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Rob Viglione  

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  • Credit Card Cancer [View article]
    Incredible that as the federal government is spending trillions in deficit it is also sending warships to the waters of our largest creditor, China.

    The Chinese PM's comments this week were meant to serve warning to our profligate spending, and for the U.S. to stay out of Chinese affairs.

    Debt is ultimately serfdom.
    Mar 14, 2009. 06:13 PM | 32 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Financial Collapse: A Lesson from the '20s [View article]
    So many people are tricked into thinking war is good for an economy. WWII is often seen as the catalyst for ending the Great Depression. Producing weapons, tanks, planes, and bombs does not make society wealthier. It employs lots of people, but if the goal of economics were simply employment we could hand everyone a shovel and have them dig and then fill up a hole everyday. They'd have jobs, paychecks, but no wealth would be produced. Same thing goes for war materiel.
    Feb 22, 2009. 05:57 AM | 22 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Predatory Legislators [View article]
    We need to get away from this mentality of deliberate social engineering. Not only does it have dubious benefits in the short term, but the implications are destructive. "Providing liquidity" means government is forcing people to behave against their better judgment-when they sense they must hunker down, save, and defer consumption, government goes ahead and reverses their decisions.

    This concept of macroeconomic stimulus is one big perverse confiscation of resources. Every dollar the Fed prints, and every dollar Congress spends has come from the private savings of Americans. We talk about liquidity and money as if the sum total of each individuals' resources were "national" and available to play with. Why such a perverse philosophy? Since when in America did your savings become mine to play with?

    On Feb 22 11:09 AM JAY BOSLIN wrote:

    > Even though in a perfect world we should stop borrowing, stop spending
    > and hunker down, that's what happened going into the great depression
    > and it exaserbated and prolonged the conditions until WWII. It may
    > be counter intuitive but we have to do as Bernanke, a student of
    > the great depression, has been doing and flood the system with liquidity
    > to keep it going. The companion piece is everything the administration
    > and other countries are doing to provide fiscal stimulus. There
    > will be inflation at some point, but the alternative is worse.
    Feb 22, 2009. 01:34 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Made in USA Is Alive and Well [View article]
    It's a shame that such strong productivity in the American labor market is not capitalized the way it should. Rather, excessive regulatory, tax, and union burdens render our capabilities less competitive in the global marketplace. Something as simple as the Fair Tax could revolutionize American manufacturing, making us the country companies flock to to produce goods.
    Feb 22, 2009. 06:08 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Acknowledging Our 'Animal Spirits' [View article]
    The goal of macroeconomics is to rationalize central body decision-making. Given its grandiose intentions and mediocre performance, it would be wise to question this new "role of government."

    Governments have done the most harm to societies and economies throughout history-no private entity can claim such extravagant carnage.
    Feb 21, 2009. 01:34 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Credit Card Cancer [View article]
    Our culture is largely shaped by federal policies encouraging consumerism and relying on credit. Congressional policies, HUD, tax preferences for consumption and debt, all the way down to Federal Reserve monetary policies warp society and destroy conservative fiscal values.
    Mar 14, 2009. 06:28 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jim Rogers on the Economy - Bearish on Stocks and Government [View article]
    31October, thank you for saying this! The American Republic is lost when people are branded "traitors" and called humiliating names for voicing dissenting opinions.

    America is more than a territorial boundary, in which everyone finding themselves within its borders can claim patriotism. True American patriotism is tolerance, self-sufficience, and the desire for the freedom afforded by respecting everyone enough to let them live their own lives.

    On Feb 13 10:52 AM 31October wrote:

    > "Please don't listen to this traitor."
    > If an American thinks the dollar could collapse from his government's
    > fraud, moves to protect his family, and spends years on TV trying
    > to alert the American sheeple to what is happening, then he is a
    > traitor? I guess Jefferson and Frankin must have been rat bastards,
    > too.
    > "Look, that jerk sold all his U.S. assets and moved to China." <br/>No,
    > he didn't.
    > "He's a runt, physically and morally."
    > That is a brilliant argument that summarizes the risks &amp; rewards
    > of a commodity-backed currency and tells the reader exactly how to
    > prepare for bank insolvency.
    > No more name calling. If you cannot understand concepts such as competitive
    > advantage, velocity of money, etc., then get off of a *financial
    > website.*
    Feb 13, 2009. 01:41 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Turning Nothing Into Something [View article]
    President Bush certainly messed up this country, more so than most presidents before him, but to blame one administration-or one man-takes focus off the larger problems our government is causing.

    We have a fundamentally flawed state in the U.S., with an unconstrained federal government that grows at its own volition. What it cannot raise through taxes, it spends by borrowing and printing. When it perpetuates inflationary policies that distort markets, causing excessive speculative booms, it blames market participants and heralds increased regulations and oversight to perpetuate the same.

    George Bush may have been the most recent president to pull the trigger and commit our armed forces, but so has every president before him, in some fashion. The Cold War is over, yet we still have a 1.1 million man standing army, spend over $750 billion on "defense," and maintain bases in 130 countries. This is an empire supported by deeply rooted, powerful lobbying forces that are part of a defunct system, not a single administration.

    American needs real reform, real change. The ousting of the Bush regime will only be followed by more of the same. The two party system is designed as such.

