Announcing Our Newest Campaign for Public Office
Markets were closed on Monday. So, we turn our attention to other things. Our campaign to replace Ben Bernanke as the next head of the Fed went nowhere. The phone never rang. Instead, the post went to Janet Yellen, a woman who looks like she would make a nice fraternity housemother.
But we haven't given up on a career in public service. Yes, dear reader, after 40 years of laboring in the hard ground of the private sector, we now aim for something new. We want to confront the issues of the day and do our part. We want to get involved in the major challenges of our time and "make a difference."
Lately, we've been inspired by the office-holders who unselfishly "give back" all over the world. These role models incite a longing to join the ranks of the civic minded – those who work for the benefit of others, not just for themselves. Also, we want to wallow in the public trough, feed on the government teat and enjoy the perks of high office.
Smoking Something Funny
Like the mayor of Toronto. We don't smoke crack here at the Diary. But who can honestly say he doesn't like to get drunk once or twice a week? (And if some major crisis arises during our term in office, we hope to be at least as inebriated as Rob Ford at the time.)
Or how about the governor of New Jersey? Chris Christie denies that he had anything to do with closing access lanes on the George Washington Bridge. But that's just another perk, known well to kings, mafiosos and mayors everywhere.
"Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest," asked Henry II in 1170. A short while later, the archbishop of Canterbury was dead. "What can we do about these jerks in Fort Lee," Chris Christie might have asked? Before he knew it, the traffic over the George Washington Bridge was hopelessly snarled. If elected, we will intend to pose a few questions of our own…
• "What do you mean no one has audited Tom Friedman's tax return?"
• "Why did Sweden's central bank award Paul Krugman the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics? Can't it take it back?"
• "Will no one rid the nation of these zombie banks?"
And that's just for starters…
When we look overseas, public service looks even more attractive…
President Clinton had his student intern. Governor Schwarzenegger had his housekeeper. But they were tawdry and lame compared to what a European office holder pulls off. How about prime minister of Italy, for example?
For years, Silvio Berlusconi held his famous "bunga bunga" parties, with teenage hookers such as Ruby Heart Stealer. He didn't have to lie about never having "sex with that woman." He didn't have to issue a public apology. He could just enjoy the perks of office that were available to him.
But our favorite is French president François Hollande…
Taxes, Headaches and 'Gotcha' Contracts
We lived among the French for 15 years, at least. (We stopped the clock when the French IRS audited us.) We learned their language and their ways. One thing we learned was that we couldn't do a worse job of running the country than Francois Hollande. You have to give the man credit, though. He is smart. He can be charming and witty. But in matters economic, he has nothing to guide him other than crackpot Keynesian theories and empty jingoes of France's socialist elite.
That is why Paul Krugman was so cheesed off when he read the paper last week. He discovered that Hollande had tacked right. Hollande noted that France's focus on the demand side hadn't worked out so well. France's unemployment rate, for example, is twice as high as its next-door neighbor Germany. S&P's recently downgraded France's sovereign debt one notch from AA+ to AA. And anyone who has tried to start a business in France, as we have, would rather not do it again.
If you fail, they punish you with taxes, administration headaches and "gotcha" union contracts. If you succeed, on the other hand, they reward you with taxes, administration headaches and "gotcha" union contracts. That doesn't stop France's well-educated and dynamic entrepreneurs, though. They still start up new businesses – in Britain and the US!
Krugman thought it was a "scandal" that Hollande was abandoning his claptrap principles. But our old friend Michel, on the scene in Normandy, reports that the whole thing is not so much scandalous as fraudulent. "There is no real shift to the right," he tells us. "Instead, Hollande is just doing what he always does: throwing a bone to some of his friends in big business without undertaking any really major reforms."
A Powerful Aphrodisiac
But what we admire about Hollande are his priorities. While all this is going on, the president of the Fifth Republic and leader of Europe's second largest economy still finds time to get away on his scooter. He leaves the Élysée Palace… and his "first lady" in the "madame wing"… to sneak off to spend some quality time with Julie Gayet, a beautiful, young actress.
This left said "first lady," Valerie Trierweiler, otherwise known as the "Rottweiler," so shaken and humiliated that she had to be checked into a hospital for "sleep therapy" where she still was as of yesterday. The voters would be appalled in the US. The tabloids in Britain would go mad. The electorate in Germany would be dumbfounded. But in France no one seems to care.
And that is why we are preparing a bid to become the next president of France. If the presidency of France can turn François Hollande into an attractive man, it must be the most powerful aphrodisiac ever found. True, the next election is not for a couple years. And true, too, that we will probably not get a place on the ballot. But we will count on you, dear reader. We will expect your "write in" vote to put us over the top.
Confident of your support, we'll begin saving our money to buy a scooter.
The above article is from Diary of a Rogue Economist originally written for Bonner & Partners.
Bill Bonner founded Agora, Inc in 1978. It has since grown into one of the largest independent newsletter publishing companies in the world. He has also written three New York Times bestselling books, Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt and Mobs, Messiahs and Markets.
