The new Incrementum Chartbook – Should Recessions be Feared and Avoided?
Back in 1969, a monograph by Murray Rothbard was published as a small booklet. Its title was “Economic Depressions: Their Cause and Cure” (readers unfamiliar with the essay can download the pdf version below). The booklet achieved enormous circulation at the time and remains a timeless, trenchant and rigorous analysis of the essence of the business cycle accessible to everyone.
A photograph showing a man leaning against a wall next to an empty shopfront during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Photo credit: Archive Holdings Inc.
A towering intellect, as gifted as an economist as he was as a historian and political and ethical philosopher, Murray Rothbard never lost sight of Ludwig von Mises’ famous admonition:
“Economics must not be relegated to classrooms an statistical offices and must not be left to esoteric circles. It is the philosophy of human life and action and concerns everybody and everything. It is the pith of civilization and of man’s human existence.”
We may leave physics and chemistry to experts, but economics is a different matter. Every citizen should at least acquire passing knowledge of economic theory, so as to avoid being bamboozled by ideologues, politicians and their empty promises.
Unfortunately, today most of the economics profession itself has been bought off by the technocratic ruling elite and its central planning agencies. But the powers-that-be have underestimated the internet. Today it is possible for people to access information that has been repressed by the mainstream for decades. The intellectual heirs of Mises and Rothbard can once again make themselves heard.
The new Incrementum chart book (which can be downloaded below) looks at the growing probability of a US recession and asks: how can we recognize whether a recession is likely well ahead of the belated official acknowledgments? Should we actually fear a recession? What, if anything should be done about it? And how can investors safely navigate it?
As to the question “what should be done about it?” we will let Murray Rothbard speak:
“[Thus], what the government should do, according to the Misesian analysis of the depression, is absolutely nothing. It should, from the point of view of economic
health and ending the depression as quickly as possible, maintain a strict hands off, “ laissez-faire” policy.
Anything it does will delay and obstruct the adjustment process of the market; the less it does, the more rapidly will the market adjustment process do its work, and sound economic recovery ensue.
The Misesian prescription is thus the exact opposite of the Keynesian: It is for the government to keep absolute hands off the economy and to confine itself to stopping its own inflation and to cutting its own budget.”
Indeed, there is no reason to fear recessions or to intervene in them. They represent a healing process. Only by liquidating the malinvestments of the boom and rearranging the economy’s structure of production as quickly as possible to the actual wishes of consumers can a sound recovery be achieved.
Even if one knows nothing about economic theory and the debate between those advocating the free market approach and those in favor of central planning by the bureaucracy, one should by now have realized that the approach pursued by our vaunted policymakers has failed. In Japan this has been demonstrated for 26 years running: no amount of Keynesian deficit spending and monetarist money printing has brought about the desired results.
We believe the snake oil sellers should finally be forced to look for real jobs. We’d be very interested in seeing them serving consumers in the free market rather than forcing their failing prescription on entire populations. It is high time to try a different approach.
Here is a pertinent quote from the conclusion to Rothbard’s essay:
“The time is ripe—for a rediscovery, a renaissance, of the Mises theory of the business cycle. It can come none too soon; if it ever does, the whole concept of a Council of Economic Advisors would be swept away, and we would see a massive retreat of government from the economic sphere.
But for all this to happen, the world of economics, and the public at large, must be made aware of the existence of an explanation of the business cycle that has lain neglected on the shelf for all too many tragic years.”
Murray Rothbard, the irrepressible champion of liberty
Photo via Mises Institute
Incrementum Chartbook #4: Who’s Afraid of Recession?
Murray Rothbard: Depressions, Their Cause and Cure
Chart by: Incrementum
It is that time of the year again – our semi-annual funding drive begins today. Give us a little hand in offsetting the costs of running this blog, as advertising revenue alone is insufficient. You can help us reach our modest funding goal by donating either via paypal or bitcoin. Those of you who have made a ton of money based on some of the things we have said in these pages (we actually made a few good calls lately!), please feel free to up your donations accordingly (we are sorry if you have followed one of our bad calls. This is of course your own fault). Other than that, we can only repeat that donations to this site are apt to secure many benefits. These range from sound sleep, to children including you in their songs, to the potential of obtaining privileges in the afterlife (the latter cannot be guaranteed, but it seems highly likely). As always, we are greatly honored by your readership and hope that our special mixture of entertainment and education is adding a little value to your life!
Bitcoin address: 1DRkVzUmkGaz9xAP81us86zzxh5VMEhNke
25 Responses to “Who’s Afraid of Recession?”
Most read in the last 20 days:
- Gold Price Skyrockets in India after Currency Ban – Part III
When Money Dies In part-I of the dispatch we talked about what happened during the first two days after Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi banned Rs 500 and Rs 1000 banknotes, comprising of 88% of the monetary value of cash in circulation. In part-II, we talked about the scenes, chaos, desperation, and massive loss of productive capacity that this ban had led to over the next few days. Indian prime minister Narendra Modi – another finger-wagger, as can be seen in this...
