Monday, February 21, 2011

Fun with free markets

A fun article on "Monopoly" and Milton Friedman appeared over the weekend. The author was a devout fan of both while a student at the University of Chicago, and the central tale is of a "no rules" night playing Monopoly. Zoning laws crumbled, and players could build as much as they wanted on property. Rents soared, and money was tight, so players printed new money. Prices soared (I'm a little less clear on how that happened), so players decided to retire some notes (since "inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon"). And then a liquidity crisis purportedly hit and caused bankruptcies among the players.

A fun caricature of some classic insights, even if I'm not sure how much to believe. Then again, one can throw a Monopoly board a pretty far distance....