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Renewing the Search for a Monetary Constitution

Reforming Government’s Role in the Monetary System

By Lawrence H. White, Viktor Vanberg, and Ekkehard A. Kohler

Over 50 years ago, In Search of a Monetary Constitution, which focused on the need for constraints on the creation of money by the government, was published. Although overlooked at the time, the work’s analysis has proven to be remarkably prescient. This new collection of essays, Renewing the Search for a Monetary Constitution: Reforming Government’s Role in the Monetary System, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first edition by revisiting and re‐​energizing the original intent.

Since the publication of the original book, central banks have delivered neither sound money nor real growth; instead, chronic inflation and a series of booms and busts have prevailed. In this new collection, scholars call for monetary reform centered on the debate over creating constitutional provisions that empower government versus provisions that prohibit government interference with money. The aim of Renewing the Search for a Monetary Constitution is to revitalize public discussion of constitutional monetary reform. It’s a must‐​read for anyone who wants to change the domination of our monetary system by the government.

Praise for the book

In Search of a Monetary Constitution, published in 1962, was a classic treatment of the importance of removing monetary arrangements from political domination. The subsequent half‐​century of monetary scholarship has strengthened our knowledge of the damage to liberty and prosperity that political control over a society’s monetary arrangements creates. The contributors to this collection of essays have constructed a splendid flying buttress to that earlier book that adds solid support to case for imposing strong constitutional controls over the monetary activities of governments.”

— Richard Wagner, Professor of Economics, George Mason University

“There has recently been a lot of discussion about problems with the Federal Reserve System. Unfortunately much of this discussion is not well informed. The editors put together an excellent collection of papers on monetary reform by serious scholars working in the classical liberal tradition. The subjects range from free banking, to the need for a stable and transparent policy regime, to (my favorite) incorporating market expectations in a monetary regime of stable nominal GDP growth.”

—Scott Sumner, Professor of Economics, Bentley University

About the Editors

Lawrence H. White is professor of economics at George Mason University and senior fellow of the Cato Institute.
Viktor J. Vanberg is senior research fellow, chairman of the board, and former director of the Walter Eucken Instistut in Germany.
Ekkehard A. Köhler is a research fellow at the Walter Euken Institut.