Economy
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Episode 128
Featuring George Selgin
Demetri Kofinas speaks with George Selgin, director of the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives at the Cato Institute about the recently announced monetary and fiscal policy measures being undertaken to stem the economic fallout from COVID-19 and the government mandated shutdown of the American economy.

In Episode 128 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with George Selgin, director of the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives at the Cato Institute about the recently announced monetary and fiscal policy measures being undertaken to stem the economic fallout from COVID-19 and the government mandated shutdown of the American economy. This is a deep-dive into the specifics of the Federal Reserve and US government’s policies, including the mechanics of the monetary and fiscal stimulus.

We are living in unprecedented times. The closest analogy to what we are experiencing is the mobilization undertaken to fight World War II with one crucial difference: this is a radical demobilization of the American economy. To fight the virus, Americans are being asked to stay in their homes and move about as little as possible. In order to survive a prolonged period of commercial inactivity governments have moved swiftly to pass monetary and fiscal stimulus measures that are themselves as unprecedented as the current lock-down of the global economy. How far will these measures go and what will Western countries like the United States look like on the other side of this crisis? Answering this question may prove more important than any other we have posed before on this program, and we try to answer it today.

You can access the overtime, transcript, and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers also gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. By becoming a monthly subscriber you are helping to make this podcast possible.

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

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George Selgin is a senior fellow and director of the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives at the Cato Institute and Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Georgia. His research covers a broad range of topics within the field of monetary economics, including monetary history, macroeconomic theory, and the history of monetary thought. He is the author of The Theory of Free Banking (Rowman & Littlefield, 1988); Good Money: Birmingham Button Makers, the Royal Mint, and the Beginnings of Modern Coinage (University of Michigan Press, 2008); Money: Free & Unfree (The Cato Institute, 2017); Less Than Zero: The Case for a Falling Price Level in a Growing Economy (The Cato Institute, 2018) and, most recently, Floored! How a Misguided Fed Experiment Deepened and Prolonged the Great Recession (The Cato Institute, 2018). Selgin is one of the founders, with Kevin Dowd and Lawrence H. White, of the Modern Free Banking School, which draws its inspiration from the writings of F. A. Hayek on denationalization of money and choice in currency. Selgin has written for numerous scholarly journals, including the British Numismatic Journal; the Economic Journal; the Economic History Review; the Journal of Economic Literature; and the Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking; and for popular outlets such as the Christian Science Monitor, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal, among others.  Selgin holds a BA in economics and zoology from Drew University, and a PhD in economics from New York University.

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