Greenspan Suggested Cutting Taxes on the Wealthy to Increase Debt so the Fed Wouldn't "Lose Control of Monetary Policy"Submitted by George Washington on 11/03/2011 19:09 -0500
What a guy ...
Of the three great financial truths that have been left unspoken for the past four years out of sheer dread, lest their mere mention collapse our economy, let's start with the most obvious: if the Federal Reserve and Federal government ever crimped the dripline of "easing" and bailouts, America's financial sector would promptly roll over and expire. Does this strike you as a robust, flexible, transparent system? Of course not. Rather, it is a "hothouse" financial sector, one that needs constant injections and a carefully controlled environment just to keep it alive. And since the U.S. economy has been fully financialized, it is now dependent on financial machinations and skimming for its "growth," profits and the debt expansion that fuels everything else, including the metastasizing Savior State, a gargantuan aggregation of an unaccountable National Security State with crony-capitalist cartels and a dependency-inducing Welfare State. Without the debt conjured into existence by the Fed, Treasury and the financial sector, even the mighty multi-tenacled Savior State would quickly starve. As a result of our dependence on financialization and exponential debt, our entire economy has become a weak, sickly "hothouse" economy which can only survive in a narrow band of temperature, debt injections and opaque manipulations of data and what's left of the nation's shriveled markets.
"We are all Greeks" - so begins one of the best reports on the unsustainability of the status quo, and on what "the new world order" will look like, created by SocGen's Veronique Riches-Flores. Her overarching observation: "No one can claim immunity from a Greek-style spiral" because "Our economies are mature, with weak potential GDP, especially post the financial crisis" and due to that old standby which everyone chooses so conveniently to forget, yet which is the biggest threat to the world's "welfare-state" stability, in existence since 1860 and which has been responsible for not only the longest period of peace in world history, but for the longest stealth plundering of middle-class wealth (there is indeed no such thing as a free lunch): "We are aging - we have no chance to see our future income improving substantially in the long run ; our savings capacities are shrinking and our health and pensions spending is increasing." That, in a nutshell, is it, no matter how many protracted essays one reads predicting the future (or war in Europe): the truth is there is increasingly less cash flow, coupled with increasingly more demands for cash.
We are far enough away from the onset of the Great Recession that another down-wave in the depression (or a new recession if you go by NBER) is either here or due soon. It may not be a severe downturn, as housing and autos would be falling from first- or second-floor windows in that case, but it would be occurring on the backdrop of a weakened structure, and thus the financial effects could be more severe than the economic effects (which could be severe or mild). Here is what you need to do.
Back in May 2, 2010, when discussing the first failed Greek bailout (still to be implemented) we made the following observation: "Ignore for a second the sheer lunacy of anyone who thinks that the Greek government can grow GDP and decline the budget deficit in a straight line now that the country will see crippling strikes and rolling riots (not to mention blackouts) on a daily basis. But do note the black line, which shows the projected Debt/GDP ratio for the country as part of the bailout package. In essence Greece will go from having "only" a 133% Debt/GDP ratio to an insane 149% in 2013 before presumably dropping to 144% lower in 2014, still a good 11% higher than currently. Greece just got bailed out so it can get into even more debt! What psychopath of the Keynesian school thinks that this unbelievable trajectory is anything but a complete and utter waste of money? German, and US taxpayers, are merely giving Greece money so it can increase it debtor status with French and a few other European banks. To say that this is a viable solution is something that only those who bow at the altar of Alan Greenspan can do." And so once again, in the endless battle between common sense and Keynesianism, it is former 1 - latter 0, after the Troika yesterday released its revised projections for total Greek debt/GDP, which has just been hiked from 149% to 186% by 2013! Said otherwise, Econ 101 textbook insanity just cost the Greek people roughly half their entire GDP in incremental debt (which they will never be able to repay anyway), however in the process they kept French banks alive and well as a Greek default in May 2010 (the only real option) would have not only destroyed a failed economic monetary union, but blown up the entire French bank system. Fair trade off in that other endless battle, between the 99% and the 1%.
It's not just uninformed people who want to end the Fed.
