How Business Owners Take Cues From Interest Rates

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-01/how-business-owners-take-cues-interest-rates

Authored by Frank Shostak via The Mises Institute,

[MD] The Mises Institute is professionally and universally clueless about money. But within that community, Frank Shostak holds the record for irrational thought. In the olden days his clarion call was “money pumping” … as if money could be pumped. Let’s see what he’s up to now.

According to the Austrian Business Cycle Theory (ABCT) the artificial lowering of interest rates by the central bank leads to a misallocation of resources because businesses undertake various capital projects that prior to the lowering of interest rates weren’t considered as viable. This misallocation of resources is commonly described as an economic boom.

[MD] According to the theory of park swings, if you push on a swing, it will oscillate. What in the world does Shostak think the business cycle is but the money changers farming operation? We here at MD know that a “real” money process does not allow any such perturbations … thus this is a non-sequitur. Now let’s watch him sequitur.

As a rule businessmen discover their error once the central bank – that was instrumental in the artificial lowering of interest rates – reverses its stance, which in turn brings to a halt capital expansion and an ensuing economic bust. From the ABCT one can infer that the artificial lowering of interest rates sets a trap for businessmen by luring them into unsustainable business activities that are only exposed once the central bank tightens its interest rate stance.

[MD] As we love to do here, we point out the nonsense that happens or is imagined to happen without a real money process in operation. What Frank writes about here “can not happen” with a real money process. INTEREST collections are in a bear hug with DEFAULTs experienced. Neither INTEREST nor DEFAULTs are a knob anyone can turn.

Critics of the ABCT maintain that there is no reason why businessmen should fall prey again and again to an artificial lowering of interest rates. Businessmen are likely to learn from experience, the critics argue, and not fall into the trap produced by an artificial lowering of interest rates. Correct expectations will undo or neutralize the whole process of the boom-bust cycle that is set in motion by the artificial lowering of interest rates. Hence, it is held, the ABCT is not a serious contender in the explanation of modern business cycle phenomena.

[MD] What Frank writes here would be true … if we had a real money process. But we don’t. We have a manipulated money process. What could be more obvious when we see them repeatedly use the term “monetary policy”. A real money process has no such capability … and never will. But the so-called “business cycle” which requires no theoretical examination … is a real tool of manipulation. And it does what it is intended to do … to put traders off balance in a “predictable way” … predictable to those turning the knobs … not to the traders suffering the manipulations.

According to a prominent critic of the ABCT, Gordon Tullock,

One would think that business people might be misled in the first couple of runs of the Rothbard cycle and not anticipate that the low interest rate will later be raised. That they would continue to be unable to figure this out, however, seems unlikely. Normally, Rothbard and other Austrians argue that entrepreneurs are well informed and make correct judgments. At the very least, one would assume that a well-informed businessperson interested in important matters concerned with the business would read Mises and Rothbard and, hence, anticipate the government action.1

[MD] Consider an inventory control analogy. If you know exactly what demand will be and have total control of supply, you can have a part arrive at the exact moment a customer comes in to buy it. But if either of those expectations cannot be expected, you must lay in “safety stock” (i.e. surplus for eventualities) to keep service percentage high. Now if someone is artificially manipulating demand or supply for their own benefit, you have two things: (1) A cheater benefiting from his behavior; and (2) A non-optimal process that must pay the cost of defending against the cheater. There’s enough of that going on in business without having it being done covertly and overtly to the money itself … especially in the name of “price stability” and “full employment”.

Even Mises himself had conceded that it is possible that some time in the future businessmen will stop responding to loose monetary policy thereby preventing the setting in motion of the boom-bust cycle.

[MD] No they won’t. In the inventory control example, the businessman statistically observed the supply and demand patterns. When they are noisy and unpredictably cyclical, he must lay in more safety stock. When they’re highly predictable, he can trim his safety stock dramatically. Let’s see what the “Mises” genius himself has to say on the subject.

In his reply to  Lachmann he wrote,

It may be that businessmen will in the future react to credit expansion in another manner than they did in the past. It may be that they will avoid using for an expansion of their operations the easy money available, because they will keep in mind the inevitable end of the boom. Some signs forebode such a change. But it is too early to make a positive statement.2

[MD] Idiot! The businessman has no choice. He must serve his customers in the face of any eventuality. Picture him going to his bank and saying he’s not going to pay his mortgage this month because of “tightening” but fear not, next month there will be “loosening” and I will make both payments then.

Do Expectations Matter?

Now, a businessman has to cater for consumers future requirements if he wants to succeed in his business.

So whenever he observes a lowering in interest rates he knows that this most likely will provide a boost to the demand for various goods and services in the months ahead. Hence, if he wants to make a profit he would have to make the necessary arrangements to meet the future demand.

[MD] What is Shostak arguing for? He hasn’t made a demand to institute a “real” money process to make this manipulation impossible.

For instance, if a builder refuses to act on the likely increase in the demand for houses because he believes that this is on account of the loose monetary policy of the central bank and cannot be sustainable, then he will be out of business very quickly. To be in the building business means that he must be in tune with the demand for housing.

[MD] Actually, he’s better to be in tune with the money changer’s farming operation. That’s the tune that is being played.

Likewise, any other businessman in a given field will have to respond to the likely changes in demand in the area of his involvement if he wants to stay in business.

If a businessman has decided to be in a given business this means that the businessman is likely to cater for changes in the demand in this particular business irrespective of the underlying causes behind changes in demand. Failing to do so will put him out of business very quickly.

