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Sopping up the debt

[page updated Jan 21, 2005]
Richard Daughty
...the angriest guy in economics
The Mogambo Guru
March 4, 2004

The banks sopped up a huge load of government debt last week. How large? Are you sitting down? Okay, then, I'll tell you. They sucked up $68 billion worth of Treasury debt! In one week! Good thing I made sure you were sitting down, eh?

Which is a good thing, since the Treasury issued about $80 billion in the last three weeks, and foreigners are making noises that they are tired of people laughing at them for buying up all of the debt of a nation of bankrupt losers like us. Of course, they are not so tired that they willingly soaked up another $8 billion themselves. Stupid foreigners! Hahaha! I laugh at them! Hell, I'm an American myself, and I sure as hell wouldn't loan my government a dime!

Greenspan dragged his fanny to Capitol Hill again last week, plunked himself down in the seat, adjusted the microphone, and with that patented Greenspan monotone lectured to the House about how the Congress has to finish killing the American economy from the fiscal side, as he is doing everything he can to destroy us from the monetary side, but the damn economy just won't die.

The crux of his message was, get this, that he was no longer content to destroy retirees and the small savers of the country by forcing interest rates down below the rate of inflation, year after year after year, thereby encouraging more idiotic debt accumulation by over-extended borrowers, who are borrowing the money and credit that he so generously creates for them. So he is actively destroying the dollar, and now he wants Congress to destroy the Social Security and Medicare program by curtailing those benefits, too! Richard Benson of Specialty Finance Group encapsulated the whole thing with his essay entitled "The Federal Reserve's Policy: Punish Savers and Rob the Retired."

This is a real problem because these programs are huge! And as such represent a huge percentage of our economy, the size of which I comically indicate by stretching my arms to their maximum span, which is not funny in itself, but the funny part is the way that much money makes the little propeller on my beanie spin around and around and my eyeballs bounce up and down in an uncontrollable spasm.

And not content with that, he also wants to come up with some new way to statistically massage more inflation out of price increases, so that the government can screw retirees out of more money and benefits. This is the natural expansion of the work done by the horrible Boskin Commission, who are the nasty lackey bozos who came up with the methodology of doing that to the CPI, namely turning raw numbers into lies. The ludicrously low inflation figures that Greenspan and that whole lying crew constantly refer to, that are now the butt of jokes, are the result of that Boskin bunch of lying creeps doing the dirty work for the Fed and Congress.

Boskin and his puerile posse of putzes invented the concept of adjusting prices for "quality" and the equally infamous "substitution effect." In short, if ordinary food is up 100%, but hay is still cheap, then you, trying to feed your family on your pathetic budget, will substitute hay for Oreo cookies. This is the infamous "substitution effect." And if hay has less cow manure in it than usual, then the "real" price of hay is lower because the quality has gone up! And therefore, and I hope you are still following this, because it is the essence of the Boskin system of lies, food is actually cheaper! They have completely eliminated inflation in food, although prices are up 100%! Now he wants to do the same to Social Security benefits! I was hoping that Ron Paul would leap over the dais, grab that little twerp Greenspan by the throat, screaming "You filthy little bastard!" But he did not, even though that is what I would have done, and that is why Ron Paul is in Congress and I am not, I suppose.

And it's not just the money! I mean, the money is plenty, and by "plenty" I mean that if it was piled up in front of your house, it would literally blot out the sun and you would think it was nighttime and then you'd get undressed and ready for bed and people would laugh at you and say" Hey! It's only three o'clock in the afternoon, jerk!" But think of the veritable army of faceless government employees who need empires of fawning underlings to administer the programs, and more empires to check up on the programs, and those that monitor the programs, and all their little sub-programs, and all the more government employees it takes to regulate all those people, and how they all need offices and desks and humongous salaries because they are now allowed to unionize, and like all unions have taken to gouging for more and more money and benefits as a full time job-on-the-job, and their defined-benefit retirement programs that are so richly generous that there is literally no equivalent in the private sector, and nothing that even comes close, to tell the truth.

And there is a large spill-over in the private sector, as all that money from the programs and the salaries of the government employees gets spent and reverberate throughout the economy. And I will go farther than that and say, with a completely straight face so that you know that I am serious, that the combined local, state and federal governments ARE the damned US economy. And Greenspan wants to rein in THAT ravenous beast? Hahahaha! The man IS a fool! Hahahaha!

