Nobel Economist Says More Stable Currency Needed

John Nash, the inspiration for the film “A Beautiful Mind,” recently visited Fordham University to discuss the financial crisis.

Nash told the audience that such financial crises would be less likely to occur if there was some international monetary standard, such as the gold standard or competition among worldwide currencies, to curb inflation and prevent the rise of mortgage abuses. He expressed some skepticism about a government bailout as a solution.

“I get the impression that the government is not ready to do anything that is really beyond a short-term basis,” said Nash, a senior research mathematician at Princeton. “[But] we need a natural stability of value.”

Nash said that various interest groups that subscribe to Keynesian, or short-term, economic theories have sold the public on the notion that inflation is acceptable or that “bad money is better than good money.” Such a notion, he said, led to the dangerous proliferation of bad mortgage loans—loans made on the gamble that house values would continue to rise and eventually turn a profit.

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