Banking without Banks

In recent months Dr. Tiemann has focused his research into economic and banking history on the California Gold Rush. He plans to produce a series of articles from that work. In this article, though, Dr. Tiemann examines the fascinating period just before the Gold Rush, when California’s economy suffered a severe shortage of cash and an absence of banks. Read about William A. Leidesdorff, a San Francisco merchant in the 1840s, who dealt with those handicaps by becoming, in effect, his own banker.

Government Credit and Money

Dr. Tiemann takes a deep look at the historical antecedents, including Ely’s Rebellion and the writings of Joseph Hawley, to show why our monetary system relies on the soundness of Government credit. Dr. Tiemann maintains that keeping the public credit in good standing is of paramount importance.

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The New Industrial Policy

Dr. Tiemann takes a look at three specific instances of actions relating to U.S. industry which suggest that Trump is making a dramatic shift in both the style and substance of national industrial policy and answers the question of what these say about the type of Industrial Policy we can expect to see out of the Trump […]

The Purpose of Monetary Policy

The Federal Open Market Committee is scheduled to have one of its regularly-scheduled meetings with Fed Chair Janet Yellen making an announcement on interest rate policy.  Most observers expect the Fed to leave short-term interest rates unchanged for now, but the FOMC’s likely actions in the near future could be to raise rates.  Dr. Tiemann reviews the […]

Tom Brady’s Victory Pumps up Organized Labor

Overturning NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s imposition of a four-game suspension on Patriots uber-star quarterback Tom Brady provides organized labor with a bigger gain from the ruling than Patriots fans received.  Leaders of organized labor should see in the ruling a strengthening of both the role of collective bargaining agreements and protections for workers facing arbitrary and capricious […]

Why the Debt Ceiling Debate Matters

US Congressional hardliners have been threatening not to raise the debt limit again.  They may not understand how central US Treasury securities are to the US and global monetary and banking system.  Dr. Tiemann explains the importance of raising the debt ceiling and the catastrophic consequences that could result from a failure by Congress to act in […]

The Irony of Bitcoin

Dr. Tiemann reviews how Bitcoin, the new “crypto-currency,” works and shows that, while designed to not require the participation of banks or other trusted financial intermediaries, nevertheless, Bitcoin does require verification that can be established by ordinary people, which is not yet available.


In his note on market competition Dr. Tiemann writes: “It’s an attempt to dig a little deeper than the stylized models we study in economics courses, and think a bit about how competition operates in the real economy.”

Growth in the Age of Cheap Capital

This note helps readers understand how corporate management thinks about and makes deliberate choices about their capital structure, depending upon market conditions, discount rates, level of employment in the economy and other factors. A refresher on Modigliani and Miller, and assessment of why companies appear to be doing better yet unemployment remains high.