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Pragmatic Capitalism

Practical Views on Money, Finance & Life

‘Myth Busting’

5 Big Macro Myths

myth

James Montier of GMO wrote a wonderful piece earlier this week that I am just getting around to posting.  Pragcap readers will really enjoy it as it covers a lot of ground that I’ve been harping on for years now.  James discusses 5 big macro myths that just won’t die including: Myth 1: Governments are… Read More

The Money Multiplier and the Myth that Just Won’t Die…

myth

Almost every single mainstream economic textbook teaches some version of the money multiplier theory of banking.  In short, this is the view that $1 of central bank reserves allows a bank to make $10 of loans or something like that.  The basic premise works from the causation that Central Banks control the money supply.  Of course,… Read More

What If Everyone Indexed?

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I see this question more and more as indexing grows in popularity.  People generally think that more indexing will make the markets  function less efficiently .  I don’t think this is true at all.  Unfortunately, the question and its answers are usually shrouded in misunderstandings about how assets are priced and myths about what it… Read More

Tobin’s Q Is Not a Valid Market Timing Metric

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Over the course of the last seven years many market pundits have relied on Tobin’s Q to argue that the stock market is overvalued and I’ve argued that the indicator is misleading (see here for a sampling of the many predictions made with this metric).  And then today I noticed this piece on MarketWatch arguing… Read More

The MV=Py Myth

I’m pulling this one out of the AMA section because it’s a common question I see. Reader Oshe asked about the Equation of Exchange otherwise known as MV=Py, where M is the quantity of money, P is the price level, Y is total output and V is velocity, or the number of times that a dollar is used… Read More

Myths About the USA’s Fiscal Union

The FT ran a piece about the fiscal union in the USA and why this system couldn’t be replicated in Europe to help resolve the Euro crisis. I wanted to touch on the author’s main points to highlight some of the errors in the thinking there. Myth # 1 – “So let’s state three facts… Read More

Where Does Money Come From?

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“The process by which money is created is so simple the mind is repelled.” – JK Galbraith There’s a reason why myth # 1 in my “biggest myths in economics” is “the government prints money”. It is, by far, the most pernicious and misleading of the economic myths that exists. I was reminded of this today… Read More