It's All Black Baptists Fault!

I'm so sorry, I got that completely wrong. According to Hale Stewart our economic woes are all White Anglo-Saxon Protestants fault. See:
The president sends a proposal to the Republicans and then offers the "pre-compromised" version before negotiations get out of the gate. He has yet to figure out that he is hated -- as in really hated -- because of what he symbolizes: the end of the WASP power structure as we know it.

Aside from religious stereotyping that is completely unacceptable unless it's targeted at people we don't like, apparently, he also provides a sixth grader's view of how to fix the economy. Of course when I write sixth grader I mean Keynesian. So how do we fix the economy?
1.) Borrow money. Despite the incredibly stupid complaints of people about federal spending, the bond market isn't worried about the US' fiscal situation right now. The 10-year bond is trading right around 2%.
2.) Rebuild the nation's infrastructure: According to the society of civil engineers, the US' infrastructure gets a grade of D-. I recently noted a story from AgWeb that also illustrates the problem.

3.) Hire people to do the work. Considering that half the un\employed are blue collar workers (people that do things like ... construction) this would lower unemployment -- which also happens to be a big problem right now.

4.) This increases aggregate demand, which increases GDP. Once you get GDP growing at 3%+ for a few quarters, the economy because self-sustaining. This also helps to halt the debt/GDP growth rate.

STIMULUS! OF COURSE! Why haven't we tried that yet? Oh, what, we did, and it totally doesn't work, and it actually got our debt rating downgraded because we can never pay our current debts let alone add on for more stimulus that won't work. We've already tried this and it failed? I would say the "incredibly stupid" thing is to argue for something that continually fails.

Business Insider provides the good with the bad. It's sort of like the People Magazine of the blogo-sphere while Zerohedge is the Economist. Hey I like it but there are a bunch of dolts working there.

One Party for the Destruction of the Constitution

We had a "choice" in November of 2008: elect a member of the liberal party hell bent on destroying the Constitution for the profit of the military, banking and corporate machines, or elect a member of the liberal party hell bent on destroying the Constitution for the profit of the military, banking and corporate machines. We got your choice (I voted libertarian). What is different between the 2 is the avenue of Constitutional destruction.

Obama promised everything and delivered nothing except for the Marxist doctrine that he was so passionate about pre-elected career, but the MSM felt that wasn't relevant to comment on.

We have yet to see a bankster charged in the fraud cases that have cost the US taxpayer trillions; we have yet to see troops removed from Iraq and Afghanistan and have seen a new front opened up in Libya and another on coming in Syria (Dems love, love, love war when Dems wage war especially when it's a Nobel Peace Prize winner doin' the wagin'); and we have seen the opposite of a the most transparent administration ever. We have also seen continued bailouts, continued reductions in our Constitutional rights and megalomaniac like disregard for the majority's wishes and instead the transfer of Chicago mafia union politics to Washington DC.

And what would we have gotten if we had voted for that senile, geriatric, Hanoi Hilton pigeon Maobama was running against?
Termed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and drafted behind closed doors by Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) the NDAA would:

1) Explicitly authorize the federal government to indefinitely imprison without charge or trial American citizens and others picked up inside and outside the United States;

(2) Mandate military detention of some civilians who would otherwise be outside of military control, including civilians picked up within the United States itself; and

(3) Transfer to the Department of Defense core prosecutorial, investigative, law enforcement, penal, and custodial authority and responsibility now held by the Department of Justice.

That's all of course completely unconstitutional but we have become a fake democracy that doesn't adhere to any law of the land. It's communists on the left, fascists on the right, both with a mission to destroy liberty and the Constitution. They work together for that common goal and there is really only one party. We've woken up and our choice is tyranny. Khrushchev was right.

McCain finished by mentioning Paul simply had no idea the massive threat posed to the US by terrorists. "An individual, no matter who they are, if they pose a threat to the security of the United States of America, should not be allowed to continue that threat," McCain said. " We need to take every stop necessary to prevent that from happening, that’s for the safety and security of the men and women who are out there risking their lives....in our armed services."
So according to a guy who might have been President, if the State deems you a threat you have no rights and you could be detained or even eliminated without any process. Wonder what McCain thinks of the movie Brazil?

Anyone who voted for McCain needs to reconsider why they are a Republican. This is terrifying.


Greenspan's Body Count: Cheryl Regazzi and Robert Regazzi

Serial killer Alan Greenspan is known to commit multiple murders in the same area in a short span of time. Earlier this year, he was very active around San Diego.

