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.
Dear readers, we are greatly honored by your readership and sincerely hope that our special mixture of entertainment and education continues to add a little value to your lives. As you can probably guess, our blog is not really a giant commercial enterprise, for that its readership is too exclusive and small. Nevertheless, running it involves not only time and effort, but also monetary costs. We are therefore starting another fundraising drive. You can help us reach our funding goal by either donating directly via Paypal or via Bitcoin.
Thank you for your support!Bitcoin address: 1DRkVzUmkGaz9xAP81us86zzxh5VMEhNke
One Response to “Announcing Our Newest Campaign for Public Office”
Most read in the last 20 days:
- The Stock Market in Trouble - How Bad Can it Get?
A Look at the Broader Market's Internals We have previously discussed the stock market's deteriorating internals, and in light of recent market weakness want to take a brief look at the broader market in the form if the NYSE Index (NYA). First it has to be noted that a majority of the stocks in the NYA are already in bearish trends. The chart below shows the NYA and the percentage of stocks above their 200 day and 50 day moving averages, which is 39.16% and 33.77% respectively. When...
- Gold Stocks at an Interesting Juncture
A Fascinating Parallel We have recently discussed the sentiment and positioning backdrop in gold on two separate occasion, as it has once again reached rarely encountered extremes (see “Gold Panic” and “Gold and the Grave Dancers” for details). Image via bullionstreet.com Not much has changed on that front, except for the fact that small speculators have increased their net short position in COMEX gold futures to the highest level in nearly three decades last...
- Gold Stocks: A Playable Rally May Be Beginning as Junk Bonds Crater
Gold Stocks Jump and Retrace 50% Last week we discussed the potential for a rally in the gold sector (see: “Gold Stocks at an Interesting Juncture” for details). Gold stocks jumped early in the week and then retraced almost precisely 50% of the initial move higher, in the process closing a gap that was left behind on Wednesday. Image credit: dreamstime.com Interestingly, for the first time in many months, there were three up days in a row prior to the...
- A new Multi-Year High in Buying by Gold Sector Insiders
Latest Data from INK Show A Huge Surge in Insider Buying As our friends at INK Research in Canada have pointed out to us, insiders at gold companies have made use of the recent sell-off in the sector to load up on shares to an extent not seen in many years. Image source: bidness etc The INK insider buy/sell indicator for gold stocks has peaked just one day after China's initial devaluation announcement at nearly 1,200%: INK's gold insider sentiment...
- Is Crude Oil Close to a Low?
Panicky Headlines Everybody knows that there is a never-ending glut in crude oil, right? Who knew about it a year ago? Not everybody, that much is certain. The problem with what everybody knows is of course that it is often not worth knowing. Photo credit: Alamy Today a friend pointed two articles out to us that have been published yesterday and today. Their headlines say it all. The Wall Street Journal writes “No End in Sight for Oil Glut” - and proceeds to...
- The Stock Market's Panic Potential
The Odds Favor a “Warning Shot” Scenario - but there is a “But” As regular readers have probably noticed, we have upped the frequency of our “caution is advised” posts on the stock market in recent weeks in light of the market's increasingly deteriorating internals. Although one never knows when exactly such warning signs may begin to matter, it is always a good bet that they eventually will. Last week the market delivered a little wake-up call to the hitherto rather...
- The Donald and China, or The Fallacy of Protectionism
Not Every Populist Topic is Worth Exploiting For reasons that will forever remain a mystery to us, mercantilism and protectionism actually hold enormous popular appeal. The best explanation we can come up with for this phenomenon is that the support for such policies is based on a mixture of economic ignorance and relentless propaganda by vested interests over the past, say, four centuries. Still, it is almost comical that people are so vociferously clamoring for policies that can actually...
- The Economy is in Liquidation Mode
Capital Consumption If you’re an American over a certain age, you remember roller skating rinks (I have no idea if it caught on in other countries). This industry boomed in the 1970’s disco era. However, by the mid 1980’s, the fad was fading. Imagine running a rink company at the end of the craze. You know it is not going to survive for long. How do you operate your business? The birthplace of roller disco turned out to be edible, sort of Photo via...
- Real Wealth and Phantom Wealth – Secular Boom and Bust
The Things that Produce Real Wealth vs. Phantom Wealth Our friend Michael Pollaro, the keeper of long-term data on the true money supply and author at Forbes as well as occasionally a guest author on this site, recently sent us the following chart of a relationship he keeps a close eye on. It depicts the annual change rate in new orders for non-defense capital goods and compares this series to the Wilshire total market index. Photo via...
- The Stock Market After the Mini Crash
A Post Mortem – the Influence of Black Box Systems Here is a brief update on the recent market action and what we think one should watch out for now. First of all, we already noted in our last market update that something about the recent “mini crash” was quite unusual. For one thing, it started to get serious in an options expiration week, which happens only rarely. One rather scary precedent is actually the 1987 crash: on that occasion the market declined sharply during expiration...