Category Archives: Uncategorized

No SLL Posting, 9/25-9/30.

Due to another business trip, I will be unable to post from 9/25 through 9/30. Posting will resume 10/1. Thanks for your support.

Robert

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She Said That? 9/24/18

From Ursula K. Le Guin (1929–2018), American novelist, A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle #1) (2004):

War as a moral metaphor is limited, limiting, and dangerous. By reducing the choices of action to “a war against” whatever-it-is, you divide the world into Me or Us (good) and Them or It (bad) and reduce the ethical complexity and moral richness of our life to Yes/No, On/Off.

Signs of the Gold Apocalypse: M and A and Fund Extinction, by Tom Luongo

Gold is probably oversold and is a good buy right now, at least for a trade. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

For bear markets to truly end investor sentiment has to get to a point where they would rather walk on broken glass than buy that asset or asset class.  We’re reaching that point in the precious metals market.

In conjunction with that we also have to see arrogance on the part of short-sellers convinced that all rallies will be sold, keeping a lid on prices.  It doesn’t matter if buyers come in at higher prices or above significant technical support levels, they will push because they become convinced this is a one-way trade.

We see this in the government bond markets as well.  In traderspeak it’s called the [Insert Head of Central Bank Here] Put.  The Greenspan Put begat the Bernanke Putwhich morphed into the Yellen Put.

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The Living Reality of Military-Economic Fascism, by Robert Higgs

An in-depth study of the military-industrial racket by Robert Higgs at mises.org:

“The business of buying weapons that takes place in the Pentagon is a corrupt business — ethically and morally corrupt from top to bottom. The process is dominated by advocacy, with few, if any, checks and balances. Most people in power like this system of doing business and do not want it changed.” – Colonel James G. Burton (1993, 232)

In countries such as the United States, whose economies are commonly, though inaccurately, described as “capitalist” or “free-market,” war and preparation for war systematically corrupt both parties to the state-private transactions by which the government obtains the bulk of its military goods and services.

On one side, business interests seek to bend the state’s decisions in their favor by corrupting official decision-makers with outright and de facto bribes. The former include cash, gifts in kind, loans, entertainment, transportation, lodging, prostitutes’ services, inside information about personal investment opportunities, overly generous speaking fees, and promises of future employment or “consulting” patronage for officials or their family members, whereas the latter include campaign contributions (sometimes legal, sometimes illegal), sponsorship of political fund-raising events, and donations to charities or other causes favored by the relevant government officials.

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Central Planning Failed in the USSR, but Central Banks Have Revived It, by Vitaliy Katsenelson

The fallacy that economies can be efficiently planned and guided by bureaucrats from above just won’t let go, even after such planning and guidance have repeatedly failed. From Vitaly Katsenelson at mises.org:

The Federal Reserve’s changing of the guard — the end of Janet Yellen’s tenure and the beginning of the Jerome Powell era — has me remembering what it was like to grow up in the former Soviet Union.

Back then, our local grocery store had two types of sugar: The cheap one was priced at 96 kopecks (Russian cents) a kilo and the expensive one at 104 kopecks. I vividly remember these prices because they didn’t change for a decade. The prices were not set by sugar supply and demand but were determined by a well-meaning bureaucrat (who may even have been an economist) a thousand miles away.

If all Russian housewives (and house-husbands) had decided to go on an apple-pie diet and started baking pies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, sugar demand would have increased but the prices still would have been 96 and 104 kopecks. As a result, we would have had a shortage of sugar — a common occurrence in the Soviet era.

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No Straight Line Logic Posting, 9/14-9/20

I’ll be on a business trip and unable to post from 9/14 to 9/20. Posting will resume 9/21. Thanks for your continued support of SLL.

Robert

He Said That? 9/13/18

From Alan Moore (born 1953), English writer known primarily for his work in comic books, V for Vendetta:

Since mankind’s dawn, a handful of oppressors have accepted the responsibility over our lives that we should have accepted for ourselves. By doing so, they took our power. By doing nothing, we gave it away. We’ve seen where their way leads, through camps and wars, towards the slaughterhouse.