What Has Government Done to Our Money? by Murray N. Rothbard

General Overview
In this brief book Murray N. Rothbard shows precisely how banks create money out of thin air and how the central bank, backed by government power, allows them to get away with it. He shows how exchange rates and interest rates would work in a true free market. When it comes to describing the end of the gold standard, he is not content to describe the big trends. He names names and ferrets out all the interest groups involved.

Since Rothbard’s death, scholars have worked to assess his legacy, and many of them agree that this little book is one of his most important. Though it has sometimes been inauspiciously packaged and is surprisingly short, its argument took huge strides toward explaining that it is impossible to understand public affairs in our time without understanding money and its destruction.

About the Author
Murray N. Rothbard, the author of 25 books and thousands of articles, was a historian, philosopher, and dean of the Austrian School of economics. The S.J. Hall Distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, he was also Academic Vice President of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama.

Why the President Should Read This Book
Believe it or not, many of our Presidents have had little understanding of basic economics, let along the banking system, which can seem quite complex. FDR would set the price of gold based on coin tosses, lucky numbers, or random thoughts completely disconnected from any theory of economics. Nixon was regarded as almost completely ignorant of economics. And no President has made much, if any, case for correcting the problems caused by the Federal Reserve system. If they read and understood this book, they would.

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