Comments on: Central bankers are saving the world because politicians won’t http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/13/central-bankers-are-saving-the-world-because-politicians-wont/ A clear-eyed view from Zachary Karabell Thu, 06 Feb 2014 10:10:54 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Gordon2352 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/13/central-bankers-are-saving-the-world-because-politicians-wont/#comment-81 Fri, 14 Dec 2012 18:53:13 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=34#comment-81 @ tmc —

Your recommended link is dead, probably killed by Reuters for some obscure reason.

However, if you want to read a weekly update on economic news that is accurate, I suggest this website for you.

http://www.prudentbear.com/

I read the commentary section called “Credit Bubble Bulletin” by Doug Noland regularly.

It is a great source for the real truth, instead of mainstream media.

This will be my last comment.

Good luck to all of you, we will need it.

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By: Gordon2352 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/13/central-bankers-are-saving-the-world-because-politicians-wont/#comment-80 Fri, 14 Dec 2012 18:11:08 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=34#comment-80 @ tmc —

Here is something for you to consider. I agree with you that most economics taught in US schools is a joke.

My particular interest is European history of the early 20th century, particularly the economic aspects of it and the spcific effects it has had on society, both then and now.

A MAJOR problem is understanding what is meant by “free trade”. What is generally considered “free trade” is actually NOT, but a twisted neocon version of it in which the game is rigged.

Adam Smith is typically considered to the inventor of free trade, and it is often argued that unfettered free trade will always benefit society and is self-correcting. THUS, there is NO need for regulation of any sort, which would impede free trade and hurt an economy.

Let’s see what Adam Smith REALLY said in his monumental work “The Wealth of Nations” (1776).

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From Wikipedia (solely for ease of use).

The Wealth of Nations

There is a fundamental disagreement between classical and neoclassical economists about the central message of Smith’s most influential work: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Neoclassical economists emphasise Smith’s invisible hand,[74] a concept mentioned in the middle of his work – book IV, chapter II – and classical economists believe that Smith stated his programme for promoting the “wealth of nations” in the first sentences.

Smith used the term “the invisible hand” in “History of Astronomy”[75] referring to “the invisible hand of Jupiter” and twice – each time with a different meaning – the term “an invisible hand”: in The Theory of Moral Sentiments[76] (1759) and in The Wealth of Nations[77] (1776). This last statement about “an invisible hand” has been interpreted as “the invisible hand” in numerous ways. It is therefore important to read the original …

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.

Smith’s statement about the benefits of “an invisible hand” is certainly meant to answer Mandeville’s contention that “Private Vices … may be turned into Public Benefits”.[79]

It shows Smith’s belief that when an individual pursues his self-interest, he indirectly promotes the good of society.

Self-interested competition in the free market, he argued, would tend to benefit society as a whole by keeping prices low, while still building in an incentive for a wide variety of goods and services.

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Nevertheless, he was wary of businessmen and warned of their “conspiracy against the public or in some other contrivance to raise prices.”[80]

Again and again, Smith warned of the collusive nature of business interests, which may form cabals or monopolies, fixing the highest price “which can be squeezed out of the buyers”.[81]

Smith also warned that a true laissez-faire economy would quickly become a conspiracy of businesses and industry against consumers, with the former scheming to influence politics and legislation.

Smith states that the interest of manufacturers and merchants “…in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public…

The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order, ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention.”[82]

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When talking about “free trade” this neocon government and the wealthy class NEVER mention the part between the stars.

THAT is what is wrong with this nation in a nutshell. We are the victims of a massive scam by the wealthy class.

We are practicing EXACTLY what Adam Smith warned us could happen to free trade if it was not strictly controlled.

THEREIN LIES THE BULLSHIT!

We NEED to stop listening to the wealthy-controlled government before they destroy it AGAIN.

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By: Gordon2352 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/13/central-bankers-are-saving-the-world-because-politicians-wont/#comment-79 Fri, 14 Dec 2012 17:27:15 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=34#comment-79 @ tmc —

Clearly, we do not agree and nothing I can say will change your mind. But now, at least, I think I understand why.

It appears that globalization has benefitted your personal career, but I have watched while my employers — the same high-tech fortune 500 companies you wax enthusiastic about — begin transferring facilities overseas, mainly to SE Asia — for cheaper labor, lower taxes and looser environmental regulations.

