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  Quotations - General  
[Quote No.34590] Need Area: Money > General
"Hard as it may appear in individual cases, dependent poverty ought to be held disgraceful." - Thomas Robert Malthus

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[Quote No.34632] Need Area: Money > General
"Every luxury must be paid for, and everything is a luxury, starting with being in the world. [There are no free lunches!]" - Cesare Pavese

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[Quote No.34637] Need Area: Money > General
"He who gives [charity] while he lives, gets to know where it goes." - Percy Ross

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[Quote No.34656] Need Area: Money > General
"The easiest way to be cheated is to believe yourself to be more cunning than others." - Pierre Charron

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[Quote No.34677] Need Area: Money > General
"Charity is injurious unless it helps the recipient become independent of it." - John D. Rockefeller

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[Quote No.34678] Need Area: Money > General
"Indiscriminate charity [that demands no effort or improvement from the recipients] is one of the most serious obstacles to the improvement of our race." - Andrew Carnegie
At one time the richest man in the world. Noted for giving to charity perhaps more than any human in history.
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[Quote No.34697] Need Area: Money > General
"What's the difference between a thief and a counterfeiter? A thief takes what is not his without another's consent. A counterfeiter passes off as genuine that which he knows to be a fraud. Or, in simpler terms, one is a politician and the other is a central banker." - Dan Denning

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[Quote No.34699] Need Area: Money > General
"The free market rewards those who are most productive, those who serve consumers most efficiently, whereas government intervention on behalf of consumers rewards those who produce the least and operate most inefficiently. Those opposed methods of reward have different effects on the production process; the market method encourages production, whereas the coercive government method takes away the incentive to produce. Which method will be most likely to alleviate poverty ought to be perfectly clear." - Paul L. Poirot

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[Quote No.34711] Need Area: Money > General
"The trifling economy of paper, as a cheaper medium, or its convenience for transmission, weighs nothing in opposition to the advantages of the precious metals... it is liable to be abused [that is debased through money printing in any form to produce inflation to make paying government debt easier, regardless of the corresponding damage to savers, but without the more obvious and politically damaging alternatives of raising taxes and reducing government spending once the socially and fiscally irresponsible excessive costs of unnecessary wars and middle-class welfare has been committed], has been, is, and forever will be abused, in every country in which it is permitted." - Thomas Jefferson
American founding father.
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[Quote No.34712] Need Area: Money > General
"As the supply of money (of claims) increases relative to the supply of tangible assets in the economy, prices must eventually rise [as more money chases the same goods]. Thus the earnings saved by the productive members of the society lose value in terms of goods [thereby reducing their incentives to work and contribute to their society above the bare minimum]. When the economy's books are finally balanced, one finds that this loss in value represents the goods purchased by the government for welfare or other purposes with the money proceeds of the government bonds financed by [the Federal Reserve] bank credit expansion [in essence a hidden tax of the assets of savers]...In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from [secret, forced] confiscation through inflation...Deficit spending [leading eventually to inflation in order to make paying government deficit and debt easier in the future] is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights [assets and therefore individual freedom from the tyranny of power-hungry, fiscally and eventually socially irresponsible governments]." - Alan Greenspan
Economist and later Chairman of the Federal Reserve, where he forgot about this previously astute quote and proceeded to cause along with others the 2009-11 Great Financial Crisis, second only to the Great Depression of the 1930's, by keeping interest rates artificially too low for too long encouraging a bubble in house and stock prices which when it burst created destitution, unemployment, havoc and misery.
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[Quote No.34714] Need Area: Money > General
"We could say [pick your government] spend money like drunken sailors, but that would be unfair to drunken sailors. It would be unfair, because the sailors are spending their own money." - Ronald Reagan

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[Quote No.34761] Need Area: Money > General
"Coming to grips with large financial numbers is hard. How can you imagine the difference between a million, a billion and a trillion? Here is the best way I know...turn dollars into seconds. Then one million seconds is about 12 days; one billion seconds about 32 years; and one trillion seconds about 31,688 years!" - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.34848] Need Area: Money > General
"[The US did briefly try communism but it was so unsuccessful they had to go to what works - individual responsibility, reward and punishment in the form of free market capitalism!] At last after much debate of things, the governor gave way that they should set corn everyman for his own particular... That had very good success for it made all hands very industrious, so much [more] corn was planted than otherwise would have been ... The experience that has had in this common course and condition, tried sundrie years, and that amongst Godly and sober men, may well evince the Vanities of the conceit of Plato's and other ancients, applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of propertie, and bringing into commone wealth, would make them happy and flourishing, as if they were wiser than God." - Governor William Bradford
Of Plimouth Plantation: 1620-1647 [1650]
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[Quote No.34865] Need Area: Money > General
"There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen. ... the bad economist pursues a small present good that will be followed by a great evil to come, while the good economist pursues a great good to come, at the risk of a small present evil." - Frederic Bastiat
1801 - 1850
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[Quote No.34870] Need Area: Money > General
"How did you go bankrupt? Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly." - Ernest Hemingway
'The Sun Also Rises'
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[Quote No.34880] Need Area: Money > General
"I favor the [fiscal] policy of economy, not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people. The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of the Government. Every dollar that we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much the more meager. Every dollar that we prudently save means that their life will be so much the more abundant. Economy is idealism in its most practical form." - Calvin Coolidge