Now, it seems, Greenspan is haunting New Jersey. Just days after the murder of Kimberly Allen in Red Bank, Greenspan went to Clifton:

A man apparently shot and killed his mother at their Gillies Street house before deliberately overdosing on drugs sometime over the holiday weekend, authorities said Sunday.

Police were called to the two-story, single-family home around 4:30 p.m. Saturday after a family friend reported finding the bodies inside, said Detective Sgt. Robert Bracken of the Clifton police.

Bracken identified the victims as Cheryl Regazzi, 53, and her son, Robert Regazzi, 20.


Neighbors said they believed that Cheryl Regazzi was having financial problems, but they could not be specific.

A for-sale sign was posted outside the four-bedroom, colonial-style house on Sunday.Regazzi's next-door neighbor, Gloria Kirwin, said the house has been on the market since early this year. Trulia, a real estate website, says the house had been listed for 140 days, and real estate listings show the most recent asking price as $239,000.

Kirwin, 69, said Regazzi recently told her she could no longer afford the house.

"She was trying to sell the home but she had no luck," Kirwin said.

A public records search indicates that Cheryl Regazzi refinanced the mortgage on the house at least three times since 2003, with the mortgage amount rising from nearly $61,000 that year to $105,000 in 2008.

Real estate records show that Regazzi and her husband, Jacques, bought the house in 1992 for $110,000.

Greenspan's Body Count stands at 197.


Greenspan's Body Count: Kimberly Allen

Greenspan's Body Count goes to the Jersey Shore! In Red Bank / Middletown / Lincroft, New Jersey:
Patrick F. Allen, 44, accused of killing his wife, Kimberly, on Nov. 19, remained in the Monmouth County jail in Freehold Township Friday in lieu of $1.5 million bail with no options to post 10 percent to secure his release, as set by state Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mellaci Jr.


“Patrick Allen killed his wife of 20 years during a financial dispute. He was the only person at home with her and he is the only person who could have killed her,” [prosecutor Marc] LeMieux said in court.


A check of financial records show that Patrick and Kimberly Allen held two mortgages totaling $625,000 on their home on West Front Street, and that Patrick Allen individually owed nearly $25,000 in credit card debt that was being levied against his property and a bank account following three court judgments handed down earlier this year.

Records held at the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office reveal the Allens financed $352,800 when they initially purchased the lot upon which they built a 3,184-square-foot home. They also show that by 2006, the Allens had refinanced the mortgage on the home three different times, taking out increasing amounts until the final $455,000 mortgage was obtained in 2006.

In addition to the mortgages, three additional home equity lines of credit were taken out during a six-year period beginning with a $45,000 secondary loan the Allens secured 18 months after the initial purchase, up to the outstanding $160,000 in the form of a 15-year second mortgage was obtained in 2005.

The two mortgages put the couple into debt totaling $615,000, but a source said the couple was also about $19,000 behind in their mortgage payments.

Greenspan's Body Count stands at 195.


Selling PFUIX

A couple years ago, I posted Advice to a young man on supporting a mistress, recommending a basket of investments as protection against dollar debasement. The basket has performed very well since, led by silver, gold, and the GDX gold miner ETF. The laggards have been foreign equities: VEA, EWA, SWISX, and VWO. Stick with them. They all yield more than five-year Treasuries, and some of them yield more than 10- and 30-year Treasuries.

I still like this diversified basket, and I am continuing to dollar-cost average into these asset classes. One exception is the bond fund I mentioned, Pimco Foreign Equity Unhedged (PFUIX). It has performed well, but I think it is time to dump it. The fund invests heavily in European debt and bond futures, and with Europe facing the choice between printing and default, neither is likely to be good for Euro bondholders.

History repeats itself

"Have I a legal right to do this?" Roosevelt asked a group of senators in the Oval Office. He was talking about his plan to devalue the dollar. "Mr. President," replied Thomas Gore of Oklahoma, who opposed the idea, "you could go on the street right now, knock down an old man, drag him into the White House, and take his clothes. You could sell them second-hand. It would be just about as legal as what you are planning to do. But that doesn't matter. You can do it anyway." Roosevelt roared his approval, and, indeed, did it anyway.

- Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court


Happy Supercommittee Fail Day!

So the Supercommittee is going to announce failure.

The good news is it doesn't mean much. The Supercommittee's goal was a farce anyway, cutting only $1.2 trillion over 10 years, or $120 billion a year, when we are currently running deficits over $1.2 trillion each and every year.

