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: Fiat Currency

Are Student Loans Killing Grandma?

The Rhode Show: Senior citizens feel sting of loan debt

A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that the growing burden of student loan debt is creating problems for an unexpected group—senior citizens.

Ann Morgan Guilbert as Grandma Yetta.

Ann Morgan Guilbert as Grandma Yetta. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Buried in this article from TVL Broadcasting is some very good advice. The interviewer on the show was distressed to learn that 5 percent of the $870 billion in student loan debt belongs to seniors—60 and up—or some $40 billion. And that is putting some severe crimps into grandma’s plans to retire as the note they co-signed to help their grandchild has gone bad.

Let’s think about this: the young person bought the lie that a college degree will lead to a good job. Not. Notes the article:

That clear connect between getting that degree and then getting a good solid job that leads to a prosperous career just isn’t there anymore…

The value that we’ve all assumed came with a college degree simply isn’t there.

Thank you. Good advice. A little late. But good advice nevertheless.

When my son was trying to figure out how to advise his two sons about getting a college degree, each of them made different, and I think, wise decisions. Will, the oldest, decided to get his degree online. They researched the available resources—there are many—and selected one. Total cost: About $15,000. That’s $15,000 for four years of college—that’s total.

Will is doing his homework on a computer with interactive classes with other live students (and a live professor—imagine that!), and is working at his own pace. There are requirements and time lines and deadlines and papers and…well, the whole college experience. Thanks to the internet, it’s affordable. And his education will likely turn out an excellent American history professor (that’s Will’s goal).

Tim, on the other hand, decided to forgo the entire college “thing” and instead he decided to take a 22-month-long class at Redstone College in Denver which will lead him to a career as a high-end aerospace engineer who works on keeping aircraft operational. It’s a perfect fit for him.

No student loans. And no co-signing by grandma (or grandpa).

The LIBOR Scandal: Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Barclay!

Barclays: dealing from the bottom of the deck! (Photo credit: J Dueck)

The ripple effects from the announcement by the British Financial Services Authority (FSA) that it was fining Barclays Bank for manipulating in its favor a key interest rate are just beginning to be felt. Explained the authority:

The London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (“EURIBOR”) are benchmark reference rates fundamental to the operation of both UK and international financial markets, including markets in interest rate derivatives contracts.

LIBOR and EURIBOR are by far the most prevalent benchmark reference rates used in euro, US dollar and sterling over the counter (“OTC”) interest rate derivatives contracts and exchange traded interest rate contracts.

The notional amount outstanding of OTC interest rate derivatives contracts in the first half of 2011 has been estimated at 554 trillion US dollars… (emphasis added)

Let’s put that into simple terms: the LIBOR and the EURIBOR rates affect financial instruments with values more than 36 times the gross domestic product of the United States! These are rates that affect nearly every contract that contains or refers to an interest rate. That would include variable-rate mortgages, municipal bond financings, credit card debt, U.S. treasuries—an enormous, almost incomprehensibly large number.

And all of it manipulated by Barclays and 18 other “money center” banks operating out of the exclusive City of London enclave in the center of London, England.

From the FSA:

LIBOR and EURIBOR are used to determine payments made under both OTC interest rate derivatives contracts and exchange traded interest rate contracts by a wide range of counterparties including small businesses, large financial institutions and public authorities. Benchmark reference rates such as LIBOR and EURIBOR also affect payments made under a wide range of other contracts including loans and mortgages.

And just what did the top people at Barclay’s do that brought the wrath, and penalties of nearly half a billion dollars, of the FSA down on their heads? All the traders did at the start of and during the world-wide economic meltdown was declare that

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Halting Steps Towards a Gold-Backed Currency

Chris Poindexter: Slow Week For Gold

The world is crying out for some of type of encrypted token or bearer receipt that can be traded for physical gold.  Where the physical inventory matches the encrypted tokens at a rate of 100 percent and can be redeemed at a fixed margin for physical gold or cash on demand in various cities around the world. Some countries might consider that a competing currency, but as long as receipts are denominated in fixed amounts of gold and not currency values, that should avoid most complications; it’s really just a new way to trade commodities.

English: Currencies exchange logo Français : L...

English: Currencies exchange logo Français : Logo symbolisant le change de devises (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While Poindexter is writing for his “gold bug” customers about the price of gold and silver and how the ratio between the two—a very high 59—bodes well for silver purchasers, he makes an excellent side comment about how the free market will eventually revert back to real money, a gold-backed currency.

