Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Alps have best snow conditions 'in a generation'

A very merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. Especially anyone having a last fling in the Alps before all of the money runs out. And it should be a good one this year, even on the lower runs, because of all this extra snow and coldness we've been having due to global warming.

Thank goodness Al Gore is on the case, to ensure that when it gets really cold, next year, we'll have plenty of wind energy to keep ourselves warm in the chalets.


In the meantime, for all the latest on how Al Gore and all of our other mighty rulers are managing energy policy in this snowy cold world (if they can get out from under the Canadian and US snow drifts, that is), who better to read than Christopher Booker:

=> 2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved

And BTW, please don't take offence, but if you should meet me on the street in the next couple of weeks, please do not offer me a mince pie. Mince pies sind verboten. Verstehen Sie? Danke schon. Mince pies, nein danke.

Pip pip!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Will he or won't he?

Gordon Brown must be starting to move into his depressive phase again, after a couple of manic months. At least he ought to be, with a decision required on the Jaguar bailout.

Obviously, AngloAustria's position is to let them go bust, along with everyone else queueing up in the corporate welfare lounge. Those business people who indulged in long-term investments because they were fooled by artificial interest rates, so entered structures of production much longer than the market truly required, must be cleared out from the system to allow other more competent managers to get hold of their resources. This is the only route to the solution to this crisis, along with massive government spending cuts and tax reductions.

The pain for many will be immense (and don't worry, sports fans, as a self-employed person I'm expecting to bear my share), but the pain will be over relatively soon, within one or two years. In the longer term, we also need to move to a disciplined form of money, one which we can trust, and this means a move to a 100% reserve commodity currency, probably of either silver or gold. But I'll settle for tax and spending cuts, and no bailouts, if that's all I can get.

However, looking at this 'politically', we have a very interesting situation. After years of government interventions, we have a well-connected car company with several factories in Labour marginals employing thousands of Labour Party voters. We also have a petty Stalin in charge of the government, Gordon Brown, who wishes to stay in charge of the train set for the rest of his natural life.

Brown must know that if he fails to bailout Jaguar, then Tata will let it go bankrupt, and the Brown bounce will start deflating. Expect every Labour MP in the affected areas to immediately begin sharpening their knives for his back again.

However, Brown also knows that if he bails out Jaguar, then the Brown bounce may continue for a short time, but then every other monkey in the forest will be down from the trees with their begging bowls out.

First, it will be all those who engaged in long-term roundabout production processes, so expect airlines, property developers, and other car companies to come calling. Then it will be anyone else who has enough marginal voters on their payroll to command the government's attention. (So all small and medium-sized companies who will be forced to pay for all of this largesse will be wasting their time.)

The only way to avoid upsetting all of these corporate welfare monkeys will be to pay them all off, and the only way of doing that will be to crank up the printing press and push M4 up from 16.3% to something more like 163%!

As Brown keeps buying time by printing more money, his dilemmas are going to come sooner and swifter each time, until eventually his bubble of hubris will pop. The longer he survives, the louder will be the explosion when he is finally overcome.

You never know. He might hold the line. He can 'plausibly' protect his bank bailouts by simply toeing the orthodox line of banks being too big to fail. But if he starts bailing out 'ordinary' companies, then it really is all over. Even he may be able to see this, and then when the unions are screaming for his blood, he can adopt the 'Margaret Thatcher' stance of standing up to them.

Well, he can do that if he likes. That way he'll make a bigger target for all the Midlands and Merseyside Labour MPs coming at him from behind.

We really do live in interesting times.

So what does Maturin Towers think he will do? Well, your regular correspodent merely looks at the photograph above of Gordon Brown's own 4.2 litre armoured Jaguar to work out his opinion. For once, I'll let you guess what it is.

Pip pip!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The death march goes on

How many more British troops are to be sacrificed upon the altar of American imperialism in Afghanistan? Did we Brits not learn the first time around, in the nineteenth century, that you cannot impose yourself upon the fiercely independent peoples of this remote land? You would have thought so.

Even the mighty British Empire couldn't subdue this land, even with the complete British domination of the Indian sub-continent. So what chance do we have now, after having become mere puppets to our Anglo-Saxon cousins in America?

However, the American Empire, the bastard offspring of the British one, thinks it needs to bring oil pipelines down from central Asia, to avoid being reliant upon the modern Russian Bear, so we jump to it like the good Roman auxiliaries we are, doing the dirty work for our imperial masters in the marbled halls of Washington DC.

Over 130 British troops have now been killed in Helmand province, with nearly a thousand others seriously injured. With the US satrap, Gordon Brown, promising to bring the troops home from Iraq, probably just in time for the next general election, expect all of these men to be shipped straight back out to Afghanistan the moment the election is over, with another hundred of them to be killed before Christmas 2009.

And for what? As Pat Buchanan has reported, the war is as good as lost. It would be far better for everyone involved if we just got out now. And stayed out.

And if the moving goalpost reason for us being there became to suppress the opium trade, then the best way of doing that would merely be to legalise the opium trade. And even if you disagree with that, all this war has done is to make the drugs warlords richer and more powerful than ever before, exporting even more opium, as the Afghans use this product to pay for their increasingly successful fight against the NATO invasion force (which seems to be operating a long way east of its North Atlantic mandate).

No doubt Gordon Brown will be paid off for his acquiescence in the usual way the Americans buy the British government's supplication, via a lucrative speaking engagement tour in the US once he is kicked out of office. I mean, come on, does anyone seriously believe that anyone in the US is interested in anything at all Tony Blair has to say on any subject, years after he has stopped being Prime Minister? Yet he still earns millions in payments for dull speeches in Nowheresville, Massachusetts, despite most people in Nowheresville, Massachusetts not even knowing where the UK is. Has it dawned on so few in Britain that this was just a way of laundering the payments to this traitor, for his signing up this country to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, one based on lies, the other based upon the need of the US government to export oil from central Asia without the pipeline first going through the potentially throttling fingers of Putin's Russia?

Yes, you'll throw the words Al Qaeda at me, but the members of this shadowy terrorist group are now all living in Pakistan, London, and Paris, and are laughing at us for having painted ourselves into the quagmire of Iraq and Afghanistan while they plan their next outrage.

AngloAustrian prediction: When the final ignominious retreat is made, with our tails between our legs as we are kicked back down the Khyber Pass, we will have lost the best part of a thousand men and suffered perhaps ten thousand casualties for absolutely no reason whatsoever. The Taliban will be stronger than ever in Afghanistan, the opium trade will be flourishing, and the oil pipelines of central Asia will be flowing north into Mother Russia. Oh, and the small cost of hundreds of millions of pounds of wasted taxpayers cash will also need to be taken into account, though this is small beer against all of our dead soldiers, plus all of the other innocent people killed.

What on Earth are we doing there? How did we get into this mess? And how are we going to get out of this useless bloody war, whilst retaining even the merest scintilla of dignity? These are the questions Gordon Brown should be answering. Not whether his idiotic policies have saved the world. No doubt he will never answer these questions. Not while there are lucrative speaking engagements to fulfil in America, funded by who knows who, from who knows what source.

And if all that was a bit downbeat, a good way to cheer yourself up is to read Harry Flashman's splendid account of the first British retreat from Kabul, a hundred and sixty years ago.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sterling suffering worst slide since UK exited the Gold standard in 1931

Whoops! :-)

It's nice however that the Torygraph is relating this story in terms of the gold standard. The hundreds of posters on their comment pages who regularly refer to the gold standard, including a certain mono-maniac from Maturin Towers, may be finally be having an effect, even on Edmund Conway, author of the piece. It is also nice to notice that our Keynesian friend is clearly puzzled about what is going on. The silver penny may finally be dropping for him, too.

