Week in review

Quotes of the week

“No governmental activity can negate market forces or nullify the cardinal rule of caveat emptor. Government can however, use our fears against us and promise unrealistic outcomes as a means to consolidate power and erode our liberties. Liberty comes with risk. This is a fact of life. But life without liberty is not much of a life at all.” – Ron Paul

“Government-funded organizations inherently rely on thinking in which decisions are made from the top and imposed on the lower levels. This stifles the ingenuity of the people who have firsthand experience actually doing the work and defers decision making to bureaucrats and committees.” – Briggs Armstrong

Madoff as Metaphor

by Lew Rockwell

“Most of us like to believe that we wouldn’t have been tricked by Madoff. But are you being tricked by the elites who claim that they can conjure up a trillion dollars to stabilize our economy by clicking a few buttons on a computer screen? Most people are. Certainly the press seems to have bought it. Many people were outwitted by Madoff. Many more people are today being outwitted by the government and its central bank. And it will all end in disgrace and disaster, only on a far, far grander scale.” more…

‘Question 46,’ Revisited

by William Norman Grigg

“With the police increasingly taking on the aspect of a fully-realized military occupation force, it may seem redundant for the regular military to assume a more active role in ‘homeland security.’ The fact that such efforts are not only underway, but accelerating, is highly suggestive of very bad intentions on the part of those who presume to rule us.” more…

When the World Went Bankrupt

by Butler Shaffer

“Materialistic thinking that is separated from other values dominates proposals for dealing with the current economic collapse. Politicians and media voices speak in terms of numbers, but not much else. Congress’ giving of trillions of dollars to banks is defended on the grounds that ‘it will strengthen their balance sheets.’ Of course it will, just as a mugger will have more money in his pockets after a night of robbery. But at whose cost?” more…

Economic Tsunami of 2009

by Randy

“The US is still in the early stages of a growing global economic crisis, combined with a tectonic monetary transformation, yet many American’s are merely in a daze and struck with surreal disbelief – like a group of tourists wandering the beach in Phuket, Thailand after the waters receded… This awe inspiring event has never been seen before and most are oblivious to the fact that this is just the breathtaking precursor to a disastrous outcome, so the ignorant masses stay put – trying to grasp the unreal – incognizant of the devastating consequences of their inaction…” more…

In the news…

  • Teens use fake license plates to rack up speeding camera speeding tickets for the unsuspecting.
  • Neo-natal incubator created out of car parts.
  • Santa’s helpers clog the vision of government surveillance cameras in Tempe.
  • The Wall Street Journal on Sarbanes-Oxley. Repeal it, it’s damaging innovation.
  • DHS to collect biometric data from green card holders.
  • Garage genetic-engineering on the rise.

And now the numbers

DOW Jones Industrials – 8,515.55 (-63.56/-0.74%)
Wilshire 5000 – 8,711.69 (-212.28/-2.38%)
CSI 300 (China) – 1,862.10 (-190.01/-9.26%)
BSE 500 (India) – 3,469.45 (-244.63/-6.59%)
MICEX (Russia) – 608.55 (-3.50/-0.57%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 36,864.13 (-2267.10/-5.79%)
Gold/oz – 871.10 (+33.70/4.02%)
Silver/oz – 10.715 (-0.135/-1.24%)
Copper/lb – 1.3175 (-0.009/-0.68%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 38.44 (-5.56/-12.64%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 5.9925 (+0.36/6.39%)
Corn/bu – 4.1225 (+0.315/8.27%)
Dollar/Euro – 1.406 (+0.0143/1.03%)
Yuan/Dollar – 6.8369 (-0.0031/-0.05%)
Yen/Dollar – 90.755 (+1.43/1.60%)
Dollar/Real – 0.4216 (-0.0043/-1.01%)
3 Month Treasury – -0.01 (UNCHG)
2 Year Treasury – 0.88 (+0.50/131.58%)
10 Year Treasury – 2.13 (+0.01/0.47%)
30 Year Treasury – 2.61 (+0.06/2.35%)
Fed Target Rate – 0.25 (UNCHG)
U.S. Public Debt – 10,586,589,075,929.30 (-11,879,079,141.10/-0.11%)

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, or whatever… I do much prefer the Merry Christmas. My wife and I had a quiet day. We read and watched TV mostly. Talked to our family in New Mexico. It was nice and low key.

We watched The Pianist Christmas Eve. Now that’s a good movie. What kept going through my mind was how could all of those people just let Hitler do what he did? Why didn’t the Jews fight back? I do not understand, but I suppose it’s hard to really understand without having been there, for which I am thankful I was not. Okay, no more depressing stuff. The movie was really really good. One of the best I’ve seen in a while.

Meanwhile I’ve been making my way through Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt. I could not recommend that book enough. If every American citizen would read it the level of debate in our country could be taken to a much higher level. It’s only about 200 pages and it is a pretty easy read.

And that’s it for this week. Most of the stuff in the newsletter came from Monday-Wednesday. I didn’t do much with it yesterday or today, though the numbers are from today. This is the last weekend of regular season NFL football. Can you believe it? The season will be over and then it will just be winter. On the upside the Broncos, who have been a perpetual disappointment to me this season still have a chance to win the AFC West. So even though the do not deserve a playoff berth I will be rooting for them this Sunday night. I wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Next week I will be writing from New Mexico! Have a great weekend.

  1. #1 by Lee Gonzales on Friday, December 26, 2008 - 16:04

    I read Economics In One Lesson by Henry Hazlit, man it was years ago. The book is written for the layman and Hazlit was good at telling a story about basic economic theory in a way that the ordinary guy could grasp.
    I sent a link to my e-mail list on Great Free Market Thinkers going all the way back to Adam Smith http://thenewamerican.com/history/world/554-free-market-thinkers
    I wonder if you saw it?

  2. #2 by kungfucraig on Friday, December 26, 2008 - 16:32

    I had not seen that link. It’s a nice synopsis of the Austrian school.

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