‘Now We Are At The Lower Bound’: Draghi At The Dead-End Of Keynesian Central Banking

Europe is not growing much because most of its economies have been crushed under a mountain of debt, taxes, welfarism and statist dirigisme. Yet somehow the foolish pettifogger running the ECB thinks that driving the cost of money to the ‘lower bound’ (i.e. zero) will help overcome these insuperable – and government made – barriers to prosperity.
Yet in today’s financialized economies, zero cost money has but one use: It gifts speculators with free COGS (cost of goods sold) on their carry trades. Indeed, today’s 10 basis point cut by the ECB is in itself screaming proof that central bankers are lost in a Keynesian dead-end.
You see, Mario, no Frenchman worried about his job is going to buy a new car on credit just because his loan cost drops by a trivial $2 per month, nor will a rounding error improvement in business loan rates cause Italian companies parched for customers to stock up on more inventory or machines. In fact, at the zero bound the only place that today’s rate cut is meaningful is on the London hedge fund’s spread on German bunds yielding 97 bps – -which are now presumably fundable on repo at 10 bps less.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on September 4, 2014.

Icahn, Soros, Druckenmiller, And Now Zell: The Billionaires Are All Quietly Preparing For The Plunge

“The stock market is at an all-time, but economic activity is not at an all-time,” explains billionaire investor Sam Zell to CNBC this morning, adding that, “every company that’s missed has missed on the revenue side, which is a reflection that there’s a demand issue; and when you got a demand issue it’s hard to imagine the stock market at an all-time high.” Zell said he is being very cautious adding to stocks and cutting some positions because “I don’t remember any time in my career where there have been as many wildcards floating out there that have the potential to be very significant and alter people’s thinking.” Zell also discussed his view on Obama’s Fed encouraging disparity and on tax inversions, but concludes, rather ominously, “this is the first time I ever remember where having cash isn’t such a terrible thing.” Zell’s calls should not be shocking following George Soros. Stan Druckenmiller, and Carl Icahn’s warnings that there is trouble ahead.
Billionaire 1: Sam Zell
On Stocks and reality…
“People have no place else to put their money, and the stock market is getting more than its share. It’s very likely that something has to give here.” “I don’t remember any time in my career where there have been as many wildcards floating out there that have the potential to be very significant and alter people’s thinking,” he said. “If there’s a change in confidence or some international event that changes the dynamics, people could in effect take a different position with reference to the market.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/03/2014.

“A Printer And A Prayer” – The Three Problems With The Fed “Liquidity Coverage Ratio” Plan

A little over a week ago we wrote that in order to mitigate problems arising from record debt and soaring NPLs, the G-20 had a modest proposal for global banks: more debt. Specifically “in November said leaders will agree “that the world’s top banks must issue special bonds to increase the amount of capital which can be tapped in a crisis instead of calling on taxpayers to come to the rescue, industry and G20 officials said.” In other words, suddenly the $2.8 trillion in Fed injected excess reserves, split roughly equally between US and European banks, are no longer sufficient, and while regulators are on one hand delaying the implementation of Basel III and its tougher capital rules, on the other they are tactically admitting that whatever “generous” capital buffer banks have on their books right now will not be sufficient when the next crisis strikes.”
The proposal for the first time introduced GLACs, or bonds known as “gone concern loss absorption capacity”, seen by regulators as essential to stopping the world’s 29 biggest lenders from being “too big to fail.”
Some of our thoughts at the time: “according to the G-20, instead of having to collapse liabilities to offset that scourge of the New abnormal, namely Non-Performing Loans, banks are hoping to lever up, pun intended, the current scramble for yield and instead beef if up their cash asset, even if it means increasing the liability side of the balance sheet by issuing more debt. Because really all the GLAC do is limit how the banks may use the proceeds from such bond issuance. Then again, these being banks, one can be certain that the moment the GLAC cash is wired in, the funds will be used to ramp risk instead of sitting in a drawer somewhere, awaiting rainy days. Because nobody in a bank is paid for avoiding a crisis, and everyone is paid to generate a return even if it means making the systemic bubble even bigger.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/03/2014.

Icahn, Soros, Druckenmiller, And Now Zell: The Billionaires Are All Quietly Preparing For The Market Drop

“The stock market is at an all-time, but economic activity is not at an all-time,” explains billionaire investor Sam Zell to CNBC this morning, adding that, “every company that’s missed has missed on the revenue side, which is a reflection that there’s a demand issue; and when you got a demand issue it’s hard to imagine the stock market at an all-time high.” Zell said he is being very cautious adding to stocks and cutting some positions because “I don’t remember any time in my career where there have been as many wildcards floating out there that have the potential to be very significant and alter people’s thinking.” Zell also discussed his view on Obama’s Fed encouraging disparity and on tax inversions, but concludes, rather ominously, “this is the first time I ever remember where having cash isn’t such a terrible thing.” Zell’s calls should not be shocking following George Soros. Stan Druckenmiller, and Carl Icahn’s warnings that there is trouble ahead.
Billionaire 1: Sam Zell
On Stocks and reality…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/03/2014.

State Treasurers Panic as Big Bank Liquidity Rules Set for Release Today

The continuing perversions and disfigurement of an entire nation’s financial system to accommodate insanely complex mega banks – the same ones who brought the country to the brink of financial collapse six years ago – takes center stage in Washington, D. C. again today.
Because Federal regulators do not want to have egg on their face if one of these global behemoths has to be rescued by taxpayers again, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency are set to release new liquidity rules today. The rules will redefine the types of liquid assets these giant Wall Street banks must hold to meet the new Basel III Liquidity Coverage Rule set by the international banking body known as the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, a group made up predominantly of global central banks.
The Federal regulators are expected to adopt rules that put a heavy reliance on banks holding short-term U. S. Treasury securities, one of the most liquid security classes around the world, in order to meet a bank run or credit crunch lasting 30 days.
The state treasurers’ panic over the rule is justified. According to press reports, the Federal regulators may exclude municipal bonds issued by states, counties, cities and school districts from the category ‘high quality liquid assets’ (HQLA) which could be easily liquidated should a mega bank experience a run on its assets. These municipal bonds fund critical projects like roads, schools, and bridges. Given the deteriorating infrastructure of the nation, these new rules may critically impact the economic interests of the U. S. while regulators show growing fealty to the wishes of foreign central banks.

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade By Pam Martens and Russ Marte.

WHY BURGER KING’S EXPATRIATION IS THE MORAL THING TO DO

It was announced last week that Burger King had bought a famous Canadian restaurant franchise known as Tim Horton’s to reduce the amount of taxes they “owe” to the US government. An upcry arose!
As usual the mainstream media and the people who watch it have the story totally wrong. Burger King is not giving US taxpayers a “raw deal” by looking to move abroad so as to save on profits which are not repatriated. Instead, the iconic fast food burger chain is doing the moral thing by moving its tax-base outside the war-mongering, highly socialist US federal government’s reach.
The mainstream media will never give you this side of the story. This obvious trend towards expatriation terrifies the talking heads. You have to come to alternative media sources like The Dollar Vigilante (TDV) Blog and others to get the truth. As Howard Kurtz writes at Fox News,
I feel confident in saying that most Americans are disgusted by the perfectly legal practice of US companies avoiding taxes by incorporating in another country.
If this is the case, it is because Americans love bombing other countries. They lust for blood. I can think of no other logical explanation Americans would want the machine in Washington to continue being fed. Burger King is not the first company to make the moral decision to leave the US tax farm. Many American companies are going abroad – as many as 70. These so-called “inversions”. Even the most American of investors stand behind the inversion. Iconic American billionaire, Warren Buffet, coughed up $3 billion so the hamburger chain could buy the Canadian donut outfit Tim Hortons. Buffett did this just one month after Obama denounced ‘inversion’ tactics as an ‘unpatriotic tax loophole’, ordering regulatory changes to undermine them.

This post was published at Dollar Vigilante on September 2, 2014.

