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Live from the Roasterie: Department of "WTF, Cato?!?!?!"

UPDATE: David Glasner writes that Cato's James Dorn gave him back the rights to his paper in 1999--ten years after he wrote it:

David Glasner: Uneasy Money: "Cato did not intend to suppress my paper...

...Their intent was to originally to publish the paper in a separate volume to be published by Kluwer, but the intended volume was never published. Dorn... in 1999 in which... apologized for the delay... invited me either to submit the paper... elsewhere.... I did revise the paper into the current version dated June 2000.... Subsequently I somehow came under the impression that I had been discouraged from doing so by Cato. Evidently, my recollection was faulty.... All in all, not a great performance on my part...


David Glasner**: Saving a Very Old Paper from Oblivion: "I have just posted a paper (‘How ‘Natural’ Is the Government Monopoly over Money’) on SSRN...

...It’s a paper I wrote about 28 years ago... for a Cato Monetary Conference.... I thought, having become a FTC antitrust economist, that it would be worth applying industrial organization concepts to analyze whether any of the traditional arguments for a state monopoly over money could withstand scrutiny.... I am afraid that I no longer have any recollection of the conference or of my presentation, except that, after the conference, I was moderately pleased....

My happy feelings about the experience were short-lived, being informed, not long after the conference by one of the conference organizers, that the original plans had been changed, so that my paper would not be published in the Cato Journal.... I thought that I might try my luck with, say, The Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.... So when I replied – I thought fairly tactfully – that I certainly understood how plans could change, and had no hard feelings about Cato’s unwillingness to publish my paper, and that I would work on it some more before submitting it elsewhere for publication, I was totally unprepared for the response that was forthcoming: by accepting that four-figure honorarium for writing the paper for the Cato conference, I had relinquished to the Cato Institute all rights to the paper....

I now reproach myself bitterly for my timidity in acquiescing to Cato’s suppression of my work, not even insisting on a written explanation of Cato’s decision to stop me from publishing my own paper. Nor did I seek legal advice....

After about 10 years passed... I contacted the conference organizer, who was still at Cato, to inquire whether, after a lapse of 10 years, Cato still had objections to my submitting the paper for publication. The response I got was that, at least for the time being, Cato would not allow me to publish the paper, but might reconsider at some unspecified future time. At that point, I put the paper away, and forgot about it again....

I came across it recently, and decided that it was finally time to at least post it on the internet. If Cato wants to come after me for doing so, I guess they know how to find me...

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