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The Upside of Lockdowns: More Saving

January 18, 2021

Rothbard: “At the outset of every step forward on the road to a more plentiful existence is saving….Without saving and capital accumulation there could not be any striving toward nonmaterial ends.”

Original Article: “The Upside of Lockdowns: More Saving​”
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.

Original Text:

Something good is coming out of the covid lockdowns. Economist David Rosenberg released a special report via the eponymous Rosenberg Research, concluding “the pre-COVID-19 ‘norm’ of a 7% personal savings rate will morph into a post-COVID-19 norm of 10%.”
Rosenberg makes frequent TV appearances after he was chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch in New York from 2002 to 2009, when he was

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The Upside of Lockdowns: More Saving

January 15, 2021

Something good is coming out of the covid lockdowns. Economist David Rosenberg released a special report via the eponymous Rosenberg Research, concluding “the pre-COVID-19 ‘norm’ of a 7% personal savings rate will morph into a post-COVID-19 norm of 10%.”
Rosenberg makes frequent TV appearances after he was chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch in New York from 2002 to 2009, when he was consistently included in the Institutional Investor All-Star analyst rankings. From there he spent ten years as chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff.
Rosenberg doesn’t portray his prediction of a savings rate increase necessarily as a positive, instead writing, “for the 70% of aggregate demand called ‘the consumer,’ this will exert an everlasting drag on the

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Rich Millennials Plot the End of Civilization

December 24, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The New York Times managed to find some young people whose silver spoons provide a sour taste in their mouths. To hear them talk, their good fortune is making them sick.

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Central Banks Put Wind at Bitcoin’s Back

December 11, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]“Russia, Russia, Russia,” the current president used to sarcastically chastise opponents for wondering about 2016 election tinkering from Putin’s principality. Recent MAGA rallies featured “Covid, covid, covid,” with President Trump complaining that the press could think of nothing else.

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Monetary and Fiscal Sorcery Make Home Price Magic

September 6, 2020

Make the money cheap enough and government intrusive enough, and incongruous headlines appear side by side. For instance, from the Las Vegas Review-Journal comes this head-scratcher: “Las Vegas Housing Market ‘on Fire’ as Economy Limps Along.”
Almost Daily Grant’s reminds us the Federal Reserve is on the job 24/7/365,
There’s more where that came from. Last week’s release of the minutes to the Federal Reserve’s July meeting indicated that the Open Market Committee is unlikely to rest on its laurels, following its move to a near-zero overnight funds rate and 65% expansion of its balance sheet since March. Those exertions have coincided with a thunderous rebound in asset prices, most notably a 53% surge on the S&P 500 over the past five months.
Here on Main Street

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Stocks Always Go up. Until They Don’t.

July 9, 2020

Economist Irving Fisher famously said just before the 1929 stock market crash, “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” Whoops. Fisher wasn’t just any old economist. Joseph Schumpeter called him “the greatest economist the United States has ever produced.” Milton Friedman and James Tobin agreed.
After the sharp March COVID crash, stocks have come roaring back: nevermind the pandemic, protests in the streets, shuttered businesses, and double-digit unemployment rates. In Fisher’s day the Federal Reserve was but a pup; now Chairman Powell decided to print and ask questions later, expanding his central bank’s balance sheet by $3 trillion dollars in four months, a 75 percent increase.
Now a lesser light than Fisher is repeating the

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As the Fed Pumps, the Stock Market Is Increasingly the Only Game in Town

June 28, 2020

While the economic storm caused by COVID-19 has seemed to wane (temporarily?), the stock market can’t seem to go but one direction—up. Graham and Dodd’s meaty 700-page Security Analysis has soared to number 7695 on the Amazon best-seller list. According to Warren Buffett, the book is “A road map for investing that I have now been following for 57 years.”
One wonders what roadmap the young people who saw the pandemic March meltdown as an opportunity to buy slices of familiar technology stocks are following?
CNBC reports, “The major online brokers — Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Etrade and Robinhood — saw new accounts grow as much as 170% in the first quarter, when stocks experienced the fastest bear market and the worst first quarter in history.”
What company

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Some Insightful Entrepreneurs Planned for a Pandemic

May 8, 2020

Listen to the Audio ​Mises Wire version of this article.
Does a pandemic trump entrepreneurial foresight? Many in business will say yes, “nobody saw this coming.” Lack of customer demand and government lockdowns are “no fault of their own.”
But Penny Chutima, co-owner of the Lotus of Siam restaurant, did see it coming. Chutima and her mother, Saipin, have operated the off-Strip Las Vegas staple for years. Saipin opened the original location with her husband in 1999. Yelp gives the northern Thai eatery 4.5 stars with over fifteen hundred reviews, which typically start with something like “OMG, WHERE DO I BEGIN.”
The food is great. The wait can be long but worth it.
Saipin is a James Beard Award–winning chef and also pays attention to what’s happening in China. So,

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Builders in Denial

April 17, 2020

The year 2006 seems like a lifetime ago. The housing boom seemed to be going full throttle, but danger lurked. I wrote on LewRockwell.com in March of that year, concerning a Las Vegas real estate seminar, that “nary a discouraging word was spoken.”
But despite the happy talk coming from the podium that day, pleasing the thirteen hundred attendees, I was hearing something different: “builders I talked to at the Outlook don’t believe [Dennis] Smith’s numbers. They say their traffic numbers are half what they were last year and cancellations are soaring.” A builder described the market as a bloodbath.
Again, that was 2006, home prices would peak in June of that year. Two years later we know what happened. In between, the conventional wisdom was that the market ship

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Shhhh: Repo Operation in Process

February 5, 2020

In a bit of holiday news no one will care about, the Treasury announced it would return to selling twenty-year treasury bonds to aid in funding the nation’s trillion-dollar deficit. It was 1986 when the Treasury last issued twenty-year paper. Of course the question is: who or what will be the buyers?
Daniel R. Amerman, CFA, is keeping a steady eye on the Treasury and Fed’s operations and has come to the conclusion,
In just the last four months, the U.S. government has spent $457 billion—almost half a trillion dollars—more than it has taken in. In that same time and using monetary creation, the Federal Reserve has created and put $457 billion in new cash into the financial system, either buying U.S. Treasuries or funding the ownership of those Treasuries by

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