Time for a large gin and tonic then to set up the weekend, while I can still afford to buy lemons, or any other commodity, with my increasingly worthless pounds.

Though I would sacrifice my drink if I could be a fly on the wall inside Downing Street, at the moment. Brown will be pacing up and down, Mandelson will be sitting at the kitchen table surrounded by newspapers and pleading for a February election, while on a 40-inch plasma screen in the corner Sky News will be broadcasting every 15 minutes how much further the pound has devalued in the last 15 minutes.


(And remember, the Pound is falling against a basket of other fiat currencies, which are themselves falling against a true money, i.e. gold.)

If only I was a billionaire watching this for amusement, rather than a Middle Englander watching this in grim fascination, it would be funnier gallows humour than the last series of Blackadder, when Captain Rowan Atkinson seduced Nurse Miranda Richardson and then had her shot for treason.

So how low can the Pound go? With true inflation in this country accelerating to over 16% in the last month as part of Brown's deliberate plan to 'save the world', it could go very low indeed.

Suits made out of fifty pound notes, anyone?

God is an Austrian

St Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna

Catholocism has long been associated with Austrianism, which is a religion with a very deep streak of forgiveness and individual toleration, plus a wish for peace for mankind, combined with a moralistic bent about the rights of life, liberty, and property (and various other religious commandments).

But what about the long-schismed Church of England? Well, after last night it appears that the Archbishop of Canterbury too may also be a secret Austrian, when he accused Gordon Brown of behaving like a drug addict, when it comes to using debt to solve a crisis which came about because of the government's use of debt.

Fantastic! ;-)

Obviously the great childish brute of Downing Street couldn't take it like a man, and responded like a prickly spiteful child. But then, what's new, Pilgrim?

Spot the difference - UK inflation now over 16%

Check out the Bank of England's statistical release information from November, for the real UK monetary inflation rate in October (a.k.a. M4):

Now check the best figures I can find, released yesterday, covering November itself:
You'll notice that although the latest release is prettier, with a hint of colour, there is a lot less information - a very 'New Labour' arrangement!

Also, there are only 'seasonally adjusted' figures, and no raw figures. I don't know what heuristics they use in the Bank of England to 'seasonally adjust' such figures, but I'll guarantee that whatever they are, they have reduced the unpublished raw M4 figure.

There are several possible reasons behind this. The first is that I have once again been bamboozled by the horrendous statistics presentation pages which are seemingly set out by the Bank of England to create a sea of confusion.

Although this is the most likely reason, there is of course the other 'paranoid delusional' reason that the Bank of England is now releasing less information than previously to cover up its deliberate growth of inflation.

Whatever the case, unlike last month, I am forced to have to give you 'seasonally adjusted' figures, because I simply cannot get hold of the 'real' information. Whatever the case, and no matter how the civil servants in the Bank of England may have obfuscated the information, they cannot hide the fact that M4 has just gone over 16%. Expect this UK inflation figure to grow, as we head down towards zero per cent interest rates:

Link to October 2008 M4 Chart

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Financial crisis: Free money coming your way!

The increasingly ridiculous Edmund Conway, argues that hyperinflation is good for us.

Maturin Towers Comment:

Jack Maturin on December 18, 2008 at 11:01 AM

Edmund, please stop reading Paul Krugman and start reading Peter Schiff instead. You will feel much better afterwards.

Alternatively, please let us know why these policies that you advocate have been so successful in Japan in the last two decades.

Is Gordon Brown frightened of elections?

Iain Martin of the Torygraph posits an interesting article which debates whether Gordon Brown has the cojones to call an election. Obviously, given such a red rag, Maturin Towers felt obliged to throw its two and half pence into the ring:

UPDATE: Alas, the Torygraph comment mediator didn't feel able to release my comment onto their web pages (it was posted well before the last comment shown). But here it is in its unpublished glory, anyway. BTW, I perfectly respect the right of the Torygraph to disbar any comments it doesn't approve of. Their web site is their property, and I claim no 'right' to 'have my voice heard'. Seems a terrible shame though that they do seem to operate a censorship programme. I suppose my calling Brown a Stalinist in the first line may have put them off. Or it may just be a computing error. Whatever the case, it's their web site, so if they either employ rubbish technology which loses comments or if just don't like certain comments or commenters, then that's their business.

UDATE II: For some strange reason, my comment finally appeared quite a number of hours after I posted it. Come on, Torygraph. Get with the program.

Maturin Towers comment:

Jack Maturin on December 18, 2008 at 11:39 AM

Being a petty Stalinist, it will never be Brown's inclination to hazard an election with more than one candidate in it, if there is any other choice on offer.

However, he must have an election within two years, to retain any form of legitimacy; so from his point of view, the sooner he goes to the country the better, because this is going to be the mother of all recessions, which is mainly because of the Keynesian stupidity of his bailout policies, which failed in the 1930s, which failed in the 1970s, and more recently, which failed in Japan.

Mandelson will therefore be imploring Brown to go in February, whereas Brown will be resisting, due to his definitive yellow-belly streak of pusillanimous cowardice.

However, in the last few days the Labour Party officially stated that an early election would not be in the public interest. Therefore, following the golden rule that you should always believe the exact opposite of what any politician says about anything at all, and combining this with the announcement yesterday that the troops are coming home from Iraq, the Tories are right to expect a February election.

It is Brown's only chance of winning. After this, even the client-state payroll vote may turn against him, in the style of 1979, once his arrogant actions at punishing the competent to bail out the incompetent, bring us first stagflation, then price and wage controls, and then shortages of goods and employment. When you have no money and no food, even if you live within the heart of Middlesbrough you will finally be tempted to vote against the Labour Party.

His only other chance of hanging on to power is to deliberately engineer such a disastrous financial meltdown that he is 'forced' to suspend elections, 'in the public interest', and declare martial law.

Obviously, with the short-termist headline-aware way he has handled the banking crisis, which defies belief, when instead of massively curtailing consumption spending he has massively increased it, this could be exactly what he has been up to.

I would put nothing past the self-delusional hubris and self-interested spite of this manic depressive tyrant.

Not that the Tories will be any better, of course. At least they won’t be foolish enough to waste another hundred billion pounds on ID cards, but aside from that, will it really make any difference which political party is in charge of the train set, if they’re all going to follow the same Keynesian policies of inflation, borrowing, and spending, to cure a crisis caused by inflation, borrowing, and spending?

How about we have an election where “None of the Above” is mandated on all ballot papers, and if “None of the Above” wins, we can sack the lot of them, and all of their client-state apparatchiks? Now that would be an election worth voting in.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Inflation is coming. Then controls. Then rationing.

A truly stunning article by Uncle Gary North:

=> Oldsmobile Nation

(For "Obama", read "Brown"; for "Citigroup", read "HBOS"; for "Dollar", read "Pound")

Friday, December 12, 2008

Weather: Coldest start to winter since 1976

Must be due to global warming. Or, errr..., precipitate hydride volatility, or, errr..., climate change, or summink. It won't be due to changes in the Sun's energy output, or anything cosmological, but will definitely be due to anthropogenic global warming. Oh yes.

See here for details, on Britain's coldest winter for over 30 years.

More accompanying cant, of course, from the EU today, where the Euro Parasites decided to reduce my energy expenditure by 20%, because enough voter morons are around who still believe in anthropogenic global warming.

