MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘inflation’

Venezuela’s currency: Worth more as craft paper than as money | News | Al Jazeera

Posted by M. C. on December 29, 2019

Where does all that pretty paper come from? Printing presses.

You know, like what the Fed does.

https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/venezuela-currency-worth-craft-paper-money-191224144545023.html

by

Santa Marta, Colombia – Along the cobblestoned streets of the coastal city of Santa Marta, demand for bolivares from Venezuela is skyrocketing, but not for the bills’ monetary value.

Instead of using his homeland’s money to pay for daily essentials in his native country, Venezuelan immigrant Hector Cordero weaves the currency into wallets and purses, which he sells to tourists in Colombia. His artful crafts underscore the creative methods that Venezuelans are using to extract value from a currency that – amid skyrocketing inflation – many consider worthless.

“These bolivares soberanos notes are worth nothing,” Cordero, who is from Caracas, told Al Jazeera. “The notes I use are not circulating any more since last year.”

 Venezuelan  Currency 2
Hector Cordero makes wallets and purses from Venezuelan currency and sells them to tourists in Colombia [Sergio Held/Al Jazeera]

Cordero uses about 70 notes of 100 bolivares each to handcraft a small coin purse, or 100 of the notes to make a larger wallet. A handbag can take up to 1,200 notes to produce. All in all, the artist incorporates 16 different denominations of Venezuelan currency into his crafts, many of them the discontinued bolivares soberanos.

Cordero sells wallets made from hundreds or even thousands of bills of the now valueless currency for about $8; the handbags go for about $12. He says most of his clients are European and North American tourists – people who want to take home a piece of what was once one of the strongest economies in South America.

He learned his technique by watching others in the streets of Caracas and by studying dozens of YouTube tutorials uploaded by fellow Venezuelans to teach people how to make what has become known as origami venezolano.

“When I run out of bolivares, my brother goes to Venezuela and brings more notes,” Cordero said. “People have a lot of these notes and we buy them. We give them what they ask for.” He explained that people in Venezuela exchange unworthy bolivares by the weight for other forms of currency – usually United States dollars – or for food. People also make the swap for high-denomination bolivares – bills that still hold some dwindling value. The crafts help Cordero and his family get by in their temporary home in Colombia, but he dreams of returning to Venezuela some day…

Be seeing you

"JINGLE BELL ROCK", "ROCKIN' AROUND THE XMAS TREE ...

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : How Congress and the Federal Reserve Stole Christmas

Posted by M. C. on December 24, 2019

Inflation is nothing more than a hidden and regressive tax. Auditing and ending the Fed should thus be a top priority of those concerned about rising income inequality and poverty, as well as those dreaming of a Christmas free of 2,000-page omnibus spending bills.

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/december/23/how-congress-and-the-federal-reserve-stole-christmas/

Written by Ron Paul

The bickering over impeachment did not stop the president and Congress from coming together last week to avert a government shutdown by passing a 1.4 trillion dollar spending package.

The bipartisan agreement has something for everyone — a 22 billion dollars increase to bring total spending on militarism to 738 billion dollars, and a 27 billion dollars increase to bring total spending on domestic programs to 632 billion dollars. It also imposes a national ban on selling tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to anyone under 21.

The agreement was split into two bills. Both bills were unveiled last Monday afternoon. The bills passed the House on Tuesday, so only the House leadership and the members of the Appropriations Committee (and their staffs) who helped write the over 2,000-page deal had any idea what was in the bills. But most members voted for the spending bills because they were fearful of backlash over another Christmastime government shutdown. House leadership simply “waived” the rule requiring that all legislation be available at least three days before being voted upon.

The modern practice of funding the government via gigantic omnibus bills that are rushed into law puts the growth of government on autopilot. This practice also gives the president more influence over the budget, violating the spirit, if not the letter, of the Constitution’s grant of authority to Congress to appropriate funds, which was intended as a check on executive power.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve continues pumping billions into the repurchasing market. When the Fed began injecting money into the market in September, it said intervention was a temporary measure to address a short-term liquidity shortage. Three months later, the Fed is not only continuing to bail out the repurchasing market, it is preparing for other bailouts. This is further evidence that we are on the verge of another Fed-created economic crisis.

When the crisis hits, the best thing the Fed could do is not to lower interest rates below the levels set by the market. This would allow consumers, businesses, and government to liquidate their debt and restore a sound foundation for future growth. If the Fed did not interfere with the painful but necessary correction, it would only be a short time before a real economic boom commenced.