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[Quote No.34893] Need Area: Money > General
"Freedom from effort in the present merely means that there has been effort stored up in the past." - Theodore Roosevelt
U.S. President
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[Quote No.34922] Need Area: Money > General
"Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one." - Benjamin Franklin

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[Quote No.34955] Need Area: Money > General
"Money is a good servant but a poor master." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.34969] Need Area: Money > General
"An inch of time cannot be bought with an inch of gold." - Chinese Proverb

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[Quote No.34978] Need Area: Money > General
"Any currency is: 1- a store of value primarily for past effort, but also for time and risk; 2- the power to trade in a market economy; 3- a fickle measure of a country's relative economic strength." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.35054] Need Area: Money > General
"The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists." - Ernest Hemingway

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[Quote No.35087] Need Area: Money > General
"I think there is only one quality worse than hardness of heart and that is softness of head." - Theodore Roosevelt

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[Quote No.35100] Need Area: Money > General
"[Have a clear will or else...] What you leave at your death, let it be without controversy, else the lawyers will be your heirs." - Frances Osborne

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[Quote No.35205] Need Area: Money > General
"Core CPI = Core Consumer Price Inflation is the inflation rate without considering volatile food and fuel expenses or in other words 'the cost-of-living measure designed for people who don't eat or consume energy'. It is very popular with well paid economists and politicians to explain to the hoi polloi that their lives are not difficult." - Anon

