George Selgin

George Selgin is a Professor of Economics at the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business. He is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. His writings also appear on 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, Bank Deregulation and Monetary Order, and several other books. He holds a B.A. in economics and zoology from Drew University, and a Ph.D. in economics from New York University.

A Monetary Policy Primer, Part 9: Monetary Control, Today

Instead of endeavoring to influence a market-determined federal funds rate by reducing or increasing the supply of bank reserves, the Fed now adjusts a pair of rates determined solely by its own administrative decrees, while conducting open-market operations without any particular reference to these rate adjustments.

A Monetary Policy Primer, Part 7: Monetary Control, Then

“Monetary control” refers to the various procedures and devices the Fed and other central banks employ in their attempts to regulate the overall availability of liquid assets, and through it the general course of spending, prices, and employment, in the economies they oversee.

The Election’s Bearing on Monetary Freedom

The sad reality is that the battle for monetary freedom has for some time now taken the form of a rearguard action, aimed at resisting as much as possible ever-increasing government incursions into an ever-shrinking realm of financial choice.

Free Banking and the Federal Reserve

The record of past "free banking" systems, in which paper currency consisted of competitively supplied banknotes, contradicts the widespread belief that central banks play an essential part in promoting financial stability....

A Monetary Policy Primer, Part 6: The Reserve-Deposit Multiplier

The multiplier’s significance to monetary policy is, or used to be, straightforward: it indicated the quantity of additional bank deposits that monetary authorities could expect to see banks produce in response to any increment of new bank reserves supplied them by means of either open-market operations or direct central bank loans.

The Myth of the Myth of Barter

There is, after all, at least one impulse among humans that’s more deep-seated than their “propensity to truck, barter, and exchange.” I mean, of course, their propensity to let themselves be thoroughly bamboozled.

On Free Banking, Monetary Rules, and Crusades

Free banking and monetary rules were rival ideas for guarding against abuses of discretionary monetary policy, today they are properly seen as complementary schemes, one for improving the performance of the banking system, the other for reforming the base-money regime.

A Monetary Policy Primer, Part 5: The Supply of Money

On the Fed’s “instruments of monetary control,” which include devices for regulating the total quantity of bank reserves and circulating Federal Reserve notes, and also for regulating the quantity of bank deposits and other forms of privately-created money that will be supported by any given quantity of bank reserves.

A Monetary Policy Primer, Part 4: Stable Prices or Stable Spending?

A better alternative, if only it can somehow be achieved, or at least approximated, is a monetary system that adjusts the stock of money in response to changes in the demand for money balances, thereby reducing the need for changes in the general level of prices.

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