Posted tagged ‘Fed’

Must Reads For The Week 11/23/19

November 24, 2019

“The coordination of men’s activities through central planning or through voluntary cooperation are roads going in very different directions, the first to serfdom and poverty, the second to freedom and plenty.” – F. A. Hayek

 

ECON STUFF

Socialism Guarantees Failure And Suffering – So Why Do So Many Americans Support It?  by Victor Davis Hanson, at foxnews.com.

Excerpt from the article:

“Add up a lost generation of woke and broke college graduates, waves of impoverished immigrants without much knowledge of American economic traditions, wealthy advocates of boutique socialism and asleep-at-the-wheel Republicans, and it becomes clear why historically destructive socialism is suddenly seen as cool.”

“Regrettably, sometimes the naive and disaffected must relearn that their pie-in-the sky socialist medicine is far worse than the perceived malady of inequality.”

“And unfortunately, when socialists gain power, they don’t destroy just themselves. They usually take everyone else down with them as well.”

 

4 Reasons Why Socialism Is Becoming More Popular, by Alexander Zubatov, at mises.org.           From the article:     “ 1) Ignorance of History.   2) Government Bungling.  3) Universities Ideological Monoculture.  4) Coddled Kids.”

The Long March Has Paid Off: Millennials Love Socialism, by Onar Am, at zerohedge.com.     Excerpt from the article:

“Socialism has failed wherever it has been tried and communism has cost the lives of more people than any othher ideology in a comparable amount of time.”

“Historical circumstances produced a near-perfect scientific test of the system in the 20th century. In every case, communism failed – ending in a bloodbath, regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, and development stage.”

“Simultaneously, near-capitalist societies were tested with those same ethnicities and cultures: East- versus West-Germany, North- versus South-Korea, and Hong Kong versus mainland China. The outcome was as conclusive and decisive as any social experiment could ever get: While capitalism lifted people out of poverty and created largely stable and prosperous societies, communism produced murderous and oppressive hellholes from which people desperately tried to flee.

Seattle’s Socialist City Councilwoman Loses After Amazon Dumps Money Into Race, by Chrissy Clark, at thefederalist.com.            Even Amazon’s Jeff Bezos knows that Socialism is a step too far. He just wants government to pass enough regulations to allow him to sustain and grow his market share. Government can keep out and/or make it difficult for potential competitors to enter the hampered market. Free markets allow competitors to compete for consumers when the big companies don’t deliver on quality and price. Big businesses love free market competition when they were start ups. But they hate free markets when they become the big guys. In other words, they hate government interference when they are small but love it when they are big.

Powell Tells Congress Federal Debt Is ‘Unsustainable’, by Paul Davidson, at usatoday.com.   Powell has some nerve blaming this on congress even though spending bills start their. The only reason the Federal government has been able to accumulate this much debt (spend more than they take in taxes) is because the Federal Reserve is funding the debt. The Fed purchases Government debt by electronically printing counterfeit money. And they keep interest rates artificially low.

There is a limit to how much the government can tax out of the free market economy. People will eventually revolt. There is also a limit on how much debt they can fund in the financial markets if interest rates reflected the actual risk of getting repaid. The printing press takes care of both problems.

Three Steps To Save America From Collapse, by George Gilder, at discovery.org.  Excerpt from the article:        George Gilder is always interesting to read. His three ideas revolve around getting rid of the Governments monopoly on money. And getting back to some form of gold standard. But you and I know that the Federal Reserve and our Federal Government won’t give up their power in these areas without a fight. Just look at how government insiders in Europe are doing everything in their power to keep Brexit from happening.

More Government Spending Won’t Make The Economy Grow, by Frank Shostak, at mises.org.      Excerpt from the article:

“…through the increase in real savings, a better infrastructure can be built and this in turn sets the platform for a higher rate of economic growth.”

“Higher economic growth means a greater quantity of consumer goods, which in turn permits more savings and also more consumption, all other things being equal. With more savings, a more advanced infrastructure can be created and this in turn sets the platform for further strengthening in economic growth.”

“Note that the savers here are wealth generators. It is wealth generators that save and employ their real savings towards the buildup of the infrastructure. The savings of wealth generators is employed to fund various individuals that are specialized in the making and the maintenance of the infrastructure. Real savings also fund individuals that are engaged in the production of final consumer goods.”

“Since government does not produce any real wealth, it obviously cannot save and therefore it cannot itself “fund” any activity. Hence for the government to engage in various activities it must divert funding (i.e. real savings) from wealth generators.”

