Humor

     

 

 

Interesting Times Arrive

“Things sure are getting exciting again, ain’t they?”  The remark was made by a colleague on Tuesday morning, as we stepped off the elevator to grab a cup of coffee.

 

Ancient Chinese curse alert… [PT]

 

Read the rest of this entry »

     

 

 

A Great Big Dud

Many of today’s economic troubles are due to a fantastic guess.  That the wealth effect of inflated asset prices would stimulate demand in the economy.

The premise, as we understand it, was that as stock portfolios bubbled up investors would feel better about their lot in life.  Some of them would feel so doggone good they’d go out and buy 72-inch flat screen televisions and brand-new electric cars with computerized dashboards on credit.

 

The Wilshire 5000 total market index vs. federal debt and real GDP (indexed, 1990=100) – mainly there is an ever wider gap between asset prices and the underlying economic output, and although federal debt has grown by leaps and bounds in the Bush-Obama era, it can’t hold a candle to asset price inflation either. If asset prices were an indication of how an economy is doing, we would have arrived in Utopia by now. Unfortunately that is not the case, as asset prices primarily reflect monetary inflation. Just consider the extreme example of Venezuela’s IBC General Index, which went from 40,000 to 120,000 points, while the economy contracted by 21% in real terms (officially, that is. If one were to apply private sector estimates of inflation, it would look a lot worse). It is certainly true that economic aggregates are benefiting from bubble conditions to some extent, but that is essentially phantom prosperity. If you burn all your furniture, your home will be warm – that this might be problematic only becomes glaringly obvious once all the furniture is gone, because then it will not only be cold, but there will be nothing left to sit on either. When the red line on this chart reverts to the mean (or the “other extreme”), there will be a lot of gnashing of teeth, as many of the mistakes made during the bubble era will be unmasked. [PT] – click to enlarge.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

     

 

 

Presidential Duties

Our editor recently stumbled upon an image in one of the more obscure corners of the intertubes which we felt we had to share with our readers. It provides us with a nice metaphor for the meaningfulness of government activity. First, here is a look at the picture – just quietly contemplate it for while and let it work its magic on you:

 

fir wateringYes, these two gentlemen are actually watering a tree in the middle of a downpour…

Photo via president.gov.by

 

Read the rest of this entry »

     

 

 

Political Correctness Comedy

We have recently come across a video that is simply too funny not be shared. It also happens to dovetail nicely with our friend Claudio’s recent essay on political correctness and cultural Marxism. Since this is generally a rather depressing topic, we have concluded that having a good laugh at it might not be the worst idea.

 

safe spaceHow to most effectively create a “safe space” on campus

Cartoon by Nate Beeler

 

Read the rest of this entry »

     

 

 

Odd Couple

While checking on the US primaries a few days ago, we came across a piece of news informing us that pretend candle-swallower Ted Cruz had picked Carly Fiorina as his “vice-presidential running mate”. Our first thought upon hearing this was “WTF”?

 

CruzinaThe match made in heaven… two loooosers find each other.

Photo credit: AP

 

Read the rest of this entry »

     

 

 

Experts Agree: It Is Not 2008

If someone were to ask us what year it was, we would probably politely answer that it was 2016, curious to find out whether the inquirer was a) very confused, b) had only recently awoken from a coma and was still unsure of his when-abouts, or c) was a time traveler who got temporarily lost.

In the unlikely case that we should find ourselves unable to remember the year with sufficient precision to ensure a reliable answer, we’d probably consult a calendar. We recently found out that a great many people actually seem to be uncertain about what year it is. Or at least many mainstream media appear to think so, as they have launched an intense awareness campaign.

Specifically, numerous people seem to think it is still 2008. Wish that it were so – we’d be eight years younger. It all started on 24 August 2015, when two publications apparently discovered independently of each other that is was no longer 2008 and decided that this information should be urgently imparted to the rest of humanity. It all started with marketplace.org admonishing its readers to engage in mnemonic exercises so as not to forget:

 

1-Marketplace-dot-org-Aug-24-2015If you repeat it often enough, remembering it will eventually become second nature…

Photo via marketplace.org

 

Read the rest of this entry »

     

 

 

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.

 

Trader Gregory Rowe works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. Stocks are opening lower as investors fret about signs of belligerence in North Korea and more weakening of China's economy.

What has changed? The squiggly lines are going down instead of up….

