtitle: and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers. The authors show that current accounting methods and concepts are outdated, a century old, and do not accurately reflect the value of the assets being measured. The value of businesses now include many intangibles such as intellectual assets and R&D work.

William W. Priest & Steven Bleiberg {short description of image}

Winning at Active Management

Wiley, NYC., 2016, 306 pgs., index, tables

Management, investment

Subtitle: The essential roles of culture, philosophy, and technology - Case studies and theories about how to improve business management

Joseph E. Stiglitz {short description of image}

Freefall; America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy

W. W. Norton, N.Y., 2010, 361 pgs., end notes

Commentary on the financial crisis of 2008

This is a polemical diatribe that seeks to show that the cause of the financial crisis of 2008 was due to the greed of individuals, especially in the financial community, operating in a vicious 'free market' and not due to government policy. It is worth reading to obtain a perspective on just how radical the Keynesian stalwarts will go to attack the 'free market. But read Peter Walliston's book to learn the real story of the causes of the 2008 financial crisis.

Peter Conti-Brown{short description of image}

The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve

Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2016, 347 pgs., index, bibliography, notes

Economics, politics, finances, history

An excellent study of the Federal Reserve, The author describes the history of the Federal Reserve - much different from most versions. And he focuses on its current role. He believes the Federal Reserve Banks are unconstitutional. he recommends serious reforms

Ben S. Bernanke

The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis

Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, 2013, 134 pgs., index, charts

Commentary on the financial crisis of 2008

The transcripts of 4 lectures by Dr. Bernanke at George Washington University in 2012. I happened to watch several of these on C-SPAN and they are now available on line at {short description of image}" and probably at the C-SPAN video archives. The content is a combination of Bernanke's economic theories on causes and a description of the events as they took place during and immediately after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Ben S. Bernanke

Essays on the Great Depression

Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, 2000, 157 pgs.,

Economics - Investment

A rather narrow analysis of the causes of the Great Depression. Little attention in this to political events or the personal psychology and motivations of the principal actors.

John Pender

Capitalism: Money, Morals and Markets

BiteBack Books, London, 2015, 344 pgs., index, notes

Economics, Public Policy

Jeremy J. Siegel

Stocks for the Long Run

McGraw Hill, N.Y., 2015, 422 pgs., index, notes, graphs

Investment Advice, Economics

Subtitle: The Definitive Guide to Financial Market Returns & long Term Investment Strategies A massive and comprehensive text on financial markets, investment, economic history. A valuable alternative to Bernanke and Stiglitz.

Pedro Domingos{short description of image}

The Master Algorithm

Basic Books, N.Y., 2015, 329 pgs., readings

Future world - artificial intelligence- computers

The sub-title provides the subject - How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake our World - - read with Gilder - Knowledge and Power

Daniel Kahneman{short description of image}

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, N.Y., 2011, 499 pgs., index, notes, paperback

Economics, psychology

A much applauded book on the influence of individual psychological reality on decision making, especially concerning decisions about financial affairs, by Nobel Prize winner.

Daniel Kahneman, Oliver Sibony & Cass Sunstein{short description of image}

Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment

Little, Brown Spark, N.Y. 2021, 452 pgs., index, notes



Philip E. Tetlock & Dan Gardner{short description of image}

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

Crown Publishers, N.Y., 2015, 340 pgs., index, end notes

Psychology, forecasting

The author believes that some forecasting is possible under certain conditions and by experienced individuals. Read with Nassim Taleb's and David Kahneman's books.

Salim Ismail{short description of image}

Exponential Organizations

Singularity University Book, N.Y., 2014, 320 pgs. paperback

Business, Economics

The authors claim and illustrate that successful organizations including businesses now must become more flexible by using all the expanding tools provided by the information economy.

James M. Buchanan & Gordon Tullock{short description of image}

The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy

University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 1962, 361 pgs., notes, graphs, paperback

Political Science, Economics, Public Policy

The authors employ economics theories and methods to political policy issues

Jay W. Richards{short description of image}

Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism is the Solution and not the Problem

Harper One, N.Y., 2009, 255 pgs., notes, appendix, paperback

Public policy, economics, morality

A well organized refutation of many myths that accuse capitalism of numerous social ills. Worth reading along with Rodney Stark's books - such as "The Victory of Reason".

Peter Bernholz{short description of image}

Monetary Regimes and Inflation

Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK., 2003, index, references, table, diagrams, paperback

Economic history, government policy, inflation

Subtitle: History, Economic and Political Relationships. Great that the history goes back to 4th century. The author discusses both metallic and paper currencies. But he focuses on currency. What about the other, and often main, component of market exchange, credit?

Heather Mac Donald

The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and undermine our Culture

St. Martin's Press, N.Y., 2018, 278 pgs., index, notes

Public Policy, economics, politics, Culture

The author destructs the current establishment policy demand to subordinate everything to promoting preference for race and the various sexual group demands for preference

Richard Sander & Stuart Taylor

Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students it's intended to help, and why universities won't admit it

Basic Books, N.Y., 2012, 348 pgs., index, notes, graphs

Public Policy, affirmative action, college admission,

The book is a report based on extensive collection of data over many years and the personal observations of the authors on the results of college admission industry to secretly favor protected minorities in admission to colleges over equally qualified white students.

Steven Forbes and Elizabeth Ames {short description of image}

Money Subtitle: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy - and What We Can Do About it.

McGraw Hill, NY., 249 pgs., index, notes.

money, cash, currency, debt, credit, finance, public policy, morality

The authors have a very distorted idea about gold as a form of money. It is amazing how one author can get so much right and yet also so wrong. He is so right about the destruction of the dollar and the disaster he predicts. He is correct about FED monetary policy and economists' theories. He repeatedly comments correctly that 'money' is not wealth. But he persists in equating 'money' with currency. Unfortunately this is a very common mistake and itself one of the causes of so many people not understanding the fundamental source of the problem. Yes, currency is a component of money - but money is not ONLY currency. It is much larger and is actually mostly credit now, as it has been throughout history. The total currency created by the FED and circulating amounts to about 650- billion dollars. But the daily transactions that constitute economic activity amounts to trillions of dollars. Credit constitutes over 95% of the American money supply. The same goes for foreign countries. For Great Britain credit is over 97% of the money supply. Of course Mr. Forbes realizes this, yet he apparently cannot break from the perception that money equals currency

Nathan K. Lewis {short description of image}

Gold the Final Standard

Canyon Maple Publishing, New Berlin, N.Y., 2017, 196 pgs. index, bibliography, notes, charts and tables.


Economic history - money,

This is a 'gold bug' theoretical treatise that attempts to support the advocacy that the world financial system should be based on gold as a 'standard' of value on which all financial transactions be based. The historical sections mostly discuss the history of currency and do not give sufficient attention to the monetary role of credit. The idea that there should and can be any type of 'final standard' of value is false. Value is not an attribute that can be fixed to any material or immaterial good or service. Value is purely in the mind of individuals and collectively in the 'mind' of society. The value of an item is transitory, dependent of supply and demand, relative to all other available items to both seller and buyer. Proponents of using gold (or anything else) as a fixed 'standard' generally cite as an analogy the international standards for time, weight, length and other physical properties. But those are metrics of material things that do not change. More important is that the metrics such as inch or pound do not have any existence in them selves or 'value' but commodities used for some 'value standard' have their own changing values.

Matthew D. Mitchell & Peter Boettke

Applied Mainline Economics

Mercatus Center, George Mason Univ. Arlington, VA., 2017, 1678 pgs., index, bibliography, notes


Subtitle: Bridging the Gap between Theory and Public Policy

Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk{short description of image}

Wikipedia entry

Biography and works


He is considered by 'Austrian School' economists as one of the founders of their theories about economics.

Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk{short description of image}

Mises Institute bio

Robert Garrison bio


A biography of authors is useful for understanding the basis for their theories.

Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk{short description of image}

Capital and Interest

Forgotten Books, London, 2015, 428 pgs., paperback - trans. William Smart - reprint from 1922 edition.

Economics, economic history

Subtitle: A Critical History of Economical Theory: Actually the subject is narrowed to the history of theories about Interest. It is clear from the chapter titles that von Bohm-Bawerk is discussing the history of theories concerning Interest and its legitimacy. His method is deductive reasoning and the formulation of criticisms of the many theories he describes. We may consider that this is book of theories about theories.


Carl Menger

{short description of image}

Wikipedia entry

A biography and appraisal of Carl Menger

biography, history of economics

He is another of the authors that 'Austrian School' adherents consider a founder of their approach to the study of economics.

Carl Menger

{short description of image}

Principles of Economics

Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2007, 328 pgs., index, paperback

economics, history of economics

This is a reprint of a translation of Menger's book - Principles - published in 1871.

Carl Menger

{short description of image}

The Origins of Money

Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2009, 52 pgs.

The origins and role of 'money' in economic transactions


Israel Kirzner

{short description of image}

The Economic Point of View: An essay in the History of Economic Thought

Sheed and Ward, Kansas City: 1976. First published: 1960. Reprinted and posted as a PDF by the Mises Institute.

Economics, public policy, economic theory

He is considered by students of the "Austrian School' of economics to be the senior exponent of their economic philosophy and descriptor of the theories of von Mises, of whom he was a student.

Israel Kirzner

Competition and Entrepreneurshiped. Peter Boettke & Frederic Sautet

Liberty Fund, 2013, 200 pgs., index, foot notes

microeconomics, entrepreneurs,

A theory of the market and price system.






Ludwig von Mises

{short description of image}

The Anti- capitalistic Mentality

The Ludwig von Mises Institute Auburn AL., 2016, 114 pgs , index, paperback

Economics, public policy

Discussion of the attacks against capitalism and their psychological sources

Murray N. Rothbard{short description of image}

For a New Liberty

Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, Alabama, ND, 420 pgs,. incex, footnotes, paperback

Economics, public policy, economic history

Subtitle: The Libertarian Manifesto: This is the culmination and full description of Rothbard's political- economic theories expoounded in the other books listed.

Murray N. Rothbard{short description of image}

What Has Government Done to Our Money?

Mises Institute, Auburn, Alabama, 2015, 116 pgs., index, paperback

Economics, finance, public policy

The author is a leading economist of the Austrian School. This is a libertarian discussion on the American money supply and what the government has done that devalues it. Dr. Rothbard was both an historian and economic theorist. As an historian he uses inductive reasoning and produces excellent books, but he focuses on American history. But as an economic theorist he uses deductive reasoning (as do practical academic economists) and ignores historical facts, especially relating to ancient times.

Murray N. Rothbard{short description of image}

A History of Money and Banking in the United States from the colonial era to World War II

Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2005, 510 pgs., index, footnotes

Economic history, banking, credit, debt, money

The author is was a leading libertarian economist. This is a libertarian - Austrian School - approach to economics. The author provides much detailed information not found in other texts on the subject.

Murray N. Rothbard{short description of image}

The Mystery of Banking

Important Books, 2017, 168 pgs., notes, diagrams, paperback

Economics, banking, finance

Another Austrian school economic theory on money and banking. It is a result of deductive reasoning. I disagree with the author's ideas on the origin of money and on what money really is in contrast to currency and credit. He ignores real ancient historical facts.

Murray N. Rothbard{short description of image}

Economic Thought before Adam Smith: An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought Volume I.

Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, 2006, 556 pgs, index, notes, bibliography

Economic theory and economic history

The subject ranges from the classical Greeks to the Scottish Enlightenment and Adam Smith. The author includes the important Richard Cantillon. But by limiting himself to literary sources - Greek philosophers - he misses the thinking about their economy that obviously played a role in Mesopotamian life that can be derived from the study of actual economic activity.

Murray N. Rothbard{short description of image}

Classical Economics: An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought Volume II

Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, 2006, 528 pgs., index, notes, bibliography

Economic theory and economic history

The story begins with J. B. Say, creator of 'Say's Law' and his opponents. Then comes Jeremy Bentham, James Mill, David Ricardo and ideas about banking. Then, among others, John Start Mill and Marx and Bastiat. Thus, it ends in the 19th century.

Murray N. Rothbard{short description of image}

Conceived in Liberty

Mises Institute, Auburn, 2011, 1616 pgs., index

American Colonial History

This is a massive study of American history from colonization circa 1620 and the conclusion of the American Revolution. It is based on immense study of documents and includes facts, dates, people, events not included in typical standard histories. The analysis is from a libertarian perspective. It is understandable, given the great length of the work, that relatively little analysis of the British side of the story which is slighted.

Murray N. Rothbard ed by Patrick Newman{short description of image}

Conceived in Liberty: The New Republic 1784-1791

Mises Institute, Auburn, 2019, 332 pgs., index, notes

American Colonial History

This is a continuation (edited) of the massive first volume. The content is devoted to the interplay of economic interests and political results. The significance of the state and Federal public debt from the war is described. The conflict between 'nationalists' - that is the Federalists - and 'localists' -that is those who preferred more independent power for the colonies, the new 13 states.

Murray N. Rothbard {short description of image}

The Progressive Era

Mises Institute, Auburn, Alabama, 2017, 600 pgs., index, bibliography, footnotes, paper back

American History

The book was edited by Patrick Newman and published after Rothbard died. Dr. Newman added several of Rothbard's separate essays that discussed the topics missing from his uncompleted manuscript. It is another of his massive results of research in primary sources and analysis from a libertarian viewpoint. The result is 'revisionist' but full of facts, names, dates, policies not found in standard survey histories. It is especially timely today as it reveals the first victory of 'progressive' ideology in changing American society that is continuing today.

Murray N. Rothbard {short description of image}

Anatomy of the State

Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, 1974, 58 pgs., index, paperback

Political theory

The author was a radical libertarian who despised the 'state' as the oppressor of mankind. "Briefly, the State is that organization in society which attempts to maintain a monopoly of the use of force and violence in a given territorial area: in particular, it is the only organization in society that obtains its revenue not by voluntary contribution or payment for services rendered but by coercion." Unfortunately he, as do most people, confuses the 'state' with the ruler. The 'state' is NOT 'in society' but above and outside it. The 'state' is an abstract concept created by western Renaissance rulers as a theory to legitimize their rule and justify their actions after the prior theory of the 'Chain of Being'. ceased to retain popular belief.

Murray N. Rothbard {short description of image}

Man, Economy, and Stateand Power and Market

Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, 2004- 2009, 1437 pgs., index, bibliography, paperback

Economic, economic theory, political theory, public policy

Another massive, 3 volume study by the leading Austrian School - libertarian. The theoretical basis is von Mises' concept of 'praxeology'. "Man..." is A treatise on Economic Principles - and "Power..." is about Government and Market. There is an interesting Introduction by Joseph Salerno -
As with all his books and articles persists in using the term, "state' as the culprit in economic crime but 'state' is an abstract concept created to legitimize the Ruler, the real culprit. He also persists in believing that 'barter' was the medium of exchange prior to the invention of money. But that is a long discarded 'myth'. See Graeber.

Murray N. Rothbard {short description of image}

The Essential von Mises

Mises Institute, Auburn, 126 pgs., index, footnotes

Economic theory

A biography of Rothbard's professional life from birth in Lemberg (Lvov) to career in the United States with summaries of his ideas on economics and history as a leading libertarian theoretician.

Alex Horsman {short description of image}

Rothbard quotes

Libertasbela - {short description of image}7 Jan. 2021

Economic theory

Selected quotations from Rothbard's many books and articles with an appreciation of his ideas and influences on the study of economic theory.

Joseph T. Salerno {short description of image}

The Sociology Of The Development Of Austrian Economics

Mises Institute, Mises Wire, April 30, 2019, 10 pgs.

Economic theory - History of economic theory

Dr. Salerno is the academic vice president of the Mises Institute and an authority on Austrian Economics. He recently published this article based on his lecture on the same subject in 1996. There is much confusion and misunderstanding of what 'Austrian Economics' is as a discipline within the wide range of 'schools' of economic theory. He writes that his purpose now is to explain the content of the lecture and to agree with the many colleagues and friends who have been urging to do so. In addition he claims that some controversies and misunderstandings have arisen from within the proponents who claim to be Austrian school economists

Joseph T. Salerno {short description of image}

Fractional Reserves And THE FED

Mises Institute, The Free Market 30, no. 6 June 2012, republished March 9, 2019, 8 pgs.

Economics, money and banking - Current events

This article publishes the testimony of the author at the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Monetary Policy, which was chaired at that time by Ron Paul. Not surprising since Dr. Paul shares the same views of 'fractional banking' as Dr. Salerno. In this testimony and article Dr. Salerno describes what 'fractional banking' means and his opinion about the monetary problems that result from this.
Dr. Salerno, and Congressman Paul are engaging in the continual theoretical debate and controversy between those who denounce 'fractional banking' and those who claim it is important and support it. This article, then, is an example of the arguments the opponents of 'fractional banking' regularly advance. In addition he contends that the 'free market' banking system he proposes would return to making 'money' gold - or making gold 'money'. There has been no reaction from Congress to consider implementing his proposals.

Frank Shostak {short description of image}

'The Problem With Modern Monetary Theory"

This is an extract from the Mises Wire of March 19, 2019,

Economic theory - money, banking, unstated political agenda

This is a libertarian theory about money, as the references cited in the bibliography indicate. Dr. Shostak is correct in disagreeing with the current MMT theoreticians but his (Austrian School) theory is also incorrect. The issue is 'what exactly is 'money' and from where did it originate and who 'creates' it. Knapp and the chartalists read Mitchell Innes and misunderstood his explanation, which was not that clear. The 'value' of money is not established by the ruler (lets forget this abstract concept of 'State'). Money is itself an abstract concept - it is the metric by which another concept 'value' is measured.
The confusion lies in the use of the same word 'money' for an abstract metric established as a 'standard of value' and its use as the common term for items (metal coins, paper bills, talley sticks, digital balances in bank accounts or others such as Lap Island stone wheels.) So the ruler can establish a 'value' for the token used in exchange, but the actual 'value' in a market - if it is a free market - will be established in accordance with the 'law of supply and demand' just like any other commodity.

Frank Shostak {short description of image}

Why The Boom -Bust- Cycle Keeps Repeating

Mises Wire -Mises Institute, March, 3, 2019, 3 pgs.,

A standard libertarian claim based on deductive reasoning that is the support they offer for their political agenda.

The author believes that the 'boom and bust' cycles that have occurred so frequently in the 19th -20th centuries have been due to the policies and actions of central banks. He begins by noting that in the 18th century 'there were no regularly recurring booms and depressions." And there were no central banks. He continues: 'The boom-bust phenomenon is somehow liked to the modern world. But what is the link? The source of the recurring boom-bust cycles turns out to be the alleged 'protector' of the economy - the central banks themselves."

But in the 19th century the U.S. had no central bank but did have several 'boom-bust' events. And that that time the Bank of England (which did exist in the 18th century) did not initially have a legal mandate to 'protect' the economy. France had no central bank but had 'boom and bust'. From the 12th century in Europe there were not even government banks but there were booms and bust. The busts occurred in these cases from PRIVATE banks either extending excessive loans or debtors, especially sovereigns, defaulting - or from natural causes such as cold weather or crop failure.

Frank Shostak {short description of image}

'Easy Money Is Driving The Boom-bust Cycles'

Foundation for Economic Education, January 7, 2019, 4 pgs.

A standard libertarian claim based on deductive reasoning that is the support they offer for their political agenda.

This is basically the same argument and line of deductive reasoning as the author published in the Mises wire article. But he expands his argument to include advocacy for a 'gold standard'
Dr. Shostak believes that commentators on market conditions in 2018 mostly expected the market prices to continue to increase, but that NOW, meaning late DEC. 2018 they are expecting a 'downturn' to arrive soon. They are blaming President Trump's policies for this reversal. They especially fault his tariff policy. But they are not considering the 'decline in the annual growth rate of the money supply'. An exception to this is the monetarists - followers of Milton Friedman. He describes the monetarist theory, that the changes that constitute a business 'cycle' are found in the changes in the growth rate of the money supply. From this idea Friedman proposed that the central bank bureaucrats should establish a 'fixed rate of growth of money supply'. He includes a lengthy quotation that states this idea. He writes that If this fluctuation is the true cause then Friedman's idea might be sound.

Frank Shostak {short description of image}

'Humans Have Goals, And They Value Goods And Services Accordingly'

Mises Institute, Mises Wire, February 10, 2020, 9 pgs.,

Philosophy, Economic theory

This is a much better essay with better reasoning than some of the author's more libertarian articles based on deductive reasoning. He is correct about the falsity of the establishment economic theory about 'utility' creating 'value 'and differences in 'value between various goods.

Frank Shostak {short description of image}

'Money Velocity And Economic Growth'

Mises Institute, Mises Wire, June 10, 2019, 6 pgs.

Economic theory, Theory of money - currency, credit, debt.

Another potentially excellent article by Frank Shostak. In this one he shows the fallacy in current concept of a 'velocity' of money. In the standard equation, "Velocity' is actually a dependent variable in the equation MV=PT as it is defined as V=PT/M.
But even so he does not grasp the full implication in this,
But the establishment concept of velocity of money is derived from the idea that the token which represents money circulates at a varying speed. The confusion comes from using the term 'money' for two different functions - something that serves as the 'thing' that is intermediate between the buyer and seller and acts as a 'medium of exchange'. But also 'money' serves as a 'standard of value', and a 'measure of account'. But these are not the same. Actually 'money' is an abstract metric that quantifies 'value' of goods and services. And through history most 'money' is constituted by tokens of 'credit'. The velocity of 'credit' is not 'movement' but expansion and contraction.

Frank Shostak {short description of image}

'Government 'Fixes' For The Trade Balance Are Worse Than Any Trade Deficit'

Mises Institute, Mises Wire, 3 pgs., February, 14, 2020


This is an 'Austrian School' libertarian analysis of the US trade account balance and the author's view that government reactions are producing greater harmful effects.


Robert J. Gordon{short description of image}

The Rise and Fall of American Growth

Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, 2016, 762 pgs., index, references, notes, appendix

American Economic History - Pubic Policy

The subtitle is "The U. S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War. This is a huge text that descries the author's thesis that the increase of the standard of living in the U.S. since 1870 is unprecedented in history in size and rapidity but since about 1970 has slowed to almost zero and will not expand over the next 25 years. The author denies there was much if any improvement in people's standard of living prior to the mid 19th century and that since the 1970's there has been an unprecedented increase in the gap of living standards between rich and poor in America. He claims the causes of this are the usual 'headwinds' of the elitist liberal academia and recommends the typical leftist political solutions. He uses the standard leftist concept of the economy as a 'pie' and claims that the 'rich' (wealthy 1%) are taking a larger slice of this thus leaving a smaller slice to the poorer 99%. But the voluminous facts he well describes show that the economic 'pie' is what has expanded vastly thus raising the standard of living of all. By beginning his analysis in 1870 and focusing on the US. he falsely claims that there was no improvement of people's standard of living for all the centuries before that and ignores the much greater differences between the living standards of the most wealthy and poorest in many societies in the past as well. His thesis is refuted by many of the authors in this list including Frank Trentmann's Empire of Things.

Alec Ross {short description of image}

The Industries of the Future

Simon and Schuster, N.Y., 2016, 304 pgs., index. notes

Economics, investment, public policy

The author directly opposes Gordon. He provides much information on the coming global expansion generated by entirely new industries plus the spread of recent technology to 'developing nations' such as in Africa.

Matt Ridley {short description of image}

The Evolution of Everything: How new Ideas Emerge

Harper Collins, N.Y., 2015, 360 pgs., index, sources

History, Public Policy, Economics

A tour de force that applies the concept of evolution - that is gradual cumulative change -to everything from the universe to the Internet. But the author is a materialist, atheist who goes to extreme lengths to denounce all religions. He unnecessarily castigates opinions and policies with which he disagrees as being 'creationist'.

Alhil Reed Amar {short description of image}

America's Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By

Basic Books, N.Y., 2012, 615 pgs., index, notes, illustrations, appendix

Analysis of the reality of the legal system

Describes the large volume of changes and additions to the real legal system built on but expanding the limitations of the written Constitution. He is in favor of the radical changes in law created by the 'progressives'. Basically, he writes, times have changed and we need to learn to live with it.

Dan Amos {short description of image}

Keynes' Legacy

Strategic Investment, Vol 21, # 13, 2008, Agora Financial Baltimore, 6 pgs.

Economics - Investment

How Paper money Distorts Investment Cycles, Describes how governments are attempting to solve problems they created themselves by adhering to Keynesian economic theories.

Andro Linklater {short description of image}

Owning the Earth: The Transforming History of Land Ownership

Bloomsbury, N.Y., 2013, 482 pgs., index, bibliography, notes, maps

The history and results of the development of the system of private property in land

Several recent authors have linked the system of private property in land to economic expansion. Others claim the same system creates inequality and demand that private property be abolished in the quest for 'social justice'. This author traces the unique, gradual, development of this system from England and comments on its positive and negative consequences.

Annie Jacobsen {short description of image}

The Pentagon's Brain: An uncensored history of DARPA, America's Top secret Military Research agency

Little, Brown and Company, N.Y., 2015, 552 pgs., index, bibliography, notes, illustrations

Military, Science


A fascinating history even for someone who has been involved with some of the events and programs described in this book The author devoted much attention to the individuals who conceived of our managed the many amazing projects.

Casey R. Mulligan {short description of image}

The Redistribution Recession

Oxford Univ. Press, N. Y., 2012, 351 pgs., index, bibliography, end notes, graphs, tables

Analysis of current government economic policy


Reviewed in WSJ., Nov. 5, 2012 - Professor Mulligan wrote a fine summary of the book for the Wall Street Journal 30 June 2014. Title is "A recovery stymied by Redistribution. The author claims that economic policy and actions of the Obama administration are blocking recovery and making unemployment larger than it would be otherwise. This is a classic professional economist's report complete with all the establishment mandatory econometrics, tables, graphs, discussion of the results of 'models' and theories. All this is probably necessary to conform to current academic practice in order to get attention to his conclusions, which are opposite of those pronounced by progressive administration supporters. But his conclusions simply confirm what common sense has told us all along. When 'not work' is made as economically worth while as 'work' many folks will opt for the former.

Marcia L. Colish {short description of image}

Medieval Foundations of the Western Intellectual Tradition 400 - 1400

Yale University Press, New Haven, 1997, 388 pgs., index, notes, bibliographic note, illustrations

Intellectual history, literary history

The author decisively proves that there was extensive intellectual development during the so-called Middle ages - it was not a 'Dark Ages' as claimed by the self-appointed and self-serving writers of the self-named 'Enlightenment' of the 18th century. And this widespread intellectual development formes the real basis of modern Western thought. But the author confines her topic to the medieval era itself and does not discuss the attacks on the Western Intellectual Tradition that have swept the 20th and 21st centuries, as, for instance, Professor Berman does in the following book.

Peter Spufford {short description of image}

Power and Profit: The Merchant in Medieval Europe

Thames & Hudson, 2002, 432 pgs., index, bibliography, notes, illustrations, maps,

Economic History - History of Money

The result of massive research effort on the ground throughout western Europe focused on the 13th - 16th century spread of trade and use of money. Very valuable reference on the role of money. The author has written extensively on medieval economy.

Kwasi Kwarteng{short description of image}

War and Gold: A 500-year History of Empires, Adventures, and Debt

Public Affairs, N.Y., 2014, 429 pgs., index, bibliography, notes, illustrations

Economic History - History of Money

The title is somewhat misleading. The focus is on the last 200 of those 500 years and is on the role of money (which includes debt) in the modern economy. The author is concerned with explaining the many causes that have been written about the financial crisis of 2008. He includes much information and good analysis but also leaves out some critical factors, such as the creation and role of 'petrodollars' since the 1970's. But he correctly describes the impact of the flood of silver into Europe after 1500.

Richard Duncan{short description of image}

The New Depression: The Breakdown of the Paper Money Economy

John Wiley & Sons, Singapore, 2012, 179 pgs., index, tables

Recent Economic History - History of Money

Another dire prediction about the disaster coming from use of paper money (now electronic). But the author's solution is to increase government debt. He is correct in writing that we no longer are a capitalist economy let alone a 'free market'.

Harold J. Berman

{short description of image}

Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition

Harvard Univ. press, Cambridge, 1983, 657 pgs., index, end notes, maps

The history of the development of Western law and recent attacks on it.

This excellent reference should be a companion piece to Dr. Colish's book in that it describes in detail the medieval sources for our unique legal system. The author begins his introduction: "This book, tells the following story - that once there was a civilization called "Western", that it developed 'legal' institutions, values, and concepts, that these Western legal institutions, values and concepts were consciously transmitted from generation to generation over centuries, and thus came to constitute a 'tradition', that the Western legal tradition was born of a 'revolution' and thereafter, during the course of many centuries, has been periodically interrupted and transformed by revolutions; and that in the twentieth century the Western legal tradition is in a revolutionary crisis greater than any other in its history, one that some believe has brought it virtually to an end.".

Susan Reynolds

{short description of image}

Fiefs and Vassals: The Medieval Evidence Reinterpreted

Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1994, 544 pgs., index, foot notes, list of works

Medieval history -

The author has studied the actual contemporary sources for the popular concepts 'fief' and 'vassal' and found them wanting. She finds that these concepts were presumptions of authors in much later periods This book should be studied along with those of Professors Colish and Berman

Prasad Eswar {short description of image}

The Dollar Trap


money supply, currency

Reviewed in Economist, March 8, 2014 - The dollar has the privilege of being the world reserve currency - the US is the only major country funding its external debt with its own depreciating currency.

Philip Howard {short description of image}

The Rule of Nobody

Norton, NYC, 2014, 244 pgs.


Reviewed in WSJ., April 8, 2014 - The deadlock between Republicans and Democrats in legislatures has been superceded by vast creation of rules and regulations that are rigid, resulting in effective rule by bureaucrats following rules.

David Sainsbury {short description of image}

Progressive Capitalism: How to achieve Economic Growth, Liberty and Social Justice

Biteback, London, 2013, 281 pgs.,

politics and economics

Reviewed on Economist, June 8, 2013 - The author wants to 'reform' capitalism. He has two main ideas. He wants to help savers and improve education systems.

George Melloan {short description of image}

The Great Money Binge: Expanding Our Way to Socialism

Simon and Shuster, 2009,


Sarah Lewis {short description of image}

The Rise

Simon and Schuster, 2014, 259 pgs.,

sociology, psychology

Reviewed by Robert Ekirch in WSJ., April 4, 2001 - The author discusses aspects of personal achievements and finds that ultimate success often comes from overcoming early adversity.

Thomas Piketty trans., Arthur Goldhammer{short description of image}

Capital in the Twenty-first Century

Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, London, 2014, 685 pgs., index, end notes, illustrations

International economics -

Reviewed in EconomistJan 4. 2014 and WSJ., April 8, 2014., and elsewhere. This book has been something of a publication bombshell, with much leftist approval and conservative disagreement. Returns on private capital investments are exceeding the rate economies are expanding, one cause creating inequality. There already have been many reviews and disagreements.

Jean-Philippe Delsol, Nicolas Lecaussin and Emmanuel Martin

Anti-Piketty: Capital for the 21st Century

Cato Institute, Washington D.C., 2017, 272 pgs., index, notes, paperback

International economics

This is a wonderful antidote to Piketty's much discussed leftist polemic by over a dozen experts, who each contribute decisive critiques of various mistakes, misunderstandings, faulty data, and exaggerations produced by Dr. Piketty.

Alasdair Roberts

America's First Great Depression

Cornell U. 2012, 255 pgs.,

economic history

Reviewed in WSJ., June 5, 2012 - A study of the 1857 American economic collapse. The cause was state and local government incurring debt through the weak banking system to finance overly ambitions expansion, especially of railroads and canals. The result was panic, massive defaults and depression lasting 3 or 4 years. Many lessons for today.

Richard Epstein

{short description of image}

The Classical Liberal Constitution: The Uncertain Quest for Limited Government

Harvard U. NYC., 2014, 684 pgs., index, index of cases, end notes.

political theory - economic results - fundamental analysis of the Constitution and judicial interpretations

Reviewed in WSJ., March 24, 2014 - The progressive concept of government intervention in the name of 'social justice' has resulted in repeated and extensive violations of the original concepts on which the Constitution was based. This is a very important book. The author shows with specific discussion of many sections of the Constitution how the 'progressive' (that is high liberal ) conception of the nature of man and of the state is so opposite to that of the classical liberal thinkers who wrote the Constitution that current judicial opinion fundamentally violates the meaning of the Constitution. The original conception was that individuals had natural 'rights' - inherent it being humans - and the role of the Constitution was to protect individuals from government interference with those rights. But the modern progressive conception is that it is government that grants rights and the Constitution establishes the government power to establish the rights it deems appropriate. Read in conjunction with Hamburger's -Is Administrative Law Unlawful?

Richard Epstein {short description of image}

Why Progressive Institutions are Unsustainable

Encounter Books, NYC., 2011, 56 pgs. pocket size paperback

Discussion of the fundamental differences between Classical Liberal and Modern Progressive thought

Read in conjunction with the books listed by Philip Hamburger and Charles Calomiris

Richard Epstein {short description of image}

Design for Liberty; Private Property, Public Administration, and the Rule of Law

Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, 2011, index, index of cases, endnotes

Analysis of the profound changes wrought by progressive legal theory on the Constitution as it is today

The focus is on the two issues cited in the title. It is a part of the larger study in The Classical Liberal Constitution.

Bill White

America's Fiscal Constitution

Public Affairs, NYC., 2014, 557 pgs.,

economic- political history

Reviewed in WSJ., April 10, 2014 - The author describes the role of debt in American political-economy and claims it has expanded recently because of previously disapproved uses. He advocates return to limited uses of public debt.

Barry Ritholtz {short description of image}

Bailout Nation

Wiley, NYC, 2009, 332 pgs., index, end notes,

Economics, finance, panics, corruption

The subtitle is 'how Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy - coauthor is Aaron Task and there is forward by Bill Fleckenstein whose opinions of Greenspan as published in his Greenspan's Bubbles' are fully shared by Ritholtz. Mr. Ritholtz states his philosophy on page 249. "In the final analysis, allowing markets to set policy is inherently anti-democratic. Free people are entitled to elect a representative government which then enacts legislation on their behalf. Those elected representatives go to Washington D.C. to do the people's will. If it is the people's will to prevent testosterone-addled traders from saddling the taxpayers with trillions in losses, that is their choice."
But it is clear that the elected representatives do NOT vote on the total public's behalf but that of their selves and their supporter interest groups.

Kevin Phillips

{short description of image}

Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism

Viking, NY., 2008, 239 pgs., index, end notes

The Financial crisis of 2007-8 and its causes - the future of Capitalism unless major changes are made

The author of this polemic attacks the same three targets as in his previous books - Dynastyand American Theocracy - - debt including reckless finance in general, religion in politics, and 'peak oil' - The book was written prior to the huge new production of crude oil and natural gas due to advanced drilling methods, thus one can skip the chapter on 'peak oil'. One can also discount the author's attacks on religion. But the discussion about the disaster facing the US and world due to massive and expanding debt is an important source of reference material. On these issues the author's detailed statistics showing the links between the huge expansion of the financial industry, the creation of the 'shadow banking system', the government insistence on providing home mortgages to inappropriate borrowers, the eager bankers who provided those mortgages via securitization, and the massive expansion of general debt are important reading.

Peter Ferrara {short description of image}

America's Ticking Bankruptcy Bomb: How the Looming debt crisis threatens the American Dream and how we can turn the tide before it is too late

Broadside Books, NY., 2011, 415 pgs., index, end notes

The political causes of American government economic policies - and the author's recommended changes

The book is a fine summary of the several related government policies that have created financial crisis - deficits, debt and unfunded liabilities. The author presents a devastating analysis of the coming American government bankruptcy unless very urgent and major changes are made. Each chapter is focused on one of the causes, health financing, pensions, housing and others. All of these due to government policies. He provides his 'solutions' based in radically changed policy.

Phillip Hamburger

{short description of image}

Administrative Laws unlawful?

Univ. of Chicago Press, 2014, 635 pgs., index, end notes

political science, law, government. Comparison of the provisions of the U. S. Constitution with the revolution in law that has occurred since about 1900

Review in the WSJ for June 30, 2014. andEconomist Aug 9, 2014. The Congress has shifted more and more actual law making into regulations written by the executive branch. With every expansion of the power of the administrative state the country moves closer to a tyranny. For an analysis based on even more analysis of the Constitution see Richard Epstein's three books listed above, especially "The Classical Liberal Constitution. This is a massive study of the history of law in Europe and Anglo-Saxon countries. The conclusion is that the gradual change of the actual law in the United States from being based on the Constitution to the German-Prussian concept of administrative law has resulted in much current 'law' being in fact 'unlawful' in terms of its not conforming to the Constitution. In this it is regressive in reconstituting the type of law practiced by kings and other absolute sovereigns. The term 'administrative state' Professor Hamburger used is synonymous with the term 'managerial state' used by Professor Bobbitt. See also Professor Harold Berman's wider subject matter in "Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition".

Mian Atif and Amir Sufi

House of Debt: How They (and You) Caused the Great Recession, and How We Can Prevent It from Happening Again

Univ. Of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2014, 219 pgs., endnotes, figures

economics - finance,

The authors correctly cite the adverse economic impact of massive personal debt, but distort their assessment of the causes of the financial crisis of 2008. Actually they have everything mostly backwards. This is a progressive, populist tract. They pointedly ignore the role of the Federal Government in demanding banks loan to 'deserving' ACORN clients. They have a strange idea that 'rich' individuals invest in mortgages. They describe everything in terms of 'debt' when they should be focused on its other face, 'credit'. Read in conjunction with Calomiris - Fragile by Design- and Mulligan - The Redistribution Recession.

Benn Steil {short description of image}

The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order

Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2014, 447 pgs, index, references, end notes.

economic history- financial and banking history US foreign relations,

Benn Steil is also author of an article in the 29 July, 2014 WSJ "The Myth of Bretton Woods" in which he discusses some of the content of the book. The content is about much more than the Bretton Woods Conference. As background the author provides an excellent summary of the professional lives of White and Keynes. We learn much more about them. And we learn about their participation in creating the Wartime Lend Lease program. We learn what the American government policies were for that as well as the policies that governed the creation of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. For more, please read the summary at the provided link.

Tim Harford

The Undercover Economist Strikes Back

Riverhead, 2013, 245 pgs.,

macro economics

Reviewed in WSJ., Jan. 18, 2014 - The author tries to explain how the economy functions. He does not assign faults for the 2008 financial collapse. he favors increased inflation. But not hyper inflation. He discusses how he believes governments should react to poverty and recessions.

Oomagh McDonald

Turning the American Dream into a Nightmare

Bloomsbury Academic, London, 2012, 475 pgs.,

current economic and political policy

Reviewed inBarron'sOct. 1, 2012 - A devastating description catastrophe of the real causes of the housing collapse and financial catastrophe - the Government did it through its demands that mortgages be provided to people unable to pay. Read in conjunction with Charles Calomiris - Fragile By Design

Henry Kressel and Thomas Lento

Entrepreneurship and the Global Economy

Cambridge U. Press, London, 2012, 266 pgs.,

international economics

Reviewed in WSJ., Sept, 28, 2012 - The authors note that returns on capital investments by venture funds have been very uneven. They believe the cause lies in the nature of globalization in a world where governments are active.

Stanley Kurtz

{short description of image}

Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to pay for the Cities

Sentinel, NY., 2012, 223 pgs., index, end notes

Current political - economic policy

This is one of the most important books that expose the Alinskyite agenda which has been a central goal of President Obama since his community activist days in Chicago. Mr. Kurtz describes the radical plan to force integration of suburbs into cities to divert wealth from the former to the latter. This is a major progressive goal based on a combination of environmental and egalitarian agendas. It is all the more dangerous because it has been hidden by use of various innocent sounding propaganda.

Richard James Manyika Dobbs, and Jonathan Woetzel {short description of image}

No Ordinary Disruption

Subtitle: The Four Global Forces Breaking All The Trends: Public Affairs, N.Y., 2015, 277 pgs., index, bibliography, end notes

Economics, Future world situation

The Book is written by researchers at the Mckinsey Global Institute and the bibliography shows it is very largely based on multiple reports by that organization. It is worth everyone's time to read but is focuses as a management report to business executives describing the four most critical new forces facing them and advising on policies and programs they must take to meet these.

Arthur C. Brooks {short description of image}

The Conservative Heart

Subtitle: How To Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America: Broadside Books, N.Y., 215 pgs., index, end notes

Public Policy - Economics

The Author

Michael Lewis {short description of image}

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt

Norton, NYC., 2014, 274 pgs.,

Analysis of the recent creation of the HFT phenomena and efforts to block it.

Reviewed in EconomistApril 5, 2014 - WSJ., April 1, 2014 - Barron's April 7, 2014 - This is a fascinating account by a professional writer rather than economist or academic. He is author of several best sellers including this one. I highly recommend it. This is about the recent effort of big-time investment houses to gain a jump on rivals by establishing their computers with near immediate access to the buy-sell actions on the stock and bond exchanges. While this costs millions in software and infrastructure it enables 'front running' and manipulation of prices. The author tells the story via lengthy descriptions and biographies of leading participants in the effort to uncover the fraud.

Michael Lind {short description of image}

Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States

Harper Collins, NYC., 2014, 592 pgs.,

Economic history

Reviewed in Barron's The author highly favors Alexander Hamilton's view and policy of expanded government participation (manipulation) in the national economy versus Thomas Jefferson's view of limited government. Compare to John S. Gordon's An Empire of Wealth

Michael Lind

The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite

Portfolio/Penguin. N. Y., 2020, 203 pgs., index, notes

Politics, public policy

The theme is the struggle between the establishment 'progressive' elite and the 'populist' 'counter revolution' personalized by President Trump. The prediction of conflict between, entrepreneurial, mercantilist and managerial versions of the 'welfare state' wasmade by Philip Bobbitt years ago in hisShield of Achilles. The same conflict is described in other books in this list.

Felix Martin

{short description of image}

Money: The Unauthorized Biography

Alfred A. Knopp, 2014, 320 pgs., index, bibliography, endnotes

"Unauthorized' because it is a radically different history of the creation and use of money

The British edition published by Bodlely Head was reviewed in Economist, May 18, 2013 - The book is full of unconventional ideas mostly well presented but at times confusing.. But beyond an historical study, the reader finds toward the end that the author has a philosophical basis for promoting a radical agenda for change in the entire system of money.

Mark Spitznagel{short description of image}

The DAO of Capital: Austrian Investing in a Distorted World

Wiley, 2013, 332 pgs., endnotes

Free market economics as envisioned by Ludwig von Mises and the Austrian school of economics

Reviewed in Barron's, Dec 2, 2013 - The book is about both theory and practice. It is an excellent description and analysis of the economic theories propounded by Ludwig von Mises, Frederick Hayek and others in the so-called 'Austrian school'. It is also a critique of the practical disasters in financial markets that face investors. But the author's purpose is to describe how an investor today might profit from applying the concepts of the Austrian school to his own investment methods. For references see von Mises and Hayek, below.

Jeremy R. Hammond

{short description of image}

Ron Paul vs. Paul Krugman: Austrian vs. Keynesian Economics in the Financial Crisis

Jeremy Hammond, 2012, 104 pgs., endnotes

A comparison of Austrian and Keynesian economic theories via the words of Ron Paul and Paul Krugman

Reviewed in Barron's Sept. 2, 2013 - The author correctly selected former Congressman Ron Paul and NY Times economist Paul Krugman as current representatives of the two opposite theories about economics and its manifestation in the role of government; The Austrian School believes in a real 'free market' and minimum government interference, while the Keynesian school believes that government should manage the economy and have an even greater control. The two opposing theories were given a practical test in course of the financial crisis of 2007-2009: both with respect to their contrasting predictions and recommended government 'solutions.' Thus the author's quotations from and commentary about the recent public statements of the two surrogates about this real, dramatic financial crisis provide a text that should be easily digested by the public. For references see von Mises and Hayek, below

Didier Sornette

{short description of image}

Why Stock Markets Crash: Critical Events in Complex Financial Systems

Princeton Univ. Press, 2013, 421 pgs., references

Lots of math., facts and analysis of markets

The book is recommended by John Mauldin. It is a difficult read with graphs and math formulae.

Jeremy Black {short description of image}

The Power of Knowledge

Yale Univ., 2013, 492 pgs.,

Economic history - political history

Reviewed in WSJ., Feb 26, 2014 - The book is an study of the same topic as Gilder's book but extended back through history. But for many issues the treatment is superficial.

George Gilder {short description of image}

The Scandal of Money

Regnery Publishing, NY., 2016, 202 pgs., index, end notes, glossary

Money, currency, gold, economics, public policy, banking

Subtitle: Why Wall Street Revolves but the Economy Never Does

George Gilder {short description of image}

Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World

Regnery Publishing, NY., 2013, 348 pgs., end notes, glossary

The 'new economics' based on information theory

Reviewed in WSJ., March 18, 2014 - The author describes the impact of massive computer supported information analysis on all aspects of future economies.

George Gilder {short description of image}

Wealth and Poverty

Basic Books, NYC., 1981, 306 pgs., index, bibliography, end notes

Economic analysis

The sad thing about this book is that Gilder correctly predicted what was coming and why back in 1981, but nothing was done to prevent it

George Gilder {short description of image}

Life after Google

Regnery Gateway, Washington D.C. 2020, 320 pgs., end notes, bibliography, index

Economic analysis, technical innovation, finance, Subtitle: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy

Another 'futuristic' prediction moving on from "Knowledge" In this he demonstrates why the business structure of Google and other current 'big data' based 'bit tech' companies will fail and be replaced by those exploiting 'blockchain' technology.

Niall Ferguson {short description of image}

The Great Degeneration

Penguin Press, NY., 2013, 174 pgs., end notes

The decay of Western societies

Use the link to read more. A historian's look at the change in Western Societies from expansionary to static due to changes in political institutions. The author states that "This book is about the causes of our stationary state. It is inspired by Smith's insight that both stagnation and growth are in large measure the results of 'laws and institutions.' It is our laws and institutions that are the problem. The Great Recession is merely a symptom of a more profound Great Degeneration." He gives as the 'over-arching question today 'what exactly has gone wrong in the Western World in our time? And his book is about answering that question. It should be studied along with several of the references he mentioned and several others in my list. Naturally both his assessment of the very idea that the West ever was superior and his views on the 'west and the rest' today are anathema to the political left.

Niall Ferguson{short description of image}

Colossus: The Price of America's Empire

Penguin Press, NY., 2004 - 384 pgs., extensive index, bibliography, end notes, appendix

The United States has always been an 'empire' and for the good. It should not be reluctant now.

The U.S. 'empire' has been a significant force for international good -it should continue now - but its expenditures on internal 'welfare' are creating a very dangerous financial disaster. Ferguson comments ' The Americans want security - but they want Social Security more than national security.' The author's discussion of what was current in 2004 especially in the Middle East is now outdated. Some of his ideas did not take place. But his early warning of to coming financial- monetary disaster due to USG profligate welfare spending and transfer was correct and the situation is much worse now.

Niall Ferguson

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The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

Penguin Press, NY., 2008, 442 pgs., illustrations, notes, index

Economic history

This much acclaimed book has brought the author onto the TV talk circuit as the guru of what is what with the current economic - credit crisis. The book describes the history of money and banking before the 20th century just enough to give some background that will enable the author to focus on recent and current history. His last chapter, "Afterward: The Descent of Money" begins with the sentence, "Today's financial world is the result of four millennia of economic evolution." And indeed it is, but one will find out more of the past history in Glyn Davies' book and a rather different assessment of the future in Weatherford's book. But in his summary he hits home with this. "And from the twentieth, households were encouraged, for political reasons, to increase leverage and skew their portfolios in favor of real estate. And the section "From Warfare to Welfare" is a must read that should enlighten even the most adamant liberal socialist.

Niall Ferguson

The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West

Penguin Press, N.Y., 2006, 808 pgs. 10 maps, illustrations, massive notes and bibliography, index

Modern History

A very broad, discussion including social, economic and political history. It is a cultural history of the 20th century West and the role of war in its collapse. It should be read with the Bobbitt and Kennedy books. It forms a background for Ferguson's views on money.

Niall Ferguson

The Square and the Tower: Networks and power, from the Freemasons to Facebook

Penguin Press, N.Y., 2018, 561 pgs., index, references, bibliography, illustrations

Modern History, analysis, current relationships

Another excellent reference. The author's thesis is that there has been a power struggle throughout history between hierarchically and network structured power systems. His point is that the present networks seen in Internet connections and 'social networks are not new. But his historical discussion does nor give sufficient attention and space to ancient times or the middle ages. Roman politics was based on networks of patrons and their clients as well as on official hierarchies. The Christian, Muslim and Buddhist religions leaders organized networks as well. The Templars and Hospitaliers had extensive networks capable of transferring money and other assets over distance. Networks were important prior to the time he titles 'The First Networked Age'. But his analysis and depiction of the eras that he does include are valuable. And his main point, that the competition between hierarchy and network is important today is valid.

David Landes, Joel Moryr and William Balmol, eds. {short description of image}

The Invention of Enterprise: Entrepreneurship from Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern Times

Princeton Univ. Press, 2010, 566 pgs., index, extensive references, notes, tables

Economic history

The thesis is that entrepreneurship is not only a modern phenomena but existed from ancient times. However, there are two quite different types of entrepreneur - those who use coercion - violence - to advance themselves; and those who use peaceful innovation to advance society as well as themselves.

Douglas W, Hubbard {short description of image}

The Failure of Risk Management: Why it's Broken and How to Fix it

John Wiley & Sons, NY., 2009, 281 pgs., index, tables

Technical analysis of the science of risk management

Chapters on the meaning of 'risk' and the history of its study, why current methods fail, and chapters describing how to 'fix it' using more elaborate models.

Arthur Herman {short description of image}

The Cave and the Light

Random House, NYC., 2013, index, bibliography, end notes

History of political philosophy and its extension into daily living

Reviewed in WSJ., Nov 18, 2013 The author shows with massive citations the continual influence of Plato and Aristotle throughout Western philosophical history - the struggle between Platonic and Aristotelian theories has had direct and indirect influence throughout history. Read with the books by Colish, Reynolds and Berman..

Glen Hubbard and Tim Kane {short description of image}

Balance: The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America

Simon & Schuster, N. Y., 2013, 351 pgs., index, end notes, bibliography,

Economic History


Lawrence H. White{short description of image}

The Clash of Economic Ideas: The Great Policy Debates and Experiments of the Last Hundred Years

Cambridge Univ Press, NY., 2012, 428 pgs., index, footnotes

Development of Economic Theory

This is a study of the history of academic economics rather than an economic history. It is intellectual history - the story of the class of ideas and concepts about economic theory that has raged mostly in the professional economic literature but created results from the adoption of such theories by politicians in power. Read with the Hamburger book - Is Administrative Law Unlawful? for the companion development of progressive political thought. Reading this book led me to recognize that modern academic economists are our version of medieval clerics at Cambridge and Paris. I call them secular theologians.

Lawrence H. White {short description of image}

The Theory of Monetary Institutions

Blackwell, Malden, Massachusetts, 1999, 269 pgs., index, references, notes, figures and tables, paperback


Economic Theory, Political Theory, History of Money and banking

This book is the author's summary growing out of his lectures at George Masson Univ on the history of money and banking. It is a standard story about that. Then the author evaluates current rationales for government involvement in the system. Then he describes current theories about how monetary policy functions in a regime based on fiat money operated by a central bank and alternatives might function. So his history of economic theory is based on his own theories.

John Mauldin and Jonathan Tepper

Endgame: The end of the Debt Supercycle and how it Changes Everything

John Wiley Sons, N. Y., 2011, 318 pgs., index, notes, diagrams

Investment advice based on macro -economic appraisal of recent changes

Mauldin writes a very informative free weekly essay available via Internet.

John Mauldin & Jonathan Tepper

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Code Red: How to Protect our Savings from the Coming Crisis

John Wiley Sons, N. Y., 2013, 354 pgs., index, end notes

Predictions at macro-economic level of coming financial problems.

The authors also provide general thoughts on alternative investment strategies.

John Mauldin


John Mauldin

Bull's Eye Investing: Targeting Real Returns in a Smoke and Mirrors Market

John Wiley and Sons, NY, 2004, 426 pgs., index, appendices

Finance and investing - macroeconomic conditions

The author publishes an excellent weekly newsletter via Internet. We are in a long term bear market. Mauldin describes the broad trends for the coming decade. Note; the book was published in 2004, thus some of the content is relatively timeless description of investments and other parts are his predictions which the reader can now evaluate. The period to 2010 will be much different from the 1980-1990's. Now stock markets have high valuations, interest rates are extremely low, the dollar is declining and there are huge deficits in the foreign trade balance and government debt. This means a secular bear market. In bear markets the 'buy and hold' strategy will not work - one has to focus on absolute returns. The bench mark for judging investments is the money market and success is in beating the return of Treasury bills. One must carefully control risk. Bear markets may last 8 to 17 years. But the general economy will do just fine eventually. His new book will be published shortly.