- Gold Price Skyrockets in India after Currency Ban – Part IV
A Market Gripped by Fear The Indian Prime Minister announced on 8th November 2016 that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes would no longer be legal tender. Linked are Part-I, Part-II and Part-III updates on the rapidly encroaching police state. The economic and social mess that Modi has created is unprecedented. It will go down in history as an epitome of naivety and arrogance due to Modi’s self-centered desire to increase tax-collection at any cost. Indian jewelry...
- A Note on Gold and India – What is Driving the Gold Price?
Hidden Motives It is well-known that India's government wants to coerce its population into “modernizing” its financial behavior and abandoning its traditions. The recent ban on large-denomination banknotes was not only meant to fight corruption. Obviously, this very bad Indian has way too much cash. Just look at him, he looks suspicious! Photo via thenewsminute.com In fact, as our friend Jayant Bhandari has pointed out, fresh avenues for corruption ...
- Gold Price Skyrockets in India after Currency Ban – Part V
A Brief Recap India's Prime Minister announced on 8th November 2016 that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes will no longer be legal tender. Linked are Part-I, Part-II, Part-III, and Part-IV, which provide updates on the rapidly encroaching police state Expect a continuation of new social engineering notifications, each sabotaging wealth-creation, confiscating people’s wealth, and tyrannizing those who refuse to be a part of the herd, in the process destroying the very backbone of the...
- Attaining Self-Destruct Velocity
Bad Monday Some Monday mornings are better than others. Others are worse than some. For one Amazon employee, this past Monday morning was particularly bad. No doubt, the poor fellow would have been better off he’d called in sick to work. Such a simple decision would have saved him from extreme agony. But, unfortunately, he showed up at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters and put on a public and painful display of madness. Good-bye cruel world! On this our planet,...
- All Aboard! Trump’s Express Train to the Future
Free Money! BALTIMORE – Last week, the Dow punched up above 19,000 – a new all-time record. And on Monday, the Dow, the S&P 500, the Nasdaq, and the small-cap Russell 2000 each hit new all-time highs. The last time that happened was on the last day of December 1999. Ironically, two events that were almost universally expected to trigger large stock market declines were followed by quite rapid and strong gains. Would the market have fallen if Hillary Clinton had won...
- India's Currency Debacle – An Interview with Jayant Bhandari
A Major Crisis Last week Jayant Bhandari related the story of the overnight ban of certain banknotes in India under cover of “stamping out corruption” (see Gold Price Skyrockets In India after Currency Ban Part 1 and Part 2 for the details). Banned 500 rupee banknotes The problem is inter alia that the sudden ban of these banknotes has hit the Indian economy quite hard, given that 97% of all transactions in the country are cash-based. Not only that, it has...
- Will the Swamp Swallow Trump?
Permanently Skewed TRUMP HOTEL, New York – Trump’s rambling army – professionals, amateurs, camp followers, and profiteers – is marching south, down the I-95 corridor. There, on the banks of the Potomac, it will fight its next big battle. Lieutenants in Trump's army: Bannon, Flynn & Sessions Photo credit: Drew Angerer / AFP Here at the Diary, we do not like to get involved in politics. But this is a special time in the history of our planet – a...
- There Are Two Types of Credit — One of Them Leads to Booms and Busts
Stumped by the Bust In the slump of a cycle, businesses that were thriving begin to experience difficulties or go under. They do so not because of firm-specific entrepreneurial errors but rather in tandem with whole sectors of the economy. People who were wealthy yesterday have become poor today. Factories that were busy yesterday are shut down today, and workers are out of jobs. What has caused the bust? The modern-day economic orthodoxy continues to be unable to provide...
- Gold Bull Market Remains Intact – Long Term Fundamentals Outweigh Short Term Market Gyrations
A Strong First Half of the Year, Followed by Another Retreat In early 2016 gold had a big bull run. The precious metal rose close to 25% this year, pushed higher in a summer rally that peaked on July 10th. Gold experienced a bumpy ride over the remainder of the summer though, as investors became increasingly concerned about a potential rate hike by the Federal Reserve. Uncertainty returned to gold market and has intensified further since then. Initially, gold rallied sharply...
- Too Early for “Inflation Bets”?
The Trump Trade After 35 years of waiting... so many false signals... so often deceived... so often disappointed... bond bears gathered on rooftops as though awaiting the Second Coming. Many times, investors have said to themselves, “This is it! This is the end of the Great Bull Market in Bonds!” The long bond's long cycle – red rectangles indicate when the post 1980 bull market was held to be “over” or “over for sure” or “100% over”, etc. We have...
- US True Money Supply Growth Jumps, Part 1: A Shift in Liabilities
A Very Odd Growth Spurt in the True Money Supply The growth rates of various “Austrian” measures of the US money supply (such as TMS-2 and money AMS) have accelerated significantly in recent months. That is quite surprising, as the Fed hasn't been engaged in QE for quite some time and year-on-year growth in commercial bank credit has actually slowed down rather than accelerating of late. The only exception to this is mortgage lending growth - at least until recently. Growth in...