Check out this article which shocks us with the revelation that scientists think (no doubt using incredibly sophisticated models easily capable of predicting the future a hundred years out) that the world's sea level will rise by a whole two metres, by 2100. I wonder if residents will notice in the Severn Estuary area, where they regularly get tides over 15 metres deep. I actually wonder if anybody at all will notice, including the residents of Tuvalu or the Maldives, the world's lowest countries.

BTW, I love this quote from David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey (another parasite organisation sucking up another 400 useless salaries from the tax generator class):

"...If you're looking further ahead than 2100 - and many governments are, including the Netherlands and the UK which are thinking about infrastructure that would last more than 100 years - then that second century still looks quite scary." - My italics!
Come on, David. Gordon Brown is looking no further ahead than the day after the next election, and no civil servant is really thinking about anything at the moment except whether they will get their promised government pension in the next couple of decades, or whether the currency they might get paid in will be worth anything. To imagine that "the government" is seriously planning the next hundred years, when it can hardly stumble from one day to another without bouncing on the financial landmines of its own unintended consequences, really does let you into the pompous mindset of these arrogant people, who have the grandiose world view that they must inflict their superior guardianship over the proles of the next ten generations.

Obviously, if Aubrey de Grey is right, with his predictions that relatively soon we will all possess the opportunity to live forever, as Tolkienesque elves, then there might be some merit in discussing the next two hundred years, but really; these deranged people are growing beyond caricature. Fortunately, the coming storm of the depression will hopefully knock out a lot of their funding and give everyone more important things to think about, such as where the next meal or pay cheque is coming from, rather than what level the sea may be at in a hundred years.

Britain, as a governmental entity, won't even exist in 50 years, never mind a hundred. We'll either be slaves in a world government gulag ruled over by either Brussels, Washington, Moscow, Beijing, or Delhi (take your pick), or we'll be living in tiny independent city states, certainly no bigger than Scotland, and possibly as small as an Englishman's castle (which obviously, is the preferred option).

But whatever the case, anthropogenic global warming will have been long forgotten in a hundred years. Hopefully by then people will also have remembered what most of us were taught in the 1970s; that we are living in an inter-glacial period, and that the real weather terror of the next millennium will be the next ice age.

And no. That won't be our fault, either.

Karl Popper must be spinning in his unfalsifiable grave, at the thought of these legions of state-fed "scientists" who can only come to one conclusion, no matter what the evidence. Thank goodness then for the 31,072 real open-minded scientists who signed this petition declaring themselves against this ongoing slough of nonsense.

They should be commended for their willingness to suffer funding cuts from the orthodox marxist environmentalists in charge of most government research handout agencies.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Irish pork industry welcomes £158m rescue fund

I'm sorry, but this really is the corporate welfare state headline to end all other corporate welfare state headlines.

=> Irish pork industry welcomes £158m rescue fund

Absolutely marvellous.

For more on pork barrel politics, try Wikipedia.

Value of pound falls to 28-year low

The bloody fruits of the failure of Gordon Brown's bailout policies are beginning to become too noticeable to ignore. With the pound collapsing against the Euro, Alistair Darling, our woebegone Chancellor of the Exchequer, has gone from "puppet on a string" to "a rabbit frozen in the headlights".

He refuses to say where he thinks the pound will end up, because, let's face it, he doesn't even know what colour underpants he's wearing, so how would he know something as complicated as the terminal value of a fiat currency? Well, Alistair, I'll let you in on a secret; and it's not that complicated. The Pound will eventually possess the full value of a single Zimbabwean Dollar. It really is only a matter of time.

Poor Chancellor.

In 'normal' situations like this, a fall in the value of the Pound would lead the Bank of England to stoke up interest rates to shore up the Pound's strength. But these are not normal situations. If interest rates were increased, the full force of the recession would finally hit home and blast away the remaining crumbling debt-built edifice of the British economy. So we can't do that, because to embrace a recession just before an election, no matter how sensible from an Austrian point of view, would be electoral suicide for the short-term future of the Labour Party (though very good for the long-term future of the country).

On the other hand, if interest rates stay just where they are, or head even lower towards zero per cent, then the pound will crumble away to dust, just like Christopher Lee in one of those sixties Dracula films when he's hit by early morning sunlight.

Hence, a Chancellor struck dumb and blinking in the headlights.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. What is he going to do next? Unlike the Americans, this Downing Street lemming cannot hide behind the libation of a world reserve currency status (though as Peter Schiff has forecast, this will eventually fail for the Dollar too, when it implodes). And unlike the Europeans, Darling presides over a much more debt-ridden society, similar to the US, with a destroyed manufacturing base resting upon government spending and corporate welfare, fueled by debt and the Bank of England's printing press.

Because our economy is so analogous to the American one, we are basically experiencing a dress rehearsal for what the Americans will go through in a couple of years when the Dollar loses its world reserve currency status, and it too goes into free fall.

So what will Darling and Brown do? They will do what all socialists do when forced to face up to their own failures. They will blame everyone else and then clutch at straws.

Expect an emergency capitulation and switch to the Euro, 'which we have been forced to do due to global conditions originating in America'. No referendum. No debate. Just a force majeure overnight switch to the Euro.

When will they do it? Well they don't know themselves, though they'll be toying with it in committee rooms, so it's hard to call it. I would suspect that when the miserable peasants are beating on the iron gates of Downing Street with their torches and their pitchforks, which at our current rate of decline could be in a few weeks!

I wonder if Mandelson is working on the slogans now? A New Labour Currency for a New Labour Year.

The question remains, however, will the strong Eurozone countries want to let us in? With Greece imploding, will they want another economic basket case on their hands? That may be the final irony. Brown will have wrecked the economy enough to finally get the British people to grudgingly accept the Euro as our only lifeline, and then the French and the Germans don't let us in!

Now that really would be something, even for this appalling Stalinist megalomaniac and immodest saviour of the world.

Oh, and none of it will be his fault. Oh no.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Revealed - Gordon Brown has saved the world

In an earlier piece, I speculated that the manic depressive Gordon Brown may have thought that he was the reincarnation of 'Flash Gordon'. It appears he does in fact think that he is Superman.

Yes, it's expensive living in his socialist utopia, but at least we can all still laugh at him from time to time. For how much longer I do not know. But let's enjoy his grandiloquent self-obsessed lunacy while he can.

Sark votes in first-ever election

Shame on the Barclay brothers, owners of the Torygraph, for selfishly causing this disaster.

But then, democracy always is about selfishness. Which is why it always eventually collapses, when the mob of have-nots have no more wealth to steal from the minority group of haves.

For brave investors only: 10 ways to tell that you are touching bottom

Jeff Randall speculates on where the bottom of the recession might be.

My endless quest to propagandize Austrianism in the Torygraph, perhaps the most fertile UK area for such a project, therefore continues mercilessly too:

Maturin comments:

Jack Maturin on December 10, 2008 at 12:29 PM

The bottom will be wherever Peter Schiff and Jim Rogers say it is. In "Bull Moves in Bear Markets", Schiff reckons it might be when gold hits about $5,000 dollars an ounce, and when commodities trading companies start using private gold currency, such as that offered by, rather than any government fiat currency.

Alas, we've got a long way to go down yet, and with both Obama in the White House and Brown in Downing Street both planning to do exactly the wrong things, to prop up their collapsing fiat currency bubbles, it could take quite some time to get there.
Plus a second comment, which rather strangely appeared on the Torygraph site before the first one:

Jack Maturin on December 10, 2008 at 12:28 PM

Sorry, I've forgotten the most obvious indicator.

When Roger Bootle, Edmund Conway, and Ambrose Pritchard-Evans all renounce Keynesianism and recommend that we switch to a 100% reserve gold standard with immediate effect.

That will be the day that marks the true bottom.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Deleveraging Pushes Up the Dollar

John Browne, Peter Schiff's literary partner, explains why the dollar is having one last tango.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Financial medicine of lower interest rates will only make us all sicker

Liam Halligan pens another excellent article in the Torygraph.

It's interesting to see that so many of the commenters agree with the basic Austrian analysis that we should embrace the recession to clear out the malinvestments of the past decade. Also, I couldn't resist adding my own comment, because Mr Halligan makes it fairly clear that he's feeling rather alone in the media financial community. We need all the writers like Mr Halligan that we can get our hands on.

Maturin comment:

Jack Maturin on December 07, 2008 at 08:57 AM

You may be alone in the financial press, Liam, but you're not alone out here. Please keep up the excellent work at pointing out the absurdities of what the Bank of England is up to. Murray Rothbard, the late Dean of the Austrian School of Economics, would be proud of you.

With the M4 broad money supply figure currently at an inflation rate of 15.6% per annum, it is laughable that the same organisation which has presided over the deliberate creation in the last year of £255 billion pounds from out of fresh air, is the same organisation which is trying to scare the UK's population with the preposterous hobgoblin of price 'deflation'.

So please keep going. Expose the cant of the Bank of England's loose monetary policies, and don't let their court economists, such as Paul Krugman, try to keep pulling the Keynesian wool over the rest of our aggregated eyes.

The Bank of England, under the direction of their short-term minded political masters, who are desperate to re-inflate this bubble to try to win the next election, and to heck with the long-term consequences, are deliberately trying to drag us into the same deep dark hole the Japanese have spent the last two decades buried in.

It is only with the work of people such as yourself, and perhaps Peter Schiff, that we will escape such a horror. You must therefore keep going, despite all of the orthodox Keynesian pressure that you are no doubt being subjected to by your colleagues on the Telegraph, all of whom seem to have been deeply dipped into the ink of John Maynard Keynes, despite all of the theories of that charismatic gentleman having been totally destroyed in the stagflation of the 1970s.

So keep going. Carl Menger, Eugen von Boehm-Bawerk, and Ludwig von Mises would also be proud of you. Good luck!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

What's the REAL inflation rate in the UK?

This is tricky. I would prefer a value such as the TMS (True Money Supply), as calculated by to reflect the true monetary inflation rate in the United States. However, there is no such thing available over here in the UK so I will use M4, the 'traditional' way of measuring 'broad' money. OK, so it ain't perfect, but at least it's a whole truck load of gin better than the heavily massaged CPI figures.

So where has M4 been going recently? Go on. Guess.

I'm going to use the simple non-seasonally-adjusted M4 figure, to give us something nice and straightforward which we can get a long-term handle on, rather than any of the Bank of England's many other petty-fogging obfuscations.

Notice the steep rise in the inflation rate in October, to deliver an annual M4 inflation rate of 15.6%. This is the harbinger of much worse to come as the artificially-low Bank of England base rate takes effect, and as they start buying up UK Treasury bonds directly from the Debt Management Office, in what they will euphemistically call "quantitative easing" - counterfeiters call this process "a good day in the office".

You may also want to notice that at one point the UK central bank almost managed to get inflation under 10%, squeezing it all the way down to 10.1% in May this year. Such discipline!

But despite this heroic effort, in one year, the Bank of England managed to deliberately create £255 billion more pounds than had existed twelve months earlier, approximately £4,000 pounds for every man, woman, and child, in the country. This is fine work, especially if you want to generate a Weimar-style republic. Expect much worse to come, though even I will admit that increasing the UK monetary base from £1.64 trillion pounds, to £1.9 trillion pounds, is hardly slacking.

I'll try to keep you posted, though as both Guido and Obnoxio have noted, the UK government is beginning to restrict what they want the Bank of England to tell the rest of us, so this may become increasingly difficult.

PS> If you want to drown yourself in a whole myriad of meaningless nonsense, you can check out the M4 figures here. Good luck!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Why did nobody tell me about Scribd?

Crazy. After hearing about it on a Jeffrey Tucker MP3, I've just discovered Scribd. Flippin' marvellous. I thought I would christen my discovery with the following set of books to cure us from the insanity of the world's hyper-inflating governments:

The Mystery of Banking, by Murray Rothbard
America's Great Depression, by Murray Rothbard
The Ethics of Money Production
This is probably the best technology in the world, ever. I think it even outdoes YouTube! ;-)

Weimar republic, here we come...

The edge of the precipice is near:

=> Bank of England mulls "nuclear option" of cash injection

=> Interest rates cut: Bank of England cuts rates from 3 per cent to 2 per cent

=> Gordon Brown promises to push banks on interest rate cut

The lemmings in Downing Street must be getting really scared by now. Having used CPI inflation figures for years, which do not take any input from housing costs, and then having deliberately inflated a bubble in the housing market to steal government income from the masses to take advantage of this lack of reflection in the CPI figures, the comeuppance is going to be truly outstanding.

Expect the "nuclear option" to be taken. This government has so much debt, and has client-state supporters with so much debt that the only way out that they will be able to see, is to monetize the entire amount via the printing press.

And not just via the usual obfuscation of the open market operations division of the Bank of England, but via the front-door purchase of government bonds directly from one department of the Treasury (the Debt Management Office) by another department of the Treasury (the Bank of England), with bills of credit created out of fresh air. It will be called "prudence". It will result in chaotic hyper-inflation and the possible long-term breakdown of society.

It's time to break out the whisky. Drink it while you can still afford it. Drink it to avoid staying sober in an unpleasant land. Drink it while the streets aren't filled with desperate gangs robbing it from you at will.

There is another solution of course. That is for the government to drastically cut back its spending (and I mean by at least half), to drastically cut taxes (at least in half), and to drastically cut wealth-restricting regulations (i.e. virtually all of them). With all of the recent bailouts reversed too, the recession can then be embraced, worked through, and then put behind us, in merely a year or two. The hundreds of thousands of sacked government 'workers' will find themselves something useful to do (or starve), and we will have a country worth living in again.

Obviously, as an anarchist, I would rather the government disappeared entirely, but I'll take a halving for now! :-)

Will they do this? Of course they won't. Because in their short-term greed for themselves and their clients they would rather give us the Weimar republic and the associated political horrors that always follow such economic castrations, rather than suffer any government spending cuts of any kind whatsoever.

And isn't it nice to know that even in these times of financial toughness that the European Space Agency are cock-a-hoop over their recent increase in government funding, to over £5 billion of your taxpayer pounds! Such a splendid use of your donations to the cause of continued government spending.

It makes me feel proud to be an Englishman.

Pip pip!!

Gordon Mugabe - "I love AngloAustria"

Well, he must do. Because every time I predict what this monumental fool is going to do next, he goes and does it virtually the very next day. Check out these two articles:

=> The top ten mistakes Brown will make next
=> Get a UK home for virtually free

Then check out what Mugabe does a few days later:

=> Mortgage help plan brings interest payments relief for people facing repossession


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Peter Schiff vs. Arthur Laffer

OK, I'm a sad person. I admit it. But I do occasionally like to have a laugh. And the following two videos are perhaps the funniest I have seen in a long time.

