A Salutary Effect

BALTIMORE – “Ike and Dick Sure to Click” was an exciting election slogan. Their Democratic opponents, Adlai Stevenson and Estes Kefauver, had their snazzy campaign jingle, too: “Adlai and Estes… They’re the Bestes.”

Surely, the men behind these slogans had their private hungers and perversions. But they kept them to themselves. The 1956 presidential election campaign was a dull affair.

 

Google “Adlai Stevenson’s wife,” and you will get only the barest biographical information. But Google “Melania Trump” or “Heidi Cruz”… oh la la! Just be sure there are no children around.

 

melania-trump-1-800Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? The reality TV election is here!

Photo credit: Kena Betancur / AFP / Getty, Scott Olson / Getty

 

It’s all out in the open now. This is the most entertaining election in U.S. history… and the first episode of Reality Democracy, in which the only apparent goal – or effect – is to get the ratings up.

When we were in grammar school, the teacher told us that “anybody in this classroom could grow up to be president.” We looked around the room with dread and foreboding. But now it looks as though she was right.

But this election ought to have a very salutary effect on the public: No one will ever take an election seriously again.

 

Silver-Haired Crooks

On Easter Sunday, we met a smart man who confessed to having voted for Donald Trump in the Florida primary. Of course, we wanted to know: What was he thinking? More on that in a moment…

A headline in yesterday’s paper jolted us away from the election. “Japan’s hard-up retirees turn to crime,” begins the headline in the Financial Times.

 

recidivist pensioners in JapanA gang of elderly recidivists in a Japanese jail. We apologize for using a kind of tinny word here.

Photo credit: Kiyoshi Ota / Bloomberg

 

After years of QE (quantitative easing), ZIRP (zero-interest-rate policy), NIRP (negative-interest-rate policy), and Abenomics (Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe’s stimulus-focused economic policies) – which is to say, all the standard deviations of modern central banking – older Japanese people must now break the law… to get “free board and lodging behind bars.”

Is this what is coming to the U.S.? “Yes,” is the safe answer. Japan has been ahead of us on this entire trip. Its stock market crashed in 1989. That led to a Great Recession, which the authorities fought like the Imperial Army defending Okinawa. Japanese policymakers invented QE… and for 26 years, they’ve held interest rates near zero.

 

Japan, rates and NikkeiJapanese interest rates and the Nikkei – the former are now at or below zero, the latter remains about 60% below its all time high made more than 26 years ago – click to enlarge.

 

Shinzō Abe became prime minister specifically to end Japan’s quarter-century-long slump. He failed. The “three arrows” of his Abenomics platform – fiscal stimulus, monetary easing, and structural reform – seem to have driven the defenders even further to ground.

 

Hard Choices

It should, by now, be obvious to everyone that William McChesney Martin was right. As the ninth chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, he was the man on duty during the election cycle of 1956.

And he was the man responsible for “normalizing” interest rates, after the Fed’s war-time deal with the Treasury to help fund the deficit with ultra-low rates. Some feared this would trigger economic calamity. But Martin saw clearly what his homologues of the 21st century would rather go blind than see:

 

“Under the hard choices left to us in wartime, we had to dictate even some of the smallest details of our economic life, but that strait jacketing of the economy is wholly inconsistent with democratic institutions and a private enterprise system…

In a Free Market, rates can go down as well as up and thus perform their proper function in the price mechanism. Dictated money rates breed dictated prices all across the board.”

 

He then described the consequences of what would become the Bernanke-Yellen Money Dictatorship:

 

[W]e would have no reliable safeguard against the erosion of our savings, our pensions, our life insurance policies – the capital upon which the institutions of private enterprise rest…

 

15 Mar 1951, Washington, DC, USA --- Original caption: 3/15/1951-Washington, DC- William McChesney Martin, Jr., above, has been named to succeed Thomas B. McCabe as Chairman and member of the Federal Reserve Board. Martin, now Assistant Treasury Secretary, was recomissioned by McCabe, who has resigned.William McChesney Martin, old school central banker (this species is reportedly extinct).

