Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Federal Reserve

Federal Court Rules that the Bitcoin is Money

When the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged that Trendon Shavers, the founder of Bitcoin Savings and Trust (BTCST) was running a Ponzi scheme, Shavers challenged the agency by claiming that bitcoins didn’t fall under their definition of securities and so therefore he and his company were exempt from SEC rules. Federal Judge Amos Mazzant ruled otherwise, which was bad news for Shavers but good news for

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Consumer Confidence Not Matched by Reality

The consumer confidence numbers announced on Tuesday by The Conference Board surprised even the economists who had expected a decline rather than the nearly 10-point increase that the board reported. The index came in at 81.4 compared to economists’ expectations of

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How a Social Security defender defends Social Security

In one of the more remarkable examples of dissembling, Alicia Munnell uses the oldest trick in the book: belittle the accuser while ignoring the facts. The accuser is Prof. Laurence Kotlikoff, a professor at Boston University who is about to issue his 2013 estimate of the unfunded liability facing the US government. Currently it’s

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Central Banks’ bubble is bursting, sending markets down worldwide

When the Japanese stock market lost more than 6 percent of its value on Wednesday in a massive selloff, pundits jumped on the move to try to explain what happened, and what it all means. Evan Lucas, a market strategist at IG Markets, wrote:

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S&P Issues an Upgrade of US sovereign debt along with a warning

In the announcement by credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s on Monday that affirmed its AA+ rating of United States sovereign debt while revising upward its outlook from “negative” to “stable,” the agency explained that in the short run there has been some perceptible improvement in the country’s fiscal situation but in the long run

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Slowing Economy Confirmed

The report from Automatic Data Processing (ADP) on Wednesday morning surprised economists once again by coming in substantially below their expectations. The 135,000 new private sector jobs created in May were way below the

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Obamanomics is to Blame for Worst Recession since the Great Depression

When libertarian scholar Peter Ferrara asked rhetorically in Sunday’s issue of Forbes, “Economically, Could Obama be America’s Worst President?” he relied heavily on statistics provided by the chief enabler of the Great Recession,

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Austerity is impending the economy, say the Keynesians

Two writers at The New York Times have embraced the fallacy that cutting government spending is keeping the economy from growing. It is Keynesian claptrap.

Let’s let them rant a little before responding:

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The S&P 500 Index at a new all-time high? Not quite.

It’s nice to get confirmation about something I’ve held for years, especially from someone like Mark Hulbert who has been in the investment game for years: the S&P 500 Index is nowhere near a new all-time high, on an inflation-adjusted basis. Not even close.

The all-time high was back in

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Gary North is worth much more than $10 a month

My subscription to Gary North’s newsletter just paid for it self in one commentary. His analysis of this article helped improve my understanding of their conclusion: prices could decline in the near future.

I subscribe to John Mauldin’s free newsletter which today consisted of an outlook by two other very bright guys, Lacy Hunt and Van Hoisington. I have read both of them. And Mauldin used to be a partner of Gary North. Confused? Don’t be. This is just to say that they have immense credibility with me and I would automatically be sympathetic to their point of view.

But with North’s analysis I now have a better understanding:

The Fed is deliberately driving down the velocity of money (how fast money circulates) by keeping the banks’ excess reserves with them rather than letting the banks lend them out. They do that by paying interest on those reserves. Look at it from the bankers’ perspectives: why would you loan your precious reserves to risky customers, even those with excellent credit ratings, when you can make risk-free loans to the Fed and earn interest there? True, it’s less interest than you might get from a customer, but with them you run the risk of not getting your money back. You don’t have to worry about that with the Fed.

So North thinks it’s a deliberate policy to keep the banks from lending, which keeps price inflation from hitting the grocery stores. He says it’s the best of all possible worlds for the Fed: they can continue to finance the government deficits with digital money without price inflation.

If, however, the Fed decides to stop paying interest on those reserves, or worse, decided to start charging interest on those reserves, this action would force the banks to take back those reserves and start lending them out. This would result in price inflation almost immediately. North thinks that if the Fed does that (reverses course), we could see prices double in a matter of months. For the time being, however, the Fed has no interest in doing that. I’m not sure why the Fed would ever start charging interest on those reserves. So price inflation is highly unlikely, and we might even see some small decrease in the overall price level. This is helpful information. It agrees with the conclusion by Hunt and Hoisington but I have a better understanding, thanks to North.

Here’s the link to North’s analysis. You’ll see that it’s a paywall. I pay $9.95 a month to get over that wall and read his stuff. This single analysis of a well-written article which could have misled me and my understanding of the world has paid for my subscription for a least a year. I think North is way undercharging. Don’t tell him I said so.

Economists miss again: economy growing more slowly than anticipated

There’s an old saw about the purpose of economists is to make weather forecasting look good. The Commerce Department just reported this morning that in the first quarter the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country grew at an annualized rate of 2.5%, substantially below economists’ estimates of 3.2%. And looking past the headlines,

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If you were sick, what would you do if your doctors told you this?

You’re sick. You’ve been sick for several weeks now. You’re long past the “take two aspirin and call me in the morning” protocol. You’re jaundiced, you’re not sleeping well, you’re losing weight, people are asking if you’re ok, the whole deal. You decide to find a doctor. You find four, all in the same office.

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A very smart guy reviews Stockman’s massive new book

Whenever someone as smart as David Stockman (President Reagan’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget) writes a 768-page book (The Great Deformation), it makes me nervous, for two reasons: I don’t have the time to read 768 pages, but if I don’t I might miss something important. So I was gratified that

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Does the Fed have a Plan B if inflation gets out of hand?

Two smart people from Cato don’t think so, and it makes them nervous. Henry Manne and Richard Rahn have a crystal ball but it’s cloudy. They stayed awake nights dreaming up scenarios that would trigger hyperinflation – a roaring escalation of prices at the retail level – and then ask

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The Fed Needs a New Leader, says the Wall Street Journal

Sometimes I seek opportunity. Sometimes opportunity is thrust into my lap. The latter just happened with this unbelievable screed written by Paul Farrell today at the Wall Street Journal‘s MarketWatch. He decries the failed attempts by Fed governors going all the way back to

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Everything’s just fine: stress levels are back to normal

This is called “paralysis of analysis.” If it can be measured it must mean something. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the home of statistics for the Fed, just issued a reassuring statement: “The Kansas City Financial Stress Index (KCFSI) continues to indicate that financial stress remains

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House Backs Off on Debt Ceiling Threat, Prepares for Budget Battle

Calling it a debt limit “suspension,” the House GOP is voting today on a measure to allow the federal government to continue to spend until May 19th, at which time it will reconsider the issue once again. It also

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FedSpeak reigns

You don’t get to be the President of a Federal Reserve bank unless you are an insider. Charles Evans qualifies, in spades. His bio proves it. Among other things he is a director of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.  I’m going somewhere with this, so bear with me.

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Gold Standard Arguments Being Promoted Again

Two years ago Steve Forbes, two-time candidate for nomination for president by the Republican Party and Editor of Forbes magazine, predicted “a return to the gold standard by the United States within five years … [because it would] help the nation solve a variety of economic, fiscal and monetary ills.” It’s now two years into his prediction and articles explaining how such a return would work, and why, are beginning

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A Rand Paul/Mike Lee Ticket for 2016?

Bernie Quigley, writing at the Pundit’s Blog for The Hill on Wednesday, considered the fiscal cliff bill that became the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) as a “touchstone…a benchmark…to mark the progress of history.” He considers the law as a

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.

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