Las Vegas

For the second year in a row I participated in Mark Skousen’s FreedomFest here in Las Vegas. This year I spoke on “Inflation, Hyperinflation, and Will We Have One” and I debated “Fed up with the Fed: Should We Abolish it?” (John Fund and I vs Gene Epstein and Tom Woods) televised on C-SPAN.

Las Vegas itself deserves some comment. Its airport (the second busiest destination airport in the U.S.) has 16 baggage carousels (Dulles has 8) and can load 21 cabs at a time. The so called Strip (on the edge of town and seen in the picture) has 5 of the worlds 7 largest hotels. They are enormous. People still smoke inside here. Outside it gets to 110 plus degrees every day during the summer but the air is dry and you can see forever. We took a day trip to Hoover Dam about an hour away.

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The image of Vegas as a dessert oasis of bright lights and ever clanging slot machines is well deserved. You have to walk through the gigantic, cavernous, gaming rooms to go anywhere and the bells and whistles and whirling never stop. But Vegas is also THE CITY of SHOWS. It puts Broadway, with its cramped West End London like theaters, to absolute shame. The performance spaces are stunning and the productions spectacular. On this trip I took my daughter and two grand kids to see “LOVE,” the Cirque du Soleils’ tribute to the Beatles as only it could do it. It was just breath taking. Cirque du Soleil has at least five different shows permanently housed along the Strip. The Strip is lined with spectacular shows (not just the usual Jerry Seinfeld, Bette Midler, and magic shows that you would expect). Every Paris and Broadway shop of note is here as well (not that I would care). You can walk for blocks down the streets of Paris, Venice, the Village, etc without going outside (which is usually a good thing).

Now on to Bakersfield to help move my parents into an assisted living unit in their retirement complex (another painful downsizing).

About wcoats

I specialize in advising central banks on monetary policy and the development of the capacity to formulate and implement monetary policy.  I joined the International Monetary Fund in 2003 from which I retired in 2003 as Assistant Director of the Monetary and Financial Systems Department. While at the IMF I led or participated in missions to the central banks of over twenty countries (including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Croatia, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgystan, Moldova, Serbia, Turkey, West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Zimbabwe) and was seconded as a visiting economist to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (1979-80), and to the World Bank's World Development Report team in 1989.  After retirement from the IMF I was a member of the Board of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority from 2003-10 and of the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review from 2010-2017.  Prior to joining the IMF I was Assistant Prof of Economics at UVa from 1970-75.  I am currently a fellow of Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise.  In March 2019 Central Banking Journal awarded me for my “Outstanding Contribution for Capacity Building.”  My most recent book is One Currency for Bosnia: Creating the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I have a BA in Economics from the UC Berkeley and a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago. My dissertation committee was chaired by Milton Friedman and included Robert J. Gordon.
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