In an excellent treatise on sovereign subtleties, Morgan Stanley's Arnaud Mares (the same analyst who nailed the Greek situation long before most others) once again lays out the increasingly bifurcated path that a broken European 'union' may and must take. Most interesting, and highly prescient in our view, is his consideration that the 'private sector involvement' in the restructuring of Greek debt was not only a major policy error but opens the door for the peasantry to finally comprehend that when sovereign debt is not 'risk-free' then fiscal (and monetary) policy can become pro-cyclical. With the entire Keynesian dogma resting on this very tenet, we think it well worth a read and as he writes: "Pandora’s Box has been opened. Only fiscal integration accompanied by centralized financing of governments can bring about full stabilization of the market in Europe, in our view. The alternative could eventually be a resumption of the run on governments and a wave of public and private defaults." Bottom line, in attempting to do things half-assed, Europe may have just destroyed the entire credibility of the one primary economic theory driving global "growth" (or stated better, borrowing from the future) since the beginning of the 20th century.
The "Shining" Example Of Obama's $787 Billion Fiscal Stimulus Act, Solar Energy Company Solyndra, Files For BankruptcySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/31/2011 13:40 -0500
Yesterday Zero Hedge contributor Bruce Krasting had some very insightful and very prophetic words when he asked rhetorically if a "Government investment disaster in the works??" The company in question is (now former) massively subsidized solar energy company Solyndra. Solyndra filed for bankruptcy less than 24 hours after Bruce proposed that the company is nothing but a stimulus black hole. We congratulate him on his investigative efforts. Alas, being private, there was no way to short it and capitalize on this investigative coup de grace. And while there are no winners, there are plenty of losers? Who - why US taxpayers of course. Why? Because as some may recall, Solyndra is one of the "shining examples" of Obama's $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. After all none other than president Obama said that Solyndra is "leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.” He also cited it as a success story from the government’s $787 billion economic stimulus package." Alas Solyndra has now become a less than shining example of the complete catastrophe this latest exercise in pointless Keynesianism has been, all on the backs of US taxpayers. But don't worry, Obama is about to bring us a fresh new such fiscal stimulus catastrohpe any minute. This time it will be different.
The UBS daily note reports that “the mood among gold investors appears to be to buy the dip rather than chase the market, which is understandable given last week's volatility.” UBS conclude that the “violent sell-off hasn't done any lasting damage to gold, and the reasons investors bought gold in recent months remain valid. Our one-month forecast of $1950 remains in place.” UBS three month price view is $2,100 per ounce. Very significant demand being seen for bullion internationally and especially in Asia means that gold’s correction is likely to again be of short duration. Indeed, the scale of demand suggests that gold may not need a long period of consolidation and could again surprise to the upside. Bank of America-Merrill Lynch said in a research note it was revising its 12-month gold target to $2,000 an ounce. JPMorgan said that gold could reach over $2,500 per ounce prior to year end. The recent sell off has not seen banks and analysts revise down their price forecasts.
Now that Keynesianism has failed (repeatedly and miserably, although certainly not during wartime - during those times it is curiously successful at 'stimulating'), and only those willfully blind refuse to see how this extended slow-motion collapse ends, below we present the latest, 2011 Edition, of the Annual report to Congress revealing "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China" or, in short, everything that one needs to know to defend from and/or attack the world's most populous nation. For those short on time, here are the key charts.
A (Hopefully Fake) Paul Krugman Laments The Lack Of Death And Destruction Following Today's EarthquakeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/24/2011 00:28 -0500
We truly can only hope that this Google Plus account of Paul Krugman is merely a well-orchestrated parody, because if it is indeed that of the self-styled uber-Keynesian, the time for the public outrage, his economic beliefs aside, has arrived. In a blast post on Google's imitation of twitter and facebook, which should immediately result in the termination of the Nobel prize winning economist if it was indeed penned by him, this particular account of "Paul Krugman" writes: "People on twitter might be joking, but in all seriousness, we would see a bigger boost in spending and hence economic growth if the earthquake had done more damage." Translation...well it's pretty obvious, but for those laboring under the aftermath of a full frontal lobotomy, the person who tweeted this essentially yearns for his voodoo economic religion to be validated following countless failures of Keynesianism (no, really, after this latest injection of Xx *illion dollars into the economy things will really be well), at the expense of death and destruction. Even more poignant translation: "Krugman" would like nothing more than to put an equal sign between the death of a human being and its proportional GDP replacement value. What next: Krugman lamenting that only certain races end up getting killed in conflict, those whose replacement potential is too low, demanding more death? Or that X number of deaths would have been more stimulative if it was really XXX? This is about as close as we will get to a Keynesian admitting that reparations for death and destruction are the only two special clauses under which fiscal stimulus does work. Which of course means that with idiots such as the poster of the above who actually thinks this, be it Krugman or some of his countless voodoo brethren, and with their proximity to the president, the only logical explanation is that a war is coming, and is being welcomed by all these s[h|c]am "economists", for whom human death and suffering is a fair tradeoff in preserving their tenure or modestly-paid, liberal publication blogging jobs. If this indeed Krugman's account, it is imperative that the NYT immediately terminate this pathologically deranged and homicidal psychopath. Institutionalization in a mentally insane ward may be a proper subsequent action.