THIS is what is known colloquially as “free trade”.

NOTHING in this world is “free”.

The concept of free trade that has been sold to the American people is a massive Ponzi scheme that benefits only the wealthy class. And we are now reaping the rewards of those free trade policies.

I began working in the high-tech industry as a cost accountant, rising eventually to Plant Controller for several multinational corporations.

Thus, to simplify my duties tremendously, since I was responsible for controlling bill of material costs (i.e. variance analyis) at the fab level, I have an EXACT understanding of the intricate cost structure of a typical fab.

I also participated in closing the books each month, plus monthly and yearly SEC reporting. Thus, I KNOW from the inside how these companies work and what is important to them — profits, profits, profits, and more profits. And the current tax laws are set up to shield these companies from paying taxes here in the US. I know this from an accounting viewpoint, and these tax breaks are extensive.

The most important factor in manufacturing a product, especially a product as involved as a semiconductor chip (due to the numerous steps and expensive materials involved) is COST.

Also, most people think the high-tech industry is “clean”, but the waste products are HIGHLY TOXIC. Thus, environmental regulations are a MAJOR concern.

So, while you benefitted personally from the rise of the high-tech revolution, I witnessed the destruction of it, at least as far as the US economy is concerned. I watched as, for the past 30 years, an entire industry — the cutting edge of technology that, had it remained here, would have prevented the total collapse of this economy.

Remember, every manufacturing job in the US supports many other service jobs, as well.

THIS is what globalization really does.

It destroys a nation that does not take steps to protect its vital manufacturing industries from wealthy greed (a.k.a. job outsourcing, which has become industry outsourcing). This is a testament to wealthy greed and a total disregard for this country or anyone who isn’t wealthy.

The problem you and I have is that you can’t possibly understand what I have seen and know about what is wrong with this nation’s economy.

I have the requisite education and experience to know, but I cannot explain it to you because we have no language in commmon.

It would take a book, literally, for me to explain, and even then most people would not understand what is happening to this nation.

The wealthy-controlled government is destroying this country through the present system of free trade, tax structure, and banking that benefits only the wealthy class.

If you think what is happening is good for our children, or even prospects for our immediate future, I can only repeat what I have said: you are dead wrong.

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By: spewz http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/13/central-bankers-are-saving-the-world-because-politicians-wont/#comment-78 Fri, 14 Dec 2012 13:33:34 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=34#comment-78 For the dissenting opinion, Dallas Fed’s Fisher:

“I do have a different perspective. My perspective is fairly straightforward. We all understand the theory. The theory is that if you lower the cost of money or provide more money, you change the discount factors and it works its way into the stock market and there is a wealth effect…My point is that we have so much extra cash and reserves sitting on the sidelines, it is not being put to work right now. The question is: what will incent people to use the copious amounts of money we put out there and step on the accelerator and move job creation forward when we have the fiscal policy uncertainty? I think we’re pushing on a string. It is a great risk that I am not only worried about, but the Bank for International Settlements wrote their entire annual report and concluded we are at the risk of overburdening the central banks.”

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By: tmc http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/13/central-bankers-are-saving-the-world-because-politicians-wont/#comment-77 Fri, 14 Dec 2012 13:19:32 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=34#comment-77 I don’t think I’m naive at all about the wealthy. In fact, you and I have very similar experiences as I too am in the tech industry. I’m a computer science type though. I’ve worked with start-up to fortune 500, so I know the same folks as you. A boon to me was I got to travel with them a fair amount. Some I liked, some, not so much. But I can say that about any group I’ve worked or socialized with. In working with executive management you should also be very aware that they play a very tough game and they play for keeps. They cannot “show their cards” or they would not be able to strategize and quickly loose the game. Now the 20 years ago the players all came form the same mold. Now that globalization has really taken off, the players at the table have changes significantly, as hindumuninc has explained. I hope you read that, he did a pretty good job. I tried to read NYMag, but it just seemed like anti-republican rhetoric that though mostly true from their viewpoint, does not really add anything but FUD to a conversation.
There have always been and always will be those in power. As we know, power corrupts. So wouldn’t it be better to help those in power to fight the corruption? Use what influence we have to shape the society so there are less opportunities to be corrupted? Most all of the successful people in this country are doing exactly what our society shaped them to do. Remember, with great fanfare we removed key regulations on many verticals significantly increasing the likelihood for corruption (Thanks Ronnie!). Now we disgrace those people for doing what was expected of them. Yes, I still think many of them should be in jail for what they’ve done (John Corzine). I offer no reprieve to criminals.

