ECO22: The Fiat Standard

ECO22: The Fiat Standard

This course covers Dr. Ammous’s second book, The Fiat Standard: The Debt Slavery Alternative to Human Civilization. The book and course examine the fiat monetary system as it currently exists, and the implications of its widespread implementation. Similar to how The Bitcoin Standard explained the functional essence of bitcoin and its potential social and economic implications, this book examines twentieth century monetary technology and explains its benefits and drawbacks, and its many modes of failure.
The course will have 18 lectures, and each lecture in the course will cover one chapter in the book. Lectures are available every Monday starting May 16, 2022, until September 12. Members can watch the lecture any time, and lectures will remain available for you for as long as you are a member of
In-person seminars to discuss the course will be held once a week for membership+ subscribers.
Seminars will usually be held on Thursdays at 11am US Eastern Time, although they might be rescheduled due to travel commitments. You will receive a weekly email with the seminar times. Membership+ also allows you to attend another weekly seminar usually hosting guests to discuss bitcoin, Austrian economics, and other fascinating topics.

Access live seminars

You are also welcome to join two weekly discussion seminars to discuss the material of the course, as well as a wide variety of topics, along with occasional special guests.

Saifedean's course synopsis

Course Readings:

Lecture 1: Introduction to The Fiat Standard

Chapter 1 of TFS

Lecture 2: The Never-ending Bank Holiday

Chapter 2 of TFS

Osborne, John. The Bank of England 1914-21 (Unpublished War History).

Officer, Lawrence. “Gold Standard.”

“Gold, Banknotes and Money Supply in the First World War.” NatWest Group Remembers.

McClean, Paul. “A Correction 103 Years Late: How the BoE Covered Up Failed War Bond Sale.”

Anson, Michael, et al. “Your Country Needs Funds: The Extraordinary Story of Britain’s Early Efforts to Finance the First World War.”

Rothbard, Murray. America’s Great Depression.

Kemmerer, Edwin. Gold and the Gold Standard: The Story of Gold Money, Past, Present and Future.

Lecture 3: Fiat Technology

Chapter 3 of TFS

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. Democracy: The God That Failed. Chapter 1

Lecture 4: Fiat Mining

Chapter 4 of TFS

Mises, Ludwig von. The Theory of Money and Credit.

Friedman, Milton, and Anna Schwartz. A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960.

Hanke, Steve, and Charles Bushnell. “Venezuela Enters the Record Book: The 57th Entry in the Hanke-Krus World Hyperinflation Table.”

Roach, Stephen. “The Ghost of Arthur Burns.”

Ammous, Saifedean. “Michael Saylor & MicroStrategy Adopt The Bitcoin Standard.” 

Livera, Stephan. “SLP213 Michael Saylor – Bitcoin Dematerializes Money.”

Lecture 5: Fiat Balances: Universal Debt Slavery

Chapter 5 of TFS

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. ““The Yield from Money Held” Reconsidered.”

Levine, Matt. “The Fed Versus the Narrow Bank: Also Martin Shkreli, Elon Musk, LaCroix, Stock Buybacks and Private Jets.”

Lecture 6: What Is Fiat Good For?

Chapter 6 of TFS

Menger, Karl. “On the Origins of Money.” 

Osborne, John. The Bank of England 1914-21 (Unpublished War History).

Jones, Claire. “How Germany Got Its Gold Back.”

Hayek, Friedrich. Monetary Nationalism and International Stability.

Hülsmann, Jörg Guido. “Banks Cannot Create Money.”

Stern, Gary, and Ron Feldman. Too Big to Fail: That Hazards of Bank Bailouts.

Lecture 7: Fiat Life

Chapter 7 of TFS

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. “On Time Preference, Government, and the Process of Decivilization.”

Ammous, Saifedean. Principles of Economics.

Homer, Sidney, and Richard Sylla. A History of Interest Rates.

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. The Great Fiction: Property, Economy, Society, and the Politics of Decline

Willis, Catherine. Images of America: Boston Public Library.

Lecture 8: Fiat Food

Chapter 8 of TFS Just Eat Meat 

“Food and Nutrition through the 20th Century: Government Guidelines.”

Samuelson, Robert. The Great Inflation and Its Aftermath: The Past and Future of American Affluence.

Shurtleff, William and Akiko Aoyagi. “The Seventh-Day Adventists and Ellen G. White: Diet, Health & Vegetarianism.”

Smith, Adam and Bruce Yandle. Bootleggers & Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics.

Fallon, Sally, and Mary Enig. “The Skinny on Fats.”

Sanda, Bill. “The Double Danger of High Fructose Corn Syrup.”

“Soy Alert!” The Weston A. Price Foundation.

“The Surprising Reason Why Dr. John Harvey Kellogg Invented Corn Flakes.” Forbes.

“Flour.” Goldkeim, Systains. 

Whipps, Heather. “How Sugar Changed the World.”

Thompson, Susan. Bright Line Eating: The Science of Living Happy, Thin, and Free.

Teicholz, Nina. “Dietary Guidelines & Scientific Evidence.”

Fryar, Cheryl, et al. “Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity, and Extreme Obesity Among Adults Aged 20 and Over: United States, 1960–1962 Through 2013–2014.”

“Long-term Trends in Diabetes.” United States Diabetes Surveillance System.