When it comes to economics, our ridicule of the underpinnings of the dismal voodoo science are well known. Only Ivy league professors can profess to predict the future based on special case equations that isolate a system in vacuum, completely oblivious of the fact that nothing in the world is linear and if anything, a system based on Lorenz attractors and Mandelbrott theory would be far better suited to demonstrate that as far as predicting the future is concerned, it is nothing short of an exercise in futility. That said, we do appreciate the work of those economists who are first to admit not only their own limitations but the limits of the art, not science, that they engage in. Chief among them is Australian Steve Keen, whose work and analysis we always enjoy. For those unfamiliar with Keen, we have attached the following just released interview with Ross Ashcroft of The Renegade Economist in which he deconstructs the failings of contemporary interpretations of Keynesianism (in essence the usurpation of theory by those in power to perpetuate their own greedy practical pursuits), and exposes the core of neoclassical economics that guide every day macroeconomics for the sham it is: "fundamentally neoclassical economists are the priests of Capitalism, but the priests don't necessarily know there is god. They have this model of god and ditto with neoclassical economics: they have a model of capitalism which is almost but not quite, completely unlike actual capitalism. And they don't even realize that they have erected a smokescreen behind which if people want to rip the system off, then there is plenty of avenues created by these guys." Just a thought, but perhaps it is time for #OccupyWallStreet to pay a visit and #OccupyNYUEconomicsDepartment...
Millions of middle class citizens in the U.S. sink deeper into despair every day. Day by day hope is being lost that the future for our children will be better than our past. The political, financial, and corporate leaders of our country are intellectually and morally bankrupt. The major Wall Street banks are bankrupt. Social Security is bankrupt. Medicare is bankrupt. The whole damned world is bankrupt. Anyone with an unbiased view of our planet would conclude that we are in unfathomable danger. The list of impending catastrophic issues that will blow up the world for millions in the U.S. and across the globe is virtually endless... When I started to detail the issues facing our country today, I expected to come up with 10 to 20 bullet points of key concerns. As I methodically worked through the categories of challenges facing the American Empire, the total reached 76 bullet points. The facts as presented above paint a picture of impending doom for America. The slogans and vapid “solutions” proposed by political candidates and entrenched Washington politicians do not even scratch the surface of what would need to be done to save this country from economic collapse. Many of these problems took decades to create and are not solvable in a reasonable time frame. With the country still delusion, overleveraged, and underemployed, it seems like the existing economic and social structure will need to be blown up to restore hope in this country.
An intriguing research note from Goldman's Global Economics team tonight brought up the subject of 'unconventional' unconventional policies and how they ended the 'first' Great Depression. This gentle push towards softening the inflation leg of the Fed's mandate 'stool', while interesting in its own right given Goldman's policy-leading record, reminded us, by contrast, of a paper discussing how deflation is perhaps the more likely outcome when one shifts perspective from Keynesianism to a more Austrian view of the Fed's options. We are not choosing sides but for a quiet evening following a hope-shattering sell-off in risk assets, we thought it worth reflection.
Sean Corrigan, of Diapason Commodities Management, outdoes himself this week. At one fell swoop, and in his usual eloquent manner, he dismantles Krugman's Keynesian war-mongering, Bernanke's bafflement at a lack of recovery, Trichet's stable instability, and Hildebrand's god-like control of markets. Along the way he destroys every six-year old girl's (and sell-side/academic economist's) dreams - quite a read for a Sunday afternoon.
Dylan Grice Deconstructs The "Perpetual Ponzi Machine" Of Global Finance, Sees Gold At $10,000 In A World Of DishonestySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/14/2011 08:57 -0500
Everyone, especially various textbook "schools" of postmodernist Keynesianism which (in addition to apparently never having actually been in the real world) believe there is such a thing as a free lunch as long as a reserve currency can issue infinite debt, and stubbornly fail to see the creeping currency devaluation which ultimately represents itself in hyperinflation, should read the following note from SocGen's Dylan Grice who explains pretty much... everything, including why in world starved for honesty, gold is the benchmark, and is now worth $10,000. To wit: "Gold might be a mere lump of dense, useless shiny metal, but it’s one which crackpot central bankers can’t print. Indeed, benchmarked against the printing of The Ben Bernak, the price of gold at which the US dollar would be fully gold-backed is now $10,000. You might think such a ‘price target’ is far-fetched (and I might agree with you). But bear in mind that the last time honesty was perceived to be so scarce – in the 1970s gold mania – the dollar was over-backed by gold (see chart below). If it happened then, why not again?"