The Federal Reserve is unlikely to follow this path because of the short-term pain it would cause debt-ridden consumers and, more importantly, the pain it would cause politicians who would be forced to cut spending and/or raise taxes. But continuing to artificially lower interest rates will inevitably result in an economic crisis brought about by a rejection of the dollar’s world reserve currency status.

The Federal Reserve’s manipulation of interest rates depreciates the dollar’s value, enabling the growth of the welfare-warfare state while enriching the insiders who receive the new money before prices rise. The brunt of dollar depreciation is felt by middle- and working-class Americans whose paychecks do not keep up with the rising cost of living.

Inflation is nothing more than a hidden and regressive tax. Auditing and ending the Fed should thus be a top priority of those concerned about rising income inequality and poverty, as well as those dreaming of a Christmas free of 2,000-page omnibus spending bills.

Be seeing you

For-Money-Fish-1stOct2017-850x720.jpg

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : How Congress and the Federal Reserve Stole Christmas

Central Bankers Have Declared War on Your Savings | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on December 2, 2019

Recently, European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde bemoaned their surpluses, complaining that they would be better off spending the money on infrastructure and education. Desperate for a modicum of growth, Lagarde is of the philosophy that the only way to grow an economy is through government intervention.

https://mises.org/wire/central-bankers-have-declared-war-your-savings?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=adfd4f6c6d-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-adfd4f6c6d-228343965

…Lagarde is a proponent of the NIRPs , championing the unconventional mechanism to achieve growth. Since the eurozone has barely cracked 2% GDP, many are anticipating that Lagarde will deepen negative rates during her term as president. Anytime she has mused on the subject, Lagarde has usually dismissed concerns about the saver, noting that they are also consumers, borrowers, and workers.

Unfortunately, this contempt for savers is commonplace because it is antithetical to the Keynesian approach of spending. Disciples of John Maynard Keynes will contend that consumption over saving should only happen during the bust phase of the business cycle, but if you peruse any opinion pieces by individuals subscribing to this ideology, you will only come across spending prescriptions for every type of economy – boom or bust. They dismiss the fact that capital accumulation, not consumption, creates wealth.

This myth originates from Keynes’ The General Theory and Treatise on Money, in which he posits that a saver is reducing the income of another person because he or she is not consuming the goods or services extended by somebody else. Put simply, he considered saving a self-defeating act.

“Saving is the act of the individual consumer and consists in the negative act of refraining from spending the whole of his current income on consumption,” he wrote.

The crusade against savers has been prevalent in the Democratic primary. The likes of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have grieved about hoarders , particularly those who are the top 0.1% (no longer just the 1% anymore; likely because these two people are the 1%, too). The presidential candidates are perturbed that the supposed capital hoarders are not putting their fortunes into the economy. This is nonsense talk to justify their wealth confiscation policies, since the affluent are saving and investing, not just stuffing their money under mattresses.

Negative rates, higher taxes, and inflation – the statists are employing every measure to gain access to the fruits of your labor…

If you don’t like it, then you are out of luck. You have nowhere to go. The globalists have declared war on mom and pop savers, pillaging bank accounts and conquering our lives. Is there a chance for victory? As long as the omnipotent and iniquitous institutions remain in charge, optimism over sound economics can only fade to black.

Originally published by Liberty Nation.

Be seeing you

Younger Generation Will Probably End Up Poorer Than Their ...

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why Government Should not Fight Deflation | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on November 9, 2019

Thus attempts to reverse price deflation by means of a loose monetary policy (i.e., by creating inflation) is bad news for the process of wealth generation, and hence for the economy. On the other hand, in order to maintain their lives and well-being, individuals must buy goods and services in the present. So from this perspective a fall in prices cannot be bad for the economy.

https://mises.org/wire/why-government-should-not-fight-deflation

For most experts, deflation is considered bad news since it generates expectations of a decline in prices. As a result, they believe, consumers are likely to postpone their buying of goods at present since they expect to buy these goods at lower prices in the future.

This weakens the overall flow of spending and in turn weakens the economy. Hence, such commentators hold that policies that counter deflation will also counter the slump.

Will Reversing Deflation Prevent a Slump?

If deflation leads to an economic slump, then policies that reverse deflation should be good for the economy. Or so it is held.