Alan Greenspan

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The Map and the Territory: Risk, Human Nature, and the Future of Forecasting

Penguin Press, N. Y., 2013, 388 pgs., index, end notes, appendix, graphs and tables

Part a personal memoir, part and excuse for not predicting market crashes, part lessons in basic economics

A lengthy review will be published at the link


Joseph A. Tainter {short description of image}

The Collapse of Complex Societies

Cambridge Univ. Press, 1988, 250 pgs., index, references,

An archeologist describes the collapse of ancient societies and some modern counterparts

The author mostly bases his views on his archeological - anthropological study of ancient ruins such as the Maya and American Indians. I believe his emphasis on ancient Rome over does it. There are many references that show that Western Rome didn't 'collapse' but rather transitioned into new political forms. But his thesis is interesting - that societies collapsed when the energy cost of maintaining more elaborate infrastructure exceeded their ability to afford that cost.

Gretchen Morgenson and Joshu{short description of image}a Rosner

Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption led to Economic Armageddon

Times Books, NY, 2011, 331 pgs., index

The financial crisis of 2008 and who was responsible for it

Read also Charles Calomiris- Fragile by Design.and Robert Schiller's Irrational Exuberance

Charles W. Calomiris and Stephen H Haber {short description of image}

Fragile by Design

Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, 2014, 570 pgs., index, bibliography, footnotes

Economic history - banking and money

Subtitle: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit - The book is a comparative study of several quite different banking systems and their interrelationships with the political demands of their governments. The section on U.S. Banking is important in itself for its history. Other books on American financial and economic history that can be read with this are: John Steele Gordon's An Empire of Wealth, R. Christopher Whalen's Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream, and Felix Martin's Money. And on the recent financial crash and banks there is Anat Admati's The Banker's New Clothes.
The most important general lesson in the book is that banking systems are inherently creatures of the governments that support and control them. There are no really independent banking systems today. In other words they are political entities.

Robert J. Schiller

Irrational Exuberance

Broadway Books, 2001, 319 pages, index, preface, figures and tables, bibliography, footnotes, paperback

Economic history - Stock Market bubbles and crashes

Reviewer comment:
The author provides figures showing the historical data on stock prices, price-earnings ratios and increases. His history based analysis is excellent. The book was written with the '' crash in mind after the great market 'boom' of the 1990's. Obviously he has been ignored as the subsequent greater crashes (financial disaster of 2008) and again (in 2020) prove.
The author writes: "The need for such a book is particularly urgent today, in view of the widespread and quite fundamental disagreement about the stock market." No doubt, then, what about in 2007-8 and in 2019-2020? He asks: "Why did the U.S. stock market reach such high levels by the turn of the millennium? What changed to cause the market to become so highly priced?" Indeed, What?? Now we can ask again What? but in addition - why has the same situation been repeated? - Are the causes he identified in 2001 intrinsic? are they endemic? David Hay of Evergreen has been urging attention to the continuing market 'bubble' and even titling it 'bubble on bubble' to no apparent avail.

Peter D. Schiff

The Real Crash, How to save yourself and your country

St. Martin's Press, NY., 2012, 335 pgs., few footnotes

Investment advice - Government generated debt will create a greater financial disaster


J. Antony Boeckh

The Great Reflation: How Investors can profit from the New World of Money

John Wiley Sons, NY., 2010, index, diagrams

Investment advice - governments are desperately trying to create inflation to solve their debt problems


David Goldhill, David

Catastrophic Care: How American Health Care Killed My Father - and How We can Fix it

Random House, NYC., 2013, 400 pgs

Critique of the American health care and insurance system with recommendations


Jonathan Macey

The Death of Corporate Reputation: How Integrity has Been Destroyed on Wall Street

FT Press, NYC., 2013, 304 pgs

finances, economics, business

In the past reputation was a very important assess for a business, in fact, the author shows, some large corporations were destroyed from loss of reputation. But in recent years the widespread attack on businesses by government prosecutors has become so routine and even shown to be false so the result has been counter productive. Government effort to sully the reputation of businesses has made decline of reputation so routine that it has lost its power and become much less significant.

Rodney Stark

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The Victory of Reason

Subtitle: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success - Random House, N.Y., 2005, 281 pgs., index, bibliography end notes, paperback

Economic and Political History - refutation of many ideas taught in typical schools today

A more narrowly focused study with a similar view as in the following. In this book the author examines the basic belief of Christianity in the rule of Reason. This is unique among the world's great religion. It enabled Christian thinkers to develop theology based on reasoning about God. This in tern supported the development of science, belief in individual freedom and democratic political organization and capitalist economic theory and practice.

Rodney Stark

{short description of image}

How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity

ISI N. Y. C., 2014, 455 pgs., index, bibliography, end notes,

Economic and Political History - refutation of many ideas taught in typical schools today

Mr. Stark He demonstrates that 'capitalism' began in Europe far earlier than is commonly believed He demonstrates with specific examples, naming the authors, the common fallacies and myths promulgated by the anti-Western academics and authors. He compares these with scholarly work that proves otherwise provides a comprehensive antidote to recent academic instruction in colleges and high schools (where courses on Western Civilization even remain) The author compares the ancient authoritarian, consuming empires with the Western European medieval society that welcomed invention and investment.

Zachary Karabell

The Leading Indicators

Simon and Schuster, N.Y. , 2014, 287 pgs.,

Economic theory

Reviewed in WSJ., Feb. 10, 2014 - The author describes the history of the effort to describe economies in mathematical terms by use of statistics as a relatively modern phenomena. The purpose for this new effort is to enable governments to control and manipulate their societies. The results then often assume a major role in determining government policy. But when government responds by manipulating the data it 'wreaks havoc on itself'.

Reden, Sitta von

{short description of image}

Money in Classical Antiquity

Cambridge Univ. Press, NYC., 2010, index, references, bibliographical essay, glossary, appendices

Scholarly study of the development and role of money in ancient Greece and Rome

This is a very important book for the study of current economic crisis. Dr. von Reden shows the important role of credit=debt in classical Greece, Rome, and Egypt. Credit is NOT a modern invention but was a significant part of the real money supply since ancient times.

M. I. Finley

Economy and Society in Ancient Greece

Viking Press, N.Y., 1982, 326 pgs., index, notes, bibliography

Economic history in classical Greece


John Tomasi

Free Market Fairness

Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton N.J., 2012 212 pgs.,

Economic-political theory and practice

Reviewed in WSJ., March 20, 2012 - An attempt to square a circle, find a possible middle ground between 'free market economics' and 'social fairness' political theory

Rev. Robert Sirico

Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for A free Economy

Regenry, Wash., D. C., 2012, 213 pgs. select readings

How and why the Judeo-Christian world view created freedom and economic liberty tied to public morality


Stephen T. Asma

Against Fairness

Chicago U. Chicago, 2013, 208 pgs.,

Current political - economic policy

Reviewed in WSJ., Dec. 28, 2013 - The author writes that 'fairness' in its current popular political meaning is a cover word for egalitarianism, meaning redistribution of wealth and utilitarian ethics. The result is the decline of previously accepted virtues such as honor, loyalty, compassion, and duty.

Daniel Stedman Jones

Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, the Birth of Neoliberal Politics

Princeton Univ. Press, 2012, 418 pgs., endnotes

current political- economic policy

An attack on 'neoliberal' politics - claimed to be a result of Hayekian economics - that the author claims caused the financial crash - support for Keynesian economics.

John Horvati

Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society

York Press, Hannover Pa. 2013, index, bibliography, footnotes, illustrations

Coins the term "Frenetic Intemperance" as the fundamental cause of America's political and economic crisis

Based on a very romantic conception of Medieval European society, practice and thought. The critique of contemporary society and culture is valid, but the proposed return to medieval conditions is impossible

David Graeber {short description of image}

Debt: The First 5,000 Years

Melvile House, Brooklyn, NY., 2011, 534 pgs., massive bibliography, index, footnotes - 2nd added edition 2014

An anarchist anthropologist's account of debt and its impact on all social relations

An excellent, comprehensive history of the role of credit=debt in human financial affairs. His refutation of the 'myth' of barter is worth the whole book. Read also Podyany and Hudson on the real story of 'money' in ancient Mesopotamia. They agree with Graeber.
Unfortunately the author is so ideologically committed to anarcho-communism that he ascribes the worst motives for causation of recent events. For instance, he claims that President Nixon's (and American in general) military policies in Vietnam were responsible for inflation and financial problems, never mentioning the massive costs of the LBJ welfare state policies, which Nixon continued.

Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig

{short description of image}

The Banker's New Clothes: What's Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It

Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, 2013, 398 pgs., index, extensive bibliography, endnotes

The fundamental problem is the flawed structure of the modern banking system

This is a polemical advocacy book urging that banks be required to have a much larger equity position versus borrowing in their assets as a cushion to protect against insolvency and liquidity problems. I agree with this and want even greater equity percentage they the authors recommend. However, I believe most of their arguments are false and are based on misunderstanding of the role of banks and the nature of money. Worse, they lay the entire blame for bank failures and in particular the 2007-8 financial collapse on the bankers being greedy. They ignore the role of government demands on banks to fund easy expansion of housing for favored groups. Read Charles Calomiris - Fragile by Designand Casey Milligan - The Redistribution Recession.

Alan Ryan

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On Politics: A History of Political Thought

W. W. Norton, N.Y., 2012, 2 Vol. 1114 pgs., index, notes, bibliography, further reading

Intellectual history -

A massive two volumes - Vol. One from Herodotus to Machiavelli - Vol. Two from Hobbs to the present. The author describes the history of thoughts about politics by focusing mostly on that of the leading, influential, thinkers.
There is a review in The Economist, December 15, 2012. The author includes his analysis of all the leading political philosophers one usually considers. This is his analysis, in contrast to compendiums that are mostly extracts from the selected thinkers' works.

Michael K. Salemi {short description of image}

Money and Banking: What Everyone Should Know

The Great Courses, Chantilly, Virginia, 2012

36 Lectures on DVD with Transcript

Excellent summary including much information not found in typical books.

Nicholas Wapshoot

{short description of image}

Keynes - Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics

W. W. Norton, N. Y.., 2011

History of economic theory

As the title indicates, this is more focused than White's book listed above, but covers much the same ground.

Dmabsa Moyo

How the West Was Lost: 'Fifty Years of Economic Folly - and the Stark Choices Ahead

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, NYC, 2011, 226 pgs., index, bibliography, notes,

Polemic castigating the 'West' for the world's economic and fiscal evils.

This comment on page 173 is a clear summary of the author's views. "For the past 500 years, Western economic dominance has been a story of ruthlessness and self-interest. Its military power, its global hold, its influence on the world, have been the history of its trade, or rather the history of its single-minded ability to extra from other countries, other continents, other peoples, the material, land and people that would drive its economy forward - and in other words make them rich."

David Smick {short description of image}

The World is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy

Penguin Group NY., 2008, index, bibliography. The Mortgage Crisis was only the Beginning.

The Mortgage Crisis was only the Beginning of current and future fiscal catastrophe

Use the link to read more. The title is a response to Thomas Friedman's book The World Is Flat: A brief History of the Twenty-first Century. The author's central theme is that we are now in a truly global economy - a multinational economy created by globalization. The book is the opposite ofBailout Nationand in another way ofIn FED we trust.The author's thesis is that the globalization of the world economy during past 25-30 years is responsible for the massive gains in wealth all around - for the lifting out of poverty of billions of people, but also has created new problems.

David Wessel

{short description of image}

In FED we Trust: Ben Bernanke's war on the Great Panic: How the Federal Reserve became the Fourth Branch of Government

Crown Business, NYC, 2009, 323 pgs., index, selected bibliography,

Investment, money and banking, Financial crisis of 2008

Subtitle - Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic: How the Federal Reserve became the Fourth Branch of Government. Mr. Wessel is an economic journalist, meaning he uses the skills of a reporter and focuses on economic issues. His book reflects the strong and weak aspects of this background. The main weak point is in the organization. As a journalist he wants to entice the readers, so in typical journalist style he opens the story (and it is a story he is telling) with the end. In this case it is the opening in Chapter One in which the author describes the bankruptcy of Lehman and what his protagonists (Bernanke, Kohn, Warsh, Geithner, Paulson and supporting cast) were doing about it. The strong point is that he has an excellent eye for personal details and tells a great 'story' full of the excitement experienced by his protagonists as they reeled from one disaster to the next. But within his story he inserts much valuable by way of 'lessons learned' and critical analysis.
The book was published in 2009 before Bernanke was reappointed as Chairman by President Obama in January 2010. One would like to learn what Mr. Wessel thinks about the events since then.

Stephen King {short description of image}

When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence

Yale Univ Press, New Haven, 2013, 287 pgs., index, bibliography, end notes.

Economic Theory, analysis of the financial crisis of 2007-08

Reviewed in Economist, 11 May, 2013 - The author does not mean the money literally 'runs out' but rather than increasing standard of living is running out in the 'developed' world because governments have resorted to massive increases in debt, expansion of money supplies. harming savers through manipulated low interest rates. The result is increased inequality of income and wealth plus no or little expansion of economies.

James Rickards {short description of image}

Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis

Portfolio, Penguin, NY., 2011, 296 pgs., index, selected bibliography, endnotes.

Economic theory, analysis of the credit crisis of 2007-08.

Warning on what is coming if and when the nation states resort to competitive depreciations of their currencies. I wrote the review of the book at the link here 10 years ago, much has changed since then including the publication of many more books and much analysis, so both Rickards analysis and my thoughts have changed as well.

James Rickards

{short description of image}

The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary system

Portfolio Penguin, NY., 2014, 356 pgs., index, additional reading, end notes

International finance, predictions of potential future problems

An expansion on the previous warning on what is coming if and when the nation states resort to competitive depreciations of their currencies. Now we see that many are already doing this. But, so far the 'death' has not happened.
Rickards starts right out with his subject. "The Death of Money is about the demise of the dollar, not of money. By extension, it is also about the potential collapse of the international monetary system because, if confidence in the dollar is lost, no other currency stands ready to take its place as the world's reserve currency." The remaining section is a brief summary of the international monetary system based on the dollar since the late 1970's, plus a mention of the 3 previous collapses of the monetary system in 1914, 1939, and 1971. he devotes sections to Financial War - Inflation - Deflation - Market Collapse - and A Deluge of Dangers. His conclusion is: "The system has spun out of control, the altered state of the economic world, with new players, shifting allegiances, political ineptitude, and technological change has left investors confused."

James Rickards {short description of image}

The Road to Ruin: The Global Elite's Secret Plan for the next Financial Crisis

Portfolio Penguin, NY., 2016, 340 pgs., index, additional reading, end notes

International finance, predictions of potential future problems

Another expansion on the previous warnings on what is coming when the expanding debt can no longer be financed and the world looses faith in the dollar as its reserve currency and there is a liquidity crisis. The Central Banks are prepared now for the IMF to issue large quantities of SDR's to the banks as a new reserve currency. The relative value of the dollar will fall.

Kevin D. Williamson

{short description of image}

The End is Near and its going to be Awesome: How Going Broke will Leave American Richer, Happier, and More Secure

Broadside Books, NY., 2013, 228 pgs., index

Economic theory, analysis of financial crisis and prediction of future economy

The author writes from a strong libertarian philosophy. His data and critique of the current fiscal and monetary situation is well based. His opinion is that the 'welfare states' simply cannot fulfill their promises. In my opinion he is much too optimistic about what will happen with the publics realize this fact.

David A. Stockman

{short description of image}

The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America

Public Affairs, NY., 2013, 742 pgs., index

Narrative of the events and economic theories that led to the financial crisis of 2007.

Reviewed in Barron's Sept. 2, 2011 - WSJ., April 18, 2013 - Washington Examiner, April 11, 2013 - Getting even with President Reagan

Peter Watson

The Modern Mind: An intellectual History of the 20th Century

Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 2000, 847 pgs., index, endnotes


Chronological narrative of the development of all aspects of intellectual life

A tour de force - including everything from art and anthropology to zoology. It is an important study that describes the origins and development of our culture today.

Paul Krugman {short description of image}

The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008

W. W. Norton Co, NY., 2009, 191 pgs., revision of the 1999 edition

Economic theory, comment and analysis of the economic crisis of 2007-2008

The author is a major acolyte of Lord Keynes whom he extols in the last chapter. He advocated Keynesian 'demand side' economics - centered on perpetual expansion of government 'stimulus' via spending based on increased debt. He writes well and presents clear description of his theories and desired outcomes.

Stephen Leeb

Game Over: How you can Prosper in a Shattered Economy

Business Plus, NY., 2009, 244 pgs., index

Investment advice - predictions on future economy

The author believes in all the doom ideas about 'peak oil', 'peak resources', and advocates investing on gold. Written in 2009, the book misses completely what took place by 2013. The tone is hyper-alarm. Worth a read to learn how wrong economists can be even in the short run.

David Patterson

"The Roads to Fiscal Ruin"

Barron'sAugust 23, 2010 pg. 33

analysis of the US fiscal debt bomb with examples from history

The author cites historical examples of the collapse of empires and governments through failure to eliminate massive debt. He notes, "We are just where those others were: captive to entrenched special interests that will brook no change to their positions, whatever the long-term danger." The danger he notes is not simply fiscal but of social revolution.

Justin Fox {short description of image}

The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street

Harper Collins, NY, 2009, 382 pgs., index, notes, Cast of Characters

Economics, financial crisis

Dissects and skewers Barton Malkiel and the other 'rational market' and Modern Portfolio Theory apologists.