Price, Weston. “Studies of Relationships Between Nutritional Deficiencies and (a) Facial and Dental Arch Deformities and (b) Loss of Immunity to Dental Caries Among South Sea Islanders and Florida Indians.”

Price, Weston. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects.

“Breaking Land: The Loss of Organic Matter.” Soil Quality for Environmental Health. 

“Holistic Management.” Savory Institute.

“Farm Runoff in Mississippi River Floodwater Fuels Dead Zone in Gulf.” PBS News Hour.

Barzun, Jacques. From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present. 

Lecture 9: Fiat Science

Chapter 9 of TFS

“District of Columbia Private Schools by Tuition Cost.”

Sokal, Alan. “Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.”

Kealey, Terence. The Economic Laws of Scientific Research.

Ioannidis, John P.A. “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False.”

Nosek, Brian. “Unreliable Research: Trouble at the Lab.”

Eisenhower, Dwight. “Farewell Address.”

Teicholz, Nina. The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet.

O’Connor, Anahad. “How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat.”

Hess, John. “Harvard’s Sugar-Pushing Nutritionist.”

“Frederick J. Stare,” Wikipedia.

Lecture 10: Fiat Fuels

Chapter 10 of TFS

Ball, Ben et al. Energy Aftermath: How We Can Learn From the Blunders of the Past to Create a Hopeful Energy Future.

Ball, Ben et al. Energy Aftermath: How We Can Learn From the Blunders of the Past to Create a Hopeful Energy Future.

Epstein, Alex. The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.

McIntyre, Steve.

Enserink, Martin. “Does Ocean Acidification Alter Fish Behavior? Fraud Allegations Create a Sea of Doubt.”

Wright, John. “A (Not Quite) Complete List of Things Supposedly Caused by Global Warming.”

Jones, Chris D., et al. “The Climate Response To Emissions Reductions Due to COVID-19: Initial Results From CovidMIP.”

“Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide.” Global Monitoring Laboratory.

Koonin, Steven. Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters.

Shellenberger, Michael. Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All. 

Epstein, Alex. The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.

“Germany.” Environmental Progress.

“California.” Environmental Progress.

Bailey, Ronald. “Renewable Energy Mandates Are Making Poor People Poorer.”

Constable, John. “The Brink of Darkness: Britain’s Fragile Power Grid.” 

Shellenberger, Michael. Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All. 

Hall, J. Storrs. Where Is My Flying Car? A Memoir of Future Past.

Ammous, Saifedean. “Slowdown: Aviation and Modernity’s Lost Dynamism.”

Lecture 11: Fiat States

Chapter 11 of TFS

Rothbard, Murray. America’s Great Depression. 

Hayek, Friedrich. Monetary Nationalism and International Stability.

Hayek, Friedrich. Denationalisation of Money—The Argument Refined: An Analysis of the Theory and Practice of Concurrent Currencies.

Bartholomew, James. “Degrees in Disaster.”

Easterly, William. “The Cartel of Good Intentions: The Problem of Bureaucracy in Foreign Aid.”;

Easterly, William. The Elusive Quest for Growth

Easterly, William. The Tyranny of Experts

Easterly, William. The White Man’s Burden.

Ammous, Saifedean. Principles of Economics.

Harrod, R. F. “An Essay in Dynamic Theory.” 

Rosenstein-Rodan, P. N. “Problems of Industrialisation of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.”

Perkins, John. Confessions of An Economic Hitman. 

Todaro, Michael, and Stephen Smith. Economic Development.

Lecture 12: Fiat Cost Benefit Analysis

Chapter 12 of TFS

Lecture 13: Why Bitcoin Fixes This

Chapter 13 of TFS

Lecture 14: Bitcoin Scaling

Chapter 14 of TFS

“World Payments Report 2020.” Capgemini.

Torpey, Kyle. “The Failure of SegWit2x Shows Bitcoin is Digital Gold, Not Just a Better PayPal.”

Bier, Jonathan. The Blocksize War: The Battle Over Who Controls Bitcoin’s Protocol Rules.

Mises, Ludwig von. Human Action: The Scholar’s Edition.

Lecture 15: Bitcoin Banking

Chapter 15 of TFS

“MicroStrategy Adopts Bitcoin as Primary Treasury Reserve Asset.” BusinessWire.

Schumpeter, Joseph A. Ten Great Economists: From Marx to Keynes. 

Lecture 16: Bitcoin and Energy Markets

Chapter 16 of TFS

Szabo, Nick. “Shelling Out: The Origins of Money.” Satoshi Nakamoto Institute.


286 Ammous, Saifedean. Principles of Economics.

287 “Electricity Prices.”

293 “Flaring Emissions.” International Energy Agency.

Lecture 17: Bitcoin Cost Benefit Analysis

Chapter 17 of TFS

Lecture 18: Can Bitcoin Fix This

Chapter 18 of TFS

Schuettinger, Robert, and Eamonn Butler. Forty Centuries of Wage and Price Controls: How Not to Fight Inflation.

Song, Jimmy. “Bitcoin Core Bug CVE-2018—17144: An Analysis.”

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. Democracy: The God That Failed.

Rochard, Pierre. “Speculative Attack.” Satoshi Nakamoto Institute.

Boissoneault, Lorraine. “There Never Was a Real Tulip Fever.”

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