Maynard Keynes

The Follies & Fallacies Of Keynesian Economics

Eighty years go, on February 4, 1936, one of the most influential books of the last one hundred years was published, British economist, John Maynard Keynes’s The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. With it was born what has become known as Keynesian Economics. In the process Keynes helped undermine what had been three of the essential institutional ingredients of a free-market economy: the gold standard, balanced government budgets, and open competitive markets. In their place Keynes’s legacy has given us paper-money inflation, government deficit spending, and more political intervention throughout the market.

The Chilling Ways The Current Global Economy Echoes The 1930s Depression Era

The imbalances that low rates and elasticity produce may “return us to the modern-day equivalent of the divisive competitive devaluations of the interwar years; and, ultimately, [trigger] an epoch-defining seismic rupture in policy regimes, back to an era of trade and financial protectionism and, possibly, stagnation combined with inflation.”

Visualizing The World's Most Famous Case Of Deflation, Part 1

The Great Depression was the most severe economic depression ever experienced by the Western world. It was during this troubled time that the world’s most famous case of deflation also happened. The resulting aftermath was so bad that economic policy since has been chiefly designed to prevent deflation at all costs.

Something's Gone Horribly Awry

Clearly, something’s gone horribly awry. Hard work, perseverance, and ingenuity likely have something to do with the shiny streets. Conversely, sloth, drug abuse, and mental defectives likely have something to do with the blighted streets. But we also have an inkling that 20 years of activist Fed policy has left its marks all over both.

The World’s Most Famous Case Of Hyperinflation (Part 1)

The Great War ended on the 11th hour of November 11th, 1918, when the signed armistice came into effect. Though this peace would signal the end of the war, it would also help lead to a series of further destruction: this time the destruction of wealth and savings. The world’s most famous hyperinflation event, which took place in Germany from 1921 and 1924, was a financial calamity that led millions of people to have their savings erased.

Paper Money Versus The Gold Standard

We are living in a time that can only be considered monetary chaos. The media and the policy pundits may focus on the day-to-day zigs and zags of central bank monetary and interest rate policy, but what really needs to be asked is whether or not we should continue to leave monetary and banking policy in the discretionary hands of central banks and the monetary central planners who manage them.

The Problem With "Rules-Based" Monetary Policy

Monetary policy 'rules' are no more accurate at determining interest rates than meteorologists are at forecasting the weather. The only difference between the two is that weathermen are precise on occasion, whereas the federal funds rate under the Taylor Rule is, at best, less wrong. Setting the price of money and credit in the name of unleashing the economy’s supposed potential output is the equivalent of enacting price controls on milk to unlock its full buying power. It’s a fallacy that cannot be achieved. The sooner the Fed pawns off its printing press, the sooner its market distortions will be lifted; and the sooner that each individual will be able to make rational decisions that make sense for not only himself or herself, but for the economy at large as well.

Why This Sucker Is Going Down... Again

So how do you grow household wealth by $18 trillion in the face of these dismal real world trends? In a word, with a printing press. But what happened today is that Draghi showed he is out of tricks and Yellen confessed she is out of excuses. Yes, this sucker is going down. And this time all the misguided economics professors turned central bankers in the world will be powerless to reverse the plunge.

3 Things: Expected Returns, Returns, & Net Returns

There is no doubt that another major market reversion is coming. The only question is the timing of such an event which will wipe out the majority of the gains accrued during the first half of the current full market cycle. Assuming that you agree with that statement, here is the question: "If you were offered cash for your portfolio today, would you sell it?" This is the "dilemma" that all investors face today.

Weekend Reading: Will They, Or Won't They?

Will they, won't they, should they or shouldn't they? Those are the questions being hotly contested by the mainstream media on a daily basis. Of course, the reality is the Federal Reserve faces the huge obstacle of weak global growth and deflationary pressures which could very well keep them on hold well into 2016. The potential loss of credibility in the Fed by the markets could be the bigger issue to be concerned with. For now, we wait.