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In short, we are screwed

Richard Daughty

The Daily Reckoning
...the angriest guy in economics
The Mogambo Guru
November 11, 2004

- Last week was just another week, which consists mainly of the usual yelling and screaming, and people threatening to sue me, or kill me, or both, and then one thing leads to another, and shots are fired, oops, I mean "alleged" shots were fired, it all ends up pretty ugly. But that is just the local news. On the national scene, the Fed created another $2.8 billion in Fed Credit, bought up (monetized) another $1.9 billion in government debt, and thus committed yet another huge fraud on the American people (and when the revolution comes, somebody is going to answer to the Mogambo for that!) The Treasury printed up $1.8 billion in actual currency, and foreigner central banks gobbled up another $1.7 billion in US debt and stashed it at the Fed.

Thus it goes on and on, and there seems to me that there is some quote, from somebody famous, about how the same economic sins are committed time after time after time, as each little dirtbag country elects the same kind of dirtbag politicians, who get their countries into one stupid dirtbag bankrupting mess after another, with the same aftermath, which is, if you go to the window and look out, what we are seeing right now.

Perhaps I am thinking about Jim Puplava, of FinancialSense.com, who writes "History often repeats itself. Famine and depression have followed booms and bull markets. What I'm saying here is nothing new to anyone who has ever picked up a history book and studied civilization. Mankind hasn't changed much in thousands of years of recorded history. From events recorded in the bible and hieroglyphics on the walls of the pyramids to the writings of the ancients, human drive, ambition, emotion, fear, greed, evil, avarice, and benevolence are evident for all to see. In the words of wise King Solomon, 'What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun.' "

"As the chart of the markets over the last 100 years illustrates, bull markets are constantly trading places. They rotate over time from intangible assets (paper) to tangible assets (things). Behind these alternating bull markets has been the inflationary policies of central banks. Periods of loose money and credit give birth to paper asset booms during their initial stages only to be followed by their inflationary consequences when money rotates out of paper and into things to protect purchasing power. It should be clear to investors at this point that what worked during one twenty-year period did not work in the next twenty-year cycle."

Well, taking a look at these graphs, he notes that "The graphs of energy stocks, the CRB index, and gold and silver attest to this fact. 'The Next Big Thing' is taking shape. It is reflected not only in the charts of the commodity indexes, but also in the charts of individual resource stocks."

I think his point is that equities are crap, bonds are crap, and that the only things that will NOT be crap for the next cycle are commodities. And there is no more portable commodity than gold and silver. Like I say, I THINK that this what he is trying to say, but when I call him up to ask him, all he wants to talk about is when I am going to pay back the money I owe him and when am I going to bring his barbeque grill back and blah blah blah until I just hang up.

As proof of what he and I are saying, the headlines are blaring out "Gold at 16-year high!" Meanwhile, the clueless stock touts are all over the TV wanting you to buy more common stocks, especially the ones that they recommend. And the part that makes me shake my head in total disbelief is that none of them are recommending the one investment that is at a 16-year high! Listening to them and their overpriced advice, you already missed the entire rise in gold to the current 16-year high! And not only that, but the recommendations that they DID make have stunk like my big old Mogambo stinky feet (BOMSF)! And now that they have completely missed that train to glory, and gotten you a coach-class ticket on the train that is stuck at the station, they think that you are so stupid that you will trust their advice again? Hahaha!

- Sean Corrigan is one of the brighter lights in the economics firmament, and whose business card says Investment Strategist at Sage Capital Zuerich AG, which is how the Swiss apparently spell Zurich. And since we are talking about it, I don't know how the Swiss got such a great reputation, since they can't even correctly spell the name of their own damn country, for crying out loud. But he has an essay posted at Mises.com entitled "Another Sibling in The Flation Family." In it, he talks about how John Maynard Keynes came up with a way to deliberately debauch the currency so that the money illusion would work its magic in disguising governmental and Federal Reserve incompetence. Well, he did not say that exactly, as I am putting words in his mouth that more accurately reflect the opinions of me, The Mogambo. But please notice that I am, out of respect, not putting my real words and feelings into his mouth, because if I had, he would be standing on the roof of his apartment building, laying down a withering suppressive fire from a machine gun, and screaming at the top of his lungs, "The corrupt little bastards that are mismanaging the Federal Reserve system, the monetary policy of the United States and, by extension, the whole freaking world, are out to kill all of us with their dizzyingly incompetent malfeasance!"