In the first one, dated August 2006, Peter Schiff correctly predicts the current recession and what will cause it. Arthur Laffer, an appropriately named man, laughs out loud at Schiff's thoughts and then challenges Schiff to a bet, after stating that the American economy is in the best shape it has ever been, that there will not be a recession in 2007 or 2008, and that he wants Schiff to grovel at his feet in supplication when Schiff is proved wrong. Schiff, of course, accepts the bet, saying he would like it to be a lot more than one penny:

In the second video, dated October 2008, an incredibly nasty and stupid little man gracelessly tries to pretend he is not the same Arthur Laffer as in the video above. Bill Maher gently quizzes him on the bet with Peter Schiff. An ugly toad-like impression settles upon Laffer's screwed up face, as this evil little grunt of a man, who was so quick to pour loud public scorn upon Peter Schiff, quickly tries to shut down the conversation by talking about a nine month statute of limitations on economic predictions (which doesn't appear to have stopped Schiff making multi-year predictions, of course, or being right). As well as being the funniest economic thing I have seen in years, this second video is also toe-wincingly embarrassing after watching the first one, so be careful before you click play:

AngloAustrian conclusion: Nobody should ever listen to another word Arthur Laffer ever says about anything ever again, except perhaps "I was wrong, I admit it, I am an arrogant fool. Peter Schiff was right. Everybody should stop hiring me and start hiring him instead." They should also take all of his Laffer curves, designed to maximise government income, and shred the lot of them, returning the proceeds to the taxpayers of this world. The title of Laffer's new book, "The End of Prosperity", is also rather appropriate. Let's hope it comes true for him in his personal fortunes, when offering economic advice to anyone. Presumably the book took at least a couple of months to think about, then a couple of months to write. It probably also took a couple of months to publish, and then a couple of months to set up the publicity tour. Therefore, given Laffer's nine month statute of limitations, it only has a shelf life of 1 month before it's completely out of date. So don't buy it while you can.

No doubt, however, it will also be Laffer to whom governments are right now turning, to quiz him on what to do next, rather than Schiff, despite Laffer having proven himself to be an incompetent mistaken idiot and despite Schiff having proven himself, in the face of incredible scorn, to be an incredible bang-on hero.

Funny that.

It reminds me of the S.E.P. concept in the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It is generally impossible for normal human beings to see Someone Else's Problem. It would also appear that due to an A.E. concept, it is impossible for government people to see Austrian Economists, despite their having predicted everything correctly, despite their possession of the only full working model of the business cycle, despite their having solutions ready to run out of the box, and despite their having supporters, such as myself, much better looking than other people. (OK, I lied about that last bit.)

Do you think this inability to see Austrian Economists has anything to do with the hard Rothbardian stipulations that governments should drastically cut back spending, taxes, and central bank powers, if we are to get through this recession in any kind of shape? Hmmm.... I wonder.

Also, can I make a request to any AngloAustrian readers? If the dreadful rat man Arthur Laffer ever does pay Schiff his penny, which I rather doubt after watching the second incredibly graceless video, can you please send me the link to the YouTube video? Immediately! :-)

Though it might be fun if Laffer doesn't pay Schiff, because like a bad MacBethian character Laffer will have to spend the rest of his life trying to avoid his nemesis.


Pip pip!!

(Praise must be due to Stephen Carson, at LewRockwell.Com, for unearthing these videos)

Ignore the excuses, here are the signals showing disaster on the way

The closest character we have to a "British" Peter Schiff, here in the UK, is Jeff Randall, Editor-At-Large of the Daily Torygraph. Mr Randall is required reading here in Maturin Towers, of a morning, and he rarely disappoints with his anti-government diatribes. This morning he takes Gordon Mugabe to task for failing to spot the oncoming crash, what with all of Mugabe's previous pompous talk of having abolished boom and bust.

Intriguingly, Mr Randall also promised a Bottle of Bubbly to whichever Torygraph reader sent in the best example of any other such sign of oncoming recession. Well, being one partial to the odd glass or three of chilled fizz, how could I resist such a Sisyphusian offer? I wrote something in haste, perhaps over-stimulated by the thought of the bottle on offer. It's perhaps my worst ever Torygraph comment, coming across as trying too hard and sounding a bit whiney. Whoops! Oh well. It may fail to be the winner of the shampoo, because I was trying too hard to win the shampoo, but at least it gets a dig in against the ecomentalists:

Jack Maturin on December 03, 2008 at 09:01 AM

It might seem a bit off the wall, but I think the total non-reaction to Lord Turner's ecomentalist plans to double, triple, or even to quadruple energy costs, in a bid to satisfy all of our Mother Earth religious desires to flagellate ourselves, may stand out as a sign of oncoming economic madness.

To have initially gone along with these idiotic nostrums, indicates that we all felt that wealth would keep increasing exponentially enough, with absolutely no chance of downside, to magically offset this nonsense on stilts.

I think we will now see the government quietly shelve Turner's plans, because to deliberately inflate energy costs in the teeth of the worst recession since the 1930s really would be a classic symptom of Whitehall buffoonery.

Sorry, let me retract that.

With Gordon Mugabe's rainbow client state being partially built on the back of the environmentalist movement, expect "Mr Hair-Shirt" to accelerate these plans, to "solve" the non-existent problem of anthropogenic global warming, and "to save the world for our children".

And if these plans can also be "further stimulated" with spiralling energy taxes, to fill the gaping maw of the ravenous client state, all to the better.

If we continue to let this tinpot Stalin rule over us, Gordon Brown really will let his failed socialist ideology try to drag us back into the dark ages!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Damian Green arrest: Michael Martin must live up to office of Speaker

Andrew Gimson writes a splendid side-swipe article to attack our useless speaker of the house of commons, a man who one suspects didn't even know that we once had a miserable scottish king who we beheaded, who thinks the dragging of the speaker to his chair is a tradition acquired from 1970s rock concerts, and who thought that the entire job of speaker was merely a cunning excuse to forge even more taxi receipt expenses.

Maturin article comment:

Posted by Jack Maturin on December 2, 2008 9:27 AM

The man is a disgrace. He should be dragged from his chair by MPs of all parties and thrown into the street. No, into the gutter. For that is where this oaf truly belongs.

And then when he's lying there, hapless and feeble, they can all shower him with blank taxi receipt slips, which they take from the blank pads they've all bought from friendly taxi drivers.

They are all a disgrace. But in dragging this man into the gutter, they can at least pay us back a little for some of the expenses they have stolen from us all, over the years.

Monday, December 01, 2008

UK climate change targets will push up fuel bills, warns Government advisor

Great; just what we need as the economy collapses about our ears, a self-inflicted wound of increased energy prices to satisfy a non-existent problem brought on by old communists who wanted a new anti-market religion to follow now that the Berlin Wall has come down.


Get a UK home for virtually free

With an immediate sign that the new chief executive of the government-owned Royal Bank of Scotland is merely a civil servant directly under the thumb of HM Treasury, Stephen Hester has announced that he will give mortgage defaulters six months of non-payment of debt before he calls in the bailiffs.

Alistair Darling, the puppet-on-a-string Chancellor, only asked for three months, but in a good impression of an ambitious civil servant asking "How high do you want me to jump, minister?", Hester has responded with a very pleasing six months.

Obviously, what this really means is that if you live in a house funded by an RBS loan, you will never be thrown out of it, except under the most extreme of circumstances. The government never likes upsetting voters or allowing newspaper reporters to take photographs of these upset voters being thrown out of 'their' homes, particularly in marginal constituencies. So here's the AngloAustrian guide to how you can get a virtually free new home:

1). Leave your current rental property. Get a mortgage from the taxpayer, via RBS, and buy 'your' new dream home in a marginal constituency.

2). Don't make any payments for five months.

3). Put the saved money you would have otherwise paid in rent on your old house, into gold and ignore any RBS letters that may drop onto your doormat.

4). After five months, make a single payment. This should stop the letters for a while.

5). This time, sit on your old rent money for at least a year and put it into gold. (By now it should be worth around $2,000 dollars an ounce.)

6). Ignore all of the increasingly frequent RBS letters that drop onto the doormat, though do at least open them and look for the Queen's coat of arms. Wait until you see such a letter, stamped with a court appearance date, which will probably take about a year to arrive. (It will have taken this long because the government will have instructed the courts to be lenient on mortgage defaulters - and if you don't think the British government can order the British courts around, just examine the recent record of court judgements when people have been defending themselves against the Inland Revenue, sorry, Revenue and Customs.)

7). As soon you see the court order, make another single payment.

8). Now wait at least two years, continuing to funnel your old rent money into gold. By now gold should be worth about $8,000 dollars an ounce. (Or approximately £4,000 pounds - Bretton Woods II will have pegged the pound to being worth two dollars, with the Federal Reserve becoming the sole world central bank issuing all currencies.)

9). Around three or four years should have gone by, and you will only have had to make two mortgage payments. The fairly cheap house you 'bought' at today's prices, will have also collapsed even further in price to approximately half of what you, or rather the taxpayer via the Royal Bank of Scotland, paid for it, despite the new flood of pounds mysteriously entering the world economy. A new government law will have also come into being, to help marginal constituency voters such as yourself. I don't know the exact wording of it, because it hasn't been written yet or even thought of, by the clowns in Whitehall, but it will go something like this: "Anyone in mortgage arrears will have their debt dropped to whatever their property is currently worth, should this be lower than the original price."

10). To now stop all of these annoying letters, take some of the gold you have accumulated, probably about a quarter of it as the pound will have collapsed in value against gold, and buy your house outright, at its new very low price. Also, make sure all of the gold you have left is held as physical gold and is hidden from all view, and especially is not held in a safety deposit box. At this point the increasingly fascist government will be considering confiscating all gold, 'in order to save your standard of living.' At some distant point in the future, should we not have all died in a Gulag, it will become legal to hold gold again. At that point, buy a castle or something with it; gold might be worth so much by now, that the Queen, or one of her other figurehead descendants, might let you have Windsor.


So, for making two payments, and waiting around four years, you will now own lock, stock, and barrel, the dream home of your choice, and after twenty years or so, when the government allows you to legally hold gold again, a castle.

Welcome to Gordon Mugabe's modern Britain, a land built for hard-working families to hand over their wealth to feckless non-producing layabouts and other government non-job regulating buffoons.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Schiff TV - Update #1 - $2,000 dollar gold oz, next year

AngloAustrian hero, Peter Schiff, stands in a bear pit and defends his reasoning as to the why the dollar has had a temporary rally, but why it is ultimately going to collapse. (This video is also excellent because it demonstrates how Schiff - perhaps along with Ron Paul and Jim Rogers - was the only major American financial commentator predicting this recession BEFORE it happened).


Look out for his very last line where he predicts that gold will hit $2,000 dollars an ounce, sometime next year (2009).

AngloAustrian prediction: He will be right.

And if you think this video is good, just try all of the rest, here:

=> Peter Schiff YouTube Videos

UPDATE: And for Schiff articles, try:

=> Peter Schiff - FSU Editorial Archives

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gold or fascism? It's decision time

When even shadow home office ministers are looking over their shoulders at routine persecution, kidnapping, and terrorism, instigated by the gestapoid numskulls of Zanu New Labour, I think it becomes clear that an important crossroads in British history has been reached.

That is to say, the choice between a commodity money standard, based upon real values, or a fiat paper money standard, based upon notional values backed up by the use of Mao's gun; a.k.a. fascism.

It has been a long road getting to this point, with perhaps the decision to declare war against Germany, in 1914, the major one, authorised as it was by a mere handful of cabinet ministers. The British government then issued enough fiat currency to float a Dreadnought in, to 'pay' for their war, but then refused to drop the amount of gold each pound was supposed to be worth after the war, despite this vast inflation of the currency supply. This led, inevitably, to the British government's break with the gold standard on the 21st of September, 1931, with this overvaluation of the pound having brought misery to millions in the 1920s.

Before 1914, though with many suspensions and obfuscations, particularly during the Napoleonic era, if an Englishman ever thought his government was monkeying around with the money supply, he could simply exchange his pound notes for gold, at the rate of 113 grains of 22-carat gold, per pound (or 7.3 grammes in the French specification).

I would never go as far as to say that this ability to turn paper into gold ever kept the government honest. But it certainly kept them a lot less dishonest, though they had been itching to get off the gold and the silver standard for centuries, particularly that boorish drunken gangster, Henry the VIIIth. The ruling powers finally saw their chance, in 1931, and grabbed it with both feckless hands. Ever since, with the ephemeral complication of the failed Bretton-Woods agreement, British government pounds have been worth whatever the British government have said they were worth.

Our lords and masters have thus been able to print up billions upon trillions of pounds, at whim, to fund whatever programmes they felt like wasting them on, be it the welfare state (which has produced entire towns full of, to quote a government minister, 'feral' children), the warfare state (which has invaded innumerable countries around the world often based upon the most outrageous lies - e.g. Iraq - making the world less safe for English people), or for whatever pensions, salaries, and other imposts they felt commensurate with their vainglorious importance. And all without worrying about ordinary English people turning up at the Bank of England and demanding gold for their pounds. Splendid!

To break off at a tangent, at this point, let us consider what a 'government' is.

Karl Marx was a spectacularly successful plagiarist, whose ideas have been responsible for the deaths of millions, but one thing he plagiarised well, stealing it from earlier French classical liberals, such as Adolphe Blanqui and Jean-Baptiste Say, was the class system. Blanqui and Say postulated that there are two classes in most societies that have governments. The first is the tax generator class; the second is the tax consumer class.

Sometimes in history, particularly around revolutions, the two classes swap places, but their functional natures remain the same. One smaller class, the expropriating tax consumer class, basically rob the tax generator class, on a regular basis, milking them like cattle. They are Uncle Murray's band of robbers writ large.

The larger class tolerate this shocking behaviour, and all the criminality associated with it, because the smaller class have persuaded them that this is the way it should be.

The methods involved in this persuasion often involve force, of course, but in the long run force is not enough. The larger tax generator class must be at least partially convinced that this is the way it should. Hence, the special tax consumer subsidisation of one of their main sub-classes, the intellectual elite. In return for a godly portion of the loot, the intellectuals must justify this two class system criminality. They can use God (as with the Normans using the Churches and Cathedrals as their main weapon to enslave the Anglo-Saxons), they can use the bribery of key groups (as in the welfare state and handouts for farmers), or they can use ideology (as they have been devastatingly successful with, when defending the idea of 'democracy').

Whatever method they use, the two classes remain distinct. The organisation, of course, which keeps the whole kaboodle in place, is 'the government'. It is the structural entity, or 'Matrix', if you will, which keeps the tax generators in their place, and which organises the distribution of the spoils to the tax consumers.

Think of the tax consumers as being a giant stag beetle upon the back of a tax generator, and the government as this nauseous insect's brain.

But this relationship between the two classes is about to enter another period of dramatic revolution. They may have killed the gold standard in 1931 (with the same occurring in the US in 1933), but the paper pound/dollar standard that was then created to allow the massive growth of total government, total welfare, and total war, is collapsing around our ears. They will NOT be able to revive it.

There are only two choices. We can either go back to gold, and liberty, and freedom, and putting the government back in a cage (which as an anarchist I am hoping we can later shrink down to an insignificant mouse trap) or we can adopt the only other way of preserving their ability to bleed us dry through inflation, and that route will be force.

This is how evil and stupid these people in the tax consumer class are. Despite condemning even themselves and their offspring to a potentially hazardous future based upon police state fascism, they would rather still go that way to keep their temporary spoils now.