“As a rule, such activities amount to providing support to various non-productive activities that add nothing to the pool of real funding — for instance, providing a large amount of money to various non-productive activities in order to protect employment.”

“Since government activities in essence only consume and do not generate real savings, government cannot grow an economy. An increase in government spending thus means the weakening of wealth generators, and thus it is not strengthening economic growth as popular thinking and various empirical studies assert.

Markets Saved The Whales In The 19th Century, by Vincent Geloso, at aier.org.      Excerpt from the article:

“At the time of writing Moby Dick, market forces were already beginning to operate in the United States as to push the industry into decline. That decline, unlike that observed elsewhere, was not the result of a dramatic decline in whale populations. Quite the reverse as it appears that the American industry did not overhunt whales (unlike the whaling industries of other countries). If anything, the story of Moby Dick takes place on a background, warns us of the unforeseen consequences of government intervention and point to the potency of market forces in terms of protecting the environment.

Brexit Is A Symptom, Not the Problem, by Tom Luongo, at tomluongo.me.

Excerpt from the article:

“We live in a rapidly decentralizing age where technology gives us access to information in real time that used to take us months, if not years, to properly disseminate and then it was only to those who were already fellow travelers.”

“And that has empowered in ways no one currently wielding power is comfortable with.”

“The reality of reaching out en masse to others along the political and socio-economic spectrum to discuss the merits of changing the course of society was simply not possible even ten years ago.”

“And today those forces of decentralization are the real problem facing these elites who have enjoyed the illusion of running the world for the past few generations.”

“But these events like Brexit, Trump, Catalonia and others are castigated as the real problems not the symptoms of the much deeper problems caused by unsustainable political and economic systems based on fraud, cheap money, theft and propaganda.”

“And today, three years after Brexit and Trump’s victory, powerful forces are working expressly against the people to overthrow both of these results through cynical and reprehensible acts of political vandalism, hamstringing leadership without a care of the long-term societal damage it is causing.”

“In fact, I’d argue that the societal damage is the goal of these moves to thwart the people’s desires in the hope that they take it out on each other rather than the ones setting the table in the first place.”

 

MISCELLANEOUS

Transit Cop Arrests Man For Eating In Public, at themindunleashed.com.    This shows we have too many laws on the books.  Shouldn’t officers spend their time enforcing laws against real criminal behavior?

How School Districts Put Politics Before Children, by Matthew Bankert, at mises.org.       At every level of government people with power are tyrants and are dangerous to individuals.

The ‘Sissifying’ Of America Continues, by Sarah Cowgill, at zerohedge.com.     Football coach gets suspended because his team won their game by more than 42 points. According Nassau County NY’s  Secton 8 Lopsided Score Committee, being 42 points behind is the arbitrary number of points that embarrasses individuals on the other team. What’s the difference between 40, 41, or 42? Are they not embarrassed when they are down 40 points? Is 52 to 10 worse than 50 to 10?

We hurt our kids ability to deal with life when we shelter them from reality.

 

TRUMP THE OUTSIDER vs. THE STATUS QUO INSIDERS

Trump Foreign-Policy Doctrine: Deter Enemies Without Intervention, by Victor Davis Hanson, at nationalreview.com.      “Trumps new foreign policy bets that a booming economy, a beefed-up military, and U.S. energy dominance will deter enemies without the need for preemptive invasions.

And who sets foreign policy for the US? The President or the State Department? If you said the President you were correct.

Donald Trump Versus ‘The Interagency Consensus, by Mark Hemmingway, at thefederalist.com.        Excerpt from the article:

“Trump was elected in no small part because tens of millions of Americans do not approve of business as usual in Washington, and specifically the lack of democratic accountability that can be brought to bear on the status quo. And Trump is enough of a natural disruptor that he threatens that status quo in both good and questionable ways. In response, lots of people in D.C. are willing to bend the rules to stop him.

“Further, long before Trump arrived there was so much institutional pressure and money sloshing around in the federal government, not mention the trips through the revolving door between already well-compensated federal jobs and even better compensated special interests. Any responsible person ought dispense with the idea that civil servants are always, well, civil. And they ought to apply the same level of appropriate scrutiny and suspicion to federal employees in the news as we do politicians. At least with politicians we have ourselves to blame, but nobody elects an “interagency consensus.”

