Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Implementation, implementation and implementation

Many are pushing for satisfying the pro-markets with lower taxes, or the pro-government with deficit spending and both directions could create an abysmal fiscal hole. Very few are concerned or much less busy with the more mundane but more vital issues of implementation, implementation and implementation. If lower taxes or government spending do not generate the right kind of sustainable demand or the right kinds of projects in sustainable sectors, in a fiscally cost effective way, inaction will always be the better option.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The AAA-bomb

There are those who feel that the current crisis is a direct result of economic imbalances and they most certainly have very good arguments.

But then there are also some, like me, who believe that the financial sector and its regulatory system stopped the normal market mechanisms from working, among other by luring funds into the mortgage sector which financed the growth of further imbalances, so as to cause a crisis, of this magnitude.

Certainly nothing of this sort would have happened without the economic imbalances that provided the enriched uranium, but it was the financial sector that turned it al into an AAA-bomb.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Please, do not stimulate until you USA drop.

The US consumers shopped until they dropped and now it seems that their government is taking over with “we will stimulate until we drop”. We understand the reasoning but we can’t help feeling nervous about it.

There are seminars on “How to restore Global Financial Stability” but, in the name of the do-no-harm principle, let us not forget that the most important role for the US is to preserve the global financial stability we still have, namely the current role of their dollar in the international financial system.

Many American economists egged on by some foreign economists indicate, even in the face of the many surplus countries wanting to reactivate their own domestic demand, which leaves less resources to buy US debt, that there is absolutely no problem in sight…Let us pray they are right!

But, just in case, and especially after the unsettling recent experience with the adjustable mortgages, could we not ask the US to build up its debt with long term paper at fixed rates? I mean allowing so many to anchor their boats so close to the exit of that safe-haven the dollar currently represents seems not the wisest thing to do.

PS. Do all those who propose stimulation know for sure the whereabouts of the economy’s Gräfenberg spot or are they just boasting?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I do not like this race!

The world is witnessing an extremely dangerous race between the build up of US public debt in order to create all kind of bailouts and stimulus packages to save the world from a monstrous depression; and said debt becoming so unsustainably large that it will by itself cause the mother of all meltdowns. Many hold that the only thing that could help avoid a tragedy is the serious collaboration from all current surplus countries to reactivate their economies, expecting this would generate the counter-flows that will help to stabilize the US debt at a serviceable level.

Is running this suicidal race the world’s only option? Some very reputable persons seem to think so as they egg on ever larger stimulus packages with ever more resulting debt. To back up their arguments, they have shamelessly recruited Keynes into their camp… though I am not at all sure that a resuscitated Keynes would be on their side was he aware of the stakes.

I myself would perhaps be more agreeable to risk it if convinced that, if victorious, the revived economy expecting us was worth it, but, thinking of a revived economy that could just have more Chinese consumers buying more cars somehow does not make me overly enthusiastic.

No let us not look for our economic health where we lost it let us look for it where we want to find it… and that place is not in the land of ever growing public debt.