Thursday , August 22 2019
Home / Tag Archives: gold basis

Tag Archives: gold basis

Deflation Is Everywhere—If You Know Where to Look, Report 18 Aug

At a shopping mall recently, we observed an interesting deal at Sketchers. If you buy two pairs of shoes, the second is 30% off. Sketchers has long offered deals like this (sometimes 50% off). This is a sign of deflation. Regular readers know to wait for the punchline. Manufacturer Gives Away Its Margins We do not refer merely to the fact that there is a discount. We are not simply arguing that Sketchers are sold cheaper—hence deflation. That is not our approach....

Read More »

The Economic Singularity, Report 11 Aug

We have recently written several essays about the fallacious concept of Gross Domestic Product. Among GDP’s several fatal flaws, it goes up when capital is converted to consumer goods, when seed corn is served at the feast. So we proposed—and originally dismissed—the idea of a national balance sheet. It’s easy (conceptually) to add up all the assets and the liabilities. But the problem is that the falling interest rate...

Read More »

How to Fix GDP, Report 14 Jul

Last week, we looked at the idea of a national balance sheet, as a better way to measure the economy than GDP (which is production + destruction). The national balance sheet would take into account both assets and liabilities. If we take on another $1,000,000 debt to buy a $1,000,000 asset, then we have not added any equity. This is so, even though assets have gone up. But unfortunately, as a consequence of assets going...

Read More »

GDP Begets More GDP (Positive Feedback), Report 30 June

Last week, we discussed the fundamental flaw in GDP. GDP is a perfect tool for central planning tools. But for measuring the economy, not so much. This is because it looks only at cash revenues. It does not look at the balance sheet. It does not take into account capital consumption or debt accumulation. Any Keynesian fool can add to GDP by borrowing to spend. But that is not economic growth. Borrowing to Consume Today,...

Read More »

What Gets Measures Gets Improved, Report 23 June

Let’s start with Frederic Bastiat’s 170-year old parable of the broken window. A shopkeeper has a broken window. The shopkeeper is, of course, upset at the loss of six francs (0.06oz gold, or about $75). Bastiat discusses a then-popular facile argument: the glass guy is making money (to which all we can say is, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”). Bastiat says it is true, and this is the seen. The glazier does...

Read More »

Dollar Supply Creates Dollar Demand, Report 2 June

We have been discussing the impossibility of China nuking the Treasury bond market. We covered a list of challenges China would face. Then last week we showed that there cannot be such a thing as a bond vigilante in an irredeemable currency. Now we want to explore a different path to the same conclusion that China cannot nuke the Treasury bond market. To review something we have said many times, the dollar is borrowed....

Read More »

The Crime of ‘33, Report 27 May

Last week, we wrote about the impossibility of China nuking the Treasury bond market. Really, this is not about China but mostly about the nature of the dollar and the structure of the monetary system. We showed that there are a whole host of problems with the idea of selling a trillion dollars of Treasurys: Yuan holders are selling yuan to buy dollars, PBOC can’t squander its dollar reserves If it doesn’t buy another...

Read More »

China’s Nuclear Option to Sell US Treasurys, Report 19 May

There is a drumbeat pounding on a monetary issue, which is now rising into a crescendo. The issue is: China might sell its holdings of Treasury bonds—well over $1 trillion—and crash the Treasury bond market. Since the interest rate is inverse to the bond price, a crash of the price would be a skyrocket of the rate. The US government would face spiraling costs of servicing its debt, and quickly collapse into bankruptcy....

Read More »

Nonmonetary Cause of Lower Prices, Report 5 May

Over the past several weeks, we have debunked the idea that purchasing power—i.e. what a dollar can buy—is intrinsic to the currency itself. We have discussed a large non-monetary force that drives up prices. Governments at every level force producers to add useless ingredients, via regulation, taxation, labor law, environmentalism, etc. These are ingredients that the consumer does not value, and often does not even...

Read More »

Is Keith Weiner an Iconoclast? Report 28 Apr

We have a postscript to our ongoing discussion of inflation. A reader pointed out that Levis 501 jeans are $39.19 on Amazon (in Keith’s size—Amazon advertises prices as low as $16.31, which we assume is for either a very small size that uses less fabric, or an odd size that isn’t selling). Think of the enormity of this. The jeans were $50 in 1983. After 36 years of relentless inflation (or hot air about inflation), the...

Read More »