Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘Financial Times’

“Radical reforms” are needed to stabilize economy.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 6, 2020

The Financial Times is no slouch organization – neither are they “left-leaning,” nor “liberal,” per se – at least not in the common, modern political sense.

They’re as “conservative” as they come.

And to read that “an irregular and precarious labour market,” combined with “monetary loosening by central banks [that] will help the asset-rich,” the loss of income by ” the young and active,” multiplied by

In short, nothing but “radical reforms” – defined as “reversing the prevailing policy direction of the last four decades” – will save individual nations’ economies, and the global economy at large.

The “laissez faire” attitude toward business, economy, and finance must be replaced by governments taking “a more active role in the economy,” including making “labour markets less insecure.”

Investing in public economic infrastructure, i.e, considering “public services as investments,” reconsidering the notion of “redistribution” of wealth, in conjunction with eliminating “the privileges of the elderly and wealthy,” and implementing “basic income and wealth taxes” will no longer be “considered eccentric.”

In short, “you must offer a social contract that benefits everyone.”

Suddenly (it seems), Bernie’s ideas aren’t so “radical,” anymore.

Suddenly (it seems), Elizabeth Warren’s ideas aren’t “way out in left field.”

Suddenly (it seems), Andrew Yang’s “Freedom Dividend” isn’t “extremist.”

Suddenly (it seems), everything old is new again.

But, you know the saying,

“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

–– George Santayana (1863-1952), Spanish philosopher, writing in The Life of Reason: The Phases of Human Progress (1905-1906), “Vol. I, Reason in Common Sense”

The post-WWII Bretton Woods agreement, which pegged international currencies to the U.S. Dollar, which was itself based upon the “Gold Standard,” will again be in the fore of discussion, and was unilaterally abolished by then-POTUS Richard Nixon through a series of measures called the “Nixon Shock” which effectively destroyed the Agreement, which was created when the world’s nations assembled in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to establish a globally stabilizing economic system.

The Federal Reserve writes this about the Bretton Woods agreement:

“The international monetary system after World War II was dubbed the Bretton Woods system after the meeting of forty-four countries in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in 1944. The countries agreed to keep their currencies fixed (but adjustable in exceptional situations) to the dollar, and the dollar was fixed to gold. Since 1958, when the Bretton Woods system became operational, countries settled their international balances in dollars, and US dollars were convertible to gold at a fixed exchange rate of $35 an ounce. The United States had the responsibility of keeping the dollar price of gold fixed and had to adjust the supply of dollars to maintain confidence in future gold convertibility.”

Up until the time of the “Nixon Shock,” employees’ wages in the United States had generally kept pace with increases in GDP, or economic output. But after the “Nixon Shock” in 1971, wages have essentially flat-lined, while GDP has risen.

In response to Nixon’s unilateral decision, the ten leading developed nations in the world – Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Japan, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States – entered into an agreement monikered as the Smithsonian Agreement which was a temporary agreement negotiated in 1971 which adjusted the system of fixed exchange rates established under the Bretton Woods Agreement and created a new standard for the dollar, to which other industrialized nations then pegged their currencies to the U.S. dollar.

As Certified Financial Analyst Michael Lebowitz, wrote in 2016, “unshackling the U.S. monetary system from the discipline of a gold standard, allowed the Fed to play a leading role in replacing the Virtuous Cycle with an Un-Virtuous Cycle. Eliminating the risk of global redemption of U.S. dollars for gold also eliminated the discipline, the checks and balances, on deficit spending by the government and its citizens. As the debt accumulated, the requirement on the Federal Reserve to drive interest rates lower became mandatory to enable the economic system to service that debt. And this effectively changed the course of U.S. economic history.”

These observations, and others, are, and have been, borne out by others, as well, such as in February 14, 2019, by Bloomberg writer Noah Smith, who wrote about wage stagnation in part that, “Workers lost a lot of ground between 1973 and 1994, and didn’t make up enough of it between 1994 and 2009. Stronger worker representation within companies, as well as government health care, would help restore some of those losses.”

But perhaps the simplest explanation I’ve ever heard, or read, about the value of good, strong and effective regulation is one which I’ve said for many years, which is this:

Regulations strengthen markets the same way that regulations create competitive sports, and operate machinery. Remove regulations and games become a pointless free-for-all, while removing or changing regulations on an automobile engine (such as through changing timing), and it will self-destruct fairly quickly.

But again, it seems that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Are our memories truly that Alzheimered?

Or, do we just not give a damn?

I contend that for some, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Did they REALLY say that?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#DontDoubleMyRate: How a Passive Aggressive GOP Congress Damages Our Nation

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Twitter hashtag #DontDoubleMyRate has been trending, off and on, for the past several weeks.

Naturally, the GOP faction, led by Speaker of the House, John Boehner, claims they “appreciate” college students, and “sympathize” with their predicament – which is a crippling blow to our nation, to students, and to universities, public and private, throughout the union.

However, their inaction – more accurately described as passive aggressive behavior – their actions are neither stalwart nor honorable, for they steadfastly refuse to collaborate to do the Good and Right Thing by the people. By claiming they desire to help, and then through their inaction, they actually damage the entire nation.

That type behavior, formerly formally diagnosed by the mental health professionals as “Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder,” is a chronic, long-term condition in which a person seems to actively comply with the desires and needs of others, but actually passively resists them.