Hunter Lewis

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Crony Capitalism in America, 2008-2012

AC2 Books, 2013, 399 pgs.,

Political corruption in Washington DC


Reviewed in Barron's, Nov. 4, 2013 - Real capitalism and free markets are not to blame for current economic- political disastrous policy. Capitalism has been distorted by 'crony' that is political favoritism distorting economic policy. See also Peter Schweizer,Extortion: How Politicians Extract your Money, Buy Votes, and line their own Pockets.

Hunter Lewis

{short description of image}

Where Keynes Went Wrong: and why World Governments keep creating inflation, bubbles, and busts.

Axios Press, Mt. Jackson VA. 2009, 384 pgs. extensive notes, index

Economics - expose of the real Keynes and his agenda

This is a very important book and one largely ignored because it exposes Keynes as a charlatan and mountebank. The author takes extensive exact quotations from Keynes many books, articles and speeches and shows their fallacies. Moreover, he shows Keynes himself switched his whole economic philosophy after World War I. The author does not discuss sufficiently the part of his book title about WHY governments are doing as he notes. But he shows that Keynes created his economic theories because they are popular with politicians as a convenient basis for what they want to do. Among Keynes' fallacious concepts were (are) that all interest rates should be near zero and that governments should foster 'permanent boom' times.

Hunter Lewis

Free Prices Now! Fixing the Economy by Abolishing the FED

AC2 Books, 2013, 276 pgs

Economics ,

The author criticizes the FED for manipulating interest rates which then creates artificial booms that cause subsequent busts. The FED created the housing bubble. The reduced cost of borrowing is offset by the decreased income from savings. But the progressive's adherence to Keynesian theory, they claim, justifies their continual demand for more and more government intervention and control - all financed by the FED

Victor Sperandeo

"The Lessons of History: When governments cannot borrow, hyperinflation is frequently the result"

Barron's,December 20, 2010, pg 55

Economic history applied to current monetary policy

The author of the must-read Crashmaker comes through with a powerful analysis of the real source of hyperinflation - it has nothing to do with the official theories about inflation. In fact hyperinflation and inflation are not the same. The Bernanke FED and European central bank are claiming that their massive expansion of real money supply won't be 'inflationary' and it may not be, but it is a very likely cause of a coming hyperinflation when they run out of lenders willing to give more to governments. We face a solvency crisis, not a liquidity crisis. Read this along with "This Time is Different'.

Martin Jacques {short description of image}

When China Rules the World: The end of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order

The Penguin Press, NY. 550 pgs., index, bibliography, notes

economics, world politics, futuristic

An excellent discussion with copious detail by a British author who has lived in China for years. But as much as he knows about China he knows little about the United States. The prediction found in the title and throughout the analysis is based on the author's radical leftist view of the evil of capitalism and the United States in particular (with United Kingdom a close second). He clearly relishes the downfall of these "predatory" societies. Nevertheless the book is valuable reading on the current and future growth of China and its world power.

Clide Prestowitz {short description of image}

Three Billion New Capitalists: The great shift of wealth and power to the East.

Basic Books, NY., 2005, 320 pgs, index, recommended reading

economics, world politics, China and India

title describes the author's thesis. His entire tone and approach is much more even and objective than that of Martin Jacques.

Harry S. Dent Jr. {short description of image}

The Great Depression Ahead: How to prosper in the crash following the greatest boom in history.

The Free Press, NY., 2008, 376 pgs, index

investment advice, economics

The author is a perma-bear - who has been predicting doom for years.

Harry S. Dent Jr. {short description of image}

The demographic cliff: How to survive and prosper during the great deflation of 2014-2019

Portfolio, Penguin, N. Y., 2014, 358 pgs., index, tables, graphs

investment advice, economics

The author is a perma-bear - who has been predicting doom for years. In this book he focuses on the impact of demographics that shows waves of increasing and decreasing populations in each age group. He describes what the result is, namely waves of typical average purchases. He predicts the coming decline in the young segment and expanding increase in elderly will create huge economic changes.

David Wiedemer and Robert Wiedemer, Cindy Spitzer {short description of image}

Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown

John Wiley & Sons, NY,, 2010, 273 pgs., index, bibliography

economics, financial crisis

This is an important book with a message that should be widely studied. Unfortunately, it is also badly flawed. The authors consume far too much space in self-congratulation on their own claim to unique brilliance. They claim to be the only analysts who predicted the housing and financial crises of 2007-09 and who know about the coming 'meltdown. But many others, including some listed here also made the same predictions. For instance, they claim others believe ALL debt is 'bad' (not true) but they are correct in claiming that 'smart' debt is good but 'dumb' debt is bad. Well, how brilliant can that be? Actually it is meaningless. The correct idea is that debt created in the course of borrowing existing funds to finance investment having the purpose of future growth is 'good'. But debt created by creating new money for the purpose of consumption is what is 'bad'. The authors' thesis, that the U.S. is in a 'bubble' economy is correct. They describe the housing and financial bubbles and predict the coming collapse of the world financial system. But they do not address the long-term historical, political, causes of this situation.

Editorial staff

"The World turned upside down: A special report on innovation in emerging markets"

Economist,April 17, 2010 pgs 11-18.

global economics

A typically valuable special report. The authors describe how innovative companies in 'emerging market' countries were believed to be leading the world into future economic expansion.

Editorial Staff

"Briefing Greece's sovereign-debt crisis

Economist, April 17, 2010, pgs 78-82

economics, financial affairs, current affairs,

A report on what is happening in Greece and the responses of the European community. Of course much has happened since 2010 but without much change.

Editorial Staff

"They might be giants"

Economist, May 15, 2010, pgs 3 -20

global economics, finances

A valuable report on the condition and future of the banking system in 'emerging market' countries. Special attention is given to banks in China, India, Brazil and Russia.

John Grimond

"For want of a drink: A special report on water"

Economist, May 22, 2010, pgs. 3-20


An extensive, detailed report on the dangerous shortage of water, what is being done and some ideas about what should be done to alleviate this.

J. Samuelson

"The Welfare State's death spiral"

Washington Post, May 10, 2010

public policy, economics

Amazing at is seems, the Washington Post published this OP-ed article by one of its standard contributors. Samuelson ( who is a well-know left wing economist) is admitting what I have been saying for years - namely that the welfare state cannot pay for its promised benefits.

Christopher Horner

Power Grab: How Obama's Green Policies will steal our freedom and bankrupt America

Regnery Publishing, NY., 2010, 396 pgs. extensive notes, index

political/economy - the multi-faceted radical left attack on the 'commanding heights;

The author identifies the host of radical leftist revolutionaries who have used the 'green' 'environmental' movement as replacement for Marx's proletariat. Under cover of the various environmental dangers including 'global warming' they are seeking the socialist agenda. He identifies the key players Obama has brought into power in the executive branch.

Economist Staff

"The gods strike back: Special Report on Financial Risk"

The Economist,Feb 13th-19th 2010

economics, financial crisis

An excellent summary of what happened, an analysis of causes and results, and recommendations for banking and financial industry 'reforms'. The title is a play on Bernstein book listed below.

Tad DeHaven

"Five decades of failure are enough: Budget-busting waste and economy-strangling red tape"

Washington Times, Wed, Feb 10, 2010, pg B3

housing and credit crisis,

The author names names - Samuel Pierce, Alphonso Jackson, Henry Cisneros and Andrew Cuomo - all government officials who promoted the welfare state program to make 'affordable housing' an entitlement via programs to force subsidies for home ownership. HUD, FHA, and the GSE's were all at the center of the policy. Moreover, despite the collapse the government is doing its best to continue the policy.

Peter Schweizer {short description of image}

Architects of Ruin: How Big Government Liberals Wrecked the Global Economy - and How they will do it again if no one stops them

Harper, NY., 2009, 217 pgs, notes, index

financial failures, government policy

This book should be read along with Thomas Sowell's The Housing Boom and Bust. Both show that the huge bubble in house prices and subsequent crash was the result of government insistence on making 'affordable housing' an expanded entitlement. Mr. Schweizer names names such as Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd, Andrew Cuomo and Robert Rubin. He notes the role of ACORN and PUSH. He shows that the effort to blame Wall Street and bankers is a smoke screen to divert attention while the radical politicians continue to demand the dangerous programs be expanded. The subject is focused, but one should note that 'affordable housing' is but one of the three central entitlements the liberals have been pushing for years, the others being socialized health care and higher education.

Amity Shales{short description of image}

the forgotten man

Harper Collins, NY., 2007, 464 pgs., index, bibliography

economic- political history

This is a short, clear exposition of the ideas of von Mises and Hayek presented in a direct language for the general reader. It is an analysis of the prevalent economic fallacies that support public policy today. It begins with a discussion of the classic story by Bastiat about the economic effect of a 'broker window'. This is the basic 'must read' in the study of economics.

Amity Shales

"How to Make a Weak Economy Worse"

Wall Street Journal2 Feb. 2010

government policy, financial failures

Read with Ms. Shales full story published in the forgotten man. Here she compares the record of FDR described in that book with the current policies of President Obama. The result of FDR's policies was to extend and deepen the Depression and the author believes the current policies will have the same result. She notes the political purposes of claimed economic policy such as favoritism of labor unions and attacks on business, especially bankers. "FDR's war against business played to the crowd, but it hurt the economy. While monetary policies impeded recovery in the late 1930's it was the administrations' assault on companies and capital that ensured the Depression's duration."

Amity Shales


Harper Collins, NY., 2013, 565 pgs., index, endnotes, sources, illustrations

political biography

The author believes President Coolidge to be much under rated by liberal establishment historians and shows valuable contributions to political/economy that reduced some of the mal-administration of the Wilson reign.

Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff

{short description of image}

This Time it is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly

Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton NJ., 2009, 463 pgs, extensive notes, tables, charts, appendix, index

Financial failures, government debt crises, bank failures

Reviewed in Barron's Dec. 7, 2009. The authors are typical modern economists, using models, econometrics, citing economic theory, and the full suite of economic tools. When I see repeated use of 'problematic' meaning either dangerous or difficult, I see a red flag. But the ordinary reader has to ignore all this stuff written for the professional economist and focus on the message. This is delivered forcefully right in the Preface. "If there is one common theme to the vast range of crises we consider in this book, it is that excessive debt accumulation, whether it be by the government, banks, corporations, or consumers, often poses greater systemic risks than it seems during a boom." The title is a clever play on the too common statement made by the market 'experts' during times leading up to a crash that 'this time it is different', when as the authors demonstrate so fully it never really is. One has to admire them for moving beyond mathematical economics to delve in history - although I believe claiming 'eight centuries' is a stretch when they focus overwhelmingly on the last two centuries. John Mauldin recommended this book highly. There have been favorable reviews in media and more citations coming all the time. They have been speaking at economists' gatherings. The research work is presented in a way favorable for a Nobel Prize.

Peter Bernstein {short description of image}

Against the Gods: The remarkable Story of Risk

John Wiley & Sons, NY., 1996, 383 pgs, index, extensive bibliography, notes on sources.

The history of the concept of 'risk' described through the contributions of many writers.

The book is also highly recommended by John Mauldin. I found it fascinating in its description of the personal role of many individuals. The author provides a brief biography of each of the major contributors whose ideas he describes - from ancient Greeks to the 1960's. Those readers whose interest is in the development of concepts such as probability, game theory, regression to the mean and similar ideas can skip to chapter 15 in which the most modern theories are described. Unfortunately, the content ends in mid-1990's. And as is so unfortunately the case the author follows the current practice of economists in general in ignoring the political half of political-economy. But in doing so he claims approval for the pure mathematical approach to economic analysis.

Thomas Sowell {short description of image}

The Housing Boom and Bust

Basic Books, NY., 2009, 184 pgs., index, sources

A full and revealing description of the real causes of the credit - housing bust of 2006-2008

Once again this distinguished economist cuts through the political smoke screen to describe the role of 40 years or more of American government policy in creating both the underlying basis and the ultimate causes of the collapse in the credit - housing market in the US. The efforts of politicians to shift blame to private bankers and brokers and to claim it is a fault of the 'free market' or 'capitalism' generally are shown to be false. He also returns to the origins and development of the 'Great Depression'. He shows that in that case also it was government interventions which deepened and prolonged the depression. The book is a must read for everyone today.

Thomas Sowell {short description of image}

Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective

Basic Books, NY., 2015, pgs., index, sources

Economics, Politics, public policy

The author writes chapters on Factors frequently described as sources or causes for poverty - Geographic, Cultural, Social and Political. He shows that all these are relevant in various ways but none explain the existence of either wealth of poverty in all times or places. Both are results of complex interactions. The author insists that analysis must focus on production rather than distribution of assets.

Christopher Steiner

$20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better

Grand Central Publishing, NY., 2009, 274 pgs., index, brief notes

Futurology with a strong emphasis on social commentary

The author accepts the 'peak oil' concept that predicts a major decline on the supply of crude oil world-wide. He cites some studies and data to support this theory. This may or may not be as serious as the author and his sources believe. But what I find offensive is stated right from the book title. The author is strongly in favor of all the vast changes in society which he predicts and is excited that this 'shortage' of oil (gasoline) will force these changes on a reluctant public via government intervention and coercion. These include all the usual mantras of the 'environmentalists'. The book is a 'wake-up call' for anyone who hopes to resist this expansion of government power. To the extent that there will be coming shortfalls in the oil supply we should be investigating ways to overcome this in preserving the best of current conditions, not using it as a wedge and hammer to provide political support for more government power and reduced freedom. But fellow environmental fanatics will love this book.

Thomas Sowell {short description of image}

Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy, Third Edition

Basic Books, N.Y., 2007, 626 pgs, notes on sources


A valuable basic text on economics for the general reader. It is focused on countering popular myths and fallacies. But in the first chapter on "what is economics' the author writes "Economics is the study of the use of scarce resources which have alternative uses." I believe this idea needs amending: "Economics is the non-coercive process whereby scarce resources having alternative uses are allocated to maximize the general good". But "Politics is the coercive process whereby scarce resources having alternative uses are allocate to maximize the outcomes desired by the political authorities." Thus Sowell, in keeping with general studies of economics repeatedly includes examples in which political decisions altered the results that otherwise would have come from pure economic processes, but without calling attention to this.

Henry Hazlitt {short description of image}

The Free Man's Library

D. Van Nostrand Co, NY.,1956, 176 pgs.

libertarian politics and philosophy, economics

I list this short book first as it is an early bibliography of important books that focus on the philosophy of individualism free trade, free enterprise, free markets and individual liberties. From the date the reader can see that it does not include any of the many recent books listed below. Each book has an excellent comment that will enable the reader to select those most relevant to political/economy.

David Hackett Fischer {short description of image}

The Great Wave

Oxford Univ. Press, 1996, 536 pgs, notes, appendices, index

Economic History - Inflation

Fischer was more interested in study of the forces that created the 'great waves' of inflation since the 1200's and their results than in the detailed study of their subsequent deflations and equilibrium periods. He describes the details of economic changes that accompanied the subjects in the Bobbitt and Kennedy books. The author in late 1990's predicted the coming epochal change in the world from inflation to deflation. This is the best analysis of the causes of inflationary waves based on history and it shows many causes in addition to money supply.

Philip Bobbitt {short description of image}

- Shield of Achilles

Random House, NY., 2003, 919 pgs, bibliography, index, notes, paperback and hardback

History of the 'state', warfare and constitutions

Description of the several transformations of the 'state' since its inception around 1500 and the interrelationships between external strategy and internal constitutional changes - He notes the end of the 'nation state - welfare state' in late 1990's and ensuing conflict between three alternatives: entrepreneurial, managerial and mercantile states - that we witness today. Study with the Kennedy book.

Philip Bobbitt

{short description of image}

Terror and Consent The Wars for the Twenty-first Century -

Alfred Knopf, N. Y., 2008, 672, pgs., index, notes

History of the 'state', and relation to terror

A continuation of the previous book. In this Prof. Bobbitt shows the relationship between the type of 'state' and the methods of terror. Very critical analysis of what we face with terror in the 21st century.

Paul Kennedy {short description of image}

The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military conflict from 1500 - 2000

Random House, New York, 1987, 677 pgs, notes, bibliography, maps, index

The interrelationship between economic and fiscal strength versus military and strategic power

An excellent narrative of events with analysis of the details of the subject. This should be studied in conjunction withShield of Achillesand The Great Wave. The author integrates the roles of military technology, organization and tactics with the importance of logistics and behind all else the significance of money and financing in enabling the state to conduct war. Financial crises bring down even the most powerful states. His first major theme is that 'there exists a dynamic for change, driven chiefly by economic and technological developments, which then impact upon social structures, political systems, military power, and the position of individual states and empires". The second theme is that 'this uneven pace of economic growth has had crucial long-term impacts upon the relative military power and strategical position of the members of the states system."

Ludwig von Mises {short description of image}


Wikipedia entry

Biography, economic theories

A brief biography with a list of von Mises' publications and comment about his influence on economic theory

Ludwig von Mises {short description of image}

Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

3rd edition, Henry Regnery Company, Chicago, 1949

Economics and social history

The center piece of the "Austrian School' of economic theory. A field not sufficiently studied, in opposition to Keynesian economic theory. Probably the most important book in this list, but not easily understood.

Ludwig von Mises {short description of image}

Socialism; an Economic and Sociological Analysis

Yale Univ. Press, New Haven, 1951, index

Economics and sociology

Devastating proof of the impossibility of socialist economic theory and practice to achieve its theoretical goals. Very interesting sections on the relationship of Christian teaching to the conflict between private property and socialism. No 'economic 'planner' can obtain sufficient knowledge to create plans for the unknown future.

Ludwig von Mises {short description of image}

Theory and History: An interpretation of social and economic evolution

Arlington House, New York, 1969, 384 pgs, index.

philosophy, economics,

Economic philosophy - thoughts on what man can know in social science such as economics and how this differs from physical sciences and metaphysics - discussion on 'value'.

