I posted a comment on another blog a little while ago and, as it covers my (current) position on the question of whether bank deposits are money, I thought I would repost it here (after tidying up the spelling).
This one largely follows an old post here – but does expand in some ways on it.
I do not want to labour this point and I would be the first to say
that my opinion is not in full agreement with the mainstream of
economics. It does, however, come out of a long history of working in
bank treasury functions in several parts of the world.
The question of whether or not banks create money revolves around whether or not a bank deposit counts as “money”, properly so called. Personally, I doubt it is, as I cannot conduct payment transactions with my bank account – I need to be able to withdraw the funds first. This is a contractual question between me and the bank. Most of the time the bank will honour the demand to pay the funds, so under most circumstances the funds in my bank account are a close cash substitute and can therefore be regarded as money, and I agree with Mark above on that. In extremis, though, the bank may not deliver the funds – so bank accounts are clearly less liquid than cash. That situation is only likely to occur when the bank itself cannot deliver on the demand for cash – i.e. there are more demands for withdrawals than the individual bank has access to cash to meet those demands.
Really, then, the total pool of liquidity represented by any bank is not the total amount on deposit with the bank, but the (much smaller) amount they have in ready cash or other sources of funds to meet calls for withdrawals.
You are right that a loan disbursement (or deposit withdrawal) from one bank will often, even usually, result in a deposit with either that bank or another – but this is generally not immediate, so the withdrawal or disbursement is separated by time from any re-deposit, nor certain. It may be that the funds withdrawn are not redeposited in any bank for some time – they could be kept under the bed, used multiple times for transactions or even go offshore.
The point here is that a particular bank cannot be sure where any disbursed loan funds may end up and can only count on a small proportion returning. This means that they cannot simply inflate their balance sheet by making loans and counting on the funds to come back as deposits. Additionally, if they did this their liquidity ratios (one of the key measures of any bank’s soundness) would steadily deteriorate, restricting their ability to make further loans. Their capital ratios would also steadily deteriorate, reducing their ability to raise funds.
To me, then, the question of whether you measure the total money supply to include or exclude deposits in the banking system is really irrelevant. That may well be a standard (and useful) measure for economic policy questions. However, to me, the total amount of funds actually available for transaction purposesin an economy does not include bank deposits (whether chequing or otherwise) but does include total liquid funds (cash, government bonds etc.) held by the banks – a much smaller figure. It is not increased by the actions of banks in depositing and lending – in fact it is reduced by the amount of the solvency ratios.
I appreciate that this is not purely mainstream, but I know how these things operate in every bank I have ever worked in.
You may (OTOH) argue that, in the event of a likely bank failure to deliver due to insolvency, the government is likely to step in – the (either implicit or explicit) “printing press” contingency. That may well be so – but if you are going to count the likelihood of the government stepping in and printing as part of the money supply then that should be explicitly acknowledged, not implicitly included by counting all bank deposits. That then becomes further government created money, not bank created money.
9 September, 2009 at 21:56
This is an interesting article and possibly a highly misguided one.
You comment that total liquid funds available would consist of little more than cash, government bonds and other miscellaneous items. This theory is indeed curious, especially given your long history of working in bank treasury functions. Have you ever come across electronic payment systems during your many years in these roles?
The financial markets pay little credence to cash as it is “almost” impossible to settle a $100m trade in these markets with cash! Cash dealers for financial insitutions, in many parts of the world, can transact within a 15 second (or less) time slot, providing liquidity to transactions that assist in providing markets with almost endless liquidity if required. Central banks insist on this liquidity to ensure a solid platform for economic stability.
So what is more liquid – funds held in a central bank or a government bond? The answer really is heavily weighted towards to former – as it takes less time to negotiated the settlement of the funds via electronic payment systems than it does to price and settle a government bond (which is “generally” traded as trade date plus a few days). Again it is also easier to deliver electronic funds versus physical cash!!
The next question – how many people pay for items via electronic payment systems versus physical cash? Personally the majority of my payments are done electronically for safety and convenience purposes – your theory would therefore suggest this is not providing liquidity to the businesses I deal with (where I believe cashflow is king for many accountants). These payments hit the vendors bank accounts (once they press a few simple buttons) within the working day providing liquidity for the vendors in the form of bank deposits – which are then likely to be transferred to suppliers electronically – providing liquidity to all. Imagine people walking around with large suns of cash to pay people all of the time – bring back to the dark ages maybe!
“Actually available for transaction purposes” – a direct quote from your article. Hmmmmm to me all bank deposits, if accessible electronically (subject to payment system limitations) are liquid are they not. Let your readers be the judge – for me though basic economics does apply – and the age of electronic payment systems surely beats the neat for carrying around a slow payment and less secure method (in the form of cash).
10 September, 2009 at 18:04
Of course it does, MA – but surely also you must acknowledge that it would be impossible to move all of a bank’s deposit base in a single day, whereas I could (with the assistance of a forklift or two) move it all if it were in paper form. That, though, is not my intent here. I am trying to point out that to say that the entire money supply of an economy includes all of the deposits in the banking system is clearly wrong as you simply cannot use them all for transactions in any conceivable time span.
Re-reading it, perhaps I was not clear enough. I look at these questions from a risk and treasury position. Most economists look at a bank and see both the entire deposit base and all funds lent as “money” and then derive ideas of how much money there is in an economy and make calculations from that. Under some circumstances that is reasonable. To say from that, though, that a bank account is in some way the same as physical cash is a nonsense – cash is legal tender. Bank accounts are not.
10 September, 2009 at 21:01
Ridiculous, narrow-minded, old fashioned analysis. I can’t believe you’re still in that old paradigm.
From a “bank” perspective you argue a bank account is materially different from cash. The bank has to set off its debts/credits with other banks at the end of each day, and has to fund its shortfall on the money markets so its cash balance matters – TO IT.
From an INDIVIDUAL’S perspective, with internet banking, credit cards, debit cards and electronic banking, the money in the account IS “cash” because it serves as legal tender FOR THE INDIVIDUAL. Banks have invested big time in e-commerce to try to reduce the use of “costly” paper money – which is hilarious given that paper money was invented to get rid of “costly” gold and silver. You’ve come a long way, baby.
If the bank itself (as an insitution) doesn’t have the cash when customers withdraw (and cannot fund the withdrawals from borrowing on the short term market), then, yes, the game is up and the bank is insolvent and customers find to their horror that the digits in their bank account are just that – digits created by the bank, not “real money”.
The key question TODAY is: How likely is it that the RBA would allow a big bank to go bust. The answer from Q4 2008 is ZERO.
So bank accounts are money because (1) customers now use their accounts as money and the digits function as money (2) the “in extremis” situation of a run on the bank is now effectively impossible because the RBA has shown its hand and will prevent systemic risk by printing as long and as hard as the big four demand/plead.
Your analysis may have been applicable in a gold standard economy – then deposits would be as shaky as numbers in a Ponzi scheme.
But today the numbers in your account are “real” in the sense that they can readily and almost immediately be converted into “money” for transactions. If the bank doesn’t have the “money” you can be sure the RBA will step in and create it for them.
Credit now creates paper money. Base money doesn’t create deposits. The tail wags the dog.
So your analysis is RUBBISH.
10 September, 2009 at 21:04
Sorry link to Steve Keen didn’t work. This is the right one:
10 September, 2009 at 21:36
Good to see you back. Pity your comprehension skills have also come back. I dealt with the “government printing ” bit which (if I have read the mix of upper and lower case correctly) seems to be the whole nub of your argument.
To quote myself:
11 September, 2009 at 09:41
Yes, you acknowledge it – so why not simply agree that deposits are money if you agree the govt will step in and print? I have explicitly stated the argument, with proof from Q4, 08. So why not go to the next step and agree with me that deposits are money?
11 September, 2009 at 12:04
For the very simple reason that if we use that sort of language we are going to get the cause, effects and solutions all wrong.
For example, if you think that any instability is caused by “ponzi money creation” then the solution is 100% reserve. If you think the problem is government printing then the solution, surely, is that the government commits not to print.
Getting the cause right is the first step to finding a solution.
11 September, 2009 at 16:06
Agreed. And the solution is free banking and ultimately gold. I know you secretly agree with me on that.
Calling deposits money helps because it jumps the little monetary hurdle and makes people realise that money is created by some other sucker going into debt and giving you “little digits” of deposits into your bank account. Property developers, drug dealers, govt and a few others are the chief first receivers of this kind of debt money.
If you want to stop either the bankster Ponzi Scheme OR govt deficit spending, I have a simple solution for you: GOLD and SILVER.
11 September, 2009 at 21:39
Andy…its a) feds printing money and b) ponzi schemes
Why cant we get rid of the fed and have 100% fractional reserve (or even 60% – why a tiny percentage after all this trouble)? It is gambling and hot air that comes from this. Maybe we really should bring back USURY as a crime…
Its created so MUCH greed and insanity and now it builds again but all the while its pushing people down to be less as less productive as only the largest orgs can ponzi madly…and organise whole empires arund the ponzi schemes.
12 September, 2009 at 11:00
There is no ponzi scheme, ponzi money or anything else ponzi here. Banks make a return. Ponzi schemes do not. This is an easy way to spot the difference.
The fact ABOM and several others that believe in full reserve banking cannot spot that simple difference just shows how little they know.
The reason why fractional reserve banking is universally undertaken is simple – it is very economically useful. It is useful to be able to turn funds invested for the short term (which depositors facing uncertainty tend to do) into loan funds invested for the long term (which borrowers also faced with uncertainty tend to want).
This is the economic value of a banking system. Artificially high reserve ratios would reduce the benefit. Full reserve (even if it could be done in a free society – which I doubt) would destroy the benefit.
There is a cost for that with the risk of short-run turmoil if a bank gets it wrong, but I would strongly argue that running this risk is worth it.
12 September, 2009 at 17:58
Andrew’s real answer: “The reason why fractional reserve banking is universally undertaken is simple – it is profitable. Like drug trafficking. Or embezzlement. Or prostitution. Activities such as these have always been around and always will be around. Live with it.”
“Economically useful” is simply “profitable for those who engage in the activity”. It’s a nothing statement. “Economically useful” is a vague phrase that hides the emptiness of Andrew’s argument – and betrays the strength of Rothbard’s full RB position (that is hated, feared and ignored by most in the financial services industry).
Brilliant Austrian (Spanish Austrian) economist Jesus Heurta de Soto has written a detailed treatise explaining why FRB is so destructive, why it is embezzlement, why it was outlawed by the Romans and through most of human history (with peddlers of FRB often facing the death penalty for violating the property rights of depositors/savers) and why full RB is the only way to go.
Alice, you can read the whole thing online here:
I would love to see Andrew respond to this treatise. His bias is sad, predictable and mechanical – why we try to turn him around I will never know, but I keep trying because I think he knows deep down he’s wrong. I think he knows the truth but just stumbles blindly forward, on behalf of his masters, in the desperate hope that he will be rewarded (eventually).
I hope that by telling the truth, this “courageous” act will gain the respect of the bankers who hold our futures in their hands, as their decisions to allocate capital (deciding which investment projects are realised and which are not) are amongst the most important creative acts undertaken in a modern economy.
Unfotunately, they have displayed woeful decision-making skills in that regard over the last decade, as Q4, 2008 illustrated. We are still living with the govt-guaranteed consequences of their horrendous mistakes, with private bank bond issuance STILL having to be guaranteed by Joe Public, who faces bankruptcy if he doesn’t pay the taxes necessary to fund this public subsidy of the banking industry (sad but true). Alice or I could have done a much better job in allocating capital and avoiding risk. Mainly by increased our own bank’s reserve ratio when debt and leverage levels across the economy started becoming unsustainably high.
They are still too high. Because people in the industry like Andy can’t see the wood for the trees.
I’m seriously considering changing careers and applying for a risk analyst position in the financial markets. Andrew is showing me that they desperately need someone who has a deeper understanding of risk than 99.9% of the bozos in risk analysis who think they know what they’re talking about but didn’t predict the GFC and have no idea what’s coming next.
Alice, did you buy some gold and silver when I told you to?
12 September, 2009 at 20:31
I have read that one – a long time ago. DeSoto makes the same tired old arguments that Rothbard made. I covered him a bit in comments here.
He is simply wrong from the start, with the argument that there is somehow a natural law (he has to go back to a misinterpretation of Roman law to get there) against a bank borrowing and lending with a mismatch. He really does not improve from there. This question was conclusively answered in Foley v. Hill – a judgement that De Soto just said was “erroneous”. Great answer that one.
Still, at least he is better than Rothbard in this – he recognised that money is fully fungible.
12 September, 2009 at 23:06
[Redacted by admin – the intent has not changed]
Because enforcement is difficult, an immoral act must NECESSARILY be made legal?
I don’t think so.
The point to address is this: Is FRB embezzlement? If yes, control it or make it illegal (certainly don’t support it with central banks propping up the dud banks). If no, make your argument.
Problems of enforcement are IRRELEVANT to the issues of principle you have simply failed to address at all in your post.
You keep missing the point, either deliberately or simply due to a myopia that even an opthalmologist couldn’t cure.
13 September, 2009 at 14:24
Please try to keep that subject out of this. I have warned you about that before.
To respond to your substantive point, which is a fair one. The point here is that FRB is a contract between two or more parties. All of them are aware (or could be if they chose to be) of the terms of that contract. When you open an account at a bank the terms and conditions of that contract are clear and obvious. Every depositor has the choice whether or not to accept that contract. All parties to the contract are adults of full contractual age. There is no violence or other form of compulsion involved.
How can that possibly be immoral?
13 September, 2009 at 19:51
Why cant I reply properly – Andy – your reply screen has moved to the left somehow and I cant see the entire box. The left hand border is missing – is that your way of telling me you favour the right?
13 September, 2009 at 20:02
Looks like there is some formatting problem with the CSS in this theme. Don’t worry – it is about time to change theme again.
13 September, 2009 at 14:38
Oh – and I also dealt with the “why” above. just in case you missed it:
13 September, 2009 at 16:18
OK. But define and explain “economically useful”.
Hayek wavered between full RB and free banking and occasionally put across the tired argument that FRB provides more capital for “innovation” and development than would otherwise be the case and therefore, despite all the problems, it’s “worth it”. Is that your argument? If it, it’s been tried before and demolished by de Soto and Murray Rothbard. I haven’t heard a word about what “economically useful” actually means.
And just on the “everyone’s free to choose” argument: Why can’t I choose to transact in gold or silver and have that accepted as legal tender if banking/money is an “open contract” and it’s all voluntary choice? I am forced to “save” in a depreciating monopoly currency. This means there is NO incentive to save in toilet paper – the only incentive is to speculate with leverage to “save” for retirement.
No one is putting a gun to my head in order to put money in a bank. However, the govt is putting a gun to my head and saying “buy and sell in the local currency only.” And the bank sits back and waits for me to borrow to the hilt, knowing that the stuff I’m getting for being a wage slave is depreciating every second I have it in my pocket.
So we end up with a low cash, high borrowing, high leverage, high risk society with no “buffer” for bad times. And the banks can confidently reduce reserve to near zero, knowing only an idiot would put paper currency under the bed.
If you can’t see the connection between monopoly currency, FRB and legal tender laws, then I can’t help you. But I do respectfully ask you to be less dogmatic in your dismissal of the Austrian (de Soto/Rothbard) position on full RB.
I get what you are saying. You don’t get what I’m saying. It’s as simple as that.
13 September, 2009 at 16:28
And just on my “vision” of the future, more evidence of a squeeze on arable land:
Roughly estimate how much of our food (by calorific content) is now based on a non-renewable diminishing resource, oil?
I would estimate at least 80% in terms of oil-based transport and fertilizer, pesticides etc.
Ask yourself, when the inevitable comes, and Peak Oil arrives and oil prices spike, how far are you or your family away from a reliable, non-oil based, food source? 90% of us would say we are no where near a reliable non-oil based food source.
So nearly all of us rely on the interdependece of the market for our basic survival – for food.
If that breaks down, due to high oil prices or diminished supply of oil (or war), most of us would literally starve within a few weeks.
And Peak Oil is inevitable.
So starvation is inevitable for the vast bulk of Western society (and the human race generally), in the absence of yet further dramatic innovation in agricultural productivity. How likely is that? if anything, productivity will decline due to overuse of the land and overuse of chemicals. So it is INEVITABLE that many millions will starve. Inevitable. QED.
13 September, 2009 at 19:10
Whoa – what a lot of misconceptions for someone that appears to know a lot.
OK – let’s start at the top – and I will keep it simple.
Currency is what someone gives me in exchange for useful work. Economically, it is the value of that work. If I just store it (and have to pay someone to store it for me) then while it is sitting there is it creating no value – in fact it is costing me some of it in terms of lost opportunity. If I put it on term deposit then I am creating risk for myself – being the risk that I need it. In a demand account I get the best of both worlds – interest (if smaller than on term) and access. For borrowers, seeking to use funds (remember, representing the value of my work) for a period they need to be able to borrow for a period that suits them. If I lend directly then there is unlikely to be a coincidence of wants. With a bank as intermediary they borrow short (from me) and lend long to a borrower – transforming my desire to lend short into a capacity to lend long. That, my friend, is enormously useful.
De Soto and Rothbard never really understood the use of that, and so never demolished it. It was a mountain they did not understand.
You may not be able to transact in gold or silver, but you cannot blame FRB for that – and you are free to hold either of those as a hedge if you choose to – and, from your comments here you do so. If you want to have a debate on fiat vs. gold and include legal tender I would be happy to do so – but it is irrelevant here.
As for the “high” this that and the other, I would encourage you to look at the situation before central banks, when there was free banking – and all were fractional reserve. Educate yourself on that and come back.
It is easy to dismiss Rothbard and DeSoto on these topics. They just got it wrong. Never mind – they are in good company. Maj. C.H. Douglas was with them.
Your second comment is completely irrelevant, so I will ignore it. If you want to debate peak oil, find someone who cares about that. I believe people to be much smarter than that.
13 September, 2009 at 20:04
Tell you what, ABOM. You tell me why an abstract economist’s view of what Roman law was (and he may have even been wrong in that – but that is irrelevant) should override not only the established law of the land, but also my freedom to contract and I will consider it.
13 September, 2009 at 21:00
de Soto deals with free banking brilliantly – I simply refer you to his analysis. Yes, leverage gets out of control in a free banking environment too, but to a less dramatic degree than with corrupt central banks backing up the Ponzi-schemers. de Soto perceptively observes that even when you start with free banking you end up with central banking because of the perverse incentives FRB creates – the need to bail out or risk economic crisis. So de Soto argues for 100% reserve banking instead of free banking.
I’m more hopeful on free banking, but recognise that, historically, free banking has led to central banking. Perhaps all roads lead to world govt and central banking and Peak Oil and war. I personally think they do, which is why I become intensely suicidal occasionally. I see no way out. Start with free banking, end with central banking (de Soto). Start with indept central banks, end up with regulatory capture (Hulsmann). Start with national central banks, end up with EU-style monetary blocks (Hulsmann). Start with collusion, end up with full-blown fusion – world govt with a single monoply currency (Hulsmann again). So I don’t see any way back, any way out from where we are headed. Which is clearly a Euro, an Amero, a yuan-based Asia and a few satellite currencies hanging from these.
I’m puzzled that you ask me to research leverage in a free banking environment when I was the one that referenced de Soto – the writer who has probably done the best analysis on free banking vs 100% reserve, from Roman times to the present. Perhaps you are just saying you’ve read de Soto, but didn’t read his analysis on the history of free banking?
And if you think history doesn’t matter because the current system is the best system (being the collation of all that historical information, kind of like EMH), then you must think civilizations only advance and don’t ever regress or collapse. The Roman, Ottoman, Chinese and Amercian Empires are all evidence that “up to date” thinking can lead to collapse and disaster. Civilizations and legal regimes rise – and fall. History can be useful not to determine standard deviations in financial markets (for that, history is useless) but to see how the legal treatment of FRB either contributed to social order or contributed to monetary chaos. As far as I see it, with the help of de Soto I discern a pattern: Outlaw or control FRB -> reasonably stable social order. Allow unfettered FRB (especially supported by a central bank) -> wars, exploitation, chaos, debasement of the currency.
Ironically you use history for statistical analysis, not for a deeper understanding of the dynamics between legal treatment of FRB and economic stability (as the brilliant de Soto has done so well). You’re the one who gets things backwards my friend.
You should carefully consider Roman treatment of FRB because Rome lasted longer than the British or American Empires. A lot longer. And the fall of Rome and the debasement of their silver coinage with copper and lead was the start of their collapse. Something to think about…..but then you seem so confident in your views perhaps you don’t need to reflect – until you have to (bizarrely) deny the occurance of yet another financial crisis in due course, when the Ponzi-schemers are let loose yet again.
13 September, 2009 at 21:34
Oh…and your analysis of the economic “benefits” of FRB was an embarrassment. A first year finance student could do better. I was going to leave it alone, but given you show no mercy and don’t take one backward step, regardless of how hard I hit, I thought (late at night, depressed, facing a brutal Monday drive tomorrow) I may as well let rip:
“With a bank as intermediary they borrow short (from me) and lend long to a borrower – transforming my desire to lend short into a capacity to lend long.” Embezzlement does the same thing, resulting in money that is sitting “idle” in a bank account being used “productively” by the embezzler by spending the money in the economy. It’s transformed from the company wanting money in its account to money circulating “usefully” in the economy. Magic!
Money “idle” is a property right and a choice I make by having an at call account. I don’t want my money lent out long, but have few choices if I want to have sufficient funds to pay my bills and have ready savings and engage in e-commerce. The bank embezzles my money for its (and its clients’) benefit. I tolerate this because I hope the bank and the borrower stuff up and lose money so making the embezzlement futile (Q4, 2008), thereby not triggering inflation and debasing my savings too much, and also because I trust the RBA will print to satisfy my demand for cash if I need it. If the bank and its friends are “successful” in the embezzlement, they succeed only in debasing my savings.
