A year ago today, I was in Salamanca for the joint Ludwig von Mises Institute and Instituto Juan de Mariana Supporters Summit 2009. It's not a trip I shall forget: the call from Wycombe Conservatives, letting me know I had been shortlisted, brought me to within seconds of missing my flight.
Salamanca was the birthplace of systematic economic theory. Long before Adam Smith, between the 14th and 17th centuries, it was in Salamanca that the Thomist scholastics set out the mechanisms of human social cooperation. They opposed intervention by the state, particularly in money, recognising the damage and disruption it would do.
It was in Salamanca that I met entrepreneur and academic Professor Jesús Huerta de Soto, a thoroughly inspiring man with the most exceptional intellect and passion for society. Jesús is this year's Distinguished Hayek Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics, supported by Toby Baxendale.
In his masterpiece Money Bank Credit and Economic Cycles (PDF), first published in 1998, Jesús set out the origins of the business cycle – flaws in the system of money and bank credit – and proposed five stages in the process of bank reform. Following in the footsteps of Irving Fisher's 100% Money, drawing on the tradition of Peel's 1844 Bank Charter Act and as verified by economist Sean Corrigan, the next step of Huerta de Soto's plan offers the possibility of restructuring the national debt, potentially paying it off and delivering a substantial tax cut.
On Thursday, Jesús will deliver his lecture at the LSE, Financial Crisis and Economic Recession. Admission is free: I hope you will join me.
The 2010 LSE Baxendale Hayek lecture
Date: Thursday 28 October 2010
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Professor Jesús Huerta de Soto
Jesús Huerta de Soto is professor of political economy at King Juan Carlos University and a Senior Fellow of The Cobden Centre. This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.
More details via the LSE.