The only way to have several currencies from divergent nations lumped together is if they are culturally close, such as Germany, the Netherlands and Austria. If they aren't, it simply can't continue to work.
I do not understand where the backing of Bitcoin is coming from. There is no fundamental issue of capabilities of repaying it in anything which is universally acceptable, which is either intrinsic value of the currency or the credit or trust of the individual who is issuing the money, whether it's a government or an individual.
I was a fairly good amateur musician, and I was an average professional. But the one thing I saw was that the big band business was fading. So I made an economic decision, and it turned out the best judgment I ever made in my life.
I've been around long enough to know that a good deal of the praise heaped on me I had nothing to do with. The only thing I did object to was the fact that where the criticism was actually wrong. Did it bother me? Of course it bothered me. But I've been around long enough to have ups and downs. So you get over it.
I wasn't able to do much reading when I was chairman of the Reserve Board. The workload was too large, and the luxury of reading was not available to me. So I caught up a good deal when I left office.
Fear and euphoria are dominant forces, and fear is many multiples the size of euphoria. Bubbles go up very slowly as euphoria builds. Then fear hits, and it comes down very sharply. When I started to look at that, I was sort of intellectually shocked. Contagion is the critical phenomenon which causes the thing to fall apart.
I stated that I'm a libertarian Republican, which means I believe in a series of issues, such as smaller government, constraint on budget deficits, free markets, globalization, and a whole series of other things, including welfare reform.
Manufacturing capacity is not a rigid level against which one bounces. When you are dealing with a world economy, with a flexibility to employ production facilities other than one's own, then the concept of capacity is vaguer.
What I see in the corporate sector is very clearly an issue of a major shortfall in the issue of, what some people call confidence, but whatever you want to call it. Clearly people are looking out in the very distant future and they are saying that it is too complex.
What a sound money system does is to stabilize all the elements in it, and reduces the uncertainty that people confront. And the one thing all human beings do when they are confronted with uncertainty is pull back, withdraw, disengage, and that means economic activity, which is really dealing with people, just goes straight down.
One of the problems with hedge funds is that they are changing so rapidly. If you have the balance sheet that closed business last night, by 11 A.M. this morning, that won't tell you very much about what they're doing.
The only thing that was economic, I might say, about my music career, aside from the fact that I did everybody's tax returns in the band, was the decision I made to leave the music business on economic grounds.
Europe is very critical to the United States in the sense not only do we have a fourth of our exports there, but more importantly, a significant proportion of the foreign affiliate profits in fact, half of U.S. corporations, are in Europe.
If somebody had said to me in June or July of 1987, 'We'd like you to become chairman of the Federal Reserve, but you're never allowed to discuss any economics after you leave,' I'd have said, 'Forget it.' What do they want me to do? Become an anthropologist?'
Corruption, embezzlement, fraud, these are all characteristics which exist everywhere. It is regrettably the way human nature functions, whether we like it or not. What successful economies do is keep it to a minimum. No one has ever eliminated any of that stuff.
There are winners and there are losers. And as much as we would like to help the losers, if we do it in the way that directs the limited capital of the society to support the low-productivity parts of the economy, it means that the rest of the economy - our overall standard of living - will not rise as much as it could.