[MD] But do you see these businessmen or Shostak demanding the institution of a real money process? I wonder if Shostak will demand anything to deal with this manipulation problem.

Hence, regardless of expectations once the central bank tightens its stance most businessmen will “get caught”. A tighter stance will undermine demand for goods and services and this will put pressure on various business activities that sprang up whilst the interest rate stance was loose. An economic bust emerges.

Furthermore, even if businessmen have correctly anticipated the interest rate stance of the central bank and the subsequent changes in the growth rate of money supply, because of the variable time lag from money changes to its effect on economic activity it will be impossible to establish the accurate timing of the boom-bust cycle.

[MD] Frank. Read some history! Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1802 “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered…. I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies…. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.” And even if he didn’t write it, it’s absolutely true and obvious.

Due to the time lag, prior changes in money supply could continue to dominate the economic scene for an extended period. (Given that the time lag is variable, it is not possible to ascertain when a given change in the money supply growth rate is going to start to dominate the economic scene and when the effect of past changes in money supply is going to vanish).

We can conclude that correct expectations cannot prevent boom-bust cycles once the central bank has eased its interest rate stance.

The only way to stop the menace of boom-bust cycles is for the central bank to stop the tampering with financial markets.

[MD] And the only way to get them to do that … since they’re doing it “on purpose for their farming operation”  … is to INSTITUTE A REAL MONEY PROCESS TO COMPETE WITH THEM. Asking them kindly “please don’t do that” isn’t going to work.

FT: The virtual currency boom echoes dotcom fever

The virtual currency boom echoes dotcom fever

MD: Remembering what money really is … “an in-process promise to complete a trade over time and space” … that it is only created by traders … and that for any given trading promise, it only exists for the duration of that promise … and that during that interim time, there is perpetual perfect supply/demand (i.e. zero inflation) of that money created … knowing all that, look how silly such articles like this become.

by Izabella Kaminska

In 1999, the actor Whoopi Goldberg made a bold decision. Rather than be paid for an endorsement for a dotcom start-up, she took a 10 per cent stake in the business. It seemed wise. At the time, everyone was investing in internet businesses and a rush of initial public offerings was making early investors into millionaires. I was reminded of this amid a flurry of news about the new boom in cryptocurrencies — and their celebrity backers. Ms Goldberg’s venture, Flooz, was billed as the future of money in a digital world and it hoped one day to rival the dollar.

MD: Let’s see if there is evidence that they had any clue about what money is before starting this venture. Nope!

The way it worked, however, was much less revolutionary. The service resembled a gift certificate: customers paid in dollars and received Flooz balances. These could be redeemed at participating merchants, with the hope that credits would one day circulate as money in their own right.

MD: What’s the point? How were they supposed to work without dollars kicking them off in the first place? When they replaced the dollar, what was going to create them?

The problem for Flooz was that little prevented mass replication of its model. One prominent competitor, Beenz, differed only slightly, by allowing its units to trade at fluctuating market prices.

MD: A “proper” MOE process can have no competitors. A competitor either does the exact same thing as this proper MOE process, or it isn’t competitive. And since there is no money to be made in the process (contrasted to the similar casualty insurance process where money is made on investment income), it’s not going to attract many competitors. It would be the trading commons themselves who would steward the process. We have experience with this. The internet is just such a process example … a technology commons.

Like banking syndicates before them, the ventures decided to club together for mutual benefit by accepting each other’s currencies in their networks. Even so, by 2001 both companies had failed, brought down by a lack of the one ingredient that counts most in finance: trust. Flooz was knocked by security concerns after it transpired that a Russian crime syndicate had taken advantage of its currency, while the fluctuating value of Beenz soon put users off.

MD: Fluctuating value turning users off is a good sign. Users aren’t as clueless as these entrepreneurs.

Their loss turned into PayPal’s gain, the latter succeeding precisely because it had set its aspirations much lower. Rather than replace established currencies, PayPal focused on improving the dollar’s online mobility, notably by creating a secure network that gained public support. This, it turned out, is what people really wanted.

MD: And PayPal missed the real opportunity by not following up. If they had gone ahead and implemented micro-transactions, I would be paying a tiny (what 1 cent; 5 cents?) price for reading this article. That day has to come. Supporting the likes of FT with advertising and subscriptions is just plain nonsense.

Did we learn anything from the failures of the internet boom? Apparently not. In what is looking increasingly like a new incarnation of dotcom fever, celebrities are endorsing virtual currency systems. Heiress and reality TV star Paris Hilton tweeted this week that she would be backing fundraising for LydianCoin, a digital token still at concept stage. It offers redemption against online artificial intelligence-assisted advertising campaigns.

MD: Advertising campaigns “are” artificial intelligence. We know it as propaganda. It’s annoying … and really dangerous when it reaches the minds of the stupid.

Baroness Michelle Mone, a businesswoman, announced she would be accepting bitcoin in exchange for luxury Dubai flats. What is particularly striking about this path to riches is its “growing money on trees” character.

MD: What is “particularly striking” is that someone would part with their bitcoins for one of her flats … knowing the extraordinary deflationary nature of bitcoins.

While the internet boom was dominated by IPOs, linked to a potentially profitable venture to come, this time it is “initial coin offerings” igniting investor fervour. Most ICOs do not aspire to deliver profits or returns. Indeed, from a regulatory standpoint, they cannot — most lawyers agree doing so could classify them as securities, drawing regulatory intervention which would force them into stringent listing processes.

