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Mises Circle with Dr. Brendan Brown


Here you can find more information about the topics of the Mises Circle which is going to take place on Tuesday, 11th July 2017 in Brussels. The title of the conference will be: “A looming battle and its consequences: US economic nationalism vs. European monetary protections”.

Explanation of the Miss Circle Topic:

In his article, “Conservative-Nationalist vs. Euro-Centrist Alliances:  Lessons from the the U.S., the U.K., France, and Germany,” Dr. Brendan Brown analyzes what the most recent rounds of elections in Europe and the U.S. mean for the liberal economic agenda, and how the next economic crisis could re-shape the political landscape of two continents and expedite the trend of traditional conservatives uniting with once again popular nationalists to win elections.  According to Dr. Brown, the future of liberal economic thought in these four economic powerhouses on the national stage, at least temporarily, looks poor, based on country specific developments.

In the U.S., what Dr. Brown refers to as the “unholy alliance” of traditional conservatives and “Trumpite” nationalists has seemingly backfired on any liberal economists who backed the movement.  A free market agenda is certainly not well defined by the Wall Street oriented policies being crafted by billionaire businessmen appointed to the positions normally reserved for true scholars of economics, and looming appointments to the Federal Reserve by Trump in the coming year spell more uncertainty.  Sound money reform, perhaps the true backbone of the liberal economic agenda, is not on the table or coming to it anytime soon from either Trump or Congress.

In the U.K. the situation is similar, enhanced by the adoption of a hard Brexit stance by the conservative government led by Prime Minister May, who appears very likely to win the upcoming election, even if conservatives should lose seats.  Though Dr. Brown argues that truthfully liberal economic policies died under the conservative leadership of former Prime Minister Cameron, nationalist anti-euro monetary policy spells a new threat to liberal economic thought in the U.K. in favor of protectionism.

Though nationalists did not triumph in France and are very unlikely to unseat Chancellor Merkel in the upcoming German elections, liberal economic policy is still certain to be hamstrung by legislative shake-ups.  The defeat of the conservative Fillon in France indicated the struggle to come for conservatives to be elected at any level, thus forcing the previously socialist and newly centrist Macron to look to work with either far-right or socialist representatives, neither of whom are friendly to liberalism.  Similarly, though Merkel will almost certainly win the upcoming election, the CDU/CSU coalition will likely have to include social democrats to maintain a majority, stalling progress.

In summary, Dr. Brown believes the best liberalism can hope for in the immediate future is a shake-up to the status quo of European politics through major reforms, but more likely is the suppression of the free market by a new wave of populist, nationalist, and protectionist government policies.  Social political issues continue to mislead conservative politicians into undermining free market policies, a trend which is significant and troubling to liberal economists on either side of the Atlantic, and which remains a real challenge to be explored.

We hope that many of you will come.

Kind regards from the Ludwig Von Mises Institute-Europe