The Military-Intelligence Complex, by Victor Davis Hanson, at amgreatness.com.     Excerpt from the article:

“Many retired high-ranking military officers have gone beyond legitimately articulating why President Trump may be wrong on foreign policy, and now feel free to smear him personally or speak openly of removing their commander-in-chief from office. And the media and the bipartisan foreign-policy establishment are with them every step of the way.”

“Had any of the current generals said anything similar about President Obama in the fashion they now routinely attack Trump, their public careers would have been ruined.”

Attacking Trump in “contemptuous” fashion is not speaking truth to power but a confirmation of the existing status quo of the media, progressive orthodoxy, and the general Washington bipartisan bureaucracy.”

Its Trump Vs. The Deep State vs. The Rest Of Us, by Ryan McMaken, at mises.org.     Excerpt from the article:

“One of the best side effects of the Trump presidency has been the hostility of the so-called “deep state” or “intelligence community” directed at the president.”

“This, in turn, has led many Americans to realize that America’s powerful, un-elected secret police agencies serve an agenda all their own, and that they choose sides in political controversies. Consequently, polls show one’s views of the CIA and the FBI depend largely on one’s ideological bent”

“But the fact Trumps considered an outsider in Washington by so many should suggest there are reasons to support him over the entrenched bureaucracy.”

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Deep State And It’s Feeding The Anti-POTUS Mob, by David Stockman, at targetliberty.com.      Excerpt from the article:

“Whether out of common sense, naiveté or just contrariness, the Donald has dared to question and disrupt the Empire’s core policy on the Ukraine/Russia file. And that’s apparently exactly why the whistleblower de jour, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, wrote his now ballyhooed memos.”

“He feared that Trump’s appropriate desire to get to the bottom of the well-documented Ukrainian involvement in the Obama Administration’s illegal spying on his 2016 presidential campaign would undermine the bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill for Washington’s utterly wrong-headed Ukraine policy.”

“Stated more crudely, Washington overthrew the duly elected government of Ukraine in early 2014 because its leader was deemed too cozy with Moscow. And in the vanguard of that illegal meddling in the governance of a sovereign foreign state was Obama’s state department led by neocon Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland, Washington’s self-appointed roving proconsul John McCain and at length Vice-President Joe Biden.”

Anatomies Of 2020 Election, by Victor Davis Hanson, at nationalreview.com.

Excerpt from the article:

“What sinks presidencies, either preventing reelection or de facto ending them in stasis and crises are unpopular wars (Vietnam, Iraq), perceived recessions (1980, 1992), or major scandals (Watergate). Trump may cause furor by pulling back tripwire troops in Syria, but the move will probably continue to poll at over 50 percent with the public. He is unlikely to insert forces in optional engagements. A tit-for-tat missile or bombing response to an Iranian or ISIS attack would likely win approval.”

“Impeachments and scandals, as the case of Bill Clinton reminds us, are two different things. So far, Donald Trump is the most transparent, investigated, and cross-examined president in history. The result is not much dirt, but a lot of now-predictable and boring duds — the voting machines, impeachment 1.0, the emoluments clause, Stormy, Michael Avenatti, Michael Cohen, the 25th Amendment, the McCabe-Rosenstein Keystone Kops coup, Robert Mueller’s investigation, taxes, and now Ukraine.”

“The public may find the latest blood sport amusing at first and support an inquiry. But as it drags on and Schiff burns up the Constitution, they will tire and prefer to weigh in during the election — when they will likely opt for a continued resurgent U.S. and a strong economy over socialism and finger-wagging at a sinful America.”

10 Reasons I Like Donald Trump, From A Former-Democrat Immigrant, by Saritha Prabhu, at thefederalist.com.   Here are a few reasons she likes Trump:

First, he is sui generis, a singularly unique individual who has single-handedly transformed almost everything about American politics.

Second, by loudly questioning everything in his unorthodox way he has made us re-examine many things.

Fifth, he is clearly a no-ideologue and pragmatic.

Seventh, he has had the greatest influence, perhaps, in transforming how we talk about needless, endless foreign military incursions.

Tenth, I like his chutzpah and pugilistic style, with its underlying theme of “Honey Badger don’t care.” It’s perfectly suited for this moment, where the overarching issue is: Who is really in charge in this republic, the voters or arrogant, unelected federal bureaucrats who think they know best and try to override the will of voters? He seem uniquely suited to take on the combined onslaught coming from many quarters.”

 

SATIRICAL HEADLINES

From The Babylon Bee

Millennial Wishes There Were Some Historical Examples Of Socialism We Could study To Have Some Idea How It Might Turn Out, at babylonbee.com.