The Keynesians had their chance. They controlled the Presidency and both houses of Congress. A Keynesian runs the Federal Reserve. They implemented everything they proposed. The $862 billion porkulus program, the $700 billion TARP program, home buyer tax credits, energy efficiency credits, loan modification programs, zero interest rates, QE1 and QE2. They increased social welfare transfers for Social Security, Unemployment Compensation, food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans by $600 billion since 2007, a 35% increase in four years. No one has foiled their plans. The Tea Party didn’t really exist until 2010. They didn’t lose the House until November 2010. They cannot blame the Tea Party extremists, but they do. The Keynesians have successfully increased Federal spending by $1.1 trillion, or 41% since 2007, and are running deficits exceeding 10% of GDP, but they call the Tea Party extremists. Domestic investment is still 9% below 2008 levels as the Federal government has crowded out the small businesses that create the jobs in this country. And now the Keynesians declare we need more stimulus, more programs, more debt, more quantitative easing and lower interest rates. It just wasn’t enough the first time. None of the Keynesian solutions worked during this crisis, just as they didn’t work during the Great Depression. The solution was simple, yet painful. The banking system needed to be saved, not the banks. The bad debt needed to be purged from the system. Wall Street criminals needed to be prosecuted. Bondholders and stockholders needed bear the losses from their foolish investments. Saving and investment in the country needed to be encouraged, while borrowing and consuming needed to be discouraged. Our leaders have failed to lead.
Hi GW, It’s been so long! I’ve been skiing like a madman down here in Chile—but I did catch something you wrote, which I’d like to comment on, now that a blizzard has hit the slopes and I’m stuck inside with not much to do. You wrote a post yesterday, picked up by Zero Hedge and others, pointing out that Paul Krugman is advocating war as a fiscal stimulus solution. You pointed out that this position he holds is not only blatantly immoral, it is a position Krugman seems to have no problem openly pushing—your unspoken implication being that this is disastrous, considering how influential Krugman is in major policy circles. With regards to K. pushing for war as the ultimate Keynesian economic solution: I hate to say “I told you so”—but in this case—I told you so! (Cheers, mate.)
No, Mr. Krugman ... war is NOT good for the economy!
All three Keynesian policies have been tried, and all three have failed completely. The massive "shovel-ready" fiscal stimulus caused a minor blip up in activity, but it did not spark any regeneration of borrowing and spending. All it did was enable further deleveraging as consumers and businesses struggled to pay down their crushing debt loads. As for devaluing the currency, the Fed's policies devalued the U.S. dollar 32% from the early 2000s, and 17% from 2008. Rather than spark a boom of spending and investment, this massive devaluation sparked a dramatic loss of purchasing power which households experience as high inflation. No nation ever prospered in the long-term by devaluing its currency. Devaluation is just another Keynesian "quick fix." Borroing 40% of Federal spending didn't "fix" what's wrong with the economy? Then borrow 50%. That devaluation wasn't enough? Then takes the dollar down another 10%. These are the policies of debt-junkies, not legitimate long-term growth based on capital formation and productive investment.
Today's "Breakfast with Dave" from David Rosenberg is a veritable chartapalooza, the inspiration for which appears to have been the "reversion to the mean" theme presented in yesterday's IMF chartpack, presented here. There is, however, one section that is unique: that dealing with gold, and more specifically, why in Rosenberg's opinion gold is still quite cheap and why it is trading at about 50% of what the Gluskin Sheff strategist would consider bubble value. As Rosie says: "we have liked gold for a long time and we remain very constructive. It is more than just a hedge against recurring bouts of global financial volatility. The growth rate of gold production is roughly stagnant while the growth rate of fiat currency in most parts of the world continues to accelerate. It's all about relative supply curves - the supply curve for bullion is far more inelastic than is the case for paper money. It really is that simple." Indeed it is: when one strips out all the fancy talk, mumbo jumbo, and syllogistic gibberish out of modern economic theories, be they neoclassical Keynesianism (or, god forbid, just classical), chartalism (sorry, infinite debt-money issuance won't work: in two years we will all see why), or any other attempts to reduce a broken imbalance in supply and demand propped up by the "invisible hand", it is all about supply and demand. Sure enough, one thing we have an infinite supply of is fiat money, and the resulting debt necessary to "back it up." As for demand, well that's another matter. With gold: it is just a little inverted.
Enough with the Keynesian aggregates, already.
As expected, gold is now over $1,600, after fears about Italy are back, the EUR is tumbling, and questions over the sustainability of fiat and Keynesianism are once again front and center. Elsewhere, silver is over $40. Unless a miracle appears out of nowhere to save the Eurozone and its fake paper currency, we expect $2,000 by the end of the year in gold, while silver should promptly regain its all time nominal highs of just over $50.
The emergency room doctors are missing the bigger problem ...
Hey, it helps the big banks ... so shut up, already!
One thing that the brilliant Eurozone Keynesian shamans appear to have missed is that with the Greek economic production base (read its population) offline and protesting now virtually every day, thus completely unmotivated to actually generate incremental output, the entire Greek economy will soon grind to a halt: the latest confirmation - plunging Industrial Production, which dropped by 11% Y/Y in April, the worst economic performance since the first half of 2009. Guardian reports: "Esa, the state statistics agency, said the decline was caused by falls in the main sectors of Greek production - mining, manufacturing, electricity and water supply production. Mining fell by 6.4pc, manufacturing decreased by 11.3pc, electricity production dropped 12.2pc, while the water supply declined by 6.8pc. Greece's economy is struggling to emerge from a deep recession fueled by austerity measures taken to rescue the economy from near-bankruptcy last year." And these are the economic conditions that according to the Troica deserve a passing grade? One wonders what would force the Greek economy to get an F in Keynesianism. One also wonders how the Greek economy is supposed to rebound and cut its deficit to IMF-mandated thresholds as more and more economic capacity is eliminated and the Greek workers simply fall back on their socialized benefits and lieu of a 9 to 5 job (and retire as soon as possible to be grandfathered by existing clauses in advance of what Bailout #1298 will dictate will soon be a 100 year old retirement age).