I guess it boils down to this Gordon, I troll Reuters a lot and some commenters stick out as intelligent people. I look for your comments as I value your opinion, not because of who you are or where you came from, but because you presented a consistent, intelligent viewpoint. The first time my job was off-shored to India I was angry for years. But I finally got over it, learned to understand it, and work with it. I’m happier, my family is happier, and I can have a conversation without ranting again. Anger and angst clouds our perceptions. You still seem to still have a bit of both

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By: matthewslyman http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/13/central-bankers-are-saving-the-world-because-politicians-wont/#comment-76 Fri, 14 Dec 2012 12:55:42 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=34#comment-76 …Which brings me onto another related topic… Before I met my wife, I saw many good girls who seemed to have nothing wrong with them except for one thing: poor judgement about what it meant to have financial (or personal) security. If ever a man ever asked them on a date who didn’t have a nice car, or who didn’t “own” a house (on a mortgage); they would make up some ridiculous excuse to get rid of the guy. On the other hand, when some charismatic philanderer with an unaffordable mortgage, a massive bank-loan and a nice car asked them on a date, those same girls were all over them (either for actual romantic interest, or to manipulate them into giving them a ride somewhere they might be able to get noticed by some other stud).
May I suggest that if our politicians — and the central bankers they employ — have become stewards of debt-based economic decline (with an immoral illusion of prosperity for the profligate); this is because the people who voted in these spend-thrifts are generally the same sort of people. They are indeed, representatives of the common people…

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By: matthewslyman http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/13/central-bankers-are-saving-the-world-because-politicians-wont/#comment-75 Fri, 14 Dec 2012 12:43:20 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=34#comment-75 @trevorh: IN OTHER WORDS: When women generally stop marrying for “financial security” (read, a life of ease and comfort); but marry instead a man of principle whom they can respect; then the problem will be solved within one generation.

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By: trevorh http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/13/central-bankers-are-saving-the-world-because-politicians-wont/#comment-74 Fri, 14 Dec 2012 03:13:11 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=34#comment-74 @Gordon2352

Wow, you sound even more angry than me.

I also know very well that in order to become very rich, many (if not most) of the wealthy have done unspeakable, disgusting back-stabbing and unethical things.

But you also need to understand that some of the wealthy actually did a lot of good things, and are good guys. They earned it. Like those guys at Google (except the fraudulent stock split last year of course)

So the problem is not the wealthy, but REALLY is the wrong people being wealthy. Because of the lack of morality and decency in the society, many of the wealthy right now got rich because they are more shameless and are good at playing the finite zero sum game (ie taking advantage of others, playing dirty, fraud, scams), not because they generate value.

But they are already rich now, the least people can do is to limit and isolate them (hopefully to the point that they don’t even have mate to breed more of themselves, as we clearly don’t need any more of them).
After that make sure that only the “good” guys get rich. The “good” guys will make sure the poor won’t starve I can assure you (provided that the poor don’t over-breed or do stupid things of course)

Generalizing and name calling all the wealthy is not going to make any difference nor is productive.

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By: Gordon2352 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/13/central-bankers-are-saving-the-world-because-politicians-wont/#comment-73 Thu, 13 Dec 2012 23:02:43 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=34#comment-73 @ tmc —

I mean no disprespect, but I think you have a VERY naive point of view on the extent to which the wealthy control the global economy.

The coordination of central bankers is literally proof of this.

I understand what Bernanke is supposed to be trying to do in terms of creating “controlled” inflation to drive down our global debt. However, individual nations will not permit this transfer of inflation to their economies, which would make their exports noncompetitive.

For example, China will NOT allow the US to create trade conditions that would cause their economy to crash. And it is very near stall speed right now. Japan will not allow the US to underbid the yen thereby causing their economy to crash either. The damage is done and CANNOT be undone by printing money.

All Bernanke is accomplishing is, as I said originally, backstopping the wealthy class by artificially propping up asset values — ALL at the expense of the American people (To be kind, I no longer count the wealthy class as part of the American people, otherwise there are appropriate names to call people who knowingly betray their own country for personal gain.)