Year-End Fund Raising Drive
Dear readers, our year-end funding drive has become a “beginning of the year funding drive” as we have yet to reach our target. By now you will be familiar with the many advantages a donation can secure for you, which range from sounder sleep, to children including you in their songs, to potentially obtaining privileges in the afterlife (no guarantees, but it seems highly likely). Lastly, a special thanks to all readers who have already made a contribution, we are greatly honored by your support.
Bitcoin address: 1DRkVzUmkGaz9xAP81us86zzxh5VMEhNke
One Response to “Announcing Our Newest Campaign for Public Office”
Most read in the last 20 days:
- Gold and Gold Stocks – A Meaningful Reversal?
A Negated Breakdown There have been remarkable gyrations in the gold sector lately. The typical rebound out of a November/December low (typical in recent years after the end of the tax loss selling period) was initially cut short in January in the course of the global stock market decline. This was a bit surprising, because it was widely held that the recovery in the gold price was a result of said stock market decline. Photo via genius.com We suspect that in it was...
- The Walking Dead: Something is Rotten in the Banking System
A Curious Collapse Ever since the ECB has begun to implement its assorted money printing programs in recent years - lately culminating in an outright QE program involving government bonds, agency bonds, ABS and covered bonds - bank reserves and the euro area money supply have soared. Bank reserves deposited with the central bank can be seen as equivalent to the cash assets of banks. The greater the proportion of such reserves (plus vault cash) relative to their...
- The Bank of Japan – Ringing in the Endgame?
Let's Do More of What Doesn't Work It is the Keynesian mantra: the fact that the policies recommended by Keynesians and monetarists, i.e., deficit spending and money printing, routinely fail to bring about the desired results is not seen as proof that they simply don't work. It is regarded as evidence that there hasn't been enough spending and printing yet. BoJ governor Haruhiko “Fly” Kuroda: is that a windshield I'm seeing? Photo credit: Yuya Shino / Reuters At the...
- The FOMC Decision: The Boxed in Fed
An Imaginary Bogeyman What's a Keynesian monetary quack to do when the economy and markets fail to remain “on message” within a few weeks of grandiose declarations that this time, printing truckloads of money has somehow “worked”, in defiance of centuries of experience, and in blatant violation of sound theory? In the weeks since the largely meaningless December rate hike, numerous armchair central planners, many of whom seem to be pining for even more monetary insanity than the...
- The Bubble Deflates - And Crash Risk Rises
A Harrowing Friday – Momentum Stocks Continue to Break Down The release of Friday's payrolls report was the worst of all worlds for the US stock market. This typically happens in bear markets: suddenly fundamental data that wouldn't have bothered anyone a few months ago are seen as a huge problem. Why was it seen as problematic? The report somehow managed to be weak and strong at the same time – it showed weakness in payrolls growth, but the entirely artificial U3 unemployment rate,...
- Skyscraper Mania Goes Global
New Skyscrapers Wherever one Looks Readers may recall our recent discussion of the construction of the Jeddah Tower (see “Soaring to Bankruptcy” for details). This skyscraper is a typical symptom of an artificial boom that has moved past its due date, so to speak. The idea behind the skyscraper index is that in light of the immensity of projects that involve the construction of the tallest building in the world (or one of the tallest), they are only realized once the notion that boom...
- Gold's “Monkey Magic” - An Update on Gold and Gold Stocks
Has a Bull Market Begun? Gold stocks have risen so much and so fast recently that a pullback, resp. consolidation either has begun already or is likely to begin soon. We have therefore decided to post a brief update on the situation in order to discuss what might happen next. Back in late November, we made a few remarks in order to clarify why we have focused so much on the gold sector again since last summer. Processing plant of the Driefontein mine in South Africa Photo...
- Softening up the Rubes – the War on Cash Continues
More Anti-Cash Propaganda by Bloomberg Former NYC mayor Bloomberg is probably one of the worst nannycrats who ever strode upon the US political scene. No-one has done more to take the fun out of New York than this man (we have chronicled the efforts of people of his ilk in “America's Killjoys”). It always amazes us to no end when successful businessmen - once they have made enough money to last them a thousand lifetimes – suddenly discover their penchant for socialism and State...
- China’s $6.6 Trillion Toxic Loan Problem
Rotting Vegetables “As long as you’re green, you’re growing. As soon as you’re ripe, you start to rot,” once remarked Ray Kroc, mastermind of the McDonald’s franchise empire. At the moment, no truer words can be spoken for China’s ripe economy. The Middle Kingdom’s 30-year economic boom is being overcome with the unpleasant odor that befalls rotting vegetables. What’s more, there’s no way to reverse it. Photo credit: fmh Economic...
- In Praise of Sarah Palin…
Up and Down MUMBAI, India – The Dow dropped 208 points on Monday – or about 1.3%. After last week’s pause, it will be interesting to see if the sell-off resumes. “Global equities in turmoil,” reads a CNBC headline. “A month after raising rates, Fed faces darker global economy,” suggests an AP newswire report. Neither of these is true. The world has not changed significantly in the last month. What has changed? The squiggly lines are going down instead...