And what this incompetent malfeasance consists of, and you may want to write this down, is creating more money and credit, to let more people borrow and go deeper into debt, which is monetary inflation, which leads to price inflation, which leads to me screaming at the damn teenage dork behind the checkout counter "What? You want HOW much money? Do I look so stupid that you don't think I know what the price of this was last week, or last month, or last year, or anytime in my whole freaking life? Do you, punk?" And then I have to explain this whole inflation thing to the manager, and then explain it to the police, and then explain it to my lawyer, and then explain it to the judge, and it's all a big damn hassle. Which leads me to conclude that there is more to the downside of inflation than mere rising prices, as you might well imagine!

About Keynes he says "Thus, though his own prose can be turgid and his chains of false reasoning tortuous, the message was eventually made clear enough to all: monetary inflation can price people back into work so long as they are under the illusion that they are not suffering a real cut in their wages. With this shallow piece of knavery did Keynes consolidate his overblown reputation and, at the same time, prise open wider the Pandora's Box of Boom and Bust, of the rise of the Money Trust, of the unceasing encroachment of Big Government into our lives, and of the eventual extinguishing our freedoms, amid the decay of our morals and the erosion of our prosperity."

In short, just what I have been saying the whole time. Only he does it with class, wit, erudition, intelligence, style and grace, while I take the easy, fun way out by screaming obscenities at high volume.

Then he goes into how the horrors of price inflation obediently follow in the footsteps of monetary inflation, and concludes that stagflation -- a stagnant economy with inflation -- is "a fairly horrid experience," which is, according to things that I have read about stagflation, somewhat of an understatement.

In short, we are screwed. And so today it is with some hilarity that I read Alan Murray's "Political Capital" column in Tuesday's Wall Tuesday's Street Journal, entitled "President's Agenda Will Require Flexing Of Political Muscle." He is writing about how during his first term Bush cut taxes and spent like crazy, and rang up a monstrous new entitlement (prescription drug benefit for seniors). Now Mr. Murray reports that Mr. Bush "rejects the free-lunch approach." The Mogambo says, "Hahahaha That'll be the day!" Then, Bush says, "There are going to be costs." And again the Mogambo says, "Hahahaha That'll be the day!"

And what are these "costs" that Bush says are "going" to "be"? Well, to reform Social Security will entail, and you are going to love this because it is EXACTLY what I have been saying all this time, "Real Social Security overhauls have to include gradual increases in the retirement age and a reduction in cost-of-living adjustments." This is the very definition of inflation! You are going to get less money in retirement because your retirement has been shortened! And on top of that, when you actually DO get to retire, you are going to have less buying power, because prices will go up more than the increase in your Social Security check. Hahaha! Sucker! And not only this year, but every year until you die, and then you hopefully won't care anymore.

And it is funny that he would bring up Keynes, because I admit that I had never read much of Keynes' book "The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money," although I have read about it, and heard a lot of critiques of it, and have been dismissive of it all my life. But over the weekend I was in a bookstore, and was poking around the store trying to find the Adult Section, and it turns out that they don't even HAVE an Adult Section, and I am raising hell with the management about this blatant censorship and what a bunch of prudes they are. To prove my point, I reach out and grab a copy of this very book of Keynes that happened to be sitting there, and I am screeching "I can't get this month's copy of "Hot Naked Babes", while at the same time you have THIS piece of obscene garbage sitting out in the open where innocent children can see it? Where, oh where, is your consistency, sir?"

And then the manager asks, "Well, sir, have you ever read that book?" and I had to admit that I had not, but sort of, some of it, a long time ago, but I have heard about it, and probably should have read it, but the little bit that I have read told me that it was a real drag. But, always ready for a lark, I buy it.

