In The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism, Hayek argued that man’s “fatal conceit” is the presumption that he “is able to shape the world around him according to his wishes.” Indeed, the fatal conceit haunts the halls of foreign policy, too. That is why the U.S. has engaged in so many foreign policy interventions and why the world is strewn with the wreckage.

Authored by Steve H. Hanke of the Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke.

 

It was just a little more than a decade ago when “Satoshi Nakamoto” ushered in what has become the era of private cryptocurrencies. Nakamoto’s vision was clearly laid out in a whitepaper: “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Cash System.”

On February 2nd, The Economist reported in a “Briefing” on Venezuela that the opposition was cozying up to Ricardo Hausmann and his “National Plan: the Day After.” ... All he told The Economist is that he favored a pegged exchange rate system, as opposed to a currency board. ... we know enough to conclude that if the opposition embraces any one of the many variants of a pegged exchange-rate regime, it will be playing with fire, and it will fail.

For some time now, the United States has been using Venezuela’s vulnerabilities to engage in a low-grade economic war. Instead of military action, the U.S. has imposed selected economic sanctions against certain Venezuelans. These have amounted to slaps on the wrist, with threats of worse to come. But, as January 28, 2019, the U.S. has declared a full-scale economic assault.

President Mnangagwa’s pledge that Zimbabwe is “open for business” rings hollow. Indeed, many businesses in Zimbabwe are shuttered. An increase in government controlled fuel prices over the weekend has ignited simmering fury over what is in fact a currency crisis. In response, Zimbabwe’s security forces have launched a violent crackdown on protestors and opposition politicians. The crackdown has been done under the cover of a social media blackout. Yes, the internet is shuttered, too.

Authored by Steve H. Hanke of the Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke.

 

Venezuela's economy has collapsed. This is the result of years of socialism, incompetence, and corruption, among other things. An important element that mirrors the economy's collapse is Venezuela's currency, the bolivar. It is not trustworthy. Venezuela's exchange rate regime provides no discipline. It only produces instability, poverty, and the world’s highest inflation rate for 2018.  Indeed, Venezuela’s annual inflation rate at the end of 2018 was 80,000%.