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[Quote No.35566] Need Area: Money > General
"[Monetary policy along with fiscal policy are two very powerful ways a government can influence a country's economy. When a country has the status of having the predominantly traded currency, the global reserve currency, in which many commodites are valued - ie oil and metals are measured and paid for in US dollars - then that country's monetary and fiscal policy can significanrtly effect other countries' economies, including exporting and importing inflation and effecting the price competitiveness of their traded goods and therefore their real Gross National Product and through these the standard of living of its citizens. Here is a speech given before the U.S. House of Representatives, by Congressman Ron Paul who stated that the United States’ dollar dominance is coming to an end...and when this paper money runs out, wealth and political stability is lost.] 'The End of [US] Dollar Hegemony', Part I: A hundred years ago it was called 'dollar diplomacy.' After World War II, and especially after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, that policy evolved into 'dollar hegemony.' But after all these many years of great success, our dollar dominance is coming to an end. It has been said, rightly, that he who holds the gold makes the rules. In earlier times it was readily accepted that fair and honest trade required an exchange for something of real value. First it was simply barter of goods. Then it was discovered that gold held a universal attraction, and was a convenient substitute for more cumbersome barter transactions. Not only did gold facilitate exchange of goods and services, it served as a store of value for those who wanted to save for a rainy day. Though money developed naturally in the marketplace, as governments grew in power they assumed monopoly control over money. Sometimes governments succeeded in guaranteeing the quality and purity of gold, but in time governments learned to outspend their revenues. New or higher taxes always incurred the disapproval of the people, so it wasn't long before Kings and Caesars learned how to inflate their currencies by reducing the amount of gold in each coin -- always hoping their subjects wouldn't discover the fraud. But the people always did, and they strenuously objected. This helped pressure leaders to seek more gold by conquering other nations. The people became accustomed to living beyond their means, and enjoyed the circuses and bread. Financing extravagances by conquering foreign lands seemed a logical alternative to working harder and producing more. Besides, conquering nations not only brought home gold, they brought home slaves as well. Taxing the people in conquered territories also provided an incentive to build empires. This system of government worked well for a while, but the moral decline of the people led to an unwillingness to produce for themselves. There was a limit to the number of countries that could be sacked for their wealth, and this always brought empires to an end. When gold no longer could be obtained, their military might crumbled. In those days those who held the gold truly wrote the rules and lived well. That general rule has held fast throughout the ages. When gold was used, and the rules protected honest commerce, productive nations thrived. Whenever wealthy nations -- those with powerful armies and gold -- strived only for empire and easy fortunes to support welfare at home, those nations failed. Today the principles are the same, but the process is quite different. Gold no longer is the currency of the realm; paper is. The truth now is: 'He who prints the money makes the rules' -- at least for the time being. Although gold is not used, the goals are the same: compel foreign countries to produce and subsidize the country with military superiority and control over the monetary printing presses. Since printing paper money is nothing short of counterfeiting, the issuer of the international currency [global reserve currency] must always be the country with the military might to guarantee control over the system. This magnificent scheme seems the perfect system for obtaining perpetual wealth for the country that issues the de facto world currency. The one problem, however, is that such a system destroys the character of the counterfeiting nation's people -- just as was the case when gold was the currency and it was obtained by conquering other nations. And this destroys the incentive to save and produce, while encouraging debt and runaway welfare. The pressure at home to inflate the currency comes from the corporate welfare recipients, as well as those who demand handouts as compensation for their needs and perceived injuries by others. In both cases personal responsibility for one's actions is rejected. When paper money is rejected, or when gold runs out, wealth and political stability are lost. The country then must go from living beyond its means to living beneath its means, until the economic and political systems adjust to the new rules -- rules no longer written by those who ran the now defunct printing press. 'Dollar Diplomacy,' a policy instituted by William Howard Taft and his Secretary of State Philander C. Knox, was designed to enhance U.S. commercial investments in Latin America and the Far East. McKinley concocted a war against Spain in 1898, and (Teddy) Roosevelt's corollary to the Monroe Doctrine preceded Taft's aggressive approach to using the U.S. dollar and diplomatic influence to secure U.S. investments abroad. This earned the popular title of 'Dollar Diplomacy.' The significance of Roosevelt's change was that our intervention now could be justified by the mere 'appearance' that a country of interest to us was politically or fiscally vulnerable to European control. Not only did we claim a right, but even an official U.S. government 'obligation' to protect our commercial interests from Europeans. This new policy came on the heels of the 'gunboat' diplomacy of the late 19th century, and it meant we could buy influence before resorting to the threat of force. By the time the 'dollar diplomacy' of William Howard Taft was clearly articulated, the seeds of American empire were planted. And they were destined to grow in the fertile political soil of a country that lost its love and respect for the republic bequeathed to us by the authors of the Constitution. And indeed they did. It wasn't too long before dollar 'diplomacy' became dollar 'hegemony' in the second half of the 20th century. This transition only could have occurred with a dramatic change in monetary policy and the nature of the dollar itself. Congress created the Federal Reserve System in 1913. Between then and 1971 the principle of sound money was systematically undermined. Between 1913 and 1971, the Federal Reserve found it much easier to expand the money supply at will for financing war or manipulating the economy with little resistance from Congress -- while benefiting the special interests that influence government. Dollar dominance got a huge boost after World War II. We were spared the destruction that so many other nations suffered, and our coffers were filled with the world's gold. But the world chose not to return to the discipline of the gold standard, and the politicians applauded. Printing money to pay the bills was a lot more popular than taxing or restraining unnecessary spending. In spite of the short-term benefits, imbalances were institutionalized for decades to come. The 1944 Bretton Woods agreement solidified the dollar as the preeminent world reserve currency, replacing the British pound. Due to our political and military muscle, and because we had a huge amount of physical gold, the world readily accepted our dollar (defined as 1/35th of an ounce of gold) as the world's reserve currency. The dollar was said to be 'as good as gold,' and convertible to all foreign central banks at that rate. For American citizens, however, it remained illegal to own. This was a gold-exchange standard that from inception was doomed to fail. The U.S. did exactly what many predicted she would do. She printed more dollars for which there was no gold backing. But the world was content to accept those dollars for more than 25 years with little question - until the French and others in the late 1960s demanded we fulfill our promise to pay one ounce of gold for each $35 they delivered to the U.S. Treasury. This resulted in a huge gold drain that brought an end to a very poorly devised pseudo-gold standard. It all ended on August 15, 1971, when Nixon closed the gold window and refused to pay out any of our remaining 280 million ounces of gold. In essence, we declared our insolvency and everyone recognized some other monetary system had to be devised in order to bring stability to the markets. Amazingly, a new system was devised which allowed the U.S. to operate the printing presses for the world reserve currency with no restraints placed on it - not even a pretense of gold convertibility, none whatsoever! Though the new policy was even more deeply flawed, it nevertheless opened the door for dollar hegemony to spread. Realizing the world was embarking on something new and mind boggling, elite money managers, with especially strong support from U.S. authorities, struck an agreement with OPEC to price oil in U.S. dollars exclusively for all worldwide transactions. This gave the dollar a special place among world currencies and in essence 'backed' the dollar with oil. In return, the U.S. promised to protect the various oil-rich kingdoms in the Persian Gulf against threat of invasion or domestic coup. This arrangement helped ignite the radical Islamic movement among those who resented our influence in the region. The arrangement gave the dollar artificial strength, with tremendous financial benefits for the United States. It allowed us to export our monetary inflation by buying oil and other goods at a great discount as dollar influence flourished. This post-Bretton Woods system was much more fragile than the system that existed between 1945 and 1971. Though the dollar/oil arrangement was helpful, it was not nearly as stable as the pseudo gold