And the automatic cuts that will kick in when the Supercommittee fails? They are a joke, too. Conveniently for Obama's re-election, they don't kick in until 2013. And they are so annoying to the military-industrial and welfare-industrial complexes that a future Congress is sure to undo them. Both Obama's Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Congressional Republicans are already freaking out over the defense cuts.

The allegedly Draconian Congressional Republicans have now achieved precisely zero spending cuts in three opportunities: the budget, the debt ceiling, and the Supercommittee. What exactly are Republicans good for?

Damn the credit rating; full speed spending ahead.


The lesson of the first Thanksgiving: socialism kills

Please print this and share this story with your OWS nephew and your SEIU sister-in-law at the Thanksgiving table this Thursday.

From Karl Denninger:
The first winter was disasterous - nearly half of the Pilgrims died of starvation, pneumonia and tuberculosis. Many claim that Bradford's first wife perished that first winter, but that is not quite true - she actually fell off the Mayflower quite close to land and drowned, never making it to Plymouth (he later remarried.)

During the first two years the colony lived under what could only be called Communism, enshrined in the Mayflower Compact. Each person was accorded a "share" of the totality of what was produced at the colony, and each person was expected to do their part in working toward the common good. The land, and that upon it, was owned by the colony as a collective.

It not only did not work out, it nearly killed them all.

William Bradford wrote in his diary "For in this instance, community of property (so far as it went) was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment which would have been to the general benefit and comfort. For the young men who were most able and fit for service objected to being forced to spend their time and strength in working for other men’s wives and children, without any recompense. The strong man or the resourceful man had no more share of food, clothes, etc., than the weak man who was not able to do a quarter the other could. This was thought injustice.”

After the second winter, realizing that the colony had survived only through the friendship and largesse of the native Americans, and would soon perish if changes were not made, Bradford tore up the Mayflower Compact. He instead assigned each family a plot of land to be their property, to be worked as the family saw fit, and with the fruits of that land to be their own. It was the beginning of private property rights in the New World.

The result? Again, from his diary: "It made all hands very industrious, so that much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could devise, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better satisfaction.”

From the very day that Bradford tore up the Mayflower Compact, Plymouth began to prosper. Within a year the colonists found themselves with more food than they could eat. Flush with a bountiful harvest far in excess of their need for food and having bartered for all the goods they needed to get through the winter, they had a feast of thanks with their Indian trading partners.

Don't hold your breath waiting for the leftist teachers unions to teach this lesson to your children. Better show them this video from Reason:

You mean Obama's getting tingly pants now?

So it's mutual?

"MSNBC Matthews turns on Obama" - headline, Drudge Report, November 20, 2011



Happy $15 trillion!

We're #1 -- the biggest debtor nation in the world, and about to cross 100% debt/GDP -- and that's not counting off-balance sheet garbage like Fannie/Freddie debt, student loan guarantees, Social Security and Medicare liabilities, etc.

And as China starts to back away from holding our bad debt, the Dirty Fed has stepped in to print money and become the largest Treasury holder.

How convenient to be able to spend at will and not have to actually borrow money from real investors. This will surely end well.


Bloomberg censors headline questioning Fed independence

I was originally going to title this "Breaking News from 2008." That's because Bloomberg ran a story titled, "Fed independence risked by Treasury coziness." That is funny on its own, you know, because the Fed has been the Treasury's goo dumpster, monetizing Treasury's monstrous deficits, ever since Benny and Hank threatened to blow up the world if Congress didn't pass TARP.

Now, however, Bloomberg has changed the headline! Now it's "Fed Employees Serve Treasury in Assignments Deepening Crisis-Forged Ties." Here's a screen cap of the pre-censorship headline.

The Ministry of Truth must not allow the Fed-Treasury money-printing circle jerk to be exposed!

Newt Gingrich took $300,000 bribe from Freddie Mac in 2006

Newt is neck-deep in the institutional corruption in Washington.
Former Freddie Mac officials familiar with the consulting work Gingrich was hired to perform for the company in 2006 tell a different story. They say the former House speaker was asked to build bridges to Capitol Hill Republicans and develop an argument on behalf of the company’s public-private structure that would resonate with conservatives seeking to dismantle it.

If Gingrich concluded that the company’s business model was at risk and that the housing market was a “bubble,” as he said during the debate, he didn’t share those concerns with Richard Syron, Freddie Mac’s chief executive officer at the time, a person familiar with the company’s internal discussions said.