Ludwig von Mises {short description of image}

'Politics and Ideas'

This is an extract from the essay published in the Mises Institute, Mises Wire, Feb, 8, 2021 ]

Intellectual history, political theory,

The essay was adapted from the sixth lecture of Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow. The subject is the influence of ideas on politics and the results. He writes that it is the modern influence of the intelligentsia, especially those creating ideas about economics and political/economy who are responsible for the dire economic, political, social conditions we face today.

Ludwig von Mises {short description of image}


Ludwig von Mises

Nation, State, and Economy




Ludwig von Mises{short description of image}

The Anti-Capitalist Mentality

Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, Al., 2016,114 pgs., paperback

psychology, economics, philosophy

A discussion - essay on the author's explanation about why the intelligentsia and followers are opposed to capitalism despite its obvious success in raising the world population to higher living standards

Ludwig von Mises

{short description of image}
{short description of image}

The Theory of Money and Credit

Skyhorse Publishing, NYC., 2013, 493 pgs, index, footnotes, paperback - first published in 1934

Economics, money and banking

The classic Austrian view on money, credit and banking. But it is, as the title indicates, pure theory -deductive reasoning and it repeats the myth of barter as the precursor to creation of money

Ludwig von Mises

{short description of image}

"Acting man and economics"

This is an extract from a chapter published by the Mises Institute in 06/19/2018


Economic theory

The author's views on the nature and role of 'economic science' in contrast with the physical sciences. He writes: "Action is the search for improvement of conditions from the point of view of the personal value judgments of the individual concerned.
(Dr. McCloskey in her three books on Bourgeois terms this 'betterment')

Ludwig von Mises {short description of image}

"Understanding the Root Causes of Inflation"

This is an extract from the Mises Wire article, of January 26, 2021.

Economic theory, Inflation, political policy

Since Dr. Ludwig von Mises is dead, the essay comes from his previous writing, in this case it is from a lecture. This is the fourth lecture from Mises's Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow.

Ludwig von Mises{short description of image}

The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science

D. van Nostrand Co, Princeton, 1962, 158 pgs., index, notes

Economic theory,, political policy, theory of knowledge, praxeology


This another of the author's arguments in favor of deductive reasoning. We may question if deductive reasoning is in fact the 'ultimate foundation' and also if economics is a science. But his argument against the 'epistemology of positivism' is much needed.


George Soros

On Globalization,

Public Affairs, NY., 2002, 191 pgs., index.

finances and economic policy

The author provides an excellent description of the details of the financial crises of the late 1990's. He brings together the traumatic but separate events that tend to be, if not forgotten, at least thought of in isolation. Taken together, these financial crises and the responses of governments to them describe what Fischer saw as the final crest of the great wave of the 20th century inflation. Soros also describes in terms of globalization at least a part of the causes of these crises. Unfortunately his prescriptions for increased rather than decreased government intervention and regulation would only shift the outcomes in other directions.

Kenichi Ohmae {short description of image}

The End of the Nation State: The Rise of Regional Economies

The Free Press, NY, 1995, 210 pgs, notes, index


The author's thesis is that the political structure of 'nation states' cannot meet the needs of future society under future economic conditions. The political-economic forces at work have already raised troubling questions about the relevance. He predicts political configurations will shift to match geographic economic optimums. A conclusion similar to Bobbitt's but based on very different assumptions.

Fredrich A. Hayek{short description of image}





Fredrich A. Hayek{short description of image}

The Road to Serfdom

The Definitive Edition edited by Bruce Caldwell, Univ. of Chicago Press, 283 pgs., index, footnotes, paperback -

Freedom. socialism, economic history,

This is volume 2 of the Collected World of F. A. Hayek, of which there are 19 volumes, all important. This is was the most popular of his books when it appeared, causing a sensation as a critique and prediction about the results then appearing from the expansion of government socialism

Fredrich A. Hayek{short description of image}

- The Constitution of Liberty

Univ. of Chicago Press, Gateway Ed. 1959, 570 pgs, index, footnotes

politics, economics and social organization

This is one of the basic books on liberty (or freedom) versus socialism. The author states that his purpose is to "present an ideal and show how it might be realized". The author writes that the basic principles of western civilization's concept of freedom have been under assault for so many years that the public has even lost understanding due to confusion, despite valiant efforts to clarify the issues. The first part seeks to show why we want liberty and what it does. The second part examines the institutions of Western civilization that were developed to secure individual liberty. The third part tests these principles by applying them to current critical public social and economic issues.

Fredrich A. Hayek {short description of image}

Studies in Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Simon and Schuster, NY, 1969, 356 pgs, index.

economics, politics,

This book contains a number of the author's speeches, essays and studies. The three main parts deal with the three subjects of the title. All are necessary for a full understanding of contemporary political-economic life. Again, the author demonstrates the fallacies of socialism. He discusses the differences between 'commutative justice' and 'distributive justice'. He shows that as much as the proponents of 'distributive justice' claim an altruistic purpose and that policies seeking to further this, in reality such efforts must involve coercion and the curtailment of freedom.

Fritz Machlup editor and contributor with 6 other authors

Essays on Hayek

Hillsdale College Press, Hillsdale Michigan, 1976, 182 pgs., index, footnotes, paperback

Economic theory, intellectual history

An appreciation of Hayek and discussion about his contributions to economic theory.

Henry Hazlitt{short description of image}

Economics in One Lesson

Manor Books, NY. 1946 - 1973, 143 pgs., paperback


This is a short, clear exposition of the ideas of von Mises and Hayek presented in a direct language for the general reader. It is an analysis of the prevalent economic fallacies that support public policy today. It begins with a discussion of the classic story by Bastiat about the economic effect of a 'broker window'. This is the basic 'must read' in the study of economics.

Albert Hunold - ed.

Freedom & Serfdom: An Anthology of Western Thought

D. Reidel Pub. Dordercht, Holland, 1961, 288 pgs.,

mostly current political theory, but with attention to concerns about the economic ideas of communism

This is a selection of 15 essays by outstanding international philosophers and political theorists. The authors are mostly concerned with totalitarianism and contemporary western political drifting toward it or at least socialism. There are four especially important essays, by Russell Kirk, Frederich Hayek, Hannah Arendt and Eric Voegelin

Michael Mandelbaum

The Road to Global Prosperity

Simon and Schuster, NYC., 2014, 245 pgs.,

current international economics

Reviewed in WSJ., April 3, 2014. - This is the economic establishment belief in the state of the international economy. It is an appraisal of 'globalization' which is based on American power to prevent disruptions. He believes that overall 'globalization' is proceeding despite set backs such as the financial crisis of 2008.

Thomas G. Donlan

"History Lesson From the Twenties"

The Editorial Commentary article from the November 2, 2009 issue of Barron's.

History, economics

A very interesting essay based on research by Lee Ohanian. The subject is the mistakes of the Hoover Administration that are not well recognized for their mistaken adverse effects that converted a stock market crash and recession into a worse depression. "While generations of Americans have blamed Hoover for relying on the free market instead of government intervention, some of the workers' misery in the Great Depression should be attributed to Hoover's mistaken high-wage policy." Note the lesson for today.

Clarence B. Carson

The Welfare State 1929-1985

American Textbook Committee, 1986, 346 pgs, index, notes

American history - Volume 5 of A Basic history of the United States

The best short historical study of the Great Depression and its aftermath through 1985.

Robert J. Samuelson

The Great Inflation and its Aftermath: The Past and Future of American Affluence

Random House, New York, 2008, 309 pgs., index, notes, glossary

history, economics

The author focuses on American economic and political history since World War II. He discusses the government policies that created and attempted to end the huge inflation of the 1970's. The results would have been even better had he at least including some of the background from pre- World War II.

Garret Garrett

The People's Pottage

Caxton Printers Idaho, 1953-92

economics, history, politics

Denunciation of the revolution created by the FDR "New Deal". This is a set of essays the most famous of which is "The Revolution Was" in which the detailed revolutionary program of the New Deal is explained. It is extra valuable now as it enables comparison of Obama to FDR.

Liaquat Ahamed

Lords of Finance: The Bankers who Broke the World

Penguin Press, NY., 2009, 564 pgs., notes, index, bibliography

economic history, finance

A study of the coming of the Great Depression told via extended biographies of the four main central bankers - Montagu Norman, Bank of England - Benjamin Strong, New York Federal Reserve - Hjalmar Schacht, Reichsbanki - Emile Moreau, Banque de France. Wonderfully vivid biographies that reveal the personal strengths and weaknesses of these and other main actors in the fateful drama. While I personally believe in the significance of the personal importance of 'great men' in history, I also believe that the social - cultural - intellectual environment in which these men operated exerted an important influence of their actions and the results.

William Mulleraman

The Year of the Great Crash - 1929

Harper and Row, NY., 1989, 391 pgs., index, notes, bibliography, illustrations

economic history

A social - cultural history of one year - with a brief prologue in 1928 and epilogue into the 1930's. The book is full of descriptions of personalities and events from Al Capone to Mahatma Gandhi. This is an excellent companion to "Lords of Finance'.

Milton Friedman and Anna Jacobson Schwartz

A Monetary History of the United States 1867 - 1960

Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton NJ.,

economic history

The classic study of money and banking in the US since the Civil War. This provides historical perspective on 'banking crises' 'panics' and political manipulation of economic markets.

Martin Weiss

Crash Profit: Make Money when Stocks sink and soar!

John Wiley and Sons, NJ. 2003, 351 pgs., index, notes

Investment in economic deflationary period

Description of the same credit expansion and deleveraging deflation as in the Bonner books, but with focus on ways to invest to make money anyway

Martin Weiss

The Ultimate Depression Survival Guide: Protect your savings boost your income and grow wealthy even in the worse of times.

John Wiley and Sons, NJ., 2009, 220 pgs., index

investment advice, economics, finance

Further elaboration of the book, Crash Profit, with advice on investing in deflationary - inflationary times. The author publishes a monthly newsletter 'Safe Money', that provides explicit recommendations on investments. His company also gives unbiased evaluations of banks and insurance companies.

Glyn Davies

{short description of image}

History of Money: From Ancient times to the present day

Univ. of Wales Press, Cardiff, 1994, 2002, 720 pgs., index

Economic history

The book begins with an excellent discussion on the nature of money throughout history and its functions. Next it has full discussion of ancient money before and after the invention of coinage. There are chapters on Greek and Roman money and medieval money. The role of early bankers is described. Then, with the creation of the Bank of England the discussion rather merges money and banking because most actual money in modern times is a creation of banks in the form of credit. There is a detailed description of the development of money and banking in the United States since 1700 and in the rest of the world. The book concludes with a chapter on the future of a global currency.

Jack Weatherford {short description of image}

- The History of Money

Three Rivers Press, NY, 1997, 288 pgs, index, bibliography, footnotes.

Economic history

A very readable history of the role of money from ancient times to the present. The author's purpose is to make readers aware of the serious problems with money today. However, the relatively short chapters on money in ancient and medieval times do provide interesting background. The author describes the Roman Empire as the first 'welfare state". He devotes much space to the role of gold versus paper money. Most interesting is his prediction that there will be an increasing struggle over who will control the money supply. Very useful book for counter acting the ideas of money that underlay so many other economic and political books.

Max Boot {short description of image}

War made New: Technology, Warfare and the Course of History 1500 to Today

Gotham Books, NY, 2006, 624 pgs., 18 maps, some illustrations, extensive noes and large bibliography, index

history, warfare

The author places too much stress on the impact of technology, Philip Bobbitt's Shield of Achillesis a better analysis of the development of the modern warfare state. Kennedy explicitly downplays the role of technology in the transformation of warfare itself as well as in the causation of the rise and fall of nations.

Frederic Mishkin

The Economics of Money, Banking and Financial Markets: 5th edition

Addison- Wesley, NY., 1997, 732 pgs. index, appendices

Technical text book on money and banking

A textbook description of financial markets and banking and monetary theory with much use of mathematics and equations and graphs. The economic establishment view with Keynesian ideas. It takes for granted that modern political-economy is on a sound basis. This is an excellent text for understanding the ideas of establishment economists, such as 'velocity'. One badly needs a book by Mishkin dated 2015.

Frederic Mishkin{short description of image}

The Economics of Money, Banking and Financial Markets: 9th edition

Addison- Wesley, NY., 2010, 663 pgs. index, appendices, glossary

Technical text book on money and banking

And here it is. A textbook description of financial markets and banking and monetary theory with much use of mathematics and equations and graphs. The economic establishment view with Keynesian ideas. It is still Keynesian despite Mishkin's assessment that the world of banking and finance changed in 2008. It takes for granted that modern political-economy is on a sound basis. This is an excellent text for understanding the ideas of establishment economists, such as 'velocity'. I disagree with that as well as his concept of the nature of money and interest.

G. Edward Griffin {short description of image}

The Creature from Jekyll Island: A second look at the Federal Reserve

American Media, Calif., 1994-2003, 608 pgs., index, bibliography

History of the Federal Reserve System

Read with Crashmakerand Mayer's book. This is a devastating indictment of the whole FED reserve system and demand that it be abolished. It is very depressing when one understands what the book describes. But it is not so polemical as Greider's book.

Victor Sperando and Alvaro Almeida {short description of image}


Sheridan Books, Michigan, 2000, 2 Vol. 1572 pgs.

economics, politics, political theory

A powerful novel - gripping mystery, spy, financial, political, economic story. The role of the FED in creating the financial disaster in the US and the politics of the 'welfare state' is the underlying theme. The premise is clearly stated, "Since the misnamed "Progressive Era' of the early 1900's America's leaders have set this country on the same downward spiral of redistribution, excessive regulation, and inevitable decline..." A very powerful 'must read'. The book is now very expensive and difficult to find, but very much worth the effort.

William Greider {short description of image}

Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country

Simon & Schuster, NY.,

economics, politics

A very negative view of the Federal Reserve from a liberal perspective - written before the activities of the 21st century

William A. Fleckenstein {short description of image}

Greenspan's Bubbles: The Age of Ignorance at the Federal Reserve

McGraw-Hill, NY.,

economics, politics

A devastating account of the Federal Reserve policies of the Greenspan era - 1990's - 2003 - Places too much blame on Greenspan himself rather than on the Fed Reserve System as an institution and on the purposes for which it was created.

Ravi Batra {short description of image}

Greenspan's Fraud: How two Decades of his policies have undermined the Global Economy

Palgrave, NY., 2005, 278 pegs., index, notes

polemic attack on Greenspan and his policies

The author's polemical attack on Greenspan looses its power to convince by too much focus on the man rather than the FED as an institution and the political policies of the US Government that Greenspan was executing, even he was claiming otherwise. The author presents his own 'solutions' to the economic crisis. He claims that the Social Security system is a fraud - which it is.

Alan Greenspan {short description of image}

The Map and the Territory

Penguin Press, N.Y. 2013, index, notes, appendices, tables

Economics, business, FED

Subtitle: Risk, Human Nature, and the Future of Forecasting - This is Greenspan's memoir about his role as Chairman of the FED. It is about the financial collapse of 2008 and the difficult of risk assessment and forecasting when a 'bubble' will burst.

Nassim Taleb {short description of image}

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

Random House, NY., 2005, 315 pgs. , bibliography, index, notes

investments, financials

The hubris of financial market traders who believe their current success is due to their own brilliance while forgetting the eventual reversion of trends to their mean.

Nassim Taleb {short description of image}

The Black Swan

Penguin edition, NY., paperback, 2010, 444 pgs,. index, bibliography, end notes

investments, financial history

The 'black swan' is the unexpected arrival of disaster due to misbelief that just because something has not occurred in the past it cannot occur in the future.

Nassim Taleb

Skin in the Game

Random House, N.Y., 2018, 279 pgs., index, notes, bibliography, equations, glossary

Economics, investments, stock markets, mathematics, philosophy

Subtitle is: Hidden asymmetries in daily Life. The title means the author only relies on people who have their personal stake - win or lose - in the decisions being made.
The author states the content: "is about four topics in one: a) uncertainty and the reality of knowledge (both practical and scientific, assuming there is a difference) or in less polite words bull***t detection, b) symmetry in human affairs, that is, fairness, justice, responsibility, and reciprocity, c) information sharing in transactions, and d) rationality in complex systems and in the real world. Further, he writes: "skin in the game is necessary to understand the world."
As the section and chapter titles indicate, this is a dense but wide ranging delve into philosophy as much as it is practical advice for achieving success. It is based on the author's personal experience. The mathematics are reserved for the appendix.

Nassim Taleb {short description of image}

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

Random House, NY., 2012, 519, pgs., index, bibliography, end notes

Financial history - investments

The best of Taleb's books. In this he expands his concepts to discuss the difference between investments that are dangerous because they are fragile to shock and those that are valuable because they will benefit from shock.

Branko Milanovic {short description of image}

"The Importance of Taleb’s System: From the Fourth Quadrant to the Skin in the Game"

This is an extract from the Global Policy Journal article 29 January 2018

Taleb's first 4 books

Branko Milanovic explores the impact and importance of Nassim Nicholas Taleb's work.
" Several weeks ago on Twitter I wrote (in an obviously very short form) why I thought that Taleb was one of the most important thinkers today. Let me explain in greater detail. Taleb went from (a) technical observations about non-Gaussian distributions of some phenomena to (b) generalization of what this means for our perception of reality and the way we comprehend things (epistemology) to (c) methodology of knowledge and the role of inductive thinking to finally (d) a statement on ethics".

Nassim Taleb and coauthors {short description of image}

Statistical Consequences of Fat Tails

Stem Academic Press, 2020, 441 pgs., index, glossary, bibliography, diagrams, tables

Sub title, Real World Preasmptotics, Epistemology and Applications

A mathematical study of distribution comparing Gaussian statistical analysis with the analysis of data that does not conform to the distributions appropriate for that analytic method. Very critical of current methods.
Talib lists 7 coauthors each to a separate chapter. The book is a mathematical study of distribution comparing Gaussian statistical analysis with the analysis of data that does not conform to the distributions appropriate for that analytic method. The author is very critical of current methods. The book contains the very high- level statistical analysis that explores the phenomena of 'fat tails' that is non-Gaussian distributions that are very frequent in real life.