Ben Bernanke doesn’t recognize silver or gold as real money, which is about as good an indicator you can find that it is! If he’s for it, it’s wise to be against it, and vice versa. It saves a lot of thinking because the man has been so consistently wrong for so long. His response to Ron Paul’s question about whether silver and gold is real money is instructive: “No.”

There are barter currencies in existence now and I’ve written about them. There are local and regional currencies backed by, in some places, maple syrup! No, I’m not making this up! I’m not that clever!

But that’s how we moved from a direct exchange economy—goods for goods—to an indirect exchange economy—goods for money for goods—which helped the world’s GDP to grow by an astonishing 2 percent per year ever since about 1800.

And as the dollar continues to lose value, people will find that other options are going to work better—much better—than paper money that doesn’t maintain its value. I’m not afraid of hyperinflation, mind you. The Fed would never allow that to happen because it would threaten its very existence. But what it will allow is “some” inflation—Gary North thinks in the range of 20 to 30 percent annually—which will serve nicely to generate increasing demands for money that retains its value.

I’m encouraged by Poindexter’s comments. He sees further than I do on this issue. And I welcome that.

Ron Paul Has the Final Say

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 29:  Republican pres...

In his last public opportunity to quiz Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who appeared before the House Financial Services Committee on July 18, Texas Congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul took the time to put things into perspective:

For the past few years the Federal Reserve System has received criticism from all sides of the political spectrum, and rightly so, for its unprecedented intervention into the economy and its bailouts of large Wall Street banks and foreign central banks.

This has been Paul’s theme ever since he entered Congress following a special election in April 1976. In a position paper that his staff prepared in June of 1976, Paul attacked a pending bill in Congress to fund the International Monetary Fund following the breakdown of the Bretton Woods agreement when President Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard in 1971.

The staffer primarily responsible for that paper, Gary North, remembers starting work on Friday, June 11, 1976, and being given the task of preparing the paper in time for the Monday deadline. He worked all weekend on it, and when it was published, it made such an impression on Senator William Proxmire, then chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, that he invited Paul to testify before his committee. Says North: “At the time, I had never heard of a House member testifying to a Senate Committee. I have never heard of it since.”

But that testimony launched a three-decades-long campaign by that lone congressman to question the existing monetary system, especially the centerpiece of that system, the Federal Reserve.

In his July 18 testimony, Paul recalled his primary problem with the IMF—the same problem he has with the Fed—is that it is a central bank that was deliberately designed to

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Sorry, Rising Corn Prices Not Due to Inflation

Jeff Carter: Grain Prices Could Be The Nail in the Economic Coffin

So far, the Federal Reserve has been extremely lucky. They have held interest rates at 0%. They have monkeyed with the market mechanism of the economy via quantitative ease, and Operation Twist. It recently has come out that regulators knew about the LIBOR deception back in 2008. But they can’t control the price of food.

English: Corn

Corn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know Jeff Carter. But he has put his finger on something that I think needs more air time: despite the Fed’s huge expansion of the money supply and the forcing down of short term interest rates, the economy is still in the doldrums. In fact I wrote recently in The New American that we’re already in recession despite all those efforts.

But some people see the price of grains—wheat and corn prices specifically—heading much higher and think: “it must be the Fed.” They expand the money supply, making each piece of money worth less, and that shows up by requiring more pieces to buy corn and wheat. In a general sense that is true. But not here, and not now.

First of all, in order for increases in the supply of money to show up in the market place and grocery stores, people have to spend it. And there’s a measure of that “propensity to spend”—it’s called the velocity of money. It’s how quickly money is exchanged in the economy. There’s even a chart that shows the velocity of money which you can access at GaryNorth.com. It’s part of free information on his site: just look on the left for “Federal Reserve graphs” and you’ll find it.

The velocity of money has dropped to near record lows. So there’s plenty of money, but people are hoarding it, or paying off debts. So there’s no price inflation. At least not yet.

What then is happening to the price of wheat and corn? It is responding to market forces! There’s a drought. It’s causing much lower production of grains. Lower supply, same demand, voila! Prices go up.

And they will come back down. Maybe not in the next week. But in the free market, things happen to make prices go back down. Farmers (around the world) will see high prices and offer their products here for sale. Farmers will expand their fields and commit more of them to growing grains. Voila! Increased supply, same demand, lower prices!

