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Word Cloud Of Trichet's Disappointing Jackson Hole Speech: "Inflation" Mentions: 10; "Deflation" And "Gold": Zero

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Anyone hoping that Trichet would pick up the baton from Bernanke and proceed to commit legacy suicide a few months ahead of retirement by announcing a move toward monetary easing (after all, that's what the off balance sheet SPV CDO EFSF is for) during today's Jackson's Hole speech will be disappointed. In his vague prepared remarks, Trichet focused on "technical progress" as the growth catalyst that will get Europe out of its current encounter with financial quick sand: needless to say, the market will not be pleased that the future of market gains is in the hands of a few iPad apps. He proceeded to share the following pearl of philosophical brilliance: "Alertness against savings and trade imbalances across the global economy is a fundamental concern. Such imbalances – if unchecked or conveniently rationalized away – make our entire, inter-connected economies more fragile and more risk prone. We have seen how rapidly negative financial impulses can transmit through the global economy and pull down economic activity. Alertness means alertness." Oh, we get it now. Add this to the earlier Lagarde comments, and the NYSE may be wise to declare a market holiday on Monday, as is increasingly expected.

In other news, in the 3,982 word speech, there were ten instances of the word "inflation", zero of "easing"... and zero of "deflation." Oddly enough, "gold" also received no mention.

Word cloud:

Full speech:

Achieving maximum long-term growth

Speech by Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the ECB at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium Panel: Setting priorities for long-term growth Jackson Hole, U.S.A., 27 August 2011

The title of our panel today is Setting Priorities for Long-Term Growth. Given all of our recent struggles to regain our reference growth paths, it may strike some as something of a luxury to think about the long run; central bankers and policy makers have had to devote unprecedented attention to higher-frequency economic developments. Many new lessons have been learned; many policy and institutional innovations have been introduced.

The recent financial crisis has produced a large and persistent downturn in our economies; a downturn, moreover, that threatens our long-run growth potential. It is therefore entirely natural that policy makers do not lose sight of the prerequisites for stable sustainable growth.

This is especially so for most of the advanced economies, including the euro area, characterized (as it has been in recent decades) by declining potential growth rates. In the face of any economic predicament, one should ask oneself two questions – what got us here, and what can get us out? In the wider case of sustainable growth for the euro area, what matters is a commitment to structural reforms and sound macroeconomic policies. In the case of the financial matters, a robust macro prudential and supervisory framework is key. I will address both these issues in my coming remarks.

Likewise, some may consider it unusual to solicit views on matters of long-run growth from the President of a central bank. After all, pick up just about any growth-theory textbook and you'll find few references to inflation and fewer still to monetary policy. Monetary policy is fundamentally viewed as neutral over the long run.

And indeed, inflation is ultimately a monetary phenomenon. Growth, in turn, is ultimately a real one reflecting, in particular, technology, education and training, capital accumulation, institutional quality.

Nonetheless, monetary-policy institutions can play and have played a fundamental role in supporting long-run, sustainable growth. In many ways, I see a parallel between the theory and practise of monetary-policy making and the shaping of modern growth analysis which emphasises the role of sound/proper institutions.

That achieving high and sustainable growth matters, however, is easy to motivate. On the subject of growth differences across countries, Lucas (1988) memorably wrote: The consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: Once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else.

I. WHAT DRIVES GROWTH IN THE LONG RUN?

So let’s start to think: what does drive growth in the long run? In fact, growth theory – much like central banking – has come a long way. As everyone knows, Solow’s work in the late ’50s produced two startling insights. [1] First, that smooth factor substitutability could rid us of the Harrod-Domar boom-bust cycle. This, in fact, paved the way for a proper analysis of sustainable growth. [2] His second insight was that growth was driven not only by factor accumulation but also by technological progress.

Fundamentally, technological progress and innovation are, over the long run, the prime drivers of economic growth and also important reasons for differences in international economic performance, even though demographic differences are also very relevant. Higher growth rates of technical innovation raise output and can lower the non-inflationary rate of unemployment.

But what is technical change? Cracking open the Solovian black box of technical progress has taken us from theories of learning-by-doing, to the impact of R&D on product variety and quality. The latter theories being underpinned by Paul Romer’s reflection on the fact that ideas are fundamentally non rival. [3] This concept, by the way, was not really new. The famous letter of Thomas Jefferson to Isaac McPherson expressed it very clearly in 1813. [4] The bottom line in all of this is that knowledge spillover between open, dynamic economies could benefit everyone. Not surprisingly, these new developments in growth theory came replete with policy prescriptions.

A more recent but allied literature suggested the following: how close an economy is to the technological frontier and whether its institutions facilitate convergence to that frontier are vital considerations. [5] In effect, a laggard country gains by implementing (or jumping to) frontier technologies. [6] But an economy near the frontier – or with an appetite to define that frontier – should increasingly favour innovation over imitation.

Like many close to European policy [7], I find this an attractive framework. Indeed, following World War II, the European economies were remarkably catching up in productivity and technological terms and today are leaders in many fields, in particular as concerns the embedding of technological innovation in manufacturing processes. [8] Yet, there is still an enormous potential to tap, to reform our economies and boost their growth potential and job creation. [9]

II. GROWTH PATTERNS IN THE EURO AREA AND US

Debates about the US versus the euro area have become common place in recent years. To my mind, though, such debates often fall short of a careful, nuanced analysis required. Some international comparisons are indeed informative and yield important insights. Others – given lack of harmonized data, data concept or data unit – are more suspect. The crisis, though, has taught us that growth is only meaningful if it is sustainable and balanced. Growth that is not sustainable but follows boom-bust cycles, carries enormous costs in terms of economic well-being. These costs go far beyond pure GDP numbers; the deepest of these costs is that they, in some cases, put a strain on the fabric of our societies. For that reason alone, sustainability is a key qualification to associate to growth. The second key term is the balance of growth, both in domestic and external terms. Domestically balanced growth implies a broadly acceptable distribution of economic well-being within societies in terms of income and wealth as well as the avoidance of misalignments especially of asset prices; and externally balanced implies the need to avoid excessive international disequilibria.

Since the introduction of the single currency in 1999, the euro area has experienced a per-capita growth rate that, at around 1% a year, is comparable to that in the United States (1.1%). This is the first fact that is often overlooked in international comparisons. In such comparisons, we often look at headline growth numbers; yet, demographics are very different. Adjusted for population growth, there has been virtually no difference between US and euro area growth over the first decade since the introduction of the single currency. The euro area, though, has created more jobs: 14 million compared with 8 million in the US. Further, over recent decades differences in country and state dispersion rates of growth and inflation in the euro area and US are remarkably similar. On employment, moreover, it will be interesting to compare our different evolutions in the coming years. What we all want to avoid is excessively volatile employment where human capital is all too easily lost and inequality deepens.

Table 1 shows a detailed comparison of the euro area with the US over recent decades. This makes the standard growth accounting of contributions into employment and labour productivity. Labour productivity itself can be further decomposed into changes in labour composition, Information and Communication technologies (ICT) and non-ICT usage per hour and (residual) TFP growth. The interest in the distinction between ICT and non-ICT reflects recent evidence that the ICT sector has been strongest where most growth has emerged across the world economy.

Looking over the contributions, we note a significant difference in labour productivity (1.7 for EU13 vs. 2.9 for US). The main drivers in this comparison of labour productivity are ICT capital services per hour (0.4 vs. 1.0) and, perhaps more significantly from our standpoint, economy-wide TFP (0.5 vs. 1.1). Although having said that, there turns out to be quite some heterogeneity among countries,

Moreover, see Table 2 analysing the sectoral decomposition of TFP growth. TFP in the production of goods is slightly larger in the euro area than in the US. Rather, the higher overall TFP growth in the US is driven by stronger TFP growth in services, in particular in distributive trade (0.2 vs 0.5). [10] Although, in passing, we should remember that productivity and technical improvements in Services are plagued by measurement difficulties.

But of course TFP numbers always represent a rough metric. [11] The TFP residual will be contaminated by measurement errors, erroneous assumptions about market structure, or the nature and existence of the aggregative production function. The residual will also be a catch-all of neglected factor utilization, factor quality improvements over time, statistical complications associated in calculating factor rewards (appropriate tax and depreciation allowance for capital income etc).

But the wider perspective is: (1) the services and distributive sector is now a dominant and growing part of the euro area economy’s output (around 60%) and employment share; (2) the Service sector typically more regulated and thus less flexible to changes and open to innovation [12] although certainly recently there has been progress in the deregulation of network industries and progress through the new Services directive; (3) evidence is mixed but the Service sector in general is often thought to have inherently lower productivity and employment generation mechanisms relative to the more open manufacturing sector.

III. Diversity within the United States and the euro area

Allow me, next, to take a closer look at the developments both across US states and euro area Member States.

For the euro area it is very common to look at the level of its constituent countries and focus on the diversity among individual states, because a number of economic policy choices that affect productivity are national.

For the US, this exercise is rarely done. It is often conjectured that relevant policies are federal, and therefore by definition uniform at the level of the federation; and that, as a consequence, differences at the state level play much less a role. In essence, it is therefore often assumed that the US economy would be significantly more homogeneous than the economy of the euro area.

Looking more closely at the regional dispersion across US regions and euro area economies does not confirm this. In fact, the dispersion of many of the key indicators is surprisingly similar.

Let me share with you some findings from our analysis that we started some months ago and begin with inflation. [13] Before the crisis, the dispersion of HICP inflation in euro area countries had remained broadly stable since the late 1990s, at a level similar to the 14 US Metropolitan Statistical Areas. [14] During the crisis we saw a temporary increase in inflation dispersion in the euro area but this has been reversed over the past 12 months. (Chart 1.)

The picture is similar for the dispersion of GDP growth. Before the crisis the dispersion of growth rates was around 2%, in both the euro area and the United States. Dispersion rose somewhat during the crisis in both currency areas but remained broadly in line with pre-crisis patterns overall. [15] (Chart 2.)

Going one step further, investigation of the sources of this growth dispersion in the US and euro area economies reveals parallels even in the root causes of dispersion in economic performance and productivity. On the one hand, both currency areas comprise regions that experienced a significant boom and bust cycle over the past decade. On the other hand, both also contain regions that are facing significant structural challenges of a more long-term nature.

In the United States, for example, Nevada, Arizona, Florida and California experienced increases in house prices that outpaced the national average by a wide margin. The steep house price increases accompanied above average growth in these states. This could probably be explained, at least in part, by the impulse that these states received from the housing-related sectors such as construction, which saw its share in terms of value added increase at the national level during the years of the housing boom. In the crisis, the sharp fall in house prices in Florida and the south-western US states turned boom into bust. These states experienced the harshest recession among the US states. [16]

Similarly, in the euro area some countries experienced asymmetric boom-and-bust cycles. Several euro area countries had higher than average growth in the pre-crisis years. In Ireland and Spain particularly, strong growth was accompanied by strong increases in housing prices.

At the same time, other US states, particularly the former manufacturing powerhouses in the “Great Lakes” region, have seen a long episode of below average growth. Below average performance of the region – and particularly weaker growth rates in the states of Michigan and Ohio – are related to strong reliance on manufacturing. Structural shifts in the US economy towards services have gradually reduced the value added of manufacturing relative to GDP, with implications for areas with a high concentration of companies in manufacturing industries other than information and communications technology. During the crisis, GDP growth in the ''Great Lakes'' region, which was below average before the crisis, remained below average.

Similarly, other countries in Europe – Portugal, for example – have experienced growth persistently below the euro area average for the past decade due to structural rigidities that are now being addressed.

Just a few years ago, the low-growth group of countries included Germany – labelled the “sick man of Europe” at that time. Yet Germany is now an example of how big the dividends of reform can be if structural adjustment is made a strategic priority and implemented with sufficient patience.

The effect of the crisis on the different euro area economies follows a similar pattern to those of comparable US states. The countries in the euro area that have been hit hardest are those in which either large asset-bubble driven imbalances unwound or structural problems were left unaddressed before the crisis. Those countries that have yet to implement more far reaching structural reforms also have relatively low growth prospects after the crisis. These relatively low growth rates are linked to a deterioration of competitiveness, driven, for example, by persistent above average unit labour costs.

Precisely as regards the evolution of unit labour costs, that are so important for growth, dispersion both ahead of the crisis and during the crisis was quite similar in the euro area and the United States. (Chart 3.)

At the same time, it is worth noting that both currency areas include regions with persistently above or below average unit labour cost growth. Again leaving aside the countries to join the euro area most recently, here, Greece, Portugal and Ireland, in particular, had progressively lost competitiveness vis-à-vis their main trading partners in the euro area. They are now engaging in catching-up, adjustment strategies. Germany, which had lost competitiveness in the reunification process, by contrast, has been able to restore this competitiveness over the same period of time. (Chart 4.)

Similar persistent losses and gains in unit labour costs are also observed in the United States. Taking a look at the upper and lower bound of the spectrum of US states over the same period as the euro area reveals that some states have experienced large or persistent increases in unit labour costs, currently exceeding the national average by as much as 20%. Other states have been improving their labour cost competitiveness vis-à-vis the national average over the past decade. (Charts 5,6 and 7.) In summary, there are strong indications that economic diversity in the euro area and the United States has not been significantly very different over the past 12 years.

The observation that very large, continental economies of the size of the US or of Europe are probably necessarily diverse should not be reason for complacency. The fact that advanced economies of the size of more than 300 million people have a tendency to be significantly diverse calls for a solid economic governance framework and explains why the ECB Governing Council has been so vocal in this ground since the inception of the euro area.

And this inherent diversity of advanced economies of large size is an additional reason to resolutely engage in the structural reforms that would permit to accelerate the completion of the European single market in all sectors, and to enhance the growth potential of each individual European economy and of the euro area as a whole.

IV. Setting Priorities for Long-Run Growth

Let us get back to our central theme - Setting Priorities for Long-Run Growth. Let me make some suggestions – three to be precise. A first, and overwhelming, priority – notably for the euro area – is the vigorous implementation of structural reforms . A second, but by no means unrelated priority, is the continued attention to external and internal imbalances . A final priority is greater flexibility on the part of policy institutions. Let’s take them one by one, with a particular emphasis on the euro area.

First, structural reforms. We earlier noted the primacy of institutions in modern growth theory. Sound institutions are essential to encourage a flexible, cutting-edge, knowledge-based economy. There is substantial evidence from industry-level studies on regulation as well from firm-level studies on the dynamics of firm performance that confirm the need for such a conducive environment to generate productivity growth. [17]

Douglas North defined institutions as … the rules of the game in a society … the humanly devised constraints that shape human interaction. [18] And being “humanly devised constraints” (rather than exogenous geographical or climactic constraints), their major impact was through the setting of incentives. [19]

And one can see the remaining challenges for many advanced economies as follows:

  • Employment regulation needs to help more proactively outsiders, low-skilled, young and older workers.

  • In Europe, the single market needs to be advanced especially in the area of services. [20]

  • Tax, benefit and pensions systems should not discourage labour participation and create weak incentives for investment and innovation.

  • The distribution of wealth and general economic well-being needs to ensure some acceptable social balance.

Several remedial policy proposals have been suggested and implemented in the recent past. The most well known is the European Council’s Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs, followed by the Europe 2020 Strategy. [21] The latter is the Agenda that the European Union and its Member States have decided to help Europe recover from the crisis and come out stronger, both internally and at the international level. [22] The Agenda sets targets for the European Union in 2020 in terms of employment, research and development, energy and education.

The Agenda puts particular emphasis on structural reforms in the labour and services markets. These two markets are still over-regulated and not directly subject, given their largely non-tradable dimension, to the competitive forces originating from within and outside the single markets. [23] At the EU-level, the necessity and shape of structural reforms is acknowledged, but the gap between awareness and implementation is far from closed.

That said, we would do well to understand why political systems abide distortionary, inefficient structures and resist more efficient alternatives. Do structural reforms imply a J-curve of long-run gain but short run pain that sits ill with the decision making process in our democracies? Do vested interests strategically and systematically block change?

A second priority is vigilance against imbalances. I spoke at the last Jackson Hole symposium of the risks of chronic global imbalances and costs involved in unravelling the excessive private leverage, unsustainable fiscal and trade positions. Establishing more reasonable borrowing, restructuring and strengthening the balance sheets of firms, households and governments in an orderly manner remain key to smooth and continuous global growth. In all this, central banks are not immune. Tensions in financial markets and severe global imbalances deepen uncertainty and, therefore, profoundly challenge monetary-policy setting.

Precisely these dangers underpin the Mutual Assessment Process of the G20 framework. The indicative indicators – agreed in February this year – identify imbalances in public, private and external positions as the key culprits preventing balanced global growth, and a key input in shaping corrective policies. Seen in that light, a country’s economic success should be judged also on these indicators and not only on its last few years’ growth figures.

However, another imbalance – which has gained currency following the financial turbulence – is income imbalances. Naturally, extremes of income inequality and restricted opportunity challenge our values and strain the fabric of our societies.

In short, growth skewed towards the few (or absent for a large minority) risks social tensions, undermines institutions and encourages policy failures of one kind or another. Structural reforms, particularly in the form of re-training, improving job matching, providing flexibility and incentive for job creation and innovation remain the best policy options for encouraging well-balanced growth, and an environment of low and credible inflation the best environment to encourage matters from a central-banking perspective.

Finally, a priority for medium and long-run growth is that our policy institutions remain attuned to an ever-changing landscape. We have seen in recent years the near-Knightian uncertainty policy makers endured and how boldly they responded. The ECB was among the first central banks to react to the outbreak of the financial turmoil in August 2007 in providing liquidity to distressed institutions. Another example of flexibility by ourselves and in the wider central banking community is in the swap agreements with other central banks as an example of internationally co-ordinated means of swiftly responding to the crisis.

Since then, we acted with what I have previously (here in Jackson Hole) called ‘credible alertness’. [24] This includes implementing both non-standard monetary policies and our interest rate policy. Interest rate policy depends on the outlook for price stability. The use of non-standard measures depends on the functioning of the monetary policy transmission and must be commensurate with the level of malfunctioning or disruption of money and financial markets and segments of markets. Our non-standard measures do not in any way impinge upon our capacity to design our monetary policy stance to deliver price stability in the medium term.

Despite all the ups and down of recent years, our key challenge remains as it has always been: to create strong, sustainable, balanced, non-inflationary growth. Credibility and the medium-term orientation in monetary policy allows, where needed, scope and flexibility to address various types of severe shocks. Over the long-term a commitment to price stability anchors expectations, improves the workings of the price mechanism, reduces transaction costs, protects savers and reduces uncertainty. This is what I meant at the outset when I said that the theory and practice of monetary policy making paralleled developments in growth theory – namely, both are now seen to hinge on institutional quality.

V. CONCLUSIONS

Let me conclude. Ultimately growth is driven by technical progress. This is especially important where there are limiting demographic factors. In the euro area, there is ample of scope to realize efficiency gains from existing and prospective technological changes given structural reforms and more vigilant implementation of the existing policy agenda. The remarkable resilience of the German labour market in the last few years [25], where wage moderation and flexible time accounting shielded the economy from excessive job destruction, illustrates admirably the promise of well-structured reforms.

Although there have been improvements in the euro area in recent years, there is still evidence of regulatory and market-based barriers to entry in selected professions which have to be actively corrected.

Structural reforms – re-training, improving job matching, providing flexibility and incentives for job creation and innovation – remain the best policy options for encouraging well-balanced growth, and an environment of low and credible inflation the best environment to encourage matters from a central-banking perspective.

Likewise, alertness against savings and trade imbalances across the global economy is a fundamental concern. Such imbalances – if unchecked or conveniently rationalized away – make our entire, inter-connected economies more fragile and more risk prone. We have seen how rapidly negative financial impulses can transmit through the global economy and pull down economic activity. Alertness means alertness. I have learned whilst discussing global imbalances and financial transmission channels – much of it done here at Jackson Hole – that appropriate improvements in regulation and multilateral surveillance frameworks can yield large gains. We should work hard to maintain momentum.

 

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Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:10 | 1607798 props2009
props2009's picture

Here is another one:

Jackson 2010 vs jackson 2011 for bernanke

http://capital3x.com/?p=387

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:27 | 1607851 spiral_eyes
spiral_eyes's picture

biflation, bitchez.

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:44 | 1607900 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

Fuck Trichet.

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 16:41 | 1608007 knukles
knukles's picture

"technical progress" John-Luc's bye word for progress.
Sadly, it's temporarily transitory.

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 16:59 | 1608058 bankrupt JPM bu...
bankrupt JPM buy silver's picture

"We should work hard to maintain momentum."

 

Yup straight off a cliff fuck face.

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:46 | 1607899 RemiG2010
RemiG2010's picture

@props2009

OMG! Now we know what Jackson Hole is all about!

http://i55.tinypic.com/2wbuiqg.jpg

 

BTW. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:335qJYvr6UQJ:www.10...

 

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:13 | 1607809 Newsboy
Newsboy's picture

CONTRACTION.

How do you build a nice word cloud around that reality?

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 16:44 | 1608013 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

Bankers don't make bonuses with contraction.  We must have growth...at ALL costs.

This is the dawning of the age of the Euro Bond.

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 19:13 | 1608357 Newsboy
Newsboy's picture

Agreed, "must have growth at all costs".

However, costs are in fiat money and billed to somebody else, and that arrangement won't buy growth in saturated-debt-bubble-expensive-oil-world.

Therefore, in chronic recession/contraction mode, banks will have to revert to the "foreclose on all the stuff" strategy of the late 1800s.

That's why central bankers want gold. gold is what you need to have in contracting economy world. If you don't have the gold to repay your loans under a gold standard, the bank takes your stuff. that's what the American Revolution was about (more or less).

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 18:55 | 1608306 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I'll try.

Contractions happen before birth. There is pain, there is bearing down, and there is the moment you are just not sure you can do it, it is so overwhelming. Then you look at your progress and then you look around you and realize it is you and no one else, no getting out of it. And then the next contraction comes, and the next, until finally, you give birth.

Contractions are a natural part of the cycle, does not matter if it is squeezing out a new baby, or an economy, birth involves pain and avoiding the pain interferes with natural feedback processes that contribute to the health of that which is being given birth to.

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 19:07 | 1608344 Newsboy
Newsboy's picture

Exemplary effort, Ms.C!

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:15 | 1607818 IMA5U
IMA5U's picture

stocks are higher monday.  hurricane wont be as bad as forecasted.  al queda leader nabbed.  more progress in lybia.  barron's puff up piece on bofa preferred.

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:18 | 1607828 vote_libertaria...
vote_libertarian_party's picture

Lagarde tells Germany to raise $5T ASAP and Trichete says "whatever, I'm outa here"

 

So Mondays rally will be 2-3%

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:19 | 1607830 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

The ECB will squeeze the dollar system for all its worth because that is what it was designed to do.

http://fofoa.blogspot.com/2011/07/euro-gold.html

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:25 | 1607844 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

Any reference to Gold and Silver will be dealt with harshly. Ask them about Gold and you'll get the standard answer.

Gold is a Barbarous form of money that we, as modern humans, have progressed past it's practical use. Is is not money and no one will willingly return to it's use as money.

 

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:30 | 1607865 spiral_eyes
spiral_eyes's picture

i asked a question about the international-basket standard once at a panel consisting of people from the bank of england, imf, and world bank.

something like 2 days later bob zoellick came out and suggested the exact same thing.

spiral_eyes, bitchez.  

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:34 | 1607876 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

They cant throw together a "basket standard" or an "SDR standard" or anything like that in one or 2 years. Replacing the USD as the world reserve currency takes decades. It has already been done. Its the Euro.

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 18:13 | 1608205 Smiddywesson
Smiddywesson's picture

They needn't have gone to the pains they did to hold down gold prices and stack gold just to switch to the Euro.  

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 16:09 | 1607957 theMAXILOPEZpsycho
theMAXILOPEZpsycho's picture

I'm waiting for the day a central Banker throws himself to the wolves, develops a consience (or perhaps seeks to save himself in the post banker paradigm from a new Hitler type figure set to take control) and says! "Gold! Silver! We're fucked, there's nothing we can do! Just everyone buy up all the gold and silver you can!"

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 16:47 | 1608028 knukles
knukles's picture

Ah, Ben, Jean-Luc, a question. 
So if it's useless crap because it's not made in Scotland or for any other reason, why do you fellas go to all the expense to vault it and protect the stuff?  And as a follow up, why do the BoE and Fed, through HSBC and JPM respectively spend so much time and effort to manipulate the gold market and for what end?  