I have news for them, of course. You may be able to steal all of my money, you thieving maggots. You may even be able to prevent me from leaving the country, so that you can pin me ever more deeply into the fleecing pen. And you may be able to silence me by threatening me with the consequences of speaking out. But what are you going to do when the money runs out? What are you going to do when I do just enough to survive myself, but produce absolutely no extra loot for you to steal from me? You can jump up and down all you like, but I will simply sit down in the street (or the Gulag), if it should reach that point, and just refuse to initiate or originate the creation of anything you can then take from me. And if you imprison us all, or even kill us all, who is going to do your work for you then?

That you would rather get to this point, rather than fix the money supply, makes you even more despicable to me than I thought previously. But I think your days are numbered. And when we do get to a commodity standard, hopefully within my lifetime, I will know this for a fact. We will have turned a corner.

It cannot come soon enough.

Fortunately, unless you do kill us all, even the road to fascist serfdom eventually leads back to the path to liberty, because fascist governments always collapse in the end, due to their complete inability to manage anything other than a basic agrarian economy (which in Britain would take us back to a population of around two million, mostly starving in most winters.)

Though sometimes I get the feeling that the tax consumers would rather even have this than actually become private producers in a free market. Ecomentalism may even be the outpouring of this emotion of refusing to embrace the free market. Thankfully, I don't think they will have the choice.

Freedom is coming.

I just wish it would hurry up getting here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Government experts assess chances of economic recovery

There is so much appalling stupidity going on at the moment, with the world's politicians trying to turn a bad recession into a cataclysmic depression, that I'm almost spinning with disbelief. If only Uncle Murray were still with us, he would know exactly what to say. I'll limit myself to one short paragraph per story:

Federal Reserve announces new $800bn boost to strengthen US economy

Just where exactly did they get this money, then? Were they holding it in reserve? Or did they just create it out of thin air. Even the Zimbabweans might be laughing at this one.

Why Gordon Brown the manic meddler had to take such a massive gamble

Brown decided to push government spending up to 60% of the UK's annual GDP simply to give himself a slim outside chance of winning the next election. Did the USSR even get to 60% of GDP? Even they allowed some private farming and industry! Not so much Nero fiddling while Rome burns. More like Nero chucking on the petroleum tar, and borrowing more from the Arab traders down in the port of Ostia.

Gordon Brown leads bankrupt Britain into the 1970s

Been there. Done that. Don't want to do it again. But do we have any choice? With Calamity Brown in charge of the men with guns, the only option is to leave the UK. How long will that remain an option? Expect exchange controls. Expect emigration controls to keep the taxpayer sheep locked tight in the fleecing pen! Expect riots, all police heavily armed at all times, and a heavy-handed fascist British state.

OECD says Alistair Darling's forecasts for recovery are too optimistic

I would put Alistair Darling's forecasts on a recovery on the same level as my chances of emigrating to New Zealand before the emigration controls come down and forcing Dan Carter out of his All Blacks number ten rugby shirt.

Oh what is the point continuing. You can read the papers too.

AngloAustrian summary: We are ruled over by imbeciles. Let us hope that one day they are made to pay for their utter stupidity.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Jim Rogers Holding Gold

As you'll know if you've ever read his books, Jim Rogers isn't a full time Austrian. He just comes to Austrianism at a tangent, through his immense knowledge of markets and human psychology. He is also holding gold, as can be seen in the picture above, which is very Austrian behaviour.

If you want to know why he is holding gold, especially if you're currently holding dollars, then check out the Financial Times video link below:

=> The Dollar, Obama, China, and the Recession

Watch all four FT Jim Rogers videos, which will appear in sequence, if you want to know what's going to happen next in this world of chaos brought about by government stabilisation programmes.

In the first segment, this AngloAustrian hero explains his prediction from one year ago about why the dollar would rise (covering shorts) and why it will eventually collapse in the medium term (as soon as he sees that a dollar euphoria has set in, which is when he will abandon the dollar).

In the second segment he covers Obama and why his policies of protectionism and capital growth taxes will be such a disaster for America; in the third he discusses China and how commodities will come out of this recession first because of their sound fundamentals; and in the final segment he explains how the current government mania about "price deflation" is a flash in the pan caused by forced liquidation and the reason why massive government money pumping, as evidenced by lowering interest rates, will eventually create massive price inflation. (He even mentions the dreaded Zimbabwe word at one point!)

Along the way, Rogers covers exchange controls, how Long Term Capital Management should have been allowed to fail in 1998, taking most of the investment banks with it, and how possibly Bretton Woods II will choose the Euro or even the Renminbi as the new world money standard (and why this will fail).

AngloAustrian view: Fantastic!! Gotta see!! Marvellous!! Etc.

Pip pip!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

What 'he' said

I was going to pen a diatribe this evening, as is my wont, but what really is the point?

While I was sweeping the leaves from my garden, this afternoon, I caught up with my Lew Rockwell podcast back catalogue. In the final interview, that bloke Peter Schiff was questioned about the world economy by the Rockmeister. In a cunning twist of reality, Schiff managed to read my thoughts, word for word, as my iPod's hard drive whirred, and then repeated my thoughts back to me via my headphones.


And in complete contravention of all known laws of physics!

However, if Terry Pratchett can be accused of stealing J.K.Rowling's idea about a school for wizards in a book published ten years before Harry Potter first saw the light of day, then I can claim that Peter Schiff is stealing my ideas too.

And this man, this so called Schiff-Meister, has the temerity to claim that his thoughts are original. Ha! What a nerve.

So if you want to know the Maturin Towers viewpoint at the moment, on virtually every economic question under the sun, the most efficient choice will simply to be to listen to Peter Schiff's so-called "interview" with Lew Rockwell.

If I believed in copyright, I would sue.

Visit the following page and then press the 'PODCAST' download button:

=> How the Government Wrecked the Economy

Or even better, just go to the following page, press the iTunes button, and simply subscribe to the entire Lew Rockwell Podcast opus. Sir Llywelyn is up to 72 pieces now, and at an average of 10 minutes apiece, that's 720 minutes of Austrianism at its finest.


But do remember that everything you ever hear on a Lew Rockwell podcast, especially when he's speaking to Peter Schiff, was first thought of here on AngloAustria.

It's an outrage.

BTW, it's particularly worth waiting for what Schiff says at the end of the podcast. Just substitute "British Government" for "American Government", which is Schiff's cunning way of masking his plagiarism, and you won't go far wrong. I was really cooking when I thought of his end piece statement. Marvellous!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Your money for nothing and your chicks for free

Just what exactly is wrong with price deflation? I like price deflation. I like prices dropping. It’s the only good thing in a recession and it helps the rest of us survive as our incomes fall. Price deflation has happened in the computing industry for years. If you can’t afford a 100 gig hard drive laptop, just wait six months and there it will be, dropping at 20% per annum, until you can afford it, as it has done since the laptop was invented, with ever more features, power, and functions, at ever-decreasing prices. Does anyone ever complain when computer hardware gets cheaper? Do computer companies go bust? (Yes, bad ones). Do computer stores go bust? (Yes, bad ones.) But good computer companies and good computer stores prosper, especially as the regular price drops keep wiping out their poor competition. Yet somehow this pricing model, with which we are all familiar, must not be allowed to happen to the sacred cows of the car industries of the world or other related corporate welfare junkies (especially those employing lots of voters in marginals).

But people will stop BUYING, screams Ambrose Pritchard-Evans, in the Torygraph. Yes, Ambrose, people will stop consuming what they don’t need and only buy what they truly need. What is so wrong with that? Will they drop dead in the street because they don’t purchase a plasma high definition TV and stick for a while with the old 30 inch one?

