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Disasters Can Happen

The Downright Sinister Rearrangement of Riches

By MN Gordon

Economic Prism

Simple Classifications

Let’s begin with facts.  Cold hard unadorned facts.

Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit at standard atmospheric pressure.  Squaring the circle using a compass and straightedge is impossible.  The sun is a star.

Facts, of course, must not be confused with opinions, which are based upon observations.  Barack Obama throws like a girl.  The Federal Register is for idiots.  Two slices of chocolate cake are one too many.  Are these opinions right or wrong?

The answer depends on who you (Read More....)

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The Art and Pseudoscience of Monetary Policy

by MN Gordon

Economic Prism

Definitely Maybe

Everyone’s got a plan for sale these days.  In fact, there are so many plans out there we cannot keep up with them all.  Eat celery sticks and lose weight.  Think and grow rich.  Stocks for the long run.  Naturally, plans like these run a dime a dozen.

Good plans, however, are scarcer than hen’s teeth.  You can’t possibly see them no matter how closely you look.  They simply don’t exist.

This was the case on Capitol Hill this week, where money and politics collided at the biannual monetary policy gala.  Despite all the hubbub, no good plans were offered.  What’s more, on first glance, no bad plans were offered too.

When Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony was finally over, Congress knew less about the Fed’s plans than when it started.  For instance, when asked if the (Read More....)

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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....)

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Economic Profanity

Chinaby MN Gordon

Economic Prism

Significant changes are taking place.  As we noted several weeks ago, for the first time in 27 years wealth is not flowing into emerging markets.  It’s flowing out.

The global economy everyone has known since the late 1980s is being stood on its head.  Symbiotic relationships of production and consumption, of savings and debt, of eastern and western push and pull are backing up.  For 2015, net outflows from emerging markets are projected at $540 billion.

China, of course, is the major focal point.  From what we gather, $140 billion vacated China in August alone.  That amounts to over $1.6 trillion on an annualized (Read More....)

. . . → Read More: Economic Profanity

A Handbook For A Peaceful Return To The REPUBLIC

HopeGuest Post, Jim Bob


This booklet is the result of many years of studying and finding connections across a variety of subjects in an effort to understand our world and my place in it. This reflects my honest understanding of the view from my window. This is my considered opinion and only that. It is full of what I believe to be facts but I urge the reader to do his or her own homework. Seek out verification or refutation, for facts are cheap and information is abundant, but knowledge is precious. The world around us is not always what it seems and our understanding of it is limited to our observations and the observations of others we choose to add to our own. The problem is always with verifying the observations of others, including all of the teachers and professors we’ve had. Many of us took (Read More....)

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The Fastest Way to Escape a Debt Trap

How To Avoid Debt, Pixabay Graphicby MN Gordon

Economic Prism

Borrowing money and spending it can be fun. Certainly more fun than saving and paying down debt. Not only that, borrowing money’s much easier too.

Saving takes prudence, discipline, and hard work. Running up the credit card takes none of these things. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences.

Just like an individual, when an entire economy racks up a bill it can’t pay back, future economic growth becomes stunted. It becomes even more difficult to save and invest when more and more earnings must go to service debt. Asian economies are discovering this phenomenon. They are also discovering the relentless hold of a debt trap. What went wrong?

In short, when the financial crisis and Great Recession hit in 2008 nearly all governments ran up their federal debt. The U.S. government, for instance, ran fiscal deficits over $1 trillion dollars from 2009 thru 2012. Since then, they’ve cut budget deficits back to about half of that.

While many Asian governments also increased (Read More....)

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The Die is Cast

Another Highby MN Gordon

Economic Prism

“Alea iacta est” – Julius Ceasar

The NASDAQ crossed the 5,000 mark for the first time since the year 2000 on Monday. What a journey it has been. The world hardly resembles itself just fifteen years later. Practically everything has changed.

Back then, pre-9/11, the world was still our oyster. We just knew we’d attain whatever we dreamed with a little hard work and determination. But we never could’ve imagined how hard it would actually be just to scratch for our scraps. Naturally, with this latest NASDAQ milestone, we have some questions…

What does NASDAQ 5,000 really mean, anyway? Does it stand for something? Does what’s standing behind it have the strength to hold things up this time? Or will it roll over and (Read More....)

. . . → Read More: The Die is Cast

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