MD: If they knew what real money was, they would know that every trader (like you and me contracting for a house or car with monthly payments) is making an ICO. What in the world is it going to take to get these brilliant idiots to recognize and understand the obvious?

That opinion was substantiated in July when the US Securities and Exchange Commission warned: “Virtual coins or tokens may be securities and subject to the federal securities laws” and that “it is relatively easy for anyone to use blockchain technology to create an ICO that looks impressive, even though it might actually be a scam.”

MD: Now isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black. The SEC is itself a scam.

So most ICOs make do by selling tokens for pre-existing virtual currencies for promises of direct redemption against online goods, services or concepts, or simply in the hope the tokens themselves will rocket in value despite offering nothing specific in return.

MD: Stupid is as stupid does. If you know that zero inflation is the right number for any money you don’t go looking for “rocketing” value. An ideal unit for money is the HUL (Hour of Unskilled Labor). We were all a HUL doing summer jobs in high-school so we can relate to them any time in our lives … and to any trade we make. The HUL itself has not changed over all time. It trades for the same size hole in the ground. With median income now at about $50,000 per year, the median person is able to trade his skilled hours for about 3.5 HULs these days.

They still think they can succeed where other parallel currency systems have failed, by bolting into pre- established blockchain-distributed currency systems such as Ethereum or bitcoin.

MD: A proper MOE process is totally transparent when it comes to the money creation/destruction parts of the process. Block-chain techniques (i.e. universally accessible ledger) would be helpful to enhance that transparency. But there would be no mining involved. New blocks would have to be created at any time at zero cost.

These already come with a network of token-owning users. But with the numbers of conventional merchants that will accept these currencies falling rather than rising, these holders need something more compelling to spend their digital wealth on. As it stands, the real economy can only be accessed by cashing out digital currency for conventional money at cryptocurrency exchanges. This comes at some expense.

MD: So far, the expense is insignificant … because of the enormous “guaranteed” continual deflation of the cryptocurrency itself (their ridiculous mining process). It’s kind of like the reverse of our government run lotteries. With government lotteries, you are guaranteed to lose (except for the minuscule chance you win). With cryptocurrency, you are guaranteed to win (until everyone loses as what is essentially a Ponzi scheme … with no Ponzi … comes down).

But with regulators clamping down on how exchanges are governed, token holders who cannot or do not want to pass through know-your-customer and anti-money laundering procedures remain frozen out.

MD: What’s disconcerting is the knowledge that if we instituted a “proper” MOE process, the regulators would clamp down on it too. It would make their current counterfeiting impossible … and it would make it impossible for money changers to demand tribute. That would just not stand. Regulators and governments everywhere are a major part of our problem.

That leaves their holdings good for only three things: virtual currency speculation, which is ultimately a zero-sum game; redemption against dark-market goods or capital control circumvention. It is assumed ICOs offering real goods, services or real estate in exchange for cryptocurrencies can somehow tap into this sizeable, albeit potentially illicit and restricted, wealth pool.

MD: Real estate wants positive inflation. Money changers in real estate do not want real money (there’s no leverage in it … time value of real money is guaranteed to be perpetually 1.0000) … and for sure they don’t want money that is guaranteed deflationary.

Yet if competing unregulated economies really start gaining traction, governments will act. China’s central bank has already branded ICOs an illegal form of crowdfunding and more rulings are expected from other jurisdictions in coming weeks.

Then again, if history teaches us anything, the system’s own propensity to cultivate fraud and unnecessary complexity in the face of more secure and regulated competition may be the more likely thing to bring it down.

MD: Actually, if you crowd the money changers existing con … “they” are likely to bring it down. “Real” money crowds money changers out of existence. That will not stand. Too bad for us traders and producers in society.

When given the choice, people usually opt for security.

MD: Which of course we don’t have … if you call government taking 3/4ths of everything we make …. you can’t call that security. I call it slavery. If you call money changers taking “all” taxes we pay as tribute … leaving governments (which the money changers instituted to protect their con) to sustain themselves by counterfeiting … I call that criminal.

izabella.kaminska@ft.com Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved. You may share using our article tools. Please don’t copy articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

MD: I am openly violating this request. My comments are far more valuable than anything to be learned in this article. And the fairest way to make my comments is to intersperse them in the disinformation that these articles present.

Deviant Investor: War on Cash Backfires

War on Cash Backfires

Guest Post from Clint Siegner, Money Metals Exchange

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a surprise attack on cash in late 2016. He gave Indians a few days to convert the two largest denomination bills then circulating to bank deposits, after which point any undeposited notes would become worthless. The move was intensely controversial. Transactions completed using cash represented the vast majority of economic activity in the country.  [Editor: See note below!]

MD: When looking at individual transactions, cash represents the majority of economic activity in any country. When you’re talking about “real” money, “all” transactions are in cash. And all cash transactions are totally anonymous. This is different than saying “money creation” is anonymous. With “real” money, “all” money creation is transparent. This means anyone can see who is creating the money and under what terms and how they are performing on delivering on those terms. And they can see this is real time.

In order to sell the program Modi employed a familiar strategy. He vilified the users of cash as tax cheats and criminals. He promised the measure would punish black marketeers, boost the Indian economy, and increase tax revenues. The latter may be true – forcing transactions onto the grid is good for nosy bureaucrats trying to impose taxes and controls.

But it now appears Modi’s claims about the amount of criminal activity tied to cash and promises of economic growth were nonsense.