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[Quote No.35234] Need Area: Money > General
"[Government policies can effect prices. Here is a classic example from Austraia:] Doling out cash to first-home buyers hasn't made more of us [in Australia] home owners. It's hard to think of any government policy that has been pursued for so long, in the face of such incontrovertible evidence that it doesn't work, than the policy of giving cash to first-home buyers in the belief that doing so will promote home ownership. [Australian] Governments have been providing cash handouts to first-time home-buyers since 1964 - almost half a century. Yet, strikingly, the home ownership rate has never been higher than the 72 per cent recorded at the time of the 1961 census, three years before the first of these schemes began. At every census since then, it has fluctuated between a low of 68 per cent (in 1976) and 72 per cent (in 1971). At the past two censuses (in 2001 and 2006) it stood at 70 per cent. Indeed, the apparent stability of the overall home ownership rate conceals a substantial decline in home ownership rates among every age group below 50. Research by Sydney University's Judy Yates and Hal Kendig of Sydney University, and more recently by Joe Flood and Emma Baker of Flinders University, undertaken for the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, has shown that between the 1991 and 2006 censuses, home ownership rates dropped by between 5 and 7 percentage points among households headed by each of the five-year age cohorts between 25-29 and 45-49, by 4 percentage points among households headed by 50-54 year-olds, and by 2 percentage points among households headed by 55-59 year-olds. The only reason the overall home ownership rate has not fallen more dramatically is the substantial increase in the proportion of households headed by people aged 45 and over, among whom home ownership rates have always been significantly higher than among younger age groups. In other words, the billions of dollars spent on cash grants to first home buyers (and for the first nine years of the First-Home Owners Grant Scheme's operations, expenditure on those grants exceeded $10 billion) have spectacularly failed to achieve the objective of increasing home ownership rates. It is pretty obvious why. Cash grants and other forms of assistance to first-time home buyers have served simply to exacerbate the already substantial imbalance between the underlying demand for housing and the supply of it - an imbalance which, according to the National Housing Supply Council, amounted to a shortfall of more than 200,000 dwellings as at June last year. In those circumstances, cash handouts for first-home buyers have simply added to upward pressure on housing prices, enriching vendors whilst doing precisely nothing to assist young people (or anybody else) into home ownership. Contrast this with what happened during the 1950s and early 1960s, when the federal government provided low-interest loans to state governments to construct dwellings for sale to eligible first-home buyers. The home ownership rate rose from just under 53 per cent at the time of the 1947 census (a level unchanged from that reported in the first federal census in 1911) to, as noted earlier, 72 per cent at the time of the 1961 census. In other words, policies which added directly to the supply of housing worked. Policies which have, in effect, added only to the demand for housing (or, more strictly, increased the amount which people can afford to pay for housing), have conspicuously failed. Why, then, have governments persisted with policies which have so miserably failed to meet their ostensible goals? The answer is, surely, that since about 70 per cent of Australians live in homes which they (or members of their immediate family) already own, policies which make them feel richer (by inflating the value of what for most of them is their most important single investment) are much more popular than policies which might allow the small minority of Australians who don't at present own their own home, but would like to, to join them. If governments really wanted to do something about housing affordability, they would abolish cash grants to first home buyers, and 'quarantine' tax deductions for interest paid by landlords to the value of the rent received in any given financial year (with any excess carried forward against the capital gains tax liability when the property is sold), and use the resulting savings to assist local governments to reduce upfront charges imposed on developers, and in various other ways increase the supply of low-cost housing. But I'd put more money on the chance of Andrew Demetriou becoming an enthusiastic supporter of a Tasmanian team in the AFL. And even more on the chance of Ireland making the next round of the cricket World Cup. [The views expressed here are his own in response to the article published originally in the UK a day before and quoted here ... UK home buyers offered cash splash to enter market. First-home buyers in parts of Britain are being offered deposits of as much as 70,000 pounds ($113,000) by their local council to help them get on the property ladder, with taxpayers footing the bill if house prices fall. The controversial new mortgage deal is being launched by five local authorities and backed by Lloyds Banking Group, one of the lenders bailed out by UK taxpayers during the credit crisis. The scheme is aimed at struggling first-home buyers who are unable to afford the large deposits required by lenders concerned about borrowers defaulting on their loans. It has echoes of the housing boom in the run up to the credit crisis [2007 due to US sub-prime loans failing as US home prices fell around 30% over 3 years leaving the owners with no equity] when banks not only approved mortgages to those without a deposit, but even lent more than the value of the property. Experts warned lenders' efforts to offer innovative new deals to help first-time buyers could backfire if house prices fall. Under the scheme, if house prices fall and the property is repossessed, the money invested by the local authority could be lost. Drew Wotherspoon, of mortgage brokers John Charcol, said: 'Any scheme that looks to help the beleaguered first-time buyer is welcome, but the detail of this one looks a little odd. At a time where cuts are coming left, right and centre, and public sector jobs are falling like dominoes, using taxpayers' money to help people on the housing ladder seems wrong. If house prices do fall over the coming years then it seems the taxpayer will be out of pocket. That will be unpopular to say the very least.' Under the scheme, a buyer could potentially purchase a home for 350,000 pounds with a 20 per cent deposit from their local council of 70,000 pounds and a 5 per cent deposit from their own savings. Together, this would provide the 25 per cent deposit required by lenders to secure a preferential rate on their mortgage. Lloyds said a loan of 350,000 pounds was available but 'not reflective' of the scheme, as it expected, in reality, to lend much lower amounts. If a buyer bought a lower priced property of 120,000 punds, they would need to provide a 5 per cent deposit of 6,000 pounds and would be provided with 24,000 pounds from the council. Shortfall plan - The mortgage from Lloyds, which is the first lender to join the scheme, would be 114,000 pounds. But if the value of the property fell to 110,000 pounds and the borrower had their home repossessed, Lloyds would recoup the 4,000 pounds shortfall in the loan from the council. The scheme designers, Sector Treasury Services, insisted caps would be set by each local authority. The local authorities initially taking part in the scheme are Blackpool City Council, Warrington Borough Council, Northumberland County Council, Newcastle under Lyme Borough Council, and East Lothian Council. Cecilie Booth, director at Sector Treasury Services, said: 'The combination of relatively high house prices and understandable caution over lending from banks and building societies means that many potential first-time buyers, including those on the council's housing waiting list, or currently occupying affordable or social housing units, are unable to save a sufficient deposit, even though they could afford mortgage repayments on a typical first home.' 'This initiative is designed to bridge that gap. More people will be able to take the step of buying their first home, stimulating the local housing market and benefiting the wider local economy.' Stephen Noakes, commercial director of mortgages at Lloyds TSB, said: 'We know that a lot of young people turn to the Bank of Mum and Dad to get their foot on the ladder, but that's not a solution for everyone. Helping people to buy their first home is crucial in achieving and maintaining a sustainable housing market.' (It is interesting to note that the houses in Australia cost about 7 times an average persons gross annual salary, while in the rest of the world according to the real estate website demographia.com most countries have houses costing between 4 and 5 times. In Australia a number of economists have called the 'First Home Buyers Grant' the 'Vendors Grant' as it allows the owner to sell it for more than they would get otherwise without the grants and has been blamed for making Australian real estate at present the most unaffordable in the world and is a constantly criticised by those too poor to afford the massive mortgaages required even with the grants for the down payments.]" - Saul Eslake
Ex-bank economist. Now program director with the Australian economic thinktank, the Grattan Institute. Published in the Australian newspaper, 'The Sydney Morning Herald', March 16, 2011.
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[Quote No.35243] Need Area: Money > General
"Although gold dust is precious, when it [greed] gets in your eyes it obstructs your vision." - Hsi-Tang

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[Quote No.35244] Need Area: Money > General
"[All governments, bureaucrats, regulators and most importantly voters should remember that...] Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it. [Rarely are a few individuals - i.e. representational democracy - as wise or as incorruptable as a large number of people - i.e. true democracy! This is why free markets, including share markets, are preferred by most people, especially economists, to 'planned' economies.]" - Milton Friedman
Famous economist
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[Quote No.35258] Need Area: Money > General
"After a rich man gets rich, his next ambition is to get richer [usually. A bit like a body-builder always wanting to get stronger.]" - American Proverb

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[Quote No.35260] Need Area: Money > General
"Nature never said to me: Do not be poor; still less did she say: Be rich; her cry to me was always: Be independent." - Sebastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort

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[Quote No.35270] Need Area: Money > General
"Governments have no right to interfere with the [legal] pursuits of individuals, as guaranteed [in the US constitution and] by those general laws, by offering encouragements and granting privileges to any particular class of industry, or any select bodies of men, inasmuch as all classes of industry and all men are equally important to the general welfare, and equally entitled to protection. [Any other attitude encourages further unequal treatment of citizens and companies and encourages political corruption. Governments are best when they interfere least in all but providing protection against violence, theft, fraud and denial of their other inalienable human rights.]" - William Leggett