... Keynesianism is already having an effect after all 1.4 million customers of SDGE are currently without power. We expect the president to announce he will rebuild all the lost electricity any minute now. We also expect half the S&P will blame their missed earnings on the "Great SoCal blackout of 2011"
Earlier today we saw several republican candidates debate at the Ronald Reagan Library, to a general response that can best be described as disenchanted, and at worst: outright ridicule (don't get us wrong - this debate is the funniest thing in prime time entertainment until Obama's "This time Keynesianism will work, I promise" aka "Change you can bereave in" speech tomorrow). So speaking of Ronald Regan we decided we would present to our readers this 30 minute clip from a televised address for the 1964 Goldwater presidential campaign. What is most eerie is that the adverse conditions described by Reagan then are almost identically comparable to those in our current deplorable state, nearly half a century later. What is also just as eerie, although probably not surprising, is that while the GOP debates induced mostly a sense of loathing (either for the self, or others), speeches such as this, which actually force the listener to stop and think, are truly a rarity nowadays. Perhaps America should first ask itself what happened to real leadership and real leaders, those it can be proud of, before it rushes headlong to elect the next one.
Tullett Prebon has been recently making headlines due to its extremely stark, objective and realistic Project Armageddon, in which it "Thinks the Unthinkable" where it reached the conclusion "that Britain’s debts are unsupportable without sustained economic growth, and that the economy, as currently configured, is aligned against growth. Radical solutions are required if a debt disaster is to be averted. All macroeconomic options have been tried, and have failed. The only remaining options lie in the field of supply-side reform. Unfortunately, public opinion may be inimical to the scale of reform that is required." Needless to say, Keynesians around the world are not happy: after all it takes away from their voodoo punch that just doing more of the same insane things over and over should eventually help. Because if not, then all the BS that is taught in Ivy League is just that... BS. Today, none other than the CEO of Tullett Prebon takes such floundering voodoo economists as Ed Balls, Samuel Brittan, Paul Krugman, George Magnus and Barack Obama, and Keynesianism in general, to task by finally saying what we have been claiming for years: Keynesianism, as applied in modern soceity, is ultimately doomed to failure, but not before we transform from an FX war to a trade war to its final state - shooting war. Because there is nothing like spilling human blood in the name of a false economic religion in its last hurrah before it is finally wiped out from the face of the world.
A few days ago we learned that the SEC was either objectively going after every single HFT shop by demanding frontrunning blueprints, or it was merely pandering to the requirements of GETCO, which is in dire need of eliminating some of its more profitable competitors. Now, the WSJ informs that the same porn-addicted regulators are going after ETFs: yet another market product that the enforcement regulator, in its multi-year long career-enhancement focused hiatus, has totally forgotten about and is finally starting to realize has more of an impact on the market than virtually anything else currently in the trading domain. The skeptics will say that this is nothing but ETF giant Blackrock stretching its wings and making sure it doesn't have to share the spoils of frontrunning war with anyone. Whether that is the case, we will find out soon enough, in the meantime we learn that the SEC is "looking into whether turbocharged exchange-traded funds amplified August's topsy-turvy swings in the stock market." Apparently years, because it is no longer months, after the flash crash, the SEC has realized that the convexity and gamma brought about by HFTs in the ETF space merely adds leverage upon leverage, sending the market into spasms of unnecessary but inevitable bouts of momentum chasing: "SEC officials are zeroing in on "leveraged" ETFs, which amplify investor bets, often through derivatives. Derivatives are financial contracts with values linked to another asset. The funds typically offer double or even triple the return of an index, such as the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index." Soon enough, we dread to think, the SEC may also realize that it has absolutely no clue about market topology and structure, nor how anything actually works in modern markets. But since the response by the midget porn fanatics will take years if not decades, we doubt anyone is too concerned. After all Keynesianism itself has at best one, maybe two summers left. Max.