Understanding Monetary Economics: Theory and Policy

Aug 10, 2004Aug 13, 2004

Schedule:

Session One: Tuesday, August 10
Money and the Banking System: Beginnings and Impacts
Steven Horwitz, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics, St. Lawrence University

Click Here to listen to audio archive. 

Session Two: Wednesday, August 11
Money and the Economy: Business Cycles, Credit, and Interest Rates

Steven Horwitz, Ph.D. 
Professor of Economics, St. Lawrence University

Click Here to listen to audio archive. 

Session Three: Thursday, August 12
The Theory and Practice of Central Banking
Lawrence H. White, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics, University of Missouri, St. Louis

Click Here to listen to audio archive. 

Session Four: Friday, August 13
The Future of Money: Reform, Deficits, and War
Lawrence H. White, Ph.D. 

Professor of Economics, University of Missouri, St. Louis

Click Here to listen to audio archive.

Money which represents the prose of life, and which is hardly spoken of in the parlors without an apology, is in its effects and laws as beautiful as roses."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Although most people have a good idea of what money is and how it works, monetary policy remains cloaked in mystery and mind-numbing economic theory.  Even still, policymakers on Capitol Hill interested in promoting a prosperous economy need to understand how monetary policy affects inflation, unemployment, and interest rates, as well as how politics can affect monetary policy. 

How does war and deficit spending impact the Federal Reserve?   What do the prospects of deflation and government deficits mean for the economy?  How has U.S. monetary policy performed over the years?  What are its weaknesses?  How has military conflict affected monetary economics?  For policymakers seeking to address these issues, knowing the role that the monetary authorities play is vital.

This four-day course will push the economic jargon aside and explain how our nation's monetary system developed and how it currently functions.  By providing a conceptual framework for understanding monetary economics, this course will allow participants to better answer such questions as: 

  • Where does money come from?  How does the banking system work?
  • What determines national interest rates, and how much control does the Federal Reserve have over them? Are there any drawbacks to the way the system is run?
  • What kind of influence do the monetary authorities have on financial markets and economic growth?  How does the Federal Reserve manage business cycles?
  • How does the federal deficit affect monetary policy? What about prolonged deficits and military activity? 

Course participants will leave with a firm understanding of how the U.S. monetary system works; how monetary decisions relate to policymakers at all levels; and how the system might be improved.