With the money they have left over they can save, and their savings will grow in value, as prices drop, so they will become wealthier. And as they save, and clear their debts, they will also become less dependent on money lenders and debt. People who have borrowed to consume will find it tougher, but since when did those who consume without producing ever deserve to suck the lifeblood out of the rest of us to help these feckless spend monkeys?

Businesses which have over-extended and which have invested in the wrong product and service lines will go bankrupt. Good. The resources under their control will then be released to come under the control of better entrepreneurs who will supply the rest of us with what we truly need. People will still exist. The resources will still exist. All that will change will be those managing these people and these resources. Bad entrepreneurs will become employees again. And those employees who want to chance their arm at becoming dragonishish den entrepreneurs will get their chance.

Deflation cleanses. And here’s the rub. It’s GREAT for poor people. As the cost of consumables drops, POOR people can afford to buy more. Deflation brings them out of poverty. They can now afford to buy or rent houses. Deflation helps solve the problem of homelessness. As bad companies go bankrupt, good companies can spring up to replace them, to bring even better cheaper services to the rest of us, and then provide the UNEMPLOYED with work as they manage scarce resources better. The entire nineteenth century, when Britain and America were both on the gold standard, supplied a CENTURY of deflation, with prices in all businesses constantly dropping for almost 100 years. Did the Victorians complain that the price of every consumable kept constantly dropping in price, for decade after glorious decade? That transport prices kept dropping? That service prices kept dropping? To ask these questions is to know the answer.

And let’s just think about what Gordon Brown is saying. He is trying to keep housing prices UP. This will keep houses out of the reach of the aspirational poor. But isn’t socialism ABOUT helping the aspirational poor? I must have misheard if it wasn’t.

And here’s the best bit. As prices drop, people come to resent paying fixed amounts in taxes, such as property taxes. Governments then come under pressure to cut their spending, by sacking their useless staff. Of course I would be glad if most government staff were simply useless. Most of them, however, such as jobsworth regulators, are positively HARMFUL to the economy. So as the government’s income drops, it must sack these harmful people, thereby also encouraging the fresh shoots of economic recovery. These people can then find something useful to do in the private sector, once again helping us to recover.

Deflation is a good gardener. It prunes. It weeds. It tidies. Of course all the weeds protest, especially as we lay them into the bonfire, and it is painful for over-extended plants in the garden as it clips them with its brutal shears. But with the ash from the fire, or the compost from the waste, we can create fertiliser to create a much healthier and cleaner garden. And relatively quickly.

The pain of deflation can be over with quickly, if the government gets out of the way. The problem comes when the necessary friction of deflation is made to drag on beyond its natural span. Most people can survive a few months of unemployment. As a self-employed person I know exactly what that’s like. But when governments drag out this pain out to last long needless years, real long-term suffering ensues, just as it did in the 1930s and as it has recently in Japan. We only get these dreadful long-term depressions when we follow the tenets of Keynesianism. Before Keynesianism we had central bank inspired crashes, yes, and the tulip mania brought on by the Bank of Amsterdam in a related fashion with its cack-handed manipulation of the silver supply in Europe, but we never got these years-long depressions until the followers of Keynes took roost in the heart of government. Keynesianism is at the heart of the problem, yet somehow its prophets, such as Paul Krugman, still seem to be the ones with their hands on the tiller, even after causing all of the financial calamities in the twentieth century.

Why? Because Keynesianism appeals to government, because government takes pride of place in the Keynesian universe. Governments and Keynesians also hate deflation, because it destroys government power. Government income decreases, as spending taxes decrease, and as wages taxes decrease, and as people’s resentment of fixed taxes increases. Their ability to borrow is also cut because people will not lend out their precious resources at low rates of interest. Therefore of the three great methods to finance government consumption spending, only inflation is left. So all excuses are used to defend this heinous practice, along with its accompanying low-pegged interest rates, which then also enable the government to keep borrowing.

High-return-demanding savers, who are pushing up things like LIBOR rates, are therefore attacked, and clever wheezes are invented to tax these savers to hand over their loot to feckless consumers, the most stupid of these processes being to increase government borrowing to hand out consumption bribes, with the unsaid promise being made that taxes will increase later to pay for this credit card style binge. These are the hand-to-mouth economics of the Stone Age. Civilisation began when the first Cro-Magnon saved up some food, and did not consume it, to later give themselves enough time to create a better flint knife for butchering animals more quickly, thereby allowing more consumption in the future. This civilisation grew until the invention of monetary inflation, and later central banks to manage this inflation, which destroyed value and destroyed wealth, against the countervailing trend of the rest of the civilisation, until, as now, this public sector wealth destructive process has even outpaced the wealth creation of the private sector.

We are now going backwards into decivilisation, brought on by socialism, and will continue to do so until something dramatic happens to remove the socialists from our backs.

What I find most laughable about this situation is that everybody in the country, except perhaps a few wealthy government fonctionnaires, is saving at the moment, while all are being exhorted to consume. People are choosing NOT to go to a restaurant tonight, or at least to “try that delightful cheap-and-cheerful Italian”, rather than the fancy French restaurant they usually frequent. They are booking CHEAPER holidays, letting their three-year-old car do another year, spending just that little bit LESS on consumer electronics, and PUTTING OFF moving until their dream house gets cheap enough. Nobody is obeying Gordon. All are saving. So our money is to be handed to the most feckless and short-sighted in society, because they alone at least can be trusted to waste this largesse on whisky, fags, and curries, with no second eye on even the immediate future. All hail to the feckless! For they shall be our saviours!

The boom of the last decade designed by Gordon “King Canute” Brown to win several elections for the red socialists, and engineered by his happy workers in the open market operations division of the Bank of England, has come to an end and the unnaturally high prices it generated want to drop. The natural tides and forces of economics and the iron laws of supply and demand are insisting that these prices drop.

It is no good Gordon trying to prevent these drops, as he sits on his throne up to his waist in the waves, and the longer he tries to defy these waves, even with his pets at the Bank of England setting interest rates to 0%, the worse the final calamitous Tsunami will be.

These prices will drop whether Gordon Brown wants them to or not. The only choice is how quickly they do it, and how much pain we have to suffer until the correction of this recession is over. So just let them drop to where they want to go, and then let’s deal with the consequences.

The alternative of pumping in twice as much money, so that prices which want to drop by half ‘appear’ to stay the same, is ludicrous, stupid, and destructive. Yes, it temporarily helps the government and its friends for the reasons described above. But the government is only ever helped by preying on the rest of us.

They should be stopped in their tracks before they destroy our lives completely and drag us into another depression, a Japanese style stagflation, or even a Weimar republic nightmare. Dare I whisper Zimbabwe anyone?

Not that I have much hope of Gordon being brought to task. He is back in his Stalinist bombast mode and none of the intellectual pygmies in the Tory party or the British press seem capable of pricking his gargantuan pomposity. Today the BBC even told me that I should be thankful that prices rose last month at a slower rate than they rose the month before. Gordon’s plan is obviously working then! I think we should all be taken out and thrashed for listening to this gall and for actually wanting to believe that the solution to a crisis brought on by too much government borrowing, spending, and inflation, is for us to allow government to go on yet another tax-fed binge of borrowing, spending, and inflation.

If it gets much worse, I’m going to have to stop buying Bombay Sapphire gin and will need to shift down to the revolting Gordon’s gin. At that point, my friends, I think we will just about be ready for revolution. Or at least, I will.

And so, as the last of my Bombay Sapphire calls me from where I placed it earlier in the fridge, along with its accompanying lemon and Schweppes, I can only say one thing. Cheers!