Well, I bring the book home, and I immediately see why Sean Corrigan says that Keynes' "prose can be turgid and his chains of false reasoning tortuous." I could not read more than a few pages at a time, because all I can think about as I am reading this is "This stupidity was accepted at face value by American economists? My God! How stupid WERE we? And ARE we?" I will not bore you with the details, but every page is filled with merely ripping off standard, classical, Austrian economics, reiterating what others have already said, and then using that as a springboard, makes a mockery of himself. For example, I offer this as a good example of his level of comprehension of economics: he writes "But, given that the rate of interest is never negative" (page 168), which is, of course, stupid, because the REAL rate of interest is the nominal rate of interest LESS the inflation rate. And since nominal interest rates are less than the inflation rate today, which I indicate by jumping up and down and screaming, "Right freaking now! Look around you!" this is proof positive that interest rates ARE negative, regardless of what this moron thinks! And just because he chooses to look only at nominal interest rates does not mean that you can make some dumb-ass theory about it!

And it gets worse. As anyone who knows me can readily attest, my big worry in life is inflation, and if you had taken the time to read the horrors of inflation through the ages, YOU would ALSO be a big worrier about inflation. So I go to the index of this Keynes book to see what HE has to say about inflation. Guess what? He is not very interested at all. There are only six, count 'em six, references to inflation, and even when you go there, there is nothing much there at all. To Keynes, inflation was of zero importance.

What he IS interested in is his own precious theory of Liquidity Preference, and there is lots and lots and lots of space devoted to Liquidity Preference, according to the Index. And what is Liquidity Preference? Pretty much just the old Austrian School idea of time preference (spend now, or spend in the future?). But Keynes gets it all dressed up in new rags, and he trots it out with the new title, Marginal Propensity to Consume, along with its twin, Marginal Propensity to Save. Big deal. Yawn.

But being able to use selected bits and pieces of the universe yields interesting stuff, one of which, picking one at random, he calls the "investment multiplier" (p 115) which is signified by the letter "k." This is all wrapped up with the marginal propensity to consume by algebraic manipulation, and he says this shows that when there is "an increment of aggregate investment" (i.e. investment goes up), it has the marvelous property that "income will increase by an amount which is k times the increment of investment"! Hahahaha! Profits are guaranteed! Keynes is proving that you will make money every time you invest money! Now you see why I heap such disdain on this Keynes moron!

And the weird part is that the whole book is full of this crap.

- The Presidential election is all over, The Mogambo did not win, and my legal challenge went nowhere. So, the bottom line is that I spent all those hours and hours, all those days after days, filling out absentee ballots until my hand was cramped and numb, all for nothing. But toward the end, I was running out of names to forge on the ballots, so I had Alan Greenspan vote for me twice, figuring that either 1) I will be elected President and then I would fire him and disband the entire Federal Reserve System and thus save America, making me go down in history as the Mogambo Savior Of America (MSOA), or 2) he would end up being thrown in jail for election fraud, and then he wouldn't be chairman of the Fed anymore. So either way we all win!

Alas, and you can tell by the way I use that word that I have some bad news, the result was something else entirely, and it was due to the Mogambo Unknown Alternate Option (MUAO) which is my new theory that I hope will snag that elusive Nobel Prize, because to tell you the truth, I could really use the million dollar prize money that accompanies the award. In this case, the MUAO was that neither option 1 nor 2 came to pass, and Bush was re-elected, and now the election people are coming after ME! Committing election fraud is somehow okay if you are a Republican or a Democrat, but let The Mogambo try and work a little of that electoral magic, and suddenly they want to make a federal case out of it! It's not fair!

And the reason that we could all use a few extra bucks is that our incomes, which you will notice have not actually gone down in raw dollars and cents, have nevertheless NOT kept pace with the rise in prices for the last five freaking years in a row! Our incomes all went down in terms of buying power, and so we can only afford to buy less and less stuff! And if you want a Mogambo News Flash (MNF), I will tell you that as gloomy as this sounds, our incomes will not keep pace with prices for the next umpteen years in a row, either! How do you like THEM apples?

As predicted, I see a number of hands shoot into the air, as the news media reporters all have a question, although I keep telling them that they should raise their hands if they have a question, and NOT just raise their middle fingers, which could be misinterpreted as a rude gesture. I call on the prettiest female in the audience, who says "No, I'm sorry Mogambo, but I don't have a question. I was just giving you the finger."