Gold: The Thin End Of The Wedge

Gold had a horrendous year in 2013 disappointing many of its supporters; however, 2014 started brightly bringing with it much hope for an attempt at achieving new record highs. Gold prices moved quickly from the $1200/oz level to flirt with $1400/oz by mid-March. The summer brought some confusion with gold rallying and falling without much in the way of conviction in either direction. As optimists we can argue that the summer doldrums arrived to take the steam out of the market and that better times lie ahead. The pessimists suggest that gold is struggling to gain some traction and will head lower in the near future, so we will take a brief look at some of the factors that affect gold’s movements.
Factors for consideration regarding the purchase gold:
Back in June 2006 we listed some the reasons for buying gold as follows:
No new large discoveries of gold deposits dampening supply Lack of previous investment for gold exploration It takes up to 10 years to bring a new mine to production Falling gold production worldwide adding to its scarcity Gold EFTs take gold off the market thus reducing supply In the last Bull Run 70s to 80s gold prices increased 20 fold Metrics: DJIA vs. Gold, about 19ozs buys the Dow Jones, it has been 1:1 in the past and could be again in the future. Assuming the Dow Jones remains above 10,000 then the gold price could hit $10,000 Gold at its previous high of $850 adjusted for inflation puts the gold price at $2000 plus Geopolitical uncertainty, a nuclear Iran creates world tension which pushes up the price of gold A Dictatorial South America imposing restrictions such as increased taxation and nationalization will deter investment and reduce gold production India is growing and the sleeping dragon of China has awoken, their hunger for gold will drive gold prices higher Internet: information travels around the world in a nano-second, reactions to news, true or false, will add to the volatility of the gold price Web trading: increasing every day, resulting in the trends being more exaggerated than ever before The mania that I traded in during the last Bull market will be nothing compared to the coming Gold price explosion and the maniacal actions of traders and everyday people in the precious metals sector.

This post was published at Gold-Eagle on September 2, 2014.

Gold hungry Indians boost imports in UAE

Among the most popular imports into the UAE in the first three months of the year, were gold and diamonds. The country’s consumers bought about 20,000 kilograms of the material, valued at around Dhirham 37.9 billion. Most of the buyers were Indian staying in the UAE, or those visiting the country.
The UAE’s non oil trade reached Dh 256 billion in the first quarter of 2014, reflecting the continuous momentum of the country’s non oil foreign trade, driven by stronger performance in all the economic sectors, preliminary data of the Federal Customs Authority (FCA) showed.
A World Gold Council report has also alluded to this. Total gold demand in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reached 25.4 tonnes in the first quarter of 2014. The 16% increase from Q1 in 2013, was largely driven by Indian tourists choosing to buy gold in the UAE, rather than their homeland in an attempt to bypass the Indian gold import tax.

This post was published at Mineweb

WILL THIS BE THE LAST LABOR DAY WORKERS CAN AFFORD TO ESCAPE THE US?

Ah, “Labor Day.” A government created day on which those people who work (read: producers) are supposedly celebrated by the people who don’t (government and welfare recipients). Pat yourselves on the back, entrepreneurs – the parasites love you. As I’ve written here in The Dollar Vigilante (TDV) Blog, approximately 65 million US citizens work. The rest receive welfare in various forms.

So, as you see, for about 252 million Americans, life is pretty good. The government taxes those who create vast sums of wealth, half of which is then stolen (“for the greater good”) and re-allocated to people who can’t work or won’t. A small percentage of this is allocated towards some useful things, sure, but most is squandered by the growing bureau-rat class.
So, it’s safe to say that about 252 million individuals are not interested in leaving the US. Expatriation!? They probably don’t even know what that means. They’d be absolutely insane to want to do so…. They have it pretty good. They’re born, they immediately get separated from their family and educated (read: brainwashed) in government year-round camps, torn from precious REM sleep and fed lackluster school lunches only to fail by world standards. And then, after lots of brainwashing (some of which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars), there is a job awaiting them in an exploding public sector – a militarized public sector at that.

This post was published at Dollar Vigilante on September 1st, 2014.

BIG, FAT TOLD-YA-SO: CENTRAL BANKS TRADING & MANIPULATING ALL MARKETS

The S&P, the Dow, US Treasury Bonds, CURRENCIES (WHAT THE $%^&!), Petroleum, Metals, Agricultural Products, everything. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange and CFTC have openly confirmed that CENTRAL BANKS are in the markets by posting the REDUCED FEE STRUCTURE for CENTRAL BANKS that trade the futures and options markets. That link goes to the CFTC. The Commodity. Futures. Trading. Commission. As in the Federal Government of the Iniquitous Gutter Kleptarchy, your tax dollars at work, ‘Merica. The CME has a special incentive program for Central Banks to trade. Isn’t that nice of Terry Duffy and the boys to give the Central Banks a break on fees? Aw.
Here is the write up at ZeroHedge, sourced from, yet again, Nanex.
There is no acid-trip rabbit hole deep enough to match the depths of insanity that have now been plumbed.
Are we fuzzy on what a ‘Central Bank’ is? Well, let’s go the definition just so everyone is crystal, crystal clear on this:
Central Bank: an institution that manages a state’s currency, money supply, and interest rates. Central banks also usually oversee the commercial banking system of their respective countries. In contrast to a commercial bank, a central bank possesses a monopoly on increasing the amount of money in the nation, and usually also prints the national currency, which usually serves as the nation’s legal tender.
Um, yeah.
Sooooo do you think that it is a tiny bit problematic for entities that PRINT MONEY to trade equity, currency and commodity markets?

This post was published at Barnhardt on August 30, 2014.

Pushback as US Expands Surveillance, Taxing Authority?

Several Swiss banks pull out of US tax programme … At least 10 Swiss banks have withdrawn from a U. S. programme aimed at settling a tax dispute between them and the United States, Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag said on Sunday, quoting unnamed sources. Around 100 Swiss banks came forward at the end of last year to work with U. S. authorities in a programme brokered by the Swiss government to help the banks make amends for aiding tax evasion. “At least 10 banks that had decided at the end of 2013 to pay a fine have withdrawn their decision,” NZZ am Sonntag said, quoting unnamed lawyers and auditors. It did not name the banks concerned. – Reuters
Dominant Social Theme: Even though the US is seeking to spread its authority around the world, its functionaries are prepared to be reasonable.
Free-Market Analysis: This article can be seen two ways. One, the US tax regime that it is trying to install in Switzerland is being resisted, at least a little.
On two, the news can be seen as a message that once its tax regime is in place, US officials are prepared to be flexible, at least on the margins.
Got a gripe? Work within the system and you may find it’s resolved “fairly.”

This post was published at The Daily Bell on September 01, 2014.

Labor Day 2014: Economic solutions already here for full employment, zero public deficits and debts

Labor Day is an Orwellian holiday: US ‘leaders’ psychopathically pretend to care about American labor while lying about a real unemployment rate of close to 25% (the so-called ‘official’ rate excludes under-employed and discouraged workers).
Along with unemployment, Americans receive policy enabling oligarchs to ‘legally’ hide $20 to $30 trillion in offshore tax havens in a rigged-casino economy designed for ‘peak inequality.’ For comparison, $1 to $3 trillion ends global poverty forever, saving a million children’s lives every month from slow and gruesome death (here, here). And, as always, US ‘leaders’ lie-begat Americans intounlawful Wars of Aggression (in comparison, 11 days of US war cost would pay for all tuition of US college students).
Americans could have full-employment and zero public deficits and debt with monetary and credit reform.
These solutions are obvious upon a few moments of your attention. See for yourself:
What is monetary and credit reform?
Since the 1913 legislation of the Federal Reserve, the US has had a national ‘debt system;’ the Orwellian opposite of a monetary system. What we use for money is created as a debt, with the consequence of unpayable and increasing aggregate debt. This is a description of the simple mechanics of adding negative numbers. Although it’s taught in every macroeconomics course in structure, the consequences of increasing and unpayable debt are omitted (unpayable because it destroys what is used for money, and eventually the debt becomes tragic-comic in amount).

This post was published at Washingtons Blog on August 30, 2014.

Keiser Report: Fast Food Tax Evasion (E647)

The following video was published by RT on Aug 30, 2014
In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss Burger King, yet another company fleeing America for yet another ‘free’ healthcare nation, Canada. Meanwhile, back in America naked incidents are on the rise and, in Europe, suicide tourism rises four-fold. In the second half, Max interviews Trace Mayer about bitcoin, central banking and geopolitics.

Is There Capitalism After Cronyism?

The more the Status Quo pursues the same old Keynesian Cargo Cult script of central planning and free money for financiers, the more self-liquidating the system becomes.
Judging by the mainstream media, the most pressing problems facing capitalism are:
2) the failure of laissez-faire markets to regulate their excesses, a common critique encapsulated by Paul Craig Roberts’ recent book The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism.
These critiques (and many similar diagnoses) reach a widely shared conclusion: capitalism must be reformed to save it from itself.
The proposed reforms align with each analyst’s basic ideological bent. Piketty’s solution to rising wealth inequality is the ultimate in statist centralization: a global wealth tax.
Roberts and others recommend reforming capitalism to embody social purpose and recognize environmental limits. Exactly how this economic reformation should be implemented is a question that sparks debates across the ideological spectrum, but the idea that capitalism can be reformed is generally accepted by left, right and libertarian alike.
Socio-economist Immanuel Wallerstein asks a larger question: can the current iteration of global capitalism be reformed, or is it poised to be replaced by some other arrangement?

