Monday, June 25, 2007

Readings on inflation

Having spent much of the last week keeping up with the news and all manner of market-related interviews and features, I've decided to take a slightly different tack over the next few days.

I'll still be posting a bit, but I'll also be spending some time catching up on some book reading, specifically on the topics of inflation and past hyperinflationary periods. This reading will form the basis of some upcoming posts/articles I plan to write.

First, will be an essay on the true definition of inflation. What is inflation? What is its cause? Why do so many of us have an insufficient understanding of this monetary phenomenon? What can we do to protect ourselves from the ravages of inflation, and what can be done to prevent it in the first place? These are all questions I hope to answer and examine further.

Second, an article on the lessons of past inflationary & hyperinflationary periods, as shown through the work of Max Shapiro, author of The Penniless Billionaires, and others.

This article will shine a spotlight on some of great inflationary periods, from the time of the Roman Empire up to the present day.

Readers will come to know the main argument presented in Shapiro's Billionaires: that inflation is not an accidental, mysterious phenomenon, but an excessive increase in the supply of money and credit that can bring about economic ruin for many and increased prosperity for a few.

By discussing some of the main ideas presented in Shapiro's book, I hope to give readers a more profound understanding of the true nature of inflation, and an interest in debating some of the author's conclusions.

I've also considered including a few footnotes for additional reading recommendations at the end of each article. If any of you would like to recommend an article or book that was especially helpful in understanding inflation from a classical, or "Austrian" perspective, please drop us a note in the comments section, or via email.

Thanks.