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  • Understanding Why Austrian Economics Is Flawed [View article]
    Austrian economics isn't a science, it's a religion, it's completely impervious to any kind of counterfactual and it's adherents have a habit of quoting dead economist as if it's some kind of eternal truth brought from the gods and then go on raving against governments and central banks.

    The saddest thing is that these free-marketeers have no clue how real markets work, that is, that they can also fail. At least Hayek was aware of that.

    If one needs proof go to the comment section of ZeroHedge which is full of crackpot conspiracy theorists, or consider what their beloved gold standard did in the 1930s or today's eurozone (EMU works very similarly).
    Sep 11, 2013. 11:30 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The U.S. Banking System's Terrifying Balance Sheet [View article]
    Are we to believe that it is possible that ALL outstanding credit will default?
    That really is nonsense:
    Apr 8, 2009. 11:50 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Top 20% Of US Earners Pay For All Transfer And Government [View article]
    ["If you have to paid in order to be equal ( or free), you are never going to be equal ( or free)."]

    If you want to be free, why not start with abolishing all traffic lights?
    Nov 19, 2014. 02:54 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Bond Markets Vs. Peter Schiff [View article]
    We're almost at the end already with a clear schedule to the end so this should mostly be priced in already. Bonds have gone up, not down.

    Now, I know that bonds cannot go down forever and stocks won't go up forever, but the apocalyptic predictions one read from the likes of Schiff and some other Austrian oriented writers, so far they've come up dry.
    Aug 14, 2014. 06:08 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Big Oil Under Serious Threat [View article]
    ["Given that the climate 'models' have been shockingly incorrect, science questions the hypotheses and adjusts the experiment and hypothesis thusly."]

    Again one who plays for climate scientist without having any credentials and lashing out at others..
    May 9, 2014. 09:44 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Wal-Mart Economy [View article]
    Jake, your comment is worthy of a separate article, no doubt. It's refreshing to see people actually look at facts and think for themselves. Too few people do that.

    I'm a little bit wanting in that respect as I've become a "circumstantial" Keynesian (that is, I sort of recognized the post 2008 situation as one in which a lack of demand was the main reason for sluggish growth, caused by a $9 trillion decline in house values and subsequent deleveraging and secondary round effects. Also a Keynesian framework was generally better explaining a few counter-intuitive stylized facts post 2008).

    As such, I would have preferred a much bigger, and better designed fiscal stimulus, but I'm aware of the political pitfalls and inability of the political system to draw up an effective spending program (biggest bang for the buck, rather than biggest amount of votes or lobbying dollars), but I would still have preferred that to QE. In theory, a well designed fiscal stimulus could have boosted demand in a much more effective way (when even the IMF argues multipliers are way bigger and well above 1 under the present zero-interest rate circumstances) and reinforced the economic structure at the same time.

    But I've discovered there are structural elements at work as well that tend to reinforce this:
    - deïndustrialization decreases the capital intensity of production, by itself, that leads to a slowdown of productivity growth
    - a categorial shift in income distribution that tends to reinforce the demand problem
    - a global savings glut that reinforces the demand problem

    I'm also aware of the shortcomings of ACA and Dodd-Frank, but with regards to the first, it's simply not acceptable (and economically dysfunctional) to have tens of millions of people uninsured or people rejected on pre-conditions (as basically the only advanced economy in the world), and with regard to the second, clearly something had to be done as the financial sector had reached the point of diminishing, and quite possibly the point of negative returns.

    My preferred "solution" is to make many more people shareholders, starting with many more employees in some form of gainsharing (which can have mild positive effects on productivity as well). It's not a panacea, I'm well aware of that.
    Mar 6, 2014. 01:32 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why We Are Keynesians [View article]
    ["Krugman's claim to forecasting supremacy may be convenient for your argument but it doesn't stand up to scrutiny. It doesn't even come close - the guy recommended a housing bubble for Christ's sake"]

    This simply isn't true. Here is what Dean Baker had to say about that:
    ["When Someone Says Paul Krugman Called for Greenspan to Create a Housing Bubble Back in 2002, They are Trying to Say That They are Either a Fool or a Liar"]

    I'll be happy if you can show me non-Keynesian models that predicted in 2009:
    - no rise in inflation, despite massive expansionary monetary policy
    - record low bond yields despite massive public sector deficits and debts
    - no dollar collapse despite the above

    I'm quite hard pressed to see any economic school arguing such stuff
    Jan 24, 2014. 05:36 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why We Are Keynesians [View article]
    ["I think the issue that causes so much consternation around the Keynesian model is governments have a nasty habit of failing to run a surplus budget after the crunch/recession ends. After 4-5-6 stimulus cycles the debt load becomes crushing"]

    Not necessarily. Fiscal stimulus is usually temporary, a couple of years. Also, you might familiarize yourself with the basics of public sector financial constraints. These show that you don't really need to run a budget surplus for public finances to stabilize.