Huh?  Guys?  Where'd you go?  Fellas!  Hey, I got a question!  Hey, come back here!

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:26 | 1607845 Yamaha
Yamaha's picture

+1  and BAC is OK!  Correct?

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:27 | 1607855 wandstrasse
wandstrasse's picture

I think it is a good speech. Great arguments, lots of dedication, sound reasoning, fair conclusions. I acknowledge the challenges but I look to the future with confidence. <\sarc>

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:33 | 1607873 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

Considering almost the entire GDP of the USA IS consuption (Not production and Not capital investment), many economists (such as Addison Wiggins) see a dismal growth outlook. Given the enormous trade deficits and currecnt account deficits, it even looks bleaker.

 

If someone has a solid discussion on the relationship between deficits and inflation please provide the link. Alternatively, if you can suggest a book, etc....I have not seen one despite this being central to our problems.

 

Thanks!

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:33 | 1607875 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

BTW, thank you for this ZH article...excellent!

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:35 | 1607878 adeptus
adeptus's picture

Can whomever made this thing yesterday for Bernanke, come up with a Trichet one? I need to laugh some more.
http://i56.tinypic.com/yphmf.jpg

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:40 | 1607891 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

I want to know who thought it was a good idea to let the French run everything.

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 16:52 | 1608046 knukles
knukles's picture

Robespierre?
De Gaulle?
Bridget Bardot?
The Jerry Lewis Fan Club of Paris?

OK, I give? 
Who?

But more importantly, why?

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 18:03 | 1608163 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

Bridget Bardot -- Hubba Hubba

I'd follow Bridget Bardot off a cliff like a bunch of idiot QE'd, Ponzied up central Bankers...

And with my dick in hand like a moronic politician named "Weiner"...

But that's just me...

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:45 | 1607903 zorba THE GREEK
zorba THE GREEK's picture

Looks like the the focus of policy in the EU is still on the medium and long term, so they will be

reacting to crisis after crisis in the short term just like in the U.S. No one has the political will to 

do what is necessary to stem the tide of near term emergencies and can only react to each event

to stop a catastrophe .

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:46 | 1607904 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Just a heads up boy, the European industry will show a very nice upside in Q3.

estimates are about +5%

 

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:55 | 1607920 Black Forest
Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:52 | 1607915 Fuh Querada
Fuh Querada's picture

"Greece, Portugal and Ireland, in particular, had progressively lost competitiveness vis-à-vis their main trading partners in the euro area. They are now engaging in catching-up, adjustment strategies."

Jesus H. Christ, what a euphemism. Tree-shay is just a clapped-out old fart ekeing out his time until handing over to Drag-Hee on Oct 31st, 2011

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:53 | 1607916 Yardstick of Ci...
Yardstick of Civilization's picture

Yep, if they know the problem is inflation, then it is disappointing.  S&P will probably rally to 1,300 + now that we know that they know printing to infinity won't work.

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 15:55 | 1607919 blindman
blindman's picture

growth. i'm too old and i'm shrinking. do i have a termination
date? so, is inflation a good thing or is it stealing? or,
is stealing now systemically sanctified?
.
board up all the openings to your primary residence and
places of business. when the storm passes, leave the plywood
screwed in where it is.
.
peas.
ps.
times square cam.

http://www.earthcam.com/usa/newyork/timessquare/

wet & wild nyc.
ji.

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 16:03 | 1607940 ArmchairRevolut...
ArmchairRevolutionary's picture

Off topic: why is no one on the site talking about the proposed "Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011?"  Like the patriot act has nothing to do with patriotism, this bill is has nothing to do with protecting children.  It has become standard practice in DC to name bills in such a way that no one would want to oppose it if its name were representative of its intention.

This act requires ISPs to record your IP address for a year when you log in through them. This information can be subpoenaed by law enforcement for suspicion of any crime (not child porn related).

http://www.npr.org/2011/08/24/139875599/child-pornography-bill-makes-pri...

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 16:29 | 1607987 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Armchair,

Dude your ISP's have been doing that for YEARS..........................

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 18:00 | 1608178 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

Protect Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011...

By voting out every worthless, corrupt, bribed, bought and sold, pederast, pedophile, left or right, Democrat or Republican, piece of shit INCUMBENT politician in sight, regardless of party in 2012...

That is how you protect children from pornographers and pedophiles, Charlie Brown...

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 16:06 | 1607948 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

Sounds like his cure for failing socialism in the EU is to have world socialism.

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 16:30 | 1607988 gwar5
gwar5's picture

He should save his breath and just take down the Jolly Roger and run up the White flag.

 

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 16:30 | 1607989 gwar5
gwar5's picture

He should save his breath and just take down the Jolly Roger and run up the White flag.

 

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 16:34 | 1607996 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

Who cares about The Fed?... the ECB?....Bernank? ...China's GDP?......MENA riots?......Chilean protests?....monetary this and that?......

Who cares?

Lets get down to what's important!

Who got kicked off the Island yesterday?

Did Rhianna really go swimming in her dress?

Did you know Steve Jobs picks his nose with his left little finger....

..and how about that funny referee?

Will the Octomom have another set of government supported octuplets?

Will Kim Kardashian wear a blue or red dress this Sunday?

..and finally....

 

"Think your way to Happiness!"

Hey, man, important things are important!

 

 

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 16:49 | 1608036 Segestan
Segestan's picture

I think the word cloud should include ... BS!

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 17:08 | 1608077 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

We are Biflating our way to oblivion. As it stands, GDP is barely 1% (nominal) but core PCE is over the Fed target at 2.2%. Annualized, core CPI over the past 3 months is 3.6%. Real wages and house prices (and personal net worth) are deflating along with anticipated retirement funds. margin squeezes are hitting small and now even larger businesses. 

The contagion has spread across the globe to all developed countries. So even multinationals are not immune to the squeeze. 

I think the Fed is beginning to see and understand biflation. They put out a research paper earlier this summer. And it showed a clear shift in understanding the new situation. And I think it explains why they're putting their foot on the brake as far as more QE. Another wave of easy money would just sour the global economy further

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 19:09 | 1608348 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

If we give them credit for anything (which I am hesitant to do) all they can do is try to land the plane without killing as many. I agree with you about pols only because I know that there is no way to work the numbers (no matter who is in office) where we get a good solution. The numbers are beyond absurd, and there is worse hiding that we don't know about. Mark to market and it all caves in. It is already insolvent. It's all about breaking the news slowly and hoping they don't get killed.

You could not pay me to take Bernanke, Timmy, or Obamas' jobs. No way. There is no one who can make this okay. This is damage control.

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 18:02 | 1608141 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

"Alertness against savings and trade imbalances... Alertness means alertness."


"BE ALERT!
We need  more Lerts."

Bumper sticker on a hippie vw bus, Willits Ca circa 1972...

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 18:01 | 1608182 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Economic theory Vs. Economic reality = Day of reckoning.

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 18:52 | 1608185 Use of Weapons
Use of Weapons's picture

If we're doing word clouds, I'll up the ante and throw you a Saturday night 'down the rabbit hole' moment. Grab your hats, this ain't Kansas anymore.

If you've not watched Slavin's talk on Algos, you might want to - http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/kevin_slavin_how_algorithms_shape_our_... It gives a back drop to this flight of fancy (and it is very interesting - he's heavily into the people from Nanex).

Now, someone emailed Slavin's tumblr blog [http://slavin.tumblr.com/] hinting that they'd played around, and used the names of the algos identified in the talk in Gematria [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gematria]. Actually, what they did was just pure genius - look it up, but it ends in finding youtube song links (sound familiar? ;) ) The post is still on the front page, so take a look for background - but the upshot is that you get a chain of very interesting (and mystical) songs.

Soooo.. I was bored, and had a tinker. Turns out, the results are more than a little interesting. http://www.gematrix.org/?word=zero+hedge+on+a+long+enough+timeline+the+s...

ZH + motto results in only 4 matches - taking two (cutting out the Religious and Germanic ones)

Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe

and

Twelve golden sun discs being activated into twelve helix spirals

The first is a nice summary, and a Biblical quote, but the second was a bit odd. So I did a google. Turns out, we just hit a motherload of hypersition. http://envisionanewworld.forum777.com/t207-the-earth-ascends-and-ascensi... [If that is her real photo, I wish to meet her]. There's an entire slew of this material - all kicking off on 11/11/11 of course. So far, oh so very normal - google anything, you'll hit the weird. Better yet, google that phrase and discover an entire belief system.

It gets better though - not only do the original Gematria hits for the algos hit the same meme ("a light code that can only exist in the 5th dimension or above" - a direct portion of it) but the substance of the meme is that on 11/11/11 we enter the crystalline phase of humanity - where the move from the carbon to the silicon crystal is started. Where did I see that recently... hmm. Schrödinger's Crystal, perchance?

You can play with it even more - the ZH+motto english gematria comes out with the poetic gem: "we always think about words, but what about the stars, the waters and the others" which is touching, given that Zero Hedge on its own throws out its own gems: my favorite, "Cthulu" being one of them. (Other nice ones - "The poor and deaf, Goddess", "In reality", "The Word", "The truth a code" and so on - "End of Days" being the best English gematria). For the long form, "you will find that some things speak to the left hand, some to the right" was quite poetic.

 

Anyhow - have fun. I've not yet run ZH through the chain to get the definite list of youtube songs, but I might do it for amusement. Pattern recognition - awesome way to have fun (but keep earthed).

 

p.s.

Two things -

ZH is not the number of the beast, its 664, the neighbour of the beast [using house numbers that alternate odd/even to side of street] and one of the algos' originating gematria? "I warned you several times". Take that Dell flatline to heart. 

The other - Of Course I Still Love You & other ships. And why the world thinks the USA is nuts - http://calamitiesofnature.com/archive/?c=559

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 18:51 | 1608292 valuetrader
valuetrader's picture

Wow, I get it why he gets paid the big $ (or is it EUR). Given that the ECB is buying PIIGS bonds and funding European banks like there is no tomorrow, I would suggest to him (because I am so kind) to exchange his EUR into gold even at current levels. By the way, I would love to see what US FED members do with their savings. Greenspan is another interesting example. I would love to see what he has in his portfolio. I don't think he is stupid and it is difficult to understand why he deliberately damaged the US economy beyond repair but maybe he is just another politician and had to do what he had to do.

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 18:53 | 1608304 Use of Weapons
Use of Weapons's picture

Ask Ayn Rand.

Or search out "All watched over by machines of loving grace".Srsly.

 

 

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 23:06 | 1608415 Mediocritas
Mediocritas's picture

Gee, what a surprise, the most common word is "growth".

The people in charge aren't understanding what the problem is, so all their "cures" are wrong.

Here's something I posted a few days back in one of Bruce's threads, it's appropriate here with some minor edits:

 

The people at the top think that the crisis we're in now is just due to mismanagement of numbers in the ether and can be solved with the appropriate amount of numerical diddling. It can't. The problem is, we launched into exponential growth (on all fronts) with a financial system that co-evolved to service that growth and facilitate further growth (expansion of both base money and credit had to match expansion in population and of capital creation). The real world has now changed and growth is inflecting due to "overshoot". It's still positive, but slowing.

Said another way, the real world is going sigmoidal but our economic models are still exponential. Central banks are clinging to exponential models because that's all they know and the longer they do, the greater the spread between reality and "financiality", and the greater the pain when it finally collapses. The guys at the top want the collapsing spread to entail the real world zooming back up to meet their financial models, but this won't happen because it can't happen. In the best case, there is a compromise between reality and financiality, more realistically, physics wins and the collapse in spread occurs as financial models come crashing down to meet reality with all the angst it entails. Ultimately, the inertia of the real world trumps the vapour of financial models every time.

The discussions that need to be happening now in the universities, at the top levels of banks, in governments, in the media, and in society in general, are how an economic model should look that embraces maturity rather than growth, then figure out how to make the transition as cleanly as possible. I don't think it has to be difficult, but our leaders aren't even on the right wavelength.

To use an analogy, consider a human growing up. Look at an infant growth chart and plot a child's growth. It's exponential but eventually goes sigmoidal as the body transitions from growing to maturing. If that transition fails to occur and growth continues unchecked, then the result is premature death. The transitory years are awkward (teenaged), but once it's done, decades of maturity await. The world is becoming an adult but our leaders are still babies.

Sun, 08/28/2011 - 10:21 | 1609229 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

This was a good post.

 

 

Sun, 08/28/2011 - 15:59 | 1609797 Use of Weapons
Use of Weapons's picture

Smart post.

Have you seen this - http://kieranhealy.org/files/drafts/performativity.pdf ?

Interesting insight into what is actually going on in social networks etc.

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 20:09 | 1608441 Jovil
Jovil's picture

Living through a currency devaluation and how to cope

I was managing an American subsidiary of a successful large US Company in Mexico. It had been a financial turnaround for our team. Cash flow had accumulated in our bank in Mexico and corporate didn’t want the money repatriated to the US. Although we had already paid a 35% income tax to the Mexican government, we would have to pay an additional 30% exit tax to repatriate the money. In addition, we would have to pay high fees for the peso/dollar exchange, in order to make the transfer. The company wanted to expand our successful business and so we decided to keep the money in Mexican pesos to be used for further expansion.

 

One morning, as my wife and I were on a trip driving on the highway, we heard a national message from the President of Mexico in 1976, Luis Echevarria, one of the most corrupt presidents in Mexican history. “It is a lie that we are going to devalue the peso,” he said.

Read more

http://lonerangersilver.wordpress.com/2011/08/13/living-through-a-curren...

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 22:32 | 1608694 Nate H
Nate H's picture

Trichet: "Let me conclude. Ultimately growth is driven by technical progress."

 

TOTALLY FALSE.

 

Growth is driven by exergy (available energy), which is NOT substitutable by capital or labor. The leaders of the free (and not free) world, do not yet understand this. Energy is our first order problem. This financial thing, while serious (and potentially fatal) is a second order issue

Sat, 08/27/2011 - 23:04 | 1608746 Mediocritas
Mediocritas's picture

...and the qualities of that available energy (as I know you know. Anyone who mentions eXergy or eMergy "gets it" (Nate Hagens?)).

No such thing as a directly solar powered jet aircraft.

Sun, 08/28/2011 - 07:32 | 1609120 Zgangsta
Zgangsta's picture

Why does that word cloud treat capitalized "Growth" as a different word from lower case "growth"?

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 00:56 | 1610938 Money Squid
Money Squid's picture

I thought Annony Mouse targeted the FED? They seem to be pretty quiet, or is there some internet battle raging somewhere?

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