If you don't think that the government IS the economy, then listen to a guy named Steve Meyer, who wrote to the Wall Street Journal and told how his job paid $68,000. After paying state and federal taxes, including the Social Security/Medicare bite, he took home $32,878, which means, by simple arithmetic, that the governments took $40,324. Who's in charge here? One other guy who is probably in agreement with me, although I am pretty sure he is not, like me, confined in a straightjacket and screaming out obscenity-laden threats against the government and trying to jam a full clip of armor-piercing ammo into an assault rifle with his teeth, is Carroll Cox, editor of the Pioneer newspaper in Snowflake, Arizona, who writes "In my county of Apache, Arizona, 2/3 of employed people with full time jobs work for some level of government and education. In the neighboring county of Navajo, close to half of people are employed by government." So, this demonstrates that my original argument was correct; the government IS the economy.

And not only that, but he also bolsters my original complaint that allowing government employees to unionize was a big, big, BIGGGG mistake, as there is no countervailing force against their rapacious greed, as he demonstrates when he writes, "We determined that the average government job (in these two counties) pays $7,000-$10,000 more annually than the average private sector job, not counting benefits." When you DO count benefits, which I do, since I have to pay for them out of my taxes, then government employees are ludicrously overpaid.

Dan Denning, the guy who is in charge of Strategic Investment, writes on this very topic when he pens, "Once created and funded, how many government programs have gone away? Very few. These programs develop a constituency of bureaucrats whose paychecks depend on them, and/or taxpayers on the receiving end of the wealth distribution."

And it is not just here, either. In Israel, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled "Israel Gets a Taste of Friedman," by Kimberly Strassel, the government employs "one out of every in three workers." Not only that, but she laments that "The country has seen a growing divide between private workers, who continue to float Israeli society on their overtaxed backs, and public-sector workers employees who earn many times the average Israeli salary."

So cutting down the size of government ain't a-gonna happen. The morons in Congress, as do all the morons in all governments, see it as their sacred duty to spend as much as they can in exchange for the votes of the electorate, who are, in effect, grubby little prostitutes who trade their mindless vote for money and benefits. And government employees vote, too, and since there are so damn many of them, their voting block is a powerful constituency. So allowing government workers to unionize is a one-way ticket to economic hell.

In fact, it was the loathsome Clinton administration who actually said, in so many words, that passing more and more laws and spending more and more money was, and I quote, "the people's business" which is a phrase that will reverberate in infamy, although for the nonce it is only reverberating around in my head, going "Bonk! Bonk! Bonk!" as it caroms off one synapse and then another, until it finally smashes into that nerve center known as the Bottomless Well of Anger of the Mogambo.

But this allowing government workers to unionize was the result of, as if I had to tell you, the jackasses of the Supreme Court. Morons. It was Strother Martin in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," who complained "Morons! I've got morons on my team!" Although in this case, all the morons are not on MY team. They are, instead, arrayed against me.

A classic modern example, by which I mean "right this very second," is, of course, California. I know you are going to find this hard to believe, and I am having a hard time coming to grips with it myself, but they are, right now, even as we speak, trying to pass more taxes, and raise the bite of the current taxes! It boggles the mind! They got rid of their old governor, the horrible Gray Davis, through impeachment, because the spending excesses of Californian morons had essentially bankrupted the state. Then they elected a new governor to "fix" the problem, and then, and this is the part that I find so incredible, they turn right around and want more taxes! But I will agree, and it really galls me to agree with Greenspan about anything, that reining in the out-of-control Social Security and Medicare monsters is necessary. But it is already too late to do that without enormous pain, I am sorry to say. It is too, too large, and too, too intertwined in the very fabric of the economy. Any attempt to enact changes, much less sweeping changes, will necessarily collapse the whole economy. That is why it is so necessary, so vitally crucial, that you NOT get into that filthy, bankrupting business in the first place.

And this is the same doofus Greenspan who just the day before made the extraordinary speech that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ought to be reined in, lest their monstrous book of mortgages, estimated at about three-fourths of all mortgages in the country, have some unexpected reversal, and thus caused systemic economic damage! Where in the hell has HE been the last decade or so while that gigantic book of mortgages was being assembled?

This Sir Greenspan-the-Clueless is, as I understand it, completely unaware that his unprecedented creation of colossal amounts of money and credit worked their way through the economy, and ended up in mortgages and the other bubbles, including the bubble of massive and suffocating, pervasive government spending! Can he be so stupid? Can one ignorant old man be so preposterously inept?

