Krugman is right about the Obama plan, both articles in today's New York Times (reg may be req'd). He's right that this creates a win-win for fat-cat private equity while providing no guarantee that the goals of the plan will be accomplished. [more]
OK, we are on track for the 4th up day in a row, after what seems like 18 months of down dog days. [more]
My girlfriend: "Wow, your post about The Gold Standard really brought the loonies out of the woodwork, didn't it?" [more]
I came up in the early 70's, reading a xeroxed newsletter called Myers' Finance and Energy. C.V. Myers was a Canada oilman who was one of the original gold bugs. His point was simple - that when Nixon took America off the gold standard, the excesses and largesse inspired by manipulation of a fiat currency would eventually lead to what he titled his book: "World Rollover."
The gold standard is a joke these days. Everyone laughs at it. Everyone knows that a competent, firm hand on the twin rudders of fiscal policy and monetary supply, coupled with a responsible policy of progressive taxation, will lead to the highest and best uses of land, labor and capital, and do away with the destructive boom-and-bust cycle so necessary in an economy with a currency backed by a hard, nonfungible asset. How's that working out for you, Maynard? In fact, with a Treasury and a Federal Reserve printing trillions of dollars a year out of nowhere, I am not sure I see the purpose of taxation at all. Ratcheting long term rates down to essentially zero and then inflating the money supply by double-digit percents per annum is taxation; it is just taxation without a levy. Judging by the outrage expressed by our elected representatives, it is also taxation without representation and there is no way to stop it. My view of the current situation is simple and tragic. I believe that the monied classes - those in possession of true wealth, which is measured not in dollars, but in hectares and troy tonnes and square feet, in billions of barrels per day and in railcar loads; those individuals manipulate the fiat currency to transfer true wealth to themselves in all cases. It is not more complicated nor more simple than that. It would be harder for them to do this if the currency had some meaning outside of what Tim and Ben say it does. The current situation is a disincentive to real work and to participation in its fictions. It is injustice and rapacity in the purest form. It is disheartening to me to observe it. [more]