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The Ethics of Money Production Hardcover – August 11, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

radical and ethically challenging case for the complete separation of money and state, and a case for the privatization of money production. It is a sweeping and learned treatise that is rigorous, scholarly, and radical.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Ludwig von Mises Institute; 1st edition (August 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933550090
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933550091
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,152,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Escott on February 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book puts together in one place what it has taken me years to piece together (mostly) for myself reading various Austrian economists. Fabulous book and I am glad (and biased as a Catholic) that the author was not shy to quote Catholic thought on the subject where relevant. I have forwarded to as many people as I can and can only hope it acts as a counterforce to prevailing madness around us.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Burns on March 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Kudos to Hulsmann! This is the most complete and insightful analysis of money production, its consequences and implications I have ever read. It is a total destruction of the arguments for fiat unbacked paper money. It is a complete analysis of the history of money, the roots of our current system, and the logical implications of the evils of fiat inflation. Every stone is overturned. No reader can be left with the impression that central banking and unchecked printing of money is ethical or practical.

One of the most interesting aspects of this book is how easily it disples the ideological myths that make Marxism, Socialism, Corporatism, Fascism, and Compassionate Conservatism so popular. None of these ideas are relevant at all, compared to the power of the printing press. It's as if intellectuals have spent the last 200 years blathering on about fanciful ideas while the bankers have robbed us all blind. I like to call it Morganism, after financier J.P. Morgan.

Thank you, Professor Hulsmann, for this work. Your efforts have enriched my life and sharpened my awareness of how the world really works. You should be commended and applauded. The Austrian School is lucky to count you as a member. I look forward to your next book.

David in Qatar
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Edward B. Dobranetski on April 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Ethics of Money Production is a scholarly and relevant work. The author chooses his words well and is very engaging. Read it with a pencil in hand; it is often quotable.

As a professional money manger with a strong Austrian School background I have been revisiting the great works on money supply, old and new. Most recently I returned to my research regarding fiat money and inflation. Never in my 19 year career has macroeconomics had such an overwhelming impact on the financial markets. Herr Doktor Hulsmann's very original thoughts, and methodical development are very helpful in placing money production in a meaningful perspective, beyond the standard political arguments. I savored the typically inaccessable works of Nicholas Oresme and other thinkers of the Scholastic period.

I have purchased additional copies of his book for friendly distribution for like minded colleagues and clients and intend to keep up with his future work.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Keon Garraway on February 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The most perfect little book on the science of economics since it gets to the heart of the subject. What is the heart of the subject of economics? Money and how it is produced and by whom? This seems like simple and trivial questions but they are at the heart of the economic science and they determine the prosperity and stagnation of commerce in society. Hulsmann perfectly sums up the crisis of the current money problem and he shows that it all stems from who produces the money, what is used as money and the rules that govern the game.

He divides money into two categories. Natural money and forced money, with natural money being the money that comes about from the voluntary association of buyers and sellers in the market place, whereas forced money is that legal tender that has been forced upon citizens by the state and given monopoly status From this basic point Hulsman logically explores and shows the consequences between usage of the two types of money. He does a historical overview that brings up from the first merchants in antiquity to the present. The consequences he reveals are astounding. He then even forecasts in passing the present economic crisis (he wrote the book in 2006 ) and shows that it will come directly as a result of the ethical disposition of those who are empowered to manufacture money (paper money).

The fluidity and simplicity of Hulsmann's writing elucidates the most complex of economic concepts thereby revealing the bluff of the establishment economists as nothing more that jargon. In other words economics is the science of every man since every man engages in commercial transactions. The same concepts that applies to the little man is the same concepts that apply to bankers, economic advisers and ministers of finance.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Corey on July 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book provides an excellent explanation of the consequences of money production, fractional-reserve banking, inflation, etc. It also provides a concise history of those topics and gives sources for interested readers. As with all books that come out of an Austrian perspective, this one should come with a warning: this book may be hazardous to your mental health. The reason is because it makes so much sense and explains things in a clear way that you will go crazy realizing that our politicians, including fed chairmen, are doing the exact opposite of what they should be doing if they really were acting on behalf of the people they claim to be serving. It's when you read books like this that you start to suspect that our elected leaders, who are too intelligent not to understand the principles put forth in this book, are in fact not acting for the benefit of society in general but for their own benefit.

For me, though, a big turn-off of the book was the way it attempted to mix economics with theology. The author spent a fair amount of time discussing the Catholic Church's stance on a particular monetary issue. But I don't see the need for this in a book of this nature. I fear non-Catholics will be turned off from that and not read the book to the end, which would be unfortunate because when the book focuses solely on economics, which is most of the time, it is truly excellent.

One particular passage prompted me to write this review and give it three stars: "Unlike fiat money..., [counterfeiting] cannot be abolished through political measures...because it springs from the internal human condition of original sin" (p. 97). Now why bring up the controversial topic of original sin in a book about money production?
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