But it’s still embezzlement because it’s an AT CALL account. If I wanted to lend the money for a longer period I would CONTRACT TO DO SO. The bank is NOT acting as “intermediary” matching “savers with lenders”. It is “creating” money by transforming an obligation as bailee into an asset that it lends out at interest. That “money” is on the books of the bank as imaginery digits. The whole game is easily exposed with gold – the embezzlement is so obvious when there is a bank run and a gold standard it’s not funny, which is why bankers hate and despise gold with every cell of their being. The sleight of hand is so easy to detect with gold it’s embarrassing even to tolerate listening to your childish excuse for an argument. With fiat money, the sleight of hand can be (temporarily) covered up by the RBA/central banks printing during systemic risk, thereby allowing subtle debasement to occur.
You never address the embezzlement issue because you can’t. Rothbard called it legalized embezzlement. So do I.
Banks only got deposits in the old (gold standard) days because people were afraid for their lives storing it at home. It would not be beyond the imaginations of conspiracy theorists to suggests that banks funded robberies to scare people into depositing money in banks in the 19th century. I’m not saying they did, I’m just saying I’ve heard those “rumours” and wouldn’t put it past them. That’s how desperate they would have been for gold to be held at the bank. Similarly the investment in e-commerce benefits banks enormously by allowing them to reduce reserves and increase FRB activities. Fiat paper is the new gold for banks – to be feared and hated like gold. The credit card is embraced by banks – no wonder!
If I WANTED to give the bank money on a term deposit I WOULD. Depositors with at call accounts would prefer to not have the bank embezzle their money to the bank’s friends, but they have no choice. Unless a form of “concentrated” wealth is allowed to be stored at home as money – gold and silver. And that’s why banks hate gold and why the govt has outlawed it as a choice in legal tender.
13 September, 2009 at 22:00
So – were you wrong when you said that you preferred free banking to full reserve? You seem to have swung back again.
13 September, 2009 at 22:02
If you want to improve on De Soto (and there is much, much better out there) try Dowd.
13 September, 2009 at 22:15
I have my mood swings (I’m back with the ex so please delete all my previous contributions on Goldmans), but no, I prefer free but like 100% reserve (with a little Ellen Hodgson Brown fiat thown in) as well. I’ve already clearly prioritized my preferences. Unlike you. You never have. You seem to like central bank support fiat FRB, then free, then nationalisation, then 100% reserve. In that order. Almost the reverse of mine.
13 September, 2009 at 22:28
I like Rothbard myself, but agree free banking is the way to go. But I don’t see us getting there any time soon. I suspect we will drift into fascism before we drift into free banking. So I welcome either nationalisation or anarchy. What I hate is the unstable system we have now. I hate anything unsustainable that will die eventually. Which is why I hate myself so strongly.
14 September, 2009 at 09:00
But ABOM – you are arguing here that “ponzi” banking is fraud – and is responsible for almost everything wrong with the economy but the kitchen sink. How can you argue that you support free banking while simultaneously saying all that about it?
14 September, 2009 at 10:47
I don’t like drugs myself, but don’t support prohibition. I don’t personally like abortion, but I’m not for making it illegal. I’m not a supporter of the “benefits” of FRB (your analysis is rubbish for example) but would allow a free market to offer it – PROVIDED full reserve banking servces are allowed to be offered, and gold and silver can be used as legal tender.
You keep finding “inconsistencies” where there are none.
14 September, 2009 at 12:44
ABOM – so nice to see you back and back with your ex – dont worry Andy will take care of any incriminating posts – now if you could just give me a little help with a mad robotion Hayekian in JQs.. Fortunately he is in the sin bin (nom is Sebastian) and restricted to one post a day for saying that “he was sorry no-one trickled down on me” amongst other outrageous insults ABOM like accusingb us all of drinking Keynesian Koolaid – you know the type (there are only two enemies in life the poor and Keynesians)…and here we are ABOM (or were) nobly trying to make a marriage between the left and the right?
Poor Seb has no idea (no idea at all… just who he is dealing with here ABOM…).
Now try not to be depressed – but really I do think its the noble affliction of those who can actually see the mess we are in!! Poor ABOM – you cant help it! I swear I get the same thing and I find corporal punishment works best like a 40 – 50 laps or so. I can curse the fish who swim past who played no part whatsoever in the corruption / debasement of our financial ssystems / wealth and economy…
14 September, 2009 at 14:29
So called “free marketeers” who have no idea what a free market looks like are the most dangerous idealogues.
You and I both know that the solution is an increase in reserve ratios across the board, either by scaring the banks through free banking (no moral hazard central bank to prop them up) or through increased regulation.
I’m very depressed about the future.
I don’t have enough food or gold and I don’t know when this thing’s gonna blow. All I know is that it’s inevitable that a major blow up is going to happen.
I think the stress is getting to me. I love you Alice, but it’s every man/woman for him/herself when this blows up. I wish I could have met you to say hi, but now I’m back at home I can’t. Hope you survive what’s coming up. It ain’t gonna be pretty. And the blind Sebs and Andys of the world ensure that we are marching ever faster down the road to our doom.
14 September, 2009 at 18:32
So – “fraud” is equivalent to “prostitution” – not “theft”? Which is it? Surely any type of fraud anywhere is to be opposed, or is fraud only illegal when you say it is?
14 September, 2009 at 20:08
“Fraud” is a little extreme. Rothbard used the phrase, but technically speaking the contract is clear – the non-bailment “at your risk, sucker” status of at call deposits just remains unstated and de-emphasised by the financial community. I think it’s closer to prostitution than fraud – a destructive, but ultimately consensual relationship that runs the risk of toxic “SIVs” in one case and toxic “HIVs” in the other.
14 September, 2009 at 20:30
So – when you said that funds deposited “at call” was a bailment contract (above) you were simply wrong, or are you wrong here and it is a bailment and therefore the lending of it is fraud?
14 September, 2009 at 20:48
You. Are. Painful.
FullRBers argue it’s fraud/embezzlement and the contract is one of bailment (Rothbard, Hulsmann, de Soto, Mises). Free bankers see it more like prostitution – immoral but should be legal for those sick individuals who want to engage in the practice (Hayek, possibly Friedman depending on his mood). Gay freemasons argue it’s a brilliant system providing “economic benefits” having nothing to do with embezzlement, fraud or prostitution (Keynes).
Take your pick.
14 September, 2009 at 21:37
No ABOM, I am asking you to take your pick. One minute you are calling it fraud, the next equating it to prostitution – undesirable but not illegal.
Personally, I would disagree with you on what a free banker would say, but that is not the point.
Should fractional reserve be banned outright or be regarded as perfectly legal?
14 September, 2009 at 23:07
Are Bank Deposits Money – isn’t this the title of the article?
I’m not sure if this is a serious blog or a childish game of apparent one upmanship?
Has anyone ever heard of the phrase – “let’s take this offline”?
15 September, 2009 at 00:28
I enjoy the occasional discussion that is about the theory of risk management. This argument I see as going to its heart – can a bank manage the risks inherent in a portfolio that is never going to be matched over its term structure, or should the ability of a bank to take on that risk be banned entirely?
I would argue that the risks can be managed. Others, as you can see, disagree.
15 September, 2009 at 14:44
Most banks in an economy cannot OVER THE LONG TERM manage risk inherent in a portfolio that is never going to be matched. Incentives will develop to encourage a debt/borrowing binge, hoping that your clients “win” in the game of debt and don’t default.
The bigger you are, the bigger your clients, the less likely you will be the one to go “under” in the next crisis.
Each “Minsky/Ponzi” crisis culls the smaller businesses and smaller banks until there is a cartel or monopoly.
FRB has the seeds of its own destruction emedded in the “bezzle” (to use Galbraith’s famous phrase).
Those who think the game is sustainable are either mad, corrupt, stupid, or visually impaired. Both Austrians and Minsky Keynesians (and Marxists and Social Credit advocates) all agree the system of FRB is inherently unstable.
Gold makes the instability obvious to all. Paper covers up the instability for much longer – until a systemic risk completely destroys the real economy through decades of malinvestment. Which is where we are now.
Simple. Obvious. Irrefutable. And unknown to 99.9% of financial risk analysts out there who use the normal distribution and conventional economics to model the markets.
15 September, 2009 at 19:37
So – from the above you do agree with Rothbard and not with the free bankers – that the system must endorse full reserve?
Or, as you indicated here, do you still think free banking (with the attendant fractional reserve) is superior to all, with nationalisation the next best option and Rothbard only third?
15 September, 2009 at 21:49
Can I ask – why are you peppering me with finely tuned questions regarding whether full is better than free, when we live in a NIGHTMARE of fiat FRB with “mommy” central banks infecting the whole system with cancerous moral hazard? It’s like you’re asking me where I would place the surgeon’s knife in a corpse with a massive hole in the head. I don’t care where the knife goes – it’s TOO LATE for surgery.
For the last time, the “theoretical” preference on a live body would be:
1. Free (ie “anarchy” – I prefer the phrase “order without law”).
2. Full (perhaps with a bit of Ellen Hodgson Brown fiat to top up the economy and invest in sustainable technologies – carefully controlled of course).
The “theoretical” difference between the two is miniscule. I waver between them. I worry than free turns into JP Morgan 1907 collusion which turns into 1913 Fed Fascism. Free may be unstable and turn into the toilet paper nightmare we currently have. I like the morality, the security, the solidity, the integrity of Full, but worry about issues of enforcement in an age of globalisation. The Cayman Islands can’t be nuked. So how do you do it? It’s also very restrictive. It would basically “freeze” the economy with the current capital structure. That would have been good in the 19th century when we had more arable land. Now I don’t think we can freeze the present unsustainable polluting structure. It’s almost like we NEED FRB to get from here to there (sustainable solar sourced economy). But private FRB alone won’t get us there, so I think we’re doomed either way.
3. Nationalisation (realistically it’s more likely than Full, but either would be preferable to the current system and nationalisation may allow us to invest in sustainable technologies with “controlled” FRB by govt, as suggested by Rowbotham and EHBrown – although govts are so corrupt and stupid they won’t be able to get us there either)
4. Toilet paper fiat fascism with central banks. Insane. Unstable. Exploitative. Self-destructive. Doomed to failure. Only a person without children and a “live for today” attitude would support it (like Keynes).
5. Communism/World Govt. Fast track to Hell.
6 War over arable land – complete chaos (not anarchy!) and actual Hell. 5 leads to 6. 4 leads to 5. So I’m hoping for 1 or 2 but planning for 6 to happen.
Realistically, I am hoping for:
1. Free – wonderful, but I don’t see how we get there.
2. Nationalisation (not because it’s better than Full but because govts can be tempted into killing FRBers or becoming them – as the 1930s seems to indicate, and it’s better for the dumb and incompetent to run FRB than the smart and the competent. Slow cancer is better than fast)
3. Full and a return to local farming and we all attend Christian Churches or Buddhist Monastries and solemnly burn FRBers at the stake like witches. Or idolators. Or heathen materialists. Or Cambridge Apostles. Or freemasons. Or Satan’s spawn. (ahhhhh…..a man can dream….)
4. Toilet paper fiat with fascist central banking. Controlled by satanic freemasons and illuminati, subjugating “real” religions, funding world govt and war…..sad this last option is the world we live in. My God, how far we’ve strayed from gold and silver…..
Realistically I know that world govt is inevitable until the whole thing collapses.
15 September, 2009 at 22:12
“Each “Minsky/Ponzi” crisis culls the smaller businesses and smaller banks until there is a cartel or monopoly.
FRB has the seeds of its own destruction emedded in the “bezzle” (to use Galbraith’s famous phrase).”
15 September, 2009 at 22:25
I want an increase in reserves across the board. I dont trust any of the bastards with my money any more and thats what will come out of this…
the debt tumour as Keen calls it, has grown like a tumour – but it hasnt been excise and it must if the patient is to recover…the debt tumour of the banks was just shoved to the public sector and that cost will be shoved to households who are already struggling under the weight of debt…
Come to think of it…Ive been looking at Gosford Real estate…its a bit of a wasteland of lovely units built with water views in the past ten years under the so called “great moderation…which should be named the great feast of bank gluttony”
But now there has beena serious correction and units are selling cheaper than they were new off tge plan 5 to 7 years ago…for less than the price of the average cupboard in Sydney…guess some of those who over extended themselves in the boom have been called to account by the banks that were only to happy to sell them an extension and a hyperextenion of their loans.
The debt tumour…an apt description and you know and I know where this ends Andy…noone willing to take on debt and banks out of business no matter what they say or do (but right now they are still pretending the party is on with our money going straight to their paypackets in bonuses – live it up boys I say – they havent got long)…and depression ensues.
Stiglitz calls for a new model. We all do. We need a new way of banking as well. A new broom entirely. A clean sweep. More of the same – its not going to work. Its too late. ABOMs right – wars over arable land. There isnt a town west of the great dividing range that has resources to enure its own water supply but these bastards are still ripping the guts out of our super savings in bonuses.
They can burn in hell later.
15 September, 2009 at 23:22
The reason I am asking is that I like to know what position you are attempting to argue from. I have been clear and consistent – less regulation. You, OTOH, in breath argue from free banking (your number one choice above) and then in the next argue for the strongest form of regulation possible – 100% reserve. The next you seem to be arguing that we should be nationalising the banks. Free banking (remember – your preferred choice) is “doomed”.
Any wonder I am confused? What are you arguing for?
16 September, 2009 at 01:54
From a few incoming clicks to here I found a piece that references this one. Unlike most blogs that permit comment, this one does not – so I have to reply here. I can only wonder why the anonymous blogger does that.
Winterspeak seems to think that all lending activity derives from banks borrowing from the (US) Fed – a remarkable position in itself in that most banks in the world, being domiciled outside the USA do not have access to the Fed to fund borrowing – so they could not do that, blowing away the whole process he thinks happens.
Banks do fund their lending from their borrowings (i.e. deposits) and owner’s equity. Any cursory inspection of a bank’s balance sheet shows that.
The last paragraph of the post is remarkable – the blogger attempts to prove me wrong using my own words. The problem with this is that it is directly contradicted by the paragraph of mine he quoted above it. I agree with the blogger that making more loans will cause the capital ratios to get thinner – restricting the bank’s ability to make more loans.
I would also challenge “Winterspeak” to show me any bank’s balance sheet anywhere that the loans made by the bank (the asset side of the balance sheet) was larger than the liabilities and owner’s equity (the deposit and capital base) as would be required to make his first paragraph true.
If he manages to do this I would suggest the auditors of the bank be fired as it is a violation of the basic rule of accounting.
16 September, 2009 at 13:12
“Less banking regulation” with a criminal central bank supporting the Ponzi scheme and a monopoly currency enforced at the point of a gun by the govt is MADNESS.
If you mean “less regulation” in the sense that legal tender laws should be revoked, I agree.
But based on your previous posts and your ridiculous, insane support for the abolition of Glass Steagall, I know you mean “less banking regulation”.
My position is clear – get rid of the safety net for banks ANY WAY WE CAN. Nationalisation, free banking, or full – doesn’t matter. All are better than the system we currently have.
End the Fed. End legal tender laws.
16 September, 2009 at 13:18
I’m deadly serious about Ending the Fed and the RBA and the Bank of England. “You are a den of vipers. I intend to rout you out and by the Eternal God I will rout you out. If the people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system, there would be a revolution before morning.”
16 September, 2009 at 18:02
Gradually (as is consistent with Burkean conservatism) I would move to get rid of it all. The system in Australia from 1840 to the 1890s or the US over the same period as a rough model.
16 September, 2009 at 20:17
When has gradualism worked? Except to increase regulation or fascism or socialism? Fabians are incrementalists too, and they are winning.
Reversing “regulations” always requires revolution, because the most powerful parasitic structures always want more of it. So the people (who are normally working for a living) need to rise up quickly, violently and decisively, kill the parasite and return to work.
Andrew, you think I’m inconsistent but I’m shocked you haven’t thought through your positions more deeply. You’ve got inconsistencies everywhere.
16 September, 2009 at 21:58
The Central banks actually sicken me too ABOM. They with their models, their egos, their econometric modellers paradise, with their iron grip on taxpayers funds in one hand and their slimy handshake with private bankers on the other…bodes ill for all of us…what right did they have to use our money to bail out bad banks and bad loans. What right when they preached “markets” gave them the status of god above markets???
Andy just doesnt realise we all want the same end outcome here…but Andy, I agree with ABOM..there is nothing workable about gradualism…it gets hijacked and re routed and distorted and twisted along the way…by the very people who dont need the help but have the power….
Gradualism is defeatism.
ABOM – Have I told you I love you lately?
16 September, 2009 at 22:13
Central banking is secret men’s business, dating back to the freemasons of 1694 and the Scottish shyster William Paterson. Only barbaric arrogant male egotists would dream up a system so insanely exploitative, so brutal in its consequences, so destructive…so SHORT TERM. Men love Ponzi schemes. Few women ever get involved. Because something attracts men to fast money and fast women and flash and spark and cheating and making it big quick.
Women seem to intuitively understand that running after the quick buck is self-defeating and stupid. How many women central bankers have there been in the history of “mankind”? None! There’s a good reason. They aren’t corrupt enough for the job.
17 September, 2009 at 10:39
Gradualism, ABOM, works a heck of a lot better than revolution under most circumstances.
Of course if you want to charge the barricades you are welcome to – go ahead and bang your head against it. I doubt it will make a difference.
17 September, 2009 at 12:57
I’m not planning street protests over the RBA anytime soon.
Revolution would be the only way to sweep away the current corrupt monetary structures that will slowly and surely kill us, but I’ve already said that I think it’s too late; the power structures are too entrenched and too blind.
“So I’m hoping for 1 or 2 but planning for 6 to happen.”
I’m mad, but I’m no fool.
17 September, 2009 at 20:15
ABOM – (and Andy you have got to do something about this veering to the right in your reply screen…its most disturbing),
ABOM – we dont need revolaution…these bastard central bankers drove us headlong into a brick wall, slid down it, robbed millions of their savings, will throw heaps out of work and came within a whisker of financial collapse…and used the taxpayer’s back to ensure they (banks) didnt.
They will encounter their own doppleganger…this is only a brief respite.
One way street to further erosian of economic wellbeing but we are going there ABOM. Hang on when the going gets rough
and I agree…gold is looking good.
17 September, 2009 at 23:53
Alice – I have solved the problem – at least in the comments.
18 September, 2009 at 15:35
If I was more polite, I would string my words together like this guy.
I just say “End the Fed”. But this explains why. It also explains why I refer to fiat paper as toilet paper, why I’m long gold and silver, why I’m short humanity and govt and why I’m mildly suicidal.
18 September, 2009 at 16:23
It is an interesting piece – but it is a pity it is wrong. Interest rates are set based on expected future inflation (or deflation) – so inflation or deflation really do not matter, it is whether the rate is above or below the expected values that matters.
In times of variable inflation all that tends to happen is that rates charged by banks tend to move from fixed rates to variable rates.
As usual, Goldseek is US centric – there rates are more likely to be fixed than they are here and so the analysis is more correct there than here – but in neither place is it entirely true.
18 September, 2009 at 16:46
You miss the point completely (again). Interest rates are set based on what the Fed wants. There are rumours the Fed has set up proxy accounts overseas to make it look like foreign demand for bonds is still high. Yeah, right.
The central banks are trying to control % rates further and further out from the short term yield curve. Some idiots say they can’t influence the long term rate. Rubbish. They can buy on the open market through bank agents to influence the long rate. I predict the long rate will never spike up again in our lifetimes (ie for me, in the next 12 months).
If you think the 10 year US bond rate of around 3.4% is a realistic assessment by the market of future inflation (plus a small margin) then you are crazier than I am.
The fundamental point of the article is that bankers love, need, crave inflation to pay off their best client’s bets. When the Ponzi scheme collapses (Q4, 08) they cry to mommy central bank begging for handouts and order their sycophant neutered slave Rudd to crank up the govt spending to get the party started again. This time, it ain’t gonna work. Everyone – consumers, producers, govts – are all in debt to an unbelievable degree, with a parasite having given them fake dollar bills.
The time will come, my friend, when the toilet paper the bankers print is worthless, when gold is money and when FRB embezzlers are jailed for the lying thieving scum they really are.
18 September, 2009 at 17:39
18 September, 2009 at 19:34
Again – you are speaking as if free banking (which you claim as your number one preference) would be “embezzlers” and need to be “jailed for the lying thieving scum they really are”.
If you said “central bank dependent bankers” instead of FRB then I would have less of a problem with what you say and how you say it. No free banker would speak in that way.
18 September, 2009 at 20:20
I like to keep you guessing between free and full. And given the situation we’re currently in, please forgive me if I take liberties with my expression. We are so far, far, faaaarrrrrrrrrrr away from either with the current fascist stupid insane corrupt unstable doomed monetary system we have, does it really matter?
18 September, 2009 at 20:21
Keep me guessing? All it does it make you look like you suffer from multiple personality disorder.
18 September, 2009 at 20:24
But I like to keep you guessing whilst I indulge in my many serious mental disorders.
18 September, 2009 at 23:15
Tell me the truth. You’re of Scottish extraction, aren’t you. Perhaps a direct descendant of “criminal” Ponzi Scot John Law? Yes?
18 September, 2009 at 23:48
Wow. How did I miss this one, from the monetary genius Fekete?
Note the use of the term “Ponzi scheme”.
“Keynesian and Friedmanite economists bear a special responsibility for
the disaster. They dug in and monopolized their positions at universities and research institutes. They never allowed a free discussion on the gold standard. They did everything to aggrandize and perpetuate their own power as the sole advisors on government policy. They will not be able to live down this shame in a thousand years.”
That’s why I was f*cked over during my Honours year! For having a beastly interest in Austrian School economics.
Well, Dixon and Lloyd and Harper – suck on my gold. You. Are. All. Going. Down.
19 September, 2009 at 00:08
More abuse. Ho hum.
19 September, 2009 at 00:09
Oh – and are you still talking about the guy that could not get accreditation for his own university – the one he made himself professor of? Ho hum.
19 September, 2009 at 12:46
Errr..so you think MSNBC is a source of good investment advice? No wonder you didn’t predict and didn’t warn of the GFC!
I’d prefer Fekete (who did) to MSNBC (who – need I repeat it? – didn’t).
20 September, 2009 at 14:36
No, ABOM – I prefer hard facts. The hard facts in the MSNBC piece (i.e. that gold is not a great investment) are, to me at least, more worthy than the pie in the sky stuff of a (self declared) professor of a (non-existent) university, even if he has succeeded in predicting doom every week for the last 20 years.
A stopped watch is right twice a day – that does not mean I should buy it.
20 September, 2009 at 14:41
To indulge in opinion for the moment – to me gold is a bad investment precisely because there are a lot of people out there (like you) spruiking it as a great one. They see periods like the current one as a massive vindication of their claims.
Amateurs then buy in and lose their shirts when the recovery comes and gold goes off the boil yet again. I do not see this as a sound investment strategy.
Of course, you are free to go on pushing people into gold and silver, as I have no doubt you will.
20 September, 2009 at 14:43
Being of the Illuminati/Freemason banking conspiracy used to be such fun. What the Hell is happening?!? How could we end up being so…..stupid!
20 September, 2009 at 14:45
I don’t doubt gold and silver are in for a wild ride, my friend. I watch it as a barometer of our times. When gold shoots, I know the bankers are dead meat. When gold dies, I know the bankers are in charge and I should lie low.
IMF gold sales in Oct 09 will take it down temporarily. But then what?
20 September, 2009 at 14:53
The data in the MSNBC piece is not wrong – gold and silver have been poor investments over a long period. If you want to take risks by gambling over a short period on gold or silver, go ahead. I do not see them as good long term plays for the reasons I gave above – there is too much emotion in that market for it to behave sensibly.
20 September, 2009 at 14:56
Do you mean “stupid” to be the thought that there is a conspiracy at the top?
20 September, 2009 at 14:59
“Too much emotion”???? Did you see SIVs in Q4,08? Or the cliff diving of CDOs in Q4, 08? Check out the graphs on Markit.com
Financil markets are NOTHING BUT EMOTION now, given the Ponzi-like dynamic from excessive credit creation. Financial markets now NEED emotion – they need another high to generate the new money needed to pay off the old debts.
Was the dot-com bubble “sensible”? The housing bubble? These were multi-trillion dollar examples of emotion in the market. The banks need emotion.
And gold and silver will deliver emotion, if nothing else. When the wall of Chinese/Middle East money hits the tiny supply of gold and silver, all Hell will break loose. All Hell.
20 September, 2009 at 15:16
Good luck with your unhedged gold bet then.
20 September, 2009 at 18:35
This guy is an even crazier gold bug than I am. That’s saying something….
But at least he looks FORWARD rather than backward.
Gold performed poorly between 1980 and 2000. It outperformed the Dow (big time) between 2000 and 2009, with the Dow going backwards.
And it’s outperformed most fiat currencies over the last 4500 years. So we’re due for a turnaround. Perhaps 2010 is the year it will kill all fiat currencies and reclaim its status as King of Monies.
20 September, 2009 at 20:54
… or perhaps (and looking forward) gold will reclaim its status as the dud investment it has been for so long now.
Even on the gold standard gold is a dud investment – by definition it must pay nothing at all as it becomes cash.
20 September, 2009 at 21:23
What????? Money is therefore intrinscially worthless? Err…Andie, money BUYS STUFF. That’s why people want it. And why gold holds its value, because it’s money that can’t be printed by corrupt central bankers.
(I often wonder on this blog: Am I losing it, or is Andrew crazier than me?)
20 September, 2009 at 22:16
No, ABOM. Holding cash gives no return – by definition. You hold a $10 note for a year, at the end you have $10. Deposit $10 in the bank and you get interest. If a dollar is defined as being worth x micrograms of gold, then holding gold will give no return. QED.
20 September, 2009 at 22:40
You are so painful. In a deflationary environment one gram of gold (or $10 of real money backed by gold) buys more stuff over time. Money’s real value increases in real terms. QED. Proof – the whole of 19th century US economic history.
20 September, 2009 at 22:43
Perhaps we’ve lived in a fiat world for so long you don’t realise that (once upon a time) saving by simply storing “money” was a viable alternative to speculation with a gold standard.
21 September, 2009 at 10:42
Again no, ABOM. The long term record of the gold standard is price stability, punctuated with periods of inflation (when relatively more gold is found) and deflation (when relatively less gold is found).
Even if you were right, that gold standards must have deflation (I assume by definition – but it does not matter), then holding most other assets must provide a better return than cash / gold. Otherwise there would be no investment and therefore no economic activity.
Learn the basics about the system you advocate, ABOM – it may persuade you how little you actually seem to know and that snake oil salesmen like Fekete are not the gurus you seem to think they are.
21 September, 2009 at 11:09
Perhaps if you read Hulsmann and de Soto you’d understand what actually happened under a gold standard. With a (relatively) stable money supply, saving in money is a viable relatively risk free alternative, because there’s substantial deflation (or at least price stability) in that kind of environment.
Most other assets would not necessarily provide a better return that cash gold.
There would be LESS investment – but so what? Austrians call most investment under the current monetary regime MALinvestment for a reason – it’s not justified by the long term structure of the capital market.
You can’t see that not all investment projects approved by the banks are good, not all of them should have gone ahead, not all farmland should have been destroyed for residential housing or mining projects.
Economic activity still occurs with relatively “low” investment. It’s just that it’s mainly people buying food, basics and just getting along.
GM appears now to be a giant malinvestment, even though a bank (banks) approved all the capital investment, all the factories, all the distribution hubs etc. All that “investment” went….well….nowhere.
You cannot see that some investments/borrowings from the banks from FRB should simply NEVER have occurred. Less investment in this environment and less economic activity is actually a good thing.
Because it’s sustainable. Only a sound money system would reveal this to you.
21 September, 2009 at 12:34
Oops – reverting to strawman arguments. You must be desperate if you are going there. I have never said, anywhere, that all investments by banks (or anyone else) “are good”. Clear strawman here.
Of course they are not all good – for a bank or investor to do well all that is needed is that on average there are more good payers than bad payers. If they do not do that then they fail – as they should.
Seriously – have a read of Dowd’s Laissez-Faire Banking. It is not perfect, but it is very good. It may change your perspective on the question. At the very least you will be better informed and your arguments much harder to beat than these simplistic ones that seem to owe a lot to self-declared professors.
21 September, 2009 at 14:22
“If they do not do that then they fail – as they should.” Or, under the current crazy regime, they make even bigger stupid bets and get bailed out by the RBA and the Rudd govt and the enslaved taxpayer when they stuff up.
I will take a look at Dowd. I’m OK with free banking in any case (as I have said repeatedly).
We’ve never had a dispute over free. We’ve only disputed the benefits/costs of nationalisation and full. I emphasise our differencies to distract myself from my chronic, suicidal depression, but in fact our positions are fairly similar.
It’s just that you think we can get there incrementally. I think that’s rubbish. Incrementalism is what has brought us here. A bit of radical “revolution” is desperately needed to save us from “a final and total catastrophe of our fiat monetary system” (to quote Mises from Landis).
Ron Paul’s audit the Fed (then End the Fed) campaign is a start.
21 September, 2009 at 16:06
If you are “OK with free banking” then why do you keep going on about “fraud banking” and “ponzi money”, terms that only a Rothbard banker would use?
21 September, 2009 at 16:57
I said “OK” not “ecstatic”.
21 September, 2009 at 19:36
So it is “OK” to be involved in fraud and ponzi schemes, you would just not be “ecstatic” about it?
21 September, 2009 at 20:57
You can do what you like. I don’t interfere with consensual adult relationships (gay, straight, bi, fiat toilet paper, gold, silver), provided they are not coercive.
Ponzi schemes don’t necessarily need to be made illegal. Idiots often voluntarily participate – good luck to the early entrants and let that be a lesson to the late entrants.
FRB is inherently unstable, but I’m prepared to tolerate it PROVIDED there is a revocation of legal tender laws and I’m allowed to escape the fiat paper madness by transacting in (relatively) stable gold or silver.
The problem is that I AM FORCED to participate in the Ponzi scheme. That’s the injustice. That’s the aspect that I want to kill. That is the aspect that keeps me up at night, grinding my axe. I want the OPTION to escape. Currently I AM FORCED to participate in the communal Ponzi scheme. FORCED BY GOVERNMENT AND LEGAL TENDER LAWS.
The tiny weenie fine print will say on my at call deposit account that the money is the bank’s and I “give it up” the second I deposit it with the bank. But you and I both know that mismatched maturities is inherently unstable and someone’s going to end up with nothing but tears.
If I want to escape madness I can’t. Tell me how I can.
21 September, 2009 at 21:37
So – do you think Bernie Madoff should be in prison or applauded?
21 September, 2009 at 21:40
Oh – and to escape? The easiest (and best) way is to stop telling yourself that it is madness and deal with the world as it is – while trying to make whatever improvements you can on the way.
To go a little religious for a moment:
21 September, 2009 at 21:53
Neither. I think he should have been made head of the US Treasury. He has just the kind of experience they need, running a criminal Ponzi scheme.
21 September, 2009 at 21:55
Lord, give me the alcohol to numb my pain, the young women to distract me from suicidal depression and the wisdom to know when to blow my brains out.
22 September, 2009 at 10:27
Speaking of Bernie Madoff and financial fraud….
22 September, 2009 at 10:31
And just on bank deposits unquestionably, obviously being “money”…
I’m amazed this stuff is considered “new” and “radical”. I was screaming about this 20 years ago. It’s laughable that this is now considered new.
Has anyone heard of Rowbotham? Of the social credit movement? Obviously not.
22 September, 2009 at 11:56
Social Credit? Ummm…
23 September, 2009 at 20:09
That’s one of the entries that triggered my entrance on your little blog. I knew you were a worthy adversary.
I had connected up Rowbotham, Social Credit, Minsky, Steve Keen, Rothbard, von Mises, Landis, Jim Sinclair and Ellen Hodgson Brown years ago and in fact wrote about this very issue in 2007 on WP (as already mentioned elsewhere) before being “taken out” by WP guardians on behalf of the mainstream (ho hum, it’s happened to me so many times I accept the “kills” as part of the game of being a supporter of monetary reform).
I like you because you see these connections. I like to “fuse” disparate schools of thought too, seeing what insights can be gained from the “frisson” of the fusion. Social credit fused with Rothbard gives off some sparks. Not the ones you entry points to, but nevertheless it was observant of you to try.
I happen to agree with aspects of all of the thinkers listed above. You happen to dismiss and hate all of them. You try to connect Rothbard with social credit because essentially you are saying no one would be so stupid to agree with those social credit loonies. I happen to strongly agree with aspects of Douglas and Rothbard, but admit to being a social outcast because of it.
But at least we agree they have a common thread – FRB is evil. That’s the insight I agree with. That’s the entry that made me realise that, although you are the embodiment of evil (like “pretty boy” Keynes) in your tolerance of FRB and the mismatching of maturies, you at least have the insight to connect up the various monetary reform movements.
No one really is interested in connecting up movements. You’re right – Austrians hate being thought of as part of the social credit movement. Yet their analysis of FRB is similar (their solutions differ radically however).
I fuse them in my mind by being a free banker/gold standard advocate, but supporting full/govt issued fiat over central bank supported FRB.
Most people just support their own little position (Rothbardians scream that govt everywhere is evil and must be killed. Some may have supported the repeal of Glass Steagall like you, as signalling a reduction in govt regulation. Idiots if they did). The real evil is central bank supported FRB. That’s what kills an economy through cancerous malinvestment. Socialism is preferable to fascism, if that’s the choice we have to make.
Similarly, there’s a debate between Keen/Mish debt-deflationists and Gary North/Jim Sinclair hyperinflationists. In a sense they are both right. There is and will continue to be both deflation and inflation – JUST IN DIFFERENT SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY. [I use the terms in the “modern” terminology (not in the old Austrian way – meaning an increase/decrease in the total money supply).]
Let me explain my position because I think this is interesting.
Near hyperinflation DID (already!) occur. For a decade. In HOUSE PRICES. Because housing prices were grossly underweighted in the CPI (housing is essentially a consumption good) this didn’t show up in conventional measures. But I agree with Keen/Mish – credit is money and debt issuance results in “money” (purchasing power) being created when some sucker goes into debt and buys whatever is on offer. What was on offer for the last decade was housing. It had the features of a classic bubble/Ponzi scheme with people looking at returns rather than yield. And because the asset was security for a loan, this could go on for many years longer than consumer credit/debt bubbles, which generally peter out because the issuance of debt “leaks” into consumption goods and doesn’t go back into an asset so doesn’t generate the recursive cycles that asset bubbles generate.
The “winners” in this game (like always) were the recipients of the debt money – property developers like Triguboff who rezoned land from industrial to residential and sold units en masse to the sucker public. They got debt and a 30 year mortgage. He got the debt money into his account. Magic! Where did the hyperinflationary money go? Into the pockets of the FIRST RECIPIENTS of the debt money – mainly residential property developers.
Now that the bubble has burst, the Japan deflation scenario is kicking in, because the main source of fresh debt money into the economy is fresh suckers going into debt to buy housing. The property market is double the value of the stockmarket.
But now that Ponzi scheme is over the Triguboffs are looking for a safe place to stash their cash. They don’t want their bank to blow or the exchange rate to collapse. So they take the money out of circulation (don’t keep developing units) and stash it overseas in gold or buy land and sit on it. Money velocity slows as the beneficiaries of the Ponzi scheme collect their winnings, take the chips off the table and stop paying their contractors and leave for Europe.
OK, that signals DEFLATION. Big DEFLATION. Keen/Mish are right – we’re turning Japanese.
But, hold on, what about North and the Austrians? Base money has exploded. It’s sitting at the banks. The problem is the banks can’t find a credit worthy borrower to “give” the new money to. If they could another bubble would quickly form. Bernanke is also keeping the powder dry by paying interest on the money held with the Fed. Why would a bank lend in this economy (at risk) when he has a risk-free client willing to pay interest income on the money just created? It’s like a mouse trap pulled back, waiting to snap. All that money just sitting their – like a dam waiting to burst into the next asset bubble.
When either (1) interest stops being paid or (2) the banks find a new bubble, then things will get interesting. What is the new bubble? It’s ALREADY HERE!
The new bubble is govt debt. Private clients have proven unexpectedly risky. Businesses and household default rates have spiked. Stuff them. Lend only to the Fed or the central govt (not even States or councils can get comparable rates to the biggies). “At least we’ll get paid back,” say the big gun shy banks.
So ultimately this new govt debt money is going to govt employees (mainly) and on govt payouts. The size of govt is actually increasing in this recession. Incredible. For the first time a govt employee is paid more in the US that the average private worker.
So there is an “inflationary” bubble RIGHT NOW – in govt employment. These idiots sit around writing reports, writing regulations, filling in non-existent potholes. They exist simply to spend the money back into the economy. They are like zombie-consumers, doing nothing that is actually “needed” by the real economy but existing solely off coercive taxes/debt issuance from the govt. If the govt couldn’t counterfeit the money the whole apparatus of excessive govt employment would collapse and these guys would have to find real jobs.
But what happens when you have a bubble in govt employment? You have skills sucked out of the private economy. What skills are required most (that would be evident if the money supply was stable and govt couldn’t sell bonds to the Fed)? Sustainable technologies, agriculture, farming, etc. Govt sucks the factors of production away from where they are needed to where the money is – WITH PARASITIC GOVTS.
If this continues, who will actually do physical labour? Who will plant the food we rely on to survive? SUCKERS. Stupid people who don’t understand the game. But stupid people are the least qualified to produce sustainable agriculture!
So like the budding nuclear scientist being “sucked” into parasitic banking by the screwed by pricing structure from central bank supported FRB, now budding farmers/labourers are being sucked into the police-force, the local and State govts etc as useless pen pushers.
So it is inevitable that a destruction of our farming industries will occur, with “quantity” adjusting (ie a reduction in the quality and quantity of food) rather than price, because indebted dumb farmers can’t price adjust – they are trapped in debt (as Rowbotham has pointed out). That doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences. It just means quantity/quality adjusts, not price.
So North is wrong to see “hyperinflation” coming up soon. Hyperinflation is here in the West – in the form of zombie govt employees. Deflation for the private economy will continue. Then eventually starvation for low income countries as oil spikes, food prices spike and availability becomes scarce.
23 September, 2009 at 20:17
I don’t mean literal “hyperinflation”. I mean just think of govt employees as mindless zombies employed to inject money into the economy, and you see that they “inflate” prices by purchasing stuff and not “returning” anything of value back into the real economy (by definition they are not returning anything of real value because if they did the private economy would already supply it – you wouldn’t need coercive taxes to provide the service).
The the standard of living for “real” workers collapses because instead of prices collapsing in this Depression, govt programs and employees will “stabilise” prices (in housing, education, and other essential services) when they should fall – dramatically. That will seem like intolerable “inflation” to most “real” workers eventually.
23 September, 2009 at 20:24
ABOM – we are in line for inflation – no? The USD is droppping and the markets are bouncing too hard, too fast.
Is it really fruit? ABOM, Ill kill you – I cant eat it. Im on Atkins diet!!
23 September, 2009 at 22:22
It’s fruit and tea. At least drink the tea and donate the fruit. The Atkins diet is sooo 90s. Just eat moderately and everything will be OK – at least physically. Mentally, I’m a mess but physically I’m (just) holding up.
The point I was trying to make is that we will have extreme deflation in some sectors and extreme inflation in some sectors (deflation in US housing, “inflation” in US bonds for example) – until the bubble in US “govt” (bonds) bursts. Then there will “really” be inflation (in imported goods and oil and gold and silver and food) but not until the US bond bubble bursts. And that may take a while. Meanwhile whatever is being fed by the credit bubble will grow like cancer. Last time it was housing. This time it is govt. So govt will grow until the bond bubble bursts. Inflation (and resources) follow wherever the banks put their credit/debt money. And right now they are putting it in govt. So that’s where the malinvestment is building up.
Simple rule – wherever the banks put their debt money, that’s where the next bubble will burst. Banks are like walking cancer. Wherever they go, they drag a bubble behind them. Currently they are scared sh*tless of the private economy and are running to mommy central bank and govt debt. They are yet to be scared sh*tless of govt debt. But it’s just a matter of time. Just a matter of time…
24 September, 2009 at 08:10
ABOM – you shouldnt have done that….you are so sweet..Ill ring them. How can I give you a present – have you got a PO Box? The Atkins is working ABOM. It always does.
Thank goodness for the A chocolate shakes…get so sick of fish and fish and more fish and vegs and vegs and vegs. Only need to lose a couple of ks. Im going on holidays to Phuket soon as the marking for the private college is done….bliss.
24 September, 2009 at 08:11
mentally you are not a mess….its the rest of the world thats a mess.
24 September, 2009 at 09:52
Alice, I think you’re right. When I see the top soil of the NSW Western plains cover central Sydney like something out of Mad Max and all I hear is that “tens of millions of dollars of costs resulted from the dust storm” I know the world is mad. It doesn’t matter how many fiat toilet paper $$$s it has cost. The top soil is priceless and irreplaceable.
Perhaps Andrew can do a modelling exercise on the estimated marginal productivity of farmland without topsoil, so the farmers can be adequately compensated for the drought in more paper dollars from govt. The govt solution to any problem is more paper dollars.
At some point throwing more paper dollars at a problem will not plant crops, will not water seeds and will not prevent complete environmental catastrophe.
“Only when the last fish has been caught, the last lake polluted, and the last buffalo killed will the white man realise he cannot eat money.”
24 September, 2009 at 21:58
ABOM – I have never seen dust like that (Red dust from the red centre) blow so far as Sydney in my entire life. It must be dry as a bone that that much red dust can be picked up in a strong westerly.
ABOM – I think my son experienced love for the first time on the night of the red dust storm (really). Im really scared for him and the future.
The world is mad and lacking leaders who arent bought off by the utter madness of production at all costs… or have already gone mad through chronic denial themselves ABOM.
Im not letting them eat the chocolates ABOM.
I swear I love you …and if Im old enough to be your Aunt (which neither of us really know)…Ill look after you ABOM.
They ate the fruits and l have a lovely cup, they say….and some chocs and I will collect them in three weeks.
They think its funny in there….
25 September, 2009 at 02:39
Oh dear Alice, and I thought this thread was about bank deposits – and I find you guys here writing love notes to each other…
As for the world lacking leaders, well – I think it has too many leaders thinking they have all the solutions to all the problems. Hayek would call it conceit.
25 September, 2009 at 11:48
Seb… are you spying on ABOM and I??
(and Andy and Seb of course). This is scary.
What do you think of this post I found on Krugmans blog comment re Palin speaking somewhere for an hour an a half (being amazingly long for her?)
This was blog comment
“Indeed. The media obsession with Palin has obscured the more important news from the Far East: the Chinese are seeking to replace the dollar as an international currency. There has been lots of talk about whether Keynesian mathematical models or Fresh Water mathematical models are better as guides for macroeconomics. None of those models anticipate the collapse of the dollar or the default of the US on a major obligation, as happened when Roosevelt and Nixon dramatically devalued the currency by fiddling with ownership and accessibility of gold as (come thing) “real money”. “Stimulus”, deficit, and war spending, new health care obligations, new obstacles to manufacturing (e.g. cap and trade), and the emerging trade war lead to one prediction. The US will default, but it will have no other choice. To creditors, that default will come through inflation. To taxpayers, it will come through higher taxes as the Feds try to find something, anything, to cover obligations that they have incurred. To senior citizens, the default will be the denial of services (the word “default” describes better than the Palinesque “rationing” what will happen to those expecting the government to pay for their health care).””
