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Posts Tagged ‘Krugman

Keynesian solutions: after total failure, try, try again

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by Jim Quinn
The Burning Platform
Posted August 23, 2011

“LENIN IS SAID TO HAVE DECLARED THAT THE BEST WAY TO DESTROY THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security, but at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth.” – John Maynard Keynes – The Economic Consequences of the Peace

While Barack Obama vacations on Martha’s Vineyard this week he’ll be thinking about his grand vision to save America – again. There is one thing you can say about Obama – he’s predictable. He promises to unveil his “new” plan for America in early September. The White House said Obama will give a speech after the September 5 Labor Day holiday to outline measures to boost hiring and find budget savings that surpass the $1.5 trillion goal of a new congressional deficit-cutting committee. It is heartening to see that Barack has turned into a cost cutter extraordinaire. He should be an inspiration to the Tea Party, except for one little problem. The plan he unveils in a few weeks will increase spending now and fret about spending cuts at some future unspecified date.

I can reveal his plan today because the White House has already leaked the major aspects of his plan. He will call for an extension of the Social Security payroll tax cut of 2% for all working Americans. This was supposed to give a dramatic boost to GDP in 2011. Maybe it will work next time. He will demand that extended unemployment benefits be renewed. Somehow providing 99 weeks of unemployment benefits is supposed to create jobs. It’s done wonders thus far. He will propose some semblance of an infrastructure bank or tax cuts to spur infrastructure spending. It will include a proposal for training and education to help unemployed people switch careers. He will attempt to steal the thunder from the SUPER COMMITTEE of twelve by coming up with $2 trillion of budget savings by insisting the Lear jet flying rich fork over an extra $500 billion.

You may have noticed that followers of Keynesian dogma like Paul Krugman, Larry Summers, Brad Delong, Richard Koo, John Galbraith, every Democrat in Congress, and every liberal pundit and columnist have been shrieking about the Tea Party terrorists and their ghastly budget cuts that are destroying our economy. They contend the stock market is tanking and the economy is heading into recession due to the brutal austerity measures being imposed by the extremists in the Republican Party. There is just one small issue with their argument. It is completely false. It is a bold faced lie. This is 2011. The economy has been in freefall since January 1. No spending cuts have occurred. Nada!!! As the CBO chart below reveals, the horrendous slashing of government will amount to $21 billion in 2012 and $42 billion in 2013. Of course, those aren’t even cuts in spending. They are reductions in the projected increases in spending. Politicians must be very secure in the knowledge that Americans are completely ignorant when it comes to anything other than the details of Kim Kardashian’s wedding and who Snooki is banging on Jersey Shore.

I’d like to remind the Harvard educated Keynesian economists that Federal government spending is currently chiming in at $3.8 trillion per year. Federal spending was $2.7 trillion in 2007 and $3.0 trillion in 2008. Keynesians believe government spending fills the gap when private companies are contracting. Obama has taken Keynesianism to a new level. Federal spending will total $10.8 trillion in Obama’s first three years, versus $8.4 trillion in the previous three years. Even a Harvard economist can figure out this is a 29% increase in Federal spending. What has it accomplished? We are back in recession, unemployment is rising, forty six million Americans are on food stamps, food and energy prices are soaring, and the middle class is being annihilated. The standard Keynesian response is we would have lost 3 million more jobs, we were saved from a 2nd Great Depression and the stimulus was too little. It would have worked if it had just been twice as large.

The 2nd Great Depression was not avoided, it was delayed. Our two decade long delusional credit boom could have been voluntarily abandoned in 2008. The banks at fault could have been liquidated in an orderly bankruptcy with stockholders and bondholders accepting the consequences of their foolishness. Unemployment would have soared to 12%, GDP would have collapsed, and the stock market would have fallen to 5,000. The bad debt would have been flushed from the system. Instead our Wall Street beholden leaders chose to save their banker friends, cover-up the bad debt, shift private debt to taxpayer debt, print trillions of new dollars in an effort to inflate away the debt, and implemented every wacky Keynesian stimulus idea Larry Summers could dream up.  These strokes of genius have failed miserably. Bernanke, Paulson, Geithner and Obama have set in motion a series of events that will ultimately lead to a catastrophic currency collapse. We have entered the second phase of the Greater Depression and there are no monetary or fiscal bullets left in the gun. Further expansion of debt will lead to a hyperinflationary collapse as the remaining confidence in the U.S. dollar is exhausted. We are one failed Treasury auction away from a currency crisis.