Airport Revenues Soar After Allowing Travelers To Pay To Turn Off CNN, at babylonbee.com.

Cop On Laptop Protecting Community From Drivers On Cell Phones, at babylonbee.com.

Authorities Horrified At Women Who Killed Baby With Meth Instead Of Traditional Sucking-Device, at babylonbee.com.

CNN Criticizes Pregnant Woman For Shooting Poor, Defenseless Man Who Was Simply Seeking Asylum In Her Home, at babylonbee.com.

Elizabeth Warren’s Plan To Pay For Medicare For All: Spend So Much The National Debt Clock Rolls Over To Zero, at babylonbee.com.

Kamala Harris Proposes Dropping Kids Off At School When They Turn 5 And Picking Them Back Up When They Turn 30, at babylonbee.com.

 

CARTOONS

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I Want To

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Political Cartoons by Tom Stiglich

Political Cartoons by Pat Cross

Political Cartoons by Tom Stiglich

 

Which One Doesn’t Belong?

October 23, 2013
Which one doesn't belong?

Which one doesn’t belong? (Photo credit: VerismoVita)

This post from zerohedge.com titled, Spot The Odd One Out, needs little explanation. But you know I can’t let it go without putting my two cents in.

The charts in the post are easy to follow as they lead up to this last chart which shows the Feds balance sheet (in red), compared with the S&P 500 (in green) over the last year. Let’s talk about what the Feds balance sheet is and what it represents.

The Feds balance sheet shows the amount of assets, in dollars, purchased by the Fed. The bulk of these assets are government securities and mortgage-backed securities. Government securities are government bonds and t-bills. Purchasing government securities is the purchasing government debt or, put more clearly, financing the ability of the Government to grow beyond what it confiscates in taxes. This is how the Fed Finances the debt.

Purchasing mortgage-backed securities is the purchase of mortgages created and held by banks. This purchase exchanges the mortgage for counterfeit dollars. Because of our 10% fractional reserve banking system, banks can loan out 10 times what they hold in dollars, if they so choose. This means that the bank can loan 1 million counterfeit dollars for every $100 thousand held in reserve, This is how the Fed injects counterfeit money into the economy.

Here is a look into the Feds balance sheet, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal, wsj.com.

The balance sheet above shows that a little under $1 trillion dollars have been injected into the economy in the last year. This money is finding its way into the financial markets, and is pushing the stock market bubble higher. The other charts show the recent movement of many indicators in the opposite direction of the S&P 500. When the Fed hints of tapering their securities purchases, the stock market starts to sell of like a child throwing a tantrum when mom threatens to take away the oreo cookies. So in order to keep the stock market bubble pumped up, the Fed has to inject increasing amounts of counterfeit money. But just like the bursting of the Fed created tech and housing bubbles, in 00 and 08, this financial bubble will eventually burst although no one knows when the correction will happen.

Related ArticleLet The Counterfeiting Continue! The Fed Is Stuck In Their Feedback Loop, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleA Tornado vs. The Fed, Which Id More Destructive? at austrianaddict.com.

Real Savings vs. Counterfeit Savings

July 19, 2013
Savings

Savings (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

RESULTS OF COUNTERFEITING

In a previous post titled, Financial Markets Move When The Puppet Master Speaks, we talked about some of the consequences the Fed creates, when it electronically counterfeits money and injects it into the economy. Some of these are 1) the misallocation of scarce resources into activities that can’t be sustained when the counterfeit money injections are halted, and 2) people’s real production is being redistributed to the first receivers of the counterfeit money (which is known in my world as theft). What’s the difference when real savings enter the market as opposed to counterfeit savings? Lets see what happens, but first let’s talk about money.

WHAT IS MONEY? (more…)

Financial Markets Move When The Puppet Master Speaks.