Reversing deflation will simply involve introducing policies that support general increases in the prices of goods, i.e., price inflation. With this way of thinking inflation could actually be an agent of economic growth.

According to most experts, a little bit of inflation can actually be a good thing. Mainstream economists believe that inflation of 2 percent is not harmful to economic growth, but that inflation of 10 percent could be bad for the economy.

There’s good reason to believe, however, that at a rate of inflation of 10 percent, it is likely that consumers are going to form rising inflation expectations.

According to popular thinking, in response to a high rate of inflation, consumers will speed up their expenditures on goods at present, which should boost economic growth. So why then is a rate of inflation of 10 percent or higher regarded by experts as a bad thing? Clearly there is a problem with the popular way of thinking.

Price Inflation vs. Money-Supply Inflation

Inflation is not about general increases in prices as such, but about the increase in money supply. As a rule the increase in money supply sets in motion general increases in prices. This, however, need not always be the case.

The price of a good is the amount of money asked per unit of it. For a constant amount of money and an expanding quantity of goods, prices will actually fall. Prices will also fall when the rate of increase in the supply of goods exceeds the rate of increase in the money supply. For instance, if the money supply increases by 5 percent and the quantity of goods increases by 10 percent, prices will fall by 5 percent.

A fall in prices however cannot conceal the fact that we have inflation of 5 percent here on account of the increase in the money supply.

The reason why inflation is bad news is not because of increases in prices as such, but because of the damage inflation inflicts to the wealth-formation process. Here is why.

The chief role of money is the medium of exchange. Money enables us to exchange something we have for something we want. Before an exchange can take place, an individual must have something useful that he can exchange for money. Once he secures the money, he can then exchange it for the goods he wants.

But now consider a situation in which the money is created “out of thin air,” increasing the money supply. This new money is no different from counterfeit money. The counterfeiter exchanges the printed money for goods without producing anything useful. He in fact exchanges nothing for something. He takes from the pool of real goods without making any contribution to the pool.

Note that as a result of the increase in the money supply what we have here is more money per unit of goods, and thus, higher prices.

What matters however is not that prices rise, but the increase in the money supply that sets in motion the exchange of nothing for something, or “the counterfeit effect.” The exchange of nothing for something, as we have seen, weakens the process of real wealth formation. Therefore, anything that promotes increases in the money supply can only make things much worse.

Why Falling Prices Are Good

Changes in prices are just a symptom, as it were — and not the primary causative factor — of a falling growth momentum.  Thus attempts to reverse price deflation by means of a loose monetary policy (i.e., by creating inflation) is bad news for the process of wealth generation, and hence for the economy. On the other hand, in order to maintain their lives and well-being, individuals must buy goods and services in the present. So from this perspective a fall in prices cannot be bad for the economy.

Furthermore, if a fall in the growth momentum of prices emerges on the back of the collapse of bubble activities in response to a softer monetary growth, then this should be seen as good news. The fewer non-productive bubble activities we have, the better it is for the wealth generators, and hence for the overall pool of real wealth.

Likewise, if a fall in the growth momentum of the CPI emerges on account of the expansion in real wealth for a given stock of money, this is obviously great news since many more people could now benefit from the expanding pool of real wealth.

We can thus conclude that contrary to the popular view, a fall in the growth momentum of prices is always good news for the wealth generating process and hence for the economy.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Of Two Minds – Welcome to the USSR: the United States of Suppression and Repression

Posted by M. C. on October 24, 2019

https://www.oftwominds.com/blogoct19/US-suppression-repression10-19.html?fullweb=1

Charles Hugh Smith

We’re all against “fake news,” right? Until your content is deemed “fake news” in a “fake news” indictment without any evidence, trial or recourse.

When propaganda is cleverly engineered, people don’t even recognize it as propaganda: welcome to the USSR, the United States of Suppression and Repression. The propaganda in the U.S. has reached such a high state that the majority of people accept it as “pravda” (truth), even as their limbic system’s BS detector is sensing there is a great disturbance in the Force.

Inflation is a good example. The official (i.e. propaganda) inflation rate is increasingly detached from the real-world declines in the purchasing power of the bottom 80%, yet the jabbering talking heads on TV repeat the “low inflation” story with such conviction that the dissonance between the “official narrative” and the real world must be “our fault”–a classic technique of brainwashing.

To give some examples: healthcare is over 18% of the nation’s GDP, yet it makes up only 8.7% of the Consumer price Index. Hundreds of thousands of families have to declare bankruptcy as a result of crushing healthcare bills, but on the CPI components chart, it’s a tiny little sliver just a bit more than recreation (5.7%).

Then there’s education, which includes the $1.4 trillion borrowed by student debt-serfs–which is only part of the tsunami of cash gushing into the coffers of the higher-education cartel. Yet education & communication (which presumably includes the Internet / mobile telephone service cartel’s soaring prices) is another tiny sliver of the CPI, just 6.6%, a bit more than fun-and-games recreation.

As for housing costs, former Soviet apparatchiks must be high-fiving the Federal agencies for their inventive confusion of reality with magical made-up “statistics.” To estimate housing costs, the federal agency in charge of ginning up a low inflation number asks homeowners to guess what their house would rent for, were it being rented–what’s known as equivalent rent.

Wait a minute–don’t we have actual sales data for houses, and actual rent data? Yes we do, but those are verboten because they reflect skyrocketing inflation in housing costs, which is not allowed. So we use some fake guessing-game numbers, and the corporate media dutifully delivers the “pravda” that inflation is 1.6% annually–basically signal noise, while in the real world (as measured by the Chapwood Index) is running between 9% and 13% annually. How the Chapwood Index is calculated)

As the dissonance between the real world experienced by the citizenry and what they’re told is “pravda” by the media reaches extremes, the media is forced to double-down on the propaganda, shouting down, marginalizing, discrediting, demonetizing and suppressing dissenters via character assassination, following the old Soviet script to a tee.

(Clearly, the CIA’s agitprop sector mastered the Soviet templates and has been applying what they learned to the domestic populace. By all means, start by brainwashing the home audience so they don’t catch on that the “news” is a Truman Show simulation.)

In 2014, Peter Pomerantsev, a British journalist born in the Soviet Union, published Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia which drew on his years working in Russian television to describe a society in giddy, hysterical flight from enlightenment empiricism. He wrote of how state-controlled Russian broadcasting “became ever more twisted, the need to incite panic and fear ever more urgent; rationality was tuned out, and Kremlin-friendly cults and hatemongers were put on prime time.”

Now, he’s written a penetrating follow-up, This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality that is partly an effort to make sense of how the disorienting phenomena he observed in Russia went global. The child of exiled Soviet dissidents, Pomerantsev juxtaposes his family’s story — unfolding at a time when ideas, art and information seemed to challenge tyranny — with a present in which truth scarcely appears to matter.

“During glasnost, it seemed that the truth would set everybody free,” he writes. “Facts seemed possessed of power; dictators seemed so afraid of facts that they suppressed them. But something has gone drastically wrong: We have access to more information and evidence than ever, but facts seem to have lost their power.”

(source)

“Facts” are a funny thing when the data sources and massaging of that data are all purposefully opaque. Again, inflation is a lived-world example of how “official facts” are clearly massaged to support an essential narrative–that inflation is so low it’s basically signal noise, while in the real world it has impoverished the bottom 95% to a startling (but unmentionable) degree.

This is the reality as inflation has eaten up wages’ purchasing power: Families Go Deep in Debt to Stay in the Middle Class Wages stalled but costs haven’t, so people increasingly rent or finance what their parents might have owned outright Median household income in the U.S. was $61,372 at the end of 2017, according to the Census Bureau. When inflation is taken into account, that is just above the 1999 level.

We’re all against “fake news,” right? Until your content is deemed “fake news” in a “fake news” indictment without any evidence, trial or recourse. This is what happened to this site in the bogus PropOrNot propaganda campaign of 2016, in which every alternative-media website that questioned the “approved narratives” was labeled “fake news” in a classic propaganda trick of labeling dissenters as propagandists to misdirect the citizenry from the actual propaganda (PropOrNot), which by the way was heavily promoted on page one by Jeff Bezos’ propaganda mouthpiece, The washington Post. (Who’s your daddy, WP “journalists”?)

Meanwhile, back in reality, the primary source of data here on oftwominds.com is 1) the Federal Reserve data base (FRED) 2) IRS data and 3) content and charts posted by the cream of the U.S. corporate media Foreign Affairs, Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

Fake news, indeed. Those individuals who support the “approved narratives” and orthodoxies win gold stars, and so virtue-signaling is now the nation’s most passionate hobby. (Shades of the Stasi…)

In the wake of the 1976 Church Committee revelations on the institutional lawlessness and corruption of the FBI and CIA, the idea that former CIA propagandists and spy masters would be on TV as “commentators” would have been laughed off as a bad joke. Yet here are Clapper, Brennan et al, the “most likely to lie, obfuscate, rendition and propagandize” individuals in the nation welcomed as “experts” who we should all accept as trustworthy Big Brother. (Ahem)

What if every employee in the corporate media who was paid (or coerced) by the FBI, NSA, CIA etc. had to wear a large colorful badge that read, “owned by the FBI/CIA”? Would that change our view of the validity of the “approved narratives”?

