Current Scholarship
Notes Toward a Theory of Inflation

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Author: Steven Mann

Most people take it as given that printing more money causes inflation, and they can be forgiven for thinking so, as it has been hammered home to them by mainstream economics professors in every econ 101 course the world over for many decades. But the money printer meme wouldn’t have taken off like it did if there weren’t significant doubt that this formulation was true, at least within certain circles (primarily economists, financial professionals, and policymakers.) The CFA Institute, about as mainstream a source on financial planning as one could find, published a recent article myth-busting the idea that changes to aggregate measures of the money supply can predict where inflation may go:

Central bank money printing is largely irrelevant to money supply and inflation,…Given their typical mandate to create moderate inflation, the all-powerful central banks seem quite powerless.

This suggests we need to throw out the old theories. Something about them is fundamentally wrong, yet they linger for lack of alternatives. We need to develop new ones.

Steve Mann, “Notes Toward a Theory of Inflation,” Strange Matters (2022), available at:
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