Studies in the classical theories of money - Karl Niebyl

Karl Niebyl Studies in the classical theories of money

An inquiry into basic concepts of monetary theory by Marxist economist Karl Heinrich Niebyl (1906-1985).

Karl H. Niebyl, Studies in the classical theories of money, New York: Columbia University Press, 1946, p. 190.


Part I The function of money in early industrial society
1. Methodological introduction 1

2. The developing necessity for a monetary standard 4
The Production and Exchange of Industrial Commodities 4
The Necessity for a Monetary Standard 6
Bimetallism 7
Bimetallism as a Consciously Introduced Governmental Monetary Standard 10
The Technique of Bimetallism 11
Coinage 13
Paper Money and the Emergence of Country Banking 15

3. The genesis of banking 19
Industrial Credit 19
Commercial Credit 26

4. The quantity doctrine of Bullionism 29
Mercantilism and the Concept of Wealth 29
Money and Investment 32
Mercantilism and "Quantity of Money" 34
State Finance 37
Saving in the Form of Bullion and Investment 38
Mercantilist Policies with Regard to Bullion 40
The Quantitative Relation of Money and Prices 46

Part II The formulation of the classical quantity theory
5. The issues in the bullion controversy 53
Historical Background 53
The Monetary Issues 56

6. The theory of inflation 59
Positions on the Bullionist Theories 59
First Considerations of an Active Function of Interest 68
The Character of the Rise of the General Price Level 71
Inflation and Its Effects: the Theory of Forced Savings 76
Some Tentative Conclusions on the Classical Theory of Inflation 78

7. The economic setting of deflation 80
The Changing Process of Production 80
The Function of Bill-Broking 88
Joint-Stock Enterprise and Joint-Stock Banking 93
Savings Banks 101
Clearinghouses 103

8. The theory of deflation 105
Character of the Fall of the General Price Level 105
Recurrence of the Doctrine of Forced Savings 107
The Changing Function of Interest 110
Volume and Value of Money 112
The Interrelation of Consumption and Production 120
Savings and Investment 122
A Stable Monetary Standard 126
Some Tentative Conclusions on the Theory of Deflation 141

9. The quantity theory of money 143
The Changed Function of International Trade 143
The Currency Debates 145
The Theory of Equilibrium 153
The Concept Quantity 157

10. Some conclusions on the classical quantity theory of money 161

Bibliography 165

Karl Niebyl was born 30 June 1906 in Prague.

Diploma in Economics (M. A.), University of Frankfurt am Main, 1932.
Honors : I. S. S. Scholar, London School of Economics, London, England.
Fellow, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.
Universities Attended: Institute of Technology, Hannover, 1923-1924 ; University of Paris, Paris (Honors), 1929-1930; University of Berlin, Berlin, 1930-1931; University of Frankfurt (M. A.), 1931-1932; London School of Economics, London School of Economics, London, 1932, 1933-1934; University of Wisconsin, Madison (Ph. D.), 1934-1936 (Thesis: "The Change of Function of Trade Unionism During the Epoch of Imperialism.").

Business Activity : I apprenticed and learned thoroughly both the steel trade
and banking, I acted as a correspondent to a German bank (Darmstadter &
Nationalbank, Berlin) at the Berlin Stock Exchange. I was assistant to the
director of a steel construction corporation (Steffens & Noelle, Berlin). In Paris
I was foreign correspondent for an import and export house (Guttmann &
Lemmle, Paris). In Berlin I acted as economic counsellor to a firm of corpora-
tion lawyers (Richard RosendorfE, Berlin).

Teaching Experiences : Principles of Economics, American Economic History,
European Economic Hhistory, Development of Economic Thought, Money and
Banking, Public Finance, Business Cycle Theory, Advanced Economic Theory.

Professional Societies :
National Bureau of Economic Research, New Tork.
British Association for the Advancement of Science.
American Economic Association.

Other writings:
Essays in dialectics, 1939 (2nd ed. 1945, p.418)
An outline of the historical and material background of society today, for present day economic and political analysis, 1945, p. 423.

Publications :

Modern Mathematics and Some Problems of Quantity, Quality, and
Motion in Economic Analysis," Journal of the Philosophy of Science, New
York, January 1940.

"The Need for a Concept of Value in Economic Theory," The Quarterly
Journal of Economics, published by Harvard University, February 1940.

"Historijske izmjene u funkciji izvoza kapitala (Esej iz dinamicke
teorije)," Ekonomist, Zagreb, Juli-August 1939 (Croatian).

