Irving Fisher

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Irving Fisher's Analysis of the Great Depression

My proposition is to take an in depth examination of Irving Fisher's views on the origin of the Great Depression, his debt deflation theory and the policy measures he advocated. Only days prior to the stock market crash, Fisher predicted that the shares were in fact not overvalued and their increases were due to new profit opportunities created by new technological advances and increases in productivity. As the crash seemed to worsen overtime, however, he became aware that new theoretical explanations were needed and presented a new model, the debt-inflation theory, based upon the interaction of real and monetary reasoning. I will also cover a timeline of events that include other ideas and views shared by Fisher and what affects they might have had at the time. In the early 1930's he became an active supporter of a "stamped money plan" aimed at counteracting widespread boarding. During the New Deal he was a strong supporter of expansionary monetary measures and proposed a revision of the banking system aimed at abolishing fractional reserves, or 100% money. He devoted the remainder of his days opposing Roosevelt's labor and industrial policies, and really any intervention by the government on economic activity, disregarding the control on money supply.

1.Irving Fisher "A Biography of the writings of Irving Fisher" New Haven. Yale University Library 1961 2.Irving Fisher "Debt-Deflation Theory of the Great Depression" ECONOMETRICA Vol.1 (October 1933) pp. 337-357. 3.Irving Fisher "100% Money" New York, Adelphi Company 1936
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