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[Quote No.35271] Need Area: Money > General
"There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen... the bad economist pursues a small present good that will be followed by a great evil to come, while the good economist pursues a great good to come, at the risk of a small present evil. [Therefore it is always important to judge success over the right time frame, one long enough to encompass not just its stimulative benefits but also its consequences. For example steroids. While they do help an athlete’s performance during a race, months and years later they cause strokes and other serious health problems, which are to most rational athletes much worse than the short-term benefits of winning a race.]" - Frederic Bastiat
(1801-1850)
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[Quote No.35275] Need Area: Money > General
"The wheel [of fortune] goes round and round, some are up and some are on the down, and still the wheel goes round." - Josephine Pollard

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[Quote No.35291] Need Area: Money > General
"Governments often cooperate politically, militarily and economically so long as there are sufficient benefits to all sides. An example of economic cooperation arranged politically was the Marshall Plan to help rebuild Europe after the Second World War through loans to decimated governments in Europe with many provisos including that they spent the money with US companies. Russia was offerred help too but found the accompanying political and economic conditions unacceptable [As the Bible says Proverbs 22:7 'The borrower is servant to the lender.'] Japan was not offerred anything similar but still managed to rebuild, although it was not allowed any armed forces which are always a big economic drain. It could be argued that a non-politically arranged system of mutually beneficial cooperation developed after the 1980's with the US and China, where Chinese cheap labour produced manufacturing goods that were sold to the US reducing the US double digit inflation rate and the consequential Chinese foreign [US] currency reserves from their trade surplus were invested into US bonds to keep the Chinese currency pegged to the US dollar - and thereby competitive - which helped keep interest rates in the US lower than they would have been otherwise and so fund cheaper loans for US citizens and businesses, which then bought more Chinese goods, etc - similar to vendor financing. Global economic cooperation continues in many ways including the regular G7 and G20 meetings, OECD, IMF, WTO, World Bank, foreign aid, free trade agreements, etc." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.35307] Need Area: Money > General
"[Central bankers, which have the task to keep inflation low, consider the key measure of inflation, non-core inflation - that is inflation of a basket of goods excluding the highly volatile food and fuel costs. Most average people consider this an inadequate measure of the inflation they have to cope with.] Consumers [in 2011] are plagued by continued high unemployment, weak home sales, and ongoing foreclosure problems. On top of this, their budgets are being squeezed by higher gas, broader energy, and food prices. While our Marie Antoinette Federal Reserve does not recognize food and energy inflation [an 'unexpected' unintended consequence of Bernanke's quantitative easing experiment to deflate the US dollar -in which oil is denominated - to increase competitiveness of US exporters and reinflate asset prices, especially share prices through increased liquidity-based speculation, after the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-9] as real inflation - apparently wanting us to eat cake as our bread and gas prices go up - such non-core inflation is likely to have an impact on consumers moving forward." - Peter Navarro
US economist. Quoted 23rd, March, 2011. [Reference to the Louis XVI's wife, Marie Antoinette's rumoured/attributed ivory-tower comment -'Let them eat cake!' - after being told that the people were without bread and were starving. She was later beheaded in the French Revolution.]
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[Quote No.35316] Need Area: Money > General
"[When people ask why governments in democracies do foolish things often the answer is that it is in their short-term interests. Simply they want to stay in power by keeping their power base happy for as long as possible. Is this the best thing for the community at large over the long-term? Often not! Then why do the majority of people continue to vote for the political party in power? The answer is wrapped up in the following quote by Alexander Tyler, Scottish history professor at The University of Edinborough, when he tried, in the year 1787, to explain the fall of the Athenian Republic B.C. 'A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury [and politicians realise that voters can be bought/bribed]. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most [immediate personal] benefits from the public treasury [and tax revenue, rather than those with the best long-term interests of the country and its citizens]'. This short-termism weakness in democracy is arguably occurring in 2011 as the following article explains.] As I have said from the outset of the ongoing efforts to fix the problems facing the world [after the Global Financial Crisis 2007-9]; austerity is a dish best served to somebody else, and we are now seeing that writ large [with riots and revolutions] in countries all across the world... This unrest and dissatisfaction with the enactment of measures designed to eventually bring back the good times is sweeping the world and is rapidly getting out of control. Governments are being faced with stark choices. Continue down the path of austerity [i.e. U.K. Government's fiscal restraint through spending cuts and tax increases] in the knowledge that it is the right thing to do for the electorate, but face up to the fact that you will be ridden out of town on a rail at the first available opportunity, or cave in to such populist anger and turn on the printing presses once again [with more Quantitative Easing in USA and UK]. Until now, the second of those options has been far and away the popular political choice, but with the soaring cost of staples [inflation all around the world] - a direct cause of this monetary largesse no matter what ANYBODY tries to tell you - starting to bite, the options - as well as the time - are running out fast. [Maybe it is time to 'bite-the-bullet' and not suggest or listen to those spruiking 'painless' solutions for their own reasons. Remember...] In any confidence trick, there are two parties. One is the ‘confidence man’ or ‘grifter’, the other is the ‘mark’. According to wikipedia: 'Confidence men or women exploit characteristics of the human psyche such as greed, both dishonesty and honesty, vanity, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility, naïveté, and the thought of trying to get something of value for nothing or for something far less valuable.' Look around you today [2011] and you will see an endless stream of politicians, Central Bankers and Heads of State telling us that things are on the mend and that we should be confident about the future. These people are most definitely trying everything they can to appeal to the human psyche. And as we know, there are two parties to every confidence trick...Hmmm! [People, including politicians but especially voters, need to stop and think about what is best for the long-term welfare of the majority and consider carefully why a healthy respect for 'living within their means', and if necessary austerity, was something their grandparents generation always considered a necessity to a safe, secure and happy life.]" - Grant Williams
From an introduction to his letter 'Things that Make You Go Hmmm'. Reprinted in John Mauldin, 'Outside the Box' E-Letter, 29th March, 2011.
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[Quote No.35339] Need Area: Money > General
"One of the things government can’t do is run anything. The only things our [US] government runs are the post office and the railroads, and both of them are bankrupt. [Politicians and bureaucrats aren't forced by a market to manage public money economically like private business successes are. Without this pressure they don't get their minds around value-for-money service, competing for customers or prioritising staff, effort and money to where it will give the biggest return. Therefore most successful countries try to reduce government involvement in servises and use free markets to compete to provide for the needs of their citizens. When governments try to do it themselves usually the service is poor and the expense too high, necessitating higher taxes than otherwise and usually more laws and force in order to stay in power and keep social order.]" - Lee Iacocca
Chairman of US car company the Crysler Corporation, taking it from bankruptcy to profitable success.
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[Quote No.35355] Need Area: Money > General
