Monday, January 19, 2015

Monetary Inanity (Part Infinity)

For those who have been living under a rock the last week or so, the Swiss franc went off like a rocket when the SNB (the Swiss National Bank, Switzerland's central bank) decided to end a currency peg against the euro.

And as usual, when something like this happens, there's lots of rather poorly informed commentary making the rounds out there.  Judging from their writing, I think that financial writers must not make very much money, so it is probably understandable that most of them don't have much of a grasp of monetary matters or any real incentive to learn, especially as concerns exchange rates and central banking.  But at least some of these guys should know better, especially the ones talking about deflation.

So, once again, I'll do what I can to try and correct the internet...

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Why Piketty is Wrong and Western Workers Have a Bright Future

I'm sorry.  I'm supposed to be angry and dismal, because angry and dismal is smart, or at least that's the current received wisdom, and not wanting to look smart is practically a cardinal sin these days, and it would be a wilful sin to boot given that I could just keep my mouth shut, or at least write something angry.  But I can't help it -- I'm just too happy and optimistic, though somewhat overworked, which I suppose goes a long way towards explaining many things, including my rather poor writing record of late.  It seems kind of easy to write angry things (especially when you've gotten into the habit!), but harder to write other kinds of things, especially with pressing matters to attend to.

But I do think I have something happy to say about Piketty's new book which also might happen to be smart.  I confess to not having read the actual book (which is something of an economic tome at 700 pages, and a bestseller on Amazon, no less, an unusual juxtaposition, to say the least).  But I have read reviews!  And I will try to be fair, and trust that the reviews have been more or less accurate.  I also don't intend to go into great detail, but just to stick with the basic idea, which I also confess to be a really interesting one, but, alas, as I said, wrong on a very central point.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Texas, Explained

My sister forwarded me this video by Bill Whittle --

It is funny, and has a kernel of truth to it (I did these sorts of things growing up, too, and could do them still if the urge ever really got hold of me), but it did set me into a bit of a melancholy state, because it is very easy to make observations like this and come to conclusions that I think are a bit off and too optimistic.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Karen Hudes

Holy moly, this lady is the mother of all smoking guns. If half of what she says is true - and from what I heard from her on the radio, she gives every indication of being legit - the mother of all cats is about to come out of the bag.

She really is unbelievable.  She is hopelessly naive, moralistic, and somehow got past the gatekeepers and landed herself right in the middle of the international banking system.   She's been in the middle of 20 years worth of scandals at the highest levels and decided to blow the whistle.

Maybe I'm late to the game on this one, but this is the first I've heard of her.  And she basically confirms all the worst things you might have guessed about places like the IMF,  the World Bank,  the national governments,  etc.

For some reason, she's naive enough to think it's a matter of rooting out corruption,  and she still has faith in state governments,  but anyway, 100% worth listening to if you are into that kind of thing.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Coffee... not actually a substitute for food. Or sleep.  All rumors to the contrary.

It looks like it should work, but it doesn't.  And I never thought I'd become one of 'these people.'