The claim that there was massive money printing during the 1920s contradicts a claim made by Ron Paul on Charlie Rose that the recovery from the 1921 recession was strong because govt cut spending and got out of the way. Funny how Austrian economists make both arguments that 1921 recession fixed itself and 1928 meltdown was due to money printing.Wolfgang is partially correct here. There is no reason to single out the 1920-21 recession as different from other Federal Reserve money manipulations.
According to A Monetary History of the US by Friedman and Schwartz (Table 10) money growth was at 15% between May 1919 and May 1920. This according to Austrian theory would have fueled the boom. Eyeballing Chart 1 in Friedman-Schwartz one can see that money supply growth peaked in 1921 but then bottomed in 1922. Thus, money supply would have started to slow in 1920, but would have started to climb in 1922. Indeed, money growth according to Murray Rothbard (America's Great Depression Table 1) for the period June 1921 to June 1922 was at 4.1%. but for the period June 1922 to June 1923 money growth was at 9.8%. This growth would have thus started in 1922, when the economy was coming out of the recession. Thus, as far as I am concerned, the boom, bust and new boom were all the result of Federal Reserve money manipulations.
I have no idea how the urban myth started that the 1921 recession was different from other Federal Reserve manipulations, that said, after this period for the remainder of the 1920s, money supply growth until 1928 was pretty much between 5% and 10% (See Rothbard, Table 1), which justifies, contra to Wolfgang's statement, Austrian claims that it was money printing in the 1920s that caused the 1929 stock market crash and start to the Great Depression.
Ron Paul's claim that government stayed out of the way in the early 1920s, applies more to the propping up of wages and businesses, that didn't occur, so there was no suffocation of the overall economy as occurred in the 1930s and at present, but the Fed was, indeed, up to its dirty tricks in the early 1920s.