standard under Bretton Woods. It certainly was less stable than the gold standard of the late 19th century. During the 1970s the dollar nearly collapsed, as oil prices surged and gold skyrocketed to US$800 an ounce. By 1979 interest rates of 21% were required to rescue the system. The pressure on the dollar in the 1970s, in spite of the benefits accrued to it, reflected reckless budget deficits and monetary inflation during the 1960s. The markets were not fooled by LBJ's claim that we could afford both 'guns and butter.' Once again the dollar was rescued, and this ushered in the age of true dollar hegemony lasting from the early 1980s to the present [2007]. With tremendous cooperation coming from the central banks and international commercial banks, the dollar was accepted as if it were gold. Fed Chair Alan Greenspan, on several occasions before the House Banking Committee, answered my challenges to him about his previously held favorable views on gold by claiming that he and other central bankers had gotten paper money -- i.e. the dollar system -- to respond as if it were gold. Each time I strongly disagreed, and pointed out that if they had achieved such a feat they would have defied centuries of economic history regarding the need for money to be something of real value. He smugly and confidently concurred with this. In recent years central banks and various financial institutions, all with vested interests in maintaining a workable fiat dollar standard, were not secretive about selling and loaning large amounts of gold to the market even while decreasing gold prices raised serious questions about the wisdom of such a policy. They never admitted to gold price fixing, but the evidence is abundant that they believed if the gold price fell it would convey a sense of confidence to the market, confidence that they indeed had achieved amazing success in turning paper into gold. Increasing gold prices historically are viewed as an indicator of distrust in paper [fiat] currency. This recent effort was not a whole lot different than the U.S. Treasury selling gold at $35 an ounce in the 1960s, in an attempt to convince the world the dollar was sound and as good as gold. Even during the Depression, one of Roosevelt's first acts was to remove free market gold pricing as an indication of a flawed monetary system by making it illegal for American citizens to own gold. Economic law eventually limited that effort, as it did in the early 1970s when our Treasury and the IMF tried to fix the price of gold by dumping tons into the market to dampen the enthusiasm of those seeking a safe haven for a falling dollar after gold ownership was re-legalized. Once again the effort between 1980 and 2000 to fool the market as to the true value of the dollar proved unsuccessful. In the past 5 years [2002-07] the dollar has been devalued in terms of gold by more than 50%. You just can't fool all the people all the time, even with the power of the mighty printing press and money creating system of the Federal Reserve. Even with all the shortcomings of the fiat monetary system, dollar influence thrived. The results seemed beneficial, but gross distortions built into the system remained. And true to form, Washington politicians are only too anxious to solve the problems cropping up with window dressing, while failing to understand and deal with the underlying flawed policy. Protectionism, fixing exchange rates, punitive tariffs, politically motivated sanctions, corporate subsidies, international trade management, price controls, interest rate and wage controls, super-nationalist sentiments, threats of force, and even war are resorted to-all to solve the problems artificially created by deeply flawed monetary and economic systems." - Ron Paul
(born August 20, 1935), Ronald Ernest 'Ron' Paul is an American Medical Doctor and Republican U.S. Congressman for the 14th congressional district of Texas. He enjoys a national reputation as the premier advocate for liberty in US politics today. Dr. Paul is the leading spokesman in Washington for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies based on commodity-backed currency. He is known among both his colleagues in Congress and his constituents for his consistent voting record in the House of Representatives: Dr. Paul never votes for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution. In the words of former Treasury Secretary William Simon, Dr. Paul is the 'one exception to the Gang of 535' on Capitol Hill. Quote from 'The Daily Reckoning', Thursday, May 31, 2007. Google also 'currency wars' and 'petrodollars/petroeuros'.
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[Quote No.35567] Need Area: Money > General
"[Monetary policy along with fiscal policy are two very powerful ways a government can influence a country's economy. When a country has the status of having the predominantly traded currency, the global reserve currency, in which many commodites are valued - ie oil and metals are measured and paid for in US dollars - then that country's monetary and fiscal policy can significanrtly effect other countries' economies, including exporting and importing inflation and effecting the price competitiveness of their traded goods and therefore their real Gross National Product and through these the standard of living of its citizens. Here is a speech given before the U.S. House of Representatives, by Congressman Ron Paul who stated that the United States’ dollar dominance is coming to an end...and when this paper money runs out, wealth and political stability is lost.] 'The End of [US] Dollar Hegemony', Part II: In the short run, the issuer of a fiat reserve currency can accrue great economic benefits. In the long run, it poses a threat to the country issuing the world currency. In this case that’s the United States. As long as foreign countries take our dollars in return for real goods, we come out ahead. This is a benefit many in Congress fail to recognize, as they bash China for maintaining a positive trade balance with us. But this leads to a loss of manufacturing jobs to overseas markets, as we become more dependent on others and less self-sufficient. Foreign countries accumulate our dollars due to their high savings rates, and graciously loan them back to us at low interest rates to finance our excessive consumption. It sounds like a great deal for everyone, except the time will come when our dollars – due to their depreciation – will be received less enthusiastically or even be rejected by foreign countries. That could create a whole new ballgame and force us to pay a price for living beyond our means and our production. The shift in sentiment regarding the dollar has already started, but the worst is yet to come. The agreement with OPEC in the 1970s to price oil in dollars has provided tremendous artificial strength to the dollar as the preeminent reserve currency. This has created a universal demand for the dollar, and soaks up the huge number of new dollars generated each year. Last year alone M3 increased over $700 billion. The artificial demand for our dollar, along with our military might, places us in the unique position to 'rule' the world without productive work or savings, and without limits on consumer spending or deficits. The problem is, it can’t last. Price inflation is raising its ugly head, and the NASDAQ bubble – generated by easy money – has burst. The housing bubble likewise created is deflating. Gold prices have doubled, and federal spending is out of sight with zero political will to rein it in. The trade deficit last year was over $728 billion. A $2 trillion war is raging, and plans are being laid to expand the war into Iran and possibly Syria. The only restraining force will be the world’s rejection of the dollar. It’s bound to come and create conditions worse than 1979-1980, which required 21% interest rates to correct. But everything possible will be done to protect the dollar in the meantime. We have a shared interest with those who hold our dollars to keep the whole charade going. Greenspan, in his first speech after leaving the Fed, said that gold prices were up because of concern about terrorism, and not because of monetary concerns or because he created too many dollars during his tenure. Gold has to be discredited and the dollar propped up. Even when the dollar comes under serious attack by market forces, the central banks and the IMF surely will do everything conceivable to soak up the dollars in hope of restoring stability. Eventually they will fail. Most importantly, the dollar/oil relationship has to be maintained to keep the dollar as a preeminent currency. Any attack on this relationship will be forcefully challenged – as it already has been. In November 2000 Saddam Hussein demanded Euros for his oil. His arrogance was a threat to the dollar; his lack of any military might was never a threat. At the first cabinet meeting with the new administration in 2001, as reported by Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, the major topic was how we would get rid of Saddam Hussein – though there was no evidence whatsoever he posed a threat to us. This deep concern for Saddam Hussein surprised and shocked O’Neill. It now is common knowledge that the immediate reaction of the administration after 9/11 revolved around how they could connect Saddam Hussein to the attacks, to justify an invasion and overthrow of his government. Even with no evidence of any connection to 9/11, or evidence of weapons of mass destruction, public and congressional support was generated through distortions and flat out misrepresentation of the facts to justify overthrowing Saddam Hussein. There was no public talk of removing Saddam Hussein because of his attack on the integrity of the dollar as a reserve currency by selling oil in Euros. Many believe this was the real reason for our obsession with Iraq. I doubt it was the only reason, but it may well have played a significant role in our motivation to wage war. Within a very short period after the military victory, all Iraqi oil sales were carried out in dollars. The Euro was abandoned. In 2001, Venezuela’s ambassador to Russia spoke of Venezuela switching to the Euro for all their oil sales. Within