 

The official argument was that cash is an indispensable tool for black marketeers. The reform would catch many of these “criminals” with piles of cash they would be unwilling to declare and deposit. That argument fell apart last week when the Indian central bank reported that 99% of the outlawed bills were converted to deposits. Turns out very few “criminals” were punished.

MD: So, did they reverse the policy?

Meanwhile the Indian economy is paying the price. Growth has slowed significantly and some estimate as many as 5 million jobs have been destroyed by the demonetization of cash. More and more Indians are angry.

MD: Why would that be? What transactions that were being done in large denominations quit being done altogether?

They didn’t enjoy the upside promised by Modi. Instead, they suffered massive economic disruption and loss of privacy. Perhaps India’s experience will provide an object lesson elsewhere in the world where bankers and the political elite are waging a similar war on cash.

Clint Siegner is a Director at Money Metals Exchange, the national precious metals company named 2015 “Dealer of the Year” in the United States by an independent global ratings group. A graduate of Linfield College in Oregon, Siegner puts his experience in business management along with his passion for personal liberty, limited government, and honest money into the development of Money Metals’ brand and reach. This includes writing extensively on the bullion markets and their intersection with policy and world affairs.

Thanks to Clint Siegner, Money Metals Exchange

Note: Voltaire understood the process over two centuries ago. He said, “Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value – zero.” (Voltaire, 1694-1778)

MD: And that is correct. It’s only money when the promised delivery is in process. On delivery, the money is returned and destroyed.  And during the delivery process, the money itself never has intrinsic value. It doesn’t need it … just like 1965 when we proved that coins didn’t need silver content to be useful to traders. So what?

Unbacked debt based fiat currencies (dollars, euros, pounds and most others) that possess no intrinsic value are devalued by central bankers and governments.

MD: This is nonsense. When you know what money is, you know “all” money is “fiat” … and that is no issue at all. Governments counterfeit money. They don’t create it with a trading promise on which they intend to deliver. And counterfeit money is obviously not real money and is not tolerated at all in a proper MOE process.

And with “real” money there is no such thing as a central bank. There is no need for one. And with “real” money, the value of the money itself never changes. That is guaranteed by the process itself … a process that maintains perpetual perfect balance between supply and demand for the money itself.

With “real” money, the ideal unit of measure is the HUL (Hour of Unskilled Labor). This unit (like the ounce … and unlike the ounce of gold) has never changed over all time. It has always traded for the same size hole in the ground.

They do it because it benefits the political and financial elite and appears beneficial in the short-term. History shows the supposed benefits of devaluation are nonsense, but they keep trying…..

MD: And they couldn’t keep trying with a “proper” MOE process and “real” money. The process would exclude them from the playing field with its natural negative feedback system … i.e. mitigating defaults immediately with interest collections of like amount.

Fiat paper money and political power do not mix well. The people — not the political or financial elite — pay the price.

MD: Counterfeiting and political power are a “natural” mix. And it is correct: counterfeiting results in inflation … and that hurts responsible traders. The problem is not in the “fiat”ness of the money … it’s in the counterfeiting by the governments.

It has happened before and will happen again. Gold and silver are good alternatives to devaluations by governments and central bankers.

MD: Gold and silver are only good for a very short time when counterfeiting finally results in a reset. In the normal operation of a “real” MOE process, gold and silver play no role whatever. They are just clumsy inefficient stand-ins for real money. They can’t compete with real money except at reset time … which never occurs with a “proper” MOE process … because counterfeiting is not tolerated by a proper MOE process. With our current process (and all historical MOE processes), counterfeiting is not only tolerated, it is required. Governments need the inflation to sustain themselves and the money changers, that institute those governments for their protection, need the fictional “time value of money” to demand tribute and run their farming operation (i.e. business cycle).

Gary Christenson

The Deviant Investor

MD: Gary Christenson and the Deviant Investor need to “get a clue” … but they won’t because they’re in the gold selling business.

 

The great QE unwind is coming

MD: We here at MD know without equivocation that there is no role for a central bank to play in a “proper” MOE process (i.e. real money). So we are always interested in reading articles about what a central bank is doing or should be doing. We know in advance, both are wrong headed. Let’s see what we shall see.

Commentary: The great QE unwind is coming

By Said N. Haidar · · Updated

After ending quantitative easing in 2014, the Federal Reserve now plans to begin shrinking its balance sheet over the next several years by tapering the reinvestment of its Treasury and mortgage-backed security holdings.

MD: “Tapering” the “reinvestment”? The Fed doesn’t make investments. It has nothing to invest. It’s balance sheet is nothing but a list of broken promises from the treasury and crap taken off failed elite traders at face value … a record of counterfeiting. It has no way of removing them from its balance sheet. They only go away when the Fed goes away.

During the same period, U.S. deficits are projected to grow substantially — notwithstanding the possible enactment of any of President Donald Trump’s major proposed legislative initiatives, which would likely cause deficits to swell even further.

MD: What? US deficits? Have they made a trading promise and not delivered? Everything the USA government spends is counterfeit. All the taxes they collect goes straight to the money changers as tribute (they call it interest).

Increasing U.S. deficits will require the Treasury to ramp up bond issuance. As a greater risk premium will be required to attract new buyers to absorb both the U.S. primary deficit and the Fed’s reduction in its holdings, the U.S. yield curve is likely to steepen. Price concessions into Treasury auctions will likely increase as well.

MD: Ramp up “bond issuance”? They never repay the bonds. They just roll them over. That’s default. That’s counterfeiting. The buyer’s of those bonds claim the government must pay them tribute (interest). The buyers pay nothing for those bonds. When the bonds are rolled over, the buyers get back what they paid … nothing. In the meantime, they get tribute (interest). It comes from the taxes government steals from us. It’s just paper work. It’s a complete scam. You and I need not apply.

The European Central Bank, for its part, is increasingly expected to begin winding down its QE program in 2018. This is likely to bring steeper European yield curves, putting additional pressure on the U.S. curve to steepen further.

MD: Just how are they going to “wind down” the QE program? If they are talking about the crappy loans they bought from the scamming money changers at face value, who are they going to sell those to? The same money changers … right? For pennies on the dollar … right? Who will again claim they’re in trouble and demand a bailout … which pays them face value for something they picked up for pennies on the dollar. What’s not to love about that scam.

By communicating the end of QE in advance and increasing the rate of reduction gradually, the Fed hopes to avoid the “taper tantrum” that roiled markets from 2013 until early 2016, when U.S. equities, and global assets more generally, were subject to periodic risk-off episodes.

MD: Right. Bring those frogs up to boil slowly so they don’t jump out of the pot.

The aim of QE was to push flows into more productive investments — not just financial assets. Unfortunately, evidence for increased economic activity from QE is relatively weak.

MD: What do they know about investments … let alone productive ones? A proper MOE process leaves all that up to traders. And traders “will” deliver as promised … or they will not be allowed to create money. With a proper MOE process and real money, governments are quickly removed as the deadbeat traders they are. The interest collections they must pay are equal to the money they want to create. Net it out, they create zero money. Their counterfeiting game is over.

Yet QE did have an impact. It artificially flattened yield curves, weakened the country’s currency, allowed poorly performing companies to roll over debt and inflated asset prices.

MD: It had a huge impact. If turned losing trades into winning trades for the money changers. It’s a scam.

By depressing yields on government securities, QE encouraged yield-seeking behavior. Many analysts note that the growth of central bank balance sheets has been eerily correlated with the increased value of global risk assets and U.S. equities.

MD: See how arbitrary they view interest collections? We at MD know exactly what interest collections should be. They should always be equal to defaults experienced … at the moment they are experienced in real time.

In June, the Federal Open Market Committee raised interest rates by 25 basis points for the third consecutive quarter. The Fed did so, based on internal Phillips curve models, which predict that low levels of unemployment lead to increasing inflation. As the Fed starts to implement its balance sheet runoff, it may find it increasingly difficult to maintain its rate hiking cycle.

MD: Wet finger … place in air … ah … feels like 1/4% to me, how about you?

Balance sheet reduction is likely to commence in the fourth quarter for both U.S. Treasury holdings and mortgage-backed securities. The combined maximum rate of reduction is $10 billion a month but rising incrementally to a maximum $50 billion a month by the fourth quarter of 2018.

MD: Ok. They’re going to sell $10 billion dollars of face value junk … and what, get $1B in return … from the money changers … who just counterfeit the money for them in the first place? What an ugly joke!

While the Fed has previously tapered its purchases, and in fact ended purchases for brief periods twice, neither it nor any other major central bank that has engaged in QE has actually tried to shrink its balance sheet thereafter. What’s odd is that the Fed and other central banks have made claims about the efficacy of QE, but when the policy goes into reverse, they seem to think there won’t be any meaningful effect.

MD: Remember QE (Quantitative Easing) is a newly made up term. Debt monetization was no longer working … it was too revealing of what they were doing.

The Fed says it hopes the process will “run quietly in the background” and not amount to policy tightening. We shall see. I believe that Fed balance sheet shrinkage could have substantially greater effects on both bond markets and financial markets, generally, than conventional interest rate increases.

MD: Policy tightening? What policy? Tightening what? They will counterfeit whatever they need to to pay their employees, their suppliers, their money changers, and their dependents.

Since QE purchases ended, the Fed has continued to reinvest the coupon and principal payments of both Treasuries and MBS holdings. Starting in October, the Fed will likely reduce reinvestments of purchases of Treasuries by $6 billion a month, while reducing MBS reinvestments by $4 billion a month.

In 2018 the Fed will allow up to $180 billion of Treasuries and up to $120 billion of MBS to run off. Thereafter, it will allow up to $360 billion of Treasuries and up to $240 billion of MBS runoff.

MD: To “run off”? What does that mean? Where are they going to run off to? Is that a new word for “write off”?

This is likely to come against a backdrop of a rising U.S. deficit, which is projected to rise to more than $1 trillion by 2022 (vs. $500 billion in 2015). These projections, moreover, do not include the possible enactment of any of President Trump’s likely deficit-raising policies on fiscal spending, defense increases, infrastructure spending or tax cuts.

MD: Remember. With a proper MOE process and “real” money, there is no Fed. And money changers can’t exist with the time value of money locked at zero .. so there are no money changers. And the governments they institute can no longer be sustained with counterfeiting. Up until then, all this nonsense about deficits is just that … nonsense. It is just pushing fiction around a columnar pad. If we owe France a billion Francs, well, we’ll have to sell something to someone for a billion Francs … and being a deadbeat, it won’t be counterfeit dollars. How about the capital building?

In the Treasury market, increased supply at auctions will grow steadily throughout 2018, which will likely result in significant yield curve steepening. Rather than being used as a liquidity point for investors to buy large quantities of bonds, Treasury auctions will be more difficult to digest.

