That is frankly a good deal. It should be noted that 15 years ago or so Zimbabwe was more or less a functioning country. With close proximity to relatively rich South Africa it was not the typical sub-Saharan African state. But it did have (has) a populist dictator who was able to run things into the ground.
The political and banking classes both demand easy money right now. (They always want it.) Print more and more money and the world will continue on as it has (limping that is) for the past 5 years. This is the “new normal.” Sure it’s corrupt, sure it’s counterfeiting, sure it encourages unsound economic and political decisions, but hey we need to do what we need to do.
From the very beginning people have asked how the Fed would ever exit its Quantitative Easing program. Every time the Fed has indicated that it would stop its extraordinary measures the markets dip. Look at this chart.
There appears to be nothing under this market but freshly printed hundred dollar bills, cotton candy, and unicorn wishes. Throw in a good bit of marginally positive animal spirits too.
Faber says that the Fed will not taper its efforts but will instead be forced to print even higher amounts than the $85 billion (who knows) in funny money it is currently pouring into the world economy every month.
The Fed undermines the most important prices there are, interest rates. This is why fundamentally we don’t exist in anything close to a free market.
A very good interview.
Mugabe’s been bouncing some checks.
For those who don’t know Zimbabwe was once a pretty prosperous country, more like mighty South Africa to the south than Zambia to the north. Now it’s a basket case rife with all forms of corruption and cronyism.
* I gave this speech on April 15th, 2009, in Charlottesville, Virginia. I had forgotten about it, but stumbled across it again today. It deserves a post to ACC.
Art Cashin, floor director for UBS, in a King World News interview discusses the euro (there was/is a massive short position in the euro) and the recent stock rally.
He discusses how the flash crash of 2 years ago has chased out the retail investor and how the recent Facebook IPO hasn’t helped.
And he also discusses Syria, how it is a geopolitical linchpin and could spin things out in ways the world does not yet see.
But of particular note is that Cashin, a stalwart of the establishment, brought up the issue of hyperinflation. Given the amount of liquidity in the system he believes that we should be seeing hyperinflation. People (really banks) are so scared however they haven’t unleashed the central bank created tide of liquidity. Cashin thinks the Fed is going to force open the locks.
Since 1971 we have been on a nearly pure fiat currency system. When Richard Nixon broke with what was left of the gold standard the inflation wheels (that appear to be picking up speed right now) were set into motion in a big way.
We have become so conditioned to inflation that we think nothing of it so long as it is not too great. Like the frog in the slowly boiling pot of water we take little notice of what is happening – until it’s too late.
Marion, AL Chamber of Commerce – Speech on 1/19/2012
It’s an honor to be here with you tonight. And a pleasure.
The topic is: What’s Really Going on in the Economy? It’s an important topic. If we get the answer right, we will all make better business, investment, and personal financial decisions.
I would also like to preface my remarks by saying that economics is closely involved with politics. But I am not going to give you a Republican or Democrat version of events. I am not a partisan of either party and I’m not looking at things that way. If I say anything that offends anyone’s politics, let me apologize in advance. That’s not my intention.