Photo credit: Richard Drew / AP Photo

 

Read the rest of this entry »

     

 

 

Dead Letter Syndrome: Equality Before the Law

Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi – the cavaliere – has been successful in fighting off legal challenges ranging from sex with minors to alleged tax fraud involving humungous amounts for well over a decade. On a number of occasions, the Italian State even created new laws specifically designed to keep the cavaliere out of jail.

 

berlusconi sbFormer Italian emperor, the irrepressible and highly entertaining cavaliere.

Image by Steve Bell

 

Read the rest of this entry »

     

 

 

The Digital Commissar Beats Even Erdogan …

Austria boasts of a state-owned TV broadcasting company (the ORF), that similar to a handful of other European relics from the era when only governments were allowed to broadcast exists not on the commercial merits of its programming, but on the basis of coercion. Every owner of a device in the country that could conceivably receive broadcasts from a state-owned TV or radio station is forced to pay a monthly fee to the company, which not surprisingly pays some of the heftiest salaries available in the country (we have been told that it is also nigh impossible to get a job there unless one “knows someone”).

 

gis-gebhr_1439303526864465Austria’s state-owned broadcaster even has a special subsidiary (GIS Ltd.), whose sole task consists of ensuring that all device owners are paying up!

Photo credit: Die Presse/Clemens Fabry

 

Read the rest of this entry »

     

 

 

The Man They Hate with a Passion

Euro area politicians and IMF bureaucrats really hate Yanis Varoufakis’ guts with a passion. The media are full with denunciations of the man as “unprofessional”, negotiators of the euro-group let it be known (anonymously, natch) that “it got to the point where eyes roll”, that they were “sick and tired of being lectured about austerity and the effects of the crisis”, in short, it was “impossible to do business with him”.

Why do they hate him so much? Allegedly, “any sympathy for Greece was eroded by his failure to draft concrete proposals.” Typical Mediterranean lazy bum is the message, in other words. Big on vacuous emoting, but doesn’t want to waste time on doing his homework (plus, he wears no tie … you have to be clad in the technocratic uniform if you want to be taken seriously).

 

varoubikeThe eurocrats really hate this one. They’re probably all trying to channel Tony G when they meet Varoufakis.

Photo credit: Alkis Konstantinidis / Reuters

 

Read the rest of this entry »

     

 

 

The Flip Side of Technological Progress …

One of our e-mail correspondents sent us the cartoons depicted below, a humorous look on a subject public awareness of which has grown quite a bit in recent years. Modern electronic communication is great, and it is amazing that the market economy has made advanced devices such as smart phones accessible to the masses, but sometimes one cannot shake the impression that people have become enslaved by all the gadgets that have become indispensable accoutrements of modern-day existence. In fact, you will learn below who’s really in charge…:)

We do sometimes wonder how people would react if the power were to go out one day …

 

image001Important fairy tale questions have to be rephrased …

Cartoon by Stahler

 

Read the rest of this entry »

     

 

 

Japan’s Ministry of Defense Not Letting its Guard Down

Back in 2007, Japanese politicians were beginning to ponder how to defend the country against invading green men from neighboring star systems within the framework of the country’s pacifist constitution. Apparently a thorny issue, but at least the ministry of defense was on the case.

 

space-aliens-clip-art-24117

Hi there! (artist impression of a space alien from the Rigel II system)