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on SATURDAY, AUGUST 30, 2014.

CFR Recommends Policy Shift that is Very Bullish for Gold

The ‘Foreign Affaird’ publication of the influential and policy-setting Council of Foreign Relations made an announcement that could have huge ramifications for monetary policy going forward. In an article titled ‘Print Less but Transfer More: Why Central Banks Should Give Money Directly to the People,’ the authors argue that the current quantitative easing and debt monetization is not generating broad-based stimulus to the economy.
To some extent, low inflation reflects intense competition in an increasingly globalized economy. But it also occurs when people and businesses are too hesitant to spend their money, which keeps unemployment high and wage growth low. In the eurozone, inflation has recently dropped perilously close to zero. And some countries, such as Portugal and Spain, may already be experiencing deflation. At best, the current policies are not working; at worst, they will lead to further instability and prolonged stagnation.
Governments must do better. Rather than trying to spur private-sector spending through asset purchases or interest-rate changes, central banks, such as the Fed, should hand consumers cash directly. In practice, this policy could take the form of giving central banks the ability to hand their countries’ tax-paying households a certain amount of money. The government could distribute cash equally to all households or, even better, aim for the bottom 80 percent of households in terms of income. Targeting those who earn the least would have two primary benefits. For one thing, lower-income households are more prone to consume, so they would provide a greater boost to spending. For another, the policy would offset rising income inequality.
This is a huge announcement because it would lead to a major increase in the velocity of money. While a tremendous amount of money was created following the financing crisis, it has yet to result in significant inflation as a good amount of it remains parked in excess reserves and in corporate accounts. This has brought the velocity of money to the lowest levels in decades.

This post was published at GoldStockBull on August 27th, 2014.

The War on Airbnb

The web startup Airbnb is finding itself in hot water lately. A peer-to-peer service that matches renters with rentiers, the company is under attack by entrenched lodging businesses such as hotels. It’s easy to see why. The company, which is fairly decentralized, breaks through the thicket of established chains. It matches real people with real people, each seeking to mutually profit from one another. As Jeffrey Tucker writes, Airbnb allows ‘regular people to cut through stultifying regulations and make better lives for themselves.’ It breaks a sacred rule of economics: anything that bypasses the hold of legacy businesses is bound to garner unwanted interference.
In a confusing column for Bloomberg View, Leonid Bershidsky encourages government regulation of Airbnb for reasons totally unclear. As a resident of Berlin, Bershidsky feels crossed by the startup’s business model. He thinks that local governments give too much leeway to Airbnb hosts, and doesn’t gouge them enough for ransom payments known as taxes. He complains that it’s hard to find liveable, long-term apartments in Berlin because a service like Airbnb emphasizes short-term rentals. He writes: ‘I’m pleased that Berlin has banned short-time rentals without express permission from the city government.’
Why so much angst? Apparently, Bershidsky had a tough time finding an apartment in the most populated area of the city. But rather than chalk it up as a fact of condensed living environments, he pins the blame on Airbnb. Since the peer-to-peer network makes it easier to rent out extra rooms or beds, it makes it profitable to do so on a continual basis. People with larger apartments can have a continuous flow of guests fill their space, make some extra cash, and overall assist in the dynamic market process.

This post was published at Mises Canada on Friday, August 29th, 2014.