People with this disorder resent responsibility and show it through their behaviors, rather than by openly expressing their feelings. They often use procrastination, inefficiency, and forgetfulness to avoid doing what they need to do or have been requested by others to do.

Common characteristics of Passive-Aggressive personality disorder include:

  • Acting sullen
  • Avoiding responsibility by claiming forgetfulness
  • Being inefficient on purpose
  • Blaming others
  • Complaining
  • Feeling resentment
  • Having a fear of authority
  • Having unexpressed anger or hostility
  • Procrastinating
  • Resisting other people’s suggestions

A person with this disorder may appear to comply with another’s wishes and may even demonstrate enthusiasm for those wishes. However, they:

  • Perform the requested action too late to be helpful
  • Perform it in a way that is useless
  • Sabotage the action to show anger that they cannot express in words

The nut of the whole ordeal is that people who exhibit such behavior are inherently selfish, non-communicative, manipulative, and greedy.

And there you have it, Passive Aggressive Behavior.

It’s the perfect definition of the Republican Congress.

Oregon Explores Novel Way to Fund College

By DOUGLAS BELKIN Updated July 3, 2013, 12:25 a.m. ET

As lawmakers in Washington remain at loggerheads over the student-debt crisis, Oregon’s legislature is moving ahead with a plan to enable students to attend state schools with no money down. In return, under one proposal, the students would Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How much is enough? A guide to dissatisfaction & satiety.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 9, 2013

Late Southern humorist & columnist Lewis Grizzard once wrote a book entitled “Elvis is dead, and I don’t feel so good myself.” The title seems apropos, especially since economics is colloquially known as “the dismal science.” 

And then, there’s former Soviet Union premier Nikita Khrushchev who once famously said during the early stages of the Cold War in 1956, “We will bury you!

Either way, it means somebody’s gonna’ die.

Considering the implications, however, I ask these questions:

How many beds can a man sleep in at once? How many meals does he need before he is full? In how many cars can he ride at once? In how many showers can he bathe at once? How many shoes can he wear at once? In how many houses can he live at once?

How much is enough?

A pessimist’s guide to the Great Recession

Review by Ferdinando Giugliano
June 9, 2013 4:36 pm
A provocative critique of policy makers’ response to the economic crisis

When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence,
by Stephen King, Yale University Press, RRP£20/RRP$30

Academic debates over the right policy response are one of the few abundant commodities during an economic crisis. Just as in the 1930s and 1970s, the financial crisis that began in the late 2000s has divided economists into two camps. The neo-Keynesian troops have Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Did they REALLY say that?, - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

It’$ all about the money: Who want$ your$, and who lobby$ to get your taxe$?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 10, 2012

If you want to know the political news, read the business pages.

It’s all about the money.

Sure, this is a subsidy, and for those who need it – which, increasingly are many (50/311 Million, or 16% of the American population) – it is a life saver. Eventually however, it is an indirect subsidy upon private enterprise. Again, not that it is bad, per se, but that without regulation to prevent abuse of smaller businesses by large, powerful multi-national corporations and their denizen hordes of attorneys, regulations must be enacted.

Part of the greater problem is – according to the CIA World Factbook – that

“Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. Since 1996, dividends and capital gains have grown faster than wages or any other category of after-tax income. Long-term problems include inadequate investment in deteriorating infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, sizable current account and budget deficits – including significant budget shortages for state governments – energy shortages, and stagnation of wages for lower-income families.”

As Robert Reich and others observed,

Corporate profits are up. Most companies don’t even know what to do with the profits they’re already making. Not incidentally, much of those profits have come from replacing jobs with computer software or outsourcing them abroad.

“Meanwhile, the wealthy don’t create jobs, and giving them additional tax cuts won’t bring unemployment down. America’s rich are already garnering a bigger share of American income than they have in eighty years. They’re using much of it to speculate in the stock market. All this has done is drive stock prices higher.”

So it seems that the bottom-line question is, and remains: How do we correct & rectify the problem of gross income inequity?

Kraft warns on US food stamp cut plans

September 9, 2012 10:06 pm
By Alan Rappeport in Washington

Proposals to impose deep cuts on the $75bn US food stamp programme could eat into profits Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pussy Riot: Now that Putin’s in charge again, the gulags aren’t all that bad!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, August 17, 2012

People everywhere cry for freedom.

Oppression of political speech?

Or something else?

Putin asked the courts to go easy on them.

And yet, cries of ‘six more years’ was not heard after the verdict was rendered.

Either way, Putin‘s gotta’ go.

Reckon Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is turning over in his grave?

Russia: Pussy Riot and the investor

August 17, 2012 5:28 pm by Stefan Wagstyl
Pussy-Riot-members-on-trial-2012

Members of the all-girl punk rock band Pussy Riot have been recently convicted in Russian court of “hooliganism,” for performing an impromptu song in a Russian Orthodox Church which was critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On the face of it, there would appear to be little reason why foreign investors should worry much about Russia’s Pussy Riot court case.

So what if three young female punks have been jailed for two years, as they were on Friday, for hooliganism after a noisy performance in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral? After all, there are many western countries where such a provocative public display would also result in prosecution.

But that is to misunderstand Russia. In fact, the case should give even the most hard-headed international business people pause for thought.

First,  it’s a reminder – not that we need one – of the heavy-handed arbitrariness of the Russian courts. The three women could have been Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: