Skip to comments.(Washington, DC)Immune To The Financial Crisis
Posted on 05/17/2012 2:54:38 PM PDT by blam
Immune To The Financial Crisis
May 17, 2012
By Bill Bonner
Baltimore, Maryland Attention: Our Crash Alert flag is flying.
Whats going on?
Yesterday, we drove into Washington, DC, to the Argentine embassy. Friends from Salta were hosting a wine-tasting. It seemed strange to see our Argentine friends who live in a remote corner of the country in our nations capital. But it was a pleasure to see them and taste their very strong, high altitude malbecs.
Washington has largely escaped the financial crisis. There is plenty of money in the city, but hardly anyone in town knows anything about economics or finance. It is politics they care about. Thats how they get money, in the old fashioned way by taking it away from someone else. So, it is only natural that they believe the world of economics should be approached in the same way by brute force. Command, control, and central planning that is Washingtons method. Thats what politics is all about.
Of course, politics and economics are natural enemies, not natural friends. An economy works best when willing buyers and sellers, investors and entrepreneurs, consumers and producers are able to get together on their own terms. As Adam Smith explained it, they all look out for themselves and are all guided, as if by an invisible hand towards an outcome that is best for the group. Hayek described it in more detail. Willing buyers and sellers set prices freely. Those prices are rich in information. They tell investors where to invest and shoppers where to shop and businessmen where to apply themselves.
The more you interfere with this process, the more screwed up things get. Artificial prices such as the price of credit set by the Fed send the wrong signal. Investors make mistakes. Resources are misallocated. Bubbles are pumped up and then, blown up.
But Washington doesnt care. Its not really the gross welfare or wealth of the people it worries about, but the relative wealth. Fairness they call it. And relative to the rest of the nation, Washingtonians are getting richer. Thats fair, isnt it?
Washington is a bad place to run over a pedestrian. If he is a white male, he is almost certainly a lawyer. So, if you run over him our advice is to back up quickly and run over him again. Finish him off. Otherwise hell sue you.
The houses in Georgetown and the Northwest section of the city are handsome. They have carefully-tended lawns and gardens and a Prius or Volvo parked in front. DC residents at least those in the Northwest of the city and the Virginia suburbs are conscious of their carbon footprint. They recycle. They are well-meaning, earnest and public spirited Just the sort of people you would like to run over, in other words.
Driving on Massachusetts Avenue then up Wisconsin Avenue and then along MacArthur Blvd we passed many of the places weve heard so much about over the years. Fannie Maes huge headquarters Homeland Security the Brookings Institution SAIS the White House the Capitol the US Treasury the Eccles Building, where the Fed is headquartered Its all there.
Its amazing how much damage has been done from such a little geographic area, Elizabeth remarked.
The question we have been asking ourselves for the last 5 years.
Which way will America go? To Tokyo(Deflation) or Buenos Aires (Inflation)? To deflation or to inflation? To a long, cold drawn-out slump or a fiery blow-up?
Mr. Market is pushing the US towards Japan. No question about that. After 60 years of credit expansion we now have a natural credit contraction. Households and businesses are paying down and defaulting on debt. Theyre hoarding cash rather than splashing it around.
For example, young people are driving less and buying fewer starter houses. Gasoline use in America is going down. So are housing prices.
Part of the reason young people are buying fewer houses is that they cant afford them. The Financial Times reports:
Young put off buying homes under weight of student debt.
Yes, dear reader, the feds practically force-fed young people student loans. Like shyster subprime lenders, the feds offered students money at low teaser rates. Now, the rates are supposed to double.
Of course, the poor student thought he would be in fat city when he got out of school. He thought hed have a well-paying job!
Now, hell be lucky to have any job at all
It looked for a while as if the economy really were recovering. At least, thats what everybody said. But now Mr. Market has asserted himself again.
Yesterday, US stocks fell again. (And again today, DJIA down 156) Oil, copper, Treasury bond yields everything is going down.
Truck buyers were canceling orders at the fastest rate in two years.
As to housing prices, the FT continues:
The number of first-time buyers has plunged they comprised 37 per cent of home purchases in 2011, down from 51 per cent in 2010 sapping the struggling housing market of a traditional source of vitality.
High levels of student debt, along with tighter mortgage requirements and stagnant wages, are forcing young people to delay buying their first homes.
Is there any fed policy that hasnt backfired? Not that we know of. And the biggest fed policy now aside from world domination is the attempt to hijack Mr. Markets plane, en route to Tokyo, and force it to Buenos Aires.
The feds have put their hearts and souls into this effort. Too bad they havent put their brains to it too!
I’ve posted this on another thread so apologies to those who may have seen it. The budget crisis explained crystal clear.
” (Washington, DC)Immune To The Financial Crisis “
When the mobs arrive with torches and pitchforks, I’m guessing they won’t be feeling so ‘immune’...
(It’s not accident or laziness that I’ve had the same tagline for three years...)
“(Washington, DC)Immune To The Financial Crisis”
Duh. They have guns.
For a number of years, I’ve tracked the personal bankruptcy, home foreclosure and other stats for several regions. One region conspicuously exempt from the economic hard times besetting the rest of us is the region surrounding Washington, DC.(where my wife and I lived for about 4 years back in the 60s).
My curiousity about that situation faded when I remembered that THEY HAVE NEARLY ALL OF OUR “MONEY” AND GET MORE EVERY APRIL 15TH. Add that have been printing any amount they wish and it all makes a twisted, corrupt and pernicious kind of sense.
If we fail to turn the corner on that in November, we’ll probably find ourselves with a revolution on our hands— if Obama doesn’t get one started beforehand.
Yeah, it’s all about Europe, stuffing euro-bonds and stocks into our US treasuries, and so on. Why?
Because our President is about to meet with the G-8 to discuss the sanctions against Iranian oil just ahead. He’s already threatening to suck oil from the strategic reserves again.
The world debt regime is running on propaganda...and debt. The remaining bits of the private sector are about to be wiped out by an unnaturally high dollar (insufficient revenues from insufficient manufacturing)...and mounting debt stuffed into our treasuries for government employees/pensioners to spend on their summer vacations.
Have fun. Enjoy the slide.
I don't care who you are, thats funny.
Nice to see a sense of humor in all this stressful news.
Drive around DC and see where your TAX money is going. DC and suburbs are booming thanks to you and me (but not GE who paid no taxes.)
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.