a year there was a coup attempt against Chavez, reportedly with assistance from our CIA. After these attempts to nudge the Euro toward replacing the dollar as the world’s reserve currency were met with resistance, the sharp fall of the dollar against the Euro was reversed. These events may well have played a significant role in maintaining dollar dominance. It’s become clear the U.S. administration was sympathetic to those who plotted the overthrow of Chavez, and was embarrassed by its failure. The fact that Chavez was democratically elected had little influence on which side we supported. Now, a new attempt is being made against the petrodollar system. Iran, another member of the 'axis of evil,' has announced her plans to initiate an oil bourse in March of this year. Guess what, the oil sales will be priced Euros, not dollars. Most Americans forget how our policies have systematically and needlessly antagonized the Iranians over the years. In 1953 the CIA helped overthrow a democratically elected president, Mohammed Mossadeqh, and install the authoritarian Shah, who was friendly to the U.S. The Iranians were still fuming over this when the hostages were seized in 1979. Our alliance with Saddam Hussein in his invasion of Iran in the early 1980s did not help matters, and obviously did not do much for our relationship with Saddam Hussein. The administration announcement in 2001 that Iran was part of the axis of evil didn’t do much to improve the diplomatic relationship between our two countries. Recent threats over nuclear power, while ignoring the fact that they are surrounded by countries with nuclear weapons, doesn’t seem to register with those who continue to provoke Iran. With what most Muslims perceive as our war against Islam, and this recent history, there’s little wonder why Iran might choose to harm America by undermining the dollar. Iran, like Iraq, has zero capability to attack us. But that didn’t stop us from turning Saddam Hussein into a modern day Hitler ready to take over the world. Now Iran, especially since she’s made plans for pricing oil in Euros, has been on the receiving end of a propaganda war not unlike that waged against Iraq before our invasion. It’s not likely that maintaining dollar supremacy was the only motivating factor for the war against Iraq, nor for agitating against Iran. Though the real reasons for going to war are complex, we now know the reasons given before the war started, like the presence of weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein’s connection to 9/11, were false. The dollar’s importance is obvious, but this does not diminish the influence of the distinct plans laid out years ago by the neo-conservatives to remake the Middle East. Israel’s influence, as well as that of the Christian Zionists, likewise played a role in prosecuting this war. Protecting “our” oil supplies has influenced our Middle East policy for decades. But the truth is that paying the bills for this aggressive intervention is impossible the old fashioned way, with more taxes, more savings, and more production by the American people. Much of the expense of the Persian Gulf War in 1991 was shouldered by many of our willing allies. That’s not so today. Now, more than ever, the dollar hegemony – it’s dominance as the world reserve currency – is required to finance our huge war expenditures. This $2 trillion never-ending war must be paid for, one way or another. Dollar hegemony provides the vehicle to do just that. For the most part the true victims aren’t aware of how they pay the bills. The license to create money out of thin air allows the bills to be paid through price inflation. American citizens, as well as average citizens of Japan, China, and other countries suffer from price inflation, which represents the 'tax' that pays the bills for our military adventures. That is until the fraud is discovered, and the foreign producers decide not to take dollars nor hold them very long in payment for their goods. Everything possible is done to prevent the fraud of the monetary system from being exposed to the masses who suffer from it. If oil markets replace dollars with Euros, it would in time curtail our ability to continue to print, without restraint, the world’s reserve currency. It is an unbelievable benefit to us to import valuable goods and export depreciating dollars. The exporting countries have become addicted to our purchases for their economic growth. This dependency makes them allies in continuing the fraud, and their participation keeps the dollar’s value artificially high. If this system were workable long term, American citizens would never have to work again. We too could enjoy 'bread and circuses' just as the Romans did, but their gold finally ran out and the inability of Rome to continue to plunder conquered nations brought an end to her empire. The same thing will happen to us if we don’t change our ways. Though we don’t occupy foreign countries to directly plunder, we nevertheless have spread our troops across 130 nations of the world. Our intense effort to spread our power in the oil-rich Middle East is not a coincidence. But unlike the old days, we don’t declare direct ownership of the natural resources – we just insist that we can buy what we want and pay for it with our paper money. Any country that challenges our authority does so at great risk. Once again Congress has bought into the war propaganda against Iran, just as it did against Iraq. Arguments are now made for attacking Iran economically, and militarily if necessary. These arguments are all based on the same false reasons given for the ill-fated and costly occupation of Iraq. Our whole economic system depends on continuing the current monetary arrangement, which means recycling the dollar is crucial. Currently, we borrow over $700 billion every year from our gracious benefactors, who work hard and take our paper for their goods. Then we borrow all the money we need to secure the empire (DOD budget $450 billion) plus more. The military might we enjoy becomes the 'backing' of our currency. There are no other countries that can challenge our military superiority, and therefore they have little choice but to accept the dollars we declare are today’s 'gold.' This is why countries that challenge the system – like Iraq, Iran and Venezuela – become targets of our plans for regime change. Ironically, dollar superiority depends on our strong military, and our strong military depends on the dollar. As long as foreign recipients take our dollars for real goods and are willing to finance our extravagant consumption and militarism, the status quo will continue regardless of how huge our foreign debt and current account deficit become. But real threats come from our political adversaries who are incapable of confronting us militarily, yet are not bashful about confronting us economically. That’s why we see the new challenge from Iran being taken so seriously. The urgent arguments about Iran posing a military threat to the security of the United States are no more plausible than the false charges levied against Iraq. Yet there is no effort to resist this march to confrontation by those who grandstand for political reasons against the Iraq war. It seems that the people and Congress are easily persuaded by the jingoism of the preemptive war promoters. It’s only after the cost in human life and dollars are tallied up that the people object to unwise militarism. The strange thing is that the failure in Iraq is now apparent to a large majority of American people, yet they and Congress are acquiescing to the call for a needless and dangerous confrontation with Iran. But then again, our failure to find Osama bin Laden and destroy his network did not dissuade us from taking on the Iraqis in a war totally unrelated to 9/11. Concern for pricing oil only in dollars helps explain our willingness to drop everything and teach Saddam Hussein a lesson for his defiance in demanding Euros for oil. And once again there’s this urgent call for sanctions and threats of force against Iran at the precise time Iran is opening a new oil exchange with all transactions in Euros. Using force to compel people to accept money without real value can only work in the short run. It ultimately leads to economic dislocation, both domestic and international, and always ends with a price to be paid. The economic law that honest exchange demands only things of real value as currency cannot be repealed. The chaos that one day will ensue from our 35-year experiment with worldwide fiat money will require a return to money of real value. We will know that day is approaching when oil-producing countries demand gold, or its equivalent, for their oil rather than dollars or Euros. The sooner the better. " - Ron Paul
(born August 20, 1935), Ronald Ernest 'Ron' Paul is an American Medical Doctor and Republican U.S. Congressman for the 14th congressional district of Texas. He enjoys a national reputation as the premier advocate for liberty in US politics today. Dr. Paul is the leading spokesman in Washington for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies based on commodity-backed currency. He is known among both his colleagues in Congress and his constituents for his consistent voting record in the House of Representatives: Dr. Paul never votes for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution. In the words of former Treasury Secretary William Simon, Dr. Paul is the 'one exception to the Gang of 535' on Capitol Hill. Quote from 'The Daily Reckoning', Thursday, May 31, 2007. Google also 'currency wars' and 'petrodollars/petroeuros'.
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[Quote No.35568] Need Area: Money > General
"The Fed's 'QE2' [Federal Reserve Banks' Quantitative Easing = money printing] risks accelerating the demise of the dollar-based currency system ['dollar hegemony' as US Republican Senator Ron Paul calls it], perhaps leading to an unstable tripod with the euro and yuan, or a hybrid gold standard, or a multi-metal 'bancor' along lines proposed by John Maynard Keynes in the 1940s." - Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Published on 1st Nov 2010, in the 'Telegraph', the United Kingdom newspaper.
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[Quote No.35571] Need Area: Money > General
"The No 1 album on iTunes is 21 by English singer-songwriter Adele. I bought it yesterday and paid $16.99. Ten years ago I would have paid $29.99. Thinking about the declining cost of technology for non-essential goods and the resultant deficiencies in setting interest rate policy off the consumer price index as a general measure of inflation explains why many people in Australia are doing it tough despite high commodity prices and low unemployment. The CPI [Consumer Price Index] reflects a basket of goods and services purchased by households, but within this basket households have essential and non-essential items. Food, petrol, electricity, health care, pharmaceuticals and rent are generally essentials while furniture, cars, plasma televisions, clothes, laptops and music from iTunes are non-essential or deferrable. The CPI is tracking at 3.3 per cent, but the cost of essential items has been rising at about 8 per cent while price increases of non-essentials, aided by a high Australian dollar, have been declining. So CPI as an average of all items is not a fair measure of the increased cost of living for many households, especially the less affluent for whom essential items comprise a bigger share of the household budget. In addition, while rent is included, mortgage interest charges have been excluded from the CPI since 1998. There are two other substantial problems with the CPI as a general measure of inflation. The first and most significant, is that it excludes the increase in house prices as a result of an increase in land prices. Most, if not all, of the increase in house prices is due to an increase in land prices. So interest rate policy ignores increases in the cost of getting into permanent housing, which a generation ago was a primary objective of an average 30-year-old. Today, many aged 30 [in Australia] find this an unrealistic goal. The CPI also has a quality adjustment mechanism [called 'hedonic regression'] that says if a Macbook cost $1500 last year and $1500 this year, but this year's version has 50 per cent more processing capacity, then the price change will be recorded as having declined. But this is arguably nonsense if the option of buying the old technology at the lower cost no longer exists. [Wikipedia.com says, 'Some commentators, including Austrian economists, have criticized the US government's use of hedonic regression in computing its CPI, fearing it can be used to mask the 'true' inflation rate and thus lower the interest it must pay on Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) and Social Security cost of living adjustments. However, the same use of hedonic models when analyzing consumer prices in other countries has shown that non-hedonic methods may misstate inflation over time by failing to take quality changes into account.'] Both the exclusion of land prices and the quality adjustment serve to structurally understate inflation. This has had two very damaging effects during the past decade. The first is that interest rates have been artificially low and house prices have soared, which enriches existing, generally older, owners and impoverishes generally younger non-homeowners. Long term, this will rip at the fabric and cohesion of our society. It is also a significant economic risk. With high household debt from increased mortgages we are especially vulnerable to any downturn in commodity prices or if China shifts from being an exporter of deflation to an exporter of inflation. One of the principal objectives of interest rate policy is to ensure the economic prosperity and welfare of all Australians. Global financial crises and recessions are principally caused by uncontrolled asset price inflation. How, then, can it be essentially ignored in setting interest rates? A systematic, quantitative framework for measuring asset price inflation and formally including this in the interest rate policy setting is long overdue. The second critical effect is that many workers have their salaries set by indirect reference to the CPI rate of inflation. Schoolteachers, pilots, factory workers, nurses and public servants are all castigated when they ask for wage increases above this reported inflation rate. So, workers' salaries are set by reference to an understated cost-of-living measure while chief executives' compensation is justified by reference to sharemarket performance, which in part is unchecked and unmeasured asset price inflation. Therefore, the gap between the haves and have-nots widens and the lower middle class feels it is missing out on the general economic prosperity. In the US, where slack monetary policy has fostered global bubbles in asset markets for much of the past decade, some proponents even argue that the inflation measure should exclude volatile energy and food prices (the necessities) but include the optionals, which are the prime beneficiaries of China's low manufacturing costs. Keep the good news in and pretend the bad doesn't exist. Our conceptual definition of a general rate of inflation requires substantial rework. In the short term, sadly, highly mortgaged middle-income households are likely to continue to be squeezed between the high inflation of essential expenditure items and rising interest rates." - Brad Orgill
He is a former investment banker with UBS and is chairman of the Australian [Labor] Government's Building Education Revolution Implementation Taskforce and serves on the board of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority. 'The Australian' newspaper, April 30, 2011
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[Quote No.35656] Need Area: Money > General
"The fundamental cause of today's emerging problems was excessive and imprudent credit growth over a long period. Policy interest rates in the advanced industrial countries have been unusually low. Should governments feel it necessary to take direct actions to alleviate debt burdens, it is crucial that they understand one thing beforehand. If asset prices are unrealistically high, they must fall. If savings rates are unrealistically low, they must rise. If debts cannot be serviced, they must be written off. To deny this through the use of gimmicks and palliatives will only make things worse in the end." - William White
former Bank of International Settlements [BIS] chief economist. Quote from 2010).
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[Quote No.35660] Need Area: Money > General
"Many have too much, but none enough." - Danish Proverb

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[Quote No.35667] Need Area: Money > General
"In a free society protected against violence and fraud, economic growth is an automatic process. It takes place as a result of the desire of individuals to better the material condition of themselves and their families. In this endeavor, people save, invest, devise new and better tools, invent new products and new processes, and employ other people in order to operate more efficiently and on a large scale." - Albert C. Wilcox
The Freeman, June 1959.
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[Quote No.35674] Need Area: Money > General
"I cannot think of a more personally rewarding and appropriate use of wealth than to give while one is living [giving while living] - to personally devote oneself to meaningful efforts to improve the human condition. More importantly, today's needs are so great and varied that intelligent philanthropic support and positive interventions can have greater value and impact today than if they are delayed when the needs are greater." - Chuck Feeney
Irish American billionaire, former co-owner of the Duty Free Shoppers Group and founder of The Atlantic Philanthropies, one of the largest private foundations in the world.
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[Quote No.35717] Need Area: Money > General
"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.' " - Ronald Reagan
US President, Republican
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[Quote No.35718] Need Area: Money > General
"[Have you ever wondered if governments are involved in 'free markets'? The answer is a resounding 'YES!' It is best to think of governments democratically elected or not, just like the kings and queens they replaced. If a king or queen would have done it, it is fair to assume a government would do it too. And that includes going to war beyond its own sovereign territory to safeguard the country's economic interests while harming another's as well as to enrich themselves and their citizens.] WikiLeaks cables show oil a major focus of US diplomats - WASHINGTON -- In 2006, three years after the Russian government had charged Mikhail Khodorkovsky - then the country's wealthiest businessman - with fraud and moved to break up his Yukos oil company, U.S. diplomats had had enough. Gazprom, which grew out of the former Soviet Union's state gas ministry, had been busy buying up Yukos' far-flung empire, stoking American fears that soon Russia and its tough leader, Vladimir Putin, would control virtually all of the natural gas flowing to Europe. The United States wanted to stop that from happening. So the American embassy in Slovakia hired a Texas-based oil consultant and began secretly advising the Slovakian government on how to buy the 49 percent stake Yukos had held in Transpetrol, the Slovakian oil pipeline company. With no oil experience of its own, the Slovakian government didn't know how much it should pay. The consultant, who sat in on the negotiations, assured Slovakia's economy minister, Lubomir Jahnatek, that the $120 million price offered to the group disposing of Yukos' assets was a bargain. Gazprom was willing to pay far more. 'We have made it clear to all parties that we do not want to publicize our role as technical advisors,' the embassy said in an Aug. 10, 2006, cable that outlined what eventually became a deal. 'Jahnatek is clearly appreciative of the input provided by (the consultant), and will continue to look to him and the U.S. embassy for information as he faces the challenges to the deal in the coming weeks.' The communication, part of the cache of State Department cables that WikiLeaks passed to McClatchy Newspapers and other news organizations, is just one indication of how the U.S. government over the years has maneuvered to influence the world's oil and natural gas markets. With oil trading near $100 a barrel and gasoline near $4 a gallon at the pump, Americans can take solace in knowing that securing sources of oil has been a chief focus of U.S. embassies across the globe for years. Of the 251,287 WikiLeaks documents McClatchy obtained, 23,927 of them - nearly one in 10 - reference oil. Gazprom alone is mentioned in 1,789. In the cables, U.S. diplomats can be found plotting ways to prevent state entities such as Gazprom from taking control of key petroleum facilities, pressing oil companies to adjust their policies to match U.S. foreign policy goals, helping U.S.