The errors of Keynes have empowered sociopathic political classes all over the world and deprived the world of the economic progress we would otherwise have enjoyed. No amount of stimulus ever seems to be quite enough. And when the stimulus fails, the blinkered Keynesian establishment can only think to double down, never to question the policy itself. The Keynesians are pretending they have everything under control, but we know that’s a fantasy. Simply put, "Keynes must die so the economy may live."
The Forgotten Depression tells of the slump of 1920-21: high unemployment, collapse in commodity prices, upsurge in bankruptcies and sharp break in stock prices. However, unlike the Great Depression, the 1920 affair was over in 18 months. What explains its brevity? James Grant, publisher of the prestigious Grant's Interest Rate Observer, tells the story of America's last governmentally-untreated depression; relatively brief and self-correcting which gave way to the Roaring Twenties...
Somewhere back in the depths of time the world got the idea that easy money - that is, low interest rates and high levels of government spending - would produce sustainable growth with modest but positive inflation. And for a while it seemed to work. But that was an illusion.
Peddling some facts... "This is no longer statistical “noise” that can easily be brushed off."
We are not in a recession. We are in a depression, and have been since the turn of the century.
You have to love it when one of Donald Trump’s wild pitches sends the beltway hypocrites into high dudgeon. But his rumination about negotiating a discount on the Federal debt was priceless. No sooner did the 'unschooled' Trump mention out loud what is already the official policy of the US government than a beltway chorus of fiscal house wreckers commenced screaming like banshees about the sanctity of Uncle Sam’s credit promises.
The current rash of cautious ignorant optimism is so very reminiscent of the period right after Bear Stearns in 2008. Ben Bernanke as late as June 2008: "The risk that the economy has entered a substantial downturn appears to have diminished over the past month or so." Janet Yellen said, “the strong incoming data on spending eased my fears that we are in or are approaching a recession regime” before expressing confidence in rate hikes starting in December 2008! The mainstream takes the absence of further liquidation as if there will be no more liquidations when in fact the likelihood of more of them only rises the more they are artificially “contained.”
The following chart from Citi shows the last century of US non-financial leverage in context. As of this moment, consolidated US non-fin debt/GDP is about 275%, or roughly where it was US when the great depression stuck. For those curious about the "tipping point" threshold levels, keep an eye on 300% - that's when the system collapsed last time leading to a devastated economy.
Perhaps the world will have to wait it out to finally be graced with leaders who are willing to stand by their convictions and make hard, maybe even unpopular, choices. Such leaders might have to risk sacrificing everything political to be crowned the next true champions of conviction, giving us all a shot at a once again storied fate. Where does that leave us? Apparently angry. Very, very angry.
Heard the one about the guy that threw his boomerang only to see it come swinging and swishing its way through the air and knocking him out?
Why central planning efforts will ultimately backfire - Anyone involved with managing projects, people or systems knows that the only thing that can be planned with absolute certainty is that things will never go 100% according to plan. History is full of examples where governments' best-laid plans failed in spectacular fashion, exacerbating the very problems they were intending to solve. Here are a few of our favorites...
Last week, the Global Challenges Foundation released a new report entitled “Global Catastrophic Risks 2016” in which they discussed various apocalyptic events that they believe could wipe out more than 10 percent of the population of our planet, and they warned that these types of events “are more likely than we intuitively think”...
Grab your popcorn. Having proclaimed his greatest achievement during his presidency as "saving the world from another Great Depression," we wonder what President Obama will have to say today when he discusses the economy. Following the decline in corporate profits, a manufacturing sector in recession, an auto industry which is shuttering production, minimum wage state job losses rising, and an equity market that is unable to make new highs, what cynical, skeptical, "fiction-peddlers" will he blame today's dismal jobs data on?
"I don't know how else to say it: The whole world is counting on us to win this thing. And we owe it to them to step up..."