Newt claims that they were paying him not for influence with Republicans, but for his opinion as a historian. Riiiiiiiiiight. How many third-rate professors who weren't politically connected did they cut $300,000 checks to?

It looks like it was an investment that paid off for the corrupt government-sponsored enterprise. The Republican-controlled House didn't pass GSE reform, and we all know how that worked out for the country. But hey, Newt had to pay for that half-million debt to Tiffany's somehow, right?

They're all whores, with the apparent exceptions of Ron Paul and Gary Johnson.

Herman Cain is an empty suit

This has been my position from the beginning (I was being too kind, actually, in attributing his lack of specifics to caginess; he actually doesn't know anything).

Glad to see it's catching on.


This dog hates the iPhone

HT: FilmDrunk

McDanger on Penn State

Our friend Charlie debates a Texas prosecutor on the similarities between Penn State and the TSA.


Makana - The Many Not The Few

Here's an Occupier who gets it that Congress and the Dirty Fed are the problem.

That explains a lot about the last three years

Biden: White House got its economic policy from Jon Corzine.

Religious advice from Jeremiah Wright, legal advice from Eric Holder, "green jobs" advice from Van Jones, health care advice from Peter Orszag, propaganda advice from Kumar.... I'm starting to see a trend here.


Veterans' Day 2011

Happy Veterans' Day. And a big thanks to all the veterans and active duty military people out there.

Let's thank and support the troops by bringing them home and ending Obama's military adventurism.


Obama to strangle economic recovery in its crib

U.S. to Delay Keystone Pipeline Decision
The State Department said Thursday it would postpone until after the 2012 election a decision on an oil pipeline that had raised a furor among environmental groups, a delay that angered the oil industry and unions that have pushed for the project.

The department, in a statement, said it would examine alternate routes for TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL pipeline to avoid an environmentally sensitive portion of Nebraska.

That would require an assessment of the new route's environmental impact, which "could be completed as early as the first quarter of 2013," the department said.
The delay is a temporary victory for environmental groups, which have pressed the administration to deny the request by TransCanada to construct a pipeline from Alberta to Texas.

The oil and gas industry as well as unions have urged the administration to approve the project this year, arguing that it will create thousands of jobs and reduce U.S. dependence on oil imports from the Middle East. The government of Canada also supports the project.

"The president is putting politics ahead of American jobs," said a spokeswoman for the American Petroleum Institute. "The project has been under review for three years. This delay would be another year and a half. I don't know what would happen after that."

The very moderate and non-partisan UCSD economist James Hamilton discusses the economic importance of the pipeline here.


Penn State - Have You Been Touched?

ESPN article here.
Sandusky, who retired from coaching in 1999 after 32 years on Paterno's staff, was arrested Saturday on 40 charges that include felony sex crimes against children. Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and university vice president Gary Schultz have been charged with felony perjury in their grand jury testimony in the case, as well as failure to report to law enforcement what they knew about Sandusky's behavior.
His book:

If you too have been touched by Jerry Sandusky, you are asked to contact the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office located at this fantastic URL (way to be first in line): http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/

Where it states:

...from the messy business of prosecuting its pedophiles. Well until now.

Apparently the Happy Valley branch of NAMBLA is lending support to Joe Paterno.

To be fair, he was only notified that his ex-assistant coach was showering with a 10 year old boy (which would have been enough for me to dial 911) and having sexual contact with the boy. He told his boss and therefore his conscience is good. Because remember folks, in Pennsylvania, if a grown man rapes a boy, the legal thing to do is tell your boss...WTF???


Extreme poverty in the USA

Tulsa World:

Cell phone? Check.
Satellite TV? Check.
Enough food to get fat? Check.

Extreme poverty is a real bitch.


Mike Mayo on Wall Street rot

Wall Street bank analyst Mike Mayo, who called the bank crash:
To fix the banking sector, should we rely more on government regulation and oversight or let the market figure it out? Tougher rules or more capitalism? Right now, we have the worst of both worlds. We have a purportedly capitalistic system with a lot of rules that are not strictly enforced, and when things go wrong, the government steps in to protect banks from the market consequences of their own worst decisions. To me, that's not capitalism.

It's easy to understand the appeal of certain regulation. If we'd had the right oversight in place, we would have limited the degree of the financial crisis, which included bailouts measured in hundreds of billions of dollars and millions of people losing their homes due to foreclosures. But we also would have sacrificed innovations in credit and a vibrant financial sector.