    On Jan 01 09:11 AM Ferdinand E. Banks wrote:

    > Interesting concept. In the last four years, thanks to Mr Bush and
    > a majority of American voters, the United States economy started
    > from something and has gone in the direction of nothing. Of course
    > it won't go all the way because as I pointed out in another comment,
    > the present macroeconomic and financial mess has NOTHING IN COMMON
    > was apparently not well received, but I don't worry too much about
    > that.
    > But if I did worry I would do like the author and take off for Paris,
    > which is only a couple of hours away; and the next time I travel
    > there I think that I will give a brilliant talk about the situation
    > now and the situation before and during the great depression. I might
    > even sit in the Pompidou and prepare my song and dance.
    Jan 1, 2009. 10:07 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • G20: The New Ideological Divide [View article]
    Short term political incentives align oh so well with Krugman's spend-and-pray theory. Activist politicians need to show they are doing "something," and it helps to buy votes in the process.
    Jun 29, 2010. 09:55 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This Is Just the Beginning [View article]
    Problem is that velocity of money will remain suppressed for only so long and the tools the Fed has to decrease the money supply (selling Treasuries) are not nearly as efficient as those it has to increase it. Sell bonds into a declining bond market will be tough and exacerbate the decline. There is no guarantee private buyers will be there to willingly soak up the issues.

    To use a currency to manipulate markets and economies is supremely arrogant. This is not the first or the last time in human history this will occur. The result is always the same.

    As far the the argument goes that the dollar can't decline b/c there are too many stakeholders: Think Roman aureus/denarius, tulip bulbs, dot-com stocks, real estate, and every other bubbled asset in history. There were always powerful stakeholders that lost fortunes from the collapse. The same will be true of all the wishful thinkers who hold USD and U.S. debt.

    On Feb 08 10:36 AM patio wrote:

    > - PS has lost his clients a lot of money; so far that is a fact

    > - He claims in this article the dollar rally has lost steam; that
    > is factually wrong to date. Just look at the current exchange rates.

    > - He claims in this article that the Fed has thrown trillions into
    > circulation; that is factually wrong, money velocity has not increased
    > at all. The money is being "hoarded" by banks that received it. To
    > define 'hoarding" , they are only making new loans to companies and
    > individuals that actually qualify, not a bad thing at all.
    > - The big guys, Japan, China, Saudis et al lose their collective
    > asses if the dollar declines precipitously, everyone loses not just
    > the US. Doesn't mean it won't happen, but their are strong headwinds
    > against it.
    > On Feb 08 10:25 AM Boubou wrote:
    Feb 8, 2009. 01:12 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Economic Meltdown: Dismantling, Yes; Doom, No [View article]
    America is in a strange position being a Republic that maintains an empire. Maintaining military bases in 130 countries (70,000 troops in Germany still!) holding a standing army of 1.1 million, and subsidizing our allies defense budgets is a recipe for disaster. We spend far too much money on defense.

    Be that as it may, military expenditures are one element of the problem. Congress acts like a group of kids without conception of budget limitations, the Federal Reserve acts like a Soviet price control committee, the money supply constantly increases, and public policy consistently encourages malinvestment and other bad behaviors.

    50+ years of this kind of bad policy has done wonders to destabilize our society.
    Dec 27, 2008. 11:22 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This Recession Is a Reset to a New Normal [View article]
    Excellent statement that sums up our present troubles:

    "A good portion of the GDP growth since 2000 was done with smoke and mirrors (or as economists call it - “credit”) – and it is that growth which this Great Recession is reclaiming."

    What the social engineers fail to realize in their hubris is that they cannot control nature. Attempting to do so has unintended consequences that are often worse than the temporary pain they attempt to conceal.
    Mar 22, 2009. 02:22 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pension Underfunding: The Next Earnings Shock? [View article]
    There's already some heated debate on this article, but the main premise is:

    1) Many pension plans are severely underfunded
    2) This will have a big impact on corporate earnings as cash requirements to adjust plan funding come due

    Bottom line is to tread carefully in the markets. Reality is that the federal government will likely stick its paws into yet another crisis brewing...
    Mar 8, 2009. 05:15 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • United Socialist States of America? Not Quite [View article]
    The more we scrutinize the government the better. As soon as we abdicate this right we lose an essential check on power. There is a reason America is far different from the old Soviet Union. Americans have long enjoyed unprecedented freedoms by limiting government's ability to inhibit our lives.

    From my perspective, America is falling down the government trap. We are increasingly delegating life functions to bureaucrats, and adopting a mentality that scorns criticism.

    In order to remain free we must be perpetually skeptical of those who wish to gain power over our lives-irrespective of their stated intentions-and remain ever vigilant in how they use these powers.
    Jan 1, 2009. 10:38 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is the Free Market System Broken? [View article]
    Todays' economic ills are not the result of free markets. So much of our economy has been distorted and politicized for decades that to call FNM, FRE, the Fed, Congressional edits, and thus far ~ $11T in deficit spending (fiscal stimulus?) attributable to free markets is nuts.

    If anything, the debilitated state in which we now find our economy is evidence that government intervention and political economics do, indeed, have long term consequences.

    It is a shame that the public's memory is so limited, and the economy so complex, that it is not easy to attribute direct consequence to each public policy. Too many politicians and bureaucrats get away without blame for decades of bad legislation and social engineering gone bad.
    May 11, 2009. 11:53 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment