Sunday , September 25 2022
Home / Thorsten Polleit
Thorsten Polleit

Thorsten Polleit

Dr. Thorsten Polleit, Chief Economist of Degussa and macro-economic advisor to the P&R REAL VALUE fund. He is Honorary Professor at the University of Bayreuth.

Articles by Thorsten Polleit

Everything You Wanted to Know about Money, but Were Afraid to Ask

18 days ago

Introduction
With my talk, I would like to accomplish three goals:
First, I want to explain some sound and time-tested basics of monetary theory.
Second, I would like to point out why it is important to have a free market in money; that the battlefront of our time is not between, say, bitcoin, stable coins, gold, and silver, but between government-monopolized fiat monies and a free market in money.
And third, I hope to strengthen your conviction that we need a free market in money! Unless we succeed in ending governments’ money monopolies, I fear we might end up in the most sinister tyranny the world has ever seen.
On the Subject of Money
Let me ask you: What is money? The answer is: Money is the universally accepted means of exchange.
As such, money is a good

Read More »

Über das Bestreben, Bargeld abzuschaffen und digitales Zentralbankgeld einzuführen

July 6, 2022

[Der folgende Beitrag wurde Mitte Mai 2022 als Vortrag auf der Gottfried Haberler Konferenz in Liechtenstein gehalten.]
Gleich zu Beginn möchte ich Ihnen die Schlussfolgerungen meiner Überlegungen mitteilen:
Das Bargeld zurückzudrängen oder aus dem Verkehr zu ziehen und digitales Zentralbankgeld auszugeben, sind äußerst problematisch, weil
(1.) die Missbrauchsmöglichkeiten und Fehlentwicklungen des staatlichen Fiat-Geldmonopols gewaltig erhöht werden, ohne dass sich dagegen wirksame Abwehrmechanismen aufbieten ließen; und weil
(2.) der Weg in den digitalen Überwachungs- und Lenkungsstaat befördert wird (Stichworte „Great Reset“ und „Große Transformation“), eine Entwicklung, die das freiheitliche, friedvolle und produktive Zusammenleben der Menschen auf dieser

Read More »

On the Digital Future of Markets and Money

June 18, 2022

Thank you very much for the invitation. I am delighted to have the opportunity to share some thoughts with you on a topic I am very much interested in and that I believe is of the utmost importance to people around the globe—and that is “the digital future of markets and money.”
So let us dive right in!
When I was your age, dear students, there were no cell phones, no internet, no Google, no Amazon, no Facebook, no Twitter, no TikTok, no YouTube. People did not have Apple Pay, PayPal, Alipay, or WeChat Pay.
Luckily, however, we already had money. Purchases were paid for with cash—coins and bills—with writing checks and with electronic money by wiring sight deposits from one bank account to another. As online banking didn’t exist, people were pretty busy filling

Read More »

Interest Rates Are Rising, but the Fed Continues to Be Reckless

June 14, 2022

The crushing issue of high inflation caused by central banks can no longer be downplayed. Public displeasure at the increasing currency devaluation has now forced monetary policy makers to act.
The US Federal Reserve (Fed) has raised its key interest rate to 1 percentage point. Many other central banks have also reacted—such as the Bank of England, the Central Bank of Australia, and the Central Bank of Sweden. Even the ponderous European Central Bank (ECB) now plans to raise interest rates at the beginning of the third quarter.
Does all this mean that there will be an “interest rate reversal”?
The answer begins with a look at the fiat money system that is ubiquitous today. In the fiat money system, interest rates are not established in a “free market.” Rather, the

Read More »

Freedom and Sound Money: Two Sides of a Coin

May 17, 2022

It is impossible to grasp the meaning of the idea of sound money if one does not realize that it was devised as an instrument for the protection of civil liberties against despotic inroads on the part of governments. Ideologically it belongs in the same class with political constitutions and bills of right.
So wrote Ludwig von Mises in The Theory of Money and Credit in 1912. And further:
The sound-money principle has two aspects. It is affirmative in approving the market’s choice of a commonly used medium of exchange. It is negative in obstructing the government’s propensity to meddle with the currency system.
Against this backdrop, modern day monetary systems appear to have been drifting farther and farther away from the sound money principle in the last

Read More »

Berliners in 2021 Want to Expropriate Private Housing

October 16, 2021

The Berlin “housing crisis” has, of course, many causes. But most, if not all of them, are government made. Unfortunately, however, people blame “capitalists” for their plight.

