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Who Has the Cheapest Bullion?

by John Rubino on February 8, 2011 · 13 comments

Back in November Wired Magazine published an article (Bargain Junkies Are Beating Retailers at Their Own Game) about how technology is giving shoppers access to every store’s prices and circulating huge coupons (think GroupOn). Apparently, if you’re looking for a Blu-Ray player, chainsaw or new mattress, you pull up one of these sites and ask […]

 

One Last Look at State and Local Finances

by John Rubino on January 3, 2011 · 19 comments

The slow-motion state and local train wreck is becoming old news before it even happens. So this is our last look at the subject for a while, I promise. But two recent articles are must-reads. The first is from Manhattan Institute senior fellow Steven Malanga on the increasingly brazen tricks that states are playing on […]

 

The Politics of the Blue State Bankruptcy

by John Rubino on December 13, 2010 · 45 comments

Today’s Wall Street Journal has a short piece by American Interest editor Walter Russell Mead on how November’s election changed things for California, Illinois, and New York — and for the national parties that have to manage those states’ coming bankruptcy: Walter Russell Mead on the political consequences of massive state debts New York, California and […]

 

Fed Critics Go Mainstream

by John Rubino on December 3, 2010 · 22 comments

It’s suddenly fashionable in the mainstream media not just to criticize the Federal Reserve but to question its reason for existing. Watch Bloomberg’s clearly sympathetic take on the ascendancy of Congressman Ron Paul, whose most recent book is End the Fed: And here’s an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal editorial by Cato Institute senior […]

 

How to Short Munis

by John Rubino on November 22, 2010 · 9 comments

From Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, more on the federal government’s ongoing stealth bailout of US states: States Raise Payroll Taxes to Repay Loans Thirty one states, their unemployment-insurance funds empty, have borrowed nearly $41 billion from the federal government. California alone has borrowed nearly $8.8 billion as of mid-November, according to the Labor Department.As states […]

 

Maybe Elections Do Matter

by John Rubino on November 17, 2010 · 20 comments

It’s been easy to tune out the chatter of the past couple of elections because the outcome seemed irrelevant. Whoever wins, their hands are tied by unmanageable debt and the limited spectrum of politically-feasible policy options. In fact, since whichever party is in office when the world falls apart will get the blame, it’s tempting […]

 

Now Start Watching Interest Rates, Part 3

by John Rubino on November 12, 2010 · 18 comments

In the US, perception management is now the key to public policy. Which means the latest round of money creation and bond buying will only “work” if consumers and investors fall for what is essentially a con — the idea that fiat currency is the same thing as wealth. If they instead figure out that […]

 

This is what the early stage of a currency war looks like: Japan’s Leader Bemoans Impact of U.S. Economic Policy TOKYO—Prime Minister Naoto Kan joined the growing chorus of world leaders complaining about the side effects of American economic policy, tying the Japanese yen’s strength to Washington’s aggressive stimulus efforts—and implying that the U.S. should […]

 

The Coming Non-Linear World

by John Rubino on November 7, 2010 · 17 comments

With the election over, there’s no political rationale for the Fed printing another $600 billion. So what they’re seeing must be terrifying enough to make another round of quantitative easing seem like the least dangerous alternative. They’re  wrong, says Prudent Bear’s Doug Noland in his latest Credit Bubble Bulletin: It seems again worth highlighting a […]

 

Will Bailing Out the States Tank the Dollar?

by John Rubino on November 3, 2010 · 26 comments

Back in 2006 Meredith Whitney was an obscure Wall Street analyst who bit the hand that fed her by declaring housing a bubble and the big banks a disaster. This took guts, both because analysts who dis their research universe tend to lose access and/or their job,  and because the overwhelming consensus, from Alan Greenspan […]

 


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