Category Archive: 6b) Austrian Economics

What Is Money Printing?

There is a populist idea of money printing. The idea is that banks can just print what they want, enriching themselves in a massive fraud. But, does it really work this way?

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Janet Yellen Fights the Tide of Falling Interest

The Fed is going to have to take back this interest rate hike (Dec 16). The process that sets the interest rate is complex. I have written many words on its terminal decline. However, there are two simple reasons why the trend remains downward.

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What the Fed Did NOT do

We will not spend much time discussing what the FOMC did as tons of ink have been spilled on that already. We will rather spend more time on what the FOMC did not do. A short recap will suffice; the FOMC did raise the interest rate band by 25 basis p...

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Falling Interest Causes Falling Profits

Most people assume that prices move as a result of changes in the money supply. Instead, let’s look at the effect of falling interest. To start, consider a hamburger restaurant. Suppose that the average profit in the burger business is ten percent of invested capital. If MacDowell’s is thinking about expanding, it has to consider the interest rate. Why?

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How Peak Debt Constrain the Fed from Moving Rates Higher

We have argued for a long time that 2016 will probably be a year of recession in the US and the Federal Reserve’s intent on raising rates will only help expedite it. We believe the current rate cycle will be short lived as the Federal Reserve is cons...

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A Free Market in Interest Rates

Unless you’re living under a rock, you know that we have an administered interest rate. This means that the bureaucrats at the Federal Reserve decide what’s good for the little people. Then they impose it on us. In trying to return to freedom, many people wonder why couldn’t we let the market set the interest rate. After all, we don’t have a Corn Control Agency or a Lumber Board (pun intended). So why do we have a Federal Open Market Committee?...

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Unintended consequences of lift-off in a world of excess reserves

Bar a disastrous NFP print this coming Friday the US Federal Reserve will change the target range for the Federal Reserve (Fed) Bank’s Funds rate from the current level of zero – 25bp to 25 – 50bp on December 16th.  The Fed will effectively raise the...

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What a Negative SWAP Spread Really Means

SWAP spreads recently took a nosedive and are once again trading at negative levels, even for shorter maturities. As can be seen from the chart below, treasury yields, here represented by the 10 year maturity, rose during QE policies programs contrad...

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Will a GDP Futures Market Be Liquid?

At the Cato Monetary Conference, Scott Sumner said he had a “modest” proposal, that there should be a highly liquid futures market in Nominal Gross Domestic Product (NGDP). Sumner is known for his view that the Fed should target NGDP as the basis for monetary policy. So a GDP futures market that predicts it would be convenient. Let’s look at his idea more closely.

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How the Fed gave away its independence – Interest Rate Sensitivity at ZLB

In fiscal year 2014, which ended September 30 2014, the Federal government of the United States reported a cumulative deficit of US$484 billion, while the total debt outstanding increased by more than a trillion dollars. For fiscal year 2015, the dif...

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How Do People Destroy Capital?

The flip side of falling interest rates is the rising price of bonds. Bonds are in an endless, ferocious bull market. Why do I call it ferocious? Perhaps voracious is a better word, as it is gobbling up capital like the Cookie Monster jamming tollhouses into his maw. There are several mechanisms by which this occurs.

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The Credit Multiplier – Revisited

In last week’s article, we explained how the yield curve could cause GDP to contract in The Yield Curve and GDP – a causal relationship. Some of our readers suggested the analysis was wrong on back of an outdated view of modern money creation. The cr...

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The Yield Curve and GDP – a causal relationship?

One of the most reliable indicators of an imminent recession through recent history has been the yield curve. Whenever longer dated rates falls below shorter dated ones, a recession is not far off. Some would even say that yield curve inversion, or backwardation, help cause the economic contraction.

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What’s Different about Monetary Policy?

Keith Weiner argues that the money that many money managers make does not come from producing anything of value. It’s other people’s life savings that they are driving and eating.

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The Great Unwind

Over the decade long commodity boom made in China we have all been accustomed to the large and growing current account surpluses being recycled back into western financial security markets. Case in point, from 2000 to its peak in the fall of 2013 the...

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Keith Weiner in Zurich



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The Dog That Did not Bark

In the famous Sherlock Holmes Story, the detective identified the perpetrator from the fact that a dog didn’t bark. The dog didn’t bark because it dog knew the perp. This story makes a good analogy to what happened on Thursday, Sep 17. Perhaps I should say what did not happen. The Fed did not raise the interest rate.

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Zerohedge and its economic philosophy



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Move Over Entrepreneurs, Make Way for Speculation!

The development of lending was a revolutionary breakthrough. Lending allowed the retiree to do business with the entrepreneur. The retiree has wealth, but no income. The entrepreneur is the opposite, with income but not wealth. The retiree lets the entrepreneur use his wealth, in exchange for an income. The entrepreneur is happy to pay interest, in order to grow his business and increase profits. At times throughout the centuries, governments...

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Who the Heck Consumes Capital?!

I have been writing about consumption of capital, using the example of a farmer who sells off his farm to buy groceries. It’s a striking story, because people don’t normally act like this. Of course, there are self-destructive people in every society, but, not many. Most people know not to spend themselves into poverty. To make people hurt themselves, we need to add the essential element: a perverse incentive. Consider a parlor game called...

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