Charles P. Kindleberger{short description of image}

Manias, Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises

John Wiley & Sons, NY., 3rd ed. 1996, 4th ed., 2000, 264 pgs. index, notes

economic history, political history

The author focuses on the financial crises that culminate an expansionary business cycle and lead to a contraction. These result from excessive speculation and may be called 'manias' followed by 'panics'. He briefly overviews many of these since the 1600's and provides a summary table. He discusses the continual controversy between the 'currency school' that is monetarists and the 'banking school' that is Keynesian. He does not much like 'econometrics'. Much of the book is devoted to the question of a 'lender of last resort'. The subject is NOT Inflation or deflation in history, nor the full business cycle, but rather the specific culmination of it indicated in the title.

Charles P. Kindleberger and Robert Alber{short description of image}

Manias, Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises

John Wiley & Sons, N.Y., 5th ed. 2005, 355 pgs, paperback, Index, notes

economic history, political history

Charles Kindleberger died in 2003, the book was completed by Robert Alber. This is especially unfortunate since we so badly need their analysis of the most massive 'mania, panic and crash of the last 50 years (2005-2009). Both editions are important in refuting the concept of the 'efficient market' and the 'buy and hold' philosophy.

Peter G. Peterson

Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties are bankrupting our future and what Americans can do about it

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, NY., 2004, 242 pgs., brief source note

The coming collapse of the United States financial system

The author was one of the first to shout about the coming financial disaster from Social Security and Medicare lack of real funding for future entitlement spending. All his predictions have become worse since 2004. But politicians of both parties are not paying attention (except Congressman Ron Paul). He believes the main cause now is the 'entitlement generation' and politicians who promise more but 'pay' for it by increasing public debt.

William Bonner and Addison Wiggin -

Financial Reckoning Day: Surviving the Soft Depression of the 21st Century

John Wiley and Sons, NY., 2003, 306 pgs., index, footnotes.

politics, economics

Predictions about the demise of the US welfare state system - 'what cannot continue, will stop'. The authors see America repeating the mistakes of Japan. They note the deleveraging of the credit bubble. And they blame Greenspan for economic blunders.

William Bonner and Addison Wiggin

Financial Reckoning Day: Fallout

John Wiley and Sons, NY., 2009, 437 pgs., notes, index

politics, economics

A new version of the above, with 100+ more pages. The first edition is repeated practically verbatim, but the new material is very worthwhile. If you have the first edition, get this from library, otherwise buy this version

Burton G. Malkiel

A Random Walk down Wall Street: The Time tested Strategy of Successful Investing

W. W. Norton Co, NY., 1973 - 2007, 414 pgs., index, tables


The champion of 'buy and hold' investing - buy an index - based on 'efficient market theory' and Modern Portfolio theory. I don't buy it at all. But he does demolish chartists, technical analysts (easy to do) and also much fundamentalist research (harder to do). In the new edition the author claims his first edition is still valid - but this was published before 2008. Many other books on this list demolish the underlying concepts of 'intrinsic value' and "rational" man. The 'straw men' he sets up are easily set on fire, as are his own examples in support of his theory. Dr. Malkiel is now hyping the 10th edition of this book. He now is stressing investment in 'emerging markets' a fad he didn't include in early editions.

Addison Wiggin

The Demise of the Dollar

Agora Press, John Wiley and Sons, 2008, 197 pgs, notes, index.

politics, economics

Further description of the impossible fiscal, economic policies of the U.S. to continue the welfare state promises. The author discusses the role of the FED in creating the monetary crisis. And the book claims to provide ideas for profitable investing in this environment.

Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin

Empire of Debt: The Rise of an Epic Financial Crisis

Agora Press, John Wiley and Sons, N.Y.., 2006, 370 pgs., notes, index

politics, economics

A libertarian view. The coming collapse of the United States due to over extension of credit and the inherent fallacy of fiat money. Both Republicans of President Reagan and Democrats of all presidents are blamed but the problem began with President W. Wilson and the creation of the FED and Income Tax. The authors deplore the U.S. effort to create an 'Empire' which cannot be financially supported.

Bill Bonner and Lila Rajiva

Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets

John Wiley and Sons, 2007, 424 pgs, index, footnotes.

economics, psychology, political policy

Description of the fallacies of politicians and peoples throughout history with special emphasis on the United States today. The author has a very negative view of human nature.

Addison Wiggin and Kate Incontrera,

I.O.U.S. A: One Nation, under stress, in debt

John Wiley and Sons, 2008, 266 pgs, index

politics, economics, social policy

Expands on the theme of the previous Bonner and Wiggin books - Based on interviews with leading economic and political leaders. Companion to a movie that attempts to influence public opinion by showing the impossibility of the US government to fulfill its promises for welfare.

Gordon Steele

{short description of image}

An Empire of Wealth: The Epic history of American Economic Power

Harper, NYC. 2004, index, bibliography, end notes

Economic history

Reviewed in Forbes, Nov. 15, 2004 - An excellent, detailed economic history of the U.S. Full of data. Enjoyable reading with brief biographies of important persons. Readers will learn much. Unfortunately the author continues his support of the Hamilton idea of central banks and government debt. Written in 2004 the author makes some note of potential financial problems but nevertheless continues to believe in debt. One has to wonder what he thinks now in 2014


John Steele Gordon {short description of image}

Hamilton's Blessing: The Extraordinary Life and Times of our National Debt

Walker and Co. NY. 1997, 214 pgs., index, table showing the US national debt up to 1996

economic history, commentary

The author, as his title indicates, is much in favor of Hamilton's idea for creating a national debt and a central bank. He disagrees with Jefferson's and Jackson's strong attacks on both. Gordon claims that the national debt was instrumental in providing finances for the Civil, and both World Wars. Yet he is very concerned about what has happened since - the extraordinary huge increase in the national debt. And this is only in 1996. He would likely have a heart attack, if considering the level of debt in 2009.

David Colbert

Eyewitness to Wall Street




Martin Mayer

The Bankers

The Free Press, NY., 2001

financial, economics

A detailed description and analysis of the functioning of the US banking system from an insider's point of view.

Martin Mayer -

The FED: Inside story of how the world's most powerful financial institution drives the markets


monetary policy, fiscal policy

The author provides extreme detail needed to see how the financial system actually operates. It cannot be fully understood in one reading. As an 'insider' the author describes personalities, who does what. He describes the events of the market crash of October 1987. Another book that explodes the myth of the 'free market'. Describes the Congressional political forces on the FED. More objective than Greider's book.

with CrashmakerandCreature from Jekyll Islandand People's PottageThis is more straight forward economic and political history.

Martin Mayer

Stealing the Market: How the Giant Brokerage Firms, with Help from the SEC, Stole the Stock Market from Investors

Basic Books, NY.,

economic history, investments

The author used access to the players in the financial markets and banking system to create this expose.

Martin Mayer

The Greatest-Ever Bank Robbery: The Collapse of the Savings and Loan Industry

Collier Books, NY.,

investment history

Another detailed description from an 'insider' perspective with attention to personalities.

Barry Ritholtz {short description of image}

Bailout Nation: How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall street and Shook the World Economy

John Wiley & Sons, NY., 2009, 332 pgs., index. notes

economic history, investment

We might consider this a continuation of the exposure of fraud and near-fraud described by Martin Mayer. It also is another attack on Greenspan and his policies of 'easy money' like that of Bill Fleckenstein and Bill Bonner. The author includes some of the political involvements but does not get to the core of the issue, nor does he more than mention the origins of the FED.. It is easier to blame the 'greed' of 'incompetent' bankers and brokers. Still, a fine detailed description of 'bailouts' since 1971 culminating in the credit collapse of 2008 - but we now need more of the same on subsequent events.

Charles Gasparino

Blood on the Street:

Free Press, NY., 2005, 353 pgs, index, notes

The Wall Street stock bubble of late 1990's and the role of stock analysts at major firms in promoting it.

This is about the stock market - It focuses on the way analysts at major Wall Street companies gave favorable ratings to companies that were providing millions of dollars of business to their companies. It describes the matter and how Eliot Spitzer as NY Attorney General broke several cases and forced some changes in the relationship between analysts and the companies. The author is now using his excellent connections with insiders to report on Fox Business TV.

Charles Gasparino

The Sellout: how Three Decades of Wall Street Greed and Government Mismanagement Destroyed the Global Financial System

Harper Business, NY., 553 pgs.

economics, business history

This is a much bigger story as the bond market is much bigger than the stock market. And it is the bond market that is directly related to the debt=credit explosion. A very well written, even fascinating account with descriptions of the major players in the finance industry. An even more detailed and narrowly focused account of the financial 'meltdown' and credit collapse of 2008. The author focuses on the principal players. He describes the role of the Federal Government, something that Ritholtz overlooks or ignores. But, again, this is contemporary reporting without discussion of the deeper and longer-range historical background. It was not government 'mismanagement' but purposeful egalitarian political policy.

Charles Gasparino {short description of image}

Bought and Paid For: The Unholy Alliance between Barack Obama and Wall Street

Penguin Books, NY., 2010, 290 pgs. notes, appendices

Current link between politics and Wall Street finances. A valuable expose.

Mr. Gasparino continues his investigative journalism. The style is the same as in other books. And this one could use a strong editing to reduce irksome repetition. But the theme is important. The author names names and gives dates of meetings. The title tells it all - a close financial support of Obama from his early campaigns into the presidency by the biggest honchos on Wall Street who sought political support for their financial - monetary profit making methods.

Peter Schweizer {short description of image}

Extortion: How Politicians Extract your money, Buy votes, and Line their own Pockets

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, N.Y., 2003, 249 pgs., index, notes, graphs

Politics, Corruption, public policy

The author's point is that 'money is corrupting politics'. Special interests 'push money and special favors into Washington D.C. in order to get them'. The recent elections show that the situation in 2020 is worse then it was on 2003

Peter Schweizer {short description of image}

Architects of Ruin

Harper Collins, N.Y., 2009, 2017 pgs., notes

Government corruption, politics, public policy

Subtitle: How Big Government Liberals Wrecked the Global Economy - and How They Will Do it Again If No One Stops Them. Well President Trump and his allies stopped them again temporarily, but now with Biden and President they are expanding their ruinous domestic and foreign policies.

Kimberly Strassel

Resistance (at all Costs)

Hachete Book Group, N.Y. 2019, 235 pgs., index

Politics, Corruption, public policy

Another view of special interest group funding politics with focus on the revolutionary leftist progressive attack on conservative policy in the name of attacking President Trump.

David S. Landes

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor.

W. W. Norton Co. New York, 650 pgs, bibliography, index, notes

World history, economic history

Why European countries created wealth and gained power in the context of society's cultures. Europe succeeded throughout the world due to its culture. This describes a broader picture than Kennedy's book.


Invest like a Dealmaker: Secrets from a Former Banking Insider

John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, 2008, 222 pgs, index, notes

investment advice

The author describes his theories about finding good investments. And he discusses the methods of a number of famous investors including Charlie Munger, Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett.. His method requires detailed research into the fundamentals of a company before investing. He writes, forget Modern Market Theory - pick a few stocks and keep them. Main point is there are two stock markets - one for amateurs and one for professionals.

Robert G. Hagstrom

The Essential Bufffett: Timeless Principles for the New Economy

John Wiley & Sons, NY.,

investment advice

The author attempts to identify Buffett's fundamental principles and investment methods

Mary Buffett and David Clark

The New Buffettology

Rawson Associates, 2002, 288 pgs, index

investment advice

Describes Buffett's original investment in insurance companies and how he uses the float as protection from high income taxes. How to take advantage of bad situations and down markets with companies that have durable competitive advantage.

Lawrence A. Cunningham

How to Think Like Benjamin Graham and Invest like Warren Buffett

McGraw-Hill, NY.,

investment advice

More on investment rules culled from Buffett's record.

Hildy and Stan Richelson

Bonds: The Unbeaten path to secure Investment Growth

Bloomberg Press, NY.,

investment advice

Authors advocate buying individual bonds and holding to maturity. They claim this is only sure way to know exactly what your return will be from an investment. The very significant return on US Treasury bonds versus the stock market since 1999 strengthens their argument.

Robert Sobel

The Pursuit of Wealth: The Incredible Story of Money Throughout the Ages

McGraw-Hill, NY.,

economic history


Robert D. Kaplan

The Coming Anarchy: Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War

Random House, NY., 2000, 198 pgs., index

economics, investments

A collection of the author's essays published from 1994 on .

Robert D. Kaplan

The Revenge of Geography

Random House, N.Y., 2012, 403 pgs., index, notes, maps

Geo-politics, geostrategy, current events

The subtitle: What the Map tells us about coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate. An approach to analysis of current power to that of Zeihan's three books. The author describes and then analyzes the composite potential power of each country or region given its geography (world location and resources).

Gary Schilling

Deflation: How to Survive and Thrive in the Coming Wave of Deflation

McGraw-Hill, NY.,

economics, investments

A very early, prophetic discussion of the deflationary epoch and how to protect investments. Should have been studied years ago.

Gary Schilling

The Age of Deleveraging: Investment Strategies for a Decade of Slow Growth and Deflation

John Wiley and Sons, NY., 2010

Analysis of current economic - financial situation

Mr. Schilling touts his new book in an essay in Forbes Dec 20, 2010. Quote" After 40 years of leveraging up by global financial firms and three decades of a borrowing and spending binge by U. S. Consumers, deleveraging is here. It will persist fora decade, and that's the good news." In the book he gets specific about which industries to avoid (housing and financial related) and which to favor (energy, especially in North America).

Carroll Quigley

Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in our time

MacMillan Co., NY./, 1966. 1348 pgs., index


The author was a professor of history at Georgetown Univ. He was a self-proclaimed liberal with access to the establishment leaders and wrote from an 'insider's' point of view about the liberal agenda as it has been practiced in recent times. He was an Anglophile. The first chapters provide an historical background from the 19th century. Other chapters are topical. One strikingly relevant observation Quigley makes is about the unique position of the United States from its ability to finance its operations and debt from its own fiat currency. That ability is at the center of controversy over international finance and the expanding US deficit in balance of payments today. This is a difficult but very important book.

Jim Rogers

Adventure Capitalist

Random House, NY., 2003, 357 pgs., index

World travel with observations on culture and economics

The author's main conclusions from his drive around the world: there will be a new commodity bull market - China is rising in future - India and Pakistan are disintegrating - the Euro will fall - Angola has bright future as does Bolivia. NGO's are a fraud.

Roger Lowenstein

Origins of the Crash: The great bubble and its undoing

The Penguin Press, NY., 2004, 270 pgs., index, notes

The 'dot. com crash

This is a detailed description of the great boom on Wall Street in the 1990's - specifically the so-called 'dot-com' crash. It is about the massive speculation and fraud that transferred millions of dollars. The author names many of the worst perpetrators such as Jack Grubman, Henry Blodget, Ken Lay, and Bernie Ebbers and the corporations such as Enron and World Com. He includes Alan Greenspan and the role of government - FED monetary policy. He focuses on the criminal behavior and the mass mania that generated a spectacular increase in stock prices followed by a rapid collapse of same. But the whole discussion is superficial. The author does not recognize that he is describing a typical 'blow-out' phase of a century long inflation wave- nor that it will be followed by a deflationary period. Writing in 2004, of course, he cannot know that his Crash and 'great bubble' was but the first of the series that followed.

Paul Krugman

The Great unraveling: Losing our way in the new century

W. W. Norton, NY., 2005, 426 pgs., index

A compendium of the authors published articles, mostly from the New York Times between 2000 and 2005. - public affairs, economics.

We read this for the same reason we study Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto - The author is still at it and has a strong following in the liberal "progressive' political camp. He makes his biased position clear in the preface when he quotes the radical reporter, Helen Thomas, who called President Bush II "the worst president in all of American history'. For professor Krugman everything Bush is bad and everything Clinton is good. He continues to advocate the worse of Keynesian economics and urges the president and congress to INCREASE spending and expand the DEFICIT. Unfortunately he still has a prominent position on the pages of the New York Times to promote his leftist agenda.

Christopher Whalen {short description of image}

Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream

John Wiley, 2011, 393 pgs, notes, index

economic history of US. money and banking

A vivid narrative about the rule of banks and financiers in the economic and political history of the U.S. Highlights the important role of President Lincoln and Republicans in expanding government control. Shows clearly the role of credit and debt generated by the banking system in both expansion and contraction. Describes the importance of the Federal Reserve. But the author misses the relationship of the FED and creation of the income tax and direct election of senators.

Lawrence Freedman {short description of image}

Strategy: A History

Oxford Univ. Press, 2013, 751 pgs., index, extensive notes

Intellectual history

After a brief discussion of the Bible, and Greeks, the author jumps to Sun Tzu and Machiavelli. The remainder is divided into sections on 'Strategies of Force', 'Strategy from Below', 'Strategy from Above', and "Theories of Strategy.' Chapter 32 is on The Rise of Economics.