John Maynard Keynes argued the solution to the Great Depression was to stimulate the economy through some combination of two approaches: a reduction in interest rates and government investment in infrastructure. Investment by government injects income, which results in more spending in the general economy, which in turn stimulates more production and investment involving still more income and spending and so forth. The initial stimulation starts a cascade of events, whose total increase in economic activity is a multiple of the original investment.

It sounds so good in theory, but it didn’t work in the Depression and it hasn’t worked today. It is a doctrine taught in every business school in America with no actual results to support it. Who needs facts and actual results when a good story believed and perpetuated by non-thinking pundits will do? Every Keynesian play in the playbook has been used since 2008. The American people were told by Obama and his Keynesian trained advisors that if we implemented his $862 billion shovel ready stimulus package, unemployment would peak at 7.9% and would decline to 6.5% by today. The cascade of recovery was going to be jump started by a stimulus package that equaled 27% of the previous year’s entire spending. Obama’s complete package was implemented. The outcome was an eye opener.

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Gold and silver: We were right – they were wrong

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by Brandon Smith of Alt Market
Posted July 25, 2011

ONLY NOW, AFTER THREE YEARS OF ROLLER COASTER MARKETS, EPIC DEBATES, and gnashing of teeth, are mainstream financial pundits finally starting to get it. At least some of them, anyway.

Precious metals have continued to perform relentlessly since 2008, crushing all naysayer predictions and defying all the musings of so called “experts”, while at the same time maintaining and protecting the investment savings of those people smart enough to jump on the train while prices were at historic lows (historic as in ‘the past 5000 years’).

Alternative analysts have pleaded with the public to take measures to secure their hard earned wealth by apportioning at least a small amount into physical gold and silver. Some economists, though, were silly enough to overlook this obvious strategy. Who can forget, for instance, Paul Krugman’s hilarious assertion back in 2009 that gold values reflect nothing of the overall market, and that rising gold prices were caused in large part by the devious plans of Glen Beck, and not legitimate demand resulting from oncoming economic collapse.

To this day, with gold at $1600 an ounce, Krugman refuses to apologize for his nonsense. To be fair to Krugman, though, his lack of insight on precious metals markets is most likely deliberate, and not due to stupidity, being that he has long been a lapdog of central banks and a rabid supporter of the great Keynesian con. [And he a Nobel Prize winner!] Some MSM economists are simply ignorant, while others are quite aware of the battle between fiat and gold, and have chosen to support the banking elites in their endeavors to dissuade the masses from ever seeking out an alternative to their fraudulent paper. The establishment controlled Washington Post made this clear with its vapid insinuation in 2010 that Ron Paul’s support of a new gold standard is purely motivated by his desire to increase the value of his personal gold holdings, and not because of his concern over the Federal Reserve’s destructive devaluing of the dollar!

So, if a public figure owns gold and supports the adaptation of precious metals to stave off dollar implosion, he is just trying to “artificially drive up his own profits”. If he supports precious metals but doesn’t own any, then he is “afraid to put his money where his mouth is”. The argument is an erroneous trap, not to mention, completely illogical.

Numerous MSM pundits have continued to call a top for gold and silver markets only to be jolted over and over by further rapid spikes. Frankly, it’s getting a little embarrassing for them. All analysts are wrong sometimes, but these analysts are wrong ALL the time. And, Americans are starting to notice. Who beyond a thin readership of mindless yuppies actually takes Krugman seriously anymore? It’s getting harder and harder to find fans of his brand of snake oil.

