Tag Archive: Basic Reports

China’s Nuclear Option to Sell US Treasurys, Report 19 May

There is a drumbeat pounding on a monetary issue, which is now rising into a crescendo. The issue is: China might sell its holdings of Treasury bonds—well over $1 trillion—and crash the Treasury bond market. Since the interest rate is inverse to the bond price, a crash of the price would be a skyrocket of the rate. The US government would face spiraling costs of servicing its debt, and quickly collapse into bankruptcy.

Read More »

The Monetary Cause of Lower Prices, Report 12 May

We have deviated, these past several weeks, from matters monetary. We have written a lot about a nonmonetary driver of higher prices—mandatory useless ingredients. The government forces businesses to put ingredients into their products that consumers don’t know about, and don’t want. These useless ingredients, such as ADA-compliant bathrooms and supply chain tracking, add a lot to the price of every good.

Read More »

Nonmonetary Cause of Lower Prices, Report 5 May

Over the past several weeks, we have debunked the idea that purchasing power—i.e. what a dollar can buy—is intrinsic to the currency itself. We have discussed a large non-monetary force that drives up prices. Governments at every level force producers to add useless ingredients, via regulation, taxation, labor law, environmentalism, etc.

Read More »

Is Keith Weiner an Iconoclast? Report 28 Apr

We have a postscript to our ongoing discussion of inflation. A reader pointed out that Levis 501 jeans are $39.19 on Amazon (in Keith’s size—Amazon advertises prices as low as $16.31, which we assume is for either a very small size that uses less fabric, or an odd size that isn’t selling). Think of the enormity of this. The jeans were $50 in 1983. After 36 years of relentless inflation (or hot air about inflation), the price is down to $39.31. Down...

Read More »

The Two Faces of Inflation, Report 22 Apr

We have a postscript to last week’s article. We said that rising prices today are not due to the dollar going down. It’s not that the dollar buys less. It’s that producers are forced to include more and more ingredients, which are not only useless to the consumer. But even invisible to the consumer. For example, dairy producers must provide ADA-compliant bathrooms to their employees.

Read More »

New Inflation Indicator, Report 14 Apr

Last week, we wrote that regulations, taxes, environmental compliance, and fear of lawsuits forces companies to put useless ingredients into their products. We said: “For example, milk comes from the ingredients of: land, cows, ranch labor, dairy labor, dairy capital equipment, distribution labor, distribution capital, and consumable containers.”

Read More »

What Causes Loss of Purchasing Power, Report 7 Apr

We have written much about the notion of inflation. We don’t want to rehash our many previous points, but to look at the idea of purchasing power from a new angle. Purchasing power is assumed to be intrinsic to the currency. We have said that the problem with the word inflation is that it treats two different phenomena as if they are the same.

Read More »

Will Basel III Send Gold to the Moon, Report 2 Apr

A number of commentators have predicted that the rules of the Basel III bank regulations will cause gold to skyrocket (no, this article is not about our view that gold does not go up, that it’s the dollar going down, that the lighthouse does not go up, it’s the sinking ship going down in the storm).

Read More »

On Board Keynes Express to Ruin, Report 24 Mar

Last week, I ranted about the problem with our monetary system and trajectory: falling interest rates is Keynes’ evil genius plan to destroy civilization. This week, I continue the theme—if in a more measured tone—addressing the ideas predominant among the groups who are most likely to fight against Keynes’ destructionism.

Read More »

Keynes Was a Vicious Bastard, Report 17 Mar

My goal is to make you mad. Not at me (though I expect to ruffle a few feathers with this one). At the evil being wrought in the name of fighting inflation and maximizing employment. And at the aggressive indifference to this evil, exhibited by the capitalists, the gold bugs, and the otherwise-free-marketers.

Read More »

The Duality of Money, Report 10 Mar

This is a pair of photographs taken by Keith Weiner, for a high school project. It seemed a fitting picture for the dual nature of money, the dual nature of wood both as logs to be consumed and dimensional lumber to be used to construct buildings.

Read More »

Is Capital Creation Beating Capital Consumption? Report 3 Mar

We have written numerous articles about capital consumption. Our monetary system has a falling interest rate, which causes both capital churn and conversion of one party’s wealth into another’s income. It also has too-low interest, which encourages borrowing to consume (which, as everyone knows, adds to Gross Domestic Product—GDP).

Read More »

Is Lending the Root of All Evil? Report 24 Feb

Ayn Rand famously defended money. In Atlas Shrugged, Francisco D’Anconia says: “So you think that money is the root of all evil? . . . Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them.

Read More »

Central Planning Is More than Just Friction, Report 17 February

It is easy to think of government interference into the economy like a kind of friction. If producers and traders were fully free, then they could improve our quality of life—with new technologies, better products, and lower prices—at a rate of X. But the more that the government does, the more it burdens them. So instead of X rate of progress, we get the same end result but 10% slower or 20% slower.

Read More »

What They Don’t Want You to Know about Prices, Report 10 Feb

Last week, in part I of this essay, we discussed why a central planner cannot know the right interest rate. Central planner’s macroeconomic aggregate measures like GDP are blind to the problem of capital consumption, including especially capital consumption caused by the central plan itself.

Read More »

Who Knows the Right Interest Rate, Report 3 Feb 2019

On January 6, we wrote the Surest Way to Overthrow Capitalism. We said: “In a future article, we will expand on why these two statements are true principles: (1) there is no way a central planner could set the right rate, even if he knew and (2) only a free market can know the right rate.” Today’s article is part I that promised article.

Read More »

Modern Monetary Theory: A Cargo Cult, Report 20 Jan 2019

Newly elected Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said that Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) absolutely needed to be “a larger part of our conversation.” Her comment shines a spotlight on MMT. So what is it? According to Wikipedia, it is: “a macroeconomic theory that describes the currency as a public monopoly and unemployment as the evidence that a currency monopolist is restricting the supply of the financial assets needed to pay taxes...

Read More »

The Dollar Works Just Fine, Report 20 Jan 2019

Last week, we joked that we don’t challenge beliefs. Here’s one that we want to challenge today: the dollar doesn’t work as a currency, because it’s losing value. Even the dollar’s proponents, admit it loses value. The Fed itself states that its mandate is price stability—which it admits means relentless two percent annual debasement (Orwell would be proud).

Read More »

Rising Interest and Prices, Report 13 Jan 2019

For years, people blamed the global financial crisis on greed. Doesn’t this make you want to scream out, “what, were people not greedy in 2007 or 1997??” Greed utterly fails to explain the phenomenon. It merely serves to reinforce a previously-held belief.

Read More »

Surest Way to Overthrow Capitalism, Report 6 Jan 2019

One of the most important problems in economics is: How do we know if an enterprise is creating or destroying wealth? The line between the two is objective, black and white. It should be clear that if business managers can’t tell the difference between a wealth-creating or wealth-destroying activity, then our whole society will be miserably poor.

Read More »
Page 1123