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Disasters Can Happen

The Coming Debt Reckoning- MN Gordon

by MN Gordon

Economic Prism

Licking the Log

American workers, as a whole, are facing a disagreeable disorder.  Their debt burdens are increasing.  Their incomes are stagnating.

There are many reasons why.  In truth, it would take several large volumes to chronicle all of them.  But when you get down to the ‘lick log’ of it all, the disorder stems from decades of technocratic intervention that have stripped away any semblance of a free functioning, self-correcting economy.

The financial system circa 2017, and the economy that supports it, has been stretched to the breaking point.  Shortsighted (Read More....)

. . . → Read More: The Coming Debt Reckoning- MN Gordon

Don’t Blame Trump When the World Ends- MN Gordon

by MN Gordon

Economic Prism

Alien Economics

There was, indeed, a time when clear thinking and lucid communication via the written word were held in high regard.  As far as we can tell, this wonderful epoch concluded in 1936.  Everything since has been tortured with varying degrees of gobbledygook.

The fall from grace was triggered by the 1936 publication of John Maynard Keynes’ The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money.  The book is rigorously indecipherable.  What’s more, it has the ill-effect of making those who read it dumber.

Nonetheless, politicians and establishment economists remain enamored with Keynes’ gibberish.  For it offers academic rationale for governments to do what they love to do most – borrow money and spend it on inane programs.  In particular, Keynes advocated filling bottles with money and burying them in coalmines (Read More....)

. . . → Read More: Don’t Blame Trump When the World Ends- MN Gordon

An Abundance of Idle Trucks

by MN Gordon

Economic Prism

An Abundance of Idle Trucks

The popular economic theme being reported by the popular press still remains.  That the economy is grinding higher.  That growth is improving, albeit slowly.  That blue skies are just over the horizon.

Naturally we have some misgivings.  As far as we can tell, business is not humming along.  Earnings are stagnant.  Profits are slim.  Moreover, corporate reductions in force (RIFs) are being executed with the imprecise targeting of a sledge hammer.  Even Google’s laying off staff.

Most notably, if the economy were (Read More....)

. . . → Read More: An Abundance of Idle Trucks

Prepare for the Unthinkable

by MN Gordon

Economic Prism

Red Ink

Growth and profits mask a variety of problems.  They hide business inefficiencies and the money suck of corporate administrivia.  They also conceal unproductive staff.

But most of all growth and profits obscure the extreme value subtracting forces of bloated management teams.  During good times it is unclear what these smug fellows do.  During bad times it is lucidly clear that most of them ain’t worth a darn.

When the profits inevitably recede, the senior executives, with their silly 24 point project reviews and cumbersome project execution requirements, appear lost.  They’re left exposed, with their pants down, and without a clue in the world as to what business it is they’re actually in.  What the heck have they been doing all this time?

Where does the money come from?  How is it spent?  Over (Read More....)

. . . → Read More: Prepare for the Unthinkable

Should we buy an extra bag of rice and an additional roll of toilet paper to stock in the pantry?

Emergency FoodYarns, Mysteries, and the CPI

by MN Gordon

Economic Prism

No CPI Change

Several ill-defined economic waypoints were unveiled this week.  Namely, the Labor Department’s July consumer price index report.  According to the government data, on (Read More....)

. . . → Read More: Should we buy an extra bag of rice and an additional roll of toilet paper to stock in the pantry?

Garbage In Garbage Out Economics

Hand Me Downsby MN Gordon

Economic Prism

“On two occasions I have been asked, “Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine the wrong figures, will the right answers come out? …I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.” – Charles Babbage, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher.

Crunching Data to Fix Prices

The fundamental problem facing today’s economy is the flagrant contempt by governments the world over for the free exchange of goods and services and private stewardship of property.  Perhaps it is power and control governments are after.  Maybe they believe they are improving the economy and making the world a better place for all.

No one really knows for sure.  But what is (Read More....)

. . . → Read More: Garbage In Garbage Out Economics

The Chinese Fiasco

Chinese Policeby MN Gordon

Economic Prism

The twilight receded into the vista of the glowing port lights.  Docked container ships melded into the profusion of overhead cranes.  Sporadic refinery flares overtook the final sparkles of dusk.

The sun slipped beyond the far side of the Palos Verdes cliffs.  We lit a giant bonfire and settled down to its tantalizing flames.  The kindling crackled and snapped.  Sparkling embers escaped in the light onshore breeze.

School’s back in session tomorrow.  But for the under 10-year old crowd we tent camped with last Saturday night at Cabrillo Beach Youth Center, sitting in a classroom was the furthest thing from their mind.  Whittling drift wood, tying bowline knots, and kayaking the breakwater were the tasks at hand.

Our vantage point from Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, looking back at the Port of Los Angeles and over to the Port of Long Beach, was a sight for reflection.  At this outer peninsula tip the managed chaos of container ships, docks, cranes, semi-trucks and railcars intermingled in (Read More....)

. . . → Read More: The Chinese Fiasco

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