Archive for the ‘Austrian Economics’ Category

Moral Relativism and Subjective Value

Moral Relativism and Subjective Value

Imagine a universe in which there are no sentient, conscious beings. How valuable would gold be? How long would a meter be? What would be the meaning of good or evil or beautiful or ugly? With no one available to ascribe those values, what value would any of these concepts hold? Indeed what is meaning, itself, without sentience to assign it? Read On…

Nothing About this Economy Is Surprising

Nothing About this Economy Is Surprising“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” — Albert Einstein

This Einstein platitude is so overused that I’m somewhat embarrassed to be planting it at the beginning of this article. But then I think about how utterly applicable it is to this piteous disaster we still call the global economy, and its presence becomes profoundly justifiable. Read On…

When the Dollar Collapses, Where Will You Put Your Money?

When the Dollar Collapses, Where Will You Put Your Money?Over the last several years, I have written a multitude of articles about my conviction that the global economy is destined to collapse on a scale humanity has never experienced before. But contrary to some insinuations, my primary objective with these articles is not to create fear and panic. My goal has always been to disseminate these theories to an audience capable of returning debate and criticism. If I am correct, I would hope to prepare at least some small contingency of readers; as a species, I am convinced human beings must find a new way of doing things — because the consequences of the old ways are descending upon us like a maelstrom. So I ask: when the dollar collapses, where will you put your money? Read On…

Still, the Dollar is Doomed

the dollar is doomedI get a lot of inquiries about my continued position on the dollar and U.S. debt — mainly because I have so steadfastly and consistently proclaimed that the economy cannot sustain the sort of growth western nations have enjoyed for the last century. And yet stock markets continue to climb, and debt yields remain low. Things seem to be going well, but I maintain that still, the dollar is doomed. My detractors clamor for me to finally and unequivocally admit defeat — to concede that I have been wrong in all my economic prognoses. Read On…

Some Very Interesting Facts About Capitalism

facts about capitalism

Here are some very interesting facts about capitalism:

1.  The term Capitalism was popularized by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. They explicitly coined the term to refer to the owners of private wealth. This term is a Communist interpretation of markets — from a decidedly egalitarian perspective. It is based on a context in which governments own a significant portion of the capital in society and the economy. It is incomplete and utterly incompatible with concept of free markets – especially as defined by the Austrian School of Economics.
Read On…

The Keynesian Solvency Standoff

The Keynesian Solvency Standoff“Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.”

— John Maynard Keynes

What, exactly, constitutes “solvency?” I am no fan of Keynes, but why should I be? He even loathed himself by the time he stood before his maker. His theories are preposterous, and he knew it! And with every day that passes, we get ever closer to the inevitable collapse of the American empire, caused by decades of reckless abuse of the financial system by the federal government — all justified by Keynesian theory. The evidence abounds: Read On…

Japan, the U.S., and Quantitative Easing

Japan, The U.S., and Quantitative Easing“When future historians look back on our way of curing inflation, they’ll probably compare it to bloodletting in the Middle Ages.” – Lee Iacocca

Japan, the U.S., and Quantiative Easing…

For those of you who aren’t familiar with quantitative easing: it is the important-sounding way central banks manage the economy through monetary policy. The most common way is by manipulating the rate at which they loan to other banks; when the economy is running too hot, the central bank will raise the rate at which it loans money — thereby discouraging borrowing and capital investment. Likewise, if the economy is in the tank a central bank can lower the rate at which it lends to other banks, thereby encouraging borrowing and capital investment in the economy. Read On…

The Imminence of Economic Catastrophe

The Imminence of Economic Catastrophe“There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The question is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.’ There has never been any attempt to abandon the credit expansion. Indeed any crisis was simply an excuse to open the monetary spigots. This, then, is the beginning of the total catastrophe of the American dollar, indeed the entire world monetary and financial structure.” – Ludwig von Mises

The more I read, the more appalled I become. I am terrified by the imminence of economic catastrophe; it may take years, but as I look around at the general level of ignorance and hubris in the United States today, I can’t help but thinking — yet again — that we deserve what’s coming. Read On…

Fighting the Recession: An Ill Wind Indeed

Fighting the Recession: An Ill Wind Indeed“[It is an] ill wind which blows no man good.” – William Shakespeare

Fighting the recession: an ill wind indeed!

