Doug French

Doug French

Douglas French is former president of the Mises Institute, author of Early Speculative Bubbles & Increases in the Money Supply, and author of Walk Away: The Rise and Fall of the Home-Ownership Myth. He received his master's degree in economics from UNLV, studying under both Professor Murray Rothbard and Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

Articles by Doug French

When Higher Prices Are Not Inflation

Back to 2020, the federal government’s covid-mandated shutdown of meat production plants hobbled the nation’s meat production capabilities, leaving farmers with nowhere to send their beef. This resulted in them having to cull cattle and other livestock. The uncertainty caused farmers to scale back their production at the time, which Arun Sundaram told CNBC “can affect production more than a year, year and a half down the road.”

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The Truth about Tulipmania

When the economics profession turns its attention to financial panics and crashes, the first episode mentioned is tulipmania. In fact, tulipmania has become a metaphor in the economics field. Should one look up tulipmania in The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, a discussion of the seventeenth century Dutch speculative mania will not be found.

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Housing Hubris: Can Home Prices Spiral upward Forever?

For the Wall Street sequel, the subtitle was Money Never Sleeps. But the Oliver Stone reprisal of Gordon Gecko was the stuff of 2010. In America, a decade plus ago, money slept. Now, it truly doesn’t, with cryptocurrency prices gyrating 24/7/365. This frantic activity has spread to other asset markets.

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Thanks to Bailouts, Wall Street Banks Are More Fragile than Ever

The financial covid crash of 2020 came and went in a month as the US government threw every monetary and fiscal trick it had at the government-imposed flash panic. We’ll never know which malivestments would have been cleansed. We live on with goods and labor shortages and with higher prices we’re assured by experts are transient.

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Price Discovery is Alive and Well in Crypto

“If the market continues to see wild swings based on Elon Musk tweets, it’s going to be a big setback for this asset class,” Matt Maley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co. told Bloomberg. “The fact that it sees such wild swings to the tweets from one person takes away the legitimacy of the asset class.”

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Stagflation Cometh

A gentleman who does work for us sent me a text recently saying the price of his supplies has increased 20 percent, so he wants to increase his monthly fee 10 percent. It was a nice way to ask, and I said sure, especially given that he’s willing to take a haircut on his labor to make the increase more palatable.

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The Upside of Lockdowns: More Saving

Rothbard: “At the outset of every step forward on the road to a more plentiful existence is saving….Without saving and capital accumulation there could not be any striving toward nonmaterial ends.”

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The Upside of Lockdowns: More Saving

Something good is coming out of the covid lockdowns. Economist David Rosenberg released a special report via the eponymous Rosenberg Research, concluding “the pre-COVID-19 ‘norm’ of a 7% personal savings rate will morph into a post-COVID-19 norm of 10%.

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Central Banks Put Wind at Bitcoin’s Back

“Russia, Russia, Russia,” the current president used to sarcastically chastise opponents for wondering about 2016 election tinkering from Putin’s principality. Recent MAGA rallies featured “Covid, covid, covid,” with President Trump complaining that the press could think of nothing else.

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Monetary and Fiscal Sorcery Make Home Price Magic

Make the money cheap enough and government intrusive enough, and incongruous headlines appear side by side. For instance, from the Las Vegas Review-Journal comes this head-scratcher: “Las Vegas Housing Market ‘on Fire’ as Economy Limps Along.”

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How the CARES Act Is Still Kicking the Can

During Real Vision’s Daily Briefing of August 13, Ed Harrison asked rhetorically, “How is it possible for you to have a bull market, a new leg up in the business cycle when bank stocks, the traditional value cyclical trade are 30% off their highs? That’s not a signal of bull, it’s a signal of secular stagnation.”

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Stocks Always Go up. Until They Don’t.

Economist Irving Fisher famously said just before the 1929 stock market crash, “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” Whoops. Fisher wasn’t just any old economist. Joseph Schumpeter called him "the greatest economist the United States has ever produced." Milton Friedman and James Tobin agreed.

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As the Fed Pumps, the Stock Market Is Increasingly the Only Game in Town

While the economic storm caused by COVID-19 has seemed to wane (temporarily?), the stock market can’t seem to go but one direction—up. Graham and Dodd’s meaty 700-page Security Analysis has soared to number 7695 on the Amazon best-seller list. According to Warren Buffett, the book is A road map for investing that I have now been following for 57 years.

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Some Insightful Entrepreneurs Planned for a Pandemic

Listen to the Audio ​Mises Wire version of this article. Does a pandemic trump entrepreneurial foresight? Many in business will say yes, “nobody saw this coming.” Lack of customer demand and government lockdowns are “no fault of their own.”
But Penny Chutima, co-owner of the Lotus of Siam restaurant, did see it coming. Chutima and her mother, Saipin, have operated the off-Strip Las Vegas staple for years.

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Builders in Denial

The year 2006 seems like a lifetime ago. The housing boom seemed to be going full throttle, but danger lurked. I wrote on LewRockwell.com in March of that year, concerning a Las Vegas real estate seminar, that “nary a discouraging word was spoken.”

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Shhhh: Repo Operation in Process

In a bit of holiday news no one will care about, the Treasury announced it would return to selling twenty-year treasury bonds to aid in funding the nation’s trillion-dollar deficit. It was 1986 when the Treasury last issued twenty-year paper. Of course the question is: who or what will be the buyers?

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