Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Peter Schiff: Let's raise 2 million by midnight

More electioneering from The Duke:

Quote of the Day

England is the worst nation on Earth.

A Lew Rockwell Reader, in the article, The Green and Tyrannical Isle

Faint Spells from Economic Indicators

More Mogambo Screaming Panic (MSP) from the Mogambo Guru, this time after analysing some leading and lagging indicators and comparing these figures with the spreads between short-term and long-term lending and borrowing rates.

One for the Bankers, methinks.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jeremy Clarkson: the Best Road in the World

It would appear that Mr Rockwell thinks he can put up Top Gear YouTubes with impunity! Obviously, I felt I had to retort by copying his post almost exactly, in the top third of this post! ;-)

So here it is, Ceauşescu's folly, the Transfăgărăşan road, which Jeremy Clarkson now thinks is the best road, "in the world":

So, it would appear the Romanian communist government were great at splashing enormous resources all over untravelled mountains so that 30 years later Jeremy Clarkson could have some fun with these resources.

Although the road is obviously epic, and I would love to drive on it myself, I think it quite a good symbol of how much socialism wastes scarce resources, while millions in Romania were living in desperate poverty.

Here's the Top Gear team's previous favourite road; the Stelvio Pass, an Italian road first created by the Austrian Empire:

And just for some real fun, here's the intro from The Italian Job:

Man of the Day

Mark Webber walks on by (he's the one in the green overalls)
"It's a great country [Australia], but we've got to be responsible for our actions and it's certainly a bloody nanny state when it comes to what we can do. Lewis [Hamilton] has found out very quickly [when he was recently arrested by Australian police for dangerous driving]. I think we've got to read an instruction book when we get out of bed - what we can do and what we can't do ... put a yellow vest on and all that sort of stuff. It p***** me off coming back here, to be honest."

Mark Webber, Australia's premier F1 driver, and AngloAustria's Inaugural "Man of the Day"
It does seem strange, what has happened to Australia. In about 30 years it has gone from Crocodile Dundee to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and I'm still getting over the evening I had in Sydney with two men in a certain quarter, several years ago.

As Webber has been away for a few years, it appears that he's noticing it too.

And now for something completely different:

Afghanistan update: 276 British Dead

Steven Campbell, the latest British soldier to die in the most pointless war in history

Obama has just flown into Kabul to tell his quisling that the US Army will look after his family's opium crop.


I hope the family of Steven Campbell are pleased.

And after you've read about Obama's pep-talk, check out the LabourGraph's morbid death page, which details all of the British service people killed in this pointless stupid affair, which will only end when the Taliban finally re-take Kabul in a few years' time.

Quote of the Day - Norman Tebbit is Watching You!

"1984 should be compulsory reading for all."

So says Big Brother Norman Tebbit, the former hard man of the Conservative party
No doubt ol' Norm is entirely aware of the irony of making 1984 a compulsory book and wrote that line with a smile on his face. Still, it's refreshing that he goes out of his way to answer all of his blog commenters, on his LabourGraph page.

UK emerges from recession stronger than expected

Hey, folks, it's remarkable.

The UK is emerging from a recession just before a general election! And with figures produced by an independent government statistical body! With a stable money supply managed by an independent government central bank, which isn't artificially boosting figures by inflating this money supply, so that all the main people there get their terms renewed after the election by the government it is independent from!

It must all be true then!

And it would appear that you really can fool most of the people for all of the time.

Money and the State

The Austrian articles keep coming on the Cobden Centre. Steven Baker explores the position of the state in the market, with the help of Mises. Here's my comment on the piece:
Jack Maturin March 30th, 2010 at 10:02

For an extension on this seminal chapter from Mises, a good place to go next is ‘Power and Market’ by Murray Rothbard. This book is now usually tacked onto the back of ‘Man, Economy, and State’, which also has an amazing final chapter which forms the prelude to ‘Power and Market’

The interesting chapters in both books, with regard to the position of the state in the market, are these:






Death tax to pay for elderly care is scrapped

Here's an interesting article which highlights the tug-of-war democracy always faces, once it has taken hold of a society. For this conflict is between confused and immoral voters wanting stuff from politicians but not wanting to pay for any of it, just like the vagabond thieves of an earlier age.

Everyone imagines that everyone else will be robbed by their supported politicians to pay for the stuff they get, but when so much high-cost low-quality junk is provided by these politicians, then everyone must be robbed, except for the politicians and their cronies.

Hence governments continually fly kites on increasing taxes and continually generate ideologies such as environmentalism which garner voter support for taxes, but are still frightened enough by voter backlash to back down whenever it looks like they won't get away with it.

So, here's the rub; people want free stuff to be paid for by robbing other people and voters don't want to be the ones robbed to pay for stuff for other people. As Mr Spock might say, "Fascinating".

Fortunately, in the looking glass world of democracy, both aspirations remain possible.

All you have to do is get the government's central bank to print the money and then buy government bonds with it. Then the people in the future can pay for everything. Hence, nobody now needs to be robbed. Just those people in the future who are unable to vote in today's present, because they are either children or as yet unborn.

Maybe that's why we call it 'the present'? Because 'the present' is a gift from the people of the future? Perhaps not.

Anyhow, problem solved. Nobody pays and the government gets to spend as much as it wants on anything and everything, for everybody and everyone. Welcome to the Land of Cockayne.

