Monday, September 22, 2008

America's Bankruptcy

"Within minutes of the [Federal Open Market Committee] release, the headlines were blaring the revelation contained within the minutes of the last FOMC meeting--of the committee's broad agreement that the next move in rates would be higher. ... So those greeting the revelation in [the recently-released minutes] as indicative of a hawkish Fed are making the grave error of emphasizing words over action. Far from providing support for the buck, the Fed's comments suggest they're packing away their conventional tools and that the real debasement is about to begin!", Stephanie Pomboy letter to Barron's, 1 September 2008.

"The most revolutionary notion in commerce today is one of the oldest. If you want something, you may actually have to pay for it. We are quickly reverting from a borrow-and-buy model to the old school cash-and-carry model our grandparents knew. ... But widespread consumer credit is really a 20-th century phenomenon. ... It was this behavior--the endless willingness of lenders to lend and borrowers to borrow--that kept the consumer economy humming uninterrupted from the early 1990s, straight through the brief recession of 2001, until the credit meltdown of 2007. ... The tightening of credit is forcing more people to confront these uncomfortable choices", Daniel Gross at Newsweek, 8 September 2008.

"At the Democratic National Convention, Sen.Ted Kennedy echoed the view of many that health care is a 'right' that demands universal insurance. This is a completely understandable view and one that is, I think, utterly wrong. ... But the central problem is not improving coverage. It's controlling costs. In 1960, health care accounted for $1 of every $20 spent in the U.S. economy; now that's $1 of every $6, and the Congressional Budget Office projects that it could be $1 of every $4 by 2025. ... Greater health spending should not have the first moral claim on our wealth, because its relentless expansion is slowly crowding out other national needs. ... We need more realism on health care. There is a basic moral and political dilemma that most Americans refuseto acknowledge. What we all want for ourselves and our families--access to unlimited care paid for by someone else--may be ruinious for us as a society", Robert Samuelson (RS) at Newsweek, 15 September 2008.

At 7:12 PM on 9 September 2008, here in Houston, Michael Savage (MS), radio talk show host, likened today's US to Germany's Weimar Republic. He said our "currency is built on quicksand". Eventually Americans will realize MS is right. When they do, it's "watch out for bonds and all other US dollar denominated paper". I think a closer analogy is 1780s France. Book recommendation: Anatomy of Revolution, 1965, by Crane Brinton (CB), 1898-1968. CB was a Harvard history professor. Ugh. As the Master said, "Therefore by their fruits you will know them", Matthew 7:20 (NKJV).

I agree with Pomboy. $12 silver and $867 gold are on the bargain counter. Dollars are not.

As long as Uncle Sam has Helicopter Ben's (HB) printing press, he need not face "uncomfortable choices". Eventually, people rejecting HB's notes, Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs), will make the choice for him. What is the present discounted value of a note with no interest rate and no maturity date? Now take a dollar out of your pocket and look at it. As C.V. Myers used to say, "All debt is repaid. Either by the borrower or the lender". "Neither a borrower nor a lender be", Hamlet, 1:3; in today's world, Shakespeare would likely say, "better a borrower than a lender be".

Eventually, when Asia's peasants stop subsidizing American consumption, we will be faced with the choice: who will we let die? It's coming. Bet on it.

At 5:12 PM on 11 September 2008 MS said, "The one investment bank that runs the world", referring to Goldman Sachs. People are waking up. I've posted on the "Bloodless Coup" since 13 November 2007,

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