It’s a wonder to behold. Just don’t blame it on the Fed.

Federal Reserve Responsible for Great Recession

Well, he’s got it half right. Robert Weidemer, author of “Aftershock,” thinks we’re going into a recession—check. He also thinks the Fed can do something about it—uncheck.

This is the old story of how, allegedly, the “hair of the dog” that bit you the night before will help cure your hangover the next morning. It doesn’t make it go away, I’m told (I have no personal experience in the matter!) that it doesn’t cure anything, but a shot of booze in the morning makes you not care as much!

Someday, Weidemer will admit this, and place the blame for the recession we’re in squarely at the feet of the Fed where it belongs.

The Economist: Government Fixed America’s Economy

This article reminds me of the “nattering nabobs” phrase used by William Safire to describe those who tell only part of the truth in order to promote a bigger lie. The Economist is good at this. It is helpful to remember that it is the British equivalent of the CFR’s Foreign Affairs, but from an economic point of view.

You can tell almost immediately where this article is going: it’s government…government…government!…that is responsible, not for America’s present economic decline, but for the good things America enjoys: the internet and oil shale fracking!

Nothing is said about the Federal Reserve, or fractional reserve banking that sent the American economy into recession. Nothing is said about entrepreneurship based upon what’s left of the rule of law and contracts to make investments based not on government edict but on private estimate of potential gain.

I could go on, but you get the idea. If you decide to read this article anyway, be sure not to swallow it. It’ll give you intellectual indigestion.

The Pauls Introduce Their New Internet Freedom Manifesto

WASHINGTON - JUNE 22:  U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-...

With Ron Paul’s bill H.R. 459, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, headed for a floor vote in the House in the next two weeks (and likely success at passage with 263 sponsors), he and his son Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are now focusing on the Internet.

His Campaign for Liberty (C4L), started in 2008 with some four million dollars of campaign funds from his unsuccessful run for the White House that year, has issued its manifesto to continue the fight: “The Technology Revolution: A Campaign for Liberty Manifesto.”

Starting with his first term as a member of the House of Representatives from Texas in 1976, Paul has led the fight to expose the secret machinations of the Federal Reserve, making that his primary theme in the freedom fight. That theme can be traced to the publication of his The Revolution: A Manifesto in 2008 to his End the Fed in 2009, and finally to his latest book, Liberty Defined, published in January this year.

But with his campaign for the presidency likely to fail at the Republican Party’s convention next month and his decision not seek reelection to his House seat, Paul is passing the torch to his son. As explained on the C4L website: 

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Latest ADP Jobs Report Confirms Slowing Economy

Christine Lagarde

On Thursday, accounting firm ADP issued its National Employment Report noting that jobs in the non-farm private business sector increased by 176,000 in June. ADP’s CEO, Carlos Rodriguez, said, “It is encouraging to see companies creating jobs, particularly in the goods-producing sector where we see positive growth following two months of job loss.” Reuters jumped on the alleged positive news, calling it a “hopeful sign.”

Unfortunately, one month does not make a trend. When June’s numbers are compared to January’s, ADP’s total nonfarm private jobs growth has increased from 110 million to 110.9 million, a gain of 77-100ths of one percent, or about 142,000 new jobs each month. A closer look reveals that most of those jobs were in the highly volatile service sector, in small businesses, usually fast-food or similar businesses, known for their high turnover. In fact, the goods-producing sector gained just one half of one percent employment since January, translating into less than 16,000 job gains each month. These numbers are hardly a “hopeful sign,” but more reflective of an economy that has flat-lined.

Another report from the Department of Labor showed that new claims for unemployment insurance dropped by 14,000 last week to 374,000, the lowest level in six weeks. But that was offset by an upward revision from

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Economy Tipping Over Into Recession, Again

English: Yellow hard hat. Studio photography.

When shipping and supply managers were quizzed about their current outlooks by two separate reporting agencies, their answers were the same: Orders are slowing and so is production of manufactured goods. The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), released in late June, and the Report on Business of the Institute of Supply Management (ISM), which was released on Monday, each showed significant slowing. The PMI’s manufacturing index came in at its lowest level since last July, while new orders for durable goods (autos and appliances) fell sharply in June, continuing a trend downward since early spring. It also showed a decline in the backlog of orders, the first since last September.

