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Archive for July 18th, 2011

Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis

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by Jeff Harding
Posted July 16th, 2011

THIS MOVIE, ON THE SUBJECT OF THE CAUSES OF THE FINANCIAL CRISIS, was produced in Sweden by Henrik Devell, directed by Martin Borgs, and narrated by Johan Norberg, a Senior Fellow at Cato Institute, and a prominent libertarian and frequent guest on Stossel. It is very professionally done and entertaining. You can see it right here on The Daily Capitalist Theater. Turn your video setting up to 720p. It is a feature length film, 46 minutes, so sit back and enjoy it.

Here is a description of from their web site:

In times of crisis people seek strong leaders and simple solutions. But what if their solutions are identical to the mistakes that caused the very crisis? This is the story of the greatest economic crisis of our age, the one that awaits us.

When the world’s financial bubble blew, the solution was to lower interest rates and pump trillions of dollars into the sick banking system. “The solution is the problem, that’s why we had a problem in the first place”. For Economics Nobel laureate Vernon Smith, the Catch 22 is self-evident. But interest rates have been at rock bottom for years, and governments are running out of fuel to feed the economy. “The governments can save the banks, but who can save the governments?” Forecasts predict all countries’ debt will reach 100% of GDP by next year. Greece and Iceland have already crumbled, who will be next?

The storm that would rock the world, began brewing in the US when congress pushed the idea of home ownership for all, propping up those who couldn’t make the down payments. The Market even coined a term, NINA loans: “No Income, No Assets, No Problem!” Enter FannieMae and FreddieMac, privately owned, government sponsored. “Want that vacation? Wanna buy some new clothes? Use your house as a piggie bank!” Why earn money to pay for your home when you can make money just living in it? With the government covering all losses, you’d have been a fool not to borrow.

The years of growth had been a continuous party. But when the punchbowl ran dry, instead of letting investors go home to nurse their hangovers as usual, the Federal Reserve just filled it up again with phoney money. For analyst Peter Schiff, the consequence of the spending binge was crystal clear: “we’re in so much trouble now because we got drunk on all that Fed alcohol”. Yet along with other worried experts, he was mocked and derided during the boom.

Have you taken out a mortgage, invested capital or bought shares? If you have, likelihood is you lost out in the latest bust. Governments promised decisive action, the biggest financial stimulus packages in history, gargantuan bailouts: but what crazed logic is this, propping up debt with…more debt? This documentary brings an entirely fresh voice to the hottest topic of today.

Andrew Jackson on the paper money system and its consequences

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from Jesse’s Café Américain
Posted 16 July 2011

“The last duty of a central banker is to tell the public the truth.” 
– Alan Blinder

“When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.”
– Thomas Paine

AS THE U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM APPROACHES ITS 100th Anniversary in a few years, and as central banks and their political allies around the world promote the bailout and enrichment of the biggest banks and wealthiest individuals, to be paid for by the impoverishment and sacrifice of the people, it might be well to remember the lessons of history with regard to a fiat currency controlled by private corporations under the guise of an ‘independent monetary authority.’

Andrew Jackson: “The paper system being founded on public confidence and having of itself no intrinsic value, it is liable to great and sudden fluctuations, thereby rendering property insecure and the wages of labor unsteady and uncertain.

The corporations which create the paper money can not be relied upon to keep the circulating medium uniform in amount. In times of prosperity, when confidence is high, they are tempted by the prospect of gain or by the influence of those who hope to profit by it to extend their issues of paper beyond the bounds of discretion and the reasonable demands of business; and when these issues have been pushed on from day to day, until public confidence is at length shaken, then a reaction takes place, and they immediately withdraw the credits they have given, suddenly curtail their issues, and produce an unexpected and ruinous contraction of the circulating medium, which is felt by the whole community.

The banks by this means save themselves, and the mischievous consequences of their imprudence or cupidity are visited upon the public. Nor does the evil stop here. These ebbs and flows in the currency and these indiscreet extensions of credit naturally engender a spirit of speculation injurious to the habits and character of the people. We have already seen its effects in the wild spirit of speculation in the public lands and various kinds of stock which within the last year or two seized upon such a multitude of our citizens and threatened to pervade all classes of society and to withdraw their attention from the sober pursuits of honest industry.

It is not by encouraging this spirit that we shall best preserve public virtue and promote the true interests of our country; but if your currency continues as exclusively paper as it now is, it will foster this eager desire to amass wealth without labor; it will multiply the number of dependents on bank accommodations and bank favors; the temptation to obtain money at any sacrifice will become stronger and stronger, and inevitably lead to corruption, which will find its way into your public councils and destroy at no distant day the purity of your Government.”

Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, 1837

Illustration credit: “Andrew Jackson” by Thomas Sully, Andrew R. Mellon Collection