It just dawned on me – I grew up in a generation that believed the world as we know it could come to an end at any time. We were told to duck beneath our wooden school desks, with an inkwell hole on the top. The Cold War was part of our existence – but, the worst never happened.
Today, many of my contemporaries and I thinks the world as we know it is about to come to an end – at least an end of a life style we are used to. This time, the threat is economic, not atomic. We worry about the end of the dollar and the dreaded hyperinflation. Not to say our worries are misplaced! But maybe we are just programmed to see that particular side of life? Well, we say, we’ve got facts and figures and math on our side. Yes we do, but when I was young, there were plenty of logical arguments to support our concerns too.
What am I saying here? Am I saying I am wrong about my views of the issues and the lack of solutions? No, I absolutely believe my views and concerns are legit. But I suppose I felt the same way in the 50s too. So, let’s hope I’m wrong this time too. I really don’t want to be right.
So what am I going to do about it? Nothing! I still believe I am right. The primary difference between my concern as a kid and now is that now I think I can make better judgments, but most people are a product of their education and the media. These days, the liberal and Keynesian school system and the MSM have not been doing a decent job of enlightening us. We have to do it on our own and find our own “credible” sources of information. I just hope that we are one of those “credible sources of information” to you.
The last few days are so predictable – we approach an options expiry date, the bullion banks smack-down gold and silver to avoid paying off on bullish contracts and then, a day or two later (Wednesday), most of the pull back is reversed. Still, we need to push $1700 behind us and the sooner the better.
I would send this to Backwoods Jack, whose son, Backwoods III and banker friends say the economy is fine, and I am a wingnut for suggesting otherwise. I wonder what they would have to say about the following… but since I have stopped sending him my newsletter, he will remain in the dark. He wouldn’t acknowledge it anyways.
How to Counter American Pessimism – sovereign-investor.com
Bob Bauman (January 29, 2013)
A national Gallup poll taken January 7 through January 10 paints a picture of a pessimistic America, where most people believe the country’s best days are past.
According to this poll, 61% rated the current situation in America as decidedly negative, about the same as in 2010, the lowest recorded by Gallup since President Jimmy Carter’s term in 1979, at a time when the economy was in terrible shape with inflation at 14%. The only other comparable low point came in 1974 during the Watergate scandal and President Nixon’s resignation. Less than half the people, 48%, now have any optimism about improvement in the country within five years, also the lowest since 1979.
Continue reading on Sovereign Investor
Or how about this article from Paul Krugman, who is also very Liberal and believes, as all Keynesians do, that we can solve our problems by printing MORE money – which I say is the cause of the problem to begin with. But he is respected by Main Street and is an award-winning economist, the kind Backwoods’ son and banker friends are apt to quote. Here is what he has to say, courtesy of MoneyNews.com
Krugman: ‘Depression Conditions’ Continue in the US – MoneyNews.com
Tuesday, 29 Jan 2013 01:31 PM
By Michelle Smith
The U.S. economy is not ready to stand on its own, therefore the Federal Reserve should “keep the pedal to the metal” and continue quantitative easing (QE) well into 2015, Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman tells Yahoo.
Krugman’s arguments in favor of long term QE come as the Federal Reserve holds its first policy meeting of the year.
(David’s Comment: At least we agree on something)
Economists are generally confident that the central bank will keep the aggressive bond buying programs in place — for now. But, the question plaguing the minds of many is when will it end?
Speculation that the Fed may wind down quantitative easing programs this year was driven by the release of minutes from the December Federal Open Market Committee meeting.
The minutes stated that “several [members] thought it would probably be appropriate to slow or to stop purchases well before the end of 2013, citing concerns about financial stability and the size of the balance sheet.”
Krugman argues that the economy is still ailing and now is not the time for the Fed to give consideration to such ideas.
“Almost 4 million workers have been out of work for more than a year,” he tells Yahoo. “We haven’t had anything like that since the 1930s,” he adds.
“If the Fed can convince people that it‘s going to keep the pedal to the metal … that still has some leverage on the economy,”
While many cite the possibility that the Fed’s policy may spark inflation, Krugman notes that inflation of 3 or 4 percent could be helpful.
(David’s Comment: Maybe so, but unfortunately I follow John Williams and inflation is already running at 10%)
While he acknowledges that the economy is in the midst of a slow recovery, he says the United States continues to suffer from “depression conditions.”
He also dismisses the concerns over the federal deficit. Krugman argues that the Federal government, like the Fed, need not lend its ear to calls for tightening spending, but rather insists that the path to better economic conditions is paved by more spending.
“There is no good reason dealing with debt should be a priority today,” he says.
“A growing economy is the best solution to all our problems.”
For those of you who are concerned with the potential drop in the value of the dollar, and are checking out the Swiss franc, the best of a bad bunch, note the following article – and then maybe you will understand why there aren’t any currencies that will protect you the way gold, and silver do.
Swiss Ministers Seek More Depreciation of ‘Strong’ Franc – Bloomberg.com
By Zoe Schneeweiss – Jan 28, 2013 8:26 AM CT
Swiss ministers said the franc’s strength remains a concern even after its recent slide against the euro to the weakest in 20 months.
“Euphoria is misplaced” and more depreciation is needed, Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf told reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 26. “The franc is still very strong.”
The Swiss National Bank imposed a ceiling of 1.20 francs to the euro in September 2011 to protect exporters as surging bond yields in Europe’s weakest economies pushed investors to seek the safest assets. The currency has since weakened as signs Europe’s debt crisis is easing sapped demand for havens.
Continue reading on Bloomberg.com
And you really should be concerned with the performance of the dollar. The Chinese are, and they are our bankers.
China tells U.S. to slow money printing presses – Reuters.com
DAVOS, Switzerland | Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:23pm EST
A senior Chinese official said on Friday that the United States should cut back on printing money to stimulate its economy if the world is to have confidence in the dollar.
Asked whether he was worried about the dollar, the chairman of China’s sovereign wealth fund, the China Investment Corporation, Jin Liqun, told the World Economic Forum in Davos: “I am a little bit worried.”
Jin said he was confident that the Obama administration and Congress would ultimately solve the debate over the so-called fiscal cliff, “but of course the printing machine will have to slow down for people to have full confidence in the dollar”.
Continue reading on Reuters.com