"The real essence of crony capitalism,
whether itís the NFL or the bankers, is this: It privatizes
profits and socializes losses. Itís the new American
way." ~Charles Goyette
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January 31st, 2015
One month down...eleven to go in 2015. In addition to the nightly news video clutter of the ravages of war, the effects of bad weather, and political blather, Americans will undoubtedly demand more entertainment options - be it on TV, their computers and portable digital devices, or sports stadia. (It seems irreligious to say spectator sports is entertainment, but it is.)
Local television news, we've noticed, has shifted away from costly in-depth reporting to the easier route of police blotter items and promotional fluff. A three minute report from a restaurant kitchen extolling the virtue of its hamburger preparation in no way can be considered "news".
We once had the pleasure of observing Edward R. Murrow and his team at work in our town. He had come to speak to the Chamber of Commerce annual banquet that night and would broadcast his CBS network nightly newscast from our humble studios. In frequent phone calls to his office in New York, and constant examination of our Associated Press printer, Murrow and his people worked all afternoon preparing the bits and pieces that would come together for his broadcast.
By late afternoon Murrow began timing the various stories with his stopwatch. By airtime he had everything together and sat in our Studio "A" waiting for his cue, the smoke from his cigarette curling up from the glass ashtray close at hand.
Fifteen minutes later he was done and hurried away to give his speech at the nearby auditorium.
This was back in the heyday of radio, to be sure, but the "takeaway" is that pros of that day and time worked hard to achieve accuracy and timeliness and had no desire to entertain their audiences. Newscasters were there to INFORM. It never occurred to them to try to be entertainers as well.
The program department slogan in those days was "News...information. . entertainment." ("Information" included those all-so-necessary commercials.)
We glimpsed our first television receiver at the 1939 World's Fair in New York. We couldn't begin to imagine how pervasive it would become. Let's hope it doesn't entertain us to death.
The rich get richer...the
middle class doesn't.
Diversity is promoted as a positive
and the S.C. "Two tier" Sales Tax
Rickards: Awful currency collapse coming.
Jim Rickards has sold a lot of books predicting a world-wide currency collapse. Gary North, who also makes his living selling his economic opinions, disagrees. "There is not going to be a collapse of all currencies. There has never been such a collapse. There has not been hyperinflation in any large, Western industrial nation north of the equator except after World War I: Germany and Austria in 1921-23. To worry about hyperinflation in America, Canada, and Western Europe is just plain silly. It has never happened in peacetime." Where WWIII Starts?
What really ticked off Gary North was THIS PHOTO, which automatically pops up on web sites all over the Internet, including HIS. North's complaint is that Jim Rickards is using a photo of a bare-bellied girl merely to lure dumb guys into watching a sales pitch for a book on a "currency doomsday."
North says flatly there is not going to be a collapse of ALL currencies. He notes there has not been a hyperinflationary blow-off north of the equator since 1923. But he was careful to point out that he was speaking of LARGE Western industrial nations. He knows there have been several money inflation episodes in lesser nations north of the equator since the German embarrassment of the early 20th century.
Our personal view: Beware the doomsayers whose mission is to sell books and make a bundle promoting fear. But the economic caution flag is flying and it would be foolish to ignore it.
Scuttlebutt has it that the Fed'l Reserve won't actually begin raising interest rates 'til June. If then. There's even talk of resorting to more money pumping with "Quantitative Easing #4." The Fed would like to see inflation at an annual rate of 2 percent and it's lower than that, still.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg News calculates the average yields on European sovereign debt at 0.68%. With the quantitative easing program of the ECB set to begin in earnest in March and to likely drive bond yields even lower, whatís an investor to do?
The European economic dilemma has made the picture in the U.S. look quite good in comparison, but not good enough for the Fed'l Reserve to put on the brakes on its loose money policy. The fear of deflation is still holding the Fed back from letting interest rates rise to a level that might smother some levels of the American economy. It's a Catch 22.
So, what's a hapless citizen to do? Our guess is that avoiding debt traps is a good idea, despite the endless TV ads that claim "a little or nothing down and payments for years" will make us happier. It usually doesn't.
"We're All Economists now."
Mr. Jansen writes an exhaustingly long article on the question of whether gold might return to a role in the confusing monetary system. We doubt anyone will plow through the details nor examine the several charts. Reader comments at the end run on at great length, too. Buried in all the rhetoric may be some clues about what the future holds with respect to the current money muddle.
Jim Rickards on the tiresome game of currency competition.
The lesson of history is that citizens should own some gold, store it safely, and donít believe government and central bank lies. In fact, we could see more investors fleeing to the safety of gold in the coming months as trust in central bankers wanes.
Rickards recalls Franklin Rooseveltís sneak currency attack in the early '30s. "In 1933, President Roosevelt devised a plan to increase the price of gold in dollars, effectively a dollar devaluation. But he had a problem. If he increased the price of gold while Americans owned it, the profit would go to the citizens, not the U.S. Treasury. He knew that he had to lie to the American people about his intentions in order to pull off the theft of the century."
The point being - - monetary history is peppered with instances when the government had to lie to put something over on its citizens. It would not happen if the schools would spend more time on teaching tots the actual fundamentals of function of money and credit. Educationists don't do that - - for good reason. An aware population is far more difficult to manipulate.
Our staff curmudgeon briefly reviewed the monetary muddle in Sept. 2009
modern psychiatrist may diagnose you as ODD.
Our personal obsession with an out-of-control federal government and the national urge to promote socialism would clearly make us ODD. It is a mental disease. We tend not to knuckle under to the endless costly projects of special interest groups and we believe that the tax level...federal, state, and local - both hidden and visible...has exceeded the capacity of average citizens.
If you're opposed to the constant encroachment of the governing class you are ODD. That puts you into the same category as Thomas Jefferson and the other colonial leaders who decided Great Britain was overdoing it in the taxation and regulation department.
We may be diagnosed as "ODD" but it doesn't mean we're crazy.
Here's the link to the article. ODD
Our aging staff curmudgeon says:
"It's the fiery furnace for me!"
Nearly two years ago, when he thought the shadows were rapidly getting longer and he might have to shuffle off this mortal coil, our staff curmudgeon commented on options for his final exit