Those who instead listened to the alternative media from 2007 on have now tripled the value of their investments, and are likely to double them yet again in the coming months as PM’s and other commodities continue to outperform paper securities and stocks. After enduring so much hardship, criticism, and grief over our positions on gold and silver, it’s about time for us to say “we told you so”. Not to gloat (ok, maybe a little), but to solidify the necessity of metals investment for every American today. Yes, we were right, the skeptics were wrong, and they continue to be wrong. Even now, with gold surpassing the $1600 an ounce mark, and silver edging back towards its $50 per ounce highs, there is still time for those who missed the boat to shield their nest eggs from expanding economic insanity. The fact is, precious metals values are nowhere near their peak. Here are some reasons why…

Debt ceiling debate a final warning sign

If average Americans weren’t feeling the heat at the beginning of this year in terms of the economy, they certainly are now. Not long ago, the very idea of a U.S. debt default or credit downgrade was considered by many to be absurd. Today, every financial radio and television show in the country is obsessed with the possibility. Not surprisingly, unprepared subsections of the public (even conservatives) are crying out for a debt ceiling increase, while simultaneously turning up their noses at tax increases, hoping that we can kick the can just a little further down the road of fiscal Armageddon. The delusion that we can coast through this crisis unscathed is still pervasive.

Some common phrases I’ve heard lately: “I just don’t get it! They’re crazy for not compromising! Their political games are going to ruin the country! Why not just raise the ceiling?!”

What these people are lacking is a basic understanding of the bigger picture. Ultimately, this debate is not about raising or freezing the debt ceiling. This debate is not about saving our economy or our global credit standing. This debate is about choosing our method of poison, and nothing more. That is to say, the outcome of the current “political clash” is irrelevant. Our economy was set on the final leg of total destabilization back in 2008, and no amount of spending reform, higher taxes, or austerity measures, are going to change that eventuality.

We have two paths left as far as the mainstream economy is concerned; default leading to dollar devaluation, or, dollar devaluation leading to default. That’s it folks! Smoke em’ if you got em’! This train went careening off a cliff a long time ago.

If the U.S. defaults after August 2, a couple of things will happen. First, our Treasury Bonds will immediately come into question. We may, like Greece, drag out the situation and fool some international investors into thinking the risk will lead to a considerable payout when “everything goes back to normal”. However, those who continued to hold Greek bonds up until that country’s official announcement of default know that holding the debt of a country with disintegrating credit standing is for suckers. Private creditors in Greek debt stand to lose at minimum 21% of their original holdings because of default. What some of us call a “21% haircut”.

With the pervasiveness of U.S. bonds around the globe, a similar default deal could lead to trillions of dollars in losses for holders. This threat will result in the immediate push towards an international treasury dump.

Next, austerity measures WILL be instituted, while taxes WILL be raised considerably, and quickly. The federal government is not going to shut down. They will instead bleed the American people dry of all remaining savings in order to continue functioning, whether through higher charges on licensing and other government controlled paperwork, or through confiscation of pension funds, or by cutting entitlement programs like social security completely.

Finally, the dollar’s world reserve status is most assuredly going to be placed in jeopardy. If a country is unable to sustain its own liabilities, then its currency is going to lose favor. Period. The loss of reserve status carries with it a plethora of very disturbing consequences, foremost being devaluation leading to extreme inflation.

If the debt ceiling is raised yet again, we may prolong the above mentioned problems for a short time, but, there are no guarantees. Ratings agency S&P in a recent statement warned of a U.S. credit downgrade REGARDLESS of whether the ceiling was raised or not, if America’s overall economic situation did not soon improve. The Obama Administration has resorted to harassing (or pretending to harass) S&P over its accurate assessment of the situation, rather than working to solve the dilemma. Ratings company Egan-Jones has already cut America’s credit rating from AAA to AA+.

Many countries are moving to distance themselves from the U.S. dollar. China’s bilateral trade agreement with Russia last year completely cuts out the use of the greenback, and China is also exploring a “barter deal” with Iran, completely removing the need for dollars in the purchase of Iranian oil (which also helps in bypassing U.S. sanctions).

So, even with increased spending room, we will still see effects similar to default, not to mention, even more fiat printing by the Fed, higher probability of another QE announcement, and higher inflation all around.

This period of debate over the debt ceiling is liable to be the last clear warning we will receive from government before the collapse moves towards endgame. All of the sordid conundrums listed above are triggers for skyrocketing gold and silver prices, and anyone not holding precious metals now should make changes over the course of the next month.

