At the risk of letting my immodesty show, I must encourage you to check out this presentation on energy markets. It was the 4th lecture of the day at the North Dakota Policy Council, and they just recently added it to the player. They did a good job interspersing shots of my Power Point slides.
(Remember, when you first click on a speech, the wheel spins for a good minute or two. But then it’s not too choppy.)
Have you heard of the antics in the New York State Senate? It is hilarious. Someone (I think the governor?) called the hijinks and the goings-on a “circus,” but I think pro wrestling is a better analogy.
And you know who the most ridiculous people in pro wrestling are? It’s not the wrestlers, who after all are pretty above average in many respects and are very entertaining. No, the most ridiculous people are the announcers. So to continue the analogy…
Someone whose opinion I respect told me to watch this movie. Are there any sites dedicated to refuting it, the way the 9/11 Truthers have all of their major points “refuted” at a FAQ?
Say what you will about the above documentary, it has by far the highest “crazy-freaking-claim to sober-sounding-analysis” ratio I have ever seen. If you start watching it, I really encourage you to give it until the part where they discuss the elites’ ultimate plan. The claim makes you laugh out loud, it is so ridiculous, but then they show some clips from Fox etc. that make you say, “Wait a minute…” (cue Twilight Zone music).
And the good thing about movies like the above, is that even if it’s way off-base, it gets you thinking globally. For example, what if President George W. Bush acted like a cowboy in order to scare foreigners to accepting some major erosion of their liberties? Just as American politicians love to use North Korea and Iran to do whatever they want, by the same token everybody else gets to warn its people, “We need to do this to keep the Americans from Iraq’ing us!”
Someone just sent me this (old) spoof of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take,” but just watch it for the first sentence.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke must find a convincing way to explain why his central bank is in no hurry to raise interest rates even though the economy is stabilizing.
Does that strike anyone else as funny? The “must” in that sentence derives entirely from the the writer’s decision to go with the official Fed line, rather than those of some outside analysts. Compare to an analog from foreign policy: “Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld must find a convincing way to explain why U.S. forces are in no hurry to leave Iraq, even though the country has no WMDs.” Wouldn’t that have been a bit creepy, even for our press? Yet when the rules are bent for the Fed, it seems natural.
The Fed thinks that with unemployment at a 26-year peak and idle factory space at its highest on record, there is little near-term risk of prices overheating.
I owe my Hillsdale students a refund. I told them that economists learned there could be idle resources and large price inflation during the 1970s. My mistake.
Dino Kos, managing director at the research firm Portales Partners and a former top Fed official, said as long as the weak economy chills demand for credit, the free-flowing central bank cash poses no inflation threat.
See above. And my father taught me to never do business with a man named Dino.
Economists polled by Reuters see no chance that the Fed will raise its benchmark short-term interest rate from the current level near zero at this week’s meeting.
That said, the central bank will probably want to nurture hopes that the end of the recession is nearing.
Isn’t this disgusting? Seriously, reread that last sentence. What are we, girlfriends with low self-esteem? Lie to me, Ben! Tell me what I need to hear!
How quickly inflation builds depends on how quickly factories get back to full speed and the job market recovers, as well as whether the Fed can swiftly scale back lending programs and rate cuts.
Oh my gosh. Up till now, the CNBC writer thinks he has been negotiating the disagreement between the inflation hawks and the doves, but at this point in the article he just stated matter-of-factly that stagflation is impossible. Stop talking to Dino!
Even though he won’t act like it bothered him, Krugman has to know he got busted on the housing bubble quotes. Lilburne gives Krugman a li’l burn in this article:
And what about his strawman protests that he didn’t cause the housing bubble, much less the Enron scandal or Kennedy’s assassination? The man is willfully missing the point. What is damning about these quotes is not that he necessarily caused anything. What is devastating about them is that they expose the intellectual bankruptcy of his economic principles. Those who look up to him like the second coming of Adam Smith should realize that the neo-Keynesian principles that lead him to advocate aggressive interest-rate cuts and mammoth public spending now, are the very same principles that led him to advocate inducing a housing bubble then. He would himself affirm that his economic principles haven’t fundamentally changed since then. So the conclusions and policy prescriptions he infers from them are just as wildly wrong now as they were then.
I’m still in Florida recovering from my numerous trips. Tuesday morning I head back home (a 10-hour road trip). But an anonymous poster in a recent blog reminded me of this rash statement I made on January 23, 2009:
I don’t know why gold isn’t a lot higher, frankly. Part of it is the general drop in prices, I think, but that has surprised me. If gold doesn’t break $1,000 by summer then I don’t know what I’m talking about (at least in this arena).
Well, it’s officially summer, and gold hasn’t broken $1,000. I will do a postgame analysis once I’m settled back home, but for now let me just acknowledge that I didn’t know what I was talking about when I fired my mouth off in January.
Regardless of what caused the crisis, government efforts to regulate derivatives will only lock in undesirable aspects of the current market and ensure that politically connected players reap artificial gains. It is absurd to ask politicians to promote financial integrity and sound accounting. They are the worst violators of these principles on the planet.