I don’t know what I did before YouTube. With just a few mouse clicks, I can pull up literally hundreds of interviews, editorials, and broadcasts about anything that suits my fancy. And lately, my fancy consists of interviews with some of the most vocal and compelling philosophical, and financial minds daring to speak out against the atrocious fiscal policies the U.S. is employing to battle this economic crisis. Read On…

The Death of the Dollar

The Death of the Dollar“We have experienced asset bubbles, and we now have an economy that is more highly leveraged than it ever has been in the post-World-War II period. Greenspan has been instrumental in bringing about this high leverage.” – Paul Kasriel

“A dollar saved is a quarter earned.” – John Ciardi

I have been an analyst, a portfolio manager, and a financial writer for more than 18 years, and until early last year my focus was almost exclusively on individual stocks and value investing. In my book Discipline, however — which I completed in 2001 and published in 2007 – I took a more macro stance, predicting an economic collapse resulting in the death of the dollar and a Soviet-style break up of the country. Read On…

Inflation is an Unsustainable Lie

Inflation is an Unsustainable Lie“I continue to believe that the American people have a love-hate relationship with inflation. They hate inflation but love everything that causes it.” -William E. Simon

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” – Joseph Goebbels

“By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.” – John Maynard Keynes

Inflation is an unsustainable lie. Of course, the veracity of this statement relies on the span of time to which the observer attributes “sustainability,” because it is a lie that has persisted for almost a century. Read On…

Recession, Stimulus, Inflation, and the Average American

Recession, Stimulus, Inflation, and the Average American“Inflation can be pursued only so long as the public still does not believe it will continue. Once the people generally realize that the inflation will be continued on and on and that the value of the monetary unit will decline more and more, then the fate of the money is sealed. Only the belief, that the inflation will come to a stop, maintains the value of the notes.” — Ludwig von Mises

This economic collapse will be the metric for all future crashes and currency failures. It will be the beacon by which we forever view recession, stimulus, inflation, and the average American. It will create global unrest on a level never before seen, and the world order is going to transform unimaginably. I predict within the next few decades, Austrian theory will be the basis of all economic and financial curricula in the world. And I believe Keynesian theory will be an afterthought — taught as an obscure history course. Read On…

The Intrinsic Value of Nothing, Part Two

Intrinsic Value of Nothing“There is no such thing as prices outside the market. Prices cannot be constructed synthetically, as it were…

It is ultimately always the subjective value judgments of individuals that determine the formation of prices…”

— Ludwig von Mises, Human Action

“During thousands of years, in all parts of the inhabited earth, innumerable sacrifices have been made to the chimera of just and reasonable prices.” – Ludwig von Mises, The Theory of Money and Credit

In my previous article (Part One of this two-part series), I discussed the fallacy of intrinsic value – especially as it relates to the U.S. dollar, and the shell game the federal government has been playing for the last hundred years or so. In the tornado of debate, castigation, and general mayhem that ensued, some good points emerged – not the least significant of which was the observation that there is a difference between exchange value and use (or utilitarian) value. Read On…

The Intrinsic Value of Nothing, Part One

Intrinsic Value of Nothing“Action is purposive conduct. It is not simply behavior, but behavior begot by judgments of value, aiming at a definite end and guided by ideas concerning the suitability or unsuitability of definite means. . . . It is conscious behavior. It is choosing. It is volition; it is a display of the will.” – Ludwig von Mises

Reach in your wallet, and pull out a dollar bill. Look at it for a moment. Now ask yourself, what is this worth? Next, consider the intrinsic value of nothing — because the idea that anything has “intrinsic value” is a fallacy. Read On…