Then we go to the SECOND prettiest girl in the room, who says "Oops! Me too!" After methodically going through everybody in the room, I exclaim in my exasperation "Doesn't ANYBODY here have a real question?" Finally, this little guy stands up in the back of the room, and says "Yes, I have a question, Mogambo! I have a three-part question. The first part is; are you aware that nobody pays any attention to you, and the second part of my question is, why don't you just shut the hell up? The third part of my question is, does this have anything to do with the falling of the dollar?"

My answer to the first part is yes, to the second part is because I don't want to and you are not heavily armed enough to make me, and the third part is another yes.

In fact, the dollar has fallen to new lows against other currencies, as the laughably incompetent buttheads at the horrid Federal Reserve with their stupid little economic theories that are always wrong keep creating more and more credit and money to try and keep this malignant economy from imploding on itself.

All that new money immediately devalues all the rest of the money. Devalued money thus has less buying power. Which means that things will cost more. Which means you can buy less stuff. This is stuff you want to buy, things you could have bought, and things you would have bought, if your income had gone up, in dollars and cents, to offset the decline in buying power of each dollar. Which it didn't.

And when considering the fact that a lot of what we buy are imports (i.e. oil), then a falling dollar means that either 1) imports will cost more in dollars and cents, or 2) foreigners will make less profits, because when they exchange those dollars that they receive from us back into their local currency, they will end up with less foreign currency in their grubby little foreign hands. And then they have to go home and fight the rush-hour traffic, and by the time they get home they have a splitting headache and all they want to do is have a nice, quiet dinner, sit in front of the TV and watch something to keep our minds off their troubles, which is, in case you forgot, that they are not making as much in profits. But noOOooo! They are hardly inside the front door when the wife wants to know why they are not making as much money as before, and don't hand me that crap about the exchange-rate, because all you have to do is raise prices! And then they think to themselves "Hey! The old shrew is right! I could raise prices!"

And that is not the end of our trouble! Oh, no! Now I have to re-write that entire sentence to read "And when considering the fact that a lot of what we buy are imports (i.e. oil), then a falling dollar means that either 1) imports will cost more in dollars and cents, or 2) there is no 2."

And now you ask me what is so bad about a falling dollar? The answer is simplicity itself: things cost more, and you don't have more money to pay the higher prices, which means that you buy less and less stuff every month, and pretty soon you run out of things to cut off the shopping list that SHE wants to buy, and pretty soon you are whittling away at the things YOU want to buy that are on that shopping list. Damn!

And what's more, foreigners would have to be real morons to buy our debt, seeing as how they are guaranteed to get back less purchasing power than they paid for the debt! And you can say what you want about foreigners, such as how they speak with these weird foreign languages that don't seem to make sense and they eat strange food that you wouldn't give to a dog, but you just can't rely on them to be stupid, no matter how much it would benefit us Americans. Plenty of them ARE stupid, of course, just as there are plenty of AMERICANS that are really stupid. You just can't RELY on them to be stupid and to keep being stupid.

And this brings us to the Big Important News That Makes The Mogambo Very Nervous (BINTMTMVN), and when the Mogambo is nervous you should know to wear something bulletproof when you come snooping around here. The news is that China is saying with some increasing frequency that it plans to "create a more flexible exchange-rate mechanism.'' This means that they will soon no longer support the dollar at the current peg to the Chinese yuan. This is in response to the idiots here in America and the International Monetary Fund, and lots of other idiots in lots of other places, namely the universities which are chock-a-block full of economic dimwits and poseurs that love to flash their PhD's in economics in my face, as if that alone can justify the stupidities that come out of their mealy mouths, all of whom, for reasons that are not really clear, think that altering the current the peg between the yuan and the dollar is a good thing (GT). It is not. It is a Bad Thing (BT) as you will soon see.

And you don't have to listen to that idiot Mogambo, and if you DO listen to that idiot Mogambo then you must have something seriously wrong with you. You can instead listen to Randall Forsyth, who writes this week's "Up & Down Wall Street" column for Barron's this week. Commenting on this exact same thing, he notes "It should be remembered that most of the major market breaks have begun in the currency market, most recently in 1987." And if you take the time to go and look at charts of the market averages, you will notice that in 1987 it was very, very ugly, and when lines go sweeping down like that they make my heart go boompa loompa loomp. And while you are there looking at this chart, take the time to look around, and notice that we are now near the top of a big, big rise in the market averages, and there is about to be a change in the currency market. A big, ugly change. A change that will not be to our advantage from the perspective that it will make things cost more. A lot more. It makes you think. And that makes you nervous. And that makes you glance nervously at the AK-47 leaning against the wall, and how far away it looks, and how you would feel just a little more secure if you had it in your lap.