"Picture yourself as a loan officer for a moment. Then imagine a very nice and sincere, but obviously clueless, person comes to you and says, my husband and I earn $100,000 per year, and we have found the home of our dreams with everything we have always wanted. It's price is $3.5 million, and I am here to request a mortgage in that amount from you. What would you do? Would you laugh? Would you fall off of your chair? Maybe - but you would probably say: 'Do you realize that you are proposing to have a debt that is 35 times your family income? Do you have any idea what the debt services on that would be? Sorry - No, I cannot help you with that dream.' You know that is perfectly crazy. It would be impossible for that nice couple to ever service the debt. Well guess what, if you buy treasuries you are a loan officer for yourself, and the U.S. government is that clueless person looking for a loan from you. When you ask them for the financials, they look at you with sincere and clueless eyes and say, well we want to buy the society of our dreams and it only costs $75 trillion and we have an income of about $2 trillion. What would you do? Would you laugh? Would you fall off of your chair? Maybe - but you should probably say: 'No Way!' Let's see why. In today's Bloomberg, Bill Gross (who runs the world's largest bond fund) said that Treasuries 'have little value' because of the U.S. debt burden, which he cites as being $75 trillion when the present value of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid commitments are added to outstanding U.S. Treasuries. Warren Buffet recommends avoiding all long-term fixed income bets because the purchasing power of the US dollar will fall. He said, 'We are out-Greeking the Greeks' (referencing the sovereign debt crisis there). Gross said $75 trillion is about 5 times our GDP [Total tax take of GDP in a functioning free market economy are usually about 20% of GDP so the debt burden is 5 x 100/20 = 25 times government tax income]- a frightening number. But, let's make it a bit more frightening by comparing it to the money the Federal government actually has available to service that debt. According to the Tax Policy Institute and the White House websites, the 2011 Federal tax receipts from personal and corporate income taxes, and from Social Security and Medicare taxes, is projected to be $2.174 trillion. That means the $75 trillion debt burden is 34.5 times the total Federal tax receipts. That's an eye popper. To make it even worse, the composition of the Federal expense budget is currently 10.9% higher than receipts, meaning we are adding at least $1.645 trillion in additional debt this year (not counting increases in present value of social entitlements). Over the five years that follow (2012-2016) the additional deficit projected to be added to Treasury issuance is $3.769 trillion. So for the six years including 2011 - 2016, the NEW Treasury debt (not including additions to social entitlement present value obligations) is $5.414 trillion, or 2.5 times the entire Federal tax receipt projected for 2011. The current Federal budget, according to the White House website, is composed of approximately 66% 'Human Services' (Social Security, Medicare, etc); 20% Defense, and 5% interest payments; which together totals 91%. The remaining 9% is spent twice over, due to the deficit spending. Current Treasury debt is $14.2 trillion Current interest payments are $207 billion Therefore the average interest rate on outstanding debt is 1.46%. - not a high number, but likely to rise. As the interest rates rises, the cost of issuance for new debt and for rolling over old debt will rise, taking the interest payments to even higher levels, and absorbing more of the Federal budget. Nobody can payoff 35+ times their gross income in debt without default. The politicians are in a box. They are first and foremost concerned about re-election. They know they can't get re-elected if they tax enough to solve the problem, and such taxes would probably kill the golden goose anyway. They know they can't cut current social entitlements enough to solve the problem without the Wisconsin union protests looking like a minor league warm-up for what would happen in Washington, D.C., followed by their defeat at the polls. Therefore, once kicking the can down the road doesn't work any more, and cutting future social entitlements doesn't solve current needs to pay debts and balance budgets, what do they do? Simple - debase the currency and create inflation to pay fixed dollar obligations with ever more worthless currency. If you combine the probability of the U.S. solving its debt problem by debasing the currency (Quantitative Easing = money printing and the consequential inflation) as a better choice than outright default, with the negative real after-tax rates for most taxable investors on all maturities of Treasury debt, there just aren't any good reasons (other than very short-term parking during a panic) to own Treasuries. And this is NOT an April Fools joke!" - Richard Shaw
Seekingalpha.com, 1st April, 2011.
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[Quote No.35359] Need Area: Money > General
"[It is REALLY IMPORTANT that investors and citizens realise that their government deliberately lies, in financial matters as well as in matters of war and politics, as the following article shows:] In August 2007, as world financial markets were seizing up, domestic and foreign banks began lining up for cash from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. That Aug. 20, Commerzbank of Germany borrowed $350 million at the Fed’s discount window. Two days later, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and the Wachovia Corporation each received $500 million. As collateral for all these loans, the banks put up a total of $213 billion in asset-backed securities, commercial loans and residential mortgages, including second liens. Thus began the bank run that set off the financial crisis of 2008. But unlike other bank runs, this one was invisible to most Americans. Until last week, that is, when the Fed pulled back the curtain. Responding to a court ruling, it made public thousands of pages of confidential lending documents from the crisis. The data dump arose from a lawsuit initiated by Mark Pittman, a reporter at Bloomberg News, who died in November 2009. Upon receiving his request for details on the central bank’s lending, the Fed argued that the public had no right to know. The courts disagreed. The Fed documents, like much of the information about the crisis that has been pried out of reluctant government agencies, reveal what was going on behind the scenes as the financial storm gathered. For instance, they show how dire the banking crisis was becoming during the summer of 2007. Washington policy makers, meanwhile, were saying that the subprime crisis would subside with little impact on the broad economy and that world markets were highly liquid. [This was later proven to be untrue with the Great Financial Crash of 2008, second only to the Great Depression's Black October 1929 Crash in speed and severity!] For example, on July 23, 2007, Henry M. Paulson Jr., the Treasury secretary at the time, said the housing slump appeared to be 'at or near the bottom.' [House prices are still falling in 2011] Two days later, Timothy F. Geithner, then the president of the New York Fed, declared in a speech before the Forum on Global Leadership in Washington: 'Financial markets outside the United States are now deeper and more liquid than they used to be, making it easier for companies to raise capital domestically at reasonable cost.'... " - Gretchen Morgenson
Financial journalist. Extract from an article published in the 'New York Times', April 2, 2011.
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[Quote No.35368] Need Area: Money > General
"[Inflation and especially how it is measured the CPI, Consumer Price Index, which usually excludes the volatile food and oil prices, is particularly important for managing developing world political stability. Remember what Albert Einstein said, 'An empty stomach is not a good political adviser.'] The IMF has a report out supporting the predictability of my food riot/revolution index. It seems the rocket scientists there equate a 10% increase in global food prices to a 100% increase in anti-government protests. [For example there have been cost of living and democracy riots in Ireland, United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, and a civil war in Libya] That makes sense. They add an important consideration concerning the U.S. and other developed countries that addresses the large and growing poor population within those countries. In this case, the bottom quartile spends 35% of their income on food [According to the Statistical Bureau, Eurostat, IMF Developed economies spend 19%, Latin America 25%, Emerging Asia 32%, Emerging Europe 35%]. With 45 million people in the U.S. on food stamps, I'd say that data is now understated and dated. If we look at the increase on foodstuff commodities since last November of 25%, up 45% since last year, there is little wonder that increasing parts of the planet are unstable and troubled. Per IMF, this would equate to a tripling of the increase in protests, riots, revolutions and civil wars. In spirit, that seems to be precisely what has happened. With the index nearly breaking out once again to new highs, we may be soon looking to add another 50-100% factor (from another 5-10% food price increase) to the already sky high riot and revolution indicator. In effect, we could go from a 8 magnitude earthquake up to a 9, and set the stage for a long, hot summer. The Bank of Japan is out with a report examining the financialization of commodities. The amounts involved go far beyond normal economic demand considerations, and that is a key distinction to make here. I thought 2008 was bad enough, but today, the open interest in futures markets in the U.S. exceeds the 2008 CUB (crack up boom)[commodity fund speculation for investment profit rather than demand based supply]. In global markets, exposure far exceeds that of 2008. The net position of commodity index investors/speculators far exceeds that of 2008. With endless commodity account commercials and talking head commentary on busimerical TV and radio, the whole world looks all in and rather fearless on this central bank-hyped and crowded get-rich-quick trade. You can't turn on one of these networks without some 'expert' droning on about materials and commodities. Perhaps showing a bit of concern about the monster it