Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tuesday round up.

At Forbes, James K. Glassman explains that stronger growth is the best way to fight the deficit.

From Alhambra Investments, Joe Calhoun sees the world's leaders as clueless.

On The Kudlow Report, Don Luskin relies on CPI to deny inflation, while Michael Pento relies on money supply to confirm it:

On RCM, John Tamny argues inflation – properly defined as a decline in the monetary standard – is here but hidden by government statistics.

At Forbes, Brian Domitrovic suggests stable money is the kindest method to help the poor and less educated.

Also on Kudlow, John Rutledge and David Goldman assess inflation’s impact on emerging markets:

At Gold Standard Now, Domitrovic responds to Paul Krugman’s gold standard claim.

From Commentary, James Pethokoukis critiques Ben Bernanke’s approach.

In The WSJ, EU official Mojmir Haml outlines post-crisis thinking on monetary policy, but omits a stable gold price from his analysis:
Back in 1978, the U.S. economic historian Charles Kindleberger, in his now classic book "Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises," pointed out that financial upheavals had almost always been preceded by credit and property price booms. The bad news for monetary policy, however, is that credit booms have not always led to crisis. In other words, we still lack a rule of thumb for the future.

The basic proposition about the importance of credit, asset prices and the extent of financial intermediation in the economy, is slowly establishing itself in central bankers' post-crisis thoughts—although so far only at the general intuitive level described above. As soon as we start to ask when exactly, and at what level, the rate of growth of credit aggregates or asset prices start to become risky, or how large a leverage ratio and how high a risk mark-up are sustainable, we have no clear answers.

Moreover, we are frequently asking fundamental questions that we thought we had already answered: What prices should we actually target? How should we define new price indexes? Hacking at the foundations like this is painful in any field of study. Try asking a monetary expert for a precise definition of money. Where does money start and end? The layman may be surprised to learn that the answer is not necessarily clear cut.
From Business Insider, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (TX) predicts it will take a crisis to bring about monetary reform.

In a NYT interview, White House advisor Gene Sperling confirms that the deal to maintain the Bush tax rates raised growth expectations, but omits the dollar from the discussion.

In The Washington Times, David Malpass advocates a constitutional amendment to cut the deficit.

From 1982, Jude Wanniski opposes a balanced budget amendment.

The WSJ editorializes in favor of allowing college educated immigrants to stay in the U.S.

Restrictionists claim that employers hire H-1B visa holders for "cheap labor," but companies must pay the higher of the prevailing wage or actual wage paid to "all other individuals with similar experience and qualifications for the specific employment in question." A Government Accountability Office study last month found that H-1B professionals in the same fields and age groups generally earn the same or more than their U.S. counterparts. Employers hire skilled foreign nationals based on merit, not because they can pay them less. Immigrants are also some 30% more likely than non-immigrants to start businesses.

1 comment:

  1. Don Luskin is starting to get it that there is something wrong with the Gold price signal. The explanation that he is searching for is an understanding inflation that manifests in an increase in the general price structure as measured by idex measures like the CPI or the PCE, can only operate if private credit is expanding. Where private credit is contracting there is no transmission mechanism between money supply or interest rate and price change. Demand for credit is driven by fiscal incentives not by monetary incentives. Where a credit shock has destroyed a tremendous amount of saved wealth and the reaction is to deleverage in response to that loss, then the supply side response should be to create fiscal incentives to promote capital formation and risk. That is the only driver that can produce aggregate private debt expansion net of write offs and pay offs. So, as the fed expands money supply and the fiscal context does change to create proper incentives the new money and low interst rates do not produce expanding credit formation which is what actually causes prices to rise. Instead, the new money and low interest rates merely result in increasing excess reserves right back on the Fed balance sheet...until they can be applied through carry trade in emerging markets where credit is actually expanding. The definition of inflationo should focus more on capital flow than on gold price or commodity price change. Properly understood the increasing flow of capital from financial assets into leveraged tangilbe assets is inflation. In contrast the flow of capital out of tangible assets and financial assets into money and money substitutes is deflation. Where there is no faith in money as money, where the soundness of money is questioned, the capital flow seeks money substitutes...short term sovereign bonds of the highest available rating, fungible commodities that are not perishible, gold, etc.