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.
- German Court Upholds Bailouts (WSJ)
- Obama Said to Seek $300 Billion Jobs Package (Bloomberg)
- Euro Woes Stir Currency Fears (WSJ)
- Hilsenrath: Bernanke Takes On a Balancing Act (Hilsenrath)
- ‘Helicopter Ben’ risks destroying credit creation (Bill Gross)
- China Likely to Ease Money Policy, Journal Says (Bloomberg)
- Krugman explains why the price of gold going down is due to deflation, and why it going up is due to... deflation (NYT)
- Bernanke: US Banks' Exposure to Europe Is 'Manageable' (CNBC)
- Greece Pledges to Accelerate Austerity (Bloomberg)
It is a sad commentary on conventional economics that their well-intentioned policies will achieve the exact opposite of full employment. Obama's remedies will do nothing but perpetuate long-term high unemployment. And that is a hell of a gift to workers on Labor Day.
I am not an anti-intellectual...I am an anti-moron of the counter buffoonery school.
Germany May Want PIIGS Gold as Security for ‘Bailouts’ – Merkel’s Officials in Damage Limitation ModeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/24/2011 08:21 -0400
Germany is likely to push for European gold reserves to be used as collateral. The Deputy Chairwoman of the Christian Democrats is an astute woman and politician and knew exactly what she was saying. Indeed, she echoed other senior lawmakers who in May called for Portugal to consider selling their gold. Two leading governing party members - Norbert Barthle, Germany’s governing coalition budget speaker and his counterpart Carsten Schneider from the Social Democrats, the biggest opposition party, urged Portugal to consider selling some of its gold reserves to ease its debt problems. They called for a review of Portugal’s request for financial aid to include gold and other potential asset sales. The German people and lawmakers realize that the euro is being debased and lawmakers realize that gold may offer protection from the debasement of the euro but also from sovereign default and systemic contagion. Some of the PIIGS (to use the unfortunate and unfair acronym) have very sizeable gold reserves – especially Italy which alone has some 2,452 tonnes of gold. Portugal has 421.6 tonnes, Spain 281.6 tonnes, Greece 111.7 tonnes and Ireland has just 6 tonnes. The ‘German PIIGS gold collateral’ story is a very important one that is unlikely to go away. Indeed, it may be the story that helps educate those not familiar with economic and monetary history and with monetary economics and who do not understand gold and why gold remains valuable and remains a safe haven asset and currency today.
A (Hopefully Fake) Paul Krugman Laments The Lack Of Death And Destruction Following Today's EarthquakeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/24/2011 01:28 -0400
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.
- Inflation May Embolden Foes of Fed Stimulus (Bloomberg)
- July inflation spike won’t stop QE3 (Reuters)
- Clamour for amendments to Italian austerity (FT)
- Biden seeks to reassure China on U.S. debt (Reuters)... fails
- Japan Forex Chief Meets BOJ Officials to Talk Yen (WSJ)
- BofA’s Moynihan Says to Expect 3,500 Job Cuts (Bloomberg)
- France Eases Ban on Short Selling Before Index Futures Expire (Bloomberg)
Putting The Cart On Top Of The Horse, Or Why Heaping Fiscal "Stimulus" Upon "Stimulus" Is Suicide For AmericaSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/16/2011 22:57 -0400
Every time someone mentions fiscal stimulus (and specifically the failure thereof), the conversation, after repeated empirical demonstrations that said stimulus virtually always ends in tears, will veer to the Economics 101 textbook definition of the savings-investment identity, in which Investment = Private Saving + Government Saving + Current Account (the simplistic argument goes that a surge in Government Savings, i.e. austerity, means a plunge in net investment as the private sector is unable to step up), which more than anything, seeks to provide the last possible goalseeked explanation of why Keynesian assumptions still work in post-modern monetary environments, in which monetary policy has passed into the twilight zone of global central planning (i.e., money printing is rampant and thus textbook definitions of "savings" in a ZIRP environment are completely irrelevant). The irony, as so often happens, is that those who invoke this identity (which John Hussman has done a very admirable explanation of here) mix apples and oranges, and use, incorrectly, a monetary flow concept to explain what is fundamentally a production efficiency and labor (and post facto: consumption) phenomenon. That many of said proponents also make the gross mistake in assuming that in some perverse post-Keynesian universe a reserve currency issuer (however temporary, because there is no such thing as permanent reserve) can issue an infinite amount of debt, which by implication would result in the grotesque lim interest rate=0 as debt issuance ->infinity is inconsequential: this may work in a black box vacuum, but most certainly does not work in a globalized world in which currency, and yes, binary reserve status (consisting of 1s and 0s), is fungible with a keystroke (ref: the historic August 22 start of Renminbi futures trading which the CME today disclosed the margin requirements for). What this lengthy preamble tries to say is that feeding the government monster is, contrary to what Krugman and other Keynesians will tell you, in the current regime of coincident monetary irrigation, an exercise in futility. Perhaps nobody does a better job to explain said futility than Bill Buckler in his latest edition of The Privateer, which we urge everyone, and most certainly the POTUS who just requested more fiscal stimulus, to read in order to take a step back from theoretical, and wrong, textbook formulations and to see the stimulus forest for the burning trees.
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!
The politicians and bankers who control the developed world have made the choice to print money and create more debt as their solution to an un-payable debt problem. Europe, Japan, the U.S., and virtually every country in the world want to dev.alue their way out of a debt problem created over the last forty years. It has become a race to the bottom, with no winners. Every country can’t devalue their currency simultaneously without blowing up the entire worldwide monetary system. But, it appears they are going to try. The United States will never actually default on its debts. Ben Bernanke will attempt to default slowly by paying back the interest and principal to foreigners in ever more worthless fiat dovllvvars. This will work until the foreigners decide to pull the plug. For now interest rates are low and the U.S. is the best looking horse in the glue factory. But we all know what happens to all the horses in the glue factory – even Mr. Ed.
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.
What to make of this? My thoughts.
David Rosenberg released an emergency note today, in addition to his traditional morning piece, in which the sole topic is the upcoming recession, which he says is now a "virtual certainty". He also says what Zero Hedge has been saying for month: that 2011 is an identical replica of 2010, but with the provision of modestly higher inflation, which needs decline before QE3 is launched. Sure enough, a major market tumble will fix all that in a few days, and ironically we can't help but continue to wonder whether the Fed is not actively doing all in its power to actually crash the market to about 20% lower which will send practically flatten the treasury curve and give Bernanke full reign to do as he sees fit. However, as long as the BTFD and mean reversion algos kick in every time the market makes a 2% correction, such efforts are doomed, which in turn makes all such dip buying futile. We give the market a few more weeks before it comprehends this. In the meantime, with each passing day in which "nothing happens", the recession within a depression looms closer, and soon it will be inevitable and not all the money printed by Bernanke will do much if anything (except to terminally wound the dollar). In the meantime, for those who wish to prepare for the double dip onset, here is Rosie's checklist of what to do, and what not.