30 BLOCKS OF MURALS & CIGARETTE TAXES FOR THE CHILDREN

It’s that time of year again – when the little juvenile delinquents, future prison inmates, and functionally illiterate junior members of the free shit army pick up their ‘free’ backpacks and ‘free’ school supplies they will never use and shuffle off to the decaying prison like schools in the City of Philadelphia to eat ‘free’ breakfasts and ‘free’ lunches, while being taught government sanctioned pablum by overpaid mediocre union teachers.
It’s a repeat of every year for the Phila school district. As the school year approaches they are shocked to report a massive deficit and beg the State of PA for more funding. The $12,000 per child simply isn’t enough, even though Parochial schools provide ten times the education for $9,000 per child. The district has a slight $80 million deficit this year. Last year they had a $100 million deficit and the mayor proposed a soda tax to fill the gap. It was defeated, so they raised property taxes instead. Mayor Nutter’s name is fitting. He is just another in a long line of Democratic mayors who have ruled Philadelphia since the 1950′s and whose policies of welfare handouts for their voting base paid for by taxing the producers, has resulted in a population decline from 2.1 million in 1950 to 1.5 million today. Doug Casey captures the essence of Philly with this definition:
Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy)
: a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers. The liberal solution to an ever decreasing tax base and an ever growing level of benefits for the free shit army and government union drones, is to increase taxes on the few remaining producers. They then flee the city, leaving fewer producers to tax. Rinse and repeat. Your neighborhoods then look like this.

This post was published at The Burning Platform on 28th August 2014.

Largarde under Criminal Investigation for Corruption in France

Christine Lagarde has long been suspected of corruption yet of course the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) board proclaimed they firmly stand behind her because she has raised the stature of the IMF to a world player once again thanks to Obama and their joint agenda to raise our taxes to 80% and confiscate 10% of everyone’s bank account to pay for the bankers. Christine Lagarde is facing a criminal investigation in France that is tied to a political corruption probe dating from 2008.
The allegations by French magistrates earlier in the week placed Lagarde squarely under formal investigation for ‘negligence’ after questioning her in Paris for a fourth time.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on August 29, 2014.

Stock Markets in their Third Bubble Since 2000

The S&P 500 just passed the 2,000-point psychological threshold, an absolute record for that index, created in 1950 and comprising the 500 largest companies traded on the U. S. stock market, thus being more representative than the famous Dow Jones Industrial Index, with its 30 companies. This new record would seem to show that the U. S. recovery is under way… but let’s step back a little in order to evaluate these numbers.
As can be seen on this 1950-end of 2013 graph (reaching 1,600 points), the S&P 500 has been quite erratic since the 2000s, with two bubbles that burst! But let’s get back to the ’80s… Back then was the triumph of Ronald Reagan’s ‘conservative revolution’, which led to a vast liberalisation of the economy with whole sectors being allowed to compete (air transportation and telecoms, notably), while at the same time income tax was reduced, thus encouraging wealth creation. Sound growth takes place and the United States comes out of the ’70s crisis on the way to two wealth producing decades.
In all logic, the S&P 500 starts to rise in 1982, with the 1987 October crash being just a glitch quickly forgotten. But, starting in 1995, the trend picks up, with the start of the ‘internet bubble’. Much hope is placed in the nascent network and heads are spinning a little too much. The bubble burst, beginning of 2000, and the S&P 500 went from a peak of 1,527 to a trough of 800 in 2002, almost down by half.

This post was published at Gold Broker on Aug 28, 2014.

Keynesian Fairy Tale Alert: Establishment Citadel – Council On Foreign Relations – -Peddles Helicopter Money Plan

Folks, take economic cover. There is already a rabid financial mania loose in the land as reflected in the irrational exuberance of the stock market, but, in fact, the fairy tale economics fueling the current financial bubble is fixing to leap into a whole new realm of lunacy. Namely, an out-and-out drop of ‘helicopter money’ to the main street masses.
That’s right. The Keynesian brain freeze has so deeply infected the Wall Street/ Washington corridor that the grey old lady of the establishment, the Council On Foreign Relations, has lent the pages of its prestigious journal, Foreign Affairs, to the following blithering gibberish:
It’s well past time, then, for U. S. policymakers – as well as their counterparts in other developed countries – to consider a version of Friedman’s helicopter drops….. Rather than trying to spur private-sector spending through asset purchases or interest-rate changes, central banks, such as the Fed, should hand consumers cash directly. In practice, this policy could take the form of giving central banks the ability to hand their countries’ tax-paying households a certain amount of money. The government could distribute cash equally to all households or, even better, aim for the bottom 80 percent of households in terms of income. Targeting those who earn the least would have two primary benefits. For one thing, lower-income households are more prone to consume, so they would provide a greater boost to spending. For another, the policy would offset rising income inequality.
I have actually checked, and, no, the publishing arm of the Council on Foreign Relations has not been hacked by writers from the Onion. This monetary insanity is for real!

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on August 29, 2014.