According to the ISM, its index fell below 50 for the first time since July 2009, indicating continuing contraction in the manufacturing sector of the economy and echoing the PMI’s report. What was startling in the ISM’s report was the decline in new orders: down by an astonishing 12.3 percentage points in the month of June. ISM’s production index also declined severely, by 4.6 percent, and was down by 10 percent since the end of March.

Retailers’ inventories are climbing as well, indicating lack of demand by consumers. More troubling was

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Feisty, Fearless Economist Anna Schwartz Dead at 96

Anna Schwartz by David Shankbone

Best known as the co-author, along with Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Freidman, of A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960, Anna Jacobson Schwartz died on Thursday, June 21, in New York City at age 96.

A brilliant economist in her own right, she provided the background, the research, and so much of the thinking behind the 859-page A Monetary History that Friedman claimed that “Anna did all the work, and I got most of the recognition.” Considered by many classical economists as the magnum opus on monetary policy (the impact of money supply on economic behavior), by itself it shifted the blame for the Great Depression from the statists’ claim that it was due to excessive laissez-faire capitalism in the 1920s to the interventions by the Federal Reserve that caused the Great Depression and that greatly exacerbated both its depth and duration. So powerful were the conclusions that one of the book’s chapters, “The Great Contraction, 1929-33,” was published as a stand-alone paperback in 1965, and the book itself was hailed by the Cato Institute as one of the most influential economics books of the 20th century. Even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke admitted that A Monetary History “transformed the debate about the Great Depression.”

Accolades abounded following the announcement of her passing, even from those who parted ways with her on the role of central banking in a modern economy and the Federal Reserve in particular. George Selgin, a senior fellow at Cato, remembers Schwartz as being candid and uncompromising: “Anna never held a punch, and when she threw one, it landed square on target.” Robert Higgs, a scholar at the Independent Institute, noted, 

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Rand Paul Explains His Support for Romney

English: United States Senate candidate , at a...

Following the announcement last Thursday by Senator Rand Paul that he was endorsing former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney as the Republican Party’s nominee for President, he took time to respond to critics of that decision in an interview with Peter Schiff. Said Rand: “Supporting the [Republican] nominee has been part of my [effort] to have influence…. If Republicans see that you are not going to support the nominee, then doors close.”

Rand’s strategy is much more political than ideological. He feels that he can do business with and make binding agreements with parties with whom he has major disagreements but those agreements can only be made if he is allowed “inside.”

That may be a very good strategy, according to Bob Akimbo, writing at the DailyPaul.com blog:

Let’s learn a lesson from the Trojan War. We can bang on the walls of the Federal Reserve until our fists bleed, but it will be a…lot easier if someone opens the door for us from the inside…

His endorsement of Romney gives him the political capital to put those issues [he favors] front and center…. Did you see that opportunity three years ago?

There is a strong element of pragmatism in Paul’s endorsement of Romney. In responding to his critics Paul told Schiff, “People say that ‘you’re selling your soul.’ No, I’m

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American Families Lose 40% of Net Worth to Housing Bubble

The Harvey family

The release last week of the Federal Reserve’s much-anticipated three-year study of America’s finances, its Survey of Consumer Finances, confirmed what many families already know: Between 2007 and 2010 the average family’s net worth declined by nearly 40 percent, mostly because of the decline in housing prices. The Fed study also confirmed that their incomes also fell significantly in real terms, by nearly eight percent.

It was during this period that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) dropped by more than five percent between the third quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2009 while unemployment jumped from 5 percent to 9.5 percent. But the seeds of the decline in net worth had been sown decades earlier as politicians, aided by the media, successfully persuaded Americans that home ownership was to be desired greatly.

By reducing interest rates, giving tax breaks on the deductibility of interest paid on home mortgages, and encouraging (some would say forcing) banks to reduce lending standards, the stage was set for

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Bailout of Spain Just a “Credit Line,” Says New Prime Minister

Mariano Rajoy

Following another last-minute late-weekend meeting of European Finance Ministers, Spain’s new Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy happily announced that not only was his country going to get more bailout funds than it needs, it’s coming without any strings attached. This is because, according to Rajoy, the new measures instituted since the victory of his People’s Party last November have been so effective in bringing common sense and prudent behavior back to the country’s financial markets. Those “radical” fiscal, labor-market, and financial-sector reforms that were instituted were the key, he said, adding,

If we hadn’t done this in these past five months, what was put forward [on Sunday] would have been a bailout of the Kingdom of Spain. Because we had been doing our homework for five months, what did happen…what was agreed, was the opening of a line of credit for our financial system.