helped create, the Fed rolled out so called moderates Lacker and Kocherlakota last Thursday with more 'talk' about the need to review the QE2 fuel being thrown on the fire, and perhaps take it off the table early or defer it. [Quantitative Easing is a US Federal Reserve policy to 'print' money to reduce borrowing costs which has devalued the US currency which increases the cost of US denominated commodities including oil - and food as oil is used in fertilizers and food transport.] The market, and especially the commodity sector, totally ignored this in the last half hour of trading and in overnight trading. After the news broke, CNBC ran another ('I am going to trade the world.') commodity trading account commercial . This illustrates the problem with this feeble 'talk loudly and wield a soft stick' or Pinocchio grow-your-nose gambit by the Fed. There is a universal belief that they don't have any inflation-fighting credibility and use incredulous dog-ate-the-homework excuses like 'global demand' [yes demand has increased as people eat more protein as their living standards improve] and 'weather' [yes there has been a wheat crop failure in China this year] to explain the carnage. Then when they fail to follow up with real decisive action; this just adds to the relentless crack up bid [on commodities, especially oil as riots have broken out in oil producing countries disrupting supply]. In fact given this psychology, should the central banks now act to counter this, especially given the historical volatility of commodities? A large pool of investor and financial institutions could face a large scale liquidation and resulting turmoil from their large exposures. " - Russ Winter
Seekingalpha.com, April 03, 2011. [http://seekingalpha.com/article/261507]
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[Quote No.35369] Need Area: Money > General
"[Inflation and especially how it is measured the CPI, Consumer Price Index, which usually excludes the volatile food and oil prices, is particularly important for managing developing world political stability. Remember what Albert Einstein said, 'An empty stomach is not a good political adviser.'] 'Food Inflation Foments Political Unrest. 100%: The increase in antigovernment protests associated with a 10% rise in global food prices.' Despotic leaders, entrenched inequality and new forms of communication have all played their roles in the political turmoil now shaking the Middle East. But new research by economists at the International Monetary Fund points to another potential contributor: global food prices. Looking at food prices and instances of political unrest from 1970 through 2007, the economists — Rabah Arezki and Markus Brueckner — find a significant relationship between the two in low-income countries, a group that includes Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan and Yemen. To be exact, a 10% increase in international food prices corresponds to an added 0.5 antigovernment protests over the following year in the low-income world — a twofold increase from the annual average. Given the recent trend in food prices, leaders of low-income countries — a group that also includes China — might have reason for concern. In February, global food prices were up 61% from their most recent low point in December 2008, according to the IMF. What’s more, the research suggests the effect of food prices has increased in recent years. Wealthy nations such as the U.S. appear to have less to fear. The economists found no correlation between food prices and political unrest in high-income countries. That said, not everybody in wealthy countries enjoys a high income. The 24 million American households in the bottom quintile [20% of the population] by income, for example, spend an average of 35% of their after-tax income on food, according to the Labor Department. Over the past three months, the price of food in the U.S. has risen at an annualized rate of about 5%. That’s not as bad as the rise in global food prices, but still enough to make a lot of people angry." - Mark Whitehouse
Wall Street Journal Blogs, March 26, 2011.
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[Quote No.35388] Need Area: Money > General
"A new form of inflation is increasingly described in the blogosphere. It better explains the pricing paradox Mr. Bernanke [US Federal Reserve Chairman, in charge of US monetary policy who is 'printing' money through Quantitative Easing'] has failed to embrace. It's called 'biflation.' Everything you already own — a house, a car, a stock portfolio [although this is now reflating but still below where it was before the Great Financial Crisis] — has rapidly declined in value. Everything you actually need to buy — food, gasoline, medicine, education — is going up." - Al Lewis
DJ Newswires April, 2011
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[Quote No.35389] Need Area: Money > General
"Core Fed Incompetency Guest For years the Federal Reserve has told us that in order to detect inflation in the economy it is important to separate 'signal from noise' by focusing on 'core' inflation statistics, which exclude changes in food and energy prices. Because food and energy figure so prominently into consumer spending, this maneuver is not without controversy. But the Fed counters the criticism by pointing to the apparent volatility of the broader 'headline' inflation figure, which includes food and energy. The Fed tells us that the danger lies in making a monetary policy mistake based on unreliable statistics. Being more stable (they tell us), the core is their preferred guide. Sounds reasonable...but it isn't. If it were truly just a question of volatility the Fed may have a point. But for headline inflation to be considered truly volatile, it must be evenly volatile both above and below the core rate of inflation over time. If such were the case, throwing out the high and the low could be a good idea. However, we have found that for more than a decade headline inflation has been consistently higher than core inflation. Once you understand this, it becomes much more plausible to argue that the Fed excludes food and energy not because those prices are volatile, but because they are high. If you talk about the grand sweep of Fed policy, it's fairly easy to fix the onset of our current monetary period with the onset of the dot.com recession of 2000. To prevent the economy from going further into recession at that time, the Fed began cutting interest rates farther and faster than at any other time in our history. During the ensuing 11 years, interest rates have been held consistently below the rate of inflation. Even when the economy was seemingly robust in the mid years of the last decade, monetary policy was widely considered accommodative. Over that time annual headline Consumer Price Index (CPI) data has been higher than the Core CPI 9 out of 11 years, or 81% of the time. Looking at the data another way, over that time frame, the U.S. dollar has lost 20% of its purchasing power if depreciated year by year using core inflation, and 24% if depreciated annually with headline inflation. The same pattern held during the inflationary period between 1977 thru 1980, when the Fed's massive money printing sent the headline inflation rate well above the core reading. The empirical evidence is abundantly clear. When the Fed is debasing the dollar, headline inflation rises faster than core. The reason for this is clear. Food and energy prices are closely exposed to commodity prices which have a strong negative correlation to the falling dollar that is created by expansionary policies. Data we have seen thus far in 2011 underscores the need to focus on headline inflation and to avoid the trap of relying on the relatively benign core. The difference between the core rate and headline rate of inflation was 0.6 percent in January and a full percentage point in February. If annualized those relatively small monthly disparities will become enormous. It is shocking how few Americans, even those with economic degrees and press credentials, fully appreciate the Fed's vested interest in reporting low inflation. With benign data in hand, Fed policy makers are given a free hand in adopting stimulative policies. Central bankers who shower liquidity on the economy earn the gratitude of their peers and the thanks of their political patrons. But once a central bank goes down the expansionary path to fight recession it is much easier to keep pumping money than to reverse course when inflation starts to bite into purchasing power. The sad truth is that the Fed's record low interest rates are once again causing food and energy prices to rise much faster than core items. Bernanke is focusing on the core just as we need him to focus on the headline. It's time for the Fed to stop hiding behind flimsy statistical juggling and to start protecting the value of our dollar, which unfortunately is in free fall no matter what statistics one chooses to use." - Michael Pento
Euro Pacific Capital, Published in FNArena News - April 06 2011.
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[Quote No.35390] Need Area: Money > General
"Central to Keynesian theory is that just as governments should increase spending going into a recession, once growth and prosperity have been restored, they need to restrain expenditure, budget for surpluses and reduce debt...Just as we supported demand during the global recession, we're making way for private demand in the expansion." - Wayne Swan
Labor politician, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer of Australia. Published in the Sydney Morning Herald, April 9, 2011.
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[Quote No.35474] Need Area: Money > General
"Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man or order of men. [This is of course true for women too!]" - Adam Smith

