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Tag Archives: On Politics

Obituary for the Acting Man

I write this with sadness, still, at the news of the death of my friend Heinz Blasnik. He is better known by his nom de plume, Pater Tenebrarum, who published the economics blog Acting Man and wrote for many other financial sites. I met Heinz twice, at his home in Vienna. He was a kind and gracious host, sending his driver to pick me up and serving Austrian delicacies for lunch. When I met him, he was struggling near the end of a long illness...

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A Look Back at Nixon’s Infamous Monetary Policy Decision

  Putting the World on a Paper Standard Half a century ago one of the most disastrous monetary policy decisions in US history was committed by Richard Nixon.  In a television address, the president declared that the nation would no longer redeem internationally dollars for gold.  Since the dollar was the world’s reserve currency, Nixon’s closing of the “Gold Window” put the world on an irredeemable paper monetary standard. Richard...

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Post-Covid China

    Lessons to be Learned from East Asia The world should take a lesson from how East Asia ran itself in 2020. Japan had no lockdown. None. With an aging population, its death rate has been creeping up for many years. In 2020, it fell by 0.7%, as if Covid-19 was a life-saver. Daily new cases in Singapore – Covid-19 seems to be pretty much under control there. [PT] The Prime Minister of Singapore repeatedly appeared on TV to advise...

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COVID in India

    Scavengers Out in Full Force I have just returned from a visit to my family in India. It was hard to escape. To get to the US from India, I needed a COVID test. The Indian government has seriously restricted who can provide COVID testing, treatment, and vaccination. Private doctors and hospitals that are not approved face brutal legal consequences if they provide COVID treatment. India’s experience with the COVID pandemic was...

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India’s Experiments with COVID-19

  Shooting from the Hip [ed. note: the tweets linked below mainly show videos from various lockdown phases] Reminiscent of his demonetization effort in 2016, on 24th March 2020, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, appeared on TV and declared an immediate nationwide curfew. No one was to be allowed to leave wherever he or she happened to be. All flights, trains (after 167 years of continual operation) and road transportation came to a...

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Diversity or The Bigotry of Low Expectations

    Value Traps and Economic Ignorance A financial analyst is often, or at least should be, more of a psychologist than a financial expert. There are companies that I knew fifteen years ago that had inherent value a multiple of what their stocks were trading at. Today, there continues to be similar upside, except that upside targets and share prices are lower. What went wrong? A problem reaches the far North faster than climate change...

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Dawn of the Dead in the United States of Voodoo

  Dead Men Don’t Spend The checks went forth yesterday. And all the peoples rejoiced. Stimulus blinders firmly attached! Let’s go! Mars is within reach! [PT] Bloomberg reports: As the economy reopens, consumer spending over the next two quarters is likely to be the strongest such period in at least 70 years with a rebound in services leading the way, according to economists at Wells Fargo & Co. This is La Bubble Epoch… a gay...

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Did You Make Janet Yellen Rich?

  The Stress of Losing Billions Up until the WallStreetBets crowd short squeezed Melvin Capital for a $7 billion loss, Robinhood had it made. But losing billions is stressful. And when your product blows up your customer the clucking that follows comes hot and heavy. A surprise revival of business at Game-Stop… [PT] One of the sweetest displays in the world, we’ve been told, is the bursts of digital confetti that shower down...

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Grantham’s ‘Real McCoy’ Bubble in a World Gone Mad

  The Lure of Easy Money Right now happens to be an attractive time to do something stupid.  What’s more, everyone is doing it.  Maybe you are too. Stock valuations and corporate earnings growth no longer appear to matter.  Why not buy an S&P 500 index fund and let it ride?  Or, better yet, why not buy shares of Nvidia? NVDA, weekly, over the past 6 years. The stock really started to take off after the 2016 election surprisingly...

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Janet Yellen: Too Dumb To Stop

    Autographing Funny Money The United States Secretary of the Treasury bears a shameful job duty. They must place their autograph on the face of the Federal Reserve’s legal tender notes. Here, for the whole world to witness, the Treasury Secretary provides signature endorsement; their personal ratification of unconstitutional money. Janet Yellen – first she got to print a lot of funny money, now she gets to autograph it. The Titanic...

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