Purchasing Power

"If It Looks Like A Duck" - The Man In The Moon: Part 2

During “normal times” – an economic growth phase accompanied or generated by rising systemic leverage – central banks have incentive to promote nominal growth and inflation, which make banking systems profitable and their free-spending political overseers happy. In such times, commercial banks have fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders to constantly increase their market values, which they do by expanding their balance sheets.  Now that economies are highly leveraged, extinguishing debt would require banks to reduce the sizes of their loan books, which would shrink their market values. Thus, it seems economic policy makers never have incentive to promote debt extinguishment in the banking system, regardless of economic conditions or prospects.

Will A Robot Steal Your Job?

Will a robot steal your job? It turns out that the answer depends on the prevailing macroeconomic conditions much more than people think.

Euro-sclerosis

There appears to be little or nothing in the monetarists' handbook to enable them to assess the risk of a loss of confidence in the purchasing power of a paper currency. Furthermore, since today's macroeconomists have chosen to deny Say's Law, otherwise known as the laws of the markets, they have little hope of grasping the more subtle aspects of the role of money in price formation. It would appear that this potentially important issue is being ignored at a time when the Eurozone faces growing systemic risks that could ultimately challenge the euro's validity as money.

The Global Economy As Seen From "The Man In The Moon"

The Man in the Moon studies the pathology of Earth’s global economy and markets from a distance where there’s no gravitational pull towards empiricism or consensus. His findings: 1) the global economy is over-leveraged, fragile, stagnating, and increasingly centrally managed; 2) capital markets and asset performance have been captured by the perception of the ongoing value of money, and so; 3) unconventional investment analysis is prudent.

Guest Post: Cuba - Figuring Out Pieces Of The Puzzle

In spite of all of the 'apparently good' outcomes of Cuba’s experimentation with equal sharing of wealth; in recent years Cuba seems to be moving away from the planned economy model. Instead, it is moving to more of a “mixed economy,” with more entrepreneurship encouraged. While we don’t have explanations for all of the things that are going on, here are a few insights on what is happening...

Sprott Group's picture

We have all read the latest crop of media articles challenging gold’s investment relevance. The typical approach to bearish gold analysis is to attribute hypothetical fears to gold investors, and then point out these concerns have failed to materialize. Sprott believes the investment thesis for gold is a bit more complex than simplistic motivations commonly cited in financial press. We would suggest gold’s relatively methodical advance since the turn of the millennium has had less to do with investor fears of hyperinflation or U.S. dollar collapse than it has with persistent desire to allocate a small portion of global wealth away from traditional financial assets and the fiat currencies in which they are priced.

What A Cashless Society Would Look Like

“A depression is coming? Let’s put interest rates at zero. The economy is still in trouble? Let’s have the central bank print trillions in new securities. The banks are not lending? Let’s change the accounting rules and offer government guarantees and funds. People are still not spending? Let’s have negative interest rates. The economy is still in the tank? LET’S BAN CASH TRANSACTIONS!”

A cashless society is promising to have very tangible costs to our liberties and future prosperity.

GoldCore's picture

With each passing year the currency fell in value to ever more absurd depths until by November 1923 an ounce of gold - which had cost 170 Marks only five years previously - was trading at 87,000,000,000,000 Marks per ounce. Silver saw similar price gains (see chart) - or rather to put it more accurately silver too remained a store of value and maintained purchasing power as the currency collapsed.

Amtrak - A National Hazard At Any Speed

Whether this week’s disaster was human error or not, the larger certainty is that the system has been chronically starved of capital. But the solution is not for a bankrupt government in Washington to pour more money down the Amtrak rat hole in the name of “infrastructure investment”, as the big spenders are now braying in the wake of this week’s disaster in Philadelphia. Instead, Amtrak should be put out of its misery once and for all. Otherwise its longstanding hazard to the taxpayers is likely to be compounded by even more public safety disasters like this week’s tragic event.

Abenomics Is 2 Years Old - Households Even Deeper In The Hole

The trends in both Japanese income and spending moved downward not at the inception of the tax increase but at the very start of QQE itself. Science is the study of observation whereas monetary economics has become the science of avoiding them. If economists want to see recovery in that they should be honest about so redefining the term. BoJ is two years into QQE and the hole that has been dug for the Japanese people is enormous, so it will be extremely difficult at this point just to get back to even without ever accounting for lost opportunity for compounding and time. Maybe that doesn’t count as the typical, natural recession but it is nothing short of a man-made disaster.

Why We Have An Oversupply Of Almost Everything

What happens is that economic growth eventually runs into limits. Many people have assumed that these limits would be marked by high prices and excessive demand for goods. In my view, the issue is precisely the opposite one: Limits to growth are instead marked by low prices and inadequate demand. Common workers can no longer afford to buy the goods and services that the economy produces, because of inadequate wage growth. The price of all commodities drops, because of lower demand by workers. Furthermore, investors can no longer find investments that provide an adequate return on capital, because prices for finished goods are pulled down by the low demand of workers with inadequate wages.