The idea that this is NOT a bad thing, but is instead a good thing (GT), in case you are not all that up-to-speed on idiotic economic theories, is that a dollar that is more worthless will make our exports cheaper. Foreigners will say "You mean I can buy a copy of "Hot Naked Babes" for a few of these worthless green scraps of paper you call 'dollars' which I can pick up by the basketful for peanuts? What a deal!"

Now this cute little theory may be nice for some dinky little country whose entire economy is less than what we Americans spend on waxed paper per year. But we are a third of global GDP, and the cute little theory does not work anymore. The whole rest of the world is not big enough to buy even a tiny fraction of what we would need to export to get things into balance. For one thing, all those foreigners live in tiny little houses and they do not have nearly enough closet space to buy that many American products!

- If you want to see who the real morons are in this world today, take a look at who is buying long-term bonds, as these investment geniuses are locking in abnormally low, low rates for a long, long time to come. And if you want to see the most stupid of the stupid, I quote from a column entitled "Aptly Named" in the 11/6 issue of the Economist magazine, which concerns junk bonds. They write "There are, possibly, worse investments but, Nigerian scams aside, it is hard to think of a surer way to lose money than buying lowly-rated bonds issued by American companies at their present niggardly yields." They even quote Warren Buffett, who "dismissed the junk-bond market as weeds priced as flowers." Hahahaha! That Warren! What a card!

They even provide a few interesting factoids about the junk bond market. "Over the long term, a bit more than 13% of issuers (of junk bonds) rated B- will default within a year; for those with a CCC rating, the figure is just over 30%. Within five years, the numbers rise to 39% and 53% respectively." My Mogambo eyes (MME) popped out at that! I had no idea that the default rates were that high! So let me get this straight; people are spending perfectly good money to buy junk bonds paying, let me check those yields again, diddly-squat, and expecting that piddly diddly-squat yield to make up for default rates that are ten times higher than the yield? Hahahaha!

So yield-hungry dullards are going to lose ten times as much in capital losses on the bonds that default as they make in yield on the bonds that don't default? And yet they are bidding them up until they are paying less than 3% over the yield of risk-free Treasuries, which are themselves paying diddly-squat? Hahaha! Leading the world in stupidity!

- George Ure of UrbanSurvival.com keeps abreast of a guy named G. Lammert, who uses fractals to predict market movements, which is about as good as any, I suppose. Well, recently this guy shows that he has the guts to say some brazen things. He says "barring hyperinflation," we are seeing price rises that "will be the high for the world equities for the next 2 decades." Sounds about right to me!

- "The Candy Economy" is an entertaining essay by Jeffrey Tucker at the LewRockwell.com site. He writes "Dale Steinreich once wrote that Halloween has a 'socialist tenor' because 'menacing figures arrive at your door uninvited, demand your property, and threaten to perform an unspecified 'trick' if you don't fork over. That's the way the government works in a nutshell.' " Hahaha!

But this witticism aside, the essay itself concerned the aftermath of Trick Or Treating by a group of children of the author's acquaintance, who sat around a table with their hoards of candy accumulated during an evening of Trick or Treating, and proceeded to trade them with each other, each trying to maximize his or her satisfaction. I will not go into the whole thing, because it is very instructive and very well written, and it has a lot a neat stuff about what money is, and how the kids were demonstrating some perfect examples of Austrian economics and inflation, and I suggest you go and read the essay.

And when you read it, reflect that there is no central bank creating candy out of thin air, and there are no foreigners willing to accept capital losses so that American kids can get all the candy they want.

- As a perfect example of what is wrong with America, I turn your attention to the Economic Viewpoint in the 11/904 issue of Business Week , where we are treated to a laughable essay by a guy named Robert J. Barro, who is "a professor of economics at Harvard University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution." He starts right of with the incredible statement "The Bush Administration's economic policies are a mixed bag of sound tax and monetary policies" which immediately makes me gag in disbelief that somebody with a reputation to protect would actually say such a thing, and then finishes the sentence off with the notion that these "sound" policies are "offset by poor spending discipline and inconsistency on free trade."