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • Is the Canary in the Gold Mine Coming to Life Again?
      A Chirp from the Deep Level Mines Back in late 2015 and early 2016, we wrote about a leading indicator for gold stocks, namely the sub-sector of marginal - and hence highly leveraged to the gold price - South African gold stocks. Our example du jour at the time was Harmony Gold (HMY) (see “Marginal Producer Takes Off” and “The Canary in the Gold Mine” for the details).   Mining engineer equipped with bio-sensor Photo credit: Hulton Archive   As we write these...
  • Oil Mania Redux
    Positive Energy By now, late September of 2018, it has become increasingly evident that something big is about to happen. What exactly that may be is anyone's guess.  But, whatever it is, we suggest you prepare for it now... before it is too late.   Art auction energizer: Norman Rockwell's portrait of John Wayne. You can't go wrong shelling out top dollar for me, pilgrim, can you? [PT]   Several weeks ago, if you haven't heard, an undisclosed rich guy enthusiastically...
  • Fed Credit and the US Money Supply – The Liquidity Drain Accelerates
      Federal Reserve Credit Contracts Further We last wrote in July about the beginning contraction in outstanding Fed credit, repatriation inflows, reverse repos, and commercial and industrial lending growth, and how the interplay between these drivers has affected the growth rate of the true broad US money supply TMS-2 (the details can be seen here: “The Liquidity Drain Becomes Serious” and “A Scramble for Capital”).   The Fed has clearly changed course under Jerome Powell...
  • The Gold Standard: Protector of Individual Liberty and Economic Prosperity
      A Piece of Paper Alone Cannot Secure Liberty The idea of a constitution and/or written legislation to secure individual rights so beloved by conservatives and among many libertarians has proven to be a myth. The US Constitution and all those that have been written and ratified in its wake throughout the world have done little to protect individual liberties or keep a check on State largesse.   Sound money vs. a piece of paper – which is the better guarantor of liberty?...
  • Fed President Kashkari Hears Voices – Are They Lying?
      Orchestrated Larceny The government continues its approach towards full meltdown. The stock market does too. But when it comes down to it, these are mere distractions from the bigger breakdown that is bearing down upon us.   Prosperity imbalance illustrated. The hoi-polloi may be getting restless. [PT]   Average working stiffs have little time or inclination to contemplate gibberish from the Fed. They are too worn out from running in place all day to make much...
  • Switzerland, Model of Freedom & Wealth Moving East – Interviews with Claudio Grass
      Sarah Westall Interviews Claudio Grass Last month our friend Claudio Grass, roving Mises Institute Ambassador and a Switzerland-based investment advisor specializing in precious metals, was interviewed by Sarah Westall for her Business Game Changers channel.   Sarah Westall and Claudio Grass   There are two interviews, both of which are probably of interest to our readers. The first one focuses on Switzerland with its unique, well-developed system of  direct...
  • US Stocks and Bonds Get Clocked in Tandem
      A Surprise Rout in the Bond Market At the time of writing, the stock market is recovering from a fairly steep (by recent standards) intraday sell-off. We have no idea where it will close, but we would argue that even a recovery into the close won't alter the status of today's action – it is a typical warning shot. Here is what makes the sell-off unique:   30 year bond and 10-year note yields have broken out from a lengthy consolidation pattern. This has actually surprised us, as...
  • Decapitation Strike -  Elon Musk in the Crosshairs of the Bureaucracy
      The Most Expensive Tweet of All Time He finally done did it this time – this is to say, he did himself in. It was already widely known that Elon Musk sent out one tweet too many in early August. But it seems now that what he posted on that fateful day may well end up as the most expensive sequence of nine words ever blasted over the intertubes. For those who haven't followed the story, this is the tweet in question:   Elon Musk's fateful tweet – here is a link to the thread...
  • Are Credit Spreads Still a Leading Indicator for the Stock Market?
      A Well-Established Tradition Seemingly out of the blue, equities suffered a few bad hair days recently. As regular readers know, we have long argued that one should expect corrections in the form of mini-crashes to strike with very little advance warning, due to issues related to market structure and the unique post “QE” environment. Credit spreads are traditionally a fairly reliable early warning indicator for stocks and the economy (and incidentally for gold as well). Here is a...
  • Choking On the Salt of Debt
      Life After ZIRP Roughly three years ago, after traversing between Los Angeles and San Francisco via the expansive San Joaquin Valley, we penned the article, Salting the Economy to Death.  At the time, the monetary order was approach peak ZIRP.   Our boy ZIRP has passed away. Mr. 2.2% effective has taken his place in the meantime. [PT]   We found the absurdity of zero bound interest rates to have parallels to the absurdity of hundreds upon hundreds of miles of...
  • How Dangerous is the Month of October?
      A Month with a Bad Reputation A certain degree of nervousness tends to suffuse global financial markets when the month of October approaches. The memories of sharp slumps that happened in this month in the past – often wiping out the profits of an entire year in a single day – are apt to induce fear. However, if one disregards outliers such as 1987 or 2008, October generally delivers an acceptable performance.   The road to October... not much happens at first - until it...
  • Yield Curve Compression - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Hammering the Spread The price of gold fell nine bucks last week. However, the price of silver shot up 33 cents. Our central planners of credit (i.e., the Fed) raised short-term interest rates, and threatened to do it again in December. Meanwhile, the stock market continues to act as if investors do not understand the concepts of marginal debtor, zombie corporation, and net present value.   The Federal Reserve – carefully inching forward to Bustville   People...

Support Acting Man

Item Guides

Austrian Theory and Investment

j9TJzzN

The Review Insider

Archive

Dog Blow

350x200

THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

Realtime Charts

 

Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from www.kitco.com]

 

Mish Talk

 
Buy Silver Now!
 
Buy Gold Now!
 

Oilprice.com