Prospects for the European Economy

We can conduct a similar analysis of the European economy as we did for the US economy. We will restrict our discussion to the Euro Area, the countries which share a common currency, the euro. The euro creates a unique, separate trading bloc, the internal dynamics of which need to be understood both to assess the … Continue reading “Prospects for the European Economy”

Prospects for the US Economy

THE WORLD ECONOMY IN RÉSUMÉ In the previous post we outlined the structural condition of the world economy, and in particular the structural flaws it contains. The main flaw is the divorce between production and consumption. Prior to the establishment of this new macroeconomic structure, supply and demand were roughly in balance in the domestic … Continue reading “Prospects for the US Economy”

What This Election is Really All About

The Economics of the 2016 Election Cycle The current election cycle in the United States is like none other in recent memory. At least in terms of vitriol, it is no contest. But beyond the partisan slams back and forth lies a deeper fundamental reality which really lies at the heart of the contest. In … Continue reading “What This Election is Really All About”

The Problem of Saving

When Schumpeter writes, “Now to the question: what is a savings account?”,[1] he is not being facetious. There is more to savings than meets the eye. Of course, the bare fact of saving is simple enough to understand. Rather than spend all of our earnings, we take some and put it to one side. What … Continue reading “The Problem of Saving”

An End to Alchemy?

Michael Lewis, the author of various illuminating accounts of the events and progressions of the great financial crisis of 2008 – one of which became an Oscar-winning Hollywood movie – this time provides us with an illuminating account of someone else’s book – Mervyn King’s newly published The End of Alchemy. The thesis is a … Continue reading “An End to Alchemy?”

Weighing the Gold Standard

Seeing as how the gold standard is a “money method”[1] by which all exchange value is made dependent upon the weight of a certain substance, viz., gold, it would seem appropriate to “weigh it up” to determine whether or not, “weighed in the balance,” it is “found wanting.” Indeed, weight measurement was the standard of … Continue reading “Weighing the Gold Standard”

Another Look at Quantitative Easing

In a previous post (“Quantitative Easing and Substitutionary Atonement”), I discussed some of the underlying philosophy of quantitative easing, the latest of the Fed’s attempts to “stimulate” the economy. Quantitative easing, to recap, is the term for central bank purchases of assets on the open market. The difference with traditional “open-market operations” is twofold. Firstly, the purpose: … Continue reading “Another Look at Quantitative Easing”

Quantitative Easing and Substitutionary Atonement

In attempting to explain to my wife why investing in the stock market right now is not such a good idea, I came up with a little graph, which at one glance reveals the matter succinctly. Here it is:   It shows that the stock market growth of recent years has less to do with … Continue reading “Quantitative Easing and Substitutionary Atonement”

More than an Analogy?

One of the themes running through my head regarding a description of the current financial crisis is that of the similarity of subprime mortgages to HIV. Just as HIV gets in the bloodstream and destroys immune capacity, subprime mortgages were packaged together in MSOs and CDOs which, circulating through the banking system, in turn have … Continue reading “More than an Analogy?”