Tell me, what do you think?
25 September, 2009 at 12:43
Yeah, exactly I agree. No mainstream model predicts default on T-bonds. Only Austrians do. As INEVITABLE, 100% CERTAIN.
Only the timing is uncertain/in dispute.
The SMH had a great article this week on US debt levels. Add in the unfunded social security and healtcare bills and you’ve got something like $45 trillion in debt/unfunded liabilities. That is unsustainable. Something’s gotta give. This blog entry is a very good description of the way in which selective, controlled default will occur.
Of course, the chances of landing this plane safely is very low. It’ll be like landing a plane on water.
Given the quality of pilots we have, I’m not betting on a smooth landing. China just has to jump first and dump t-bonds and the whole thing would IMMEDIATELY come crashing down.
25 September, 2009 at 13:44
Re: the replacement of the dollar as the international currency – I see it as inevitable. And yes it’s incredibly scary, but one can hardly blame the Chinese. Then again, it might be in their interest to ensure the USA make a soft landing, so I wouldn’t be so sure they are just suddenly going to abandon US currency.
It’s been a particular approximation of mine or late – it rushes through my mind everytime I hand over a $5 note at a cafe, the flimsy foundations upon which a fiat currency system is built.
As crazy as it sounds, and my friends always tease me about contemplating a return to commodity money, I’ve thought seriously about this for several years now, it’s not just some crazy whim.
Krugman is often correct, but for the wrong reasons, or for reasons that contradict his other beliefs. He is one of the main cheerleaders for the idea that printing money and generating inflation is best fix in the case of an economic downturn. Like most Keynesians, he ignores the fact that this is a world of scarcity, and that simply printing money does not increase the supply of scarce capital goods, which is the real constraint.
He is also a proponent of the sort of bloated big government that necessitates this unsustainable debt- and inflation-financed spending.
25 September, 2009 at 15:22
I would agree. The Chinese have a huge interest in making this a soft landing for the US – they have over $1tn in USD denominated debt. I believe this is one of the main reasons why the US banks were been able to lend as freely as they did – US interest rates were kept artifically low by the huge lending by China to the US.
To me, the Chinese government has made a drastic error – the consequences of which they are now realising and trying to work out. The search for a way to exit their USD holdings with minimal loss is part of that.
I would also agree with you on Krugman.
25 September, 2009 at 16:29
Let’s all hold hands and pray for a soft landing, like passengers in a plane about to undergo an emergency crash landing.
I’ve been searching for a parachute and an exit door for years, while people partied, and looked at me like I was mad or something.
Now these idiots are only just starting to panic too, because they see the sea water out their windows too. Too late, suckers.
Those with gold and farmland (and guns) will come out OK. Those of us who haven’t prepared for a crash landing better pray the pilots know what they’re doing.
If we returned to a gold standard in 1982 we’d be OK now. But we avoided catastrophe then and didn’t learn anything – that just meant the bubbles grew larger. Until now. The last bubble. Govt debt. Once that blows, it’s over.
Aug 15, 1971 will go down as a day of infamy for mankind.
25 September, 2009 at 19:26
Andrew – by huge lending of the rest of the world to the US..but its value as a resrve currency is fading.
ABOM…lets just hold hands and pray the vegetables grow…
Ive been like that…suspicious for years of everything around me, and the hype…the hype of the bubble ABOM. It was a monster and it hasnt gone away…people are piling back in for another game on the roulette wheel with no thought whatsoever of what it has cost governments.
The amazing thing was…before the crash I saw a two inch colum in one of Rupes newspapers saying the UK central bank had joined with european central banks to do a combined injection of liquidity totalling some 60 bill or 80 bill (I can even remember now).
I thought then…what the hell is going on. Now I know those bastards knew before the rest of us what was going to happen (and now we hear how the Australian central bank made money on it).
Bastards ABOM. They knew. They knew beforehand.
25 September, 2009 at 23:10
Yup. Both of us are the only “deep” souls amongst the zombies and materialistic idiots and monkeys. You cut through the hype.
Think of a simple parable. Imagine some amoral wandering shysters who go from town to town surviving on promoting shell games in the streets. They want to make it big, quick. Problem – the Ponzi scheme/casino always breaks down with a gold standard. They have to run from town to town once the shell game blows up. What do they do? Create a central bank to co-ordinate the multiple Ponzi schemes/casinos at the same time. Buy off the govt and the cops! 1694 was the year these guys made it BIG.
Once they kill off the aristocracy and the landed gentry in Europe (the old, slow establishment) they quickly set up central banks around the world, using extortion, murder, nothing is beneath them (just ask Jackson and Kennedy). They’ve been rejected, spat upon so often, they know how dangerous the game is. They are desperate. It’s all or nothing.
They set up the casino games QUICKLY (speed is everything) but surreptitiously, knowing that once the game is set up, they can get the support of the central banks if they stuff up at the roulette wheels, and they also make a cut (interest on debt) on the total bettings of the casino.
Now, once you set up the game, what would you do? For years you’ve been rejected by the aristocracy, the farmers, the producers. Now is PAYBACK. So you set up casinos (financial markets – bonds, stocks, anything) everywhere!
You would then act like “Superman”, betting big, encouraging everyone to come into the casino and gamble BIG. Pretty girls show you to the table where “Supermen” (bankers and hedge funds) are treating like Kings, using an obscure “science” using all kinds of mathematical models to bet trillions of dollars. They treat those who don’t bet as gutless, losers, stupid – to encourage others to feel inferior if they don’t bet big. They push everyone to limit.
Then, if they lose, they run into the backroom of the casino and get more chips from the central bank, coming out still acting like Supermen.
What happens after 30 years of this occurring worldwide? The Brits have been doing this for over 100 years, but most of the world was new to this game. Now the game is maturing. Uh oh….
Some “losers” can’t stand it and try to outsmart the Supermen. They leverage up, borrow into the stockmarket/residential property market, gamble – and get slaughtered. No mommy central bank for them.
Others try to save their little chips – only to see them lose value, forcing them to bet occasionally in desperation at the casino.
The bankers/govts/media say “The winners deserve to win. Goldman Sachs are geniuses!” All the media hero worship these guys (the media is owned – crucial to keep the “atomosphere” in the worldwide casino “happy”). The key issue is to try to maintain the legitimacy of the whole casino. Anyone who screams out “This is corrupt! Look behind the curtain, the so-called “Supermen” get their chips free from the backroom! The whole thing is rigged!” – the security guys take you out and put a bullet through your stupid uppity head.
I’ve been in casinos occasionally (OK, slightly more often than that) and once when I walked quickly to the bathroom (to avoid the temptation of card counting at the blackjack tables) the security guy grabbed my arm and whispered “Don’t run, mate!”. I was shocked. Why would he be so aggressive over me walking fast? I suddenly realised he had been told very specifically – no running! The casinos HATE anyone disturbing the “trance” the suckers are in. Sudden movements frighten the sheep.
That’s why you and I have to be killed (and I have been over and over). I scream “This thing is rigged – we’re all being fleeced like sheeple!”, and the casino operators HATE IT. The casino is rigged – to lose your savings on average and transfer them to the casino owners (banks and govt).
You end up with a tiny minority of sociopathic, criminal, arrogant, super-rich elites connected to the casino/central banks, protected by corrupt security guards (corrupt cops). And everyone else either prostituting themselves to the Supermen or gambling losing everything, being kicked out into the street.
This is not a sustainable model for any economy. I’m sure you feel pity for problem gamblers. But what if the WHOLE ECONOMY is a casino where we’re being FLEECED. All of us but the bankers and the govt cronies.
The US is in the middle of this process – the unwashed “losers” being kicked out into the street by the security guards/cops (repo men and sheriffs) and the Supermen laughing, laughing, laughing at the fleeced suckers.
I don’t know whether to laugh with the financial sociopaths (it is kind of funny to watch) or cry with the lumpen losers. I oscillate between both.
What I DO know is that this is not real economics, this is not a sustainable business model (what do you do when there are no more suckers to fleece?) and that the whole thing should be outlawed. Or at least suckers should get together and break down the locked exit doors in the casino (remove legal tender laws).
Currently, there is no way out.
26 September, 2009 at 02:40
I’m a little jealous that I got excluded from being among the ‘deep’ souls who see through the hype, but I won’t disturb your little love-in.
At any rate, I do get a little annoyed at my lefty friends who condemn this ‘greedy’ and ‘materialistic’ culture, but then call me a ‘libertarian nutcase’ for wishing for the end of central banking. They criticise this policy of ‘easy money’, but cannot begin to get their heads around the concept that under free banking banks might actually be more reluctant to lend so freely, and that it is government pressure bearing down them that forces them to expand credit in such a reckless fashion.
As for holding hands and praying, that’s basically all I can do. Although I do no someone with guns and a farm (don’t know if they have any gold). First sign of strife and I’m hotfooting it down there (can’t reveal where, of course).
Unfortunately, I have seriously considered that worst case scenario. I just hope that I’m wrong. I’ve been into the stock market recently, and making some decent trades in this fledgling bear market, but I still feel that it’s a suckers’ rally; the fundamentals are definitely not sound.
26 September, 2009 at 02:42
* …bearing down UPON them…
*Although I do KNOW someone…
Sorry, last day of uni before term holidays, had a bit to drink…
26 September, 2009 at 08:39
You’re definitely in the “inner circle” of “outcasts who happen to be right”. I can tell by your concern over US debt and your interest in returning to gold-as-money.
As a gift to you, I give you this interesting piece from one of the few sane commentators in the US, Peter Schiff:
26 September, 2009 at 08:42
And if you have the taste for something even more “hardcore”…
Careful. Only a few people in the world can stomach this kind of hardcore economic porn.
26 September, 2009 at 10:31
I don’t know which is more “hardcore”. This one or the Deepcaster piece. Both have brutal, shocking scenes that should be rated XXX.
26 September, 2009 at 13:28
And great report on ABC’s Foreign Correspondent regarding Iceland’s banking collapse.
Icelanders found out that, sometimes, in extremis, bank deposits are NOT money. At least when you’re not TBTF! Ha Ha Ha!
Perhaps Andie was right after all…
26 September, 2009 at 14:08
Sebastian – had too much drink? Thats a disgrace…what were you thinking?
Listen guys – you have guns and I can cook and have a green thumb! I need labour and protection. We are all going to the same farm in the meltdown. Its going to be completely de-regulated so Andy will be happy but he will have to get used to ABOM being in charge. Id trust ABOM to shoot straight!
26 September, 2009 at 14:56
OK, but it would have to be a benign dictatorship. Democracy doesn’t work (see the work of Hans Hermann Hoppe).
26 September, 2009 at 21:34
That story was amazing..seriously. Its so true. There is no way out ABOM. You can try to save and they debase the currency. You can accummulate super and they will debase that. You can buy gold and they can debase gold. There is nowhere to go in the markets – it is a rabid starving Casino. There is no government controls – they got controlled ages ago.
You can buy shares and they, with their massive bets can take everyone out across the world in a day or so or less. ABOM, maybe its not gold..although ultimately it will be when they finally eat themselves alive. Its not gold my darling. You are right….its land and try to buy some land next yo an animal holding so you can fertilise it. Just land and then later its gold when it falls apart as it will ultimately do – there is toom much spin and BS in the markets now to trust them(so it doesn t really matter – hold on to the gold – its day will come after the collapse of the currency).
These bastards are hell bent on stuffing up my grandchildrens lives.
26 September, 2009 at 21:55
ABOM – if its land – we have to buy in Armidale. Plenty of water. Anything west of the dividing range is already in trouble.
27 September, 2009 at 15:26
Yup, plots of genuinely self-sufficient farmland are INCREDIBLY difficult to find. Drought is killing most of the Western plains. And when you do find a good lot, the yields are terrible (esp. with the rising $A wiping out farm profits).
Who can finance such a negatively geared property around Armidale? Bankers and those in finance! A lot of wealthy businessmen own farms in Armidale! The head of the busted B&B recently had to sell his farm – but he knew where to put his money right from the start – OUT of the stockmarket and INTO farmland for his family. Morluch/Murdoch owns farmland. So does Packer. The last thing they sell is the farm – there is a reason.
The b*astards are even pricing us out of this market!
I don’t sleep at night anymore. I know this whole thing is going to crash the second everyone starts dumping US$/T-bonds. I can’t stand this suspense. I want it over NOW. I hate the fact that the Fed is keeping stocks so high (at insane multiples of earnings). How long can this surreal game keep going on for? I want the Icelandic anarchy NOW, so we can clear the decks and start again – massive debt default, hopefully monetary revolution in the US with a return to Real Bills or a Gold/Silver standard for international trade.
The longer they keep these crazy balls in the air, the worse the collapse later…
27 September, 2009 at 15:50
Hugo has been right for years. Here he is (yet again) predicting a return to gold and silver for international trade…
Let’s just get this over with and work on the transition to gold, rather than continuing this ridiculous game, trying to keep the stupid paper system (growing EXPONENTIALLY even today – check out the graph from 1971).
Of course, no one in mainstream risk analysis. Andrew, the RBA, the major banks has a CLUE what we’re on about – when they do, it will already be too late. Why are govts and academics and consultants always so SLOW?
27 September, 2009 at 15:50
Bloody hell ABOM, the ex CEO of Abi group owns heaps of acres in Armidale (he who got chucked from his role as Chancellor UNE). Another one.
I saw a plot of 254 acres (not much of a house go a couple weeks ago for 1.2 mill – we need a syndicate – maybe thats not a bad idea).
Dont worry ABOM – when they get too powerful you know what happens. Was it Kennedy who said “if we dont help the poor, then god help the rich”? They cant keep playing this greed game forever. CEOs houses in Iceland have been vandalised over and over in red paint. They cant even return there.
I dont know what to do with my savings…Im likely to wake up and find it gone , just gone we keep going this way. Thats what happened in iceland and mortgages doubled overnight.
27 September, 2009 at 16:04
Yeah, we need a syndicate. I’m in. I think there’s a barrister friend in Vic who might be interested. See who’s out there. I think we could make $1.2 mill shared amongst 3 couples/small families (there will be problems if it gets any bigger – we would all need to live on the same land remember). Then we just need someone appointed to give it minimal maintenance.
Something to comfort you at night – when two people are running from a leopard in the jungle you don’t have to run faster than the leopard. You just have to run faster than the guy next to you.
If the sh*t really hits the fan, we would really need to lie low and be self-sufficient for a couple of months (perhaps only a couple of weeks). Hyperinflation and anarchy in Argentina didn’t last forever. Nor did it last in Zimbabwe forever. Nor Yugoslavia. Nor Russia. Nor Weimar Republic. In all these cases lots of people did starve, but those who traded in gold, or got out of the country, or had farmland survived.
27 September, 2009 at 16:22
It went pretty quick ABOM…probably one of those creeps bought it up. Im good at looking for property on the net (my other one that I thought was real cheap at Gosford went fast too – it was cheap). I cant get near that size land for that money on all other listings in area of Armidale. 254 pretty OK size wise – gotta be able to grow something on it. There’s another one, but its nowhere near half that size and asking almost half the dough (and looks a damn sight drier as well).
Thats true – all we need to do is run faster than the next guy and no you couldnt have more than three families or it would fall apart but you need each family to be siutated at all entry points and must have emergency buzzer connecting in case of trouble, electric fences (if that still works), and people who can shoot well in each house, and a bunker, just in case things got really ugly.
27 September, 2009 at 16:28
Oh ABOM – Thats hideous what you say about those countries – Argentina etc
You needa well hidden store of big sacks of lentils rice and stuff like that…worse comes to worse..it serves as soup even though lentil soup on its own would be thoroughly disgusting.. it keeps – just in case anarchy lasts longer etc. Well hidden.
27 September, 2009 at 16:30
Whats the smallest piece of gold you could trade – suppose you wanted some food or animal for some gold. If I buy 50,000 worth from the bank it comes in a tiny square. I wouldnt want to trade that for food or animal (too much). How the hell do we cut the gold up ??
27 September, 2009 at 17:49
That’s not how it will work here. That’s how it did work in Zimbabwe. I saw a tragic scene on cable TV (not on Oz TV) where a Zimbabwe woman was desperately sifting through sand by a river. The reporter asked her what she was doing. She said she needed a few tiny pieces of gold dust from this river or she and her two babies would starve to death. So in Zimbabwe producers really did want gold dust for bread.
Here, it is likely the currency will still be enforced (at the point of a govt gun) but that the gold price will (eventually) jump. How high, no one knows. When, no one knows.
So you put your “real” savings (cash you don’t need for 12 months) in one ounce pieces of gold. If it goes down (IT WILL!) don’t worry. Don’t look at the day to day fluctuations. Just know that in extremis, if the monetary system breaks down, societies have ALWAYS relied on gold when govts collapse. Zimbabwe is just a recent example.
I won’t produce and sell anything at the end of the day if I don’t get paid in gold and silver.
Then, when (not if) the US$ collapses or default occurs, you exchange SOME gold for the toilet paper of the day and continue on your merry way. The money you had in your pocket is worth less, but the gold is worth more. Simple. You keep selling your gold when the price jumps and you think the monetary system is back to stability. Right now, it’s a no-brainer – China is the buyer of last resort for gold so LT there is no risk for gold in US$. The only risk is gold in A$. That is something I can’t predict. However I know the stupidity of Andrew, the RBA and the banks in Australia and know the models they use to price risk, so I’m fairly confident gold will go up even in A$ given the fairly uniform stupidity of our own financial institutions. They should all get out of residential property and set up branches to service sustainable farmers who will see incomes jump when China starts importing food – but they have no idea.
Investors used to save in gold so they could get money out of the banking system, realising that their desposits were not actually at the bank (they were already lent out under FRB). As I’ve argued above (with mainstream zealot Andie) the central banks have proven themselves to be completely gutless and will print if there’s a bank run, so that reason to hold gold no longer really applies. It also means deposits ARE money today.
As long as you put your money in a TBTF institution the central bank can be guaranteed to keep bailing and bailing and bailing until we are drowing in liquidity. Like the US today.
You save LT in gold because when this happens, it is not that you can’t get your paper out of the bank; the paper becomes toilet paper at the end of the day. It is 100% centain. Only the timing is in question.
The whole of monetary history from 1694 on is a simple one: The bankers embezzle. There is a bank run exposing bank illiquidity/insolvency. The bankers friends in govt and at the central bank have to make a fateful decision: Defend the bank (print money/bail out the bank at the expense of savers and the general public) or Let the Bank Die and keep the money supply constant.
On every occasion I have studied (even in the 1930s) the central bank has tried to save their private banker friends first. Every time. I cannot think of an instance when the central bank has said – “No, I’m gong to let 5 big banks fail.” It just never happens. TBTF means “I’ve grown so big that I own you, the central bank, and the govt.”
The whole game is destroyed NOT by banks runs or insolvency BUT either by a currency crisis OR when malinvestments in the real economy become so obvious and the price mechanism is so distorted by the debasement of the means of exchange that there is true economic “anarchy”. In this case there isn’t hyperinflation so much as a freezing of all decision making and investment because the price mechanism no longer works. This actually happened in Vic in 1991 – I was there. There shoudl have been a “depreciation” of the Victorian currency, but because we had a national currency I got to see a deflationary economic crisis there. It was very close to economic anarchy in Victoria with Pyramid failing and terrible stories of savings lost, lives destroyed.
This will now happen on a global scale when the US has its own Victoria, 1991. It may not necessarily be a collapse of the dollar first. It may be that the US$ is supported – but like Victoria it experiences economic anarchy and massive unemployment. If the currency doesn’t “adjust” (die) then people do.
27 September, 2009 at 18:49
I swear ABOM – even at 1.2mill – that place was a good buy.
They do save the bankers first and they unleash hell on everyone else…its getting that way now….the embezzlement is so obvious that no one can even hang their hat on a safe investment when the TBTF investment houses are hammering it out tooth and nail between themselves for global dominance – what does it matter????….TBTF if everyone else that fed for years them has failed?
They will fail anyway. They will deflate and go out pf business. The stories of whats hot to invest in will disappear. The Sunday money columns will shrink because there is not enough interest (and plenty of a lack of trust). The schemes to minimise tax and make money will go because not much is making money, may as well pay tax and keep the rest and forget advisers.
The way I see it is more and more people slowly turning their backs on the stockmarket ABOM…slowly insidiously they wont want to be part of it, the great casino. It may not be a bang but an inexorable whimper – a sinking of a badly cooked cake. Government revenues dry up, banks eat each other and people hoard and let caution take over ABOM, they just will not let their savings out of their sight and there we have it – a liquidity trap where all liquidity vanishes into dark matter.
27 September, 2009 at 21:39
“all liquidity vanishes into dark matter.” Yes. Or gold and farmland.
27 September, 2009 at 22:48
And just to formalise and buttress my somewhat meandering post above on malinvestements from bailouts and govt spending eventually causing a “freezing” of investment and economic activity, MISH does a lovely job of analysing this Japan/Victoria deflationary sprial here:
The key phrase (which is beautifully expressed) is that govt financed deficit spending is “low velocity” activity that ultimately contracts the economy further like a boa constrictor when it finishes because govt spending is NEVER voluntary – it is coercive/dictatorial and therefore inherently dies when spending stops. The FHBG is a classic example of govt interference which, once withdrawn, is worse than useless.
Govt’s can’t see their own uselessness, so they keep interfering until the whole economy dies under the weight of their stupidity.
Japan. Victoria. Now the US. Next, China. Then the world. I’m firmly in the deflationist camp until the US$ collapses. Which may never happen.
27 September, 2009 at 22:55
Just to clarify my apparent inconsistencies (which Andie will no doubt jump on if he’s still alive): Devaluation of the US$ is occurring right now due to the unprecedented deficit spending. However this may result in a yen-like slow painful depreciation along with domestic deflation, rather than a collapse. I am 100% certain the US dollar will get progressively weaker (like the yen). I am not sure it will collapse (like the Argentinian peso).
Ulimately two dead ends await: Japan-style domestic deflation and a carry trade into Asia (resulting in asset bubbles and inflation elsewhere – but not in the US). Or an Iceland-type collapse. In both instances the US$ is toast, but one dies with a wimper. The other with a bang.
28 September, 2009 at 08:22
I was wondering whether Andie was still alive ABOM but he is over at JQs correcting Ernestine’s definition of a ponzi scheme. Andie doesnt think the CDO debacle constitutes a ponzi scheme…because they did actually invest in something in the boxes (cow manure maybe) but by definition a ponzi scheme invests in nothing…
ABOM, what are we going to do with mainstream man? (everythings fine out there in the financial markets). If he woke up one mroning and he lost his job, his wife left and his dog died I could just see him singing “oh what a beautiful morning…”!!
28 September, 2009 at 09:27
They are all zombies. They. Just. Keep. Going. Arms Out. Staggering Forward. Mumbling “Deregulate, deregulate, deregulate…”
28 September, 2009 at 09:41
And yet another “hardcore” XXX article on the “end game” of world govt.
This is almost boring now. It’s so obvious where we’re headed I’m tuning out. Only the timing is in question, but the direction is unmistakable. I’m practising bowing before the IMF and its SDRs.
28 September, 2009 at 09:58
Check this one…this article says Congress is mulling whether to give the Fed and Bernanke the bullet.
28 September, 2009 at 17:29
Still having a nice chat guys? If there is anything you want me to answer, please link to it. I am not going to wade through pages of love comments to get to anything that may approach the substantive.
29 September, 2009 at 07:02
You need to adjust your values on whats substantive!
29 September, 2009 at 18:46
The system at work, destroying us all…
30 September, 2009 at 12:03
Ewww ABOM – US debt (its insane like its trade deficit) INSANE….INSANE.
30 September, 2009 at 12:08
ABOM – you think thats bad? There is nothing holding up this latest rally. Nothing at all except more helium.
Check this one.
If the US thinks its going to be able to pursue global deregulation for its financial firms (the freaking Oligarchs) – by impoverishing Americans – just watch demands for industry protection grow ABOM.
30 September, 2009 at 13:57
I raise you.
Which one scares the H*ll out of you more? This one, the Deepcaster piece, or Mish’s stuff on deflation?
Personally, if I want to scare myself stupid, I re-read the Robert K Landis piece. That is so objectively written, so clear, so compelling, so right. It’s the one I go back to. It’s timeless. Until the paper game blows up. Then it will be out of date. Until then, it’s as fresh as a daisy.
30 September, 2009 at 14:53
And my apologies…I mentioned above that estimated US govt unfunded liabilities was in the order of $45 trillion. Silly me. It’s close to $60 trillion.
The USDebtClock is a fantastic learning tool. Interest on govt debt alone (going to the evil T-bond munchers) is staggering. Default is the only way out.
There must be a small group of bankers and execs in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands and New York going “Well, we make a billion $$$s a year each just on interest on the money we created to fund govt spending. What the Hell do we do with all this interest income we get for doing nothing? After I’ve spent my money on diamonds and gold and houses and h**kers, what’s left in life? Should we hire some PR guys to explain this filthy lucre? Should we just lie low and enjoy ourselves? Should we continue to pay off Franks and the other Congressional prost*tutes? What’s left? We’ve won. But it feels… well… kind of hollow. Like a guy who’s cheated on this exams and is later treated like a genius. At some point the game is going to be up. What do we do then? We’re just sitting around doing nothing, getting interest on money we created. Being a counterfeiter for a living is…well…kind of boring. Anyone for a game of tennis?”
30 September, 2009 at 16:01
Don’t you just love Wolf’s characterisation of govt bonds as perfectly liquid assets – the only safe assets that a “100% reserve banking system” would hold?
Cute. Of course, gold would be the reserve asset of choice in a free market, not govt bonds. Govt bonds would still allow inflation (encouraging budget deficits and govt spending – not ideal!).
However, narrow banking would be better than what we have. No one admits it, but this is going back (and beyond) Glass Steagall.
I wonder where Andrew is on this, when he has previously stated 100% reserve is WORSE than natioanlisation. Ha Ha Ha! Now ft.com and Wolf are seriously considering it as a way of solving our “fraudulent” banking problems.
Revenge is so sweet. Being denigrated by Andrew and then vindicated by Wolf. How quickly the tide turns…
30 September, 2009 at 20:14
ABOM where is the Landi link?
30 September, 2009 at 20:17
I just cant help thinking that Andy has his room tidy, his car immaculate, his shoes cleaned, his shirts starched and his ideology nicely organised. What he cant cope with is mess ABOM…..and we are in a BIG mess and need to change.
Some people are like that…
30 September, 2009 at 20:24
Landis, and you’ve seen it before. It freaked you out last time you read it…
1 October, 2009 at 00:44
If you think that you would be sadly disappointed.
1 October, 2009 at 09:41
Andy – I cant help thinking that.
Ive got a picture of you in my head with navy trousers, a nice sort of striped Gant shirt (all pressed) – a very clean car (Not like mine whos son wrote “filthy” on my back window in the dust which I just cleaned off this morning!! And dont ask what is in the centre console. It could astonish you.),
You also have a clean desk and house like someone who works in the financial sector and you make lists and check them off!.
Now if I hear you have been getting around dressed like an academic without a daily to do list I would be very disappointed!
Mind you, increasingly some academics have started turning up in suits more in the past ten years – not a good look – they dont know who they are anymore. But at least none wear brown cardigans and brown shoes – in fact I never saw anyone wear that charicature outfit.
My favourite macro lecturer wore low hanging blue jeans with a long belt, a checked shirt and baxter boots for years and years…
like he just stepped off his own Cowra farm which mostly he did. The only thing he didnt wear was the akubra.
1 October, 2009 at 09:54
I don’t care whether Andie’s a slob or suffers OCD. I do care about the shrinking gold basis.
Hurry up and collapse, US$. This delay is driving me CRAZY.
1 October, 2009 at 10:43
You sound like you will turn blue while you wait. One thing I have learnt after many years in the markets is that the markets can stay mad longer than you can stay solvent. Apply Murphy’s law to that and you do not have a good outcome.
OTOH, if you want to manage the risk of that open position you have you know where you can get some advice. :)
1 October, 2009 at 13:21
If it collapses…you might make so money BUT those bastards will then sell down gold ABOM. Ever feel like a herded sheep when it comes to the markets… “come this way with your money little children”???
It is collapsing isnt it ABOM?
Andy if you hedge ABOM he makes less money and you probably make more comissH!
1 October, 2009 at 13:51
Alice, “the markets” (those with paper $$$s) are trying to shake gold, silver and farmland out of weak hands. They are doing so successfully.
Andie’s right – by the time the US$ collapses, those who bet right will have starved to death waiting for the collapse.
1 October, 2009 at 17:46
Check this link.
Now if the US dollar goes down ABOM (which it could well do if it loses value – think of all those reserves)- correct me if Im wrong but US interest on its debt escalates. So is the Fed currently buying its Tbonds back to try to reduce its debt (printing money)? Is hyperinflation a risk in the US still?
1 October, 2009 at 18:40
No, not necessarily. Ironically the US dollar can keep going down AND interest rates can stay low. Look at Japan. If the Fed keeps buying Tbonds from offshore accounts, interest rates can stay low indefinitely. Only if they want to DEFEND the dollar would they need to stop the game and raise interest rates. But what does “defend” mean? Defend against gold. Not against other currencies. Why?
The US is a price maker for money, so when the US inflates, everyone else is forced to follow (EU, China, etc). So debt bubbles and asset bubbles will continue (malinvestments will continue) but you won’t necessarily see a collapse in the US$.
You need to carefully follow rats back to their hole. They never run to the light, nor do they run in straight lines.
There are many ways this thing can kill itself.
1 October, 2009 at 20:18
They will hyperinflate to protect their debt interest and keep it low ABOM. They will just keep printing to buy back debt??
dont you see that? In doing so they will wreak havoc on their own nation (and many others) but they will save the freaking bankers..
ABOM – we are being SET UP. We are doomed. They have no alternative in the US. Other countries dont want the US as reserve. Its already obvious. But it that happens they will sell – US goes down and the F***** F**ed will print ABOM and print and print. Can you not see it??
They will save themselves (their banks ABOM) and send everyone else to hell..
We are doomed ABOM. We are on the brink of an insanityneither you ro me have ever experienced before….in our lifetimes.
1 October, 2009 at 20:21
No ABOM – they will defend against other currencies (not just gold) – they will defend when the rest of the world starts selling its US dollar reserves. They want to now. The US doesnt want them to. Its knife edge ABOM. It only takes a one major sale or two before they all tip in…and sell.
1 October, 2009 at 20:22
and she will plummet ABOm and they will print to buy back the debt the rest of the world has been happy to be lending them for decades…
ABOM – this game is already over.
1 October, 2009 at 21:21
Not so fast. They aren’t as dumb as Mugabe. They are Mugabe underneath their bald skulls but Mugabe with very good math skills.
First, the one rule of counterfeit banking is that you save your friends AND ONLY your friends. You MUST ensure everyone els starves or the dollar becomes toilet paper. Hence low basic wages in the US but SKY HIGH exec pay (300 times ave earnings). So the Feds have pumped 800 billion into the banking system BUT allowed interest to paid on deposits with the Fed on the make believe money. So the banks can re-capitalise – but the money isn’t going anywhere (isn’t being lent) so isn’t hyperinflationary (yet).
Mugabe was trying to be “generous” with money and it ended up worthless. The Feds won’t make the same mistake. They will starve the workers and enrich the parasites. The result is still the same (complete destruction of the economy) but the path is not necessarily hyperinflation. We could just get a boa constrictor.
2 October, 2009 at 01:13
No – the debt interest is in USD terms – so while any new debt may be more expensive the old debt will become cheaper as inflation eats away at its true value.
You will know when the USD loses its status as the reserve currency. It will be when the US starts issuing debt in other than USD terms.
2 October, 2009 at 12:23
Thats exactly what I mean ABOM and ANDY. They US need inflation to reduce now MASSIVE debts (not for new debt) – for their massive existing debt.
We will be led like lambs to the slaughterhouse. All our savings useless as inflation rises. You know what happens. First sign – everything goes up. Second sign and what happened in Russia – purchasing power vanishes and things start to disappear from supermarket shelves as people can purchase them. The brands get tackier and tackier……
Andy – ABOM – can you please let me know when they start issuing debt in other than US terms. Wouldnt thety, before that, try to redeem outstanding debts by printing money though AND wouldnt that cause the inflation???
Is my logic right? Why would they outlaw trade in gold or silver or some value ommodities btw as some suggest is possible? To stop a flight to these other values and make sure everyone stays in the currency so they can devalue it??
This is getting ugly. Markets now turning again. I know its a helium hype rebound caused the same bastards trying as desperately as they can to ramp it up to “overvalued” again.
2 October, 2009 at 12:24
I mean “cant purchase them”
2 October, 2009 at 12:28
We already have the Boa Constrictor. We have had the Boa Constrictor squeezing since the early 1980s ABOM.
In the end you cant squeeze blood out a stone.
As someone (possibly Keynes) said about the great depression.
“There was no fundamental disagreement between capital and labour. Labour wanted to work and capital wanted to produce. What was missing was the whereithall to buy the goods.” (money)
In the end the bastards will squeeze themselves ABOM.
2 October, 2009 at 12:31
If we were covered by US law and had USD as our legal tender then I would be worried. Fortunately, the previous Australian government paid off the vast bulk of the federal government’s debts and left us in a position where we do not have much debt in any terms, let alone USD.
Of course, our current government is doing all it can to issue new debt, which I see as a concern, but starting from a base of practically zero it will take them a while.
All that I see happening is that if inflation takes hold in the US then Australian companies trading overseas will change the currency in which they trade.
For Australians at least I do not see this as a big problem. In fact it may actually be good for us as we are trading with China and Japan and mainly in commodities.
2 October, 2009 at 12:32
I said “In the end you cant squeeze blood out a stone.”
Maybe Im wrong on that. Maybe the bwanker oligarchs think they can do that. Guarded gated communities of luxury, surrounded by deserts of the poor ABOM? And, the $US arms industry ABOM..such a healthy well invested in industry…deployed against its own people? Its no longer out of realms of possibility.
2 October, 2009 at 12:34
Andy, when the US gets inflation big time we WILL get it as well. So will many other countries.
2 October, 2009 at 12:39
Not necessarily. The USD is not a circulating currency in Australia, so, unless our monetary authorities are behaving like the US Fed and the rest of the US government there is no need for it.
2 October, 2009 at 12:54
Andrew has no idea. Our low interest rates are connected to US interest rates. If the US dollar collapses, either our dollar collapses or interest rates go sky high. Why?
We have virtually no PRIVATE savings. What the banks do here is act as dumb retailers of private debt, selling our debt overseas as CDOs (securitised debt) to wholesalers of debt (big os banks).
When that collapsed in Q4, 2008, our $A tanked. To 50US cents! So much for Oz independence!
Andrew needs to answer the question: Where do the Aust banks get their funds if the US financial markets implode?
My answer: Mainly from domestic savers and China/Japan.
BUT – there are not many (any?) domestic savers. They died years ago.
So, eventually we’ll need to beg China and Japan to buy our private (and perhaps public) debt.
But that’s where the US is now, having to beg to get the funds to keep borrowing (but public and dometic). And it’s not a pretty position to be in. Remember the Bible says the borrower is a slave to the lender.
So Andrew doesn’t see all the interconnections so thinks a collapsing US$ is “OK” for Aust. I don’t think that’s likely.
We’ll soon see. We’ll soon see.
2 October, 2009 at 12:55
(both public and domestic).
My logic is so clear, but my typing is so poor.
2 October, 2009 at 13:00
and the markets ARE turning. Badly. I predict this is the big leg down. It’s stayed up on liquidity and hot air (from the media’s BS about green shoots).
Fekete, Schoon, Mish and Landis are all correct in saying that the “catastrophe” of debt deflation/liquidation/bankruptcy/collapsing economies is still ahead of us.
If I had a farm I’d be laughing at the stupidity of mainstream economists. As it is, I’m desperate, worried and begging the catastrophe to come quickly so this is all over and the debts can be wiped/liquidated clean and we can start over again.
The longer the delay in worldwide debt repudiation the longer and deeper the catastrophe will be.
2 October, 2009 at 16:32
I may not be a great fan of the superannuation system, but one thing it has done is created forced savings equal to 9% (or more) of wages.
As for China and Japan – one thing they do need is supplies to feed those factories. They come (at least in a large part) from here.
Looks like WA or Queensland may be a good place to be.
2 October, 2009 at 17:06
Unfortunately super have been one of the worst vehicles for retirement savings accumulation. The returns (on average) have been pathetic compared to either gold or property (which is rarely part of the super portfolio).
If you think of super as a forced transfer of wealth from workers to embezzlers then that may provide a more accurate picture.
And if you look at Aust’s private debt to GDP ratios, pathetic savings in super don’t contain my terror.
Good savings come from high savings rates and good returns. Super has forced the first requirement on us but not the second.
Super is no solution to our problems if the international securitised debt markets die.
2 October, 2009 at 17:06
2 October, 2009 at 18:58
ABOM – we have never in our history escaped US inflation and neither have scores of other countries. WE picked up the virus in the Korean war wool boom, we caught it again with heaps of other industrialised nations in the early 1970s, we have inherited Wall street crashes each and every time.
Sndy, this is no time to be naive. ABOM and I will help you pout this mindset. You need to think of market connections…
Andy – you obviously arent old enough to realise that when a major market like the US sneezes – we, in Australia, ALWAYS catch a cold. There is no basis for you to think we are insulated because we never have been (ever). They (media) say this every time the US goes down Andy. In Australian news we hear “we will be fine because we have sound fndamentals here in Australia”. Andy Im old enough to have heard this BS in our news 5 times over – each time it reveals itself later as entirely false (thanks to the the great god hindsight).”
Andy – add a decade to your age before you make naive comments like that..(we are fine here)..and think again about the garbage in the newspapers written by 22 year olds.
2 October, 2009 at 19:04
And ABOM –
Im worried myself…its a mess. I keep looking at farms in the country. I dont want to put a cent into shares. I keep thinking about 50g to 100 g in gold and I dont know which is better. Im stuck in indecision land and trust no-one but me…
2 October, 2009 at 19:48
You don’t want to get into debt to buy farmland – yields aren’t good enough. 50g of gold is not quite going to allow you to retire.
Drugs are a good short term solution. Also the local pub should allow you to buy a second-hand NSW police force .45 Glock and some ammo.
If things get hairy, just do what the bankers and govts do – steal it.
2 October, 2009 at 20:41
I think I need to glock and ammo ABOM!
2 October, 2009 at 20:46
But ABOM, what I really want is a small derringer with one bullet in it, that fits inside a handbag like the grandother of my first boyfriend always carried. How elegant is that ABOM??? (Rich family! Very rich!)
How can I buy one of those? It fits in a handbag and is tiny!
I used to have a mace gun like a cigarette lighter 15 years ago from a girlfriend who ran away from trouble in South Africa with her family (she carried it in her handbag) but it ran out – I kept testing it to see if it still worked.
2 October, 2009 at 21:53
Yeah, there used to be lots of elegant handguns, silver bullets and the like, before the fascist govts became scared of people having their own protection. They want you disarmed so they can rob you more easily.
You never see vicious rapists promoting female self-defence courses, do you? Well you never see govts encouraging the private ownership of tools of self-defence, lest they be used against the all-powerful State.
And just on why we are all heading to Hell, and why I KNOW Andie’s profession is full of sh*t:
I tried to fight the good fight 20 years ago. In the academy. They laughed. Now I laugh.
It’s a hollow laugh, knowing that these idiots have all pushed us over a monetary cliff. All Mervyn’s King’s Men and All Mervyn King’s Horses Couldn’t Put The Humpty Dumpty Private Bankers Back Together Again.
2 October, 2009 at 22:23
Having thought through your little dilemma, I have a suggestion, if you don’t want to try drugs or guns (the govt’s normal income-earning prefernces by the way are Afghan opium and Glock .45s).
Forget about gold (if you can only buy 50g it’s probably not worth doing it). Buy silver from the Perth Mint. 100 ounce bars are around $1600.
The biggest upside metal in the world (by FAR) is silver. If you want to get out of paper, I’d get into silver. $10k could go to $100k in the blink of any eye in silver. I don’t know when, but it could happen in the next 5 years.
3 October, 2009 at 06:56
Hmm – thats interesting ABOM. Goldmans are going to dimp on anything its more likely going to be gold…the Chinese govt is also peddling silver to its citizens.
I think women should have protection. They should be allowed to carry guns like small derringers in their handbags ABOM. If anyone should have one it should be women. At the moment its only criminals and police who have them and we are not sure which is which when it comes to guns…if you look at that guy in the army that was stealing and selling rocket launchers…(who on earth to?). Charming fellow.
3 October, 2009 at 06:58
Couldnt agree more with this blog comment from Naken capitalism –
“Old, conservative bankers and traders have been replaced by keen young mathematical analysts, yet anyone who listened to a grandmother who survived the Depression would have been warned against debt and been better prepared than Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan, respectively chairman and former chairman of America’s Federal Reserve.”
3 October, 2009 at 12:44
And today it’s easy to work out who the criminals are. Anyone in a uniform, anyone from the govt and anyone in the upper echelons of power are embezzlers and criminals. Every single one of them.
Until we’re back to a gold standard anyone at the top is guaranteed to be completely corrupt and will have the mentality of a Mafia gang leader.
Because underneath the suit, that is what they are.
Evidence: Uniforms (Iraq, Afgan, NSW/Vic police, Child “protection” authorities), Govt (Turnbull, Rudd Bank, the whole of the current NSW govt). Upper echelons of power: Obscene exec pay, banker/property developer bailouts from Canberra.
Women should have protection. Why can’t they carry guns?
3 October, 2009 at 20:01
And this was the quote from NC I particularly liked about Andie’s “profession”:
“David Colander made this point about economic models: the sociology of the economics profession gave preference to elegant mathematical models that could describe the world using the smallest number of parameters. “Common sense does not advance one very far within the economics profession,” he says.
A similar point can be made about VaR models. Sure, maybe all the financial professionals who design and work with VaR know about its shortcomings, both mathematical and practical. But nevertheless, using VaR brought concrete benefits to specific actors in the banking world. If common sense would lead a risk manager to crack down on a trader taking large, risky bets, then the trader is better off if the risk manager uses VaR instead…
In other words, models succeed because they meet the needs of real human beings, and VaR was just what they needed during the boom. And we should assume that a profit-seeking financial sector will continue to invent models that further the objectives of the individuals and institutions that use them. The implication is that regulators need to resist the group think of large financial institutions. If everyone involved is using the same roadmap of risks, we will all drive off the cliff again together.”
Common sense does not advance one very far within the economics profession.
You can say that again. That’s why Harper is lauded as a genius and I have to accept ignominius obscurity.
3 October, 2009 at 20:16
Actually ABOM – you have it right. The so called genius in economics are fraudsters working for some bloody bank..
the entire profession is now a sham.
4 October, 2009 at 02:44
Still chatting. I wish I had the time you guys seem to have for idle chatter.
4 October, 2009 at 12:59
Alice, don’t you love it when someone like Andie gets hit with a devastating piece like the one from Naked Capitalism, basically trashing his whole profession as a shallow, corrupt, brainless waste of time with make-believe models cooked up to allow traders to continue to make stupid bets at the casino tables – and he labels the discussion “idle chatter.”
I guarantee another financial crisis is around the corner, with Andie’s mindset used as Exhibit A in my case against the financial modelling establishment.
4 October, 2009 at 13:37
Wont be long before you have the time Andy – the banks will see to it a lot of us have too much spare time…bankers included.
Better idle chatter than idle useless thieving unproductive banks run by the most idle of all Andy.
4 October, 2009 at 14:55
I read the piece you seem so excited by. I could not find much to disagree with. The piece from Taleb at the top, while the language was OTT, was broadly accurate and nothing I have not been saying here on many occasions.
The extension from Johnson really added nothing to it.
Ho hum. Got anything else?
4 October, 2009 at 15:16
OK, I admit I’m now thoroughly confused by your position(s). You denigrate the anti-quant, more verbal-logic driven, hueristic Austrian School and any critic of FRB (such as Douglas, Rowbothan, Schoon, Brown and Fekete). You are “within” the financial risk assessment community. You use “conventional” bell-curve based VaR models for your clients albeit with qualifications (see here: http://ozrisk.net/2009/06/08/normal-curves-and-the-levy-distribution/).
And yet you are now AGREEING with Taleb that the models are effectively useless – perhaps worse than useless in that they underestimate “extreme” events (such as liquidity/solvency crises) that seem to occur regularly in the leveraged/maturity mismatched financial sector.
This Taleb view has concrete policy recommendations: debt-repudiation/relief and strong regulation of leverage in the financial sector. Yet you are against ANY regulation of the sector, having been on record as supporting the insane repeal of Glass Steagall.
Taleb’s view really supports either stonger capital adequacy ratios, less leverage and more govt control over finance, or a gold standard (both would reduce “insane” leverage, which Taleb believes only arose due to mis-modelling from the quant geeks underpricing risk).
You have previously openly and disdainfully criticised me for my apparent “inconsistency” in supporting free banking and full banking, above the current central bank-supported fiat FRB system. I have clearly given my reasons why there isn’t any inconsistency.
I think you at least owe me an explanation. How can you stay within the profession whilst agreeing with Taleb and the NC piece more broadly? How can you support repeal of Glass Steagall whilst recognising that leverage inevitably leads to disaster? How can you accept the models don’t realistically price-in Black Swan events and be so dismissive of my (and Alice’s) predictions of impending disaster in Australia (have you looked at Keen’s work on private debt levels in Aust???)?
It is you that is inconsistent my friend. You need to think through your positions a little more carefully in future. At least I know we’re screwed, and why. And at least I have real remedies (although the corrupt blind stupid little fascists in govt have no idea and will never pick up these ideas). You have not come up with one solution to our problems, except “incremental” deregulation. Which is the very thing that got us here.
4 October, 2009 at 16:04
And I doubt anyone using the bell curve is predicting this:
But I am. Along with few other “unstable tables”.
4 October, 2009 at 16:13
No wonder you are confused. You seem to never have understood my points. Perhaps you should try actually reading them rather than trying to construct a cardboard cutout of them.
I have never said and, in that quoted piece neither did Taleb, that those models are “useless” as you say they are. They are not. They are, however, a problem (like any other tool is a problem) if you use them incorrectly – and Taleb is right on that.
As for stress tests – have a look through this site on stress testing, name risk and many, many other pieces I have written on this area. I have been utterly consistent (I believe) that VaR and other measures are useful from day to day but you need to do a lot of stress testing as well to check for the situations where VaR and other measures becomes less than useful – as Johnson puts it (too strongly, IMHO, but largely correctly) “worthless”.
You also keep putting links up here that illustrate problems with the current system – including many OTT ones featuring such things as blood sucking vampires and then expect me to respond as if they are an affront to me. Really, they just bore me silly. I work within the current system. I know its defects. Trying to imply that because I work with it that I support it is just plain wrong.
As for the rest, I am not opposing you in supporting free banking for the very reason that you do not support it. You mouth the words that free banking is your number one choice and then in the next breath explain why it will not happen and, if it did, it would “collapse” back into central banking. If that is your definition of support, then please find another cause to support.
I work in risk management. Part of my job is to deal with these problems as they come along. Understanding them, I hope, makes me better able to management risks they create. I do not like them – I just have to work within them. In my spare time I try to work, in my own small way, to reduce the risks overall.
4 October, 2009 at 16:26
Feel free to bet your house on it. Personally, I would think the only jackass is the guy believing that the US will collapse into martial law as the result of a recession.
4 October, 2009 at 17:00
Thanks for making the effort to explain why you work within the current corrupt insane imploding financial system, with models that work in week-to-week (perhaps month-to-month) increments, but are useless for longer-term modelling.
We’ll see whether this is just a recession. I personally think it’s slightly bigger than that. But time will tell. And the one thing I know about economics is that problems of malinvestment, mispricing and corruption can only be displaced, never eliminated once created.
4 October, 2009 at 17:44
Correct, ABOM – perfection is impossible. The question is how to get closer to it.
4 October, 2009 at 20:42
Agreed. And I do understand and respect your choices. It allows you to be both inside the game and work (perhaps in some small way) for the goals I know we both strive for. My methods certainly haven’t been successful in the past. I don’t expect them to be successful in the future.
You probably make much more than me, have none of the serious mental health issues I suffer from, and have a wide circle of like-minded friends. So you’re probably much more together than me. I suffer from a rare, isolating, mental condition – once I see reality clearly, I can’t let go of it. Even if it shows me that we are doomed.
Most shy away from reality. Most don’t imagine their own death or the death of their civilization. I don’t shy away. I look straight at reality. And I don’t like what I see.
5 October, 2009 at 01:17
I look at what I see and then try to think of ways to improve it. I am, I confess, an optimist in that. That can also, at times, be a serious mental health issue.
5 October, 2009 at 08:40
ABOM Im an unstable table too…the whole mess is enough to make you unstable.
Its the stupid lousy models ABOM and the fact that there isnt enough people who understand them and millions of fools using them.
ABOM – if you dont beleive me sign yourself in to the STATA users list (no dont!!! I did and in three weeks I had 491 emails in an email account I dont check often…poor wretched people all over the world who dont understand STATA, cant work it out, it doesnt explain, it causes all sorts of bizarre results for even simple studies, it doesnt like this language or that language and people think the harder the program to use the better it must be????
I gotta get myself of this user list for the hopelessly entangled before it fills my hard drive ABOM.
Holy MOG ABOM, the world has gone mad. Our great minds are trying to solve ditzy little error messages generated by stats models they have no clue about written into programs for them.
No wonder we cant find the way….they (economists) may as well all be tied to chairs, in a white padded room, with a column of numbers, staring down the tube of an electron microscope 24/7.
Talk about lost in technology ABOM. Keep them learning Stata for 30 years so they cant actually study anything else…….the perfect plot.
What a waste of time. If the program was that good why are millions having BIG (no HUGE) trouble using it. Millions….ABOM. Its been written so only those proficient in 15 languages and have done IT for ten years can use the bloody thing.
Ill say it. No-one else will but data can be made to go the way you want it at any point in time. Its BS – utterly.
5 October, 2009 at 09:08
Dont worry about that mental condition ABOM….re once reality is seen, you cant let go…
It is not a mental condition. I know people try to make you think it is but its not at all. It is called insight. Some have it, others get it later. “There is only one thing that really matters in life and that is to stand up for what you believe is right until the day you die because after that you have no chance to make any difference for others”.
Living with that thought makes your life a bit harder, but it frees you. Ive told employers they were exploiting others, Ive dobbed workplace psychopaths in for lying (go straight to the bloody top!), and that isnt half of it. Im sure they think Im mental by now.
I walked the streets against Iraq, and I fought against a densely packed unit development on public uni grounds in a red bushfire zone. (eww tacky, that one – money and deals flying and Iemma and Sartor wining and dining local developers and begging them to take it on – yes really). Ive seen them skew good journalists in local papers (suddenly) – dont ask me how! It has to be money. I didnt know how far State Labor had sunk (and who is really to say the other lot are any better? The steal deals just go on from the public ABOM). Its scary how far we have sunk.
Ive met other people like us ABOM. Charles Darwin was disgusted by the treatment of slaves when all around him people were justifying their use for economic reasons on the basis the slaves were not even the same species as us.
You and I…we likely are not commercial prospects ABOM, at all. Dont worry about it, we will die with a clear conscience.
Thats enough for me.
And Andy – you and ABOM have been having a lovely long chat here. It must be because of public holiday weekend….
5 October, 2009 at 13:25
It’s always the way. Someone finally gets it right, and provides a viabe roadmap back to reality, about 30 years too late.
5 October, 2009 at 13:26
viable. Viabe sounds like a pill for older men….
5 October, 2009 at 16:28
Ahhh, yes, ABOM – viable, as in abolishing fractional reserve. *yawn*. Not possible while maintaining any sort of freedom in a capitalist system. Article can now safely be ignored.
5 October, 2009 at 20:09
No no no no – thats not the name of the pill …and you dont even need to know that one yet ABOM….neither you nor Andy!!!!
5 October, 2009 at 20:46
Right, Andrew. Monetary reform is insane and only for the unstable tables. But the current system is just fine and is leading us to a financial utopia. Yeah, right.
I’d prefer to try something different now, rather than continue down the path to Hell. A few other derivative experts (more knowledgeable and well-known than either of us) appear to agree that the current path leads only to a deflationary implosion and complete catastrophe.
You really confuse me Andrew. You denigrate anything to do with monetary reform yet seem to agree with Taleb and others that the current system is doomed.
At least I’m screaming for an exit door. You seem strangely passive, encouraging everyone to keep seated whilst we’re on the road to Hell. You admit to me you know the path heads directly to Hell but don’t want to run to an exit door. I have to ask – are you really the Devil, just wanting to return home, or do you want to escape like Alice and me?
5 October, 2009 at 20:59
Oh, and Alice, I’ve genuinely never met anyone like me. Not even my wife really understands where I’m coming from. She just complains if I look “depressed”. You’re as close as it comes to understanding my perspective and for that I am very grateful.
I think you understand how isloating it is. You seem to think it’s courageous. I don’t. I think it’s a mental health issue I’d prefer to live without.
I’d sacrifice insight for happiness and a wider social circle any day.
5 October, 2009 at 21:04
My position on monetary and banking reform is not guided by chasing after the false hope of banning FRB, ABOM. The people who imagine that this can be done are simply wrong. Basing your ideas of reform on banning something that is effectively impossible to ban is just silly.
What is there to be confused about with that?
5 October, 2009 at 21:16
Abolishing legal tender laws and allowing me to trade in gold and silver (for the 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000th time) will not ‘threaten” FRB, nor increase “regulations” or “govt”. Remove the CGT on gold and silver and abolish legal tender laws. What’s not to like about that proposal, my free-market friend?
And just on the coming catastrophe, from Basel of all places (the BIS should know what they’re talking about – they developed the current insane system after all….)
5 October, 2009 at 21:20
Where have I said any of those are bad ideas? AFAIK I have not.
5 October, 2009 at 21:37
You don’t seem willing to fight to the death with me to change the current system. And you don’t seem sufficiently worried about the current monopoly (govt monopoly!) fiat system, the current corrupt central bank/central planning dominated monetary regime or the current direction of the financial markets.
One day you’ll regret not screaming louder. I regret being alive right now, witnessing the stupidity I’m witnessing. But I don’t regret the principled position I’ve taken in life.
6 October, 2009 at 00:27
Fighting to the death is over-rated and normally just ends up with the survivors being ruled over by a mob worse than they started with.
6 October, 2009 at 10:59
Im utterly astonished that Andy wants to regulate your freedom to trade in silver and gold ABOM!!!!!
6 October, 2009 at 11:03
My husband doesnt understand me either. He thinks Im mad to worry (or get angry) about these world type issues….
he doesnt think they are important ABOM – so maybe I do have a mental illness as well…
No, I cant bear to think like that. No, ABOM its not a mental illness…
“We all agree that pessimism is a mark of superior intellect.”
6 October, 2009 at 11:32
Where did I say that? I have no interest in regulating anyone’s trading in gold or silver or, with very few exceptions, anything else.
6 October, 2009 at 12:54
You’ve never said it. You just relax into the current regime, limply supporting my screams for an exit door of gold and silver, comfortable in the knowledge that no one can (currently) escape the fiat paper/debt money nightmare …. encouraging further deregulation in a monopoly currency environment. I think you know what you’re doing. Which is the most worrying thing of all.
6 October, 2009 at 14:34
And the genuises at GS who have a record of about 1 in 10 in financial predictions, is now positive on big banks.
6 October, 2009 at 14:37
I really do mean “genuises” singular because there’s really only one genius at GS out of the thousands employed there. That genius is the ghost of Jekyll Island, who created the system on which the parasite breeds. The Harvard University professor who drafted the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. The current GS execs are zombies living off the past corrupt genius of others, who duped Congress nearly a century ago.
6 October, 2009 at 14:40
OK, I admit I’ve been drinking. Geniuses. I can’t cope with the stockmarket going north when I bet it was going to go south. I was positive this week was going to be the week. It’s Oct (notoriously down month). Employment in the US is tanking. Gold is up. Banks are toast. Lending is NEGATIVE $2 trillion. Derivates are still a disaster. CDS are still out there, so some banks can still make money bankrupting others.
Why did this market go up this week??????? I can’t stand it any longer!!!!! Die, US$, Die!
6 October, 2009 at 16:27
Nothing makes sense anymore in the markets except perhaps to do the opposite to what you think they should do. Its ALL perverse…..
I dont care if you have been drinking. Im going to Phuket tomorror and when I get back Im going to Usyd!
You are so sweet. Seriously. Very seriously. You make perfect sense to me. I dont care what age you are ABOM!!!
I swear I luv U.
6 October, 2009 at 16:42
Thanks Alice, I love you too. You and I are the only sane ones in this crazy world. Enjoy Phuket while I try to survive the hail in wintery Sydney!
6 October, 2009 at 18:24
October is, in fact, the most “up” month of all – despite some of the worst things happening during it.
6 October, 2009 at 18:27
OK ABOM !!
6 October, 2009 at 20:56
from your link
” “the mortgage crisis is no more sophisticated than a schoolyard swindle, and the SEC is the principal.” ”
You know what principals do when schoolyard swindles get out of hand ABOM? They confiscate the kids tender….or they ban the game and make the tender worthless for all – even though only some are swindlers!! It always seemed to me they never catch the cheats ABOM even in schoolyard swindles….
6 October, 2009 at 21:32
I interpret that to mean that the SEC is like the principal who is in on the swindle.
There is no “principal”. The govt is in on the swindle. The only “out” is gold and silver. I promise you, the cheats are both the kids and the principal.
We need to stop work until we are paid in gold and silver. If the real producers in this society insisted on being paid in gold and silver, the whole system would grind to a halt.
We need the rapists to pay for the rape. Currently they pay only in paper. They need to pay more for their fun. Let them find gold before they ask me to lift my finger or my intellect. Their “girlfiends” (and boyfriends) should only stay open for gold and silver. If we educated the “working” girls and boys of Sydney to insist on payment in gold and silver I think we could turn this economy around.
By the way, did you know that in the emergency kit of US pilots there is a small amount of currency to bribe the locals on a crash landing? It’s a small amount of…of….of…..come on guess….of….of GOLD.
7 October, 2009 at 09:28
Oh dear. When a blogging non-economist clearly describes FRB as FRAUD and references Rothbard to prove his point, I thiink we’ve reached a turning point. Even dumb people are “getting it”.
More work for Andrew to de-program the populace. Or should that be re-program?
7 October, 2009 at 10:14
Pardon me for putting it this way, but I am not surprised that “…a blogging non-economist clearly describes FRB as FRAUD and references Rothbard to prove his point…”. People who know about banking do not treat Rothbard with the respect that you seem to accord him.
7 October, 2009 at 10:55
Yeah, but MISH does. And he’s much more well-known than either us. He has one of the most popular blogs on the bet. More popular than ozrisk.net or johnquiggin.com. Or Steve Keen’s site (which is a shame).
7 October, 2009 at 10:56
net. I “bet” MISH is right, and the US stockmarket will fall. Badly.
7 October, 2009 at 11:38
At least gold is going in the right direction (one sign of market sanity amidst the madness of the rising Dow). I remember Andie saying to me “good luck on that unhedged gold bet.” Well….. luck seems to be smiling on me. I hope Andie’s short gold.
7 October, 2009 at 14:27
I hate to say it, but your little world is crumbling, Andie.
Best short “hit piece” on FRB I have ever read. FULL STOP. de Soto for the long detailed attack. Murray Rothbard for a pamphlet. North for the knock out short punch.
7 October, 2009 at 14:49
Hardly, ABOM. The basic presumption of the article, as given in the first few lines, is wrong. He is simply wrong when he says “Banks are allowed to write contracts that are prohibited to all other profit-seeking agencies.”
They are not. You will not find a word of prohibition in any statute law or in any common law that gives rise to this imagined prohibition.
You can do it yourself – walk up to a mate and ask him (or her) to lend you some money and say “I will pay it back when you ask me to”. If that is not prohibited by law then I have just proved the whole basis of that argument wrong.
7 October, 2009 at 14:53
Oh – and as for price stability being impossible under FRB – the article itself shows that this is not only possible, but, given a metallic standard, probable – see the section “THE GOAL OF PRICE STABILITY” in the piece.
It is not FRB that is the problem, ABOM.
Oh – and no one has yet shown me how it would be possible to ban it in any case. Give it up – you are on a hiding to nothing on FRB.
7 October, 2009 at 15:53
Could you please define insolvency, by reference to Australian law, and list the criminal consequences for directors who engage in trading whilst insolvent, and apply this to banking under FRB?
I recall the definition is “unable to pay debts as and when they fall due.” Banks take money THAT SHOULD BE AVAILABLE AT CALL and lend it long.
They are inherently insolvent. That is what a bank run exposes. Bank runs are not catastrophes. They are INHERENT in the system of FRB. They are 100% INEVITABLE.
Normally, a company trading whilst insolvent is shut down, the directors criminalised. With central banking, the insolvency is hidden by the printing of fake paper when a bank run occurs. If the central bank didn’t exist, and/or we had gold as money, all of this would be exposed. Even the dumbest fool would understand the embezzlement.
Knowingly creating two claims on the one piece of property is embezzlement. And knowingly trading whilst insolvent is criminal.
And please don’t accuse me of being a fullRBer. I like free, with the recognition that FRB is engaging in Ponzi-like activity. I wouldn’t outlaw Ponzi schemes myself – but then I wouldn’t want to participate in them either. And I certainly wouldn’t use it as a basis of state-finance or international financial regulation.
And I will fight anyone (or any State) that tries to FORCE me to participate in a Ponzi scheme. That’s what legal tender laws currently force me to do.
I know I’m on a hiding to nothing fighting FRB. So was Kennedy/Douglas/Rothbard/Austrians/the Catholic Church/etc etc. That doesn’t make it RIGHT. It just makes it profitable.
7 October, 2009 at 16:04
The term is “as and when they fall due” – perfectly correct. When do they fall due? When the demand is made. Provided the bank (or other company) can meet the call (or, more correctly expect to be able to meet the call) then they are no more insolvent than anyone else is.
I dealt with this at length a while back, so please feel free to give it a read.
As for the other part, current legal tender laws do nothing of the sort. All they force you to do is to pay any amounts you owe to the government in legal tender – anything else you may pay for in whatever form you can agree with your counterparty. If you want (for example) someone to pay you in gold then there is nothing whatsoever to force either you or her to use “legal tender”.
In any case, legal tender is no more “Ponzi” money than anything else would be.
7 October, 2009 at 16:15
They fall due when they are legally required to be paid out. Which is instantaneously.
7 October, 2009 at 17:07
Correct – the instant a request is made. Not all the time.
7 October, 2009 at 19:55
Just on your “case”, I was personally involved in the Standard Chartered Bank of Australia Limited v Antico case, analysing insolvency.
I can confidently say that, in the absence of a central bank, ONCE A BANK RUN HAPPENS, every such bank would be trading illegally, insolvently and the directors would be personally liable.
Given the speed of bank runs (Q4, 2008) it is impossible as a banker to protect against bank runs unless you dramatically increase your reserve ratio. Or have a friend at the central bank willing to print when needed.
So technically speaking the “virtual” insolvency in banking is eternal and continuous. The REALISATION of insolvency is sporadic and dependent on random events reducing asset prices/GDP triggering bank runs. The reason we don’t see bankers in jail is because of the central bank. They should be in jail, but the legal tender laws forcing me to trade in toilet paper (and they do, contrary to what you say) prevent bank runs from exposing the latent insolvency.
It is self-evident that insolvency is only exposed when the request is made. Antico would still be in his mansion in Mosman if the banks had rolled over the debt. But they didn’t. And his business empire collapsed. And the banks then went after him.
The irony is that at the time (1991) some of the very banks taking his life and his home were probably insolvent themselves, only protected from teh REALISATION of insolvency by the central bank.
7 October, 2009 at 19:58
“It is salient to observe that a company is NOT solvent because it may be able to pay all of its debts if it were granted sufficient time to do so; Re Whitgift Nominees Pty Ltd (1983) 7 ACLR 680. The position of a debtor who is able to pay all its debts as and when they become due is to be distinguished from that of a debtor who will only be able to pay debts presently due at some future time. Only the former can be said to be solvent; Expo International Pty Ltd v Chant  2 NSWLR 820 at 839; Bank of Australasia v Hall (1907) 4 CLR 1514-1528.”
7 October, 2009 at 19:59
“Finally, the relevant inquiry is directed towards the company’s ability to pay rather than the fact of payment; Standard Chartered Bank of Australia Ltd v Antico.”
8 October, 2009 at 02:23
Nothing in there has made me change my mind. Have a look at this site on “Name Risk” if you want to see my opinion on that matter. Banks, like any other company, are insolvent if they cannot pay their debts as and when they fall due. If that means that reserve ratios would tend to be higher under free banking, then so be it. There is no need to impose a 100% reserve ratio, in fact it would be stupid to try and pointless in any case, as such a measure would be easy to walk around, as in the piece I linked to earlier.