The answer is, I am sorry to report, yes, as evidenced by his actually going before the House and telling them that THEY need to cut spending! And where in the hell did all the money come from that they are spending? From him! He creates oceans of money and credit, which goes out into the economy, driving up prices, and then a bunch of it ends up in the hands of Congress, who spent it, permanently increasing the size and expense of government, and then he has the gall to tell them that they should cut spending!

So the next time you are in Washington DC, please stop by the Federal Reserve and disregard the knot of security guards who are wrestling the Mogambo to the ground for daring to even show his face around there, after being warned what would happen the next time he did that. When all of them are busy teaching me a lesson that they hope I will not forget anytime soon, it will be easy for you to sneak into the Federal Reserve building, and you can inform Alan right to his face that he can make the government cut back on spending anytime he wants to!

They won't listen to me, even though all I am saying is that the handcuffs are hurting me, but maybe they will listen to you. Tell them that getting Congress to spend less money is easy! All he has to do is stop creating the money and the credit necessary to fund the Congressional spending! That's it! That's all he has to do! Then, when the massive spending bills passed by these boneheads cause massive increased demand for borrowing, which must now come from real savings, versus a static supply of loanable savings, this will cause interest rates to spike through the roof! And you can rest assured that the people will tell their Congresspersons all about how distressed they are at THAT unhappy development! And if there is one thing that elected officials don't like, it is disaffected voters. And so spending excesses of Congress are easily held in check by the Federal Reserve, if the Fed was doing its job. Which it has not been, and in fact it has not been doing its job for so long that I am not sure that they even know what in the hell their job IS anymore!

So in one stroke he can cancel government spending, and dissuade them from trying that crap in the future, too! All it takes is a guy who is not so gutless, so inept, so ignorant, to just get up and do it. And then, maybe, the next time he parks his fat worthless patootie in front of the microphone to testify before Congress, I will not be throwing Cheeze Doodles at him and screaming obscenities at the TV screen, and that will make my wife happy, too.

Chris Leithner, writer of the Leithner Letter, is similarly disaffected with central banks when he writes "Most importantly, investors should be flabbergasted that today's central banks and bankers are acclaimed and even revered. Rather, investors should regard these institutions with a mixture of scepticism and fear. James Grant, a Forbes columnist and editor of Grant's Interest Rate Observer, regards the Federal Reserve as a bizarre 'cross between America's unlamented Interstate Commerce Commission and the Wizard of Oz.' A four year old who believes that Santa Claus exists is charming; but an adult who believes that a central banking Santa Claus can give him exactly what he wants, now and in the future, is probably mistaken." Huh? So the opposite of "charming" is "mistaken"? I don't know where this guy went to school, or what he got on the SAT, but I can tell you that an antonym for "charming" is NOT "mistaken." The word "revolting" comes to mind.

Mr. Leithner, however, waxes philosophic when he writes, "Central banks, it needs to be stated bluntly, are anachronisms of an era when the pretensions of central planners were taken seriously." Ooooh! I like that! Anachronisms! Pretensions! Central planning! The guy has a way with words!

I was saving his best line for last. Slowly zoom the camera in, as the lights grow dimmer and dimmer. We perceive a face in the gathering gloom, which is solemnly intoning, and with a nice tinge of echoing reverb for dramatic appeal, "They are living on borrowed money ­ and therefore, on (pause for dramatic effect) borrowed (another short pause) time." Fade to black! That's a wrap!

"The Great Inflation Train Wreck" by Russ Winter and Jim Willie CB on the 321gold.com website, comments on the inflation in commodities. They write "China became the world's largest consumer of copper in 2002, and now accounts for 20% of world consumption and 80% of world growth. As the Asians scarf up commodities and goods throughout the world, they have smashed records for global freight costs on almost a weekly basis. The Baltic Dry Index, a barometer of the dry-bulk freight market for commodities such as iron ore, grain, and coal, is now up close to 300% from last spring. This is all occurring against a backdrop of unusually low inventory levels for all kinds of key commodities around the world. The USDA in February revised world coarse grain ending stocks down to 100.47 million metric tonnes, the lowest level in a quarter century."

In an oddly similar vein, The Independent, in an article by Philip Thornoton entitled "The New China Syndrome," writes "The world's most populous country is sucking in the world's raw materials at an unprecedented rate to feed its domestic economic boom." He goes on to note that "The price spike may have had commodities dealers and traders in mining stocks jumping with joy, but it has set alarm bells ringing at central banks worried about having to control inflation once the incipient boom takes hold." He doesn't, course, refer to Alan Greenspan and our idiotic central bank, as nothing can set alarm bells ringing there, except maybe the notion that people are not going into unfathomable debt fast enough to suit them.

They go on to report low inventories in all kinds of things. Cattle? The lowest level since 1959. Soybean stocks? The lowest in twenty seven years. Zinc? Copper? Wheat? Corn? Oil? All nearing records lows in stocks and dramatically higher in price.

They neatly sum up by saying, "So the train wreck scenario can be described as a demand pull inflationary event driven by runaway demand from Asia into crude goods and commodities held in short supply. This in turn is now leading to serious cost push inflation into intermediate and finished goods."

They don't even stop there! They see rises in commodity prices spiraling higher and higher until they are completely out of sight. In quoting Ludwig von Mises about the "crack up boom," they quote this great man as saying, "Once public opinion is convinced that the increase in the quantity of money will continue and never come to an end, and that consequently the prices of all commodities will not cease to rise, everybody becomes eager to buy as much as possible and restrict his cash holdings to minimum size. The advantages of holding cash must be paid for by sacrifices which are deemed unreasonably burdensome. This was present in the great inflations of the twenties, and was called the flight into real goods (Flucht in die Sachwerte). If the credit expansion is not stopped in time, the boom turns to crack-up boom: the flight into real values begins, and the whole monetary system founders."

This brings to mind a note from Eric Cotton, a guy who apparently has so much money that he doesn't care who knows that he reads the Mogambo, who was reminiscing about a trip that he made to Brazil in 1990. During the course of one bus ride around the city, the value of the "New Cruzado" had depreciated 22%! He says that "The people had entered a crack up boom of their own, and were busily spending every bit of money they could to buy up as much as they could, as their money was becoming increasingly worthless by the hour." Just like now, in America. Mostly houses and stocks, but literally spending everything they can get their hands on.

You want to know "What's with the price of gold?" Search me. But since you got to ask me a question, let me ask YOU one: Do you really think that the price of gold going down because people, like you and me, hopefully more like you than me, although I have my charms, and one of these days somebody is going to come along and recognize one of them, are selling their gold because they think it is NOT a good investment, all of a sudden? If so, then you may safely label these persons "economically ignorant," although it is not necessary to go out and actually track these people down, since their folly will soon become punishment enough, and you will be able to recognize them at a distance, as they will be the ones dressed in rags and asking, in some kind of trance-like daze of everyone they meet, "What the hell happened?" and everyone will say, "Mogambo? Is that you?" and the raggedy man will reply "No, but I just dress like him" and then bystanders will say "And smell like him, too! Pee-yewww!" and then everybody has a nice laugh at my expense.

And, since you seem to be on a roll, let me ask you another question, since you thought that one was so easy: Who are, or who is, or whom am, or who am, or whom is, or some combination of these, are the beneficiaries of gold going lower? Who are, or am, or is, these people?

Well, I could go on for hours and hours about whom and who I personally think it is, including ones that even I find hard to believe, which involves some kind of invisible mutant lizard that resembles Dick Cheney and consumes our DNA while we sleep, as far as I can tell. And once you have identified these beneficiaries, answer this one last question: Do any of these people, or groups of people, or lizards, or groups of lizards, have the wherewithal to manipulate the price of gold? They do? And are they greedy little bastards? They are?

And why are these people doing this? Well, if you knew that the price of gold was destined to go up, what could be better than to buy some right now? I'll tell you what would be better: Buying some tomorrow at a lower price! Then, after they have manipulated the price down and bought gold at those lower prices, when the price of gold shoots back up, they will make even MORE money! And, for today, Alan Greenspan would have eliminated one more piece of anecdotal evidence that nobody trusts him, Bush could remove that impediment to his re-election story, and everybody is happy.

As an owner of gold already, you may not be too happy, but when you realize that these weenies have given you another great golden moment, no pun intended, to buy more gold at a price that is an even BIGGER bargain than it was yesterday, then you should be jumping into the air (wheeee!) and clicking your heels (click!) like Gene Kelly, dancing his little heart out, in his artistic way of conveying his ecstatic joy at having kissed Vera Ellen or something. Maybe he was singing, too, perhaps singing while it was raining, or singing in the rain, as it were, and he may have been both dancing AND singing at the very same time, which is a real nice touch of productivity, but you never hear Alan Greenspan saying nice things about Gene Kelly, do you? Which just goes to show you what kind of nasty little person this Greenspan is, as if I had to tell YOU what a horrid little twit he is.

Martin Weiss Safe Money Report "Consumers are so debt laden, it's unlikely their personal balance sheets will improve for decades to come." Note that he said "decades." Decades. And it is this selfsame "decades" that represents, in an odd bit of symmetry, a normal person's whole working life, during which he was supposed to accumulate some money for use during a few decades of the "golden years" of retirement. Now, this person is going to spend his entire life getting his balance sheet in order?

And to show you that not everybody is a clueless chump and are mindlessly throwing their money at a grossly-overvalued stock market and overvalued bond market, Mr. Weiss goes on to write "According to recent data from 'The Insider Monthly,' corporate insiders in Nasdaq companies are dumping up to 5,840 shares of their stock for every one share they're buying."

Ed Bugos at Goldenbar, "Inflation versus Deflation" quotes Murray Rothbard, who concluded that central banks were born of a "crooked deal between a near-bankrupt government and a corrupt clique of financial promoters" in the 17th century, in England. This is the same country that elected Tony Blair as its leader, which shows that the British have not learned much since the 17th century, and which I think proves that the British have gotten even more stupid in the intervening centuries. Maybe inbreeding or something. But then I look at the jackasses that we Americans elect, and realize that we are both a couple of nations full of morons. Mr. Bugos goes on to drop a few bon mots in our laps, like "It is central banking that is barbaric, not gold," and "Ignorance is not bliss. It is the food of slaves, and the tyrant's money."

He is even more scared than I am, although there are several PhD dissertations that purportedly prove that nobody can be more paranoid or angry than the Mogambo, and he writes that the chances of reversing the situation at this late date is not an option. He says, "The consequence of ending it now is not deflation, but rather, hyperinflation. In developing the theory of the value of money, Ludwig von Mises observed that at the point where people finally see that the policy of inflation is endless, the 'crack up boom' begins, and ends in the abandonment of the current medium as money." This is the second reference to Mises' "crack up boom" in this edition of the MoGu, but that doesn't really mean anything, since every day of the week I get MORE than two mental health professionals telling me that I will get better, although I never do. But it is something to think about. The crack up boom, I mean.

Mises himself explains it thusly: "But then finally the masses wake up. They become suddenly aware of the fact that inflation is a deliberate policy and will go on endlessly. A breakdown occurs. The crack-up boom appears. Everybody is anxious to swap his money against 'real' goods, no matter whether he needs them or not, no matter how much money he has to pay for them. Inflation is a policy that cannot last."

Mr. Bugos takes this bit of good advice and notes that gold and gold stocks have been on a tear for a couple of years now, and that they "rose because gold stock investors already knew that the road the economy was or would lead to more inflation not less, much like we knew three years ago that the Bernanke's of the world would take over the reigns at the Fed." Well, this shows how far advanced I am than poor Mr. Bugos, since I have known since early childhood that we would be invaded by horrible mutant monsters, although I expected them to come from another solar system in flying saucers and have these tentacle things growing out of their heads. But whether or not the Bernankes of this world have tentacles growing out of their heads or not, they are destroying us nonetheless.

He goes on to write, "But it is important to realize that there hasn't been a true deflation since the gold standard was abandoned in 1933. It is true that there have been circumstances in the past where central banks employed the policy of deflation under the belief that they could fix the consequences of prior inflations. But their resolve never lasted, and it was only ever employed as a matter of last resort. This is the case today. If the Fed decided to adopt a restrictionist policy now to correct the malinvestments and other consequences of the last two decades of credit inflation, markets and banks, and maybe even governments would all but fold. The devaluation in the dollar would not be avoidable. It is already inevitable, but they'd be blamed. The fear of deflation is a deliberate ploy provoked by central banks trying to justify the ongoing policy of inflation, as well as to manage inflation expectations thus cap interest rates - all designed to keep people from believing that the policy can go on indefinitely, and to keep them from ending the boom prematurely."