What has been the reaction of markets to the threat of default? Increased purchasing of precious metals! What has been the reaction of markets to greater spending and Fed inflation? Increased purchasing of precious metals! The advantages of gold and silver are clear…

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Long shadows cast over U.S. Economy

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by Jim Willie
Originally posted Wed, 12 Jan 2011

Another important and superbly perceptive article from the Jackass himself.  –Aurick

NUMEROUS ARE THE THREATS TO THE US ECONOMY AND US FINANCIAL STRUCTURES. Many are hidden threats, subtle challenges to undermine increasingly fragile support systems, planks, and cables that hold the system together. The year 2011 will be when the system breaks in open visible fashion, when the explanations that justify it sound silly and baseless, when the entire bond world endures major crashes. All things financial are inter-related.

Recall that in summer 2007, the professor occupying the US Federal Reserve claimed the subprime mortgage crisis was isolated. The Jackass countered with a claim that the bond market was suffering a crisis in absolute terms, where all bond markets were on the verge of fracture, perhaps globally. In year 2008 the banking system in the Western world broke, fatally and irreparably in my view. In 2009, the solutions, the treatment, the official programs were all exaggerated for their effectiveness while banker welfare became a fixture. Neglect of the people on Main Street became policy. In 2010, the system revealed it is still broken. The global monetary system after all rests atop the sovereign bond market. This year, it must fight off a collapse. Many are the hidden points of vulnerability. Gold and Silver will continue to be the great beneficiaries.

BOND OUTFLOWS

Huge outflows have struck from US-based bond funds, while the outflows continue for stock funds since may 2010. Even the flagship Pimco bond fund saw net redemptions. The public is stepping aside as the US Fed does its destructive work. No end is in sight for the stock fund outflows. A public boycott seems firmly in place. The new event is the largest bond fund outflow in almost 30 months. The Investment Company Institute reported that in the week ended December 15th, another massive outflow took place from domestic stock funds. It was the 33rd week in a row, amounting to an exit of $2.4 billion. Worse, taxable and municipal bonds saw a nasty shocker of $8.62 billion in outflows, which included another record $4.9 billion in muni bond outflows.

Bond mutual funds had the biggest client withdrawals in more than two years, as a flight from fixed income investments has accelerated. The withdrawals were the largest since mid-October 2008, when investors pulled out $17.6 billion from bond funds. The US bond fund retreat showed acceleration signs, since the rise was from $1.66 billion the week before, according to the ICI report. So outflows are in progress for both US stocks and US bonds!! Year to date, investors have yanked $100 billion in funds from US-focused equity mutual funds, offset by a smaller $16 billion in comparable inflows into equity strategies via ETFunds. The $250 billion PIMCO Total Return Fund, managed by Bill Gross, had its first net withdrawals in two years in November as investors pulled $1.9 billion, according to Morningstar.

The public has grown jaded by stories of flash trading smears of the stock market, insider trading scandals, and incessant internal reports of stock support from the Working Group for Financial Markets. They sense stock prices are heavily manipulated and not a reflection of true value. They might on a wider basis believe that most US financial markets are either in ruins or corrupted. The vast record outflows accompany a rise in the S&P500 stock index, which is a clear signal of USGovt prop programs in a corrupt market.

Ridiculous illogical and ludicrous interpretations continue to be disseminated about the US Economy in recovery. The false story has become a billboard message of deception. We are told that investors are retreating from bond funds after signs of an economic recovery and a stock market rally, which have lifted interest rates broadly. The reality is something quite different. The selloff in USTreasurys happened exactly after the US Federal Reserve in November offered specific details on its pledge to purchase $600 billion in bond assets to revive the sluggish US Economy. The 10-year USTreasury yields lie in the 3.2% to 3.4% range, much higher than the 2.49% in the first week of November. The bond market contradiction to the USFed monetization plan is without precedent in US bond market history, a grandiose insult.

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Insane Psycho-Sociopathic Court Economists

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by Trace Mayer, J.D.
Originally posted on April 22, 2009

GREGORY MANKIW, PROFESSOR OF COURT ECONOMICS AT HARVARD and economic advisor to President George W. Bush, proposed negative interest rates in a recent New York Times article. Mike Shedlock, a prominent financial commentator has appropriately weighed in 19 March with Time For Mankiw To Resign and again on 21 March with Economist Mankiw Defends Policy of Theft.

Interestingly Mankiw, a monetarist, appears to have the support of Paul Krugman, a Keynesian, who responded, “Greg Mankiw says yes. Since that was the answer I arrived at for Japan more than a decade ago, I have to say that it makes sense in principle.”

MR. MANKIW’S PROPOSAL
“Imagine that the Fed were to announce that, a year from today, it would pick a digit from zero to 9 out of a hat. All currency with a serial number ending in that digit would no longer be legal tender. Suddenly, the expected return to holding currency would become negative 10 percent. The idea of negative interest rates may strike some people as absurd, the concoction of some impractical theorist. Perhaps it is.

But remember this: Early mathematicians thought that the idea of negative numbers was absurd. Today, these numbers are commonplace. Even children can be taught that some problems (such as 2x + 6 = 0) have no solution unless you are ready to invoke negative numbers.  Maybe some economic problems require the same trick.”

I will attack Mankiw’s insane proposal from several fronts, missed by most commentators, but nevertheless extremely important.  While I do agree with revoking legal tender status for all FRN$, not just 10%, I differ with his proposed procedure and underlying moral reasoning.

LEGAL TENDER
Notice that Mankiw suggests that ‘the Fed were to announce that… would no longer be legal tender.’  This talk about the Fed determining what is and is not legal tender baffles me. Perhaps Mr. Mankiw should open up a copy of the Constitution and read it.

Under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 5 Congress is given the power to ‘Coin Money, regulate the Value thereof’. Notice the Constitution does not say what money is only that it is something that is coined rather than printed.  The Tenth Amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”  The Constitution operates on the principle that if a power is not specifically delegated then it is prohibited.

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Greenback Gases, Gold and the Coming Shift

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Greenback Gases, Gold and the Coming Shift
Bankers in charge of our economies makes as much sense as candy makers being in charge of our diets
At the end of a good movie, oftentimes apparently unrelated events are woven together and it becomes clear how and why things happened. If, today, it feels as if we are at the end of an era, it is because we are; and, just like the movies, only at the end do certain events and the reasons for them become clear.
The removal of gold from the global monetary system was not by accident. It allowed governments to do what they could not otherwise do. Gold cannot be printed. Paper money can. Therein lays the cause and consequence of what is happening today.
BEFORE THE WELFARE STATE WAS THE WARFARE STATE
The introduction of paper money allowed war to be conducted on credit with credit-based paper money. In return for allowing bankers to issue England’s money in the form of paper script, bankers allowed King William, England’s king, to wage war on credit, giving England an advantage over other nations which England parlayed into world dominion.
Good ideas spread and the idea of waging war on credit also spread. Prior to World War I, both France and Germany went off the gold standard in order to go to war backed by limitless amounts of paper money, instead of being constrained by limited amounts of gold.
The resultant carnage would not have been as extreme had France and Germany been forced to pay good money, instead of bad, for their arms. But even after WWI and WWII, in the wake of the greatest suffering humanity ever endured, the desire to wage war on credit continued.
When WWII ended, the US emerged as a world power. Unlike Europe and Asia on whose continents the conflict was waged, the US emerged relatively unscathed and realizing it was now the world’s only superpower, the US decided to insure its new found status by maintaining and enlarging its already formidable military machine.
It did so by spending all the gold it had accumulated; up to that time, the largest amount of gold ever owned by any nation in history. In 25 years, from 1946 to 1971, the US overspent its entire gold reserves of 21,775 tons in the pursuit of world dominion.
During those 25 years, the US had a positive balance of trade with the rest of the world so its gold reserves should have substantially increased, not disappeared. Prior to 1971, gold was used by nations to settle trade imbalances but the US imbalance was not caused by trade, it was caused by the costs of maintaining a worldwide military presence and the overseas expansion of US corporations.
GOLD—THE LAST STRAW
The complete removal of gold from the world monetary system finally occurred in 1971 when the US refused to pay other nations in gold what it then owed. The US refused to do so because the US no longer had enough gold to redeem the vast amount of US dollars it had printed and spent (the US did keep what gold it had).
To this day, what was set in motion in 1971 has yet to be fully grasped and understood. Lack of understanding, however, will not prevent its consequences and the US and, indeed, the world, are now about to experience what was then set in motion, an economic meltdown of epic proportions.
When the US removed gold from the world’s monetary system, it removed the one critical element upon which the entire world economy was based. Because the removal had been gradual, the essential role gold performed had been forgotten—but forgetting gold’s role did not mean it had none as many believed, e.g. Keynes, Friedman, Krugman, Volcker, Bernanke, etc.
A description of the critical role of gold and the gold standard was written by Professor Antal Fekete in his essay The Gold Standard Strikes Back……With A 36-Year Lag
…Gold has the same role to play in the monetary system as the fly-wheel regulator does in an engine, the brake does in a train, and circuit-breakers do in an electrical network. Gold is the regulator of the quantity of debt in the economy that can be safely created and carried. It is also safeguarding quality by rejecting toxic debt before it can start metastasis. Debt-based currency utterly lacks safeguards limiting quantity and vouching for quality of debt. Debt-based currency is an invitation to disaster, that of the toppling of the Tower of Babel. Its effects are far from being instantaneous. There is a threshold and there is a critical mass involved. We have long since crossed that threshold and passed that critical mass. By no rational calculus can the outstanding debt be expected to be repaid without inflationary or deflationary adventures, even if further increase were stopped dead in its track. The discussion of the present financial crisis by academia and media avoids all reference to this fact. Under the gold standard a fast-breeder of debt was unthinkable, and debt was retired in an orderly manner.
Using Professor Fekete’s metaphors, with the regulator of debt now disabled, the brakes discarded, and the circuit breakers removed, it is now understandable, as the last and final act of our financial drama plays out, why we now find ourselves buried beneath unbearable and unpayable quantities of toxic debt.
Removing gold from the international monetary system in 1971 allowed the US to then begin issuing US dollars in increasingly excessive amounts as the US was no longer constrained by gold to maintain any semblance of fiscal restraint.
While consequences may be delayed they cannot be avoided. It’s been 38 years since the US removed gold from the international monetary system. As a consequence, the system is now beginning to collapse. Someday, it will collapse completely.
FEAR-BASED OPTIMISM
Increasingly, the sound-bites of politicians, economists and the media are becoming more positive, indicating that an economic recovery is underway.  It is not. If it were, governments would be able to slow or stop the spending they are desperately hoping will rescue their respective economies. None are so doing.
But despite trillions of dollars, the global economy is still contracting. Signs of improvement are due only to the massive amounts of government aid being spent in the hopes of reviving private demand, demand irrevocably crippled by now unpayable levels of debt.
GREENBACK GASES AND THE MELTDOWN
OF THE WORLD FINANCIAL SYSTEM
As China in particular has now observed, the US is increasingly exhibiting signs of monetary incontinence. The US has been unable to control its spending for decades, it is clearly incapable of balancing its budget, and fiscal restraint in the US has gone the way of the Constitution and the Geneva Accords.
China is especially distressed at the apparent inability of the US to control itself. China is holding the vast majority of US debt and, as a self-declared socialist state, finds itself in the incongruous position of having underwritten US wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan along with tax cuts George Bush dispensed to the wealthy.
China and the world has, in effect, been held hostage by the US as a result of the US dollar still being the world reserve currency even after the US defaulted on its gold obligations in 1971.
The world’s acceptance of a fiat currency as a world reserve currency has now destabilized the global economy beyond its ability to recover. For decades, the US has been able to buy goods and services and to repay its extensive borrowings with increasingly worthless paper script. Those days are numbered.
The increasingly fragile house of cards constructed of credit and paper money is now in its final stages of collapse. The global economy is lurching from one bubble to another and we are approaching the end of bankers’ and governments’ ability to pass off their paper money as a store of value. Gold is a store of value. Paper money is not.
GOLD’S ASCENT
In the last two weeks, gold moved strongly upwards. It did so as the US dollar fell. Perhaps the two events are linked, perhaps not. But over the last decade, the price of gold has quadrupled in terms of US dollars, rising as the US dollar has fallen.
No longer having to play the part of the monkey dancing to the tune of government organ grinders, Alan Greenspan recently remarked on gold’s sudden ascent:
Sept. 9 (Bloomberg) — Gold prices that jumped above $1,000 an ounce this week are signaling that investors are buying metals to hedge against declines in currencies, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said.
The gains are “strictly a monetary phenomenon,” Greenspan said today at an investment conference in New York. Rising prices of precious metals and other commodities are “an indication of a very early stage of an endeavor to move away from paper currencies,” he said.
A recent study showed why Greenspan and other economists did not predict the greatest economic collapse in recent history. As befits the profession, the reason for economists’ poor judgment was money.
To succeed in the field of economics, it is virtually necessary that economists support the policies of the Fed. The following is from “How The Federal Reserve Bought The Economics Profession”, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/07/priceless-how-the-federal_n_278805.html :
One critical way the Fed exerts control on academic economists is through its relationships with the field’s gatekeepers. For instance, at the Journal of Monetary Economics, a must-publish venue for rising economists, more than half of the editorial board members are currently on the Fed payroll — and the rest have been in the past.
The Fed failed to see the housing bubble as it happened, insisting that the rise in housing prices was normal. In 2004, after “flipping” had become a term cops and janitors were using to describe the way to get rich in real estate, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said that “a national severe price distortion [is] most unlikely.” A year later, current Chairman Ben Bernanke said that the boom “largely reflect strong economic fundamentals.”
The Fed also failed to sufficiently regulate major financial institutions, with Greenspan — and the dominant economists — believing that the banks would regulate themselves in their own self-interest.
It is clear the lure of money is as seductive to economists as it is to those they study. Money, while a very powerful incentive, rarely improves the quality of truth. It is erroneous to believe, however, that all economists who agree with the Fed’s role and mission have been bought. Others may be sincerely mistaken in their beliefs.
One of the primary reasons I attend Professor Fekete’s seminars is the opportunity to hear academically rigorous discourse untainted by the all-too-common orthodoxy that passes today for economics. As I have previously written, the study of modern economics is like the study of religion in a time of idolatry.
It is the Fed and its stranglehold on economic debate that has confined discussion within the bounds that do not threaten the Fed or its interests. This is tantamount to discussing religion during the Middle Ages without discussing the power and ambition of the Church. Such discussions leave much to be desired.
November 2-5, Professor Fekete will be speaking in Australia on “The World Financial Crisis and the Vanishing Gold Basis”. For those wishing to know more about the professor, the wikipedia reference, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antal_E._Fekete, is invaluable. I also discuss Professor Fekete on my YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/user/SchoonWorks. For information about the up-coming event in Australia, see http://www.professorfekete.com/gsul.asp . I, and others, will be speaking as well.
THE LAST WALTZ
The current economic crisis is now moving quickly towards resolution. How and when it will end is as uncertain as that it will. Systemic death is never easy and the banker’s paper money, like the fatal virus it is, is now everywhere. Its end will not be easy.
Severe climate change, food shortages, and the possibility of a pandemic are taking their place beside the ever-present possibility of military conflict. The collapse of the financial system will not be the only crisis that confronts humanity in the near future.
We are moving from one era into the next. Change is never easy and significant change is significantly more difficult. The bankers’ credit was responsible for much of what happened in the last three hundred years. It is impossible to imagine what life will be like in its absence.
Only one thing is certain—it will be better.
Buy gold, buy silver, have faith.

by Darryl Robert Schoon
Posted originally 14 September 2009

BANKERS IN CHARGE OF OUR ECONOMIES makes as much sense as candy makers being in charge of our diets. At the end of a good movie, oftentimes apparently unrelated events are woven together and it becomes clear how and why things happened. If, today, it feels as if we are at the end of an era, it is because we are; and, just like the movies, only at the end do certain events and the reasons for them become clear.

The removal of gold from the global monetary system was not by accident. It allowed governments to do what they could not otherwise do. Gold cannot be printed. Paper money can. Therein lays the cause and consequence of what is happening today.

Before the welfare state was the warfare state
The introduction of paper money allowed war to be conducted on credit with credit-based paper money. In return for allowing bankers to issue England’s money in the form of paper script, bankers allowed King William, England’s king, to wage war on credit, giving England an advantage over other nations which England parlayed into world dominion.

Good ideas spread and the idea of waging war on credit also spread. Prior to World War I, both France and Germany went off the gold standard in order to go to war backed by limitless amounts of paper money, instead of being constrained by limited amounts of gold.

Read the rest of this entry »