And if you believe that this is actually possible in a physical world of scarce resources, on a permanent basis, then you probably also believe that the world global recession is over and that the retail markets are in the doldrums because it's a bit nippy for the time of year.

I'm afraid, however, that I'm going to have to ask you to stop sipping the fairy potions and stop nibbling on the elf cakes, which have induced you to believe this. Because something terrible has happened, despite four decades of the politicians having successfully put it off, due to money printing and government bond buying, since the world came off the last feeble shreds of a partial global gold standard.

Welcome to the future.

Peter Schiff - For Liberty

I'm not sure about the Val Doonican jumper which the director must have insisted The Duke wear, to demonstrate homeliness and comfort, but here's Mr Schiff's latest TV advert:

Ballad of a Heartbreaking Money Supply

Loud Mogambo Outrage (LMO) is displayed by the Mogambo Guru after he examines the amount of money the U.S. Federal Reserve has created in the last two years. His parting shot is this:
Do you really, really, really need me to tell you to buy gold, silver and oil after all of that? No, I didn’t think so.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Function of Money

Good article by Steven Baker, at the Cobden Centre, on Mises' A Theory of Money and Credit.

It's great to see more and more Austrianism being promoted by English web sites, and Austrianism taking a greater hold over the English libertarian 'scene', particularly the 'London Libertarian' scene.

Let us hope this snowball keeps growing.

Here is my comment, on the post:
Jack Maturin March 29th, 2010 at 20:03

“The Theory of Money and Credit” can be quite hard work, for first-time Austrians. If anyone has tried to read it and fallen away by the middle of the first chapter, despite good intentions, a much easier introductory read is by the key American student of Mises, Murray Rothbard, and his superb ‘Mystery of Banking’, which covers much of the same ground, but in a much less painstaking way:


There’s a great introductory article to the book, by Joseph Salerno, here:


Once you’ve cracked ‘The Mystery of Banking’, the deeper ‘A Theory of Money and Credit’ becomes much more accessible.

Quote of the Day

"The game plan is to hope for miraculous growth."

Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics at Harvard University and co-author of This Time It's Different: Eight Centuries Of Financial Folly, while speaking about the Euro and the situation in Greece

Jan van Huysum

The planned decoration at the Rotana hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, for tonight's buffet

Alas, there is no 'dedicated' single web page I can find for my other joint-top-favourite artist, Jan van Huysum, but there is an excellent 'compendium', via Artcyclopedia.

So the question you're asking must be, "If you're such a great 'Austrian', Mr. Maturin, then surely you must subscribe to the ordination of subjective preferences. It is impossible, within one moment, for any Austrian to have a joint-top-favourite artist. It must either be Pieter Bruegel the Elder or Jan van Huysum. It can't be both. So which is it? Given a 'Sophie's Choice' where you can have one man's pictures or the other man's pictures, which would you choose?"


If it was one collection or the other, then it would have to be the works of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, particularly the series on the seasons, the Tower of Babel, and the various Triumphs of Death. But given just one picture, from both collections, then it would have to be that above, of Jan van Huysum's "Fruit Piece".

So Julia Roberts, if you're out there and you want to sweep me off my feet, then don't bother yourself with no silly picture of no silly violin-playing goat. Get yourself over to the Getty Museum, instead, over there in Los Angeles, and pick up that 'Fruit Piece' for me before you get on the plane.


(Titian is third, BTW, in case you were counting)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Jack Maturin, yesterday

I've just discovered a brilliant 'Pieter Bruegel the Elder' web page, which has superb access to hi-def versions of 99 of the best pictures of my joint-top-favourite artist.

Most excellent.

Quote of the Day

At least when Icarus plunged to destruction in the sea, he didn't take a whole country with him.

Christoper Booker (while speaking about Gordon Brown)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Conservatives have the vision but not the nerve

Janet Daley, of the LabourGraph, writes the most astonishing piffle I have seen all week, even trumping Sir Bufton Huffchester. It really is remarkable that she actually gets paid to write this nonsense, so I thought she deserved a blipvert of my time.

Hey, it's 12 minutes to the sun going over the yard arm. I've got to give myself something vaguely interesting to do!
Jack Maturin on March 28, 2010 at 04:23 PM

What vision, Janet?

What conceivable difference is there between the Tory Party's policies and the Labour Party's policies? Even angels dancing on the head of a very tiny pin would have their work cut out trying to figure it out.

The British government needs to cut its spending at least in half, from £600 billion to £300 billion, to get it back to 1997 levels of spending.

If we can make these parasites do this, then we have half a chance of making some kind of recovery within a ten year period.

What do the Labour party want to cut spending by? About £10 billion. And the Tories? About £11 billion. Both are entirely beholden to state-sector employees and welfare recipients, hence their pathetic and cowardly pussy-footing around the problem of drastically reducing the waste and miscalculations of government malinvestment.

We need cuts in useless state spending in the hundreds of billions, not in the tens. Anything else is a complete waste of time, just like the Tory party.

So let me know when Daniel Hannan has been elected leader, with Boris Johnson as his deputy.

If the Labour party haven't gerrymandered all future elections, so they can never lose again, to create their perfect socialist hell on Earth, then I might get interested again in British politics.

In the meantime, you have fun on election day, Janet. I'll be doing something much more worthwhile. I'll be cleaning out the fluff from my sock drawer.

And then figuring out how to get out of Gordon Brown's socialist paradise and how to stop subsidising his orcish legions of leeches and tapeworms.

Hail Sir Jensten Buttonia

Nice one, Sir Jensten, as he wins the Australian F1 Grand Prix. I hope he realises how much of the Belgian cherry beer is riding on him, this year?

If I was a girl, I would kiss him.

The day Gordon Brown settled our fate

Our Dear Leader

A splendid article by Christopher Booker detailing the stupidity of Gordon Brown's state-sector spending spree, which has now reduced us to the position of 48% of us propping up a parasite-sector spending which spends 52% of our wealth on itself.

Fortunately, this is unsustainable. Once the parasite overwhelms the host, then the host will simply give up the ghost. We have now reached that point and the only question remaining is about when the shoe is going to drop.

Here's my comment on Mr Booker's comment page:
Jack Maturin on March 28, 2010 at 03:46 PM

Sir Christopher, you are a splendid Gentleman of the finest water. Please keep up the superb work.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hail the Belgian Rothbard Instituut

Hello to any Flemish Austrian friends. I have just come across the Belgian Rothbard Society's web page, which is even nice enough to have an 'English' button:

=> Rothbard Instituut

Prachtig, as we say when we're coming down from Delft for the weekend to buy the cherry beer.

Desperate times call for Ken Clarke

Ken Clarke; the face of modern Conservatism

Sir Bufton Huffchester is definitely losing the plot. He's now recommending that the mercantilist Euro-statist, Kenneth "Where's my Cut?" Clarke, should lead the Tories out of the political doldrums.

Oh dear, Sir Huff, how sad.

Here's my missive penned to the blue pencil holder at The Labourgraph:
Jack Maturin on March 27, 2010 at 04:23 PM

Ken Clarke? Oh dear, Sir Huff. What a terrible shame.

There's only one man who can save the Tories.

Alas, Daniel Hannan is embroiled in Europe and Cameron is too scared to bring him back, because Cameron's 'leadership', such as it is, would only last about 15 minutes if Hannan were an MP.

The Tories will remain toothless halfwits until Hannan can be persuaded to return to England, and become the Prime Minister of cutting the British government monster in half, and Boris Johnson can be persuaded to give up London to become his Deputy and Minister of Fun, to give us all a laugh while Hannan does the hard work of slicing off all the heads of the insatiable and useless statist hydra.

Clarke? Sir Huff, you really must be joking. It is he that got us into this mess in the first place by allowing Lord Edward George to inflate the money supply, to falsely boost British industry, back in the early 90s, thus creating massive malinvestments, when government spending and regulation cutbacks should have been the order of the day instead, to promote entrepreneurialism and growth based on hard economic reality rather than the false bubble dreams of Keynesians.

Schiff for Senate media blitz - donate today to keep it going at

Ron Paul was the inspiration behind the superb Keynes vs. Hayek rap.

Who knows how many people Peter Schiff will inspire should he manage to join Doctor Paul in Mordor-on-the-Potomac?

Which is why he is asking his U.S. supporters to help him raise another $300,000 dollars by the end of March:

Guilty Conscience: So what's the Anarchist position on this?

JM: Errr.... mumble, mumble ... anything which looks like it will head the world towards Austrianism is good, even if it's politics ... mumble, mumble ...

GC: Does this then mean, Mr Maturin, that you would support the Conservatives if the Prince of Light, Daniel Hannan, became the leader of this moribund crew, ably backed up by the Lord Light-Lieutenant Bonson Jorris?

JM: Mumble, mumble ... obfuscate, obfuscate ... mumble, mumble ... whoops, mea culpa ... errr ... Possibly ... but never that stooge, David Cameron.

GC: Never, Mr Maturin? Not even if he appointed the Prince of Light as Chancellor?

JM: Let's cross that bridge if we ever get to it. But I won't be holding my breath.

Shakespeare's Theater

To round off our cultural mini-season, here on AngloAustria, I thought we might run the superb Paul Cantor lecture on Shakespeare, perhaps the greatest English-speaking playwright of all time, and a man whose brilliantly successful commercial artistry was deeply embedded within the explosive commercial environment and culture of the Elizabethan age:

Silverlight link at

For an entire series of videos by Paul Cantor on the relationship between art and the free market, try this reference.

HT to Paul

The Making of the Keynes-Hayek Rap: Economic Theory Meets Popular Culture

Staying on a cultural theme, I thought the following YouTube might be interesting. At 2:30, after an introduction by the Jeffster, John Papola, a co-producer of the legendary "Fear the Boom and Bust" Keynes-Hayek rap, along with Russ Roberts, explains how they created this Master Work, which as the Jeffster puts it, is perhaps the greatest summation of Austrian Economics in the 500-year history of the entire school of thought. It's worth watching just for the ersatz version of Stayin' Alive at 14:10. Crazy:

At around 2:45 the above YouTube shows the full video, but if you'd like to sample it first in the high-def original, here it is below. BTW, it's currently on 990,000 views. Help boost it over the million mark, for maximum publicity and maximum house points:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Economics and Literature: A Tribute and Celebration

Paul Cantor is a vital member of the world's Austrian community because he links the rest of us back to culture and civilisation and stops us getting too obsessed with 'pure' economics.

