Friday, October 21st, 2016 MST

Essential Reading

In order to hang onto your money, it is essential that you understand money, what sound money is, and why sound money lays the foundation for prosperity. Conversely, you must understand the dangers of unsound money. And, it is important to know that special interests benefit handsomely by causing society not to understand money so that they can introduce the unsound money that benefits their special interests.

This list is not by any means complete, and it will be added to as time passes. Still, I maintain that reading as few as five selections will put you heads and shoulders above today’s college graduates when it comes to understanding money (and economics.)

I know this because I am a college graduate who learned nothing about money and very little about economics in college. I’ve confirmed this assertion by talking with hundreds of other college graduates.

The selections are in three groups: primers, intermediate and scholarly. This is not to say that the primers and the intermediate books are not scholarly written, but that the books under the scholarly list are deserving of higher education study.

Finally, the books are not “rated” by the position in which they are listed.

Bill Haynes
University of Colorado, 1973

The Mainspring of Human Progress

Author: Henry Grady Weaver


The true story of progress for the human race with acute understanding of the fundamental causes: freedom and capitalism, which led to unimaginable creativity and the spreading and creation of wealth, which has not occurred under any other system.

Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Author: Charles MacKay


This is the bible on bubbles. The Mississippi Scheme, the South Sea Bubble and the Tulipomania chapters deal not only with human emotions that result in bubbles but also the inflation that is necessary for bubbles to happen.

The Monetary Sin of the West

Author: Jacques Rueff


Rueff, a financial advisor to Charles de Gaulle when he was president of France, played a significant role in forcing Nixon to abandon the gold exchange standard in 1971. France and other European nations were redeeming U.S. dollars at a rate that threatened U.S. gold reserves. The title reveals what the book covers.

Most copies of this book sell at collector prices. Look for pdf copies on the Internet.

The Theory of Money and Credit

Author: Ludwig von Mises


Mises shows how money had its origin in the market, and how its value is based on its usefulness as a commodity in exchange. In a step-by-step manner, Mises presents the case for sound money with no inflation, and presents the beginnings of a full-scale business cycle theory.

Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Author: Ludwig von Mises


Here’s what the Ludwig von Mises Institute says about this book: the most important book on political economy you will ever own. It was (and remains) the most comprehensive, systematic, forthright, and powerful defense of the economics of liberty ever written.

The Road to Serfdom

Author: Friedrich A. Hayek


Not a book on money and economics but a refutation to government “planning.” This is a classic, a must read for members of the liberty movement.

Here’s what the cover of the 1976 edition says: “A classic warning against the dangers to freedom inherent in social planning.” Did anyone notice how many liberties we lost with the passing of Obamacare?

The Creature from Jekyll Island

Author: Edward G. Griffin


This tome reads like a Robert Ludlum novel while documenting all relevant details. Want to be an expert on the Fed? Read this is the book. (Actually, Murray Rothbard’s The Origins of the Federal Reserve provides the same information, but Griffin’s approach makes The Creature an enjoyable read. And, you have to admit that the title is brilliant!)

Don’t let the 588 pages scare you. Griffin brilliantly included previews and summaries for all chapters, which means that the book need not be read from start to finish but can be read by selected chapters.

America’s Great Depression

Author: Murray Rothbard


If not Rothbard’s magnum opus, certainly his most controversial book because it dismisses the myth that Roosevelt’s New Deal lift us out of the Great Depression. This book is more about economics than money; it is a great read.

History of Money and Banking in the United States

Author: Murray Rothbard


Here’s what the Ludwig von Mises Institute says about this scholarly treatise: Rothbard traces inflations, banking panics, and money meltdowns from the Colonial Period through the mid-20th century to show how government’s systematic war on sound money is the hidden force behind nearly all major economic calamities in American history. Never has the story of money and banking been told with such rhetorical power and theoretical vigor.

This is not the first book you want to read on money, but it may be the last to you have to read to be completely convinced that of the nefariousness of fractional reserve banking and paper money.

