I’ve been off the blogging scene for a while due the necessary evil of having a day job that seems to have taken over the evenings as well. I also just got a new desktop PC to do some serious writing (when I can get the chance) that painfully reminded me of the trauma of transferring all of my programs and settings over to a new box. In the end, I think I’ll be much happier with this box than I was with my laptop. Although, I got some serious usage out of the laptop – it was one of the few escapes I had, aside from history books, during what seemed like an episode of unemployment that would never end. I used it with so much vigor and passion that I wore all the letters off the keys. It is still functioning well which is rather amazing after being subjected to the rigor of me venting on its keyboard.
I have been busy, but I’ve been lurking on my favorite Market Monetarist blogs recently. I share the disappointment of the empty promise in Mark Carney. I can’t imagine why Carney would want to import Bernanke’s failures, an amalgamation of the worst aspects of all imaginable choices for monetary policy including headline inflation targeting, bubble fear mongering, and Pollyanna-like punt-n-hope forecasting to the UK. But then again, central banker madness has become such commonplace over the last handful of years that I really do not have the nerve to be shocked. The light at the end of the tunnel we all thought we saw in Mark Carney has perhaps turned out to be instead the light of an oncoming train.
I certainly hope that after this rather large disappointment the argument for elite economists running the central bank has breathed its final breath. All I want is someone who is going to do what it takes to lead rather than follow, and someone who isn’t timid in making the choices required to get NGDP back on track. That might be someone like Woodford, but it could also be someone from a more average station. It is the thought and intention that matters. Results matter; hoopla means nothing, especially to those who have been robbed of the dignity of self-sufficiency for what now will likely be much longer than I imagined.
I have to admit, however, that on my part the river of tears has run dry. The state of monetary affairs is still quite sad, unjust, tyrannical, and in the US, unlawful. In these respects nothing has changed. But I just don’t have any tears left to shed, or any more rocks to throw, at least not now. We’ve made some sizeable dents, for sure, as I very much doubt that QE3 would have been a reality without MM’ers.
I see the effects of the current state every day having my workplace located above a call center. It exists in my daily tasks, dealing with the technical aspect of the administrative process of converting employees to contractors, trading certainty for uncertainty. It feels like churn of epic proportion. It looks like churn in the employment reports; and what seems strikingly obvious to me, is apparently lost on those in the Fed’s ivory towers. It’s an utterly contemptible situation that apparently has no immediate solution.
I saw a news report that the SEC has settled with a European securities trading firm for selling securities that are banned in the US. It didn’t provide any details about the type of securities involved, but the entire situation reeks of overbearing paternalism, a sort of investment gestapo envisioned by the bubble fear mongers in their most wild fantasies about controlling what people can and cannot do with their own money – an unjustifiable state of economic strangulation and vulnerability to cronyism that carries a high opportunity cost. If we thought that corruption was a problem in the 2000s, we have not seen anything yet. The game of kickbacks and bailouts is just getting started. It makes me wonder whom the bubble fear mongers plan to blame for the next round of losses when their prime imagine culprit, inflation, is next to non-existent. That little fact will likely go unnoticed, however, and won’t make a bit of difference in the rhetoric.
In addition to that report, there was another one I read last night that weighs heavily on my spirit. The headline was “German Inflation Jumped to a New High Signaling Rate Hikes.” I suppose I should have saved myself the grief, but just had to see what ridiculousness it contained. Inflation supposedly jumped from just below 1% to 1.4% over the course of July and it was being reported as the end of the universe. Actually a rate hike would more closely resemble the end of the universe for the EZ, especially considering the measure. The story goes on to say that food and energy prices have spiked. Ok so, supply shocks are damaging to the economy, but what does that have to do with monetary policy? The ECB should tighten policy to reduce the demand for food? The utter stupidity contained in these news reports is completely bewildering.
Heaven help us.