Moreover, the real problem with regulation is that it often doesn't work very well, in part because it's always considering problems in the rearview mirror. The financial system today is almost dizzyingly complex and moving at light speed, and new rules tend to address fairly precise things, like banning specific types of securities or deals.

The more effective solution would come from letting market forces work. That doesn't mean no rules at all—a banking system like the Wild West, with blood on the floor and consumers being routinely swindled. We need a cultural, perhaps generational, change that compels companies to better apply accounting rules based on economic substance versus surface presentation.

Even in 2011, some banks were woefully deficient in detailing the amount of their securities and loans that are vulnerable to the ravages of the European financial crisis. The solution is to increase transparency and let outsiders see what's really going on.

What we need is a better version of capitalism. That version starts with accounting: Let banks operate with a lot of latitude, but make sure outsiders can see the numbers (the real numbers). It also includes bankruptcy: Let those who stand to gain from the risks they take—lenders, borrowers and bank executives—also remain accountable for mistakes. As for regulation, the U.S. may want to look to London for ideas. In the last decade, the U.K. equivalent of the Securities Exchange Commission (called the Financial Services Authority) fired much of its staff and hired back higher-caliber talent, at higher salaries. This reduced the motivation for regulators to jump to more lucrative private sector jobs and improved the understanding between banks and regulators.

A better version of capitalism also means a reduction in the clout of big banks. All of the third-party entities that oversee them need sufficient latitude to serve as a true check and balance. My peer group, the army of 5,000 sell-side Wall Street analysts, can help lead the way to provide scrutiny over the markets. Doing this involves a culture change to ensure that analysts can act with sufficient intellectual curiosity and independence to critically analyze public companies that control so much of our economy.

That's about right: no more Too Big To Fail and no more mark-to-fantasy and off-balance-sheet accounting fraud. Too bad the Dodd-Frank fake financial reform bill did exactly zero to address either of these issues.

Happy Bank Transfer Day!

Yes, today is the day to close your bank accounts and go to a credit union. Stop supporting the dirty banksters who blew up the economy and corrupted the government.

I must confess that I haven't moved my money yet. I'm looting the dirty banksters by taking them up on serial offers of $100 - $150 to open new credit card, savings, and checking accounts. Currently Citi is handing out Benjis like party favors for opening credit card accounts, and Chase is handing them out for bank deposits. And I make sure never to pay any fees or interest, and not to leave enough money in checking or savings to make it profitable for the bank to hold my account.

UPDATE: ZeroHedge and Karl Denninger on why REAL capitalists choose credit unions.

And now for something completely different: Hugh Hendry

If it's not Scottish, it's crap. And outspoken hedge fund manager Hugh Hendry is most certainly Scottish.

For years, we at the W.C. Varones blog have been advocating owning gold and equities, primarily because the federal government's debt and deficit situation is beyond the point of no return and far more likely to be resolved by money-printing than default.

Via ZeroHedge, Hugh Hendry gives us the other view: inflation is the consensus trade and it's wrong. We are going into debt deflation and the dollar will strengthen.

In the US, he says, capital has always been allocated where it could achieve the highest return [until Obama: Government Motors, AIG, Fannie/Freddie, Solyndra... -ed.]. In the 19th century, when America was the economic upstart on the block, it was also on the gold standard. Which is very important, according to Hendry, because it allotted entrepreneurs one – and only one – chance to succeed. It was not a time of bailouts and multiple bankruptcies!

China is different, he believes, because it is industrializing with a fiat currency. Thus they fall into the trap of misallocating capital – building bridges to nowhere, towers for nobody, and so on. China’s goal is similar to that of 1980’s Japan in his opinion – full employment, rather than maximizing return on capital. A critical, and even fatal, difference, in his mind.

You know the old drill – China and Asia produce, the US consumes. They cycle their greenbacks back over this way, finance our debt, we buy more of their stuff, and the beat goes on.

This model officially stopped with the launch of QE2, Hendry says, as the US officially started rejecting the globalization that had made the global economy hum (perhaps largely at the expense of US employment and manufacturing). With QE2, dollars were printed and exported – along with inflation – to Asia.


Because wage labor is approximately 70% of total business costs, he does not see meaningful inflation without wage inflation.

He’s also down on gold because it is not a contrarian investment today as it was 10 years ago (he had a nice year in 2003 buying gold and gold stocks when nobody wanted them).

The widespread belief among the greatest financial minds today that hyperinflation is inevitable greatly disturbs him.