In this enlightening speech, discussing amongst many things the spontaneous order of creativity, Mr Cantor holds forth on the Victorian novel, the evolution of modern soap operas, the development of Shakespearean plays, and on why it is always the market which generates the leading wave of successful culture change. As a side-point, he also discusses why so many members of the self-proclaimed 'cultural elite' see themselves as Marxists, plus the phenomena of why the very best novels are usually written in an 'unplanned' way, in which authors let their characters drive the narrative, a process first 'invented' by Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, or in which audiences determine the way a novel develops, as with Dickens and his serialised novels which made this free-trader so much money.

Anyway, that's enough from me. Let's turn to Mr Cantor himself, to hear why Dickens wasn't a socialist, but was really a 'Proto Manchester Liberal' instead.

BTW, there are some long introductions on this video. Go through to 11:00 minutes, which is when Mr Cantor finally makes it onto the stage:

Silverlight link

UK's Times Newspapers to Charge for Web Access

Bye bye, Times.

Or as Uncle Gary puts it:

The TIMES will charge for access.

Watch the TELEGRAPH gain readers.

Watch the TIMES lose readers.

Watch the TIMES switch back within a year.

The basics are here [in the YouTube below], and have been for 30 years.

If this is Friday then it must be Abu Dhabi

I currently have no idea what continent I'm on, what day of the week it is, what time it is, or even what my own name is. This may be because my driver from Al Ain, to Abu Dhabi (about 150 miles), didn't really know where he was going, and spent much of his time spinning round and round Abu Dhabi airport with both hands off the wheel while he phoned all of his Urdu friends to get directions to Yas Island, where my hotel is located, half a mile from the simply enormous 'Ferrari World'.

I had hoped that when he disappeared for twenty minutes, pretending to go to the roadside bathroom when we both really knew that he had gone to the roadside mosque for his sabbath midday prayers (and God bless him for doing so), that he would receive divine inspiration in place of a satellite navigation system. But alas, the moral compass of religion failed to provide him with a geo-positioning compass for his car.

But we had fun finding the hotel, even if the spinning effect left me rather disoriented.

This hotel may or may not be in the United Arab Emirates. I'm simply too spun out to think it through, and because all of the hotel staff appear to be Mandarin and the main lunchtime meal was roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, I'm suffering from an intense bout of culture shock.

The UAE really is the whole world in one place and this may be one of those days when it takes at least TWO rather large ones to bring this mixed-up world hub back into focus again.

Yes folks, I'm turning into a dreadful English Ex-Pat in front of my own eyes, which is quite disturbing.

So if anyone out here hears me singing 'Roll out the Barrel', talking about suns and yard arms, or drinking Watney's Pale Ale, then please feel free to shoot me.

It will be a blessing.

Government Funded Businesses: Going Where the Money Is

The Mogambo Guru gets in a fight with his 'Human Resources' department by calling them 'Personnel'.

Doug Casey: The way the world is turning

More thoughts from the Chairman of the Board:
All the big nation-states are on the ragged edge of bankruptcy. Their huge bureaucracies, oppressive tax systems, complicated regulatory regimes, subsidies, bailouts, fiat currencies, and welfare programs are – every one of them – near collapse. They were confidence schemes. It's not just standing armies, but the nation-state itself is a dead man walking at this point.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A day in the life of a financial speculator

AngloAustrian hero, Hugh Hendry, is put under the state-fed tax-eating microscope of Newsnight. And crushes them. And as Jeffrey Tucker noticed, at 5:40 you can see that he's reading Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles, by Jesús Huerta de Soto.


US Inflationary Excesses: Understating the Obvious

Having overcome his recent unhealthy fixation on the stick-insect figure of Ms Kelly Ripa, the Mogambo Guru gets back to beating the Austrian jungle drum on the madness of treating government-created CPI figures as anything other than a convenient fiction.

Peter Schiff: Health Care Bill - bad medicine & unconstititional

Mr Schiff adds his two cents to the U.S. National Health Service debate.

His first point is that it won't work. It will drive costs up, and the only reason U.S. health care costs are already so high is because of ever-ratcheting government interference within the health industry. This plan will make things cost even more, because more government always means more expense and more failure. In private industry, such as the computer industry, products and services get better and cheaper over time. In government-controlled industry, costs go up and services always get worse, over time.

The Duke points out the rosy flawed assumptions behind the current plan, and then explains how these assumptions are nothing but fraud.

This is all before Mr Schiff even gets to the point where he talks about the unconstitutionality of the new American NHS, and the fourteen states which are going to try to nullify its provisions via this unconstitutionality. He quotes Madison, who wrote the original constitution, and discusses Federalist Paper number forty five, with some side-points on marijuana markets and how the commerce clause of the U.S. constitution does not provide the legal means necessary to create the American NHS.

As Bill Bonner has said several times, with the U.S. about to experience the 'real' depression, after the phoney war of the recent 'recovery', then adding trillions of dollars of obligations right now, to fund tens of thousands of more IRS bureaucrats, will be seen by future historians as total, utter, and complete madness, perhaps tipping the U.S. finally into its 'End of Empire' death spin.

BTW, for anyone who wants to see just how bad the British NHS is, just try this website. Welcome to the Monkey House.

UK and USA might lose AAA rating


Philosophical reasons to own and to accumulate gold

James Turk is interviewed (20th March) on the latest situation in the gold market:

=> The Korelin Economics Report


And you thought I was sad? Check out this quite brilliant YouTube from FiveStarTrekker, which documents every use of the word 'fascinating' by our favourite ever Vulcan:


James Turk: Gold at $8,000 dollars an ounce by 2015

Turk thinks the current floor is $1,050 area and the ceiling is around $1,140, but that this ceiling is merely a thin plaster façade which will crack completely through by 2013-2015:

Fascinating, Captain.

Quote of the Day

The welfare state model is no longer the model for the future. It’s a model for the past…that will soon be defunct.

Bill Bonner,
The Daily Reckoning
PS> The picture above is only a snapshot of the new U.S. National Health Service. For the full picture, go here.

Hans-Hermann Hoppe: Walking on the wild side

A quite brilliant review of Professor Hoppe's book, Democracy: The God That Failed.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

UK government to increase spending this year by 5.2% - Most taxes up to pay for it

We're fracked.

Living in the U.S. and feeling too happy?

Well, read Uncle Gary then. He'll cure your problem, especially if you're feeling a bit overweight.

Obese man 'too heavy to lift into ambulance'

Flippin' Nora, as some north country folk sometimes say on television programmes broadcast before 9pm.

It's a good job my taxes were available to pay for all of the special equipment necessary to lift him out of bed and into the tax-paid-for ambulance, so they could take him to the government-financed hospital to sort him out.

No doubt after a stiff comradely talking-to he will desist from the eating behaviour which got him into this state, and no doubt refuse all supportive welfare payments which would otherwise enable him to remain like this, until his heart finally gives up.

Yes, let's thank the welfare state for taking such good care of people and for helping them escape the otherwise inevitable consequences of their own short-sighted pleasure seeking, and for funding both the pleasure seeking and the medical means necessary to keep pursuing the noble aims of pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth, and thus escape the intolerable religious strictures of the medieval age.

Thus is the dream of socialism achieved, one human being at a time, by ultimately destroying each life through cradle to grave welfare and turning each happy independent person into a miserable dependent slug, trapped inside a body filled with insatiable base desire.

Hail Karl Marx.

Which reminds me, it's almost time for my evening cocktail.

Pip pip!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Budget 2010: a Q&A on what to expect

I don't know why the state-licensed hacks on The Labourgraph bother with articles like this.

We all know what the government is going to do to us. It's been doing the same thing to us for over 4,000 years now, ever since the first Pharaoh of Egypt, Menes, did it to the people of the Lower Nile. That's him above, by the way, cracking a Lower Nile taxpayer over the head with a mace.

Yes, folks. The British government is going to screw us to within an inch of revolution and then reward its own supporters with the stolen pelf. And then it's going to try to convince us that this screwing has been done to us, with regret, for our own good.

And like muppets, most of us will believe them.

And who says the state education system is failing? Of course it isn't failing. It's doing a splendid job.

Of continually convincing us proles that government is good for us, with the help of its co-swindlers, the useless intellectuals, who man the schools, the universities, the government astronomies, the government ministries, the government mini-ministries in the shires, the government-licensed media, and everywhere else you find smug market-haters who earn far more from government privilege than they would ever make in the free market.

The Egyptians had tax-exempt priests. We've got BBC-worshipping Guardian readers and other followers dedicated to the Mighty Amun, in his current guise as the God of State.

If this is Tuesday then it must be Al Ain

Not the Hilton, this time, but the Rotana.


Back to Abu Dhabi in three days.

Never drank so much strong coffee in my life. Or eaten so many sweet pastries. Fifty lengths in the morning, methinks, or they won't be able to get me back on the plane home. (Well, Ok, twenty, but who's counting?)

Thank goodness all the hotel rooms in the world are virtually identical. Some people don't like this about hotels. Personally, I love it. It means I know exactly where my cufflinks are, every morning.


Right, it must be time for a rather large G&T.

No idea what day it is. All I know is that I'm checking out in three of them.

Pip pip!!

The Missing Third Volume

Perhaps one of the great disasters of the late twentieth century was the untimely death of Murray N. Rothbard. With Mises living to such a great age, you sort of expected that all the subsequent bearers of the torch would live to similarly ripe old ages. Alas, for the rest of us, Uncle Murray was taken from us at a relatively young age, as compared to Mises and Hayek.

Because you can imagine what fun he would be having now, with Krugman and Co, if he had lived to the hale and hearty age of 84, to lambast these witless Keynesian counterfeiting fantasists, who imagine that real physical wealth can spring from a Zimbabwe-style printing press by adding inky black zeroes to bits of virtually worthless green paper!

Oh, what joy it would have been to watch him skewer these fools.

Oh well. C'est la vie, I suppose.

At least we have his two-volume set of the history of economic thought. But we don't have the third volume, the one in which he planned to do to Keynes what he did to Marx in volume two.

However, we do have Rothbard's audio notes for this missing third volume, in the following series of lectures:

=> The History of Economic Thought: From Marx to Hayek


HT to Paul

Financial Talk Show Circuit

A typical American morning talk show host, on holiday recently

The Mogambo Guru gets himself all in a tizz about Kelly Ripa and into such a state over the aforementioned lady that he forgets to directly instruct everyone else to buy gold, silver, and oil with his usual parting shot.

