"A true bubble is when something is overvalued and intensely believed. Education may be the only thing people still believe in in the United States. To question education is really dangerous. It is the absolute taboo. It’s like telling the world there’s no Santa Claus."
Ideas Have Consequences... In Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, in Great Britain, in Japan, and in the United States, there was a shift of opinion away from the free market in favor of government economic planning. The supreme mark of this transformation was the acceptance of John Maynard Keynes' unreadable book, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, which was published in 1936. A new generation of younger economists adopted this book and its outlook, which prevails today. The fascist economic idea of an alliance between government and business became almost universally accepted.
Libertarians tend to concentrate on the classic forms of government intervention: taxation, the monetary system, economic regulations. Better Call Saul! reminds us that government tyranny is actually more insidious and pervasive than might at first appear. A theme that unites Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul! is that we live in a surveillance state and our government records can mark us for life. In order to regulate every aspect of our lives, the government cannot go it alone — it works through a web of intermediaries. Many of these institutions purport to take care of us, but in the process they chip away at our freedom. Better Call Saul! brilliantly portrays the interlocking directorate of modern government, quasi-governmental institutions, and all their satellites. Jimmy McGill is a contemporary Everyman, crushed by the soft tyranny Alexis de Tocqueville predicted for the United States in his Democracy in America.
The Fed’s balance sheet grew eight times more rapidly than the economy during the last fourteen years. That’s just the inverse of the relationship that occurred back in the Golden Era. if you need any proof at all of this massive intrusion into the financial system isn’t working; the huge amount of money printing and balance sheet expansion; the unremitting financial repression and pegging of interest rates; look at that fundamental comparison. The only thing it’s really doing is simply inflating the serial bubble that ultimately reach unsustainable peaks and collapse. Hopefully on the third strike, the people who gave us these bubbles will be out.
In recent years, home price indices have seemed to proliferate. Measuring home prices has taken on an urgency beyond the real estate industry because for many, home price growth has become something of an indicator of the economy as a whole. If home prices are going up, it is assumed, “the economy” must be doing well. Indeed, we are encouraged to relax when home prices are increasing or holding steady, and we’re supposed to become concerned if home prices are going down. This is a rather odd way of looking at the price of a basic necessity.
With The FBI now reportedly investigating the award of The Soccer World Cup to Qatar and Russia, it appears, as Mises' Lew Rockwell exclaimed, "FIFA has got to change its name, it’s going to have to take out the “I” and put in an “A” for American." This sudden act of imperialism by The US, putting itself in charge of world soccer, as Paul Craig Roberts notes, it "is another Washington-British scam against Russia," adding "law is a weapon that Washington uses to achieve its agenda." What happens next? As we predicted a week ago - following some dramatic procedural changes, Russia loses the hosting of the 2018 World Cup.
There is no denying that the secret negotiations among unelected elites appointed by TPP members may result in the lowering of trade barriers for selected friends of the global regulators. This cronyist system of rewards and punishments for global favorites, however, should most certainly not be confused with free trade.
The fact that such books dominate the book sales in this category tells us a thing or two about how the near consensus of approval once enjoyed by the Fed (and other Western central banks) is long gone.
GDP purports to measure economic activity while largely divorcing itself from the quality, profitability, depth, breadth, improvement, advancement, and rationalization of goods and services provided. Stated alternatively, GDP fails to accurately assess the value of goods and services provided or estimate a society’s standard of living. It is a ruler with irregular hash marks and a clock with erratic ticks. Simply put, GDP is designed to advance the Keynesian agenda... no matter what.
"It was, at least in theory, simple enough in the old days," wrote a wistful W. Randolph Burgess, head of the New York Federal Reserve, in 1938. "In the present strange new world, where the old gold portents have lost their former meaning, where is the radio beam which the central banker may follow? What is the equivalent of gold?" The men of his era and of the late nineteenth century understood the meaning of such a question and, more importantly, why it is one that must be asked. But theirs was a different world, indeed — one without "QE," ZIRP," or "Unknown Knowns" as fiscal policy. And there were no helicopters, either.
It seems that for the global warming lobby, all that is necessary to set everything right is to hand control of the global economy over to governmental central planners. In their minds, the machinery of government only needs to be set in motion, and everything will be done with righteous precision to preserve the climatological status quo by increasing the cost of energy and cutting economic activity. The costs of such a venture, whether in money or in human lives and human comfort, need never be considered, because, we are told, the only alternative is the total destruction of planet earth. This “Follow Us or Die!” routine is a propagandist’s dream of course, but in real life, where more rational heads - on occasion - prevail, the costs of any proposed government action must be considered against the costs of the alternatives.
"The War on Cash is the attempt by governments to phase cash out of their economies. Governments hate cash because they hate the financial privacy cash makes possible. And they prefer that you keep your money in a bank to help prop up an unsound fractional reserve banking system." As Ron Paul warned, “The cashless society is the IRS’s dream: total knowledge of, and control over, the finances of every single American.”
It is undoubtedly a huge red flag when in one of the countries considered to be a member of the “highest economic freedom in the world” club, commercial banks are suddenly refusing their customers access to their cash. This money doesn’t belong to the banks, and it doesn’t belong to the central bank either. If this can happen in prosperous Switzerland, based on some nebulous notion of the “collective good”, which its unelected central planners can arbitrarily determine and base decisions upon, it can probably happen anywhere. Consider yourself warned.
Current policy coming from the Fed seems to be geared to create a never-ending series of booms and busts, with the hope that the busts can be shortened with more debt and easy money. Yet one major driver behind the financial crisis in 2008 was too much debt - much of which led to taxpayer-funded bailouts. In spite of this, the best the Fed can come up with now is to lower interest rates to boost demand to induce households and governments to borrow even more. Interfering with interest rates, however, is by far the most damaging policy. The economy is not a car, and interest rates are not the gas pedal. Interest rates play a critical role in aligning output with society’s demand across time. Fiddling with them only creates an ever-growing misalignment between demand and supply across time requiring an ever larger and more painful adjustment.
It was just a matter of time before Western governments used the trumped up "War on Terror" as an excuse to drastically ratchet up the very real war on the use of cash and personal privacy that they are waging against their own citizens.