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[Quote No.35499] Need Area: Money > General
"The boom produces impoverishment [and bust in the end, especially to those late to the party]. But still more disastrous are its moral ravages. It makes people despondent and dispirited. The more optimistic they were under the illusory prosperity of the boom, the greater is their despair and their feeling of frustration. The individual is always ready to ascribe his good luck to his own efficiency and to take it as a well-deserved reward for his talent, application, and probity. But reverses of fortune he always charges to other people, and most of all to the absurdity of social and political institutions [or groups]. He does not blame the [powers-in-charge, the government] authorities for having fostered the boom. He reviles them [or another suitable scapegoat, often identified by the government to deflect blame, for example the 'Jews' in Nazi Germany, or the 'rich, exploitative, greedy banks and short-sellers' in 2008] for the inevitable collapse. In the opinion of the public, more inflation and more credit expansion are the only remedy against the evils which inflation and credit expansion [encouraged by the government authorities for political reasons and supported by dubious economic theories, which created the boom and the consequential misallocation of funds before the bust] have brought about. [Only by teaching the general public more about sustainable free market economics can the human and economic tragedies of the boom-bust cycle be better understood and thereby mitigated. This should also enable them to better judge, support and vote for what is good for the economy in the long run rather than be deceived by the latest pleasant sounding sophistry from the power hungry and ignorant.]" - Ludwig von Mises
Famous Austrian economist. Quote from his book, 'Human Action', 1949.
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[Quote No.35511] Need Area: Money > General
"[All philanthropists should remember...] It is not helpful to help a friend by putting coins in his pockets when he has got holes in his pockets." - Douglas Hurd

