The Madness of QE
BALTIMORE – Like a house on fire, the election continues to draw a crowd of gawkers. We joined them for the final debate, warming our hands and hoping to see the whole damned place burn down.
Like the ancient serpent deity Glycon (whom we have discussed previously), the candidates promised miracles galore: they shall tell fortunes, help find fugitive slaves, detect thieves and robbers, cause the discovery of treasures, heal the sick, and raise the dead. It will be a glorious future!
BALTIMORE – “It’s over!” Raúl Ilargi Meijer, a regular contributor to David Stockman’s Contra Corner newsletter, explains that the “entire model our societies have been based on for at least as long as we ourselves have lived is over!”
Gassy and Bloated
BALTIMORE – What a great time for an observer with a sense of mischief! This year’s presidential campaign is the most absurd and remarkable we have ever witnessed. After more than two centuries, Americans are finally getting the democracy they deserve – one that is grotesque… slimy… and immensely entertaining, albeit in the mud-wrasslin’ genre.
The mud-wrestlers – well, we did promise you in these pages it would be entertaining like never before, and we didn’t lie.
Photo via Alabama Today
The stock market – where shares in profit-making companies are exchanged – went up again on Friday. Does this mean the outlook for making money is improving? Does this presage higher dividends for the stockholders? What, exactly, do investors expect?
Partisan politics is for the most part a distraction, maintaining the illusion of choice for the public.
Illustration by Ana Vlajcevic
We were shocked to see in the Financial Times – yes, the “pink paper,” no less! – a sensible article on current central bank policies. Our heart raced. Our pulse sped up. A light sweat gathered on our forehead. What is going on? we wondered.
International Deep State mouthpiece Financial Times. When you tire of its statist exhortations you can always switch to reading Financial Slimes.
The present day offers the opportunity for many incredible experiences. Perhaps one of the most rewarding of all is bearing witness to the final days before the greatest economic crackup the world’s ever known. Not since Nero clipped coins in 64 A.D. and fiddled as Rome burned has there been such an intolerable collection of dingleberries in imperial office.
Nero watches Rome burn. We always thought he played a lyre, but judging from this picture he actually played some sort of early imperial midi-guitar.
Engraving by Henry Altemus
Largest Theft in History
As expected, Ms. Yellen smiled last week, announcing no change to the Fed’s extraordinary policies. For the last eight years, she has been aiding and abetting the largest theft in history.
Asset valuations are not outside of historical norms, particularly if one disregards the past 5,000 years.
Cartoon by Bob Rich
A Litany of Failures
It was widely expected that the BoJ would announce something this week after it promised to perform a comprehensive review of its monetary policy. It certainly did deliver a major tweak to its inflationary program, but its implications were seemingly not entirely clear to everybody (probably not even to the BoJ).
This picture was taken back when the BoJ first introduced NIRP, but it has the appropriate horror movie atmosphere. Kuroda’s press conferences with these nifty little placards remind us a bit of school. As an aside, the term “quality” evidently got there by mistake. One cannot improve a money’s quality by increasing its quantity and enforcing negative rates (these are a particularly dangerous abomination).
Photo credit: Yuya Shino / Reuters
A Crucial Priority
This month the bright fellows at Harvard Business School came out with a new report. A lot of work went into its preparation. In fact, the report contains the culmination of five years of in-depth analysis of U.S. competitiveness and surveys of global business leaders and the general public.
Harvard Business School, Baker Library. It took them five years to cook up a weighty report on the US economy’s problems. Unfortunately the report fails to mention the biggest one.
Photo credit: Paul Giamou
OUZILLY, France – Imagine the poor economist without a sense of humor. How he must suffer! This week was to be dominated by central banks. Two big ones – the Bank of Japan (BoJ) and the Fed – were to make important policy announcements.
The BoJ’s chief lunatic Haruhiko Kuroda with one of his famous diagrams. How can this not work? It looks so neat!
Photo credit: Yuya Shino / Reuters
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who was once laudably referred to as “Maestro” for his supposed astute stewardship of U.S. monetary policy, commented last week on the nation’s current political and economic climate:
“We’re not in a stable equilibrium. I hope we can all find a way out because this too great a country to be undermined, by how should I say it, crazies.”*
Help! The crazies are coming! And the Russians too, now that we think about it. Best hide under your desks!
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