The War on Gold

Author: Antony C. Sutton


This book could have been titled Governments Wars on Gold because it discusses why governments hate gold. Some copies of this book sell at collector prices.


Author: Thomas E. Woods Jr.


A free-market look at why the stock market collapsed, the economy tanked and government bailouts will make things worse. A New York Times bestseller.

The Dollar Meltdown

Author: Charles Goyette


Of the books on this list, this one is the most recently published and, therefore, is the most “timely.” Other recently published books on this list include Ron Paul’s End the Fed and Thomas Woods’ Meltdown.

The Dollar Meltdown’s subtitle reveals the theme: Surviving the impending currency crisis with gold, oil, and other unconventional investments. This book made the New York Times bestseller list.

Age of Inflation

Author: Hans F. Sennholz


Another scholar’s condemnation of inflation. This one sentence from the book should make you want to read it: Whoever ventures to speak kindly of gold or the gold standard places his good name and professional reputation in great jeopardy.

The Silver Panic of 1893

Author: Lawrence W. Reed


This book is chapter two in Rothbard’s History of Money and Banking. Rothbard reveals that the Fed did not originate as a response to national need, as was publicized, but was established by government officials and large financial/banking interests for their own benefit, along with paid-for economists gave the scheme a scientific patina.

The Inflation Crisis and How to Resolve It

Author: Henry Hazlitt


Originally, intended to be a rewrite of the 1960 What You Should Know About Inflation, this book not only clarify just what inflation is but also dispels Establishment-promoted notions that someone other than the Fed and fractional reserve banking is responsible for inflation.

The Origins of the Federal Reserve

Author: Murray Rothbard


This book is chapter two in Rothbard’s History of Money and Banking. Rothbard reveals that the Fed did not originate as a response to national need, as was publicized, but was established by government officials and large financial/banking interests for their own benefit, along with paid-for economists gave the scheme a scientific patina.

End the Fed

Author: Ron Paul


Paul reveals his understanding of economics in discussing his efforts to promote freedom in America as he confronts statists at every level of government. A New York Times bestseller. When a book on economics makes the Times bestseller list, you know it’s good.

The Mystery of Banking

Author: Murray Rothbard


Discusses banking fundamentals, how expanding money supplies in the past have led to booms followed by busts. It concludes with a chapter that dismembers the Fed. (Any discussion today about banking mandates a discussion of the Fed.) If this book had been used as a college text over the last two decades and discussed honestly in classrooms, fractional reserve banking and the Fed would already be history.

If you already have a grasp of money, start with The Mystery of Banking. Still, the other short Rothbard books are better primers.

Red and Blue and Broke All Over

Author: Charles Goyette


Although the title, Red and Blue and Broke All Over, suggests that the book is another expose of America’s dire financial state of affairs, that is not the case. Red and Blue inextricably links our prosperity to our liberties and warns that if “solutions” to our existing financial woes and the “War on Terrorism” put still more controls on us, our prosperity will decline as our liberties vanish.

Economics in One Lesson

Author: Henry Hazlitt


Originally published in 1946 and republished in 1986, this is another Hazlitt classic text that has helped millions of Americans understand basic economics and the free market. Despite the title, this is not a boring read.

What You Should Know About Inflation

Author: Henry Hazlitt


Although first published fifty years ago, this book continues to refute the common Establishment positions about inflation. If this book doesn’t convince you that inflation is a money/credit phenomenon, nothing will.

The Case Against the Fed

Author: Murray Rothbard


Another Murray Rothbard masterpiece explains the evils of the Fed and fractional reserve banking.

The Case for a 100 Percent Gold Dollar and What Has Government Done to Our Money?

Author: Murray Rothbard


Available bound together as they complement each other.

What Has Government Done to Our Money?

Author: Murray Rothbard


In this short book, you learn just what money is, what the best form of money is, and most importantly: why governments always move to control money.

The Case for a 100 Percent Gold Dollar

Author: Murray Rothbard


Learn why gold, throughout the centuries, has always emerged as the ultimate money and why today the dollar needs to be backed 100% by gold.