Got to have an official fall guy I guess. This fellow was sufficiently powerless so he got pinned.
Michael Bloomberg said this recently and he is right. If one had assets prior to 2008, particularly of the stock variety, there is a very good chance that your portfolio is looking pretty good these days. The Fed through various means has inflated markets artificially.
If however one had no assets prior to 2008, or went bust during the chaos of the Crash one is probably still struggling.
The Fed, the central planners, have made the rich much richer. (For the time being.) It wasn’t free market capitalism which did this.
It hasn’t GONE global. Its long been global and on a massive scale. But China is freaking people out.
Play this game if you want. But understand that it is a game which is run by cronies, for cronies, and that cronies are very fallible. Can you handle the kind of downdraft which may come when reality catches up with the hubris of central bankers?
It’s an important question, and one which should be asked when things (in the USA) are still relatively calm.
The word “cascade” comes to mind. China is the world’s second largest economy. The continued crash has real implications for the rest of the world economically and probably politically. What those implications are at his point we do not know but it is certainly time now to keep one’s eyes on the horizon.
Ralph Nader is one our favorites here at ACC. We disagree with him on a myriad of issues. He likes government quite a lot. We, well are more skeptical of the state. Saying that though, there is no doubt that Mr. Nader is an enemy of crony capitalism and one of the good guys running around Washington. (There are a few.)
Below is a declaration. A call to town halls. A call to take the rhetorical fight directly to our elected officials during their summer recess. If our representatives are going to ignore us in DC they will have a much harder time ignoring us at community meetings and grandstanding events. Turn on your iPhones. Record responses to hard questions. See what happens.
They do work for us.
Caterpillar sales have been declining for over 2 years. Latin American sales have fallen off a cliff. Caterpillar makes heavy industry construction equipment. Draw your own conclusions.
It is interesting to note that the decline is not as sharp as during the “Great Recession,” it’s more stretched out and has been shallower. However it has been steady and steady declines are the thing of maturing depressions.
We have a copy of this book and will be doing a review of it soon. In the meantime, if you’re headed to the beach or lake this summer this might be a good one to take along.*
As I watch the calamity in Greece and the chaos in China I am struck by how much things have changed in 10 years. “Wealth” looks very different to many people these days.
Wealth is time with one’s family. Wealth is time to think. Wealth is a good roof over one’s head. Wealth is good food and good friends. Wealth is walking through a field first thing in the morning with few bills to worry about. Wealth is swimming in the ocean and catching flounder in the surf. Wealth is peace of mind.
Be thankful you aren’t an unskilled worker in Athens or a newly middle class manager in Shenzen who has leveraged his home to play the stock market. Be thankful that you are not feeling the hottest of the world’s economic flames. At the same time be aware that fires do spread.
Oh this is a great sign.
It does sound like the parameters around these new interest only loans are pretty conservative, 20% down, 720 FICO score, etc. But take it as a bellwether. Watch to see if more of this stuff comes on the market, with less stringent guidelines. Caution, always caution when it comes to housing, which is a highly government manipulated market.
Obamacare is a giant jack. And no, single payer is not the solution. That is the last thing we need. Single payer is an excuse for all sorts of other cronyism. Not to mention that socializing healthcare in the 21st Century is just a backward idea. We should be opening up healthcare not centralizing it.
The a new front opens up for the Federal Reserve.
Also one definitely gets the sense that the recent decline in gold is looking more and more like an opportunity to put away some real wealth at relatively low cost. This is definitely on the mind of the Chinese, and perhaps the guys in 10 gallon hats.
Fascism and (Marxist) socialism are sisters. Close sisters. Both are fundamentally about controlling the economy in a quest for a greater “good.” They have important differences which are more than stylistic differences. But both are fundamentally opposed to free markets, free prices, and fundamentally the free will of individuals. At least most individuals.
What is “socialism” and what is “fascism” is a point of ongoing debate on this site. Invariably someone posts a meme which purports to define fascism as what we see it in the movies. See, FDR and Obama can’t have fascist tendencies. (In FDR’s case it was probably more than just a tendency.) They don’t (didn’t) wear jack boots and goose step around the White House. Fascists have a look. They are “right-wing.” (Right and Left as we know them in this country really are vestiges of another time and are less and less useful.)
But fascism is not about a look. It is about state control of a nominally private economy. And most of the fascists I know of tend(ed) not to watch Triumph of the Will on loop. Many look(ed) perfectly respectable.
I forgot who said it, but it is true that the most dangerous fascist of all may prefer tweed jackets to arm bands and over-starched shirts.
Government is inherently crony. That is its nature. It has an inherent tendency toward corruption. Crony entropy. Like water flowing downhill.
In Greece we see a relatively poor crony state languishing on the rocks while the Germans pick at its liver. And we pity the place. Yes, they’ve gotten themselves into this mess, but Brussels (and Berlin) are being stupid about things.
Not because they won’t give Greece another bailout. They are dying to give Greece more money truth be told. (The banks want to be paid on their Greek subprime portfolio.) But because they won’t just cut the Greeks loose with any dignity.
But hey, Greece does have nice beaches, got to keep access to those.
If you really want to understand why the crony capitalist system is so insidious as well as ubiquitous I highly recommend listening to this bit from the master Murray Rothbard. If you really want to get what is so messed up about government and the “privavte sector” partnering up, one must know at least a little bit of his work.
Warning though. Rothbard can rattle one’s whole understanding of politics and economics.