    With a 3% deficit and 5% nominal growth, public debt converges on 60% of GDP, with a 2% deficit it converges on 40% of GDP.
    Jan 24, 2014. 04:02 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Ticking Time Bomb Under The World Economy [View article]
    ["Argentina can print their way out and inflation is already wreaking havoc there as their citizens look to the street vendor to acquire U.S. dollars by discounting their local currency (Peso) by 30%"]

    They had one of the fastest recovery's from one of the biggest financial shocks. That was 2001. Inflation only started to be a problem from 2007 onward, and there really isn't any necessary relation between the two.

    In 2007, the economy was basically producing at full capacity, and instead of pushing the brakes, they pushed the accelerator and started to doctor the inflation figures.

    The bad policy choices post 2007 should not hide the fact that 2001-2007 they really did MUCH better than any eurozone periphery country, and the mistakes post 2007 were not predicated on this in any way.
    Jan 2, 2014. 03:08 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Ticking Time Bomb Under The World Economy [View article]
    ["Very shallow reply. Many new members have joined since creation of the Euro, and the Euro's success is evidenced by the fact that many non-members (like Hungary) will continue using the Euro as a parallel currency until they are strong enough to make the switch."]

    Sorry to have disappointed you, but much of our argument is actually in the article itself.

    Yes, there are countries that are small, depending disproportionally on foreign trade, and having a burdensome geopolitical past for which the euro could make some sense, we never denied that.

    What we do argue is that the euro has created a low growth equilibrium in which debt/GDP keeps on rising for much of the periphery, and that this situation can't continue much longer.
    Jan 2, 2014. 02:29 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • NQ Mobile: When Emotion Trumps Reason, Opportunity Arises [View article]
    ["But upon further examination the letter is actually a veiled attempt to discredit all independent special committees"]

    Yes, that was also my initial conclusion and I'm still standing by that. One could even argue it's a veiled admission of retreat. Here is the playbook:
    - Make big complex claims of fraud which can't be instantly assessed so they create panic and a selloff
    - Shift the burden of proof onto the defenders
    - Try to discredit whatever proof is offered
    - Thereby frame the security as controversial and better to be avoided.

    Seen it in action quite a few times already..
    Dec 31, 2013. 11:55 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Krugman Versus ZeroHedge [View article]
    Gentlemen, could we all stay civil. SA is one of the last fora where different schools of economic thought can meet and discuss, lets not break that..
    Nov 16, 2013. 05:45 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Reality Check For Peter Schiff II [View article]
    ["It seems like you prefer a powerful Centralized economic system controlled by a few bankers."]

    It depends to a considerable extent on circumstances. I start off from the market, but then I see market failures, some of which require intervention by the government (like now, keeping demand close to capacity).

    I don't think I've ever written anything that could be interpreted as being in favor of a centralized system controlled by a few bankers..

    ["The reality is that Peter realizes that free market economy is utopian in nature."]

    Yes, and I'm distinctly anti-utopian. I'm simply trying to sift through evidence on different policy actions in different countries, combined with economic studies as to their likely outcomes, to see what works.
    Nov 11, 2013. 10:28 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Reality Check For Peter Schiff II [View article]
    ["I realize that you think free market economic theory is not preferable to a centralized fascist state"]

    I'm not trying to make big claims like that, just sifting through the evidence to assess different economic policy options and their likely outcomes.
    Nov 11, 2013. 09:53 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Exactly Is So Objectionable About Obamacare? [View article]
    ["Govt should enforce contracts and uphold the laws, provide a defense and infrastructure to its citizens."]

    Infrastructure, did you just say infrastructure??!

    ["In 2013, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the country a “D” grade for the state of its roads, dams, transit, aviation, and school infrastructure, estimating that $3.6 trillion in investment is needed by 2020"]

    But, somehow, I have a feeling you're not enthusiastic of remedying some of that, prefering free market "solutions":
    Oct 11, 2013. 12:32 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment