Thursday, March 08, 2012
This was the question put to the ECB’s Klaus Masuch by one persistent Irish journalist. The answer from Masuch was a complete dodge, a non-answer, because everyone knows that the Irish government has heaped what rightfully should be bondholder burdens onto the Irish taxpayer. The video below is wonderful in getting at the heart of everyone’s problems with the bailouts in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe and the U.S. Take a look below, but let me say a few words first because my thinking here is a bit more complex than "bailouts are bad, default is good".
Here’s what I am hearing: The answer from officialdom is that the (Irish) banking system was on the verge of collapse and so these debtholders, European banks, had to be bailed out. This is the same answer that Tim Geithner gives in the U.S. as I recounted last March. Geithner calls this "deeply unpopular, deeply hard to understand". And I think he’s right. These measures ARE deeply unpopular, deeply hard to understand. I don’t support the bailouts of bankrupt institutions and neither do most taxpayers in any of these countries.
by SIMON BLACK
I’ve been having breakfast at Cafe Manolo’s ever since I started coming to Panama, going on ten years now. They make the best ‘batido’ ever… it’s sort of like a milk shake crossed with a fruit smoothie. And it used to be ridiculously cheap. Not anymore.
Economists use a term ‘menu costs’ to explain why retail prices are ‘sticky’ and resistant to change. The analogy is that, even in the face of rising input costs, a restaurant owner will resist raising his prices because it costs a lot of money to print new menus.
Apparently someone forgot to explain this concept to Mr. Manolo. Rather than printing new menus, the staff at this once cheap establishment simply scratches out the old prices and scrawls in the new prices.
The head of Libya's interim government has threatened to use "force" to bring powerful tribal leaders to heel, after they'd declared autonomy for an oil-rich region in the east. The leader of the National Transitional Council went on to claim that pro-Gaddafi infiltrators were behind the move. Source
In a recent article in Fortune, Warren Buffett reiterated his well-known view on money. Far less celebrated, however, is the discerning view of his father,Howard Buffett, expounded in a brilliant speech in 1948 while serving as a 4-term congressman from Omaha. In contrast to his son WB, HB insightfully considers the importance of money in society beyond its role as a means of economic calculation and payment. I’ll return to this point, but first, the Fortune article requires our attention.
WB is extremely helpful to investors by explaining his investment principles, which are invaluable, as one would expect given his exceptional track record. But he wanders into tricky territory with regard to money by building his viewpoint upon the following premise: “Governments determine the ultimate value of money...”
It is understandable why he puts forth this notion. Apparently following prevailing conventional wisdom, WB sees money for what it has become in this peculiar time. We now live in an epoch that defies common practice customarily followed throughout centuries of monetary history. Most people today have not used precious-metal money in their lifetime, but they have experienced first-hand “money” issued by sovereign states. This straightforward observation may help explain why so many in the last few decades have come to accept the modernist view of money.
This modernist view of money ignores that market forces, which a government can influence but in the end cannot control, inevitably determine the value of any asset. With repeated interventions in the market process, governments disregard this basic principle, causing disruptions to the market process that impede economic activity and even worse, can distort money itself.
Quite possibly there is an elegant explanation to why there is so much shouting and jeering in houses of British Parliament. Some Parliamentarians are said to be drinking their way through life at bars in Westminster.
“You have heard stories of MPs being physically carried through the voting lobbies, and the mind boggles,” laughs political blogger Harry Cole. “Find me any other job in the UK where one could get that drunk at work and not be sacked,”
A.I. Machines explain some unusual financial market behaviour + Presidential Candidates "Just Suck" - Capital Account
'Mancow' Muller: Breitbart Was Murdered!! + TSA Orders YouTube to Censor Video Exposing Useless Scanners +
Chicago radio host says Breitbart's death was a warning shot and that others are in danger
Submitted by Tyler Durden: Earlier today, we reported that Germans are increasingly concerned that their gold, at over 3,400 tons a majority of which is likely stored in the vault 80 feet below street level of 33 Liberty (recently purchased by the Fed with freshly printed money at far higher than prevailing commercial real estate rates for the Downtown NY area), may be in jeopardy,and will likely soon formally inquire just how much of said gold is really held by the Fed. As it turns out, Germany is not alone: as part of the "Rettet Unser Schweizer Gold", or the “Gold Initiative”: A Swiss Initiative to Secure the Swiss National Bank’s Gold Reserves initiative, launched recently by four members of the Swiss parliament, the Swiss people should have a right to vote on 3 simple things: i) keeping the Swiss gold physically in Switzerland; ii) forbidding the SNB from selling any more of its gold reserves, and iii) the SNB has to hold at least 20% of its assets in gold. Needless the say the implications of this vote actually succeeding are comparable to the Greeks holding a referendum on whether or not to be in the Eurozone. And everyone saw how quickly G-Pap was "eliminated" within hours of making that particular threat. Yet it begs the question: how many more international grassroots outcries for if not repatriation, then at least an audit of foreign gold held by the New York Fed have to take place, before Goldman's (and New York Fed's) Bill Dudley relents? And why are the international central banks not disclosing what their people demand, if only to confirm that the gold is present and accounted for, even if it is at the Federal Reserve?