Robert Folsom's Market Watch, which is a service of Elliott Wave International, writes that although the size and cost of government is accelerating, the wage base to fund these governments is NOT increasing. He takes a look at household compensation as a percentage of GDP, and writes "Federal Reserve data shows that, after spiking upward in the latter half the 1990s, this measure of household compensation abruptly reversed and headed downhill. Today it stands at its lowest level in more than 20 years." He is referring, of course, to real compensation, which is gross income reduced by inflation.

Next under his microscope he looks at household liabilities as a percentage of assets. "Using Fed data here as well, this measure of liabilities also moved in a healthy direction in the second half of the 1990s, namely downward. Yet just as suddenly, household liabilities began to rise, likewise to levels not seen in more than 20 years." Thus we see that households owe more, not only in nominal terms, but also as a percentage of total assets.

So he sums it up, pithily, "To compensate for slow wage growth, consumers are doing what they've done over the course of the entire bull market: borrowing more money." Which only makes things worse.

Adam Hamilton, writer of the Zeal Intelligence newsletter, in an article entitled "Stalling Monetary Growth," explains how bulls and bears see things from different perspectives. "Neither side will dispute that a rocketing money supply tends to boost equity markets over the short term." How does it do this? Easy one, explains Mr. Hamilton. "When money supplies are growing, all of the fresh money created by the Fed has to find a home somewhere. With relatively more money chasing after relatively fewer goods, services, and investments, the prices of these things inevitably rise. A deluge of new money tends to lift the general stock markets in a massive inflationary tide, at least initially."

Alas, the meteoric rise in the money aggregates seems to be slowing. In light of this, he writes,

"Decelerating monetary growth, disinflation, is an abnormal state of events, a strange anomaly in an otherwise relentless rapid rise in money supplies in a fiat-currency regime. As such, any time that this growth rate in money stalls significantly, investors need to take note and carefully consider the potential consequences of such a rare development. If I was long general equities right now, which I am certainly not, I would be very troubled to see stocks decoupling with monetary growth rates in the US." This is the proverbial "handwriting on the wall," if you care to take the time to read it.

Steve Sjuggerud, editor of The Investment U E-Letter, writes about the coins in your pocket. "In 2004, the U.S. Mint will likely lose money minting pennies and nickels." He humorously opines that "Starting this year, pennies and nickels may be worth more for their metal content than for their purchasing power...So it might be time to start burying pennies and nickels in your back yard."

To back up this claim, he notes that the prices of base metals, like copper and zinc, which are the stuff that the government uses to make coins, are soaring. "The main ingredient in pennies is not copper, but zinc. Actually, zinc makes up 97.5% of a penny. Zinc is up nearly 40% since the end of the 2003 fiscal year. So if the cost of producing a penny rises by 40%, it'll cost the government 1.38 cents to make a penny. In 2003, it cost the U.S. Mint 0.98 cents to make a penny. In 2002, it cost 0.88 cents to make a penny. And in 2001, it cost 0.80 cents. But now, in 2004, it is almost assured that the government will lose money minting pennies. It'll cost the government over six cents to produce a nickel."

Fortunately, as far as Greenspan and Bernanke and all the rest of the mental midgets infesting the Federal Reserve and the government are concerned, they can produce dollars at almost zero cost. And they do. And they will keep on doing it until the dollar has no value at all.

And then, finally, there will be no need of coins at all, as the smallest increment in price will be a dollar, which will be, in terms of purchasing power, equal to a 2003-era penny. Ugh.

--Mogambo Sez: Oil is bumping up against $37 a barrel, which seems like a lot. But it is not, in the grand scheme of things, and in a very short time you will long for the halcyon days when oil was "only" $37 a barrel. And you will spend your future sighing with weary resignation as you huddle in your cold hovel and consider the unbelievable and unbearable price of all commodities, which will get so expensive that your raggedy children will laugh at you in disbelief for reminiscing about the "old days" when bread was less than $10 a loaf.

This is the sorry fate of any nation of morons, like us, that pursues a policy of inflation.

Richard Daughty

Richard Daughty is general partner and C.O.O. for Smith Consultant Group, serving the financial and medical communities, and the writer/publisher of the Mogambo Guru economic newsletter, an avocational exercise the better to heap disrespect on those who desperately deserve it. The Mogambo Guru is quoted frequently in Barron's, The Daily Reckoning, and other fine publications.

The Daily Reckoning

"Financial Reckoning Day: Surviving the Soft Depression of the 21st Century"

by Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin.

You can buy it online from Amazon.

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