MD: This is all based on that old “improper” MOE process nonsense that perpetual supply/demand balance of the money is not needed. We’ll shoot for a 2% leak and deliver a 4% leak. Well, if you go into a restaurant and buy a steak … and then don’t pay for it, you will have hell to pay. If you pay with a credit card but don’t pay your statement, you will have hell to pay.

It is therefore likely that as net new issuance increases (accounting for the reduction in Fed purchases), we will see significant stress and concessions into Treasury auctions. This will coincide with the Congressional Budget Office forecasts of net funding needs approaching, or even exceeding, the levels that existed in 2009 and 2010.

MD: When the jig is up, the auctions will fail (at 10,000% interest). game over. Right now, they’re buying their own crap at these auctions … and creating new crap to do it.

After years of financial repression, with yields at historic lows and financial institutions on much firmer footing, and with an upturn in global synchronized growth, appetite for government securities is waning. Hence, we expect to see a steeper yield curve and wider MBS spreads.

MD: Yields are at historic lows because counterfeiting costs nothing.

More importantly we expect to see substantially more difficulty for the U.S. and European governments to issue debt at auctions and syndications. We might even see bond market vigilantes start to impose fiscal discipline on the U.S. government.

MD: Ah … “bond market vigilantes.” Ask Venezuela what they think about those guys. Here at MD where we know what “real” money is … and what Fed money is not  … we need to keep an air sickness bag close at all times.

Said N. Haidar is founder and chief investment officer of Haidar Capital Management, New York. This article represents the views of the authors. It was submitted and edited under Pensions & Investments guidelines, but is not a product of P&I’s editorial team.

Wikipedia: Nash – Ideal Money

 MD: It has been suggested that we at MD study Nash’s “ideal money” as an assignment (presumably to see it disproves our case) … by someone who won’t admit what we describe here is indisputable … or even give evidence they have even read the less than 500 words that present the principles of “real” money. As usual the assignment comes from those who resort to just handing out reading assignments … rather than reading our simple 500 words. This one is of particular interest because it claims “ideal money”. The “proper” MOE process described here at MD maintains the only “real” money imaginable … so it “has” to be as ideal as anything out there or proposed to be out there:
  • It is in perpetual free supply;
  • it maintains perpetual perfect supply demand balance of the money itself (zero inflation);
  • it imposes no restraint nor interest load on responsible traders;
  • it is fair in imposing interest loads on irresponsible traders commensurate with their propensity to default;
  • it maintains perpetual perfect transparency of the creation and destruction of the money process itself;
  • it requires no resources (reserves) at all;
  • the cost of its operation is negligable;
  • it is measured using an unvarying scale (the HUL);
  • there is not money to made in operating it (as there is in insurance … i.e. investment income)
  • and its behavior is totally objective and the results easily provable;
There is “nothing” more ideal … so this should be interesting. Nash looks like an egghead … I presume he will think like one too. Expect lots of footnotes.

Ideal money

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Forbes Nash, Jr.

Ideal money is a theoretical notion promulgated by John Nash (Nobel Laureate in Economics), to stabilize international currencies. It is a solution to the Triffin dilemma which is generally about the conflict of economic interests between the short-term domestic and long-term international objectives when a currency used in a country is also a world reserve currency in the meantime.

MD: “To stabilize international currencies”? Tilt!!! Real money is an inherently and perfectly stable process. It has the automatic negative feedback mechanism of immediately mopping up defaults with interest collections of like amount. Now, with a statement like that first thing out of the chute, we here at MD know its silly to read further. But we’ve been given the assignment. We trudge on.

“Triffin dilemma”? Conflict of economic interests? A “proper” MOE process has no sensitivities to such things at all. There is no difference between short term and long term. The time value of money is provably 1.0000. When a proper MOE process exists anywhere, there is no such thing as a world reserve currency. “All” monies either come from a proper process or they are competed out of existence in an instant. Thus all moneys exchange at a constant rate … 1.000 if denominated in HULs (Hours of Unskilled Labor). And no “real” money requires “reserves” of any kind whatever!

Contents

Introduction

How does the idea of Ideal Money appear

“Money can be recognized as a technological development comparable to the wheel and of similar antiquity. Among the more recent developments in the technology that facilitates transfers of utility (in the sense of game theory) are systems like those of EZ Pass, by means of which vehicles traversing toll bridges or toll highways can pay their toll fees without stopping for the attention of human personnel manning the toll booths. In this lecture, I present remarks about the history of monetary systems and about issues of comparative quality or merit , along with a specific proposal about how a system or systems of ‘ideal money’might be established and employed.”[1]

MD: He describes a transfer system. The real money process is insensitive to the myriad of transfer systems employed in the money’s circulation. The process itself is only interested in its media’s creation and destruction and prevention of “all” leaks. He talks of a technological development. Exotic transfer systems are not it. There is nothing technical in addition and subtraction. That’s just simple accounting. I’m going to ignore all his noise about history. I’m just going to look for his solution to all the historical failings. We here at MD already know the best … and yet untried solution.

Main value standard of ideal money

Ideal money is working in the theory similar to the gold standard, but it is generally based on a Nonpolitical Value Standard. “A possible nonpolitical basis for a value standard that could be used for money would be a good industrial consumption price index(ICPI) statistic. This statistic could be calculated from the international price of commodities such as copper, silver, tungsten, and so forth that are used in industrial activities.”[1] John Nash said in his lecture.

