Feb 27, 2010

Walter Block on politics and hypocrisy

Most conservatives (and left liberals too) hate the government, except when it is bombing innocents abroad. Most western socialist intellectuals decry income inequality, as they drive their Mercedes, vacation abroad and swill down expensive wines. And then there are the environmental watermelons (red on the inside, green on the outside) who whine about the plight of the planet while jetting from one conference to another, which they should not do, if their own analysis of the problem is correct.

~ Walter Block, "You Are a Rotten Kid," LewRockwell.com, February 27, 2010

Feb 25, 2010

Alan Greenspan on home prices and the economy (2010)

I don’t think [home prices will] decline from here. In other words, they seem to be bottoming out.

The recession is over.

~ Alan Greenspan, interview with Meet the Press, February 7, 2010

Feb 24, 2010

Milton Friedman on Austrian business cycle theory

The Hayek-Mises explanation of the business cycle is contradicted by the evidence. It is, I believe, false.

~ Milton Friedman, "The Monetary Studies of the National Bureau, 44th Annual Report," The Optimal Quantity of Money and Other Essays, Chicago: Aldine, pp. 261–284

Matthew Lynn on Keynesian stimulus and the U.K. economy

The U.K. has been in Keynes overdrive for the past 18 months. The budget deficit is already more than 12 percent of gross domestic product, on a par with Greece. And while the Greeks are cutting spending, the British deficit is widening. Figures for January showed another fiscal blowout. At the same time, interest rates have been slashed to 0.5 percent. And the pound has slumped in value, which is supposed to boost demand for British goods, and help close the trade gap.

Just about everything possible has been done to encourage consumption. The results have been miserable.

Retail sales excluding gasoline in January fell 1.2 percent from the previous month, twice as much as economists forecast. The number of people receiving unemployment benefits jumped to 1.64 million in January, the highest level since April 1997. The yield on U.K. government debt is now higher than on Spanish or Italian bonds, a sure sign that investors are losing faith in the country’s ability to pay its debts. The inflation rate has also accelerated to 3.5 percent.

In reality, Britain has the worst of all possible worlds: a stagnant economy, a crippling budget deficit and rising prices.

~ Matthew Lynn, "Deathbed of Keynesian Economics Will Be in U.K.," Bloomberg.com, February 23, 2010

Feb 17, 2010

Barack Obama on the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

One year later, it is largely thanks to the recovery act that a second depression is no longer a possibility.

There has never been a program of this scale, moved at this speed, that has been enacted as effectively and as transparently as the Recovery Act.

~ President Barack Obama, "Obama says stimulus bill saved troubled economy," Associated Press, February 17, 2010
When interest rates are are low, we have conditions for asset bubbles to develop, and they are developing at the moment. The ultimate asset bubble is gold.

"Soros Warns Gold May Be the Next Bubble to Burst", Bloomberg, January 28, 2010

Feb 14, 2010

Gary D. Barnett on terrorism

The point I’m attempting to make is that terrorism is terrorism regardless of the players involved. I think this fact is overlooked by the masses who simply bury their heads in the sand in order to escape the hard truth. When the general populations, in this case much of the population in America, accept barbarous torture, rendition, suspension or elimination of common rights, military tribunals, rape and murder, then they have become part of the problem, not the solution. Support of any government that participates in this kind of behavior is indicative of a blind society, and one that has lost its soul. This kind of hypocrisy is the epitome of immorality, and if continued can only lead straight to hell!

~ Gary D. Barnett, "Terrorism Is Terrorism: An American Contradiction in Terms," LewRockwell.com, February 13, 2010

Feb 12, 2010

Marc Faber on his confidence in U.S. leadership

But when I look at Mr. Obama, Mr. Bernanke, Mr. Tim Geithner and Mr. Larry Summers, the one thing I will never do in my life is sell my gold.

~ Marc Faber, speaking at the Troika Dialog Forum in Moscow, February 5, 2010

Feb 11, 2010

Frédéric Bastiat on paving the way for plunder

When plunder has become a way of life for a group of people living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it, and a moral code that glorifies it.

~ Frédéric Bastiat

Feb 10, 2010

Barack Obama on the size of government

The question that we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works.

~ President Barack Obama, inaugural address, 2009

Obama on bank CEO bonuses

I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen. I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free-market system.

While an extraordinary amount of money for Main Street, there are some baseball players who are making more than that and don’t get to the World Series either, so I’m shocked by that as well.

~ President Barack Obama, "Obama Doesn’t ‘Begrudge’ Bonuses for ‘Savvy’ Blankfein," Bloomberg, February 9, 2010

Feb 2, 2010

Michael Pollaro on the link between interventionism and financial crises

You may be wondering – forget the 1930’s, these policies of Bernanke, are they not the same interventionist policies pursued only recently by former Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan, the kind of policies that preceded not only the recent Housing Bust and Credit Implosion, but the Savings and Loan Crisis, the Peso Crisis, the Asian Crisis, Long Term Capital Management and the Tech Bust too.

The answer of course is yes.

You even may have noticed a disturbing pattern; that being, each crisis begets a larger interventionist response, yet before long we find ourselves in the midst of the next, even bigger crisis. You may then be tempted to conclude that despite repeated and ever growing monetary largesse, despite repeated and growing government intervention in the economy, the crises are getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

~ Michael Pollaro, "Ben Bernanke, Worthy of Person of the Year?," True/Slant, January 4, 2010