September 15, 2018 brings the post-industrial financial world to a ten-year milestone. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. was officially shuttered on this day in 2008, rocking the entire planet. The event occurred just 110 days before a revolution its collapse helped to spawn: Bitcoin. A little-known economic philosopher, Ludwig von Mises, tried to warn many years ahead about the perils of allowing politicians to issue and steer money.
Mises Warns Fifty Years Prior
Investment banks successfully captured levers of government regulation, both sectors preying upon the need for housing, and together they created a moral hazard, leading to what is known as malinvestment, as predicted by a cranky, marginalized mid 20th century economist, Ludwig von Mises.
This is what happens when governments control money.
The phenomenon may have also helped hasten Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper to be made flesh, as in early January of the following year, the Bitcoin network mined its first block. While the cryptocurrency phenomenon was founded in direct opposition to Wall Street and its finance system, what a difference ten years has made. Almost all happy talk the community engages in at present can be categorized as Wall Street worship: crypto enthusiasts now work to be absorbed into the very system predecessors once despised.
Known as the Dean of the Austrian School of Economics, Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) wrote in his magnum opus Human Action, “A lowering of the gross market rate of interest as brought about by credit expansion always has the effect of making some projects appear profitable which did not appear so before…It necessarily brings about a structure of investment and production activities which is at variance with the real supply of capital goods and must finally collapse.”