MD: Tilt!!!   All money is a perception held by two traders at an instant in time. One has money. The other has an object they will trade for money. In the negotiation step (1) of a trade, they decide how much money is involved. In all our illustrations our money will be measured in units of HULs (Hours of Unskilled Labor). A HUL has traded for the same size hole in the ground for all time … and is expected to do so in all future time. There is no “standard” … .political or otherwise. If the trade is made using existing money, the trade is complete  for both traders. Promise to deliver (2) and Delivery (3) happen simultaneously on-the-spot. That trade is done. It has no impact on any other trade in the entire trading environment. It is just between those two traders. While the trade “uses” money, it doesn’t “create” money.

Money is “created” when one trader promises to do the trade over time and space. And we have all done that. We have bought a house, a car, a washing machine, or a steak dinner by creating money and then returning it a little bit at a time. Our trading promise is certified, the person with the house, the car, the washing machine, or the steak gets money (which we created on the spot). We then go about working to return that money and destroy it as we promised to do. If we are responsible traders (i.e. we don’t default), we pay no interest. If we have a propensity to default, we pay interest actuarially based on that weakness.

So Nash need not make this more complicated than it has to be. We can ignore references to anything “political” for example.

Why gold can not be an ideal money

MD: Not only can gold not be “ideal” money. It can’t be money at all. Anyone holding gold is doing just that … holding gold. They’re no more holding money than someone holding a ribeye steak.

The gold does not reach the standard of ideal money, despite its merits. The main problem is because the silver and gold do not have a constant value all the time.

MD: One gold star for Nash. Real money guarantees perpetual perfect balance between supply and demand for the money itself.

“To the undiscerning minds of the mass of men a pound sterling of gold, a silver five-franc piece, or a paper dollar, represents always a definite unit.

MD: So does a pound of ribeye steak. The pound is the unit … what it is a pound of can play no role at all. We choose the HUL as the best candidate for unit. It is related to time, which is unvarying, and what can be delivered in that time … which is relatively unvarying. Who knows how big a hole an ounce of gold traded for 100 years ago? Most don’t even know what it trades for today. But everyone can put a spade in their hand and in one hour make a hole that is one HUL in size. And they can know that their hole, for all intents and purposes, is the same size hole a HUL would have produced 100 or 5,000 years ago. We don’t need to search the Dead Sea Scrolls for proof.

It has not escaped attention, however, that a given amount of money buys much less at one time than another.”[2]

MD: May have to take back Nash’s gold star. A given amount of “real” money will always trade for the same size hole in the ground … always! It may trade for a different size car or different size ribeye steak or a different number of gold ounces … but that’s because of the supply/demand relation of those things themselves. The supply/demand for the money itself is perpetually perfect and plays no role whatever in the pricing.

in other words, people are used to measuring the value of goods by money, but due to some reasons the value of money itself changes, which causes the value of silver or gold changes. We can’t tell the constant value of the metal, and the fixed mind-sets can not easily be changed.

MD: What he says is only true of an “improper” MOE process like that run by the Fed and every other central bank which ever existed. if everyone does the same thing wrong, that is only one thing being done wrong. People thinking in HULs will never have this problem. Thinking in dollars, a HUL was $1.50 when I was one. It is about $8.00 for those who are HULs today. In both cases, it trades for the same size hole in the ground.

Related factors mentioned in Nash’s lecture

Welfare Economics

“A related topic is that of the considerations to be given by society and the national state to ‘social equity’ and the general ‘economic welfare’.

MD: But we at MD know that (welfare) has nothing whatever to do with money. So we should be able to skip this whole topic … but of course we can’t because we’ve been given this study assignment.

Here the key viewpoint is methodological, as we see it. How should society and the state authorities seek to improve economic welfare generally and what should be done at times of abnormal economic difficulties or ‘depression’?

MD: I don’t know and don’t care … as long as they don’t try to do it by manipulating the MOE process.

We can’t go into it all, but we feel that actions which are clearly understandable as designed for the purpose of achieving a ‘social welfare’ result are best.

MD: Best for whom? “real” money is not concerned. People can “use” it to do the things they feel are good. They can even “create” it to do so … as long as they also return and destroy as they promise to do. But they absolutely cannot “counterfeit” it to do the good things they want to do. That results in bad things for others … and a “proper” MOE process cares nothing about good or bad. It just cares about strict adherence to the process, thereby achieving the predicted and desired result … with zero outside meddling.

And in particular, programs of unemployment compensation seem to be comparatively well structured so that they can operate in proportion to the need.”[3]

MD: Unemployment compensation is no different than broken car compensation. If you can’t cover the risk through self insurance, you better be buying insurance. Regardless, that is no concern of a “proper” MOE process. Nash, this is oh so easy! Are you being paid to give these lectures?

Generally, the social welfare is what we always expect to be improved, and if there is really an ideal money, the whole economy would be influenced, including the social welfare.

MD: Why say the ideal money should do it? Why not say the ideal drug should do it. Or the ideal bullet should do it? “Social welfare” is not the business of money. Trading over time and space is the business of money.

Money, Utility, and Game Theory

MD: You gotta love it when they throw in game theory. Can string theory be far behind? How about global warming?

The concept of utility generally appears in the field of economics but it can be connected with the game theory in mathematics. In the game theory of economics, “utility” is a very important and essential factor. In the book (on game theory and economic behavior) written by the mathematician John von Neumann and the economist Oskar Morgenstern, a utility function is proved, which can be used to put the individual’s preference on the interval scale, and the utility is always preferred to be maximized. (More details can be found in Von Neumann–Morgenstern utility theorem.)