July 15, 2013
♫Puppet on a String♫

♫Puppet on a String♫ (Photo credit: trawets1)

FINANCIAL MARKET MINIPULATION

The stock and bond markets were sent soaring last week when Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said more Fed stimulus was needed (read here). Three weeks ago Mr. Bernanke hinted that the Fed might start to taper its money injections and the stock and bond markets had a sell off. In an article I wrote on July 1, titled Incremental Steps To The New Normal, I said, “The sell off in the stock and bond market, the week of June 20th, at a hint by Ben Bernanke that he might ease out of Quantitative Easing in the not too distant or distant future, is evidence that the financial markets are a bubble activity blown up by the Fed’s double edge sword of printing counterfeit money and artificially lowering interest rates. We witnessed more evidence the following week when first Quarter GDP numbers were revised down. This started a rally in the stock market because investors know that if there are bad aggregate numbers, the Fed will keep electronically printing money…” . It’s not difficult to predict how investors will react to economic data, because they understand what the Fed will do in response to this data. (more…)

Incremental Steps To The New Normal

July 1, 2013

A bubble.BERNANKE SPEAKS, THE STOCK MARKET REACTS

The sell off in the stock and bond market, the week of June 20th, at a hint by Ben Bernanke that he might ease out of Quantitative Easing in the not too distant or distant future, is evidence that the financial markets are a bubble activity blown up by the Fed’s double edge sword of printing counterfeit money and artificially lowering interest rates. We witnessed more evidence the following week when first Quarter GDP numbers were revised down. This started a rally in the stock market because investors know that if there are bad aggregate numbers, the Fed will keep electronically printing money. Money going into the market is what drives the overall market upward. Understanding how these two sides of the Fed’s interventionist coin creates the artificial prosperity that eventually has to be liquidated, is very difficult because of the abstract nature of what is involved. We have been trying to explain these abstract concepts, in a variety of ways in order (more…)

Charles Hugh Smith, Why Suppressing Feedback Leads To Financial Crashes.

June 5, 2013
A general representation of a closed loop feed...

A general representation of a closed loop feedback system (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In our previous post, Thomas Woods does a great job of explaining The Austrian Business Cycle Theory. In this article by Charles Hugh Smith titled, Why Suppressing Feedback Leads To Financial Crashes, he explains the same basic concept in a different way. F. A. Hayek said an economy is a system that utilizes knowledge which is widely dispersed among the people. This knowledge can’t possibly be known by one person or a committee of people. The knowledge gained by success and failure in the market is important for the coordination of production. Scarce resources, labor, capital, time, and land that is being wasted on unproductive activity will be kept to a minimum if knowledge is allowed to be transferred unhindered through the market.

Charles Hugh Smith says suppressing feedback leads to financial crashes, and Thomas Woods says that interest rates contain knowledge that coordinate production across time. Both are making the point that when knowledge is allowed to flow unhampered through the market, mainly through the price system, it works to coordinate all activities as optimally as possible. But when Government interventions don’t allow this knowledge to flow freely, malinvestments, dislocations, and financial crashes are the result.

The interventions into the market by Government through regulation, taxes, stimulus, and the Fed’s policy of credit expansion [through artificially low-interest rates and printing counterfeit money to fund this expansion of credit], has created a situation where nobody can possibly know where all of these malinvestments are located. The only way to cure these problems is for the interventions to stop and allow the market to purge itself of these wasteful activities. Unfortunately no politician, bureaucrat, or Fed policy maker wants to have this correction happen on his watch.

Getting a different explanation about the same basic concept allows us to better understand these abstract ideas. Watch the video by Thomas Woods, and read the article by Charles Hugh Smith. For a little lighter explanation, read Federal Reserve Policy Makers Have An Incestuous Intellectual Relationship With Each Other, and Geithner: “I Never Had A Real Job”, Another Example Of Intellectual Inbreeding, by austrianaddict.com.

If you really want some home work, read The Use Of Knowledge In Society, by F. A. Hayek at mises.org.

A Housing Recovery, Or Just Another Bubble?

May 29, 2013
English: Blowing large soap bubbles at sunset

Blowing large bubbles  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

THE WEALTH EFFECT.

Since the housing bust and the corresponding economic downturn in 08, the Fed has been trying to create the “wealth effect”, using its double-edged sword of near zero interest rates and injecting counterfeit money into the banking system. I don’t know if they realize it or not but this double-edged sword is what caused the artificial housing boom which collapsed in 08.

The wealth effect starts from the Keynesian belief that consumption drives the economy. A vast majority of economists, politicians, and bureaucrats believe that if individuals feel wealthier because the value of the stocks and bonds they own are increasing, and the value of their house is also increasing, they will spend more. This increase in consumption [aggregate demand] they believe, is  what drives the economy. Unfortunately if the policies they are implementing are based on a fallacy, the policies will also be  fallacious.

WHAT DRIVES THE ECONOMY SAVINGS OR SPENDING?

The truth is savings, capital formation, and entrepreneurial activity is what drives the economy, not consumer spending. (more…)