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Showing posts from July, 2009

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George Smith

Goldman Sachs' "Blowout Profits"

Read this all the way through, including the update at the end:
. . . back in September, the Federal Reserve allowed Goldman (and a few other surviving institutions) to convert from an investment bank into a bank holding company. The Wall St. Journal claimed at the time that the move meant the firm would "come under the close supervision of national bank regulators, subjecting them to new capital requirements, additional oversight, and far less profitability than they have historically enjoyed." A mere nine months later, Goldman boasts of "blowout profits." So much for "less profitability." As for allegedly greater regulations and capital restrictions, they freely admitted from the start: "'We don't believe we'll have to get out of any businesses,' says Lucas van Praag, a Goldman spokesman. Adds Morgan Stanley's Mark Lake, 'There will not be much in terms of divestitures'."

But what the conversion did allow was acc…

Appeals Court: Sound money is "frivolous"

On January 29, 1974 the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. - 524 F.2d 629, filed this opinion in Mobley M. Milam, Appellant, v. United States of America et al. (Milam v. US (1974)):
Appellant has filed a substantial brief and an adequate reply brief and has argued his full share of allotted time in support for a demand that his $50.00 Federal Reserve Bank Note be redeemed in "lawful money" of the United States, which he says, in effect, must be gold or silver. Appellant refused appellees' tender of an equivalent value in Federal Reserve Notes.

Appellant's contentions, in our view, were put at rest close to a century ago in Juilliard v. Greenman, 110 U.S. 421, 448, 4 S.Ct. 122, 130, 28 L.Ed. 204 (1884), in which it was said:

" . . . Under the power to borrow money on the credit of the United States, and to issue circulating notes for the money borrowed, its power to define the quality and force of those notes as currency is as broad as the like power ove…

Inflation is the enemy of capitalism

Economist Judy Shelton writes in the WSJ (February 11, 2009):
Inflation is the enemy of capitalism, chiseling away at the foundation of free markets and the laws of supply and demand. It distorts price signals, making retailers look like profiteers and deceiving workers into thinking their wages have gone up. It pushes families into higher income tax brackets without increasing their real consumption opportunities.

In short, inflation undermines capitalism by destroying the rationale for dedicating a portion of today's earnings to savings. Accumulated savings provide the capital that finances projects that generate higher future returns; it's how an economy grows, how a society reaches higher levels of prosperity. But inflation makes suckers out of savers.She continues:
Given that the driving force of free-market capitalism is competition, it stands to reason that the best way to improve money is through currency competition. Individuals should be able to choose whether they wish…

Madoff as Fed Chairman

Bill Bonner sees little difference between Madoff's "extraordinary" fraud and the activities of government:
But, what is the point of keeping Madoff in prison? He represents no threat. Rather than pay $30,000 per year to keep him locked up, we suggest that he be forced to do community service work. He should be pressed into service as the next head of the Federal Reserve after Ben Bernanke’s term expires in December. With Madoff in the big office, there would be no longer any illusions about what sort of bank the Fed is running.This would qualify as satire if it were a little further from the truth.

The Fed as an arm of government

Mike Larson at Money and Markets writes:
The Fed is now clearly a politicized institution, working hand-in-glove with the Treasury and the rest of the administration.

In short, the Fed is NOT an independent body willing and able to see around the economic corner and take decisive, proactive steps to head off disaster. Instead, it’s an institution that has failed repeatedly to uphold its responsibilities in the regulatory and monetary policy arenas. And thankfully, policymakers are coming around to that view . . .

You probably don’t need me to tell you the whole long, sorry history of the Fed’s easy money policies — and their repercussions. Suffice it to say that under former Chairman Alan Greenspan, and later Ben Bernanke, the Fed’s policy has been to ignore asset bubbles as they inflate … then come in with monetary guns blazing when they burst, thereby laying the foundation for the next bubble.

In 1998, the Fed went totally overboard after the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management, sl…