MD: And this is the exact same kind of nonsense Mises spends most of his really boring words on. When it comes to money, why traders make the trades they do is completely irrelevant. We see time and time again “buyers remorse”. It can happen in a day. Or it can happen over several years (e.g. in the case of a boat purchase … two days of glee, the day they buy it and the day they sell it … other than that, it’s just a hole in the water into which they throw money). That’s all irrelevant to the subject of money. But we have our assignment to study this nonsense!

In John Nash’s lecture about ideal money, he gave the opinion that we can through observing the changing relationship between the money and the utility transfer to see “how the ‘quality’ of a money standard can strongly affect the areas of the economy involving financing with longer-term credits.

MD: With a “proper” MOE process, quality is in the transparency and the efficacy of the process. The quality of the governor on a diesel engine is more complicated than that … its parts can break. The MOE process is either operating objectively as dictated … or it is not. Only in the former case does it have quality of any kind … and that quality is of the perfect kind.

And also, we can see that money itself is a sort of ‘utility’, using the word in another sense, comparable to supplies of water, electric energy or telecommunications.

MD: Absolute nonsense. It is never proper to think of money “supply”. A proper MOE process has media is perpetual free supply. There is always exactly as much there as is needed … no more … no less. Nash … no gold stars for you!

And then, if we think about it, money may become as comparable to the quality of some ‘public utility’like the supply of electric energy or of water.”[3] The game theory of economics is a good way to check whether the quality of a money is ideal or not.

MD: The way to check the quality of money is by observing its universal acceptance in use … and observing its trait (built in) of perpetual zero inflation of the money itself. The latter will enable and result in the former.

Keynesians

“The thinking of J. M. Keynes was actually multidimensional and consequently there are quite different varieties of persons at the present time who follow, in one way or another, some of the thinking of Keynes.

MD: “Multidimensional”? As in wishy washy? … yep … as in wishy washy.

A very famous saying of Keynes was ‘…in the long run we will all be dead…’”[3] Keynesian economics gives the opinion: in the short run, the change in economic output has a strongly relationship with the change in aggregate demand, the output is always affected by the demand.

MD: How about this from us here at MD: In the long run, inflation of real money will be zero; and in the short run inflation of real money will be zero. It’s more true than what Keynes said … some people die before the long run.

And look what they’re talking about: “aggregate demand”. Money doesn’t care about demand. It is in free supply. There is always in circulation the exact amount that is needed … or some trader is creating it as we speak.

If there is an ideal money which can be stable in a very long period, we do not really need to worry about lots of problems in the long run.

MD: Real money is perfectly stable … perpetually … as is a HUL and the size hole it trades for. It never worries about any problems … long run or short. It perpetually mitigates defaults experienced with interest collections of like amount and this is a stabilizing negative feedback loop.

Asymptotically ideal money

MD: OH PLEASE!!!!!

Main idea

Asymptotically ideal money is the currency close to but still not ideal money. In John Nash’s lecture, “Ideal Money and Asymptotically Ideal Money” focused on” the connection between fluctuation in inflation and exchange rates and the perceived long-term value of money”, he mentioned that: “‘Good money’ is money that is expected to maintain its value over time. ‘Bad money’ is expected to lose value over time, as under conditions of inflation.

MD: So money from a “proper” MOE process (i.e. real money) is “good money”. It (the process) guarantees it (the media) will hold its value in HULs over all time everywhere. It cannot be made to do otherwise without violating the process … at which point it is no longer “the process” … it is no longer “real” money.

The policy of inflation targeting, whereby central banks set monetary policy with the objective of stabilizing inflation at a particular rate, leads in the long run to what Nash called ‘asymptotically ideal money’ – currency that, while not achieving perfect stability, becomes more stable over time.”[4] That means if a currency has shown a trend to be more stable,it could become an asymptotically ideal money or even the ideal money in the future.

MD: A “proper” MOE process is subject to no such manipulation. Thus it can only produce “ideal” results. But the results are only ideal for the traders. They are far from ideal for the money changers or the governments they institute for their protection and force in applying their scam. And they are not ideal results for those in the business of finance. Their cherished and worshiped expression (1+i)^n from which they claim the time value of money … well, it always produces 1.000 … i.e. “real” money has zero time value. So those in the scam of finance need to find other work.

Euro

Currencies may become (asymptotically) ideal money

Euro

John Nash mentioned in his lecture that Euro might become an ideal money in the future, because Euro is used in a large range of places and has a good stability.

MD: We here at MD wished they talked to us when they created the Euro. We could have told them exactly how to do it to make it perfect “real” money (for traders that is). But the Euro was created by money changers to gain control over lots of countries at the same time. It is an open scam … and BREXIT is saying, we’re out … we want to run our own scam. Note, the Euro scam, like our own Constitution scam has no buy/sell agreement.

It is the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union and is the official currency of the eurozone which consists of 18 of the 28 member states of the European Union. In general, Euro has a macroeconomic stability, people in Europe owning large amounts of euros are “served by high stability and low inflation.” Moreover, in March 2014, Euro was commented as “an island of stability” by the head of the European Central Bank.[5]

MD: Every one of those individual entities in the European Union could have instituted their own “proper” MOE process. Ideally, they all would have adopted the HUL as the logical choice for unit of measure. If they had done that, all their money would be freely exchanged with a constant exchange rate … that being 1.000. Had they done that, there would have been no reason to “unionize”. And there wouldn’t be a European Central Bank; or 18 central banks; or 28 central banks. there would be “no central banks”. Just certified certifiers with transparent operations employing a “proper” MOE process. What’s not to love about the simple and the obvious?

References

 

 

External links