Joakim Book

Joakim Book

I write, edit, proofread and research on all things banking and monetary. First Class from University of Glasgow, and Distinction from University of Oxford, I now freelance full time. I love keto, yoga, travelling, reading and arguing over economic issues - today and in the past. Find out more: https://www.joakimbook.com/

Articles by Joakim Book

Artificially Low Interest Rates Are Creating Economic Chaos

If you asked him, Edward Chancellor wouldn’t say he’s particularly Austrian. Yet The Price of Time: The Real Story of Interest, the dense book he most timely published during the height of the inflation summer of 2022, is as obsessed with centrally planned interest rates as your average Misesian. Like many before him, and many in the Austrian camp, Chancellor identifies the many ills that trouble the world and locates their cause in a dysfunctional interest-rate regime.In Chancellor’s own words, “The most important question addressed in this book is whether a capitalist economy can function properly without market-determined interest.” Most readers of these pages will automatically respond, no—free-market capitalism rests on an uninhibited market for capital and debt, and thus interest

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Sebag and Natural Money

Natural orders are things that emerge on their own or reflect the true nature of how something is or was meant to be. Two of my favorite books, both of which dramatically changed my outlook on the world, are A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century (by biologists Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein) and Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life (by economics professor Paul Seabright). Even though they deal with different subject matters, what unites them is the emphasis on the real and natural — the pursuit of true, established, consistent ways in thing which species, humans, economies, trade, and all manner of other important things flourish.It is not the case that the world can be any which way its people want — or the way us moderns may delude ourselves into thinking

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Do Destroyed Monuments Represent a Past Not Worth Defending?

Many cities and states in this country have been tearing down or destroying monuments because they represent part of a past that progressives and leftists believe should not have existed. Yet each time we tear down something, we potentially lose part of an important heritage.
Original Article: Do Destroyed Monuments Represent a Past Not Worth Defending?

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Do Destroyed Monuments Represent a Past Not Worth Defending?

The wonderful thing about liberty, property rights, and markets is that if you don’t like something, you don’t have to be a part of it. Under pure and beautiful capitalism, consumers are sovereign: they’re not forced to consume something, and their value creation isn’t expropriated to finance what someone else thinks is important.
A liberal order based on individual property rights thus becomes a conflict-minimizing system in that we can leave one another be and only cooperate when it serves both parties. If there’s something you dislike about my opinions, religion, or behavior, you don’t have to associate with me. You can just look away and invoke that long-forgotten American ideal of “live and let live.”
In contrast, when things are commonly owned—or unowned—anything less than consensus

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Ten Years Ago, I Discovered the Mises Institute. These Are the Things I Wish I Had Done Differently

Quit College—or Better Yet, Don’t Even Start
When I was in university a decade ago, this was some wacky, contrarian advice. It wasn’t unheard of for intellectual, middle-class youngsters to opt out of college, and it was still the early days of efforts like Praxis, but realistically there didn’t seem to be any alternatives. So, I went to university because that’s where you learn things and become a grown-up . . . or something.
These days, half of American parents say they prefer their kids not enroll in a four-year college program.
It’s too expensive a product, and what you’re getting is so worthless that had you sold the product on the free market the government would take you to court for fraud. The return on investment from higher education is widely diverging across fields and

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Totalitarian Ideals and Not Living by Lies

More than forty years ago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn urged his fellow Russians “not to live by lies.” In our politicized age, his words ring truer than ever.

Original Article: Totalitarian Ideals and Not Living by Lies

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Cultural Appropriation: The Nontheft of Something No One Owns

When I was at the university, I once objected to a classmate’s lazy use of “public goods.” He had used it to favor his policy position, as a shorthand synonym of what’s good for society—only a thinly veiled euphemism for what I want to happen.
“Public goods are things that are nonrivalrous and nonexcludable,” I said, almost sputtering off a nearby economics textbook. “The ones you’re talking about are neither.”
He rolled his eyes in boredom. “Yes, yes, but that’s not what people mean when they say, ‘public goods.’”
Strangely, I think he’s right. These days, the economist’s clear and rather demanding criteria of so-called public goods are largely swept aside in favor of something like “What I think would be good for the public.” And that little linguistic slip opens up a world of economic

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Totalitarian Ideals and Not Living by Lies

On we go, further and further into the era of post-journalism, where outlets survive not on the accuracy and honesty of their reporting but on the appeal of their narrative.
—Fred Skulthorp, The Critic
Nobody has missed that the West suffers from a credibility problem. Its institutions—by which we mean the media, government officials, academia, teachers’ unions and other joint societal “stuff” —hold less and less of our collective trust (business excepted, it seems). We don’t trust the media to convey or display the truth; we don’t trust our governments to tell the truth, to act honorably, or to steward the “commons” in good faith. Speaking of faith, the intellectual elites have broadly replaced God not with Mammon but with Gaia—many worship at the altar of St. Greta these days.
“Live Not

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The Senator Who Didn’t Know (but Thought She Did)

Legislators have a strange relationship with magic. To achieve that which physically cannot be done, they like to wave magic wands and pretend that it can. Reality puts a limit on political power, a realization that always sits poorly with those in charge of our trillion-dollar bureaucratic machinery.

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A Review of Nik Bhatia’s Layered Money: From Gold and Dollars to Bitcoin and Central Bank Digital Currencies

For understanding our modern monetary troubles, Nik Bhatia’s pamphlet-sized book from last year hits exactly the right intersection between money and banking, between the past and the future. Clocking in at around 150 pages of easy prose, it’s accessible but not dumbed down, revealing but not inaccurate. It has a simple framework that Bhatia explains and explores with great expertise.

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How the West Pushed back the Frontiers of Death

The world we come from had lots of death. Every society we know of before the mid-1800s or so saw more than one in four children die during their first year of life. Of those who made it through this first difficult year—through disease, malnutrition, famines, or natural disasters—another quarter or so died before they reached fifteen.

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Lockdowners and “the Desire to Dominate”

In many years of lecturing at Mises University, Judge Napolitano has given the same—terrifying—ending to his introductory speech. Not until the horrors of this year did it dawn on me that perhaps his point has its basis in reality.
The dear judge often mentions, almost like a joke, the libido dominandi—the desire to dominate, or the will to power, harking back to Augustine of Hippo’s centuries-old writing.

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Central Bankers Are Running Out of Options

Corona fears have shifted the world’s central banks into hyperdrive. Talk more, do more, lend more—and buy everything that moves. One after the other, the major central banks took to the barricades, manned the canons, fired their bazookas, and every other military metaphor you can think of.

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