August, 2010

Keynes as “Useful Idiot”

The milk of American politics may be money, but the fuel for American socialism is Keynesian economics. Keynesianism’s inherent bias toward bigger government has made it the indispensable tool for statists around the globe. Politicians’ natural wont to spend and control benefited immensely when John Maynard Keynes published the General Theory in 1936. His work initially provided rationale for the [...]

Bernanke Bears the Brunt of the Jokes This Week

I suppose I shouldn’t laugh, but I found humor in Eric Fry‘s description of Chairman Bernanke’s performance at Jackson Hole: Like a guy who falls down a flight of stairs, then stands up and says, “I meant to do that,” Bernanke insisted the economy’s dismal trajectory is neither particularly surprising nor particularly worrisome. “The preconditions for a pickup in growth [...]

More Supporters Dissatisfied

This quote could have come from anyone on the right, perhaps extreme right: “As every student of American history knows, this country’s core founding principles included nonpunitive taxation, constitutionally guaranteed protections against persecution of the minority and an inexorable right of self-determination,” he wrote. “Washington has taken actions over the past months, like the Goldman suit that seem designed to [...]

Ben Bernanke — Pathetic, Duplicitous or Just a Good Soldier?

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is out of options and luck. Of course, he couldn’t say that at Jackson Hole. Instead, he had to pretend that his magic was still strong and would be used, if necessary. By customizing mixtures of various powders (some apparently never used before), he would produce potions that would yield proper growth and balance to the [...]

Failed Economics

This blog consistently emphasizes the importance of microeconomics over macroeconomics. Indeed, I argue that macroeconomics is not economics but rather a part of either history or statistics or some other field. It is merely the summary of past aggregates. In that sense it is both history and statistics. It summarizes economic data. Economics, however, is the study of individual human [...]

How Will the West End?

An outstanding article from American Thinker: Hard Endings: Rome, China and the Modern West By Jack Curtis Roman government broke the economy; the people abandoned their myths and outreach became an inward collapse. China went from wealth, developing technology and trade to stagnation and decline at the hands of an ossified mandarinate. Europe wasted centuries in its long recovery and China [...]

Math as Taught over the years

Email received. Original author unknown. 1. Teaching Math In 1950s – A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit ? 2. Teaching Math In 1960s – A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. [...]

Sunday Morning Reading

Some mostly political reading/watching for a Sunday morning: “So, you think President Obama had a tough week? Wait’ll you get a load of what happened to the Congressional Democrats.” From Politico “Bailouts, Bailouts, Bailouts. No investigation poses a more significant political danger to Obama than a no-holds-barred GOP probe into TARP, the AIG bailout, the Freddie-Fannie sinkhole and the [...]

A Personal Look at Hyperinflation

Recent comments by readers on hyperinflation that were prompted by the previous post, Williams on Hyperinflation, make me believe that the following link might be useful. It discusses inflation from a personal experience perspective and makes an argument for why financial assets will not do well in such a scenario. While I do not necessarily agree with that conclusion, it [...]

Williams on Economic Situation

John Williams of ShadowStats concisely summarizes all you need to know in his reaction to the recently revised GDP data: Economic Data Will Get Much Worse. The kindest thing I can say about a stock market that rallies on the “stronger than expected” news that annualized growth in second-quarter GDP was revised from 2.4% to just 1.6%, instead of to [...]

Government Defaults Coming

Below is a guest post I wrote for It discusses why the government will have to default on many of its promises/obligations. It is simply not mathematically possible to service what has been promised. Investing In A Difficult World Investing and life are both wonderful challenges. Often they are harder than they need be. The younger generations, through little [...]