Sunday, April 21, 2019

Is Price Inflation Dead?

This is the latest cover of Bloomberg Magazine.


I consider the idea that price inflation is dead way off base.

The Wonderful Loopholes of New York City Luxury Apartment Construction

The great economist Ludwig von Mises was a big fan of loopholes that countered intrusive government regulations.

The S&P Index At 2900: The Biggest Wall Street/Fed Whopper Ever Told, Part 2

By David Stockman.

This bears repeating: During the 80 months between Q1 2012 and Q4 2018 the S&P index rose by 125%, but pre-tax corporate profits of $2.2 trillion (annual rate) did not rise by single dime.

And it is the yawning gap between these two figures which dramatically underscores why main street America has flat-lined, even as Wall Street and the financial media have lost their minds in giddy flights of speculative euphoria.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Former Mad Money Printing Central Banker May Become Zimbabwe's Next President

Gideon Gono'
"The latest information as it stands now is that the leadership is reaching a compromise candidate that is seemingly acceptable to all and who is sellable to the international community. We have learnt that Former (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe) Governor Gideon Gono's name has been touted as one of the people that might be given the task to take over the reins of power," reported Bulawayo 24, quoting an unnamed senior Zanu-PF official.

I once reported on Gono's memoir, Zimababwe's Casino Economy:
 It is meeting my expectations...He has an undergraduate correspondence degree from Rapid Results College...

Gono informs in the book, that toward the end of his reign as head of the central bank, inflation hit 231 million percent annually. He writes:

BE CAREFUL: The New Way Socialists Are Going to Hide Who They Are

Joseph Stiglitz
By Robert Wenzel

A new Joseph Stiglitz book will be out next week, People, Power and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent.

Stiglitz, a chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton and a former chief economist of the World Bank, told Andrew Ross Sorkin for The New York Times:

The S&P Index At 2900: The Biggest Wall Street/Fed Whopper Ever Told, Part 1

David Stockman
By David Stockman

Once upon a time, the stock market reflected the state of the main street economy and the level of business profits. In the present age of Keynesian central banking, not so much.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Stockman: Herman Cain is as Stupid as Bernanke

Herman Cain
 In response to the post, Herman Cain Plans to Take the Senate On, David Stockman emails:

"I was on the executive committee of the Socialist Party"

 'Democratic socialists' Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, and Tlaib prefer socialism to democracy

By Joshua Muravchik

First Bernie Sanders and now also Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and a bunch of other new office-holders proclaim themselves “democratic socialists.” What is that? I should know. I was on the executive committee of the Socialist Party and I was the leader of its youth wing, the Young People’s Socialist League. The Party was the forerunner of the group Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib belong to today, and the YPSL was the organization Bernie Sanders joined as a college student.

Thank You, Federal Reserve: New York City Rents Hit All-Time High

Rental prices for apartments in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens hit an all-time high in the first quarter, according to StreetEasy.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The FBI File on Milton Friedman, Part 3: Reagan Considers Him for a Position

Milton Friedman
In conjunction with the Freedom Of Information Act specialist Jerry Jordan, EconomicPolicyJournal.com requested the FBI file on Nobel prize-winning economist  Milton Friedman.  In total, the FBI supplied 239 pages of records.

Below is Part 3 and final part of the file. Part 3 largely consists of field reports of a 1981 background check done on Friedman apparently for some potential position in the then new Reagan Administration.

The FBI File on Milton Friedman, Part 2: Hayek Invites Friedman to Join the Mont Pelerin Society

Milton Friedman and F.A. Hayek
In conjunction with Freedom Of Information Act specialist Jerry Jordan, EconomicPolicyJournal.com requested the FBI file on Nobel prize-winning economist  Milton Friedman.  In total, the FBI supplied 239 pages of records.

Below is Part 2 of the file which is a letter from F.A. Hayek inviting Friedman to the first meeting of what would become the Mont Pelerin Society:

The FBI File on Milton Friedman: Part 1

In conjunction with the Freedom Of Information Act specialist Jerry Jordan, EconomicPolicyJournal.com requested the FBI file on Nobel prize-winning economist  Milton Friedman.  In total, the FBI supplied 239 pages of records.

Below is Part 1 which mostly contains FBI reports of interviews of Friedman's neighbors, co-workers etc, who describe him as a man of good character. But also contains an apparent investigation by the FBI into a report that Friedman claimed to have FBI papers in his possession.

Krugman Needs a Lesson on Why Truckers Are Paid Less Now than in the 1970s

Paul Krugman

By William L. Anderson

One of the first lessons I give my economics students in the principles courses I teach or in my MBA classes is the famous Diamond-Water Paradox, or what economists historically have called the Paradox of Value. Why are diamonds more expensive than water? Why are professional athletes paid better than teachers or soldiers?

On the Government Measuring of Price Inflation and the Downsizing of Product Size

Peter T. emails:
Do you know if any work has been done on the silent inflation that occurs when manufacturers downsize the quantity of a product? I believe this is a significant factor not accounted for in official inflation data. I wonder how much products have been devalued by quantity since say 2000 or 2009 and what influence that puts on CPI data. How much of the current official CPI figures are being held down by downsized quantities?

Herman Cain Plans to Take the Senate On

Herman Cain 
Herman Cain said he has no intention of withdrawing his name from consideration for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, despite apparently lacking enough Senate support to be confirmed if President Trump nominates him, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Did Tax Reform Raise the Cost of Owning a Home?

There is some fascinating analysis just released by the New York Federal Reserve Bank (by economists Sonia Gilbukh, Andrew Haughwout, Rebecca Landau, and Joseph Tracy) that shows how President Trump's tax reform has raised the cost of owning a home in high tax states.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Tyler Cowen on Why He is Against a Gold Standard

Tyler Cowen
This really boggles the mind.

Koch-funded Tyler Cowen, who was once considered the next Murray Rothbard, writes in his latest Bloomberg column the three reasons that he is against a gold standard.

Abolish the Welfare State to Solve the National Debt Crisis

Richard Ebeling emails:

I have a new article on the website of the Future of Freedom Foundation (FFF) on, “Abolish the Welfare State to Solve the National Debt Crisis.”

Few things are more frustrating to the friend of freedom than the difficulty in successfully making and winning the case for liberty. But a major reason is the hesitancy or unwillingness of some declared friends of freedom to forthrightly make the case for the abolition of the interventionist-welfare state.

The Moore and Cain Nomination Fiascos: What Trump Should Do

President Trump's attempt to pack the Federal Reserve with even more crazed inflationists is apparently failing.