I don't know what he sees in her. Looks a bit skinny, to me.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Time to Celebrate the Entrepreneur

Toby Baxendale, perhaps England's most important Austrian, writes an excellent piece on the importance of the entrepreneur (though you wouldn't know it if you examined virtually every government policy under the sun).

Here's my as yet unmoderated comment, in reply:
Jack Maturin
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
March 22nd, 2010 at 21:03 · Reply

“Do you think it is very worrying that not one government policy encourages the entrepreneurs of the world to create wealth?”

I reckon this is largely due to the anti-capitalistic mentality which has successfully infected the minds of over 99.99% of the chattering classes, for many different reasons, most particular of which is the rise of Marxism from the 19th century onwards. However Marxism is merely a nastily virulent strain of a horribly recurring virus, which is the mental disease of envy, an incoherent thought-system barely hidden behind a feeble shield wall of irrational scribblings. So even while they chatter to each other on iPhones, perhaps the ultimate product of 10,000 years of entrepreneurial capitalism, the socialists of “It’s Grim Up North London” denigrate the very process which brought them such an unbelievably advanced and incredible piece of technology.

Politicians will always appeal to whatever element in society will keep re-voting them back into power, so that they can continue to enjoy the comfortable leather seats of their well-deserved limousines, and if the anti-capitalistic mentality holds sway, then this is the voting bloc to which all of their policies will be pointed. That’s why I think it’s important that anyone trying to escape the madness of socialism should ensure they read Ludwig von Mises’ explosive short book, “The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality”, which is freely available here:


Perhaps the best way of understanding how the anti-entrepreneurial mentality took such a powerful hold of what we might call “The Intellectual West”, is then to read Murray Rothbard’s magnificent two volume book series, on the history of economic thought:

=> Volume I: Economic Thought Before Adam Smith

=> Volume II: Classical Economics

Alas, Uncle Murray never survived to write the third volume, which would have also destroyed Keynes, but hopefully Toby you can persuade Joe Salerno to complete the set, and write this important third edition, the next time you’re in Auburn?

Buttonhole him, Toby. Don’t let him out of your sight until he agrees to do it.

The Evolution of Out-of-Control Government

Part #1 of an occasional series, in which we trace the development of different technologies, through the ages, to determine their usefulness and effectiveness:

In the above picture, we can see how the original eighteenth-century steam engine provided a great deal of power to its users. The price of using this completely ungoverned engine, however, is that there were power fluctuations which required constant vigilance by the engine's users.

In the second picture, we can see how the addition of the nineteenth-century flyball governor gave stability and security to the steam engine, for the price of 5% of the steam engine's output power. This innovation in control allowed steam engines to constantly run within a defined range of power, with no vigilance required from the users, whilst consuming a small part of the engine's maximum potential power output. Although the balance between power loss and range of power was a difficult cost to measure, it was felt at the time that the overall cost of adding this governor control was worth it, as there was so little power lost to the user. With no vigilance over the governor required, the engine's users were free to concentrate on other matters.

Alas, there were unforeseen dangers in adding a governor. Nobody realised that once the governor was in control of the engine, then it would become an insatiable demander of power for its own aggrandisement and that it would constantly increase its own power consumption at the cost of useful overall engine power production. In the third picture, we can see how the nineteenth-century innovation of the flyball governor has developed into the out-of-control national socialist governor, which consumes over 50% of the power of the steam engine, while at the same time creating chaos and volatility in the overall engine power output. With so much of the engine's output going into the engine's government process, we have long since passed the point where the national socialist governor is in any way useful. Indeed, the engine itself would be far better off and far more able to serve its user's needs if we dispensed with the governor entirely and returned to the original ungoverned eighteenth-century engine. The price of power fluctuation and constant user vigilance would be more than made up for if this governor process were to be ditched completely as an inherently dangerous idea, which must be stamped out at the cost of constant vigilance. Obviously, the manufacturers of the governor process itself will be unhappy if we were to ditch it, but since when did we give a damn about what the servants and suppliers of engine parts think? Surely the whole point of the engine is to provide service to the engine user, not to provide sustenance and succour to the steam-eating suppliers of engine parts?

Next week, we examine telephones; are they convenient devices of private communication or simply the means with which government will soon begin to track our movements and conversations, 24 hours a day?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ex-Governor George: Bank of England deliberately fuelled consumer boom

Apparently, 'Fast Eddie' (a.k.a. Baron Edward George, the former Governor of the Bank of England) pulled a fast one, by deliberately blowing up bubbles in the British economy to get his political pay masters out of a fix of declining UK industrial productivity and increasing UK government spending. Fortunately for him, Lord George died in 2009 before the full horrific consequences of his actions came to haunt the rest of us. Maybe he'll return one day as the chain-smoking Ghost of Bubbles Past?

Now the sensible thing to do instead, back in his tenure at the Bank of England, would have been to cut government spending and then feed these tax cuts and concomitant regulation cuts back into British industry to allow it to grow again.

But this would have upset all of the tax-eating Guardian-reading slugs who were using the teat of the state to succour themselves, so Fast Eddie blew some financial bubbles instead, with the Bank of England's counterfeiting machine.

This bubble blowing led directly to the current mess in England, which is going to take decades to unwind, if it ever is unwound and we don't suffer a 'Hyper-Japan' ad infinitum. (Or even better, a 'Hyper-Zimbabwe'.)

And the British government's solution to this problem brought on by too much borrowing, taxation, inflation, regulation, and growth of government at the expense of everyone else? Yes, folks, that's right. It's going to be more borrowing, taxation, inflation, regulation, and a growth of government at the expense of everyone else.

Not satisfied with a current UK government spend of 48.9% of every private penny earned (and here I'm being extremely generous), the UK Chancellor is about to announce more tax hikes, more government borrowing, and more government spending (to ease our way out of recession, don't you know!)

We really are living in a looking glass world of lunatics, charlatans, and bubble-headed zombietrons. It won't last, of course, and reality will not be put off forever, but no doubt these fools will give us a good run for our money, before they're all carted off to the guillotine.

So thank you, Eddie George. I hope you enjoyed living in Cornwall before you bankrupted it.

It's horrible being self-employed

I think I've reached a point in life where I'm virtually unemployable in what is known laughingly as a 'permanent' role (i.e. you have to do what someone else says, you pay more tax because you're easier for the government to target, you become dependent on your company, and you're about as permanent as TravelPro Rollaboard luggage, if your employer needs to unload some baggage).

Because the best thing about being self-employed is that you just never know what's going to happen next, because you never know where you'll find the next piece of cheese.

For instance, here I am, the world's second biggest Formula One fan (after a close relative), and where does my latest Abu Dhabi client put me up for three days? Yep, right beside the Yas Marina Formula One track, on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. That's it above, shot with the tiny camera in a Macbook, from my hotel room window.

Alas, I'm not actually in the famous Yas Hotel (the blue blob near the left-centre of the shot), but what the heck, I'll live with the next rung down, if that's all that's on offer.


Right, I've got to go downstairs now for a stiff one.

Chin chin!!

(And yes, I do realise that unless I can get an exit strategy in place before 2012, when Jim Rogers says the REAL crash is going to happen, then being self-employed in the UK is going to be a crust-eating nightmare. But then, if you're 'permanently' employed in the UK - whether for a corporate or for the government - if it's really going to be as bad as Mr Rogers imagines, do you really think you're going to escape unscathed? Good luck ta ya baby, if you do.)

Peter Schiff: Alan Greenspan - just admit you screwed up already!!

The Duke comments on the recent thoughts of Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke. He accuses Greenspan of being the worst American there has ever been, worse even than the eponymous Connecticuter traitor, Benedict Arnold. As Keanu Reeves might have put it, Whoah!

Greenspan has blamed a lack of regulation and a failure of capitalism for the current crisis, whereas Schiff contends that if a road traffic accident was caused by alcohol, then Alan Greenspan would have been the bartender. Most of the problems stem from the mortgage bubble, and this was fed by Greenspan's low interest rates.

Schiff quotes from 2004, where he predicted what would happen as a direct result of Greenspan's low interest rates. Obviously, Mr Schiff was bang on, whereas the self-absolution of Alan Greenspan is just head-banging.

The IMF, the EMF and All the Worthless Money In Between

The Mogambo Guru thinks we're all freakin' doomed (WAFD).

(Except those of us who are buying gold, silver, and oil.)

Politicians corrupt shock

Yes, that's right, folks. For a measly £3,000 a day, you can get most of the Labour Party's current ex-Cabinet ministers, though you'll have to stump up five grand a day to get the attention of a couple of them.

Isn't life grand?

When you're a crook.

Friday, March 19, 2010

£100,000 Pounds to Listen to a Crooked Quisling

It would appear that the crook Tony Blair is finally beginning to have his cover revealed as a CIA agent. Read the Daily Mail report for much more on how this rotten slimy Machiavellian Prince has been feasting on thirty pieces of diamond-encrusted platinum pieces, while the rest of us have been paying for his security and for his massive pension, after he sold us all out to the CIA.

Here's the earlier Maturin Towers piece, on this selfish two-faced liar and how he feeds his rotten grasping miserable wife with the blood of British soldiers:

=> Jack Straw bans release of Iraq invasion minutes

Die Skagerrakschlacht und die Gefechtskehrtwendung

Ambrose gets all technical in an appreciation of what a holy Teutonic mess the Euro is in.

Uncle Gary: "Call me an Optimist"

He ain't like no optimist I ever read before.

The Wonderful Emperor Mogambo

The Mogambo Guru has a few more thoughts on who really ought to be running the show around here:

=> US Economic Outlook: Default, Hyperinflation or Both

BTW, the Rogoff and Reinhart book he refers to, is here:

=> This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly

Wall St Unspun: March 10th and March 17th

Here's the March 10th edition of 'Wall St Unspun', hosted by Neeraj Chaudhary and Hemant Kathuria, from the Los Angeles office, with a discussion of investment trends:


Swiftly followed by The Duke himself, Peter Schiff, on March 17th, hosting the full hour-long show:


The March 17th monologue kicks off with a short piece on Schiff's political figures, in the Republican senatorial race in Connecticut, where he will be concentrating on just getting himself known, because although when people know who he is, they prefer him to the other candidates, there are still lots of people in Connecticut who haven't heard of him yet. Where are they living? Deep underground caves!