The net effect of Bernanke’s insane economic policies is that the US is going into debt at the rate of more than a trillion dollars per year, and the only thing keeping this country from collapsing is, thanks to the electronic age, he is literally printing money at the speed of light.

The fact is that every single fiat dollar that is printed — “backed by the full faith and credit of the US”, of course — incrementally lowers the value of our economy.

Yes, this is building a truly MASSIVE amount of inflation, which is represented by our equally truly MASSIVE and rising amount of debt.

Given that Bernanke CANNOT drive the dollar lower than other nations, there will reach a point at which the US will become so unstable that we will collapse.

THAT is what is really occurring.

THAT is NOT “a little pain for a lot of gain”.

THAT is taking the exact same route as Wiemar Germany, which ended up as the poster child for hyperinflation.

The wealthy KNOW THIS, including I am sure Mr. Bernanke. NO ONE with his background and education can be as completely stupid as his policies would indicate.

The wealthy class escaped taking the hit for the hyperinflation for Wiemar Germany, which they caused initially through the Versailles Treaty (but that is another story for another time).

The wealthy rarely take the hit for what they do. The global crash in 1929 is a perfect example. After more than a decade of incredible excess — just like now, except this has been going on for over 30 years — the worst they suffered was the humiliation of being forced to endure the first social legislation this country has ever had (i.e. Social Security), and which they are busily trying to dismantle right now.

The aftermath of those events in the early 20th century resulted in WWII.

Think about that next time you think what the wealthy are deliberately doing is relatively harmless.

By the way, I should disclose I am a retired CPA/MBA who worked primarily as a Plant Controller and Finance Manager, reporting mostly to the CEO/CFO of the organization, in the high-tech industry since it began in the mid-1980s.

I’ve worked very closely with these people for a substantial portion of my life and I know to a certainty what goes on in many BOD meetings.

If you want to believe these people are relatively harmless, think about all the pro-wealthy trade legislation, favorable tax laws, and the fact they have managed to combine commercial and investment banking again for the the first time since these things caused the crash in 1929, then rethink your position because it is dead wrong.

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By: tmc http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2012/12/13/central-bankers-are-saving-the-world-because-politicians-wont/#comment-72 Thu, 13 Dec 2012 18:30:47 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/?p=34#comment-72 You really got me pegged wrong. I grew up very poor in a rural area actually. Now in my fifties my wife and I only make 130,000 combined. I despise Banksters to the point that I use cash for most everything and agree that they have destroyed the US economy. In my line of work, I can work from home (to Reuters great annoyance). So fair and even GLOBAL wages are very important to me. I know exactly what my competition in the BRIC and other countries charge. hindumuninc wrote a great comment on a Reuters article yesterday. He explains globalization much better than I. http://www.reuters.com/article/comments/ idUSBRE8BB09620121212. I am not, nor is anyone, proposing that the US standard of living drop to what I think you mean by “the rest of the world”. They are not as far behind as you seem to think, and there wages and standards of living are climbing rapidly. I assume you have not traveled to India or China. Three Billion people not in the OECD. So I think we’ll meet some where in the middle. Heck, I don’t want it to drop to some of the OECDs level. Seen Slovakia recently? My economics schooling is on par with any grad my age and most of it was useless. Times change. And I’ve learned that it is not always the cheapest labor that drives an economy in this world. Definitely does in the US and most of the OECD, but once we fall off a few more fiscal cliffs that will probably change too.
There have always been people of power and the majority of them are corrupt to some degree. As you pointed out it is human nature. Truth be told though, even in their evil ways they further economic growth and prosperity for other. I’m sure it eats at them at night too. But I don’t think those poor souls conspire late at night to screw me or the country over. The global economy is is far to big and moving far to fast for a hand full of Banksters, Politicians, and Sophists to control it.
The viewpoint that the central banks and the people that run them are so stupid as to not understand what printing vast quantities of money will do is in itself ridiculous. No matter what I think of their morals and ethics (or lack there of), they are some of the best educated, highly intelligent people our country has. So yes, I think their goal is to cause more inflation. It reduces our debt and makes us more competitive. A little pain for a lot of gain. These things take time though too, so yeah, it’s for our kids.

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