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[Quote No.35512] Need Area: Money > General
"There's only one place where inflation is made: that's Washington [Government].... In response to pressures from people at large ... the voting public ... ask their Congressmen [local political representative] to enact goodies in the form of spending, but they are unhappy about having taxes raised [on themselves - others especially the 'middle class' or 'rich' is fine] to pay for those goodies." - Milton Friedman
Famous economist. Quote from 'U.S. News & World Report', March 7, 1977.
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[Quote No.35514] Need Area: Money > General
"[Inflation and the business cycle:] The old line is that the cure for high prices is high prices. When prices rise [due to increased demand for the same supply], businesses tend to respond by producing more [to meet demand - this increased productivity increases the margin per unit and total business profit and price increases can be delayed in order not to put demand off. As input costs, ie commodities cost more and more workers are needed (unemployment falls) and demand more income, margins fall and these costs are passed on to consumers as prices are raised]. If the price of something gets too high, then people buy less, which then leads to too much supply, which lowers prices [as the businesses try to reduce inventory levels and costs of which the greatest is usually labor so workers are laid off (unemployment rises)]." - John Mauldin

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[Quote No.35559] Need Area: Money > General
"If a government resorts to inflation, that is, creates money in order to cover its budget deficits or expands credit in order to stimulate business, then no power on earth, no gimmick, device, trick or even indexation can prevent its economic consequences." - Henry Hazlitt

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