In the Western world, he sees hyperinflation as a political choice – one that requires the will of the populous. (Forget Zimbabwe, he says – that might as well be Timbuktu. It’s not our culture.)

He sees society’s current mood as “dark” (Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, and social unrest in Europe to name a few), and believes this makes bailouts and money printing very hard. The only environment that makes hyperinflation possible is “the mother of all depressions” he says.

All of which is possible, I suppose, but "hyperinflation" is a straw man. I'm not calling for hyperinflation, just inevitable eventual debasement of the dollar. This could take the form of 70's style stagflation, or Argentinian-style step devaluation, or slow and steady erosion of the dollar just like the Federal Reserve has done the last 100 years. The "political choice" is not hyperinflation, but inflation vs. depression. Even the Tea Party electoral tsunami and debt-ceiling posturing didn't make a dent in federal spending or the deficit. What makes Hendry think austerity will become politically popular now?

Two problems with Hugh's view:

1) If we do get his crash, how on earth does Ben Bernanke (or even a more sober successor) not print money in response? (Similarly, does he really think Europe will choose default and banking system collapse rather than printing?)

2) The U.S. Federal Government is currently running deficits of 9% - 10% of GDP, and in a depression scenario this would get even worse as revenues declined and social welfare costs increased. Running double-digit percent of GDP deficits is not consistent with a strong dollar or deflation.


Protesting? We got shirtz.

Get our Hope/Change design delivered to your door for a measly twelve bucks. Order here.


Rasmussen: Americans want the gold standard!

This could be the issue that unites the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. It addresses both big government and the dirty banksters.


Superpollster Scott Rasmussen has pulled the pin and rolled one of his patented hand grenades under the chair of the Political Class. Rasmussen’s “October Surprise” is contained in a recent poll showing 44% of likely voters favor returning to the gold standard, 28% opposed. That intensifies. If the public knew that it would “dramatically reduce the powers of bankers and the political class to steer the economy” support goes up to 57%. Opposition drops to 19%.


The only solid majority opposition comes, unsurprisingly, from self-described members of the political class. If anybody picks up on this dynamic it could prove decisive in what remains a remarkably fluid field with early contests fast approaching.
So what we have is an education challenge. The more the public learns how fiat currency has enabled both government and Wall Street to run amok, the more they'll support a return to the gold standard. These pages are a good starting point. Tell a friend.


Global Competitive Devaluation continues

We've been predicting Global Competitive Devaluation here for years.

Now, The Economist discusses:
What are the potential implications of a world in which many large economies are weighing the benefits of competitive devaluation?

The first point to make is that Japan is not particularly good at this game. Large, one-off interventions against a backdrop of sustained deflation are unlikely to be effective; markets know the yen will be going back up again in no time. Second, a real intervention would be very good for Japan. Consumer prices are falling in Japan, as they tend to. Were the Bank of Japan to make a concerted effort to print yen and sell them for other things—dollars, say—then deflation might finally be vanquished and the economy might stumble into sustained growth for a change.

Third, that kind of intervention would have a direct, negative impact on other economies, whose currencies would appreciate relative to the yen. This negative impact could easily be offset, however, if those economies were to respond by printing their currencies and using them to buy yen. No one would get an exchange rate advantage, but broad monetary easing would lead to reflation, a higher level of aggregate demand, and better conditions in depressed economies. If everyone plays along, the net effect is of a coordinated monetary stimulus. Fourth, however, if other central banks are reluctant to play along, then elected governments may respond to pressure from foreign exporters by adopting trade restrictions. This was the common response among gold bloc countries to devaluations by other economies.

In sum, a crummy economic situation will encourage economies to pursue competitive devaluation. This action needn't be globally harmful and it could kick off a beneficial series of imitative efforts, approximating coordinated stimulus. There is a risk, however, that it will lead to a troubling unravelling of liberal trade regimes. It would therefore seem to be a good idea to skip right to the coordinated stimulus, which would reduce the pressure for risky economic policies in the first place.

And in the wake of The Economist's post, today the Australian central bank, custodian of one of the world's recently relatively sound currencies, takes a first step toward easing by cutting interest rates.

Shall we play a game?

Love to. Let's play Global Competitive Devaluation.

Wouldn't you prefer a nice game of chess?

Later. Let's play Global Competitive Devaluation.


Got gold?

Common ground between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street

Check out these thoughts at Liberator Today which echo our own.

Happy Super Tuesday!