There was some debate a few months ago as to whether the massive drop in oil prices constituted a “black swan” event. Meaning that it was a completely unforeseen highly important event which had the potential to change economic sentiments quickly.
Free money is a hell of a drug. It keeps a party going. But when it’s gone and the lights come up all that debt doesn’t look as pretty as it once did. One remembers all of a sudden all the stupid things one did under the influence, and even worse that those actions have consequences.
Murray N. Rothbard explains in 3 minutes why it is that when economic downturns happen the government should just get out of the way. Let prices correct, the pain will be short and sharp but then life will go on, typically in a more prosperous manner.
By Ed Ring, executive director, California Policy Center
“The ‘recovery’ is largely an illusion created by the effects of zero percent interest rates, quantitative easing, and deficit spending. The asset bubbles that have been created as a result of these policies have primarily benefited the owners of stocks, bonds, and real estate (the rich), while simultaneously deterring the savings and capital investment that is needed to actually create good paying jobs and increased purchasing power.”
- Peter Schiff, EuroPacific Weekly, November 6, 2014
The question everyone should be asking, especially the managers of public employee pension funds, is how much longer our economy can run on zero percent (adj. for inflation) interest rates, quantitative easing, and deficit spending.
End the Fed. But Volker at least had the guts to raise rates to insane levels and effectively crushed 1970s inflation. If we had sound money he would not have had to do that of course. (Nor would he have had the power.)
Of the 4 chiefs still alive Volker is my favorite. Or at least the one I dislike least.
By Rick Ackerman
Europe’s all-too-predictable relapse into recession is gathering force, threatening not only the pipe dream of economic and political unity, but eroding grandiose illusions that have helped prop up the world’s financial house of cards. The unwillingness of France in particular to play by the EU’s — i.e., Germany’s — rules appears to have doomed the EU dream. The idea of a borderless Europe bound by a common currency and a shared desire to forever banish war from the Continent was a lofty one, but it was mired from the start in deeply rooted political animosities, grass-roots skepticism and bureaucratic overreach. Now these problems, along with a great many others, have turned the EU project into a Tower of Babel. A million pages of meticulously codified EU rules might as well have been written in cuneiform, so inscrutable and arcane have they become.
A minuscule move up in mortgage rates caused a significant downdraft in mortgage applications.
And with cash buyers increasingly out of the picture, mortgage dependent buyers are where it’s at for real estate. The problem is the latter group is still on very shaky economic ground.
All the meddling in the housing market by the government. All the below market rates of interest from the Fed. All the “stimulus.” And this is where we are, spinning our wheels.
It’s been tough to save money since the Crash. Right now many of us are receiving a negative real interest rate on our savings. (If we have savings.) That is, the interest we get on our money is not enough to keep up with inflation. From the moment we buy a CD or deposit money into an interest bearing account we are actually losing money. (We are losing even more money though if we keep it in our mattresses – by a very small amount.)
Is he right?