There is no conditionality of any kind.

According to a report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Spain needed at least $50 billion to rescue and recapitalize its banks. But the Finance Ministers decided to up the ante significantly, to $125 billion, just to be safe. Said Olli Rehn, the European Union’s top economist, “This is a very clear signal to the markets, to the public, that the Eurozone is ready to take determined action.” He added, “We deliberately wanted to ensure there is some additional safety margin…. This is preemptive action.”

What Rajoy failed to mention is that there are most certainly strings attached, and when

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Experts Disagree on U.S. Economic Outlook

The Six Million Dollar Man

As soon as Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADPannounced that hiring slowed in April compared to March, with 199,000 new jobs being the lowest since last September, the experts began scratching their heads. Joel Parkken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisors which produces the monthly reports for ADP said that “this deceleration seems consistent with other incoming data” and that it also means that Friday’s employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will show that the unemployment rate will stay at 8.2 percent, the same as last month.

ADP also revised downward last month’s jobs numbers from 209,000 to 201,000, and indicated that 123,000 service jobs were added in April while manufacturing lost 4,000 jobs. Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics who estimated that job growth would be 175,000 for the month, is now backtracking:

Obviously, the weak ADP reading means that there are now clear downside risks to our estimate…Indeed, it is possible we could see a repeat of March, when payrolls [reported by the BLS] increased by only 120,000.

Looking back over the last five months of ADP data, however, gives a better picture of the economy and jobs. Since November total payrolls have increased by 1 million, or about 200,000 jobs per month. Two-thirds of those jobs were created in the service industry while one-third was in the goods producing sector, with only about 15,000 jobs being created in the heavy manufacturing sector every month.

But this report from the payroll giant, which tracks job growth closely, differs from the survey of

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“Too Big to Fail” Banks Wouldn’t Survive the Free Market

Photo of Bank of America ATM Machine by Brian ...

Just two days separated a letter from Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine and a report from the president of the Dallas Federal Reserve, each remarkably calling for the end of “too big to fail” banks.

Taibbi wrote his letter to Occupy Wall Street (OWS) supporters on March 27, giving a short talk to them about the worst of the banks—the Bank of America—and then handing out copies of it to the demonstrators. In typically lurid prose, Taibbi said that Bank of America

has systematically defrauded almost everyone with whom it has a significant business relationship, cheating investors, insurers, homeowners, shareholders, depositors, and the state. It is a giant, raging hurricane of theft and fraud, spinning its way through America and leaving a massive trail of wiped-out retirees and foreclosed-upon families in its wake….

But Bank of America hasn’t gone out of business, for the simple reason that our government has decided to make it the poster child for the “Too Big To Fail” concept. Because it is considered a “systemically important institution” whose collapse would have a major, Lehman-Brothers-style impact on the economy, two consecutive presidential administrations have taken extraordinary measures to keep Bank of America in business, despite a staggering recent legacy of corruption schemes.

In addition, Taibbi wrote,

This bank is like the world’s worst teenager, taking your car and running over kittens and fire hydrants on the way to Vegas for the weekend, maxing out your credit cards in the three days you spend at your aunt’s funeral.

He concluded that the only way to solve the Bank of America “too big to fail” problem is to let it be subject to free-market forces: “It would be a great sign of America’s return to healthier capitalism if we could

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Budget Deadlock, Despite House Passage of Ryan Plan

Ron Paul's blimp

The budget plan of Wisconsin GOP Rep. Paul Ryan passed the House on Thursday 228 to 191, mostly along party lines. In fact, not a single Democrat voted for it, signaling that it won’t see the light of day in the Democrat-controlled Senate as predicted here. The previous day, the House overwhelmingly rejected 382-38 the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction proposal, which incudes tax increases as well as spending cuts. Last week, the administration-supported budget bill was also voted down, 414-0, which leaves the legislative branch of the U.S. government in limbo.

Supporters of the Paul Ryan budget trumpet that his bill would simplify the tax code and modify Medicare, putting more control into the hands of the states. White House spokesman Jay Carney disagrees, saying the changes proposed to Medicare would “burden seniors and end the program as we know it,” while giving tax breaks to millionaires and cutting critical jobs programs.

Speaker of the House John Boehner lost 10 Republican votes, including several who said Ryan’s bill was too weak. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) declared, “I’m not going to vote for a budget that takes more than 20 years to be in balance.”

Each of the bills voted on, including Ryan’s, continues deficit spending for years into the future. Ryan’s plan spills red ink of $1.3 trillion over the next 10 years, while the White House budget projects deficits of $6 trillion, with the Bowles-Simpson proposal coming in at $4.5 trillion. But none of them addresses the real issue, according to Texas Congressman Ron Paul. In a statement issued after the vote on the Ryan plan, Paul said

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The Fed Is Buying 61 Percent of U.S. Government Debt

Interest Rates

In his attempt to explode the myth that there is unlimited demand for U.S. government debt, former Treasury official Lawrence Goodman explained that there is high perceived demand because the Federal Reserve is doing most of the buying.

Wrote Goodman,

Last year the Fed purchased a stunning 61% of the total net Treasury issuance, up from negligible amounts prior to the 2008 financial crisis.

This not only creates the false impression of limitless demand for U.S. debt but also blunts any sense of urgency to reduce supersized budget deficits.

What about Japan and China? Aren’t they the major purchasers of U.S. debt? Not any more, notes Goodman. Foreign purchases of U.S. debt dropped to less than 2 percent  of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) from almost 6 percent just three years ago. And private sector investors—banks, money market and bond mutual funds, individuals and corporations—have cut their buying way back as well, to less than 1 percent of GDP, down from 6 percent. This serves to hide the fact that the government can’t find outside buyers willing to accept rates of return that are

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Speech: Bernanke Fails at Transparency, Rails at Gold Standard

M6 - Money

When Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke donned his professorial cap and addressed 30 undergraduate students at George Washington University on Tuesday, he claimed it was all in the interest of transparency. According to the New York Times, “The Fed is concerned that it is neither loved nor understood by many Americans, and that public anger could lead to constraints on its powers.”

A close look at his actual presentation, augmented by slides, confirms his attempt to direct the students’ attention away from the Fed’s obvious dangers, faults, and failures and instead concentrate on its alleged virtues.

For example, his attack on the gold standard was filled with falsehoods and half-truths that failed to convince, only to confuse:

The gold standard as an alternative to a central bank: The gold standard sets the money supply and [the] price level generally with limited central bank intervention.

What the professor fails to state is that there is the gold standard and there is a paper standard that can only be enforced when a central bank is given a monopoly over what citizens may use as money. He fails to make clear that it’s the quantity of gold that “sets the money supply” and from that is derived the value of each piece, which is reflected in its purchasing power in the marketplace. It’s the citizen, freely accepting, using and exchanging gold for goods and services in the marketplace, who sets the price level. Buried in the comment “with limited central bank intervention” is the core of the problem: Bernanke doesn’t want people making those choices and decisions for themselves. Those decisions must be left to experts like

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Gas Prices Up, Obama Poll Numbers Down

$4.06 Gas Prices, Lewiston, Maine, Cumberland ...

As gasoline prices approach (and in some places exceed) $4 a gallon nationally, the president appears to be taking much of the blame with two recent polls showing sharp declines in support for his handling of the issue.

The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll now shows a record number of Americans giving the president “strongly” negative reviews on his handling of the economy. Nearly two-thirds of those polled say they disapprove of how he is handling gas prices compared to just 26 percent approving—his lowest rating by the poll. Specifically, 59 percent of those polled disapprove of his handling of the economy in general, a jump of 9 points in just one month and this despite the appearance of some signs of an improving economy. Most of the damage being done to Obama is among independents with 57 percent now disapproving, along with 66 percent of white non-college graduates disapproving as well.

The New York Times/CBS poll also showed the president losing 9 percentage points of approval during the past month, with 47 percent of those polled voicing their disapproval.

In a third poll by the Christian Science Monitor two-thirds of those polled say that the government should allow increased production from offshore wells and from shale deposits on federal lands as a way to increase supply to bring down prices. 54 percent favor drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska, while 47 percent favor rolling back some environmental restrictions to help increase energy production. That poll also reflected expectations that the price of gas will exceed $4 a gallon nationally within the next three months and one-third of those polled are expecting $5 a gallon gas by summer.

The president’s response has been, as it has been since his election, to push for alternative energy resources such as renewables and wind. His recent decision to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline project reflects his commitment to raising prices on oil in order to make alternatives more attractive. His comment on Saturday’s weekly address that “We can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices,” reflects that ideology.

In North Dakota, however, that is precisely what is being done to increase oil production, with North Dakota on track to overtake

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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.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann