Friday, October 19, 2018

Mises: Scientist and Fighter

By Israel Kirzner

Mises was a towering figure, representing uncompromising intellectual integrity, the courageous pursuit of ideas regardless of the crop of unpopularity which he well knew he would reap. His scholarship was extraordinary; his wisdom legendary; the profundity of his insights into social processes has probably never been surpassed.

You Want 20% for Handing Me a Muffin? The Awkward Etiquette of iPad Tipping

-RW notes:  #BehavioralEconomics #PayCash #TipWhenYouWant

By Jennifer Levitz

Mina Dimyan frequents a Stamford, Conn., cafe, where he orders a cup of strong coffee for $3. It comes with a splash of guilt.

The clerk swipes Mr. Dimyan’s credit card and then swivels the store’s white iPad around. There is an uncomfortable pause. Prompts on the screen ask the 33-year-old human-resources recruiter to sign his name and pick a tip: 18%, 20%, 25%, a custom amount or “no tip.”

Millennials Dream of Socialism – It Will End a Nightmare

Richard Ebeling emails:

Dear Bob,

I have a new article on the website of “The Epoch Times” newspaper on, “Millennials Dream of Socialism – It Will End a Nightmare.”

Opinion polls highlight that those between the age of 16 and 24 say they have positive views of socialism compared to a market-based economy, with the impression that socialism means caring for others and “free stuff.” Socialism-in-practice, however, has demonstrated that free stuff comes with a very high price of loss of liberty, economic hardship, and the end of untold human lives to build a “people’s paradise.”

Few in this younger generation seem to know or appreciate the history of socialist systems in the 20th century:

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Kamala Harris Introduces Bill to Give Everyone $6,000 Per Year

American families making less than $100,000 a year could be eligible for a monthly "tax credit" of up to $500, or $6,000 a year, under new legislation announced today by Democratic U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California, reports the Sacramento Bee.

Individuals making less than $50,000 would be eligible for up to $250 a month, $3,000 a year.

TWISTED: Laffer and Forbes Give Trump Okay to Slap On Tariffs By Claiming to Advocate for No Tariffs

Arthur Laffer and Steve Forbes

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Steve Forbes, Arthur Laffer, Fred Smith, and Stephen Moore titled, Mr. President, It’s Time for Zero Tariffs, the authors provide all kinds of cover for Trump to do just the opposite and put tariffs on.

BREAKING: Mnuchin Bails on Saudi Arabian Financial Summit

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has joined the crowd.

Federal Reserve Minutes Indicate Plans to Keep Hiking Rates

The Fed has been hiking the fed funds rate since late 2015.

That the Fed will continue raising interest rates will come as no surprise to careful Fed watchers. In the EPJ Daily Alert, I have been warning that we are in the early stages of a multi-year advance in interest rates. The Fed has been raising the interest rate it controls, the Fed Funds rate, since December 2015.

Here's the key statement from the minutes of the Fed’s September meeting that have just been released:

The Wall Street Journal: 'Inflation is Back'

Two of the world’s largest consumer-goods companies, Unilever PLC and Nestlé SA, reported stronger sales as a wave of inflation in many markets emboldened them to raise prices, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Will the Looming Italian Financial Crisis Spread to the Rest of the World?

Washington Post columnist Robert J. Samuelson explains the current dire straits of the Italian government financial situation:
What is clear is that the new Italian government is flirting with trouble. All the ingredients of a crisis are present.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

WAR: Joe Weisenthal ‏ vs. Nassim Nicholas Taleb

BREAKING: U.S. Arrests Senior Level FinCEN Employee

The U.S. has arrested a senior level official at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network who allegedly sent suspicious activity reports to news organizations.

Trump Talks About the Explosion in the Deficit But...

...says he is not going to touch Social Security to bring it down.

Trump turned into complete three-card monte, New York City, street hustler mode when AP asked him about the deficit, during an interview in the oval office yesterday:

You Can Blame Trump and the Republicans For It

Laurence Vance nails it:
Year-end data from the September 2018 Monthly Treasury Statement of Receipts and Outlays of the U.S. Government show that the deficit for fiscal year 2018 was $779 billion. The federal government spent $4,107.7 billion in fiscal year 2018 (which ended on Sept. 30, 2018), including $600 billion for defense offense (which is actually much higher if all “defense”-related spending is counted). The Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the White House. They are 100% to blame for the profligate spending. Republicans are big spenders just like Democrats. The only limited government they seek is a government limited to control by Republicans.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Uber Eyes Valuation of $120 Billion for Possible 2019 IPO

Oh yeah, this is what happens when you take on local regulators and win!

BREAKING: Trump's New Trade Deal Won't Get a Vote in Congress This Year

President Donald Trump’s renegotiated trade deal with Mexico and Canada won’t get a vote in Congress this year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, reports Bloomberg.

What The Bankruptcy of Sears Should Tell Us About Antitrust Laws

By Walter Olson

Sears Roebuck & Co. became the most fabled retailer in American history as the pioneer of catalogue merchandising, an innovation that revolutionized small-town life. Its then-visionary management followed up with stand-alone stores that long served as landmarks in their communities, developing brands and business lines notable in their own right such as Craftsman, Kenmore, Discover Card, and Allstate Insurance, most of which are now independent. 

How Two Venezuelans View American Socialists

By Rafael Acevedo and Humberto Andrade

Democratic socialists in America are trying to introduce their ideology as something new, when in fact, they are only retreading old-fashioned ideas that history has already disproven. They are ideas that have led to the economic devastation of every country in which they have been implemented.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Trump Says Sears Was Mismanaged; Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Was on Its Board

President Donald Trump this morning while answering reporters question said that Sears Holdings Corp., which had just declared bankruptcy, had been mismanaged for years.

US Budget Deficit Explodes

And you wonder why interest rates are climbing?

Chief Investment Officer at World's Largest Hedge Fund: The US Economy is Probably Going to Get Worse

Bob Prince
“A lot of optimism about future earnings growth has been baked into equity valuations. But we are at a potential inflection point where the economy is moving from hot to mediocre,” Bob Prince, co-chief investment officer at Bridgewater, the world's largest hedge fund, said in an interview with the Financial Times.

Top Bankster Pulls Out of Saudi Conference Over Kashoggi Disappearance; Oil Spikes

Top bankster, JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon, and Ford chairman Bill Ford have become the latest executives to pull out of Saudi Arabia’s “Davos in the Desert” conference in the wake of the disappearance/murder(?) of Washington Post columnist Jamal Kashoggi.