"Surplus Population and the Present Crisis in Japan," Current Economic
Issues, December 1937.

Also, book reviews in several economic journals.
Articles Definitely Accepted for Publication :

"A Reexamination of the Classical Theory of Inflation," American Eco-
nomic Review, Cambridge, Massachusetts, December 1940.

"The Historical Change in the Function of Capital Export," Economic
History Review, London, England.

"Some Historical Aspects of Mercantile Concepts of Money."
Articles Submitted for Publication :

"Equilibrium and the Quantity Concept of Money."

"Some Aspects of the Basic Assumptions of Quantitative Economics."

"An Historical Example of Qualitative Economic Change."
Papers Read :

"Population Change and Business Cycle Theory." At the Annual Meet-
ing of the Midwest Economic Association, Des Moines, Iowa, April 19, 1940.

"The Economics of the Present War." At the University of Wisconsin,
March 6, 1940.

"The Economics of Fascism." At the Annual Meeting of the Midwest
Economic Association, Des Moines, April 22, 1939.

"Some Aspects of the Basic Assumptions of Quantitative Economics." At
the Sixth Annual Research Conference on Economics and Statistics, of the
Cowles Commission, at Colorado Springs, July 1940.
Public Lectures :

"Swedish Experiments in the Control of the Business Cycle."

"Changes in the Function of Capital Export."

"The Economics of the Mediterranean."

"Some Problems of Modern Business Cycle Theory."
Work in Progress :

"Studies in the Function of Money." This is a research project on which
I have been working for the last two years. In connection with it I was
awarded a grant-in-aid by the Research Committee of Carleton College for
research in England, France, and Switzerland in the summer of 1938. For
the summer of 1940 I was given a grant-in-aid by the Social Science Re-
search Council to continue the project.

"Economic History — The Development of the Economic Structure of the
Modern AVorld." This work is being written upon the request of the Ronald
Press. The material for a two-volume work has been assembled and will
be written up after the completion of the above work.
Previous Research not destined for publication :

"A Critical-Comparative Study of English and German Trade Unionism
During a Period of Economic Contraction." With Professor Harold J.
Laski, London School of Economics.

"The Change from Social Welfare Policy to Industrial Democracy. An
Analysis of German Trade Union Policy." With Professor A. Lowe, Uni-
versity of Manchester, England, formerly of the University of Frankfort
am Main, Germany.

"Present Trends of Population Movements in Minnesota." "The Present
Situation of Agriculture and Industry in Minnesota." Reports written for
the college representative to the Minnesota Institute of Governmental Re-

"An Evaluation of the Existing Material on Acculturation with the View
of Studying the Implications of the Term "Acculturation' and Exploring
New Leads for Further Investigations." For the Committee on Accultura-
tion of the Social Science Research Council, New York.

In a letter to the editors of Science & Society, 'the longest continuously published journal of Marxist scholarship, in any language, in the world', he wrote:

It is here that SS has to fulfill one of its most important functions (may we remind ourselves at this point that we are speaking about the function of SS in connection with the position of the intellectuals and not in many other respects in which it is most certainly not of no small importance, as is indicated by the role played by Unter dem Banner des Marxismus for the theoretical clarification within the party) to serve as an effective weapon against conflicting and contradictory bourgeois theories and offering at the same time to these groups a basis through which political organisation of these groups (e; g., the League against W. and F., Teachers' and other professional unions, C. P.) will only be possible. Again more concretely, it is not enough to sell the magazine and to feel self- satisfied with the growing sub. list which is pouring in because of the general situation and in spite of ourselves. But we have to be active at exactly those weak links of bourgeois intelligentsia where SS is read
Unter dem Banner des Marxismus was used in Germany by no means only by those groups described in [above], but did become an indispensable weapon in many shop and street units. The frequent objection against an expressed desire to see SS function in the similar way is that our working-class comrades would not understand and even more would not be interested in the problems dealt with in SS. May we suggest that such an attitude exhibits an unwarranted snobbishness on the part of some intellectual comrades who conclude from the fact that the highbrow terminology is not understood that the workers are not interested in the subject matter. However, not only the function of U. d. B. d. M. in Germany or earlier Iskra in Russia, but the very fact that Lenin found it necessary to devote many months of study to write a volume on philosophy "Empiriocriticism" and the subsequent extraordinarily wide circulation of this book among the working class seem to us to prove conclusively that there is something wrong with us and not with the subject matter.
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