Peter Heather {short description of image}

The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians

Oxford Univ. Press, 2007, 572 pgs., index, noes, bibliography, maps

Military and Cultural History


Peter Heather {short description of image}

The Restoration of Rome: Barbarian popes and Imperial pretenders

Oxford Univ. Press, 2011, 470 pgs., index, noes, bibliography, maps


Simon James {short description of image}

Rome and the Sword: How Warriors and Weapons Shaped Roman history

Thames and Hudson, 2011, 328 pgs., of small font, index, notes, bibliography, illustrations, maps

Military and Cultural History


Dan Jones{short description of image}

The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England

Viking, NYC., 2012, 534 pgs., index, added reading, maps, genealogical charts

Military, Political and Cultural History

Use the link to read more. This is an excellent book, a great read full of fascinating detail. The author's obvious purpose is to tell a great story about 'The Warrior Kings and Queens who Made England" and he fulfills his purpose. His larger purpose is to show how the members of this Plantagenet dynasty and their opponents created the fundamental structure and nature of England and its society. There are also concepts and 'lessons' the attentive reader can find on his own embedded in the story. There is an excellent index and helpful maps. The author provides a useful 'further reading' for each chapter, which shows the rich reference sources, both primary chronicles and memoirs and recent biographies and studies. The author leaves out footnoting, no doubt to avoid breaking up the narrative. But within the text itself he provides extensive direct quotations cited to eyewitness accounts and contemporary historians.

Dan Jones{short description of image}

The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors

Viking, NYC., 2014, 392 pgs., index, added reading, maps, genealogical charts

Military, Political and Cultural History

A sequel to Plantagenets - Dan Jones carries the narrative on to the conclusion of the house of Plantagenet.

Brendan Simms

Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy from 1453 to the Present

Basic Books, NYC, 2013, index, notes

Political, Cultural and Military History

The author's thesis is that the struggle to control Germany has been the central driving force of European History

Geoffrey Parker

Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century

Yale Univ. Press, New Haven, 2013, 871 pgs., notes, index, bibliography, maps

Political and Military History


Jonathan Haidt

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion

Pantheon, NYC., 2012, 419 pgs.,

moral philosophy, ethics

Reviewed in WSJ., March 10, 2012 - July 1, 2012 - The author searches for the fundamental cultural bases that cause individuals to differ so pronouncedly on political and religious issues. The author is a liberal academic who is seeking to find some common ground with conservatives. But he still tends to consider conservatives as somehow missing something upstairs.

Arnold Kling

Specialization and Trade

Cato Institute, Wash. D.C., 2016, 206 pgs., index, paperback


A libertarian view of proper economic theory and why the prevailing establishment concepts are faulty.

John Hicks

A Theory of Economic History

Oxford Univ. Press, 2001, 181 pgs., index, paperback

Economic history

The author seeks to develop a theoretical understanding of the development of market economies throughout history leading up to the Industrial Revolution.

Randall G. Holcombe

The Austrian School of Economics

Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK., 2014, 126 pgs., index, paperback

Intellectual history -

The book is about the "Austrian School" of economic theory. Of course there is no actual 'school' but the term refers to the individuals who can be considered to have a similar set of theories about economics. As the author writes: "A school of thought is defined by the ideas of its members, and there is not a clear line that identifies its borders." He notes that the popularity of the set of ideas lost popularity in the last century but has been rejuvenated in this. So he describes this 'Austrian School' by explaining some of its main theoretical subjects, such as, Market process, Decentralized knowledge, entrepreneurial business, money, banking and business cycles.

Randall G. Holcombe

Political Capitalism

Cambridge Univ. Press, 2018, 294 pgs., index, references, footnotes, paperback

Economic theory and history, political theory

The author describes the theory of Political Capitalism and the actual history of economic activity that may be considered to be based on it. He concludes: "The analysis that follows concludes that political capitalism, in which the political and economic elite control the system for their own benefit, is not market capitalism and should be analyzed as a separate economic system. His point is that the extensive intervention of government power into market based economic systems results in such extensive change that it should be considered quite different so that the resulting activities and outcomes should NOT be ascribed to a real market economic system.

Gary S. Becker

Economic Theory

Aldine Transaction Publishers, London, 2008, 222 pgs., index, paperback

Econometrics - application of elaborate mathematical formulas to attempt to derive solution based on economic theory

The key word in Theory. The author teaches economics at Univ. of Chicago. He has very impressive credentials in the academic economist family. The book is about 'macroeconomics' but is not strictly limited to that. He is of the general economist persuasion that 'theory' even when based on a relatively small sample of variable factors out of reality in order to make analysis possible is essential. To theory he then creates relationships between the selected factors and posits mathematical relationships formulated in equations. This is modern econometrics..

Matthew D. Mitchell & Peter Boettke

Applied Mainline Economics

Mercatus Center, Arlington VA., 2017,

Economic theory, political policy

This is an Austrian school - libertarian based theoretical analysis of major issues about economic activity. The authors title their work "Mainline" but it is not the core philosophy of contemporary establishment academic economists. Rather, in my opinion Austrian School theories about economic activity are superior to the theories inculcated in students of economics in the famous establishment schools.

Henry Kaufman{short description of image}

Tectonic Shifts in Financial Markets

Palgrave, Macmillan, N.Y. 2016, 186 pgs., index, bibliography, figures

Contemporary financial organizations, banks and related

The subtitle is: People, Policies and Institutions. The author was an active participant in Wall Street financial organizations for many years, rising to the top echelons. He knows the people, he has witnessed and frequently participated in creating the policies, and he has observed the significant changes in the institutions. And he is very concerned about what he sees now. The change is so significant he terms it 'tectonic' like earthquakes and shifts in the world's 'plates'. In the final chapter he summarizes today's situation and offers some ideas about what one might do.

Geoffrey Ingham{short description of image}

The Nature of Money

Polity, Cambridge U.K., 2004, 254 pgs., index, references, notes, paperback

Economic history,

This is one of the best books on Money that I have found so far. Not surprising, I guess, that it is written not by an economist but rather a sociologist. Thus, he maintains that money is a social instrument.

Geoffrey Ingham{short description of image}


Polity, 2008-2011, 331 pgs., index, references, notes, paperback

Economic history, Economic theory, money

The author begins with Adam Smith and the late 18th century theoreticians about capitalism, then proceeds through the list to Keynes. He then discusses 'institutions' by which he means 'money' and its creation and use. He concludes with comment about the financial crises that took place as he was writing.

Felix Martin{short description of image}

Money: The Unauthorized Biography

Alfred A. Knopp, NYC., 2014, 320 pgs., bibliography, index, end notes

Economic history and theory of money

This is a very important book in which the author dispels myths about money and banking. Thus, I am all the more disappointed, when I read major mistakes that actually confuse the very issues he is advancing. He mixes his terms by using money and currency almost interchangeably. His descriptions of the development of modern money are good, but his ideas about ancient Near East and especially early Greek economies and their money are not.

L. Randall Wray {short description of image}

Modern Money Theory

Palgrave, Macmillan, N.Y., 2012, 294 pgs., index, illustrations, bibliography, paperback

Economic theory, political policy

The author is one of the leading academic advocates for the current leftist political program based on MMT the mantra of environmentalists and 'green' demands for major change in American society. I wrote a lengthy commentary on the book and MMT itself when it was published. MMTThe theory is a development of Chartalist theory from the early 19th century.

Eric Tymoigne & L. Randall Wray {short description of image}

Money: an Alternative story

University of Missouri, Kansas City, Working Paper 45, July, 2005, 23 pgs.

Economic theory, political policy

Another essay about how wonderful MMT would be when it is the basis for political policy

Stephanie Bell, John Henry, L. Randall Wray {short description of image}

A Chartalist Critique of John Locke's Theory of Property, Accumulation, and money

Dept. of Economics, University of Missouri, Kansas City, 2000, 12 pgs., bibliography

Economic theory, political policy

The economic department at U of Missouri is a central of advocacy of MMT.

L. Randall Wray {short description of image}

Credit and State Theories of Money -

Edward Elgar Pub. Cheltenham, U.K., 2004,

Economic history and theory - chapters 1 and 8 in this book

Subtitle: The Contributions of A. Mitchell Innes Chapter 1 Introduction and Chapter 8 Conclusion Dr. Wray writes that the very important articles written by Innes appeared in British journals that are now very difficult to obtain. We own him a great reward for having published them in this book and for engaging the other experts here is writing commentary and their own contributions in the other chapters.
Mitchell Innes was a civil servant who studied economic history and developed an alternate theory about the origin and development of 'money' from ancient times.

See also below - Wray

A. Mitchell Innes{short description of image}

" What is Money?"

Banking Law Journal, May, 1913, pgs., 377-408 - republished in Edward Elgar Pub. Cheltenham, U.K., 2004,

Economic history and theory - chapter 2 in this book

One of the two early articles by Mitchell Innes in a now obscure professional publication and mostly lost, but thanks to renewed interest by Prof Wray and claimed relevance by the MMT supporters now republished and available on line.

A. Mitchell Innes{short description of image}

"The Credit Theory of Money'

Banking Law Journal, Dec/Jan. 2014, pgs., 2521-268, republished in Edward Elgar Pub. Cheltenham, U.K., 2004,

Economic history and theory - chapter 3 in this book

One of the two early articles by Mitchell Innes in a now obscure professional publication and mostly lost, but thanks to renewed interest by Prof Wray and claimed relevance by the MMT supporters now republished and available on line.

John F. Henry {short description of image}

"The Social Origins of Money: The Case of Egypt"

Edward Elgar Pub. Cheltenham, U.K., 2004,

Economic history and theory - chapter 4 in this book

A well written combination review of Innes and description of ancient Egyptian use of money in market transactions.

Michael Hudson {short description of image}

"The Archeology of Money"

Edward Elgar Pub. Cheltenham, U.K., 200 PDF4,

Economic history and theory - chapter 5 in this book

Subtitle: Debt versus Barter Theories of Money's Origins

See also below Hudson and other entries opposing or supporting the 'myth of Barter'.
Hudson ondebt
Hudson on finance
Hudson on Goetzmann

James Robertson {short description of image}

History of Money

{short description of image}{short description of image}

a PDF published by Robertson

Economic history - money - banking

This is a copy of James Robertson's short essay on the history of money. It is a typical economics establishment description starting with the 'myth of barter' found in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. The whole theory was developed and continued before 18th century writers knew anything about the economy of ancient Mesopotamia or Egypt or China. In Chapter 2 he writes that throughout history the people with power have almost been rich. But that is not so, as clan and tribal leaders from primitave societies to Teutonic, or Celtic leaders were not rich. In Chapter 6 he (unusually) describes money as a metric that quantifies 'value'. But in Chapter 9 he reveals his political purpose for writing the essay and his political position advocating a drastic change in economic life, in money itself. He also claims that money was created by powerful people to enable themselves to become wealthy. That idea is false.

Geoffrey W. Gardiner {short description of image}

"The Primacy of Trade Debt in the Development of Money"

Edward Elgar Pub. Cheltenham, U.K., 2004

Economic history and theory - chapter 6 in this book

Another elaboration of monetary theory based on Innes.

Geoffrey Ingham {short description of image}

"The Emergence of Capitalist Credit Money"

Edward Elgar Pub. Cheltenham, U.K., 2004,

Economic history and theory - chapter 7 in this book

See also Ingham on Capitalism
See Ingham on money


{short description of image}

Biography of Mitchell Innes

Wikipedia entry

Brief bio of the early author on the Theory of money

As the reader can see from the brief biographical entry Mitchell-Innes had a very distinguished public career. But his considerable interest to us today is the important contributions to the understanding of 'money' that comes from two articles he published in 1913 and 1914. These have been reprinted by L. Randall Wray in his book, Credit and State Theory of Money in 2004. But Dr. Wray's interest and purpose was for Innes' ideas to support the Chartalist theory of Modern Monetary Theory - MMT. So the other contributors to Credit and State have followed that purpose. The entire book has been scanned by Arno Mong Daastoel and is available in PDF format.

C. H. V. Sutherland {short description of image}

Coinage in Roman Imperial Policy 31 B.C. - A.D. 68

Methuen & Co, London, 1952, 220 page., index, illustrations , footnotes



Jonathan D. T. Ward {short description of image}

China's Vision of Victory

Atlas Publishing, 2019, 279 pgs., index, notes, paperback

Geopolitics, current events, China vs. U.S. Politics

The author spent years in China and more in the study of Chinese political, economic and military policies and planning. But he has lived or visited many other places around the world and seen first hand what the Chinese are doing on other continents. He learned to speak and read not only Chinese but Russian. This is a comprehensive result of these years of study. He includes direct citations from original Chinese sources that describe the objectives and means being employed to achieve them. The fundamental mission of Chinese leadership is to enable China to be the leading world power by 2050. To this end they are employing every type of power including especially economic and military expansion. Each page of the book is packed with information, data, quotations, appraisals that make it impossible to prepare an adequate summary in a few pages. This is a brief survey, so please read the book.
My review includes a lengthy list of references.

Michael Pillsbury {short description of image}

The Hundred-year Marathon

St. Martin's Griffin, N.Y., 2016, 332 pgs., index, endnotes, paperback


Geopolitics, China vs. U.S. Politics, Current events

Subtitle: China's Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower,
This is a very important book that brings together information from many sources, including Chinese, that describe the Chinese program to become the world's leading power. The subtitle is misleading in calling it 'secret' as the author himself shows by his extensive quotation from open, public Chinese publications that reveal the policies, the theories behind them, and the obvious results from their implementation to date. This is one of the three most significant references (Jonathan Ward's China's Vision of Victoryand Kai-Fu- Lee'sAI Super Powers China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order are the others. I list links to these and others below. Pillsbury bases his view on many years of study and working at the highest levels of American policy making during which he had preferential access to senior Chinese military and political officials and theorists. Ward bases his view on years of living in China in direct contact with Chinese of all social levels plus years of study of Chinese documents. Lee bases his view on his years as a senior developer of applications in artificial intelligence and information technology in both the United States and China. He describes what he knows about contemporary and the future results coming from advanced information technology.

Clive Hamilton & Mareike Ohlberg

{short description of image}

Hidden Hand: Exposing How the Chinese Communist Party is Reshaping the World

One world Publishing, London, 2020, 418 pgs., index, notes

Strategy, Communist Party policy, international politics

This is a super important book based on extensive research, insider information, and clear analysis. The title tells the story. But too many Americans and Europeans have already been subverted, manipulated, bribed, threatened and worse. The authors come from a different national perspective and provide insight to the reality of for what the CCP and Xi are planing and working asiduously. And the authors make it very clear that the CCP is NOT the Chinese people who themselves are being dominated by all of the above policies. The book was written mostly based on what has transpired during the Trump, Obama, and Bush presidencies. Now with Biden under control of the radical leftist - one world - new world order revolutionaries the situationis rapidly becoming worse. The content devotes much analysis to Canada and Europe with information not generally read by Americans. The glossary and acronyms are very helpful in listing Chinese names and meanings. The book greatly expands the analysis in Allison's book and the others listed below. And it should be read along with Clyde Prestowitz's book listed next.

Clyde Prestowitz{short description of image}

The World Turned Upside Down

Yale Univ. Press, New Haven, 2021, 321 pgs., index, end notes.

Geopolitics, China vs. U.S. Current Events, Politics

Subtitle: America, China, and the Struggle for Global Leadership. This is a recent addition to the literature about the conflict between China and the United States. Theauthor provies an excellent summary history of Chinese civilization (it is more than a country or society or nation or empire). The fundamental characteristics of Chinese civilization today are a continuation of those from a thousand years B.C. The Chinese understanding of their past dominates their view of what their society should be in the world future. The author also describes American historical development as the background for understanding what American leaders have believed about China - fundamental misunderstnding.
This book should be read along with Hamilton's book listed above and those following.

Graham Allison {short description of image}

Destined For War

Scribe, London, 2017, 364 pgs., graphs, paperback


Geopolitics, China vs. U.S. Current Events, Politics

Subtitle: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap. This is a very important study of critical current and future conditions facing American and Chinese leaders (rulers) and citizens. It very forcefully presents a thesis that, if accepted, would affect American foreign and domestic policy and Chinese responses to those. Thus it should be carefully analyzed. But even more important is Thucydides' own writing on the human condition for its very relevant lessons for very similar examples of human conditions today. The 'trap' is not one into which a 'state' might fall, but one in which individuals and human communities do fall frequently. History is the recorded record of human ideas, decisions and actions, not those attributed to some theoretical concept. (See, for instance Housel).
The fundamental problem with this study is common to modern academic political science and economics practitioners: the insist on study of aggregates of humanity rather than individuals. They insist that doing otherwise generates too much 'noise' in the data for modeling behavior. Political scientist academics frame their efforts around the abstract concept of the 'state' which was adduced during the Renaissance to replace the 'Great Chain of Being' as the legitimizing concept for rulers. But the ancient Greeks had no such concept. They believed that individuals were responsible for the results of their actions. And that actions decided upon were the responsibility of the group.

Kai-Fu Lee {short description of image}

AI Superpowers

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, N.Y. 2018, 253 gs., index, notes

Economics, Geopolitics, U.S. vs China - Future of high technology

Subtitle: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order his is one of the very important book for everyone interested in the current and future development of artificial intelligence and machine learning in China and the United States. The others are Michael Pillsbury's The Hundred-Year Marathonand Jonathan Ward's China's Vision of Victory. They should be studied together.
The author has many years of direct, personal experience in study and development of AI in both the United States and China. He also has been a CEO and executive in major innovative, leading computer software corporations. Now he leads a Venture Investment company he founded to encourage and expand more 'start up' innovative companies. In this book he combines his observations on the historical development of AI and the computer industry in general with his expectations for the future developments. He is especially concerned about the broader impact of the expanding role of all aspects of AI (such as deep data mining and machine learning) in social and political issues such as unemployment and wealth distribution. He also provides his assessment of the relative leadership between China and the United States in all aspects of AI now and in the next 10 years or so.

Martin Jacques {short description of image}

When China Rules the World

The Penguin Press, N.Y., 2009, 550 pgs., index, notes, maps, figures

Economics, Geopolitics, U.S. vs China -


Subtitle: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order. The author applauds the future he predicts. He is very much fundamentally anti-U.S. and also anti-Europe in outlook. His prediction is controversial but very possible. But it is going to be pleasant.

The table was last edited on 16 July. 2021