North is still wrong when he said “Banks are allowed to write contracts that are prohibited to all other profit-seeking agencies.”
They are not. His whole analysis stems from that and so it falls down.
8 October, 2009 at 10:07
Let’s cut through the cr*p. I want to see what’s in your heart. Do you support, right now, no questions asked, Ending the Fed or not?
You say you’re a free marketeer.
8 October, 2009 at 14:44
“The data in the MSNBC piece is not wrong – gold and silver have been poor investments over a long period. If you want to take risks by gambling over a short period on gold or silver, go ahead. I do not see them as good long term plays for the reasons I gave above – there is too much emotion in that market for it to behave sensibly.”
Too much emotion eh? I hope you’ve advised your clients to short gold and silver. You were certainly out of both only a few weeks ago…
8 October, 2009 at 15:13
I almost feel sorry for you.
But then, I look back on your comments. And realise you deserve it.
8 October, 2009 at 15:40
Uh oh… this is gaining some serious momentum.
Bigger than both of us, eh Andie? I feel like stepping to one side and just watching. What’s gonna happen? With the Old Lady survive? Or will gold win out?
Isn’t this fun!
8 October, 2009 at 15:41
With the Old Lady…err…Will the Old Lady. I’m into my second Macallan to celebrate gold at US$1050. Now, if only it would rise in A$s……..
8 October, 2009 at 15:52
(No response for a day or so. Perhaps Andrew’s busy buying gold?)
8 October, 2009 at 16:00
I can see the writing on the wall. And it reads “Burn the Bankers and hope they melt into GOLD.”
8 October, 2009 at 18:47
Nothing to see here, bank runs are a once in 7000 year event according to most risk models. Mises predictions of “catastrophe” are ridiculous. The Anglo monetary system is a terrific invention, having nothing to do with Ponzi schemes or anything “unsavoury” (like a criminal cartel)….
8 October, 2009 at 22:12
Dear me, ABOM. I hope you see your shrink as regularly as you comment here. It may do you some good.
OTOH, maybe not.
8 October, 2009 at 22:16
I’m missing sweet Alice. I’ve already admitted I have serious mental health issues. No need to rub it in.
Then again, given I regularly rub in your pathetic shallow analysis of FRB (with supporting references!), perhaps I deserve it.
8 October, 2009 at 23:33
You keep linking to the same things over and over again as if there is something important or meaningful in them – and I have read them several times and responded to them – pointing out where they are speaking nonsense. Have you got anything you wish to say you have not said before or anything you could possibly link to that you have not already?
9 October, 2009 at 08:36
Well I’m POSITIVE you haven’t fully read this:
You say you have, but it’s obvious you haven’t. Or you would be much more worried and less dismissive of my arguments. So I feel it’s reasonable for me to repeat some of my links (e.g. the Landis piece) to try to pummel some detailed anti-FRB thinking into that fixed, fused, robotic, zealot-like “deregulate, deregulate, deregulate” brain of yours.
Please don’t even think about buying gold. Please keep buying US treasuries as far out on the curve as possible – preferably 30 year bonds. If they sell 100 year bonds, please recommend that your clients buy bucket loads of those. After all, the VaR models assume US govt bonds are a “risk free” asset. Ha Ha Ha!
9 October, 2009 at 08:40
Why not throw him another bone? Chew on this, FRB man…
9 October, 2009 at 08:58
And still no response from this clear specific request:
“Let’s cut through the cr*p. I want to see what’s in your heart. Do you support, right now, no questions asked, Ending the Fed or not?
You say you’re a free marketeer.
Your heart is black.
9 October, 2009 at 10:11
Sorry – I missed that one in the torrent of “interesting” comments.
I have read de Soto. I found it even more pompous and boring that “Das Kapital” and little better in the understanding of what a bank is. If that is as “worrying” as it gets then I am right to sleep easily at nights.
On the 30 year bonds etc. – no, I have not got any and I would not buy USD bonds in any case. I have no appreciable operations in the US that I would choose to use them as a hedge for.
Why do you think I have any interest in the use of the USD as a currency to buy oil in? Where any of my clients are using the USD for this and they have no natural hedge I would advise them to get a forward contract to sterilise the risk. I really do not care where the USD is going – I just deal with the risks of the movement.
I believe free banking, which, if I were in the US, does not involve the Fed, is where we should be heading. If I were in a position to do this in the US (which, obviously I am not as I am not a US citizen for a start) then you would need to put non-fiat monetary processes in place first before ending the Fed, but that thing aside, yes – there is no need for a central bank.
If you are going to be of any further interest, please keep it in Australia. You seem desperate to hold me to what is going on in the US. If you are so fascinated by the US, go and live there. Keep it in Oz from now on, please. This is really boring me.
9 October, 2009 at 10:36
Aust is a US colony. Who cares what happens in Oz? If the Fed is eliminated I expect the RBA would be “altered” shortly thereafter.
9 October, 2009 at 13:43
9 October, 2009 at 13:51
Gold at US$1050. Yawn………
9 October, 2009 at 13:54
You live in the US, do you? What is it doing in the currency area you live in?
9 October, 2009 at 14:19
Not so well, to be honest. But once the carry trade blows up when the RBA has to reverse course (see Steve Keen’s analysis on the RBA at his debt watch blog) the A$ will plummet and I’ll be in clover.
And I’m beginning to think you’re a Marxist:
“The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks, which will have to be nationalized, and the State will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism.”
— Karl Marx, 1867, Das Kapital
9 October, 2009 at 14:23
Bifurcating Bell Curves, anyone?
I can’t help myself. When this turns out exactly as I expect, I like to gloat.
9 October, 2009 at 15:22
I’m not sure about the Das Kapital quote, to be honest, but it’s doing the rounds on the internet and made me laugh, so I put it in. I think it’s BS because I can’t remember Marx writing that clearly. When I read DK it was full of angry resentful rubbish.
9 October, 2009 at 16:21
OK, the Das Kapital quote may be bogus, but this isn’t (although Andie will joke – no doubt – that Fekete’s professorship is bogus).
You laugh at the great de Soto. You scorn Fekete. You rubbish Rothbard. God strike him down. Preferably with a golden fist.
9 October, 2009 at 19:01
“I have read de Soto. I found it even more pompous and boring that “Das Kapital” and little better in the understanding of what a bank is.” Pompous a*shole’s speech on the recession below. I consider him one of the greatest living monetary economists, but in deference to you I’ll refer to him using your terminology:
9 October, 2009 at 19:37
De Soto may be a good economist, but he has no idea of what a bank is. Fekete seems to be using Keynesian economics (multiplier, anyone?) and Rothbard knew less than de Soto on banks. Great trio, there, ABOM. Do you have anyone that knows anything about banks there or are you just going to continue with this train of people who imagine a system that cannot exist? Add in Marx and you are well on the way.
10 October, 2009 at 22:20
De Soto is a pompous idiot, Fekete is a closet Keynesian, Rothbard knows less than de Soto….
“It should be clear that modern fractional reserve banking is a shell game, a Ponzi scheme, a fraud in which fake warehouse receipts are issued and circulate as equivalent to the cash supposedly represented by the receipts (pp. 96–97).” Murray Rothbard, The Mystery of Banking.
Is it because Rothbard used the “P” word that angers you so? If that is the case, I wonder what you think of Gary North!
10 October, 2009 at 22:35
No – it is because he is wrong and manages to convince many people that may otherwise be doing useful things to instead believe him.
10 October, 2009 at 22:55
Do you have a science degree, along with your financial risk analysis degree? Do you know anything about alchemy? Because bankers are going to need an alchemist. RIGHT NOW!
10 October, 2009 at 23:31
And am I going mad or did the calculation of US “unfunded liabilities” on the USDebtClock recently jump to $107 trillion? I swear last time I looked it was closer to $60 trillion. But what’s $40 trillion in unfunded liabilities in fiat currency Hell? Perhaps they’ll just print a trillion dollar bill to pay those liabilities off. Ha. Ha. Ha.
11 October, 2009 at 12:16
Why do you think I support any of this? You have a very screwy idea of what I believe in.
11 October, 2009 at 16:11
I know you believe in the viability of the current system and think “incremental” moves towards yet more deregulation is some kind of utopia.
That’s enough for me to dislike you.
12 October, 2009 at 10:25
“In my view, issuing promises to pay on demand in excess of the amount of the goods on hand is simply fraud, and should be so considered by the legal system. For this means that a bank issues “fake” warehouse receipts — warehouse receipts, for example, for ounces of gold that do not actually exist in the vaults. This is legalized counterfeiting; this is the creation of money without the necessity of production, to compete for resources against those who have produced. In short, I believe that fractional-reserve banking is disastrous both for the morality and for the fundamental bases and institutions of the market economy….
“In sum, I am advocating that the law be changed to treat bank notes and deposits as what they are in economic and social fact: claims, warehouse receipts to standard [gold or silver] money — in short, that the note- and deposit-holders be recognized as owners-in-law of the gold … in the bank’s vaults.”
12 October, 2009 at 10:35
From memory it was Rothbard that made the money equals warehouse receipts mistake. Others have repeated it and I think that may be the case here as the prose is more turgid than Rothbard’s usual.
Oops – it was Rothbard in “Case for a 100 Percent Gold Dollar”.
He was wrong then and he (and you) have not even attempted to show it could be done.
Until you show me how it could be done then I maintain that my earlier assertion – that it cannot be done in anything close to a free society – stands.
12 October, 2009 at 11:42
I’m impressed. Well done. As a reward, I will give you this link to Bashir’s unpublished magnum opus, which does provide a number of concrete suggestions for monetary reform. Yes, most of them involve govt, but our options are narrowing as disaster is approaching, so I’m willing to consider them if they can tie down the beast.
Of course, we are talking in hypotheticals because (1) we are already doomed, so there’s nothing we can do now to turn this thing around (2) even if there are viable options for monetary reform, there is no political will to make the change (3) even if there was the political will to do an Andrew Jackson, that doesn’t mean it would happen. Violence is always the final “trump card” of any mafia-style system of exploitation. The iron fist in the velvet glove…
12 October, 2009 at 11:59
Thanks – not. Another person whose research is “good” (cough, cough) enough to work out what a former President of the US said (the Madison quote again).
He goes on with the “money out of thin air” argument, quotes on bank procedures from Nobel winners (not, of course in Economics, but in chemistry) and the “deposits are repaid by the Fed” argument (applies well outside the US). Moving on from there through Social Credit and then blaming it all on the need to provide that worst of all possible sins (scary stuff) “Economic Growth”.
Parts of it are heading into Malthusian territory. If this was his life’s work then I would suggest that Groucho Marx did it better.
12 October, 2009 at 12:02
I didn’t say you’d like it. Like a bitter pill, I just thought you needed to swallow it. I thought you might be better for it.
And Malthus wasn’t necessarily wrong. Just early.
12 October, 2009 at 13:33
And I know this is slightly off-topic (but then this thread has been off-topic for a while now), but I do respect your knowledge of conventional “inside the box” banking, so could you please explain the “logic” of the govt purchasing $8 billion in small bank/building society “rats and mice” mortgage backed securities???
Let me get this straight. No one in the wholesale market wants these RMBSs at the asking prices. Big banks here are up to their gills in RMs so cant’ swallow any more RMBS. O/S the market for CDOs has died and RMBSs is close to toxic. The market therefore considers this stuff “overpriced” (to put toxic in technical terms).
Along comes the govt with MY TAX DOLLARS (that they compulsorily acquire by threatening me with JAIL if I don’t pay) and use these dollars to buy RMBSs to “support” the smaller financial players.
But isn’t the market saying that these mortgages should NOT have been written? Isn’t the market saying that interest rates need to rise (to encourage more deposits in these institutions so they can internally fund the borrowing so they WOULDN’T have to go to the market to take these RMBSs off their books)? Doesn’t the level of totaly mortgage debt need to fall if the marginal players are being squeezed? If you were creating something no one wanted to buy (like cotton in a marginal area of rural Aust) wouldn’t lack of viability in your industry make you want to STOP IT? Isn’t that what the market is saying?
And isn’t govt intervention is simply distorting this adjustment process?
Govt intervention in buying this sh*t simply means instead of investing in infrastructure or paying off the new national debt, they are “supporting” the mortgage market by using MY tax dollars to make bets in the wholesale credit market that no one else would be stupid enough to make with their own money at the prices offered.
A couple of things are obvious: (1) this is unsustainable and stupid (2) interest rates for deposits at smaller institutions should be much higher, but the govt for some bizarre reason doesn’t want this to happen (3) the wholesale market is predicting a residential mortgage bust. If they weren’t, they’d be the ones buying the debt, not the govt. The govt is playing the role of sucker, taking overpriced securities the market doesn’t want and shouldn’t have created. But if they shouldn’t have been created why is the govt buying it????
To support asset prices. Why support asset prices? To support their own tax base. But aren’t they using existing tax dollars to support their own future tax base? Isn’t this circular and stupid? So that’s not it. How about: To support the existing players in the RMBS industry? Yeah, but then why don’t I get a bailout too? How are these decisions being decided? Which industry is to get these kind of subsidies and why should the “finance” industry have a price floor supported by govt? Why shouldn’t the wool industry, or the wheat industry get a floor on the prices for wool or wheat too? Arguably (given weather and seasonality) that’s even more justified in the ag industry, whereas the smaller players in finance are just writing dud loans. Why should my tax dollars go to support dud loans that are overpriced in the wholesale market?
Is this fair? Does this even make sense?
Eventually the smaller players on life support will die anyway. Their deposit base is too small, the loans they issue will be marginal and the current monetary system favours the big players. Until fundamental monetary reform (like a gold standard) kicks in, this is laughably incompetent policy.
I also noticed a front page article in the Daily Tele encouraging people to deposit money in the smaller players. Ha Ha Ha. A planted story to get cheaper funding to the smaller players, eh? Like that’s going to work.
Obvious question: Why don’t the big banks (supported by govt) simply buy the RMBSs on the wholesale market? After all, they are really, today, govt agents (with govt guarantees). Probably because lending covenants mean they are already maxed out on housing loans themselves and can’t offload the stuff they have O/S, given the CDO market is dead.
The ultimate solution is a greater deposit base for the smaller players. But that will require higher interest rates to attract depositors. But higher interest rates will depress asset prices. The govt doesn’t want that and so intervenes to use my taxes to buy RMBSs. So pushing MORE taxes on my back AND putting a floor on already insanely high hose prices and mortgage debt that should both be much smaller than they are.
They are using my tax dollars to stop the logic of the market from working. And forcing more debt onto our children in the form of artificially high housing prices. Insane and unsustainable. This is govt at work.
Is it any wonder I’m angry?
12 October, 2009 at 14:01
Keynesianism is based on Malthus’ work and the logical conclusions it drives. Interesting to see you in that camp.
As for the rest, I do not disagree, except that (as I have maintained earlier) it is largely the government that has created the mega-banks (through regulation) so trying to help the smaller ones may only be viewed as addressing an imbalance they themselves created.
Personally, I would prefer that all of it stops.
12 October, 2009 at 14:16
I agree. The thing that amazes me is that the govt is always arguing (through the village idiot Ross Gittins today in SMH and elsewhere) that it is essential to ensure the market “works”.
Yet in all the “fundamental” aspects of our lives (food production, housing, transport (mainly), etc) the market produces the product. And in those areas for which the govt is exclusively responsible (defence, police, judicial services, water allocation) they stuff things up so regularly it’s embarrassing.
Now with banking. Why don’t they just get out of the way and remove legal tender laws? Because their retirement incomes are threatened. So they really are just thugs, taking money in the form of taxes to pay for themselves and their friends. Mafia-govt.
God help us if they ever think that they need to get into food production. Then we’re done for, even earlier than I thought.
12 October, 2009 at 14:47
And one last quote before I die…
“If we wish to revalue gold so that the 260 million gold ounces can pay off $404 billion in Fed liabilities, then the new fixed value of gold should be set at $404 billion divided by 260 million ounces, or $1555 per gold ounce. If we revalue the Fed gold stock at the “price” of $1555 per ounce, then its 260 million ounces will be worth $404 billion. Or, to put it another way, the “dollar” would then be defined as 1/1555 of an ounce.
Once this revaluation takes place, the Fed could and should be liquidated, and its gold stock parcelled out; the Federal Reserve Notes could be called in and exchanged for gold coins minted by the Treasury. In the meanwhile, the banks’ demand deposits at the Fed would be exchanged for gold bullion, which would then be located in the vaults of the banks, with the banks’ deposits redeemable to its depositors in gold coin. In short, at one stroke, the Federal Reserve would be abolished, and the United States and its banks would then be back on the gold standard, with “dollars” redeemable in gold coin at $1555 an ounce. Every bank would then stand, once again as before the Civil War, on its own bottom.
One great advantage of this plan is its simplicity, as well as the minimal change in banking and the money supply that it would require. Even though the Fed would be abolished and the gold coin standard restored, there would, at this point, be no outlawry of fractional-reserve banking. The banks would therefore be left intact, but, with the Federal Reserve and its junior partner, federal deposit insurance, abolished, the banks would, at last, be on their own, each bank responsible for its own actions. There would be no lender of last resort, no taxpayer bailout. On the contrary, at the first sign of balking at redemption of any of its deposits in gold, any bank would be forced to close its doors immediately and liquidate its assets on behalf of its depositors. A gold-coin standard, coupled with instant liquidation for any bank that fails to meet its contractual obligations, would bring about a free banking system so “hard” and sound, that any problem of inflationary credit or counterfeiting would be minimal. It is perhaps a “second-best” solution to the ideal of treating fractional-reserve bankers as embezzlers, but it would suffice at least as an excellent solution for the time being, that is, until people are ready to press on to full 100 percent banking.”
The great man, being realistic about full reserve but keeping it in the back of his mind’s eye.
12 October, 2009 at 16:57
I do not disagree with that as a possibility – just his (and others) misbegotten misunderstanding of fractional reserve.
12 October, 2009 at 17:07
You actually appear to agree with the “possibility” of the “ideal of treating fractional-reserve bankers as embezzlers”! Embezzlers! Fantastic!
I’ve finally turned you around! It’s all been worth it, the hours of patient research, the hundreds of words of argument and analysis.
All for this one precious moment.
Where’s Alice? I think we should celebrate this moment together.
12 October, 2009 at 19:32
No – I clearly said his understanding of FRB was “misbegotten”. What was unclear about that?
12 October, 2009 at 20:24
I’m crestfallen. I got my hopes up that you’d seen the light and were stating that whilst immediate abolition of FRB wasn’t feasible, you agreed that it was “feasible” longer term. Now I see you’re back in monetary Hell, with Paul Krugman…
12 October, 2009 at 20:39
Oh. My. God. I just saw the US T-bond index. It collapsed on Friday. Please God make this collapse orderly. If the long end dies, we’re all f*cked. Seriously.
Forget housing. Forget the $A. Forget the $US. Possibly gold could be in trouble. Cash will be KING.
Please no collapse. Please no collapse. Please no collapse. I know US bonds need to go lower and I’ve joked that US bonds are worthless (they really are). But I don’t want a collapse.
13 October, 2009 at 08:37
This guy has a nice turn of phrase. Possibly even better than Bashir. Rothbard and Fekete can’t be equalled, but this guy does a reasonable job.
“The bookkeeper’s trick of creating money out of thin air, charging interest for its use, then forcing it down the throats of weaker nations by threat of violence, is what has allowed the Anglo-American empire, since the founding of the Bank of England in 1696, gradually to conquer the world…”
13 October, 2009 at 11:30
So it is well-written BS that you are interested in now, is it? Why not go and read some Enid Blyton? She also writes very well written fiction and my 9 year old can read it well.
That passage shows so many errors it is not funny – money is not created out of thin air (it cannot be) the writer is making the usual mistake of confusing a flow with a static position, the banks did not force the money down anyone’s throats – they chose to borrow it. No violence was involved except on the odd occasion where British national interest coincided with the banks’ interests (in Egypt for example, where the British went in to secure the Canal). The founding of the Bank of England had nothing to do with anything as the Bank actually did not act like a modern central bank until (at the earliest) 1833.
At least, in the last 5 words, the writer is acknowledging that the strength of the UK financial system was part of the system that gave the UK the economic strength to “conquer the world”. Of course they did no such thing – just built up a large empire – but in the context of all the other errors made that is just a little whopper. Let’s call that one his whopper junior.
13 October, 2009 at 11:36
Money IS created out of thin air. That was proven about 300 posts ago. Banks lend “new” (M3) money under FRB. There’s a panic. M3 dives down to M0 (or gold). The central bank steps in and prints M0 for the M3 depositors in a bank run. Thin air is the loan agreement (M3). Narrow money (M0) is “formally” created in the bank-run-panic-producing-paper-money moment.
You still don’t think M3 is “money”. You’re crazier than I am. And that’s saying something!
13 October, 2009 at 12:30
No, ABOM – even if all of the components of M3 were money (not convinced) it requires economic activity, not thin air. It involves lending and borrowing, not bookkeeping.
In any case in your comment you need a central bank and a panic – neither of which is “thin air”.
13 October, 2009 at 16:56
“We have virtually no PRIVATE savings. What the banks do here is act as dumb retailers of private debt, selling our debt overseas as CDOs (securitised debt) to wholesalers of debt (big os banks). ”
I said this about 100 posts ago. I was wrong. The truth is:
“We have virtually no PRIVATE savings. What the banks do here is act as dumb retailers of private debt, selling our debt overseas as CDOs (securitised debt) to wholesalers of debt (big os banks) – or, if they can’t do that because the debt is toxic rubbish that should never have been written in the first place, offloading these toxic RMBSs to OUR OWN govt, so the taxpayers can be FORCED to buy their OWN too-high, unsustainable unmarketable mortgages at a LOSS, with the stupid Oz banks screwing us all for the marginal interest by getting the govt to be the sucker to buy this cr*p off them! What a scam!!!Ha Ha Ha!”