Welcome to the USSR: the United States of Suppression and Repression, where your views are welcome as long as they parrot “approved narratives” and the corporate-state’s orthodoxies. “Facts” are only welcome if they lend credence to the “approved narratives” and orthodoxies.

For example, corporate earnings are rising. Never mind estimates were slashed, that was buried in footnotes a month ago. What matters is Corporate America will once again “beat estimates” by a penny, or a nickel, or gasp, oh the wonderment, by a dime, on earnings that were slashed by a dollar when “nobody was looking.” Meanwhile, back in reality, the bottom 95% have been losing ground for two decades. But don’t say anything, you’ll be guilty of “fake news.”

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Dumb American Worker – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 6, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/08/bill-sardi/the-dumb-american-worker/

By

I’m reading Steven Greenhouse’s article in the New York Times today entitled YES, AMERICA IS RIGGED AGAINST WORKERS. What drivel.  It would be published in the socialist New York Slimes.

Right to a lunch break, paid maternity leave, vacations, sick days.  These are trivial benefits next to the claws of the Federal Reserve Bank that erodes American workers real purchasing power via inflation.  Inflation is more crushing than any other factor that makes American workers peons.  Whatever pay raise a worker earns, the Federal Reserve taketh away.  Inflation is not the target 2% the Federal Reserve publishes, but more like 6-8% (Source: Shadowstats.com). You have to ask for a 6-8% pay increase every year to maintain your standard of living! 

Any laws that address minimum workers “rights” will simply cripple small business and give more of a market share to the large chain operations…

For entry level workers with few if any skills, giving them the same benefits as other skilled workers seems antithetical to the idea of working your way up to the top.  How many times I’ve heard people say, get a good government job and you will get all the health insurance benefits and vacations, etc.  In other words, you get these benefits regardless of your skill level.  So workers who don’t have the same benefits pay taxes so the government workers can be guaranteed (have a right) to these job benefits.  Is that equality?

The negative part of this is workers begin to look for jobs where they don’t have to compete and learn new job skills.  The mindset is to get a “cush job.”  And regardless of how good you are at your job, the pay grade for your job is already established. 

Of course, you can start your own business like others do, to see how much they are worth in the labor market.  But no, workers demand “equality.”  As Churchill once said: “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.”

Here is what Greenhouse writes: 

“America’s workers have for decades been losing out: year after year of wage stagnation, increased insecurity on the job, waves of downsizing and offshoring, and labor’s share of national income declining to its lowest level in seven decades.”

Numerous studies have found that an important cause of America’s soaring income inequality is the decline of labor unions — and the concomitant decline in workers’ ability to extract more of the profit and prosperity from the corporations they work for.” 

Here we go, socialist jingo.  Note the words “income inequality.” Joining a union is not going to get you anywhere as the union takes a cut of your paycheck.  Unions, plus or minus, socialize what a worker is worth.  

Businesses operate in a competitive market.  Cost of labor can doom a restaurant owner who is only working on a 10% profit margin to begin with.  Of course, we can halt competition.  Then the cost of everything rises.

We send American kids to school with no orientation on how to get a job, how to build their worth, how to develop job skills.  Students pass a few college classes that hand out true or false tests and that makes them worth more in the labor market?  Young Americans would be better off working as an understudy plumber…

I think of that Biblical parable where a landowner hired workers in the field and agreed pay them a denarius for a day’s work.  But later in the morning the landowner saw other laborers looking for a job and agreed to pay them “whatever is right.”  Then at midday and then again at 3 in the afternoon, the landowner found more idle workers and hired them too.  When it came time to pay all the workers at the end of the day the landowner instructed his paymaster to pay a full denarius even to the workers who weren’t hired until 5 PM.  There was grumbling by the workers who worked all day for the same wage.  The parable was about entering heaven and “the last shall be first” to enter. 