Original Article: “Berliners in 2021 Want to Expropriate Private Housing”

On September 6, 2021, the city-state of Berlin, Germany’s capital, held a referendum: voters in Berlin had to decide whether thousands of housing units owned by “large real estate firms” should be nationalized. 56.4 percent voted yes, 39 percent no. While the referendum is not binding, it forces Berlin’s incoming city government to debate the expropriation measure. However, whichever way you look at it, it certainly is an expropriation attempt: the term “expropriation” is even openly stated in the name of the

Read More »

Berliners in 2021 Want to Expropriate Private Housing

October 6, 2021

On September 6, 2021, the city-state of Berlin, Germany’s capital, held a referendum: voters in Berlin had to decide whether thousands of housing units owned by “large real estate firms” should be nationalized. 56.4 percent voted yes, 39 percent no. While the referendum is not binding, it forces Berlin’s incoming city government to debate the expropriation measure. However, whichever way you look at it, it certainly is an expropriation attempt: the term “expropriation” is even openly stated in the name of the grassroots campaign, “Expropriation Deutsche Wohnen and Co,” and it suggests a compensation of the properties “well below market value.”
Housing is scarce in Berlin, and rents continue to rise. This already led the city government to declare a freeze on rent

Read More »

Fiat Money Economies Are Built on Lies

July 21, 2021

Now and then, it pays to take a step back to get a broader perspective on things, to look beyond the daily financial news, to see through the short-term ups and downs in the market to find out what is really at the heart of the matter. If we do that, we will not miss the fact that we are living in the age of fiat currencies, a world in which basically everything bears their fingerprints: the economic and financial system, politics—even people’s cultural norms, values, and morals will not escape the broader consequences of fiat currencies.
You may not notice it in your daily use of fiat currencies—that is, for instance, when receiving wages, buying goods and services, paying down mortgages, depositing money with the bank for saving purposes—that something is

Read More »

Das staatliche Geldmonopol und der „Große Reset“

March 15, 2021

Das ungedeckte Papiergeldgeldsystem – man kann es auch als Fiat-Geldsystem bezeichnen – ist wirtschaftlich und sozial äußerst problematisch. Es verursacht Schäden, die vermutlich weit über die Vorstellungen der meisten Menschen hinausgehen. Beispielsweise ist das Fiat-Geld inflationär; es begünstigt einige wenige auf Kosten vieler; es verursacht Konjunkturzyklen („Boom-und-Bust“); es korrumpiert das Moral- und Wertesystem der Gesellschaft; es führt zur Überschuldung; und es läuft Gefahr, letztendlich in einem großen Desaster zu enden.

Das Institute of International Finance (IIF) schätzt, dass die globale Verschuldung bis Ende 2020 auf 277 Billionen Dollar angestiegen ist – und das entspräche einem Schuldenstand von 365 Prozent des weltweiten

Read More »

„Hayek und die Pandemie“: Das irreführende Narrativ des Neo-Keynesianismus in der F.A.Z.

February 8, 2021

8. Februar 2021 – von Philipp Bagus und Thorsten Polleit
Was sagt Hayeks Liberalismus dazu?

Philipp Bagus

Am 5. Februar 2021 hat der Ökonom Arash Molavi Vasséi den Aufsatz „Hayek und die Pandemie“ in der F.A.Z. veröffentlicht. Er will darin aufzeigen, wie seiner Meinung nach Friedrich August von Hayek (1899–1992) die Politiken, zu denen die Staaten in der Coronavirus-Pandemie greifen, vor dem Hintergrund „liberaler Prinzipien“ beurteilen würde. Nach Lektüre des Aufsatzes kommt man zum Schluss: Der freie Markt, der Liberalismus, kann nicht die Lösung sein, vielmehr muss der Staat es richten, und darin ist sich Hayek einig mit den Neo-Keynesianern; und dort, wo Hayek Bedenken anmeldet – bei der Geldpolitik, die die elektronische Notenpresse anwirft und Null- und

Read More »

Absolute Eigentumsrechte als ökologischer Imperativ

January 19, 2021

18. Januar 2021 – von Thorsten Polleit
[Ein Vortrag gehalten auf der 8. Jahreskonferenz des Ludwig von Mises Institut Deutschland am 10. Oktober 2020 im Hotel Bayerischer Hof in München.]
In diesem Vortrag argumentiere ich, dass (1) Eigentum und Umwelt- beziehungsweise Ressourcenschutz keine Gegensätze sind; dass (2) man vielmehr auf das Eigentum setzen muss, wenn Umwelt und Ressourcen wirksam geschützt und ein tyrannischer Weltstaat verhindert werden sollen; und dass (3) der Staat (wie wir ihn heute kennen) der eigentliche Grund für Umwelt- und Ressourcenschäden ist.
Damit spreche ich mich gegen die herrschende Meinung aus, der Staat müsse Klimapolitik betreiben – indem er beispielsweise C02-Emissionen begrenzt und/oder besteuert. Diese vom Konsens abweichenden

Read More »

Inflation Breeds Even More Inflation

January 18, 2021

I. Warning against Fiduciary Media
Early in the 20th century, Ludwig von Mises warned against the consequences of granting the government control over the money supply. Such a regime inevitably creates money through bank credit that is not backed by real savings—a type of money that Mises termed “fiduciary media.”
In 1912, Mises wrote,
It would be a mistake to assume that the modern organization of exchange is bound to continue to exist. It carries within itself the germ of its own destruction; the development of the fiduciary medium must necessarily lead to its breakdown.1
Mises knew that breakdowns of economic activity were the inevitable outcome of government interference in the monetary sphere. However, public opinion has not correctly diagnosed the root

Read More »

Inflation as a Tool of the Radical Left

September 20, 2020

“Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalist System was to debauch its currency….Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer way of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”1
Keynes does not provide a concrete source backing his words but deliberately used the phrase “is said to have declared.” For a good reason. As Frank W. Fetter (1899–1991) pointed out, there is no evidence at hand that Lenin actually said or wrote these words, and anyone quoting Lenin on inflation would be indeed be referring to Keynes’s opinion.2
Be that as it

Read More »

Why This Bubble Economy Keeps Going and Going

April 16, 2020

Listen to the Audio Mises Wire version of this article.
Quite a few people may wonder why the global fiat money system has not yet collapsed. The fiat money system did not crash in the financial and economic crisis of 2008/2009, when a great many people feared the debt pyramid would come crashing down. And it has not gone belly-up in the current coronavirus crisis, in which governments all over the world have shut down economic activity, making production fall over the cliff and unemployment skyrocket. Doesn’t all this contradict the Austrian business cycle theory (ABCT), which says that a fiat money–induced boom must end in a bust?
The answer is no, it does not.
The ABCT, as developed in particular by Ludwig von Mises, is an a priori theory. Its statements are

Read More »

The Era of Boom and Bust Isn’t Over

February 2, 2020

At the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, Bob Prince, co-chief investment officer at Bridgewater Associates, attracted attention when he suggested in a news interview that the boom and bust cycle as we have come to know it in the last decades may have ended. This viewpoint may well have been encouraged by the fact that the latest economic upswing (“boom”) has been going for around a decade and that an end is not in sight as suggested by incoming macro- and microeconomic data.
But would that not reject the key insight of the Austrian business cycle theory (ABCT), which says that a boom, brought about by artificially lowered market interest rates and injections of new credit and money produced “out of thin air,” must eventually end in a bust? In what follows, I

Read More »

Hyperinflation, Money Demand, and the Crack-up Boom

December 18, 2019

In the early 1920s, Ludwig von Mises became a witness to hyperinflation in Austria and Germany — monetary developments that caused irreparable and (in the German case) cataclysmic damage to civilization.
Mises’s policy advice was instrumental in helping to stop hyperinflation in Austria in 1922. In his Memoirs, however, he expressed the view that his instruction — halting the printing press — was heeded too late:
Austria’s currency did not collapse — as did Germany’s in 1923. The crack up boom did not occur. Nevertheless, the country had to bear the destructive consequences of continuing inflation for many years. Its banking, credit, and insurance systems had suffered wounds that could no longer heal, and no halt could be put to the consumption of capital.1
As

Read More »

Why this Boom Could Keep Going Well Beyond 2019

December 9, 2019

The Austrian business cycle theory offers a sound explanation of what happens with the economy if and when the central banks, in close cooperation with commercial banks, create new money balances through credit expansion. Said credit expansion causes the market interest rate to drop below its “natural level,” tempting people to save less and consume more. Credit expansion also drives firms to increase investment spending. The economy enters into a boom phase.
However, the boom is unsustainable. After the effect of the injection of new money balances has worked itself through the economy, consumers and entrepreneurs realize that the economic expansion has been a one-off affair. They return to their previously preferred savings-consumption-investment affinity: once

Read More »

What Will Trump Do About The Central-Bank Cartel?

February 14, 2017

Submitted by Thorstein Polleit via The Mises Institute,
The US is by far the biggest economy in the world. Its financial markets — be it equity, bonds or derivatives markets — are the largest and most liquid. The Greenback is the most important transaction currency. Many currencies in the world — be it the euro, the Chinese renminbi, the British pound or the Swiss franc — have actually been built upon the US dollar.
The world is effectively on a US-dollar-standard, and the US Federal Reserve (Fed) has risen to the unofficial status of the world’s central bank. The rise of the Greenback has to a large extent been propelled by international banking, which has basically “dollarized” in terms of its lending and issuing activities.

The Fed Sets Global Policy
The Fed’s policy not only determines credit and liquidity conditions in the US, but does so in many financial markets around the world as well. For instance, movements of long-term US interest rates regularly have effects on credit and equity markets in, say, Europe and Asia. The Fed’s actions are the blueprint for monetary policymaking in many countries around the world.
The graph shows the Fed’s supply of newly created US dollar liquidity sent to other central banks around the world.

Read More »