13 October, 2009 at 18:10
So – no response to me. Do I take that as a concession?
14 October, 2009 at 09:06
No, there’s no concession, I just ignored you because your point is weak. I tend to ignore weak arguments and move on. I get bored by stupidity very easily.
You think that a dumb govt-licensed bank just sitting there being a counterparty to a loan/mortgage document is some kind of legitimate “activity”. A bank drone signs a loan agreement – and THAT’S not creating money out of thin air??? That’s a very valuable signature. And a very valuable loan agreement – that creates money the minute it’s signed. Normally you have to work to make money, but banks just create it signing loan agreements. How easy is that?
Hold on, I think I understand you! Getting a sucker to go deeper into debt in this economic environment really is a talent! I see what you’re saying – banks, by FOOLING suckers and getting them deeper into credit card debt, deeper into mortage debt, deeper into debt of all kinds – that’s “legitimate” economic activity that requires a lot of gentle persuasion and deception and guile and cunning. I see now. Trapping suckers into bankruptcy, trapping businesses into insolvency IS a talent!
Yes, you’re right. Fooling suckers by convincing them to get deeper into debt to buy the useless handbag, or the sports car, or the negatively geared property – that’s a REAL talent and deserves to be considered legitimate economic activity.
Perhaps Madoff should be let out of jail too, because he was engaged in legitimate economic activity – convincing suckers to participate in a Ponzi scheme? That requires effort and talent and daring as well.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
14 October, 2009 at 10:26
No, ABOM – when funds are disbursed they come out of funds already deposited. It really is that simple. No “thin air”, no (US) Fed, no government printing M0. Just people depositing funds and then the bank making loans.
I know how it works, ABOM. I have been there and done it. I somehow doubt you have.
14 October, 2009 at 11:52
Andrew, the loan (longer maturity) comes out of funds (deposits) that can be withdrawn at any time. That loan goes into someone else’s account AS MONEY. Look at where the money GOES – into someone’s account as money. That itself forms a new deposit (at another bank).
Money is not created IMMEDIATELY at the point of loan issuance but is created the second the money is used and spent and then gets into the recipient’s bank account.
This is money CREATION. Money that can be spent and withdrawn from the bank at any time.
This is how Triguboff and Lowy (property developers) get rich. Off OTHER PEOPLE borrowing and buying stuff they have built. The suckers get debt, they get the new debt money.
Somehow I doubt you’ve ever stepped back and looked at how the system works as a whole. Somehow I doubt you’ve read Ellen Hodgson Brown, Fekete, Michael Rowbotham….
14 October, 2009 at 12:04
$100 of demand deposits (“owned” (claimed?) by Depositor 1) in ABC Bank.
ABC Banks permits $90 to be lent to Sucker No.1 to buy property No.1.
Sucker No.1 signs loan agreement to pay back $90 plus interest.
$90 gets paid into account of Owner of property (XYZ Bank account).
$90 appears in Owner’s account.
Owner withdraws $90 and buys gold. Depostor 1 withdraws $100 to buy gold (assume ABC Bank is still solvent).
$190 is chasing gold when initially only $100 could have chased gold before the loan to Sucker No.1 was made.
“New” money isn’t in the ABC Bank account. But it was created when it (magically) appeared in XYZ’s Bank account.
14 October, 2009 at 13:01
He’s down. He’s dazed. Yet again ABOM has landed a killer punch.
It happened here
You’d think he’d learn – not to make stupid comments that can be smashed down.
Saying money isn’t created when loans are issued is just so…………………………………dumb.
14 October, 2009 at 14:07
And just to add yet more meat to my analysis:
How AR gets up after this kind of beating I will never know….
14 October, 2009 at 14:47
And I said months ago that Madoff should have been recruited by the Treasury! Now the idea’s gone mainstream…
14 October, 2009 at 15:34
Yes, ABOM – I am aware of the standard argument here. It is the one from economics 100. I somehow thought you may have got beyond that – obviously you have not.
Not all of that “money” can be withdrawn at any time – if everyone that had a deposit at a bank attempted to withdraw all of their deposits at the same time tried to the bank could not meet those demands. Therefore (as I argued at the top and you have not bothered to try to refute) I cannot regard all of the amounts recorded as deposited at a bank as being money.
You have still not answered that and instead have indulged in link spamming with nonsence about blood sucking vampires and silly links to sites that merely attempt (poorly, mostly) to make polemical points.
BTW – if you are going to claim victory in this argument by the number of links criteria, you may want to examine the quality of those links. The fact that most, if not all, of those links are to pages that I have demolished with a few seconds thought does not seem to have crossed your mind.
14 October, 2009 at 15:37
If Rothbard is going to put complete and utter nonsence like this
in his essays it just makes the process of refuting him so much easier. There is no way this can happen – any attempt by “Mr. Jones” to write a cheque on that account would bounce – there is no “money” there to make good on the cheque. Complete and utter twaddle. The “dumb” part is people who read this and believe.
14 October, 2009 at 16:40
This is painful. If the depositors in the above example did withdraw at the same time, the central bank would step in and PRINT LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW. Like they did in Q4, 2008.
As I clearly stated 300 posts ago.
M3 is created first, through loan issuance. M0 is created last, in the panic.
The trick as a banker is to escape with M3 as money before anyone else notices. Then BUY GOLD with it, before the price spikes.
Like a rat leaving a sinking ship, you always have to stay one step ahead of the suckers-who-work-for-a-living. Unlike bankers, corrupt govts and cops. Who plunder for their survival.
14 October, 2009 at 16:53
Check the last paragraph of the original post. I stated that at the start – and I have maintained that this should not be the case. Get rid of the central bank and FRB is not, in and of itself, inflationary.
You, my friend, have been the one chasing your tail. I made that point right at the start and have been beating your chest about “beating” me?
Game, set and match. Thank you ball boys.
14 October, 2009 at 17:39
Errr……..may I remind you that we DO have a central bank, that they DID print like there’s no tomorrow in Q4, 2008, that gold is spiking above US$1000 (inflation anyone?), and that Steve Keen has impeccible empirical evidence to show that M0 trails M3.
After 300 posts, your argument is (essentially) that IN THE HYPOTHETICAL, if we had no central bank (i.e. in the La La Land that I dream of when I dream of free banking) FRB is NOT inflationary. Yeah, OK. So what? OK, we agree on that irrelevant hypothetical.
But in the REAL WORLD, today, it IS inflationary. Steve Keen has proven it. I have explained the process NUMEROUS times now.
Why would you use a HYPOTHETICAL world without central banks that hasn’t existed since 1693 to refute my (and Steve Keen’s) realistic, sober analysis of modern banking?
To sum up:
(1) In the tiny corner of AR’s “hypothetical world”, in outer space, FRB is not inflationary if there’s no central bank (la la land free banking world).
(2) If there IS a central bank prepared to print, and if the bankers come crying mommy in a bank run and M3 dives down to M0, INVARIABLY money is printed and the M3 loan generation process creates money at that point. Given IN THE REAL WORLD central bankers ALWAYS print to save their friends, deposits ARE money.
Please don’t come back unless you have a reasonable point. You’re starting to bore me. Again.
14 October, 2009 at 18:09
No, ABOM – as above (and as you implicitly argued) fractional reserve is only inflationary if the central bank steps in. I.e – it is the central bank’s actions that are inflationary, not the fractional reserve banks’.
As I said – you argued the point yourself. It is the central bank printing the notes that creates the money, not the FR bank in accepting deposits and making loans. You said it. I agree – as I said in the head post at the start of all this.
14 October, 2009 at 18:18
Yes….and if we agree that the central bank will ALWAYS (always!) print when the “big banks” start crying to mommy…..then there is no hurdle to overcome to make M3 “magically” make M0…..deposits ARE money in the REAL WORLD, today.
We agree on everything.
14 October, 2009 at 18:23
By the way if the fractional reserve banks lobby for the creation of the central bank, and they go crying to mommy to print when M3 dives down to M0, can’t you say that FRBers are inflationary? They know what they’re doing. They’re pulling on the strings. What’s the fuss about connecting up the puppet strings? FRBers are in bed with govt and the central bank. The FHBG, the bailouts, the printing of toilet paper in Q4, 2008… it’s so transparent what’s going on it’s not funny. Toilet paper printed to save dumb corrupt bankers and their friends. Big deal.
By the way, what’s the price of gold doing today? Silver?
15 October, 2009 at 01:23
So – do you blame the rent seeker or the ones that give in to the rent seeking behaviour?
15 October, 2009 at 08:02
Do you blame Madoff for being Madoff, the SEC for being the SEC, the govt for being the govt, or God for allowing it all to happen?
15 October, 2009 at 10:06
They did not print for Lehman Brothers, so not always.
For fraud, I blame the fraudster (and in, the case of a real Ponzi, the marks are also partially to blame for their greed). The SEC is not entirely to blame for being the SEC – they are governed by the relevant Acts. We elect the government, so the change there is for us to make by putting in the effort. I try to leave God out of finance.
As I said, though – the head post was correct. I would suggest you do not run around claiming victory again, ABOM. It can be premature.
15 October, 2009 at 10:27
In all our fights, you’ve never admitted defeat. Not once.
I leave that judgment to God. Whoops, sorry (I’ve been instructed to leave Him out of finance – that was CH Douglas’s mistake, wasn’t it?). Err…I leave that judgment to the impartial reader.
I contributed one or two words in these (only one or two).
15 October, 2009 at 10:51
And Lehman (last time I looked) was not defined as a “big bank”. My specific words on this issue: “the central bank will ALWAYS (always!) print when the “big banks” start crying to mommy.”
Lehman was not JP Morgan. Nor was it Sacks of Gold. Remember, the central bank exists to save the big players, not the small (even of largish).
15 October, 2009 at 10:57
(or even of largish size)… That article blew me away so I was distracted when typing. Sorry. To highlight the relevant section on Lehmans:
Again, why so and cui bono? It “suggests that Lehman Brothers (Northern Rock and others) did not just fall over the brink but (were) pushed.” The likely reasons were to engineer the financial crisis, create an emergency, pressure Congress (and the UK government) to provide billions in rescue funding, give selected major banks in both countries more power to consolidate, then use bailout proceeds to buy choice assets on the cheap plus reward themselves handsomely for their cleverness.
It’s not new with numerous past examples of predatory bankers, including JP Morgan, engineering financial crises for profit. The difference is that today the stakes far higher and global with US giants Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanley the major survivors – bigger and more powerful than ever, and so far thriving with open-ended bailouts.
Ellen Brown adds:
“The international bankers who caused the financial crisis are indeed capitalizing on it, consolidating their power in ‘a new global financial order’ that gives them (more) top-down global control” than ever with the public exploited and stuck with the bill.”
We’ve got to stop this at stop point. I’ve got so much ammo, I’m (again) beginning to feel sorry for you.
15 October, 2009 at 10:57
“some point”. That point is now.
15 October, 2009 at 12:17
For the simple reason that I have not been wrong. Where I do make a mistake (and there have been a few) I admit to it. Have a look around and you will find them. So far, I have not had to do so in any discussion with you.
As for the rest, to me it shows why we need the government to retreat from banking (a positon I agree with) rather than why we need 100% reserve (which needs a lot more regulation with associated rent seeking) or nationalisation (even more rent seeking).
Again – no error on my part that I can see. Just you out there either agreeing with me (and not seeing it) or being wrong.
15 October, 2009 at 16:26
Gary North, wrong again. So many educated monetary scholars who are wrong (Rothard. de Soto, Hulsmann, North…). It’s difficult to keep up with their ignorance.
15 October, 2009 at 17:34
No, it is not difficult, ABOM. You keep us all up to date with their errors.
19 October, 2009 at 11:37
Ironically, you’d be right if we had gold as money. But we don’t. To quote “closet Keynesian” Fekete:
“An axiom of Aristotle states that no substance can be present at two different places at the same time. The reason for gold’s monetary role is rooted in this very axiom. The same paper promise can be present in the asset column of the balance sheets of any number of individuals. The same gold coin cannot.”
Bankers create “money in two places” – as long as no one is looking carefully and as long as gold is not money.
But gold is always and everywhere money. So bankers will soon face the day of reckoning, where gold is money again. When that day comes, money will have to be in ONE PLACE AT ONE TIME. Then we will see the death of the financial aristocrat.
19 October, 2009 at 15:40
You two have been having a lovely chat in here!!
20 October, 2009 at 12:44
It’s turned quiet. I think Andie’s embarrassed.
And just on bank deposits being money when the Fed prints to save the stupid busted bankers….
Need I say more?
20 October, 2009 at 15:03
No – some of us actually have to earn a living and this is a busy time for me. BTW – you should get your own blog and peddle this stuff. The populist crap you are out there linking to is likely to drive a lot of visitors to your site.
20 October, 2009 at 16:24
Andy is in a huff now!!!! Thats because I knocked him out in JQs ABOM and now he has replied to Moshie in a thread but I cant see any comment by Moshie (I think Andy is dazed)! The accountants are trying to kill macro in my world.Thank the lord its a busy time for you Andy.
You can get on to him by calling Goldman’s.
20 October, 2009 at 16:26
We need a damn reserve – they are just propelling the bubble up again and it is a bubble – just a bubble.
How about this one ABOM – between 1960 and 1981 the US economy grew five fold but the Dow was 874 and 875 respectively.
Financial markets are measuring NOTHING BUT BS and AIR!! Disconnected completely from reality.
20 October, 2009 at 16:33
What you cannot see you must search for. No knockout there, either. Keep trying, though.
20 October, 2009 at 21:43
Yes, we need much higher reserves. But how the Hell do we get down from here? Dramatically pushing up either interest rates or reserve ratios will have “interesting” consequences, given the unprecedented levels of personal debt in Aust, the UK and the US.
I still vividly remember leading a rock climb and having the rope pull all the chocks away from the cliff face. I was 150 metres off the ground (at least). Sheer cliff. Chockless. Any mountain climber would immediately say I was an idiot for not putting the chocks in tighter (I was).
But I experienced the moment when you realise you cannot keep going up, and you cannot go down. It’s an ugly trap. And the US banks are trapped right now.
I almost feel sorry for them.
21 October, 2009 at 09:36
Not difficult. Have you seen the typical reserve ratios held under free banking? Get a copy of “Laissez-Faire Banking” by Kevin Dowd and give it a read.
It may help to get all that Rothbard nonsense out of your head.
21 October, 2009 at 15:20
What would the economic consequences be if all the banks in Australia (or for that matter around the world) simultaneously doubled their operating reserve ratios, to reduce the likelihood of systemic crises?
21 October, 2009 at 15:40
As a proportion of available global debt and equity bank capital is not huge. It may increase the cost of capital for a little while, but I would expect all that would happen would be that existing debt facilities are transformed into capital by the payment by the bank of a small equity premium.
Liquidity ratios would be a little bit more problematic, but I would expect this would not cause any undue problems.
21 October, 2009 at 15:44
I should add that I do not believe that all banks would need to do so. Some may decide that taking a lower risk portfolio may mean that they can actually reduce bank capital or liquidity. Some may reduce their exposure to demand accounts and others may decide that lending only to governments is a good strategy.
Whatever happens, though, the ability to socialise risk as under the current regulatory system and with government deposit insurance schemes should be steadily reduced and eliminated.
21 October, 2009 at 16:48
I agree that moral hazard and socialising the losses should be eliminated.
Getting from here to there is problematic however, and I cannot think of an instance where the breaking up of TBTF institutions has occurred after a crisis without nationalisation occurring first. 1990s Scandanavia is a reasonable model – even then they didn’t break apart the banks into ittsy bittsy banks and they also didn’t quarantine deposits from investment banking activities (Glass Steagall). Which even Volcker thinks is now a good idea (I agree as a step towards full reserve).
I am less sanguine about the effects of increasing reserves. Before increasing equity participation there would be a liquidity squeeze/credit crunch and a possible deflationary spiral that would have to be avoided.
It’s a difficult plane to fly at the best of times and to lower the altitude at this height will require very careful flying.
I’d prefer to stop the plane completely – shut down the casino (using depositors money), stop the blatant embezzling, allow gold to cleanse the system, nationalise those who are busted when the lights are turned off on the gaming tables, and then sell off the broken up banks as small-enough-to-die institutions.
Unfortunately the US still equates big with best and like their big banks as part of their ideas of world domination so can’t let go of the fixation on saving TBTF institutions. Which will inevitably destroy the dollar.
As long as you have gold and food, let them drown themselves in their own liquidity.
The only problem we have is a spike in the $A – which will kill growth and exports if we don’t control it. Brazil recently introduced a tax on foreign capital inflows, instead of lowering interest rates, to stem the boiling tsunami of hot money. Hot money is dangerous and is killing our exports. We have to find some way of stopping the carry trade killing our economy long term. This volatility in the $A makes planning for exporters a nightmare.
23 October, 2009 at 11:23
I wonder if Jackson really said this?
“Mischief springs from the power which the monied interest derives from a paper currency which they are able to control, and from the multitude of corporations with exclusive privileges…which are employed for their benefit.”
Or is that a misquote too?
23 October, 2009 at 11:49
So – now you are in favour of government fiat as well, then. Odd.
23 October, 2009 at 12:57
What’s odd is you interpreting my recent entry (quoting Jackson criticising “monied interests” and “paper currency”) as supporting govt fiat.
But then to simultaneously support “free markets” and tolerate monopoly fiat, current oppressive legal tender laws and central banking would require a certain inability to accurately process reality.
23 October, 2009 at 16:06
If we agree that deposits are money with a central bank, then…
“For this reason, the policy of sound money is very much linked with morality. The Hebrew scriptures, in the nineteenth chapter of the book of Leviticus, warn: “you shall have just balances, just weights…”
The twenty-fifth chapter of Deuteronomy issues a similar warning: “You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a large and a small.”
Proverbs says the same: “A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.”
Another passage says, “Diverse weights, and diverse measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.”
“Stabilizing Conservatorship”All of these relate in some degree to the need for sound money and condemn the act of fraud and monetary debasement. The consequences of monetary sin cannot be contained to the sinners only. They are spread out all over the whole of society, destroying its economic basis and corrupting its morals. They foster crazed illusions that we can magically generate wealth through the act of printing money, and the attempt to do so has catastrophic consequences. As Mises wrote, “Inflation is the fiscal complement of statism and arbitrary government. It is a cog in the complex of policies and institutions which gradually lead toward totalitarianism.”
I find it sickening that there are so few voices outside the Austrian School that will stand up to this policy. And I fear that the consequences of this policy will be felt for many decades into the future. There is still time to reverse course. There is nothing inevitable about despotism. We are not being forced down this road. We can embrace freedom. If we understand that freedom is inseparable from sound money, we can embrace that too. Until then, we will continue to place our trust in the political establishment to do what is right. Call me a gold bug if you will, but I trust hard money far more than our rulers. And that, ultimately, is the choice we must make.”
23 October, 2009 at 16:09
The “$29 $25” comment was for the sale of a book embedded in a graphic to the original article. It could also be interpreted as the daily fall in the real value of money over time as banks create money through the issuance of loans under FRB (ha ha ha).
23 October, 2009 at 19:11
best suggestion Ive heard all day
“I’d prefer to stop the plane completely – shut down the casino (using depositors money), stop the blatant embezzling, allow gold to cleanse the system, nationalise those who are busted when the lights are turned off on the gaming tables, and then sell off the broken up banks as small-enough-to-die institutions.”
but Im too depressed to talk about it (really). I have been ever since I heard Goldmans made 3 bill profit on the taxpayers back…seriously ABOM, can anyone blame me for being a Keynesian. I just want to belt the hell of them. I wish they were too small not to fail or that someone had the guts ti cut them up. Ive lost all hope. When Andy talks I just dont hear a workable solution ABOM. I hear another failed solution.
23 October, 2009 at 21:25
Keynes was a central banker. Please Alice, they’ve laid all the traps – funnel people like you who are discontented with the debt-based system into either Keynesianism or socialism. Which just entrench their power even more. Keynesianism is a trap for suckers (except for the Minsky-Steve Keen variety, which eventually if you think carefully about it leads to sound money anyway).
They NEVER talk about anarchism (in the good sense), von Mises, Rothbard, Rowbotham, Ellen Hodgson Brown (a woman who really is at the forefront of monetary reform!), or Elaine Meinel Supkis (check out her blog). Check out the following:
Don’t lose hope. It’s darkest before the light. The huge obscene bonuses they are paying in counterfeit confetti may be a sign they want to get as much cheese off the table before the cheese is taken away from them. The rats can sense a sinking ship before anyone else. More and more people are understanding the deception behind the monetary system – the fraud, the embezzlement, the greed, the corruption – the insane suicidal stupidity of it all.
The US economy is sinking (the banks are only “lending” back to govt, not to the private sector – a sure sign of the late stages of economic cancer).
There won’t be much more cheese to take off the table because those who produce the cheese are all dying. Sad.
But soon gold will return as money. Then the reptilian rats will have to flee, or at least hide in the shadows. Where they belong.
I often lose hope too. But with the determination of people like us we can cut the parasites off from the economic bloodstream and laugh as we watch them wither and die. It will all happen with the removal of legal tender laws. I love you. Hopefully our love for our children and the determination to create a SUSTAINABLE economy will see us through.
If God exists, justice will prevail.
26 October, 2009 at 16:05
This one’s off moderation too. Thanks.
4 November, 2009 at 09:14
Game. Set. Match.
I’ve won, but it has cost me my soul, my hope for the future and my hope for the long-term sustainability of human civilization.
A small price to pay…for legalising fractional reserve banking and supporting it with a central bank.
7 November, 2009 at 20:57
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27 November, 2009 at 13:06
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