But before you hop the next tramp steamer to Copenhagen consider whether interest rates at -.75% and 60% increases (over 3 years) in housing prices are indicative of a healthy economy. But hey maybe you want to kaste terningerne. There are worse places to be stuck in a housing bubble collapse.
As we’ve said China is driving things economically right now. The Federal Reserve doesn’t want to say it. It wants everyone to think that though our boat is leaking it is unlikely to leak as much as the rest of the the world’s economic “boats.” And right now that may be true. But we are still taking on water. The Great Economic Experiment post 2008 is failing, as many of the more market oriented have long predicted, and now the American central bank has very few options.
Thanks for the tax dollars suckers!
GE is one of the great American crony companies. Jeff Immelt, once head of Obama’s “jobs council” and current CEO of General Electric, has played the crony game extremely well. First in securing emergency financing courtesy of the American taxpayers because it screwed up royally. And then he was able to exploit various Obama era boondoggles which funneled money GE’s way on an ongoing basis. (Think wind turbines etc.)
Now Mr. Immelt is stamping his feet because it looks like GE may permanently lose the the sweetheart deals it has at the taxpayer underwritten Export Bank.
Things are getting wacky in The Ultimate Crony Capitalist State.
We are pretty much obliged to run this one. Of course it has popped. It’s been deflating for months. Really longer than that though the Shanghai Stock Exchange didn’t reflect it for a while. And it’s not like the Chinese pop is over, it’s got plenty more to go. Lots of “fun” is still ahead of us.
People who care about the world economy and world politics should look closely at China. It is a classic case of “
Actually not totally true.
China is, as we say, The Ultimate Crony Capitalist State. Business and government are an amalgam. Long a crony paradise where a premium was placed on compliance and government favor and not on real pricing.
It looks like reality is finally starting to hit however.
About 6 months ago I was talking to a China energy markets analyst and he explained the complexities of implementing a carbon tax regime in the country to me.
There was a time when good “liberals” in the United States railed against military spending. Granted it wasn’t because they wanted to reduce the size of government or to cut taxes, but because they wanted more money for social programs.
But that general disposition seems to have disappeared. Now, many big welfare state people are also big warfare state people. Military spending you see is a form of “stimulus.” Bombs, guns,whatever. Just get that money into the system.
Cheap money feels good initially. Nearly everyone is happy when central banks open the floodgates (or helicopter doors) and cash spills into the economy. Hooray! Money! Why is it here now instead of yesterday? Who knows? Get while the getting’s good. Look, the stock market’s rising – whoopee! Monetary tequila. Bottoms up!
But the morning, the aching, head thumping morning always comes after such a binge.
“All I know is Ben Bernanke was tending bar. Goldman Sachs was buying me drinks.
There is some debate around here as to the world’s most crony company. There are many candidates but consistently in the top 5 or so is Goldman Sachs, Government Sachs.
Few companies have exploited the taxpayer and political connections to the extent Goldman has. Truly it is a company built fundamentally on cronyism.
In 2008 Goldman Sachs was leveraged more than 100 to 1 on its assets. (That is probably a conservative estimate.) When the economic tide turned it was fully exposed.
As we’ve said before, the Fed is independent. It is NOT sovereign.
But the Fed thinks that it is above Congress, and the law in many regards. That any effort to shine light into the dark halls of the Eccles Building is too much to ask. That even a little bit of sun would undermine the system.
Consider that for a moment. If that were true, which it’s not, but if it were,
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.
This would be fun to watch if it wasn’t for the fact that an unstable China creates a number of problems for us, the USA, economically and perhaps in other ways. But here’s a good bit of advice from the author of the attached article.
When Shanghai was peaking at 5,000 in June, I gave you five words of advice: Get. The. Hell. Out. Now.
To which I’ll add five more: And.
Ron Paul calls out the Plunge Protection Team on CNBC. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it mentioned on financial television. Seriously anyway.
And boy is he right. There is an assumption that the Fed will never let stocks (and other assets) revert to real levels.
The thing is the Fed for all its power is still subject to the laws of thermodynamics, just like the rest of us. That is, even the mighty central bank will feel the sting of its hubris.
Many people wrongly believe that politics is to a large extent a battle between government and business. That the 2 represent opposite dispositions. This is a foolish notion. Business and government are more often partners than adversaries. Especially now.
But crony capitalism has a long history in this country.