by Jörg Guido Hülsmann
[Author’s note: This essay is adapted from my preface to the Chinese edition of The Ethics of Money Production, available here in its English version. This is the first time the essay has been published in English.]
Today, in all countries of the world, the production of money is controlled by government interventions. In particular, governments have set up central banks that are endowed with special legal prerogatives to protect them from competition. Central banks are therefore able to produce immaterial fiat money, in the form of paper notes and book entries, and to grant credit to governments and others, without any technical or commercial limitations. This institutional set-up is commonly believed to be very beneficial and superior to all known alternatives. However, this belief is wrong. The purpose of the present book is to explain why.