-based oil companies arrange deals on favorable terms and pressing foreign governments to assist companies that are willing to do the United States' bidding. Sometimes the U.S. approach seems mystifying. An Aug. 17, 2009, secret cable from the U.S. embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, recalled how days earlier the U.S. charge d'affaires, Richard Erdman, pushed Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi to get closer to China. But there was an ulterior motive. At the time, the United States was trying to persuade China to back sanctions against Iran over the country's nuclear fuel enrichment program. The U.S. believes the program is part of an Iranian effort to develop nuclear weapons. 'We wouldn't mind seeing Saudi sales replacing some of Iran's oil exports to China. This would have the welcome side impact of reducing Iranian leverage over China,' Erdman told al-Naimi in a cable. Al-Naimi responded that Saudi Arabia, a bitter rival to Iran, would soon be the largest oil supplier to China, and it came to pass. In 2010, Saudi Arabia was the top oil supplier to China. Iran was third, according to the Chinese website ChinaOilWeb. A July 30, 2009, secret cable from the U.S embassy in Riyadh recounts how Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, while visiting the kingdom, leaned on his Saudi counterpart, Ibrahim al-Assaf, to contain rising oil prices. 'Geithner said that it would be positive for the global recovery if oil prices did not rise further, whether from speculation or OPEC production,' the cable said, noting that Geithner admitted 'that the U.S. had not found a 'good way' to limit oil-price volatility.' The documents also show how in their global hunt for oil, companies from allied countries and foes alike complicate U.S. policy objectives. One target of repeated U.S. ire is the Rome-based oil giant Eni, Italy's largest corporation and one in which the Italian government holds a 30 percent stake. Both efforts to expand its presence in Iran and its close ties to Russia's Gazprom are frequent topics in the cables. 'Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni told the ambassador that the Iranian energy minister has offered Eni investment opportunities in Iran's South Pars and Azadegan oil fields,' said a secret cable from the U.S. embassy in Rome dated Jan. 12, 2007. 'Scaroni said Eni is interested in additional investment in Iran so long as there are no multilateral sanctions against Iran in effect, Iran pays money owed Eni under existing contracts, and the investments are structured so that Eni's return is based on world oil and gas prices.' The embassy was particularly unhappy that Eni sought to structure its new business in Iran in such a way that it could claim that Iran was merely repaying old debts owed to the company, some dating to the 1950s. That would allow Eni to help Iran develop the fields and skirt any sanctions imposed over Iran's nuclear program, which the U.S. believes is intended to develop nuclear weapons. The embassy urged U.S. officials in Washington to lean on Scaroni during an upcoming visit to squelch any deal. A subsequent cable indicates they did. Scaroni was poised to try again with the Obama administration, according to a May 5, 2009, account of a meeting with another Eni official. 'Post thinks there are good reasons for USG skepticism on this request,' the cable said. Eni's ties with Gazprom were the subject of an April 24, 2008, cable that urged the State and Treasury departments to express displeasure very clearly to Scaroni. Specifically at issue was an Eni deal that would have given Gazprom access to Libyan oil and would have had Eni help Gazprom build a pipeline across the Black Sea. This project would have competed with a similar project backed by the U.S. government that would have connected gas fields in the Caspian region directly to Europe, bypassing Russia and Gazprom. At the time, Silvio Berlusconi was about to become Italy's prime minister for a second time and the embassy urged headquarters to twist his arm as well. 'Post would like to push the new Berlusconi government to force Eni to act less as a stalking horse for Gazprom interests ... seems to be working in support of Gazprom's efforts to dominate Europe's energy supply, and against U.S.-supported E.U. efforts to diversify energy supply,' the confidential cable said. Eni has been in the news of late because it's the largest player in Libya's oil sector and Scaroni publicly voiced concern that U.S.-led efforts to oust strongman Moammar Gadhafi weren't in Italy's interest. On April 20, Scaroni announced that Eni was temporarily shelving its deal in Libya that would have given Gazprom a big stake in Libyan oil, a move the leaked documents show the U.S. had been seeking since 2008. Sometimes, however, U.S. efforts were aimed at unleashing Russian oil. A secret cable from Moscow dated April 16, 2009, tells how Houston-based ConocoPhillips planned to join the Russian firm Lukoil in bidding on oil contracts in Iraq. The joint effort in Iraq had the blessing of Putin, ConocoPhillips officials said, who noted that Putin had offered to provide debt relief to Iraq if the U.S.-Russian consortium were granted a contract. Iraqi oil was the subject of many cables from diplomats in Iraq, including a number that dealt with the surprise 2007 announcement that Texas-based Hunt Oil Co. had entered into a production sharing agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq's north. The problem was Iraq hadn't yet passed its national oil law and the company's CEO, Dallas businessman Ray Hunt, was a friend of President George W. Bush. And Hunt served on Bush's foreign intelligence advisory committee. A Sept. 9, 2007, cable from the U.S. government's Kurdistan Regional Reconstruction Team described Hunt Oil's Middle East manager, David McDonald, as unconcerned about the legalities of the deal. 'He did not express concern about the potential controversy surrounding signature of a PSC (production agreement) with the KRG that covers areas of operation currently outside the KRG's legal control,' the reconstruction team warned. 'He said, 'This is a significant opportunity that outweighs the legal ambiguity.' ' The cable said McDonald described hunting for oil in Iraq's north as 'like shooting fish in a barrel.' The cables are filled with information about the energy industry that can't help but surprise. One cable from the U.S. embassy in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, argues that the Obama administration should be paying closer attention to the small West African nation, noting that a sudden reversal of political winds could cost hundreds of American oil workers their jobs and threaten 20 percent of the U.S. oil supply. 'Taking away U.S. energy imports from North America (i.e. those from our immediate neighbors Canada and Mexico), we find that over 30 percent of our imported oil and gas comes from the Gulf of Guinea region - more, for example, than from the Middle East,' the May 21, 2009, cable noted. 'The largest portion of the Gulf of Guinea maritime territory belongs to little EG.' The cable added that Spain and China are making oil plays in the country where U.S. companies Marathon Oil Corp. and Hess Corp. have as much as 30 percent of their capital invested. Despite the unsavory reputation of Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang, who's proclaimed himself a living god, the time seemed right to reboot bilateral relations, the cable suggested, noting that Obama is a common surname there. 'The recent change in the U.S. administration - in the country with the highest per capita density of 'Obamas' in the world - was received as a herald of warmer relations,' the cable said." - Kevin G. Hall
Miami Herald, Monday, 16th May, 2011.
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[Quote No.35736] Need Area: Money > General
"[Do big governments try to muscle into important global positions? Yes is the simple answer! You only have to look through many of the secret US government diplomatic cables a whistle-blower gave to wikileaks.com in 2010 and then read the following article:] Why Europe fears a China-led IMF - Economic power may be shifting rapidly from the West to the East, but Europe is certainly far from willing to cede the leadership of the powerful International Monetary Fund. With Dominique Strauss-Kahn being held without bail in New York's Rikers Island jail on sexual assault charges, a battle royale is hotting up over who should replace him at the head of the IMF. European politicians are adamant that the post should go to a European, in line with a tradition that dates back to 1944, under which a European heads up the IMF while an American gets the top job at the World Bank. With the sovereign debt crisis again threatening to erupt in the eurozone, they need to be able to count on the support of the IMF, which has contributed tens of billions of dollars towards the bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal. But the Europeans are worried that China and other emerging nations might try to flex their muscles and have a candidate from an emerging nation appointed to the crucial position. This could prove a problem for future bailouts of eurozone countries, particularly as many emerging nations privately complain that the IMF has been overly generous to Europe in the past. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quick to stake Europe's claim on Monday, according to a report in the German publication Der Spiegel. 'We know that in the medium term the emerging nations have a claim to the post of IMF chief as well as to the post of World Bank chief,' she told reporters on Monday. 'But I think that in the current phase… Europe also has good candidates available.' Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu countered, telling a regular news briefing on Tuesday said that the process for selecting the next boss of the IMF should be based on 'fairness, transparency and merit.' If, as seems likely, the Europeans get their way, French finance minister Christine Lagarde is seen as the front-runner to succeed DSK at the helm of the IMF. According to the French newspaper Le Monde, Lagarde herself isn’t commenting on the matter, but there’s reason to believe she’d be interested in the position. Lagarde regularly refers to her fascination with the United States, where she worked for a long time. She’s also very highly regarded in financial circles. Even more importantly, Lagarde seems to have Berlin’s support. But the German press has pointed out some of the problems with Lagarde’s candidature. In the first place, her nationality could prove a handicap. Of the 11 Europeans who have run the IMF since 1946, four have been French. Indeed, the IMF has had a French boss for 26 out of the past 33 years. Even more troubling is the possibility that Lagarde has potential legal problems of her own: a French prosecutor recently threatened an investigation into a case involving the tycoon Bernard Tapie. As a result, the German press has its own list of possible candidates, which includes Axel Weber, the former Bundesbank boss who resigned in February; Peer Steinbrück, a former German finance minister; and the Swiss Josef Ackerman, who runs Deutsche Bank. One thing is certain. With the eurozone again facing a period of turbulence, European leaders will be loath to give up what they see as their long-standing right to run the IMF. As a result, those calling on the IMF to overhaul its selection process so that the job goes to the best qualified, regardless of nationality, appear doomed to disappointment." - Karen Maley
Financial journalist with theBusinessSpectator.com - 18 May 2011.
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[Quote No.35775] Need Area: Money > General
"...lending money to friends has been a disappointing experience since neither has ever any of the money lent ever been returned nor did the friendship continue! " - Marc Faber
Famous financial advisor and author.
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[Quote No.35777] Need Area: Money > General
"The problem with crony capitalism, whether in finance or energy or anything else [is that the] 'market' and 'capitalists' are not on the same side and against 'government'. No, its government and capitalists colluding against the market, which is on the side of the people. The 'financial market' proved to be no such thing; it was a casino for favoured clients run by central banks. The 'energy market' is no such thing. It is a scheme run by governments for favoured clients in the nuclear, renewable and environmental-pressure group industries." - Matt Ridley

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[Quote No.35778] Need Area: Money > General
"The proposal of any new law or regulation which comes from [businessmen], ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the [general] public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it. [It is vital that politicians and governments do not become too aligned with particular businesses or business people, as in crony capitalism - sometimes called corporatism, or else the markets will not be free and the genius of free markets for price discovery and competition will not operate well to the detriment of all.]" - Adam Smith
Economic philosopher and author of the free market rationale 'The Wealth of Nations'.
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[Quote No.35779] Need Area: Money > General
"[A definition of crony capitalism:] When a government's leaders or businesses routinely seek out private sector individuals or business, and in exchange for political support bestow favors on them, the society is said to be in the grip of crony capitalism. The favors generally take the form of monopoly access to certain markets, preferred access to sales of government assets, and special access to those in power." - Alan Greenspan
former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Quote from his 2004 memoir, 'The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World'.
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[Quote No.35780] Need Area: Money > General
"The kind of capitalism I hate most is crony capitalism, the friends who decide. These are things which should be killed in Russia [and elsewhere]." - Anatoly Chubais
One of the chief architects of Russia's massive privatization wave during the 1990s.
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[Quote No.35785] Need Area: Money > General
"The paradigm of competition is a race: by rewarding the winner, we encourage everyone to run faster. When capitalism really works this way, it does a good job; but its defenders are wrong in assuming it always works this way. [Crony capitalism in fact rewards for connections to government rather than merit and therefore is the enemy of true free market capitalism and all the benefits that brings to the majority.]" - Richard Stallman

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[Quote No.35793] Need Area: Money > General
"When a government must spend more than its revenues [taxes] it will borrow. Eventually borrowings become so large that the interest payments cannot be met from the revenue and then political pressure is applied to the central bank which begins a process of conscious inflation by keeping rates too low to inflate the tax revenues and make the interest and principal payments easier for the government to meet. Eventually even this isn't enough so they then monetize the debt and print money or in today's euphemism quantitatively ease. If this continues for too long hyperinflation will result. This is then corrected by drastic increases in interest to reduce growth in the money supply and the velocity of money or initiating a new national currency." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.35814] Need Area: Money > General
"[Replying to a question about social security funding in 2005, Alan Greenspan, the US Federal Reserve Chairman, inadvertently nailed the fundamental problem of an inflationist welfare state:] We can guarantee cash benefits as far out and at whatever size you like, but we cannot guarantee their purchasing power. [The same is also true for the sovereign debt - bonds. Since welfare payments, social security, pensions, etc are supposedly adjusted for inflation each year and many central banks have statuary inflation band goals, any government intent on debasing their currency through inflation in order to reduce their real debt and future spending obligations must find a way to understate their inflation rate. This is why many 'conspiracy' theorists doubt the current items, proportions and methodologies -i.e. hedonic regression used. At times when debasement is believed to be happening, despite whatever the official inflation figure, the demand for and therefore the price of gold as a store of value rises.]" - Alan Greenspan
Economist and ex-US Federal Reserve Chairman
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[Quote No.35821] Need Area: Money > General
"[Money as a] medium of exchange. It is something that men acquire as a means of acquiring something else. It enables people to avoid the inconvenience of direct exchange, or barter, and engage in a more convenient indirect exchange." - Carl Menger
Famous economist
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[Quote No.35822] Need Area: Money > General
"FINANCIAL ASSETS AND PRICE INFLATION: ...The character of the 1980s’ and 1990s’ inflation differed from that of the 1970s. In recent decades, price changes following money quantity changes have been in stocks and bond prices, rather than wages and consumption goods prices. Economists have long known of a general correspondence between changes in the quantity of money and its purchasing power. A naïve quantity theory of money would have all prices moving by the same proportion in response to a change in the quantity of money. How can inflation sometimes affect financial assets and other times mostly consumer prices? The monetary framework of the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises can explain this. Mises accepted a general relationship between money quantity and money prices, but he argued that the introduction of new money into a community won’t affect all prices uniformly. Relative as well as general price changes will result. The particulars of magnitude and goods depend on where the new money enters the economic system, and what the initial recipients spend it on. The initial recipients of newly created money, Mises noted, find themselves with a surplus of cash relative to their needs for immediate spending. They are in a position to increase their demand for the goods or assets that they wish to purchase, which will bid up those prices first. The sellers of those goods then receive the money second-hand, putting them in a position to demand more of some other goods, affecting those prices, and so forth. In essence, 'variations in the value of money always start from a given point and gradually spread out from this point through the whole community'. In this way, monetary expansion will affect some prices more than others, changing relative prices as well as the general level of prices. With financial assets absorbing most of the impact of new money, the outbreak of inflation into wages and consumption goods that proved so unpopular in the 1970s has been (at least for a time) repressed. Newly created money was injected into capital markets, where it was initially spent on the purchase of government bonds. The low yields in government bonds have made low-yielding corporate bonds more attractive and equities with low dividend yields in competition with bonds an increasingly good buy. The inflationary price adjustments have leaked out of government bonds into other financial assets. But, over time, wouldn’t the second or third recipients of the money spend it on cars or food, causing the inflation to leak out of financial markets into consumption goods? Eventually, when inflation is perceived for what it is, real interest rates will rise and financial assets deflate. While this must happen eventually, the game can be continued as long as inflation is contained within the financial sphere... The initial injection of new money into the bond market explains why the effects of inflation would show up there first. The continued containment of inflation within the financial sector as money is spent — and then re-spent — on financial securities is created by the leveraging available through derivatives. The funding of these derivatives is complex, but again it ultimately relies on borrowing at fixed low yields from the central bank. The process circulates the newly created purchasing power again and again back into the financial sector, rather than allowing it to leak out into wages or consumption goods....[This is how you can get price inflation in speculative assets, like shares and bonds, while consumers' living expenses and therefore Consumer Price Inflation is subdued.] " - Robert Blumen
Quoted from 'Debt and Delusion', in Marc Faber's financial newsletter, 'The Gloom, Boom and Doom Report', Nov 10, 2005.
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[Quote No.35823] Need Area: Money > General
"To the extent that any monetary inflation [the increase in the money supply] at all has leaked out of financial assets into consumption goods, the distortions in the measurement of the US Consumer Price Index (CPI) have been introduced in order to create a false consensus that ‘there is no inflation’. A variety of questionable price adjustment stratagems have been instituted in the CPI computation: the exclusion of food and energy [into non-core inflation measures as 'too volatile'], the use of lower 'quality adjusted' prices [called hedonic regression], seasonal adjustments, and the replacement of home prices with rental rates. The index incorporates only consumption goods, when most of the price increases are showing up in financial assets." - Robert Blumen
Quoted from 'Debt and Delusion', in Marc Faber's financial newsletter, 'The Gloom, Boom and Doom Report', Nov 10, 2005.
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[Quote No.35824] Need Area: Money > General
"[AN AUSTRIAN ECONOMICS UNDERSTANDING... FREE MARKETS SETTING INTEREST RATES RATHER THAN CENTRAL BANKS:] Scarcity requires that when a good is demanded in increasing quantity, the prices paid by increasingly eager buyers will be successively higher. Sellers who value a good the least are the first in line to sell. As buyers continue to search out a greater quantity of the good, potential sellers who place an increasingly greater valuation on the good must be recruited to supply it. Now think about credit as demand for savings. Economists of the Austrian School have advocated a banking system based on 100% gold reserves for demand deposits. Credit transactions under this system would be based on loans, with credit expansion by banks strictly prohibited. Under such a system, if increasing volumes of credit were demanded, borrowing would have to take place at ever-higher interest rates because savings are necessarily scarce; a higher interest rate is necessary to draw more marginal savers into parting with their present consumption opportunities. While there is no limit to the amount of credit that can be created, there is an inherent limit to the amount of lending that can occur: the point where savers cannot be enticed to part with any more present goods at any rate of interest. The reason that the pool of savings cannot expand indefinitely is because people only have so much income or assets that they can save, and everyone must engage in some consumption in the present." - Robert Blumen
Quoted from 'Debt and Delusion', in Marc Faber's financial newsletter, 'The Gloom, Boom and Doom Report', Nov 10, 2005.
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[Quote No.35830] Need Area: Money > General
"All that glisters is not gold; Often have you heard that told: Many a man his life hath sold, But my outside to behold: Gilded tombs do worms enfold." - William Shakespeare
(1564-1616), playwright and poet
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[Quote No.35837] Need Area: Money > General
"Whether we like it or not, it is a fact that economics cannot remain an esoteric branch of knowledge accessible only to small groups of scholars and specialists. Economics deals with society’s fundamental problems; it concerns everyone and belongs to all. It is the main and proper study of every citizen." - Ludwig von Mises
Famous Austrian economist. Quote from his book, 'Human Action'.
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[Quote No.35853] Need Area: Money > General
"There was no reason whatever to abandon the principle of free enterprise in the field of banking... It is extremely difficult for our contemporaries to conceive of the conditions of free banking because they take government interference with banking for granted and as necessary... What is needed to prevent any further credit expansion is to place the banking business under the general rules of commercial and civil laws compelling every individual and firm to fulfill all obligations in full compliance with the terms of the contract... Imprudent granting of credit is bound to prove just as ruinous to a bank as to any other merchant." - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics. Quoted from his book, 'Human Action', published in 1949.
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[Quote No.35882] Need Area: Money > General
"The characteristic mark of economic history under capitalism is unceasing economic progress, a steady increase in the quantity of capital goods available, and a continuous trend toward an improvement in the general standard of living." - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.35883] Need Area: Money > General
"Capitalism is essentially a system of mass production for the satisfaction of the needs of the masses. It pours a horn of plenty upon the common man. It has raised the average standard of living to a height never dreamed of in earlier ages. It has made accessible to millions of people enjoyments which a few generations ago were only within the reach of a small elite." - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.35885] Need Area: Money > General
"Capitalism and socialism are two distinct patterns of social organization. Private control of the means of production and public control are contradictory notions and not merely contrary notions... Capitalism means free enterprise, sovereignty of the consumers in economic matters, and sovereignty of the voters in political matters. Socialism means full government control of every sphere of the individual's life and the unrestricted supremacy of the government in its capacity as central board of production management." - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.35886] Need Area: Money > General
"For it is an essential difference between capitalist and socialist production that under capitalism men provide for themselves, while under Socialism they are provided for... The salesman thanks the customer for patronizing his shop and asks him to come again. But the socialists say: 'Be grateful to Hitler, render thanks to Stalin; be nice and submissive, then the great man will be kind to you later too.' " - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.35887] Need Area: Money > General
"[Philanthropy and charity:] We may fully endorse the religious and ethical precepts that declare it to be man's duty to assist his unlucky brethren whom nature has doomed. But the recognition of this duty does not answer the question concerning what methods should be resorted to for its performance... No civilized community has callously allowed the incapacitated to perish. But the substitution of a legally enforceable claim to support or sustenance for charitable relief does not seem to agree with human nature as it is... The discretion of bureaucrats is substituted for the discretion of people whom an inner voice drives to acts of charity." - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.35890] Need Area: Money > General
"Experience shows that nothing is operated with less economy and with more waste of labor and material of every kind than public services and undertakings. Private enterprise on the other hand naturally induces the owner to work with the greatest economy in his own interest." - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.35893] Need Area: Money > General
"In the feudal society, men became rich by war and conquest and through the largess of the sovereign ruler. Men became poor if they were defeated in battle or if they fell from the monarchs good graces. In the capitalistic society, men become rich directly as the producer of consumers' goods." - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.35904] Need Area: Money > General
"What transformed the stagnant conditions of the good old days into the activism of capitalism was not changes in the natural sciences and in technology, but the adoption of the free enterprise principle." - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.35909] Need Area: Money > General
"Credit expansion is the government's foremost tool in their struggle against the market economy. In their hands it is the magic wand designed to conjure away the scarcity of capital goods, to lower the rate of interest or to abolish it altogether, to finance lavish government spending, to expropriate the capitalists, to contrive everlasting booms, and to make everybody prosperous.... No one should expect that any logical argument or any experience could ever shake the almost religious fervor of those who believe in salvation through spending and credit expansion... Credit expansion is not a nostrum to make people happy. The boom it engenders must inevitably lead to a debacle and unhappiness... The essence of a credit-expansion boom is not overinvestment, but investment in wrong lines, i.e., malinvestment... If the credit expansion is not stopped in time, the boom turns into the crack-up boom; the flight into real values begins, and the whole monetary system founders... The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment." - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.35913] Need Area: Money > General
"If one regards inflation as an evil, then one has to stop inflating. One has to balance the budget of the government... A policy of deficit spending saps the very foundation of all interpersonal relations and contracts. It frustrates all kinds of savings, social security benefits and pensions... If the practice persists of covering government deficits with the issue of notes, then the day will come without fail, sooner or later, when the monetary systems of those nations pursuing this course will break down completely. The purchasing power of the monetary unit will decline more and more, until finally it disappears completely." - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.35923] Need Area: Money > General
"The endeavors to expand the quantity of money in circulation either in order to increase the government's capacity to spend or in order to bring about a temporary lowering of the rate of interest disintegrate all currency matters and derange economic calculation... What economic calculation requires is a monetary system whose functioning is not sabotaged by government interference... Economic calculation [of demand and supply, reward and risk, profit and loss] can only take place by means of money prices [price signals] established in the [free] market for production goods in a society resting on private property [and capital] in the means of production." - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.35925] Need Area: Money > General
"Economic progress is the work of the savers, who accumulate capital, and of the entrepreneurs, who turn capital to new uses." - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.35926] Need Area: Money > General
"Economics is not about goods and services; it is about human choice and action... Economics is not [even] specifically about business; it deals with all market phenomena and with all their aspects, not only with the activities of a businessman... [Therefore] Economics must not be relegated to classrooms and statistical offices and must not be left to esoteric circles. It is [an integral part of] the philosophy of human life and action and concerns everybody and everything. It is the pith of civilization and of man's human existence... it has provided a theory of peaceful human cooperation [and continuous improvement in human living standards]... Economics deals with society's fundamental problems; it concerns everyone and belongs to all. It is the main and proper study of every citizen... nothing can be more important to every intelligent man than economics. His own fate and that of his progeny is at stake... The body of economic knowledge is an essential element in the structure of human civilization; it is the foundation upon which modern industrialism and [nearly] all the moral, intellectual, technological, and therapeutical achievements of the last centuries have been built [and will be built in the future]." - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.35927] Need Area: Money > General
"No very deep knowledge of economics [the struggle to meet infinite human needs and desires with finite resources] is usually needed for grasping the immediate effects of a measure; but the task of economics is to foretell the remoter effects [the so called ‘unintended consequences’], and so to allow us [as individuals, families, businesses and our government and political leaders] to avoid such acts as attempt to remedy a present ill by sowing the seeds of a much greater ill for the future... [Therefore] The economist [whether professional or amateur] must never be a specialist. In dealing with any problem he must always fix his glance upon the whole system... In the same way in which it is impossible for a mathematician to specialize in triangles and to neglect the study of circles, it is impossible to be an expert on wage rates without at the same time mastering the problems of profits and interest, commodity prices, and currency and banking. [To fully understand any part well, its connections within the whole must also be understood.]" - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.35928] Need Area: Money > General
"Despots and democratic majorities [for example, that think nothing of going into debt and deficit for their short-term gain without regard for the long-term pain] are drunk with power. They must reluctantly admit that they are subject to the laws of nature. But they reject the very notion of economic law...economic history is a long record of government policies that failed because they were designed with a bold disregard for the laws of economics... No very deep knowledge of economics is usually needed for grasping the immediate effects of a measure; but the task of economics is to foretell the remoter effects [the unintended consequences], and so to allow us to avoid such acts as attempt to remedy a present ill by sowing the seeds of a much greater ill for the future... All those not familiar with economics (i.e., the immense majority) do not see any reason why they should not coerce other people by means of force to do what these people are not prepared to do of their own accord... The main achievement of economics is that it has provided a theory of peaceful human cooperation... The social function of economic science consists precisely in developing sound economic theories and in exploding the fallacies of vicious reasoning. In the pursuit of this task the economist incurs the deadly enmity of all mountebanks and charlatans whose shortcuts to an earthly paradise he debunks... Rulers do not like to admit that their power is restricted by any laws other than those of physics and biology. They never ascribe their failures and frustrations to the violation of economic law." - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.35946] Need Area: Money > General
"The only way to counteract tendencies toward [trade, etc] protectionism and autarky [which is a policy of national self-sufficiency and nonreliance on imports or economic aid - isolationism] is to recognize their harmfulness and to appreciate the harmony of the interests of all nations." - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.35952] Need Area: Money > General
"To the grumbler who [enviously?] complains about the unfairness of the [free] market system only one piece of advice can be given: If you want to acquire wealth, then try to satisfy the public by offering them something that is cheaper or which they like better. Try to supersede Pinkapinka by mixing another beverage. Equality under the law gives you the power to challenge every millionaire. It is in a [free] market not sabotaged by government-imposed restrictions exclusively your [choice or] fault if you do not outstrip the chocolate king, the movie star and the boxing champion. [A true free market economic system is the ultimate meritocracy determined by the daily financial votes of the sovereign consumer.]" - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.35989] Need Area: Money > General
"Foreign exchange controls are various forms of controls imposed by a government on the purchase/sale of foreign currencies by residents or on the purchase/sale of local currency by nonresidents. Common foreign exchange controls include: -Fixed exchange rates -Restrictions on the amount of currency that may be imported or exported -Banning the use of foreign currency within the country -Banning locals from possessing foreign currency -Restricting currency exchange to government-approved exchangers Countries with foreign exchange controls are also known as 'Article 14 countries,' after the provision in the International Monetary Fund [IMF]agreement allowing exchange controls for transitional economies. Such controls used to be common in most countries, particularly poorer ones, until the 1990s when free trade and globalization started a trend towards economic liberalization. Today, countries which still impose exchange controls are the exception rather than the rule." - wikipedia.org

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[Quote No.35990] Need Area: Money > General
"Foreign-exchange control [for example fixed or pegged exchange rate] is today primarily a device for the virtual expropriation of foreign investments. It has destroyed the international capital and money market [which are so vital for foreign development and global growth]." - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.36015] Need Area: Money > General
"Economic progress, in capitalist society [where producers freely compete for the patronage of consumers], means turmoil [continual evolutionary change]." - Joseph A. Schumpeter
Famous economist
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[Quote No.36019] Need Area: Money > General
"Self worth is not the same as net worth." - Noah Kass
Clinical director of the Realization Center, one of the largest addiction treatment centers in New York City.
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[Quote No.36022] Need Area: Money > General
"The gold standard [where a nation’s currency is either made of gold or backed by and convertible to a fixed quantity of gold] was the world standard of the age of capitalism, increasing welfare, liberty, and democracy, both political and economic [by forcing governments to manage their resources and budgets well]... All those intent upon sabotaging the evolution toward [individual rather than government] welfare, peace, freedom, and democracy loathed the gold standard, and not only on account of its economic significance... [Greedy, power hungry and financially incompetent] Governments deliberately sabotaged it, and still go on sabotaging it... The gold standard did not collapse. Governments abolished it [and replaced it with fiat currency not made of gold or backed by and convertible to a fixed quantity of gold] in order to pave the way for inflation [to allow existing sovereign, business and private debts, interest and principal, to be paid and increased and ongoing sovereign, business and private deficit profligacy - which allowed governments to promise voters things the government couldn’t afford otherwise to win votes and power, businesses to compete unfairly with foreign domiciled companies, and families and individuals to spend beyond their means. As debt became a bigger part of discretionary spending and income managing inflation and interest rates became even more important to governments to keep the ‘deception of real growth’ alive, rather than the truth that much of the growth was from inflation of the nominal value, which was deliberately understated]... The classical or orthodox gold standard alone is a truly effective check on the power of the government to inflate the currency [as famous economist Professor Milton Friedman once noted, ‘Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.’ and ‘Inflation [due to uneconomically wise government policies usually to favour a political faction] is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without [the obvious attention and accountability of] legislation.’ This is particularly bad because, as Joaquin Almunia, the European Union Monetary Affairs Commissioner noted, ‘Inflation is a socially negative tax on the poorest [who with few assets that rise with inflation, only see their purchasing power for necessities decrease.’] Without such a check all other constitutional safeguards [all of which are built on the concept of the inalienable right to private property, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which inflation silently confiscates] can be rendered vain... The superiority of the gold standard consists in the fact that the value of gold develops independent of political actions... [and] alone makes the determination of money's purchasing power independent of the ambitions and machinations of governments, of dictators, of political parties, and of pressure groups... it renders the determination of the monetary units purchasing power independent of the policies of governments and political parties... The gold standard has one tremendous virtue: the quantity of the money supply, under the gold standard, is independent of the policies of governments and political parties. This is its advantage. It is a form of protection against [corrupt, economically incompetent] spendthrift governments... The return to gold does not depend on the fulfilment of some material condition. It is an ideological problem. It presupposes only one thing: the abandonment of the illusion that increasing the quantity of money creates prosperity... Every nation, whether rich or poor, powerful or feeble, can at any hour once again adopt the gold standard. If we had gold coins in actual daily circulation everywhere in the world . . . the depreciation of gold would . . . not have taken place at all. Under the gold standard gold is money and money is gold. It is immaterial whether or not the laws assign legal tender quality only to gold coins minted by the government." - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.36029] Need Area: Money > General
"Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself." - Milton Friedman
[1912 - 2006], famous and influencial American economist.
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[Quote No.36030] Need Area: Money > General
"A mixed economy is an economy that includes a variety of private and public control, reflecting characteristics of both capitalism [known for free market economies] and socialism [known for planned economies]. Most mixed economies can be described as market economies with strong regulatory oversight, in addition to having a variety of government sponsored aspects. See elements of a mixed economy. There is not one single definition for a mixed economy, but the definitions always involve a degree of private economic freedom mixed with a degree of government regulation of markets. The relative strength or weakness of each component in the national economy can vary greatly between countries. Economies ranging from the United States to Cuba have been termed mixed economies. The economic freedom side includes privately owned industry for reasons including individual freedom, economic efficiency (most especially the allocative efficiency provided by the invisible hand of markets), and the incentive to innovate provided by competition. The government regulation side addresses concerns that the private sector cannot be (or at least has never yet been) well equipped to address, such as environmental protection, maintenance of employment standards, and maintenance of competition. In some mixed economies, it even includes various degrees of centralized economic planning, that is, state ownership of some of the means of production for national or social objectives. Mixed economies as an economic ideal are supported by people of various political persuasions, typically centre-left and centre-right, such as social democrats or Christian democrats. Supporters view mixed economies as a compromise between classic socialism and pure laissez-faire [free market] capitalism." - wikipedia.org

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