“You have made them equal to us who have worked longer,” said the workers who were hired in the morning.  Just think, workers thought the landowner was unfair when he was just being generous, knowing workers still have the same needs to survive.  In the parable the landowner asked the disgruntled workers “I am not being unfair to you… are you envious because I am generous?” 

Yes, God is unfair too.  Some of the worst sinners who repented have made it into heaven.  I can hear it now… “But I went to church every Sunday and Bible study too, and you (God) let the worst of sinners into heaven before me.”  Yes, that is the lesson.

Be seeing you

Higher minimum wage doesn’t solve main problem ...

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Of Two Minds – America’s Forced Financial Flight: Fleeing Unaffordable and Dysfunctional Cities

Posted by M. C. on April 23, 2019

https://www.oftwominds.com/blogapr19/forced-flight4-19.html

Charles Hugh Smith

The forced flight from unaffordable and dysfunctional urban regions is as yet a trickle, but watch what happens when a recession causes widespread layoffs in high-wage sectors.

For hundreds of years, rural poverty has driven people to urban areas: cities offer paying work and abundant opportunities to get ahead, and these financial incentives have transformed the human populace from largely rural to largely urban in the developed world.

Now a new set of financial pressures are forcing a migration of urban residents out of cities which are increasingly unaffordable and dysfunctional. As highly paid skilled workers and global capital have flooded into high-job-growth regions, living costs and the costs of doing business have skyrocketed: where not too long ago $1,000 a month would secure a modest one-bedroom apartment in major urban job centers, now it takes $2,000 or $3,000 a month to rent a modest flat.

Wages for the average worker have not doubled or tripled, and this asymmetry between soaring living costs and stagnant incomes is driving the exodus out of cities that are only affordable to the top 10% of wage earners, or those who bought a house decades ago and have locked in low property taxes.

Gordon Long and I discuss this forced migration in a new video program. It’s important to note that we’re not talking about economy-wide inflation or the general rise in the cost of living; we’re talking about the hyper-drive cost increases that characterize high-cost urban areas.

I’ve addressed economy-wide real-world inflation many times,for example:

The Burrito Index: Consumer Prices Have Soared 160% Since 2001 (August 1, 2016)

Burrito Index Update: Burrito Cost Triples, Official Inflation Up 43% from 2001 (May 31, 2018)

In high-cost urban regions, burritos aren’t $7.50; they’re $10 or $12. Parking tickets aren’t $15, they’re $60, and so on.

Consider this chart of rents in the San Francisco Bay Area: unless the household’s income has shot up in parallel with rents, this cost of living is simply unaffordable. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Swamped in Inflation, Venezuela Will Cut Five Zeros from Currency

Posted by M. C. on August 17, 2018

Socialism or democratic socialism or is there a difference?

https://www.wral.com/swamped-in-inflation-venezuela-will-cut-five-zeros-from-currency/17774600/

By Nicholas Casey

MEDELLÍN, Colombia — Faced with nearly incomprehensible inflation — 32,714 percent as of Wednesday — Venezuelan officials thought they had a solution: They changed the color of the bank notes and increased their denomination. Then they said they would lop off three zeros. And when that didn’t seem enough, they announced they would cut off two more.

The tactics have left Venezuelans like Yosmar Nowak, the owner of a coffee shop in Caracas, convinced that there is no solution in sight and that the government cannot even bring down the price of a cup of coffee, an eye-watering 2 million bolivars.

“I imagine if we keep like this we’re going to have to do the same thing in December,” said Nowak, who has been forced to raise prices in her cafe at least 40 times this year.

Slashing zeros from Venezuela’s inflation-cursed currency, the bolivar, is the tent-pole of a set of economic changes by President Nicolás Maduro as he tries to right his country’s capsized economy. The five-digit inflation has earned Venezuela comparisons to the hyperinflation of Zimbabwe and Weimar Germany from the International Monetary Fund.

Be seeing you

Cortez

She hopes she won’t get a visit from Sean Penn.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Fed+ WSJ = Drivel

Posted by M. C. on August 19, 2015

The War Wall Street Journal, as it is wont to do, gives us things to look for in the July FED meeting notes.

I don’t pretend to fully understand the goings on but I do understand BS.

Nothing has been decided,” Fed governor Jerome Powell said two weeks ago. While the Fed wants to avoid any surprises that could unsettle financial markets, it also may seek to retain flexibility and keep its options open.

They have no idea. It is anybody’s guess but they have to seem as though they are actually figuring something out. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »