Tuesday, August 21, 2018

I’m ‘Financially Ruined’: Cryptocurrency Investors are Crushed by Losses of 70% or More

Bitcoin price over last 12 months.
By Nathaniel Popper and Su-Hyun Lee

 Pete Roberts of Nottingham, England, was one of the many risk-takers who threw their savings into cryptocurrencies when prices were going through the roof last winter.

Now, eight months later, the $23,000 he invested in several digital tokens is worth about $4,000, and he is clearheaded about what happened.

"I got too caught up in the fear of missing out and trying to make a quick buck," he said this week. "The losses have pretty much left me financially ruined."

Monday, August 20, 2018

A Contribution to the Death of Socialism

George Reisman is among the less than handful of living economists that truly understand in full how the economy works. In his latest ebook, he dissects Marxism/socialism.

He writes:
Convert a Socialist to Capitalism. Give him a copy of this essay, now available in Kindle format at Amazon  for just 99¢. Go to https://amzn.to/2BBYfp0  to order it.
From the blurb:

Dispatch 5: Another "Socialist Experiment" is Going Horrifically in the Wrong Direction; Socialism is Not a Walk in the Park

Dispatch 5
From: The Committee to Flip Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
To: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Subject: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Socialism is Not a Walk in the Park
Prepared by: Robert Wenzel
Date: August 20, 2018

The Wall Street Journal reports:
The exodus of Venezuelans gained pace as the government’s plans to address the collapsing economy fueled anxiety, while tensions grew in neighboring countries that have strained to absorb refugees.

Over the weekend, Venezuela’s battered business sector warned that

CRAB CRISIS: Why Eastern Shore Crab Houses are Suffering Because of Trump

By Robert Wenzel

About a third of crab picking jobs remain unfilled across the Eastern Shore this summer, as few Americans have responded to openings and Mexican laborers are stranded at home without permission to come here to work, reports the Washington Post.

More from the Post:
The situation illustrates a general unwillingness among U.S. workers to perform certain kinds of labor, some of the business owners here in Dorchester County say. It also demonstrates how President Trump’s “America First” policies have not necessarily helped those workers or small-business owners but instead have dealt them a new economic reality.
Crab-picking houses are boosting wages and expanding overtime but are losing customers — and profits — because they can’t

CONFIRMED: Federal Reserve Chairman Powell to Speak at Global Central Banker Sit Down (Ghost of Rockefeller Will Hover Over the Conference)

Jackson Lake Lodge lobby
By Robert Wenzel

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak at the end of this week at the annual global central bank conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the Federal Reserve has confirmed. The conference will take place August 24 - 25, 2018

He will speak on monetary policy in a changing economy on Friday at the start of the conference. Fed chairs in the past, notes Reuters, have used speeches at the Kansas City Fed-sponsored conference to signal future U.S. central bank policy moves.

According to the KC Fed, attendees are selected based on each year’s topic with consideration for diversity in region, background and industry. In a typical year, about 120 people attend. But, the ghost of John D. Rockefeller Jr. no doubt always hovers over the conference.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Some Things a Central Bank's Banker Doesn't Know About Monetary History

Agustin Carstens, a central banker who favors inflation

By Larry White

In February 2018 Agustin Carstens, the General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, gave a speech at Goethe University in Frankfurt entitled “Money in the digital age: what role for central banks?” The speech quickly became notorious in the cryptocurrency community for its brusque dismissal of Bitcoin and other cryptoassets. Among other things, Carstens there called Bitcoin "a combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster." A combination? One may judge the price of Bitcoin a bubble, but there is no other sense in which Bitcoin is a “Ponzi scheme.” The BIS being the central bankers’ bank, crypto supporters in response mocked Carstens for merely representing the interests of national fiat currency monopolies in quashing potential competitors.
More recently Carstens gave an interview to a Swiss periodical, available in English translation on the BIS website, in which he reiterated his anti-cryptocurrency position. “It's a fallacy to think money can be created from nothing” was one of the oddest claims he made there, given that fiat monies are closer than cryptocurrencies are to being gratuitously created. This interview too has provoked criticism from crypto defenders.
Overlooked in the debate over Carstens’ dubious statements about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency have been the dubious statements he makes about historical forms of private money. I want to shine some critical light on those statements.

Murray Rothbard on When Socialism Was a Brand New Idea


Saturday, August 18, 2018

This Week in Economic History: Nixon Imposes Wage and Price Controls

On August 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon closed the gold window to foreign countries, meaning they no longer could exchange dollars for gold.

The Federal Reserve had printed so much money that there was

Larry Kudlow at Cabinet Meeting: "We Are Crushing It"

Trump administration national economic adviser Larry "I'll Take a Heart Attack for the President" Kudlow spoke directly to the President with cameras rolling at a Cabinet meeting this past Thursday.

He attributed all the positive economic numbers to President Trump, even though the current boom phase of the boom-bust cycle can be directly attributed to Federal Reserve manipulation of the money supply--and started long ago during the Obama presidency.

Further, he said price inflation is low. Not everyone will agree with that.

He also warned about China's economy and that is about the only thing he got right.



Tulsi Gabbard Bought a Crazy Amount of Cryptocurrencies Near the Very Top

Tulsi Gabbard, cryptocurrency plunger
By Robert Wenzel

Well, there is some good news here for the country, but not so much good news for Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard on a personal investment level.

Gabbard is one of the few anti-war members in the House. Heroically, she prefers negotiations over sanctions when it comes to North Korea, Iran and Russia. But the interesting development this past

Friday, August 17, 2018

What Really is in the Hippocratic Oath


The Case for Government Abolishing Planned Obsolescence: Bring Back the Remington Typewriter and Carbon Paper

By Don Boudreaux

From the "You can't make this up" department comes this report, from May 2017, on a European Parliament resolution that is impossible to spoof because it is a spoof on itself. (My son, Thomas – erupting in laughter – just found this report and shared it with me.) The report’s title is “EU aims to abolish planned obsolescence.”

Damn all this rapid, incessant improvement in the likes of personal computers and cellular devices! Wouldn’t life be better if we all still

The Big Question Ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Asked Job Seekers He Was Interviewing



A BLS Economist on My Analysis of the Coming Price Inflation Explosion

A Bureau of Labor Statistics economist, who is a subscriber to the EPJ Daily Alert, emails with regard to yesterday's ALERT:
Very good post about inflation dynamics using the CPI. I will share it with some of my colleagues at the BLS.
Subscribe to the EPJ Daily Alert today and you will get yesterday's inflation analysis issue as a bonus.

Here are four ways to subscribe: Click here.

Elizabeth Warren’s Batty Plan to Nationalize . . . Everything

By Kevin D. Williamson

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has one-upped socialists Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: She proposes to nationalize every major business in the United States of America. If successful, it would constitute the largest seizure of private property in human history.

Warren’s proposal is dishonestly called the “Accountable Capitalism Act.” Accountable to whom? you might ask. That’s a reasonable question. The answer is

When Thomas Jefferson Engaged in Industrial Espionage

Thomas Jefferson
Some fascinating history via Dr. John Gong:
Once upon a time, in the early to mid-1700s, America voraciously tried to seek British textile technologies.

The cunning Brits were of course ardently trying to safeguard their trade secret, embodied in the "living" or "dead instruments of trade," as Adam Smith used to call them.

The colonial-era  Americans were very creative in circumventing the overbearing Brits. For example,