Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Hexette of Notions part ii

Some observations lately:

Will Greece, Spain and Portugal prove to the world that "Austrian economics" explains economic crashes and that Keynesian policies causes them? Greece, rather than merely levy taxes on its citizens, issued bonds which are bought by European banks and then used as collateral to secure loans at the EU central bank. In this way, Greece gets to distribute currency dilution throughout Europe. It also gets to live beyond its means. No one seems to notice that the same mechanics are working within the US. Curiously, measures to control such practices were in place but ignored. All member countries agreed on deficit to GDP restrictions but these were then summarily ignored by everyone. Sadly, these problems can be soon expected with other fiat currencies controlled by clueless Keynesian central banks. I suspect this will be blamed on someone's "greed" and then Keynesianism can go on it's merry way destroying capital and currency. In the short term, the US dollar gets a lift as capital flies out of Europe. It's hard to know how much Euro panic is already priced in, but I would expect gold to do well this year as markets lose this year's gains.

I heard on the radio the other day someone lamenting that if we leave Afghanistan before "the job is done" our soldiers will have died for nothing. I wondered why giving Canadians a meaningful death was one of our mission parameters. Talk about mission creep!

SEC is investigating Goldman Sachs. Seems like early campaign hi jinx. If you bought a car without looking at it and then complained that it was a dud, you wouldn't get much sympathy let alone a court date. The fact that the seller was going to sell it to the scrapyard hardly relieves you of due diligence. As always, if you don't see that the market is a series of voluntary actions, you are doomed to never understand anything.

Arizona passes new law that formalizes how every poor Latino living near the border already gets treated. I'm not a fan of armed men demanding to see my identification, but outrage seems late to the party. Only a few citizens actually enjoyed the rights that are now being trampled. Frankly, I can don't see much difference in the erosion of liberty after this bill.

Glad to see the Canadian government resisting the urge to appear to be doing something lately. Flaherty seems deaf to the cries of the populist bank regulation cries. As unbelievable as it may seem, there have been calls to tax banking products to create a future bailout fund. It's hard for me to put into words how backwards a plan like this is. Many people research MP3 players more thoroughly than their banks and certainly more than their RRSPs. Why the apathy? Because their money is safe because the government insures it. What incentive is there to pull your money from your bank because they have risky practices? The availability of bailout money eventually makes it necessary to bailout a bank! It's kind of a moot point anyway since interest rates are so low that saving is non existent. Since there is no incentive to save, savings are replaced by speculations like the stock market and real estate. Which get over inflated and adjust sharply causing huge losses and the cycle goes on and on. Unfortunately, suppressed interest rates are popular with voters and thus we have institutionalized economic instability.

"Hide the Decline" climate alarmist Mann is being investigated by the Virginia attorney general. Since Mann's work was paid for by the state, the AG is looking at whether any of his actions violate those contracts. It should be an interesting test case that will at least shine a light on the level of professionalism applied to tax payer money. The Va University investigation was a joke, as was the UK parliament inquiry on the climategate emails. Unlike the other investigations to date, this investigation promises to have some testimony by experts with opinions different from the accused.


Kevin Aschim said...

Oooh, this touches on so many points that have also been making me wince as if trying to relieve a mouth canker.

1. The GM Loan Payback. I hope everyone saw through this cheap charade. That is that GM has not made any profit and that the loans were paid back with our own money. Nevertheless, the state still has a huge equity position with GM that is many times larger than the debt position. Whether our tax dollars exist as debt or equity on the balance sheet is pointless. It is still a huge claim on national productivity.

2. The bank tax. What I hate about this is that it is an example of global taxation mostly used to bailout failed European banks and states. A shame this happens on th 65th Anniversary of the Liberation of Holland. And it is a blatant example of taxation without representation. I have no vote in any European country nor shares in any European bank which I can vote with. Yet these Europeans have the gall to ask us for tax money. They have learned nothing in 234 years.

CaptainOrange said...

Maybe you could get a spot on CBC news... perhaps taking over for Rex Murphy's Point of View. He's definitely lost his touch. Of course, you'll need to work on the "ha-ha funny" part of your writing.

and then the_doctor said...

Ha Kevin thanks for bringing up the GM "payback" They even ran a series of tv ads self-beatifying themselves for repaying loans early. I wonder how many takes it took to do it with a straight face.

Vincent Diakuw said...

"And I was getting short, too. Four more weeks, and out! Now I'm gonna buy it on this rock. It ain't half fair, man!"

"Vin, give us a break!"

"Four more weeks..."