Photo credit: Bettmann / Corbis

 

So far, Mr. Bernanke and Ms. Yellen seem to have the matter under control. We see no erosion of the value of our financial assets. Instead, stocks and bonds have gone up in price.

But the companies behind them are now encrusted with crony barnacles like an old boat. The boat slows… and rides lower and lower in the water. Real capital formation declines… productivity sinks… wages stagnate…

And then, you have people who get poorer, not richer… and silver-haired crooks… desperate to be behind bars, where they find warm beds and old friends. Mr. Martin, who lived to be 91 years old and died in 1998, would have understood it.

 

The Genius of Trump

But let’s return to our intelligent friend, casting his vote in the primaries for Donald J. Trump:

“I know him well. He’s a friend of mine,” he began.

“A lot of the things he says you can’t take literally,” he replied under cross examination.

“Like that wall. He’s not going to build a wall. The Mexicans aren’t going to pay for it. But it’s a great image. It’s one that sticks in your mind.

 

trumpswallPardon us for sticking images into your mind…

Image via flipflopflyin.com

 

“You get lost when you talk about trade policies and export account deficits. People don’t know what you are talking about. And they take you for another Hillary Clinton or some other Beltway Insider. Blah, blah, blah… more of the same.

“But the wall is a strong image. It announces that Trump is different. And he’s going to protect the American people. That’s all it’s meant to do. It’s not meant to be taken literally.

“That’s why Donald Trump is a genius. He’s able to communicate in a different way. The wall image tells people what they really want to know, without getting lost in details.

“He’ll do things differently. And that’s why the cronies and the Deep State are so afraid of him.”

 

Chart by: St. Louis Federal Reserve Research

 

Chart and image captions by PT

 

The above article originally appeared at the Diary of a Rogue Economist, 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.

 

 

 

Emigrate While You Can... Learn More

 


 

 
 

Dear Readers!

You may have noticed that our so-called “semiannual” funding drive, which started sometime in the summer if memory serves, has seamlessly segued into the winter. In fact, the year is almost over! We assure you this is not merely evidence of our chutzpa; rather, it is indicative of the fact that ad income still needs to be supplemented in order to support upkeep of the site. Naturally, the traditional benefits that can be spontaneously triggered by donations to this site remain operative regardless of the season - ranging from a boost to general well-being/happiness (inter alia featuring improved sleep & appetite), children including you in their songs, up to the likely allotment of privileges in the afterlife, etc., etc., but the Christmas season is probably an especially propitious time to cross our palms with silver. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.

   

Bitcoin address: 12vB2LeWQNjWh59tyfWw23ySqJ9kTfJifA

   
 

One Response to “Are We Becoming a Nation of Silver-Haired Crooks?”

  • paranumre:

    “He’ll do things differently”? Please define differently. Obama was going to give us “change” and sure enough he did. I’m with the deep state, I’m afraid of Trump too.

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • The Gold Debate – Where Do Things Stand in the Gold Market?
      A Recurring Pattern When the gold price recently spiked up to approach the resistance area even Aunt Hilda, Freddy the town drunk, and his blind dog know about by now, a recurring pattern played out. The move toward resistance fanned excitement among gold bugs (which was conspicuously lacking previously). This proved immediately self-defeating - prices pulled back right away, as they have done almost every time when the slightest bit of enthusiasm emerged in the sector in recent...
  • Monetary U-Turn: When Will the Fed Start Easing Again? Incrementum Advisory Board Meeting Q1 2019
      Special Guest Trey Reik and Board Member Jim Rickards Discuss Fed Policy On occasion of its Q1 meeting in late January, the Incrementum Advisory Board was joined by special guest Trey Reik, the lead portfolio manager of the Sprott Institutional Gold & Precious Metal Strategy at Sprott USA since 2015 [ed note: as always, a PDF of the complete transcript can be downloaded further below].   Trey Reik of Sprott USA.   Also at the meeting, Jim Rickards, who is inter...
  • Watch Europe - Free Pass for the Elliott Wave European Financial Forecast
      Europe at an Important Juncture European economic fundamentals have deteriorated rather noticeably over the past year - essentially ever since the German DAX Index topped out in January 2018. Now, European stock markets have reached an important juncture from a technical perspective. Consider the charts of the Euro-Stoxx 50 Index and the DAX shown below:   The Euro-Stoxx 50 Index already peaked in early November 2017, the DAX followed suit in January 2018 – such divergent peaks...
  • Why Warren Buffett Should Buy Gold
      Riding the Tailwinds of Fiat Money Inflation to Fame and Fortune Warren Buffett bought his first shares of stock when he was 11 years old.  He saved up $114.75 and “went all in,” purchasing three shares of Cities Service preferred stock.  The day was March 11, 1942 – nearly 77 years ago.  Buffett recently reminisced about this purchase in his annual letter to shareholders:   “I had become a capitalist, and it felt good.”   The Oracle of Omaha – he was...
  • Fake Money’s Face Value Deceit
      Not the Brightest Tool in the Shed Shane Anthony Mele stumbled off the straight and narrow path many years ago.  One bad decision here.  Another there.  And he was neck deep in the smelly stuff. These missteps compounded over the years and also magnified his natural shortcomings.  Namely, that he’s a thief and – to be polite – a moron.   Over-educated he ain't: Shane Anthony Mele, whose expressive mug was captured by a Florida police photographer first in...
  • Rise of the Zombies - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Rise of the Zombies - Precious Metals Supply and Demand Last week, the prices of gold and silver fell $35 and ¢70, respectively. But what does that mean (other than woe unto anyone who owned silver futures with leverage)? The S&P 500 index and the euro was up a bit, though the yuan was flat and copper was down. Most notably, the spread between Treasury and junk yields fell. If the central banks can lower the risk of default premium, they can make everything unicorns and...
  • Bitcoin Bottom Building
      Defending 3,800 and a Swing Trade Play For one week, bulls have been defending the 3,800 USD value area with success. But on March 4th they had to give way to the constant pressure. Prices fell quickly to the 3,700 USD level. These extended times of range bound trading are typical for Bitcoin Bottom Building in sideways ranges. This 60 minute chart of Bitcoin shows (represented by the yellow candlestick wicks) how the bulls defended 3,800 USD :   BTCUSDT 60 minute chart...
  • The Magic Doesn't Always Work - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      The Week Ends with a Surprise The weekly closing prices of the precious metals were up +$5 and +¢11. But this does not tell the full story of the trading action. Prices were dropping until Friday. More precisely, Friday 8am in New York, or 1pm in London.   Gold and silver - back in demand on Friday... [PT]   At that moment, a light cabal conspiring to jack the price struck traders began buying. The end result was the prices, especially of silver, rose on the day...
  • Intraweek Profit Opportunities
      In 6 of 10 Countries a Single Day Outperforms the Entire Week! In the Seasonal Insights issue of 13 February 2019 I presented a study illustrating the power of intraweek effects. The article was entitled “S&P 500 Index: A Single Day Beats the Entire Week!” The result of the study: if one had been invested exclusively during a single day of the week since 2000  – namely on Tuesday – one would have outperformed a buy and hold strategy, beating the broad market. Moreover,...
  • In Gold We Trust 2019 – The Preview Chart Book
      The new IGWT report for 2019 will be published at the end of May... ...and for the first time a Mandarin version will be released as well.   Gold compared to other financial assets – from the IGWT chart book   In the meantime, our friends at Incrementum have decided to release a comprehensive chart book in advance of the report. The chart book contains updates of the most important charts from the 2018 IGWT report, as well as a preview of charts that will appear...

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!