In a recent article, we explained how central banking wrecks the economy over and over again with its interventionist monetary policy. The Fed tinkers with interest rates and drives boom-bust cycles. But government also has a role to play in this drama. The policies pushed by politicians and bureaucrats help determine where malinvestments will show up in the economy.
The unholy alliance of central bankers, politicians and government functionaries always ends in economic chaos.
In the years leading up to the 2008 crash, the government tried to turn every American into a homeowner. Needless to say – it didn’t end well. This should serve as a warning for the current batch of politicians and bureaucrats. Sadly, it probably won’t.
We’ve covered the plight of the Venezuelan economy as it has plunged into chaos over the last several years. It’s gotten so bad that a year ago, video game money was worth seven times more than the Venezuelan bolivar. Meanwhile, the Venezuelan people have suffered horrible food shortages. Many people in Venezuela have turned to barter just to survive.
But Venezuela isn’t the only country suffering the effects of socialism. Cubans are currently enduring food shortages of their own as the country’s economy hurtles toward crisis mode.
Peter Schmidt has written extensively about the “Confederacy of Dunces” that helped bring about the financial collapse of 2008 and their “fatal conceit.” By fatal conceit, he means the arrogant belief that because of their superior intellect and education, they have the wherewithal to micromanage the economy.
One of the members of Schmidt’s “confederacy of dunces” is Lawrence Summers. He served as a senior Treasury Department official during the Clinton Administration and was at the center of enormous and easily discernible blunders in judgment that directly led to the crisis. But he has never taken ownership for the role he played and he continues to pontificate about economic issues.
In the following article, Schmidt uses Summers recent comments about one of Pres. Trump’s potential Federal Reserve Board nominees to highlight the fatal conceit of central planners.
After the stock market started to tank last fall, the Federal Reserve rushed in and saved the day – at least temporarily. Peter Schiff predicted this would happen. In fact, last December he said the Fed was about to initiate its last rate increase. But Peter also said the “Powell Pause” wouldn’t be enough. Just a couple of weeks ago, Peter reiterated that the Fed is about to cut interest rates again.
This isn’t mere speculation. Peter is basing these predictions on fundamental economic calculations. Central banks can stimulate the economy with easy money, but the boom can’t last forever. In an article published on the Mises Wire, economist Thorsten Polleit explains why the Federal Reserve-induced boom will eventually get exactly what’s coming to it.
While investors often treat gold as a commodity, at its core, gold is money. Silver also has a long history as a monetary metal. But what about other rare metals? Could they serve as money as well?
In the following guest column, SchiffGold client Antony Pouros makes the case for platinum.
In the March 8 episode of the SchiffGold Friday Gold Wrap podcast, Mike Maharrey emphasized the importance of understanding sound economic theory. And as economist Frank Shostak explained, facts and figures aren’t enough to digest what’s going on in the economy.
In order to really make sense of the data one must have a theory, which stands on its own feet, and did not originate from the data. By means of a theory, one could scrutinize the data and could then try to make sense out of it.”
In a recent article published on the Mises Wire, economist Dr. Thorsten Polleit builds on this body of knowledge, explaining how central bank manipulations of interest rates not only distort the economy, the actually mess with our minds.
Ever since the beginning of the “Powell Pause,” Peter Schiff has been saying it won’t be enough.
If the Fed doesn’t want to upset the markets, soon it will be forced to go back to QE and zero percent interest rates.”
Peter isn’t alone in saying this. After the most recent FOMC meeting, Ryan McMaken at the Mises Institute echoed Peter’s message.
Put simply: the days of quantitative easing are back, and we’re not even in a recession yet.”
As you probably know, Warren Buffett has never been a fan of gold and has publicly disparaged the yellow metal on more than one occasion. About a year ago, he compared investing in gold and stocks, arguing that over the long term gold is an “unproductive asset” that “doesn’t produce anything.” So, why have it, unless you just want something to “fondle.” At the time, we argued that Buffet’s comments fall apart when you realize that gold is money. After all, I doubt you would ever hear him say “never hold cash because it’s an unproductive asset.”
Well, Buffet is at it again.
Context is key.
During last week’s Friday Gold Wrap podcast, Mike Maharrey emphasized the importance of understanding sound economic theory. Without a firm grasp of basic economic principles, it becomes impossible to properly evaluate any observations you make and to properly interpret economic data. As economist Frank Shostak put it in a recent article published at the Mises Wire, “In order to really make sense of the data one must have a theory, which stands on its own feet, and did not originate from the data. By means of a theory, one could scrutinize the data and could then try to make sense out of it.”
Shostak goes on to explain the most fundamental economic concept and how we can use the framework of “human action” to better understand economic data.
We often talk about the fatal conceit and hubris of central bankers who think they can micromanage a complex economy. Oftentimes, these monetary policymakers do things with the best of intentions, believing their actions will move the economy in the right direction. Sometimes, they do things just to benefit their buddies. Regardless of their motives, these actions have consequences.
The mechanizations of the Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan along with other players in the US government in the 1990s blew up a massive “tech bubble” that eventually popped. Fed monetary in the wake of that collapse set the stage for the 2008 financial crisis. Fed monetary policy in the wake of that crisis set the stage for today.
In the following article, Peter Schmidt offers an overview of three moves Greenapsn made in the 1990s that helped fuel the mania that blew up the dot-com bubble. This look back in time offers us some valuable lessons for today.