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Money, Gold, and History Paperback – May 28, 2013
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About the Author
In April of 1987, Lehrman joined Morgan Stanley & Company, investment bankers, as a Senior Advisor and a Director of Morgan Stanley Asset Management. In 1988, he became a Managing Director of the firm. He is presently Senior Partner of L. E. Lehrman & Co., an investment firm he established.
Lehrman has been named to the advisory board of the American Principles Project s Gold Standard initiative. He heads The Gold Standard Now - a project of The Lehrman Institute. Established in 1972, The Lehrman Institute is a public policy foundation focused on history, economic and foreign policy, education, and local communities. He has been a trustee of the American Enterprise Institute, the Morgan Library, the Manhattan Institute, the Heritage Foundation and New-York Historical Society. He is a former Chairman of the Committee on Humanities of the Yale University Council.
Lehrman received the National Humanities Medal at the White House in 2005 for his teaching and studies of American history. In 2010, he was awarded the William E. Simon Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Social Entrepreneurship.
Lehrman earned his B.A. from Yale where he became a Carnegie Teaching Fellow on the Yale faculty and an M.A. from Harvard where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. Lehrman has been awarded honorary degrees from Babson College (Babson Park, MA) where he was made a member of its Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame; Gettysburg College (Gettysburg, PA); Lincoln College (Lincoln, IL), Marymount University (Arlington, VA); and Thomas Aquinas College (Santa Paula, CA).
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a series of reprints of articles written by Mr. Lehrman over a 40 year period.
Taken on their own, each article is excellent.
He is very well informed on the subject and explains it so that even my feeble mind can encompass it.
Each article includes much of the same material as the article before it and the article before that.
Before long, you are reading the same paragraph you read 15 minutes ago, and 15 minutes before that.
As a historical reference document, it is excellent but as a "read" it is very tedious.
It is fascinating to follow Lehrman's understanding back through his mentor, the French economist Jacques Rueff, who amended Say's Law with a monetary term, and then to David Hume's Trade Cycle Theory. This line of economic thinking parallels in some ways that of the Austrian School of economics, who also utilize Hume's explanation of how proper money should work to equilibrate transactions automatically between nations.
Another strength of this book is how clearly Lehrman lays out the distinct monetary positions of the Neo-Keynesians, the Monetarists and those who advocate a gold standard. Any of my fellow economists who would like to believe they are open-minded scientists should be prepared to confront Lehrman's (and Rueff's) arguments that the past almost one hundred years of gold exchange and fiat currency systems have been a dismal failure in comparison. Lehrman covers not only the last four decades of pure fiat currencies, but also the gold exchange systems from 1922 Genoa and 1944 Bretton Woods. Have we, as social scientists, really done our best with regard to the welfare of the human race over that period of time?Read more ›
As Cato Institute notes about this book on its website:
"In his new book, Lehrman, founder and chairman of the Lehrman Institute, compiles many of his key writings from almost 40 years of publications and complements them with new and important essays on the classical gold standard. Among the works included are his testimonies at the request of former representative Ron Paul before the House Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy, his address before the Parliament of France, and many essays in leading publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the American Spectator, and the Weekly Standard. Lehrman, a student of iconic French economist Jacques Rueff, and author of the critically acclaimed book The True Gold Standard, is a preeminent advocate of restoring a modern classical gold standard."
Lehrman, with whom this reviewer has a professional relationship as editor of the Lehrman Institute's [...] is widely, perhaps universally, respected as the "eminence grise" of the classical gold standard. His prescription, drawn from what he calls "the laboratory of history," has everything to do with restoring robust economic growth, job creation, and deficit reduction.Read more ›
Nothing in finance is ever really new, Lehrman's intellectual compatriot James Grant likes to say, and we are reminded of that by essays in this book that address all the problems then that we still have today.
One essay in particular, Lehrman's seminal National Review article "An Exorbitant Privilege," exemplifies this. Published in 1986 at the height of bitter trade tensions that had Congress screaming for protectionist measures, it explains why exactly the richest nation on earth was seeing skilled jobs blow away and trade deficits pile up. The problem wasn't mercantilism and the solution wasn't free trade. Mercantilism was a "smokescreen" for a monetary system (the global dollar standard) that jams trade adjustments where a gold-based one smooths them out, that forces foreign trading partners to accumulate dollars while printing more of their own currencies, that fosters global financial gamesmanship rather than the cooperation that the international gold standard engendered.
Lehrman warned in 1986 that three million skilled U.S. manufacturing jobs had been lost since 1980 and that two million net breadwinner industrial jobs had disappeared. As for the Reagan-era job boom, "it does no injustice to point out that nearly 60 percent are in `miscellaneous services' that don't support a family," he observes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent historical review, except for one major (in my amateur opinion) gap: inadequate discussion of the several attempts, some outside the Fed (Graham) and some inside (Angell)... Read morePublished on October 16, 2013 by Martin S. Harris Jr.
For those interested in monetary policy in general, and the gold standard in particular, Mr. Lehrman's book is an invaluable resource. Read morePublished on October 9, 2013 by Paul D.
Interesting review of history of gold as a standard monetary value. I still have a hard time understanding how it really works.Published on October 9, 2013 by Lynn Havard Mirviss
This is the best go-to resource for information on monetary systems throughout history and why history proves the gold standard to be the least imperfect monetary standard. Read morePublished on October 3, 2013 by Gia Coluccio
MR LEHRMAN SEEMS TO BE A GREAT SCHOLAR OF OUR MONETARY SYSTEM. .WITH OUR ECONOMY IN SUCH DISARRAY MAYBE THE FED WOULD DO WELL TO READ THESE CHAPTERS AND PAY HEED.Published on October 2, 2013 by Lucy
How about finding today is just a repeat of the past 65 years. Reading the successive columns, previously published, and seeing the similarity, was shocking. Read morePublished on September 19, 2013 by richardlamb
The book is valuable from a knowledge point of view. But any reappearance by a gold standard is purely hallucinatory. I might even agree a certain amount with the author. Read morePublished on September 19, 2013 by Emmet
Lehrman picks to pieces any notion that central banks can, in the long run, make a stable economy unless the money is fixed by tying it to a physical commodity (gold)Published on September 7, 2013 by Peter C. Ray