He does not grace us with how the laudable tax policies are divorced from poor spending policies, although he is apparently sure that one is good and the other is bad, and that they have nothing to do with each other, or the colossal level of debt that is thus incurred, which he doesn't feel inclined to mention for some reason. But I would not be the Mogambo if I let this guy get away with saying something as preposterous as suggesting that the Bush Administration has a sound monetary policy, because it is anything BUT sound, which is assuming that the government can even HAVE a monetary policy, which is usually regarded as the province of the Federal Reserve, although if you consider issuing government debt by the literal ton to be a type of monetary policy, then okay with me.

But just as I cut him some slack on this monetary policy thing, he figures he is safe, and that he can say something like how wages are wonderful and robust, and he figures that the price deflator is only 1.9%! Hahaha! 1.9%! Inflation is 1.9%? Hahahaha!

- "$80 Oil, Here We Come!" is an essay by Bill Powers, who is editor of the Canadian Energy Viewpoint. He writes "the price of oil will not significantly pull back from today's levels and is likely to reach the $80 mark within the next 24 months." He notes that oil is getting harder and harder to get out of the ground, and that they are using massive amounts of water injection to extract the oil. Specifically, he writes "High water cuts at Ghawar (7 million barrels of water a day according to Simmons) are a clear indication that the world's largest field is about to head into a steep and irreversible decline."

- Chet Currier, Bloomberg columnist, has penned an interesting column entitled "Grantham, Gross Gloomy Over Troubles and Bubbles," which is, I think you will agree with me, a nice bit of alliteration and rhyme. He is referring to Jeremy Grantham, who is chairman of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co., and Bill Gross, who is THAT Bill Gross.

Mr. Currier notes that "Gross's views are so glum he himself speaks of them as 'the economics of despair' " and that Grantham says "the history of investment 'bubbles'' argues for a drop of about 35 percent in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, on top of the 40 percent slide already endured in 2000-02."

He also quotes Mr. Gross as saying "Asia has hollowed out our manufacturing base and is now making inroads into services" which is, of course, old, news, but also that he figures "We can't really educate or innovate our way out of this.''

But he doesn't ask us to merely consider his opinion. He has also looked at the history of bubbles, and has discovered that our current equity bubble is the actually the 28th bubble that he found while looking at currency, commodity and stock markets. "All the other 27 bubbles broke and went back to the pre-existing trend.'' To get the current bubble back to trend, the S&P500 would have to fall to, and I assume these are rough numbers, 720, as compared with the current level above 1100.

- Michael Levy as revealed, in an essay that he penned for MBL and Associates entitled "A Shot in the Dark" that "Over a period of time the Bureau of Labor Statistics has gradually narrowed its definition of unemployment to a point where only those who have actively looked for a job in the past four weeks are considered to be unemployed. If the labor force participation rate were the same as it was in early 2000, the current unemployment rate would be a far higher 7.5 percent." This is just another example of government trying to cover its butt with lies. And there are lots of other people who say that the real level of unemployment, as computed the way it has historically been computed, is actually over 10%.

- Of course, nothing matches the exuberance of total ignorance better than the DJ Transportation Average, which sells at a level of $3,572 and has, instead of earnings, losses of $10.94! As a result, the reported Price/Earnings ratio of the Transports is, and I quote, "nil." Nil? As in zero? Hell, if the same stocks had even one lousy dollar of earnings, the P/E ratio would be 3,572! Hahahaha! A P/E of 3,572! And yet people are buying these stocks every damn day of the wee, which accounts for the P/E of 3,572! Hahahahaha!

- Silver, which for the last few years I have been pounding the table is a screaming buy, and now the table is all wobbly and has been seemingly pounded, is up 49% in the last twelve months. Not too shabby! But the time is coming, and soon, when even this stellar gain will seem paltry.

- If you have emailed me within the last several days, my computer was down due to a slider worm. It was not a total loss, since I learned that you cannot kill a computer worm by smashing your computer with the butt of a rifle. So it was an educational experience. An expensive educational experience.


*** The Mogambo Sez: Things are proceeding as they always do. Destination: Hell.

November 10, 2004
Richard Daughty

The Daily Reckoning

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.

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