The Keynesian disaster recovery plan has been to lower rates, force people to take more risk in search of yield, and entice others to borrow and spend and, magically, more jobs will be created. If people won’t buy stocks, central banks will. Back in 2011, Ben Bernanke, when asked if QE2 was driving up stock […]
Politicians love raising the minimum wage because they don’t have to ask voters to pay more in taxes. They just dump the costs onto shop owners. But they don’t act like politicians and go into debt to pretend like they have all the money in the world. They face real world situations. And sometimes that means replacing workers with more affordable options...
When Michael Lewis’ new book Flash Boys came out, the author caused a stir while making the media rounds to promote it. “The stock market is rigged,” he told 60 Minutes flatly. His comments set off a firestorm of debate as to whether sharp techies and their fast computers are screwing small investors. As titillating […]
When you think of economists, you might think of policy pundits arguing ideas on how to fix the country’s stagnant economy. But that’s only part of their job. Most of the time, their job boils down to decision-making, and how to make the best decision based on your particular circumstance.
Economists aren’t physicists. But they sure do like to act like they are sometimes. When scientists reach a consensus about something, it usually means they’re breaking new ground on a theory based on hard facts and proven evidence. When economists agree on something, it shows the limitations of a field that tries to model how humans are supposed to behave. And that’s where the danger lies. Especially when it comes to things like U.S. Treasurys.
Austrian economics does more than tell you what happens when the government disturbs market forces. In the hands of knowledgeable investors and entrepreneurs, it can tell you exactly what to expect from the market. Market behavior depends on how people behave. And how people behave is central to the Austrian perspective.
Practical people often pooh-pooh fiction reading as a time wasting dalliance, dominated by a Marxist coloring of the world. However, fiction readers were given a scientific reason recently for spending hours absorbing fanciful figments of someone’s imagination.
Economic theories don’t lend themselves to laboratory testing, so the work of a national appraisal firm is especially enlightening. A new study lends support to the Austrian business cycle theory, which says that the less government is involved, the faster a market will recover.
“It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future,” says a proverb often attributed to Yogi Berra. Imagine the world of freedom, or lack of it. Who could foresee the technologies that make our lives so rewarding and convenient? The same technologies have us all under the government’s giant microscope. Thankfully, the brave have turned the microscope around.
A Banker’s View on What It Means to You Cast your mind back to the fall of 2008. Lehman Bros. had just failed, and for those in Washington, it was thought all the banks were about to go up in smoke. Of all the radical policies that were enacted in response to the crisis, one […]
President Obama crowed in his State of the Union speech about the economy, even mentioning “a rebounding housing market.” Maybe he was referring to friends in high places, like the seller of Penthouse One in New York, which just closed for $50.9 million, all cash. Millions of mere-mortal homeowners likely wanted to throw something at […]
If you don’t have the angst out of your system concerning Wall Street banksters, Government Sachs, and the Affordable Care Act, settle in with Matt Taibbi’s Griftopia to make your blood boil one more time. Investors should be reminded of 2008 as they shrug their shoulders and put their money back in the stock market. […]
No other price pops during a boom like that of condominiums. The common view among savvy real estate types is condos are the last to jump and the first to crash. A decade ago, Bernanke’s post-Sept. 11 easy money fueled condo prices and in turn high-rise residential construction from coast to coast. In downtown Miami, […]
The market has selected different things as money throughout history. Some of these items have served as money in isolated places for specific periods of time — for instance, cigarettes in prisoner-of-war camps. Cigarettes continue to be a currency in prisons if allowed, but if not, according to Wikipedia, “postage stamps have become a more […]
The words of H.L. Mencken rang through my head as I listened to a certain Alabama congressman talk to 40 or 50 shivering supporters the other night: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of […]
We live in parallel universes. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is said to have a healthy concern about deflation. McDonald’s franchisees, on the other hand, not so much. The chain of Golden Arches fame will give up its Dollar Menu after 11 years, renaming it “The Dollar Menu & More” next month. It turns out […]
There’s plenty of gushing about the Janet Yellen appointment as Federal Reserve Chairman. Yale economist Robert Shiller says she’s “a real mensch.” Greg Mankiw from Harvard says President Obama made a great decision in choosing her. “Reports of Janet Yellen’s forthcoming nomination will be greeted well by market agents,” says David Kotok. “It should be.” […]
The other night, I tuned into The Flaw, a 2011 documentary about the 2008 financial crash. While telling the crash story, the movie flashes in and out of a street tour offered by an ex-mortgage bond trader. The young man has the required effervescence to keep a dozen tourists entertained while they look at nothing […]
There was a bit of good news made in the late-night Capitol Hill sausage making at the end of last year. The 2007 provision that makes forgiven mortgage debt nontaxable was extended through the end of this year. If you are underwater on your home, now is the time to act. For the millions that […]
Just when you think government couldn’t be more outrageous, you read a story like the one in The New York Times last weekend about Edward Young, who was put away for 15 years. His crime was possessing seven shotgun shells. Not a gun, mind you, just the ammo. When William Killian, the United States attorney, […]
The Federal Reserve has grown the monetary base from $827 billion to $3.1 trillion in five years. At the same time banks have stuck $2 trillion more than required in reserves at the Fed. This money lays around fallow, earning just 25 basis points from the central bank. A blossoming to its full potential would […]
Jim Rickards lit up the Agora Financial Investment Symposium in Vancouver telling the crowd the price of gold will soar north of $7,000 per ounce in an inevitable global currency reset, the fourth reset since the founding of the Federal Reserve. The first was in 1914, the second in 1939, and the third in 1971. […]
In 1985, Irwin Schiff wrote in what has become a classic book, How an Economy Grows and Why It Doesn’t, a pictorial introduction to basic economics. Now his sons are taking up where he left off.
The stock market hovers around all-time highs, and right on cue, individual investors are starting to get back into stocks. They are tired of earning nothing in money market funds or bank CDs. Ben Bernanke’s zero rate siren song has enticed reticent investors ashore all in the name of stimulating the economy and putting people […]
Struggling savers, of which there are plenty here at FreedomFest, have been getting plenty of investment wisdom during this year’s largest gathering of free minds. However, there is no consensus as to what a person is to do.
If the Laissez Faire Club is about anything, it’s about the freedom of thought. Most of us take the freedom to think what we want for granted. We shouldn’t. The thinking reader should study the history of thought to fully appreciate our freedoms and be on the lookout for those who wish to take them […]
The race issue in America never seems to go away. We were reminded again last week when celebrity Southern chef Paula Deen was raked over the coals for using a racial epithet sometime in her past. Her tearful plea for those of us without sin to “cast the first stone” may have resonated with average […]
By the end of the week, 1,700 liberty lovers are expected to stop in at Roger’s Campground in Lancaster, N.H., to see what the Free States Project’s PorcFest is all about. The crowd is openly carrying side arms, rifles, and other weapons, while engaging in all sorts of commerce: accepting dollars, silver, and Bitcoins (leave […]
The collective fondness for presidents grows after they leave office for a simple reason. The next occupant of the office is always worse. For instance, George W. Bush’s approval rating is now 49% versus 46% who view him negatively. Absence has certainly made some hearts grow fonder from the post-Katrina, 2008 Wall Street bailout days. […]
In this age of Obamacare, the writings of Ayn Rand are inspiring some doctors to push back. A small, but growing group of doctors want their patients to pay cash. That’s right, cash. Their own cash. Well, OK, they’ll accept credit cards and debit cards. To get the service requires membership in a practice called […]