Schiff thinks there will be a technical shift in foreign exchange, with a refocusing of attention on the US dollar, now that the Greek and British problems have stopped attracting so much attention, and that once the US dollar starts sliding again, the 'recovery' in the US will be seen for what it is (i.e. a mirage), with US government debt now expanding at record pace to postpone the consequences of the original problem. Indeed, it has spent so much, that it is now twice the size it was in 1999, now costing $4 trillion a year just to run itself! And in 1999, the US government was no tiny shrinking violet.

Schiff likens the US government to a vampire, sucking the private sector dry to sustain its rapidly expanding dead weight. His solution is to shrink the government, rather than grow the government. And yet here they are about to grab the entire US health market, to further expand their power, and other power-grabs, all fuelled by borrowed money.

Because it's a Schiff-hosted show, they've also put up a YouTube:

To subscribe to these shows, go here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Last Hope

Fred Reed goes all Gandhi on us, with a recommendation that the only effective way to combat the Imperium is to ignore it.

Banning “meow meow” would be counterproductive

Two more British soldiers killed in pointless Afghanistan bloodbath, bringing the current total of dead British service people to 275

I noticed an interesting post on the proposed 'banning' of the mephedrone drug by Richard Wellings at the IEA:


What's really sad about this 'banning' story, is the assumption by virtually everyone involved that when governments 'ban' wanted substances, that these substances instantly disappear from the known universe. This is despite decades of clear evidence that the banning of wanted substances simply makes them more attractive and in even greater demand - "If they've banned it, it must be good."

Oh well, I suppose all the politicians have to feel that they're 'doing something', even if what they do always makes the thing worse.

However, going out on a tangent, the piece provoked me into this response:
Jack Maturin Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
March 18th, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Richard, why don’t they ban joining the British Army?

It attracts lots of young people through its glamourous image, and yet hundreds die each year by joining the British Army, usually alone, in great pain, and with their arms and legs blown off, in desolate remote foreign fields, usually after having their dreams shattered by the drug of patriotism.

Surely this provides enough grounds for banning self-interested pushers from selling army careers to impressionable teenagers?
Latest betting on how long it will take the Taliban to re-establish control, after Nato finally gets kicked out:

Six months 2/1
12 months 5/1
Two years 6/1

Latest macabre British state casualty figures, here:

Has Fractional-Reserve Banking Really Passed the Market Test?

Economic booms and busts started occurring in medieval Florence when the Medici Bank started up the process of fractional reserve banking, in the fourteenth century, which inevitably ended with the collapse of the Medici empire

Speaking of 'free' fractional reserve banking vs. 100% reserve banking, Jörg Guido Hülsmann has written an excellent short monograph on the subject, which you can find here:


HT to Paul

George Clooney: Up in the Air

As someone who is currently travelling about 100,000 miles a year, it was a surreal experience sitting in an airplane at 40,000 ft watching a George Clooney film about a well-travelled man sitting up in the air at around 40,000 ft. But a fun one. Yes, some of the plot twists were a little predictable (not so much twists, as dance moves with footmarks), but his portrayal of a man feasting upon the decline of the American Empire, who was happiest when sipping upon a club class Martini, certainly made two of the hours of my own airplane journey slip away more easily, with a smile on my face.

I even watched it again on the way back, which to me is always the unconscious sign of a great movie. But this may be because I am now officially in love with Vera Farmiga, Clooney's main love interest in the film.

In case you've ever wondered, this is what the women in Maturin World will all look like, when the revolution comes:

The second best scene in the movie is when Clooney gets to meet God, barely disguised as an airline pilot, a meeting which fractures Clooney's perspective on life.

The best scene is of course when Clooney stands up at one of his backpack conferences and starts playing Jack Maturin, though one of us is slightly thinner and slightly better looking. See the film and you'll know what I mean. I certainly did.


I may even watch it a third time, this weekend, when I return to Abu Dhabi. Fortunately, this time I have a client who is prepared to stump up for Etihad pearl business class rather than the Etihad coral economy class that I experienced last weekend, so I shall order a Martini especially for the occasion. Though once again, Etihad proved that flying with them, even at the wrong end of the plane, is excellent value for money, and far superior to all the other economy classes that I have ever flown. For instance, on most economy flights, if you ask for a small Heineken beer, eyes roll, and although you'll get one, you'll still be treated like a dependent alcoholic. On Etihad, if they have time, one will be brought to your chair as if you're a business customer, and when you've finished with it, they're likely to ask you if you would like another one. Oh, and the legroom is good too, even for a former blindside flanker like me who should spend some more time down the gym. And the entertainment system is fab. And the stewards and stewardesses are great. Nothing is too much trouble. (And if anyone from Etihad is reading this, please email me at the address to the right, and I'll let you know my airmiles number so you can bung a few more onto my account.)

If anyone also knows what hand luggage Mr Clooney was using during the film, then I would be pleased to hear it. Because I've just gotta have some, especially the snappable pack thing he kept his ties in; the movie's product placement people did a poor job of letting me figure out what it was. The UK is mostly useless at luggage, and it's really difficult to find anything really good, like some of the great stuff which niche suppliers in the US provide.

Oh well.

Up in the Air. Great film. Check it out on any airline near you. It has to be watched in the sky.