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Monday's Top 10 with NZ Mint: Ken Rogoff says worry; sudden outflow; Germany's gold delusion; Mary Jo White; Roubini gets optimistic; world's oldest bank wobbles; Dilbert, and more

Posted in Opinion

Here's my Top 10 links from around the Internet at 10:00 am today in association with NZ Mint.

Bernard is back tomorrow with his version.

As always, we welcome your additions in the comments below or via email to bernard.hickey@interest.co.nz.

See all previous Top 10s here.

 

1. The world is right to worry about US debt
Ken Rogoff, Harvard professor and co-author of ‘This Time Is Different’ writes persuasively in the FT that "foreigners would be right to worry a little" about US debt and how the Americans are dealing with it.

He points out rthat Americans must address some very fundamental questions and actually make some hard choices - and without active choice a 'stagnant Japan' could be the result.

The whole piece is worth a read; it's not too long.

Another huge area of disagreement surrounds the question of what services should be provided by the federal government versus the states or the private sector. There is a lot of “low-hanging fruit” here.

Productivity improvements in government services have been glacial compared with many other sectors of the economy. A visit to a primary school classroom in many US cities is the closest thing one can get to time travel. One idea that economists have been enamoured with for years is school vouchers but there is strong resistance from entrenched interests. How long will these same interests forestall online classes and computer-graded feedback, initially as a supplement for traditional education structures but eventually as a significant substitute. The fiscal implications are huge, as are the disagreements.

And of course, healthcare is the mother of all fiscal challenges, as costs rise and the population ages.

The idea that one should just ignore all these problems and apply crude Keynesian stimulus is a dangerous one. It matters a great deal how the government taxes and spends, not just how much. The US debt level is a constraint.

A growing number of empirical studies, including my own joint work with Carmen Reinhart, suggest that the US has already reached a debt level that has been associated with slower growth in advanced countries. The fact interest rates are low today does not necessarily mean the US is an exception to this rule – take one look at stagnant Japan’s rates.

2. Sudden withdrawals
More than US$114 billion exited the biggest American banks this month, the largest amount since the Septemer 11, 2001 attack, and nobody’s quite sure why. There are a number of candidates according to BusinessWeek.

Maybe its just 'noisy data', and investors feel calmer about markets after the fiscal cliff crisis passed without collapse. Or maybe its because US payroll taxes went up shrply on January 1. Or ...

Ordinary investors may be ready to move out of federally guaranteed accounts and into investments. Stocks did very well in 2012. Equity mutual funds saw their second-highest inflows on record in the first week of the year. Economists are worrying that market exuberance is getting too high, with one measure of risk aversion at a three-decade low.

“One week is just a very thin slice,” he says. Still, $114 billion is a big figure, and it’s one to keep an eye on in order to understand where the economy is headed in 2013.

3. Germany's gold delusion
German politicians, responding to some home-grown conspiacy delusions, are moving significant tonnage of their gold back home. It is as if German political elites think that they are back in the era of the gold standard. But, even back then, what mattered was the amount of gold you owned – not where it was actually stored.

But as Simon Johnson points out, gold is an anachonism and has little usefulness in today's economic system. Time has sidelined it and no-one knowedgeable really thinks it will make a comeback.

Germany’s gold is on the move. For the first time since official gold transactions became more transparent, the Bundesbank has given notice that a significant portion of its holdings will be transferred home from France and the United States. Ostensibly, this is just a matter of monetary housekeeping. But why now?

One possibility is that German policymakers believe that we are approaching an every-country-for-itself scenario – and only gold guarded by one’s own police is worth anything. But this is more than far-fetched. The world in which financial trust breaks down completely between Germany and France or Germany and the US is one in which we have much bigger problems than where a country’s gold is located. International trade would collapse, and major global companies would struggle to sell their products. Having more gold at home, rather than in the vaults of the New York Fed, would be neither here nor there in such a situation.

German politicians would thus seem to be suffering from some serious delusions about the importance of gold and the effects of shifting its location. But they are right to worry about the ECB’s policies: Providing unconditional credit to eurozone governments is unlikely to make these governments more careful. There is a real danger that so-called “fiscal dominance” will undermine monetary policy and make it much harder to control inflation.

4. Today's raw market data ...
A quick holiday update:

as at 11:10am Today
9:00 am
Friday Four
weeks ago
One
year ago
         
NZ$1 = US$ 0.8355 0.8374 0.8196 0.8422
NZ$1 = AU$ 0.8012 0.8041 0.7907 0.7742
TWI 75.25 75.43 73.55 72.39
         
Gold, US$/oz 1,660 1,671 1,658 1,726
Dow 13,868 13,813 13,084 12,669
Copper, US$/tonne 8,060 8,053 7,870 8,610
Volatility Index 12.89 12.69 22.72 23.52

5. Older but not yet retired
An item in the NY Times about people working past aged 65 has relevance for us too. It seems the terrible consequences some feared may be less than feared.

The aging of Americans born from 1946 to 1964 has not actually had as big a drag on labor-force participation rates as demographers might have guessed a few decades ago. That’s because it has become much more common for people over 65 to continue working.

The increased labor-force participation rate for the most senior Americans is partly tied to more women joining the work force over time, though men have shown large increases too. People may be working longer because they are in better health in their late 60s and expect to live longer than their counterparts a couple of decades earlier. But they may also have greater financial responsibilities today than in the past.

It’s [also] worth remembering that labor-force participation rates for people over 65 used to be much higher in the late 1940s and 1950s.

Here is the New Zealand data:

6. On the ropes
The world's oldest bank, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, is teetering in the bring of collapse. More from the BBC:

The Tuscan bank, founded in 1472, confirmed this week that the three trades - named Alexandria, Santorini and Nota Italia - would be investigated in full to "precisely assess the impact of the transactions and consequently adopt any measures needed, including a retrospective restatement of their accounting representation". Reports have suggested the trades could lead to another 720m euros of losses.

Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco on Friday told Bloomberg TV at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that the trades "that were risky, the ones that had reduced liquidity at the bank, were actually connected with other operations which had losses we were not informed of".

"The Bank of Italy is a supervisor but is not the police of the banks," he added.

7. 'She isn't intimidated easily'
President Obama announced Thursday his nomination of Mary Jo White, a former federal prosecutor turned white-collar defense lawyer, to be the next chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. More from Dealbook:

The president portrayed [the] selection as a way of preventing a financial crash like the one he inherited four years ago. “It’s not enough to change the law,” Mr. Obama said. “We also need cops on the beat to enforce the law.”

He noted that she prosecuted money launderers, mobsters and terrorists [in her previous job]. “I’d say that’s a pretty good run,” he said. “You don’t want to mess with Mary Jo. As one former S.E.C. chairman said, Mary Jo does not intimidate easily.”

8. Making the case for robots
John Key wants apprentices - but the rest of the world seems to want robots. Are we on the right track? We may be if they are apprentices with the 'right' skills. The NY Times has been looking at one side of the issue:

Also making the case was Drew Greenblatt, the widely quoted president and owner of Marlin Steel, a Baltimore manufacturer of steel products that has managed to expand and add jobs by deploying robots and other machines to increase worker productivity. “In December, we won a job from a Chicago company that for over a decade has bought from China,” he said.

“It’s a sheet-metal bracket; 160,000 sheet-metal brackets, year in, year out. They were made in China, now they’re made in Baltimore, using steel from a plant in Indiana and the robot was made in Connecticut.”

A German robotics engineer argued that automation was essential to preserve jobs and also vital to make it possible for national economies to support social programs. “Countries that have high productivity can afford to have a good social system and a good health system,” said Alexander Verl, head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering in Germany.

“You see that to some extent in Germany or in Sweden. These are countries that are highly automated but at the same time they spend money on elderly care and the health system.”

On the other side are two professors from MIT who have been signalling the dangers. They wrote a book called "Race against the machine", 'how the digital revolution is accelerating innovation, driving productivity, and irreversibly transforming employment and the economy'. Here is one of them in a TED talk:

9. Roubini gets optimistic: 'Things are less worse'
Nouriel Roubini talks about the European debt crisis, US fiscal policy and political tensions in North Africa on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland in this Bloomberg video

 

10. Today's quote
"It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but the love of money for its own sake." Margaret Thatcher

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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60 Comments

#3.  Germany's gold

#3.  Germany's gold delusion.  It's quite sensible of them to bring it home.   I agree that the idea of the gold standard is probably extinct.  But if you want to have gold for some reason - you have to have it under your total control.
In countries such as India, people keep the emergency gold close.  eg Jewellery.  Because it the world goes to hell.  Whipping around to the bank will be about 10 minutes after they stop withdrawals.  They need to have it close.
In New Zealand we have petroleum reserves.  Well apparently.  In fact what we have is some supply agreements with places like Australia.  In times of international crisis they will send us some.  Yeah right.
A strategic reserve needs to be under our total control.  So that means big storage tanks in places like Taupo, Blenheim and Gore.  Because when you really need it,  - really need it - no 'agreement' is going to help. 

"In countries such

"In countries such as India, people keep the emergency gold close.  eg Jewellery.  Because it the world goes to hell.  Whipping around to the bank will be about 10 minutes after they stop withdrawals.  They need to have it close."
Exactly K. H. Having smaller negotiable gold items as a certain amount of one's investments/security net, may be the difference between starving and/or having no medical assistance in really hard times.  The way money is currently being overprinted around our little planet, cash is surely a poor backstop.

NZ is different to india or

NZ is different to india or indeed say china. There is no WINZ in either, hence gold makes sense.  ie day to day ppl could starve, hence substantial savings, that shouldnt be happening in NZ today.
In terms of if the world goes to hell, well I suggest that needs thinking through, its a huge and outlying event IMHO.  Gold is going to be of what use? store wealth for what future? IF its that bad and that is a very extreme view, then lead is far more useful. eg if we are starving well shoot a rabbit, my grandfather used to do just that during the war.  Ammo would also be highly tradeable.  Medical assistance, well if you take Greece as an example the medical professionals are still about, just that they simply have no drugs or disposables left, fancy being operated on with a bottle of scotch to knock you out? 
Printing cash, well strictly speaking it isnt being printed, its just 1s and 0s on a spreadsheet, flick on mouse and oops gone. 
Poor backstop, only if you believe the simplistic model of printing == inflation.  The Q I would ask is where is the inflation after 4 or 5 years of printing? no where to be seen and actually its dis-inflation we see. That / this path leads to deflation and a depression where your cash is worth more every day....initially at least. Now as in 1929 after the drop that is by 1933 you should move then into gold as inflation will then be a real risk, as is issuing new notes to wipe out $s under the bed....gold avoids that nicely, of course the US govn made holding gold illegal....so only pay cash.
regards

Very interesting point about

Very interesting point about lots of printing and no inflation.  Food for thought steven. 
Gold probably not so tradable here in New Zealand as it is apparently in India.  Trying not to be survivalist, but maybe a few 200L drums of petrol in the basement might be just the thing.  As long as one doesn't check the levels with the ciggy lighter.
But seriously I wish our government was reaistic about it's petroleum arrangements if 'the world goes to hell'  --  some big tanks here might work.  International agreements which is what they have now, won't cut it.

Legally (by-law?) I think you

Legally (by-law?) I think you are limited to 100litres in the house itself ie if the garage is underneath/inside or basement. Im not sure about in a seperate shed you might be fine then.  Deisel isnt limited as far as I know 5000l is OK I think its fuel oil really. Yes we need to be able to do things like bio-deisel from tallow for instance, the last Labour Govn could have seeded that and creaed jobs, they chose to dump it, too busy with social engineering.  International agreements are pie in teh sky, as are tankers in transit unless our navy hijacks them if they turn around, which I hope they would, 
If you read keynes and zero bound trap then this (no inflation) is expected. The other part is if you dont spend to get out you risk a depression.... so thats why I say its so likely 0.8% and letting it ride strikes me as crazy.  Dr? Wheeler could go down in history as the RB to cause a melt down....
India is culturally way different it is not an apples with apples comparison.  I mean with their cast system alone............
regards
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

KH Current provisions see

KH
Current provisions see Invercargill nearly run out of fuel on a seasonal basis. Problem is there are only a couple of coastal tankers for the whole country. Guess there ain't much money in shipping fuel.

# 7 Here's an alternative

# 7 Here's an alternative veiwpoint to the Mary Jo White appointment at the SEC care of Matt Taibbi...
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/choice-of-mary-jo-wh...
And his view of Andrew Ross Sorkin and DealBook now sponsored partially by Goldman Sachs....
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/andrew-ross-sorkin-g...
 
 

#3 David, I know you like to

#3 David, I know you like to bash gold but "no-one knowedgeable really thinks it will make a comeback" is oversating your case rather dramatically. How about Jim Grant of Grant's Interest Rate Observer? Knowledgeable enough to burst your bubble me thinks.
In the histrography of currency percious metals rule, not fiat, which falls flat time and time again.
Economists apparently do not like history and buy and large do not read even economic history making them knowlegeable of percious little.

With a great deal of respect

With a great deal of respect Bruce H..there are an awful lot of disillusioned people out there ( and quite a few here) that got into Gold  boots n all , from Feb 2011 through to July 2012, didn't crack 2k and never looked like it.
I think David's comment is a fair reflection of what a lot of the marketeers are indeed saying / thinking, but that is of course not to say , they , I , David , are not wrong.
It's ok to be wrong, just another boat that sailed without you. 
Don't lose sleep over David's gold aversion, nobody ever erected a statue to a critic, save the one who coined the very phrase.

Jim Grant while I love

Jim Grant while I love watching his talks and reading his writings is a card carrying supply side'ist....he cant see that, and right now his economics mantra is obsolete (if it ever was viable).
regards

"no-one knowedgeable really

"no-one knowedgeable really thinks it will make a comeback"
EXCEPT THE CHINESE, INDIANS, RUSSIANS, TURKS AND IRANIANS.

Do correct me if im wrong but

Do correct me if im wrong but none of the above have any or a significant welfare system or OAP? or totally free healthcare system? (chinese I think have to pay for their own food)   you can survive the operation and starve to death.
regards

Yes, but their central banks

Yes, but their central banks are buying gold too. These are not silly people who don't know any better, as I felt David implied.

Here here Bruce. I'm by NO

Here here Bruce.
I'm by NO means a gold bug, I don't own any nor intend to own any, but even I thought David remark was rediculous. As it was clearly a GROSS exageration, It almost begs the question of editorial independence !!!!!!??????
Is the Interest.co.nz site changing (becoming more biased towards MSM) under its new management-owners influence?

Tend to agree that David

Tend to agree that David tends to write in a way that makes me think he is letting an element of bias colour his prose.
 
re >no-one knowedgeable really thinks it will make a comeback.
Could be regarde as an insult by any reader who is pondering whether it may make a comeback, if only briefly, as a useful investment
if it were re-written to
"I, and a number of others (link or links out to others) don't think it will make a comeback"
 
Then it might come across as a little more neutral and less close-minded.
 
And then in #8, the question arose to me as to  whether David is a National party member
 
John Key wants apprentices - but the rest of the world seems to want robots. Are we on the right track?
 
The way I interpreted the "Are we on the right track" statement is that David is,  even if only subconsciously, allowing his political bias to seep through.  This is not the first time, and I dare say not the last, where David will write in a way that makes me think he is lined up with the National view on the world.  (Rather than having his own view which is critical of all parties when they need to be criticised. And supportive of any good ideas, regardless of the party).
 
 

I think Mr Chaston is keen on

I think Mr Chaston is keen on creating a challenger to the mighty NBR website. No doubt Rodney Hide and Cactus Kate are being lined up to replace Bernard to give the site a more 'rounded' view.

NBR is an ACT

NBR is an ACT mouthpiece....IMHO, hardly the same.
regards

Irony is rather lost on you

Irony is rather lost on you isn't it? Please don't feel you have to reply to every post.

Gold is a pure speculative

Gold is a pure speculative play, there is no income, you are just looking for a bigger fool to buy off you so really its gambling.  By today's "sophisticated investments" standards its probably run its course, now the Austrians and such might well think we will see inflation really soon....the Q is where is the omney in ppls pockets to generate that.
We are too small to justify much automation and its too expensive here to boot.
If we take the right track as our economy hasnt collapsed, and since Labour were not in to spend like crazy our so our borrowing rates are <6% I must admit even as a not National supporter we could have done a lot worse.
"Own view" he shouldnt have one,  as a journalist it could deterorate into flag waving, hardly then an un-biased site.
regards
 
 
 

Gold... How about

Gold... How about Electricity...
http://www.3news.co.nz/First-look-at-Christchurchs-Chapman-Hall-castle/t...
I too have quite a few solar panels (ROI is about 10% and this with Todays Elec prices) not that I put them in considering that at all; and I am going to be adding more soon.
 

If gold is an anachonism and

If gold is an anachonism and has little usefulness you would think the Fed would be happy to clear the rubbish out of their vaults so they could use the space for something more valuable, like US Govt bond certs.

Neville C, thanks for the

Neville C, thanks for the mirth.
 

and just how except for / to

and just how except for / to gold bugs is it of worth?
regards

   Hey steven, at which point

   Hey steven, at which point does my logic break down for you?
 
1) Pretty much all the money we use nowadays is in effect created out of debt.
 
2) Interest is required to be paid on the debt money is created from.
 
3) Collectively there isn't enough money in existence to pay the interest portion on this debt.
 
4) This interest portion has to be created as new money, out of debt, with yet more interest owing. The amount of debt that exceeds the equivellent total money supply is growing at an eponential rate.
 
5) At some point this cant go on, the debt will overweilm the system, it is a ponzi scheme, a collapse is ineviatible.
 
6) At some point between now and a collapse a realisation will occur that a collapse will happen.
 
7) People will exchange their dollars for anything that best at holding its value, confidence is lost in fiat money.
 
8) Those that hold gold do ok.

Point 3, you are incorrect,

Point 3, you are incorrect, there is. 4,5,6,7 & 8 therefore don't follow.
 
 

Think of it this way;   If we

Think of it this way;
 
If we were on an island and we wanted to create a monetary system the way we have one at the moment.  
 
Lets say we borrowed into existence $100 through the issuence of a bond yelding 5% at the end of the first year we would owe to the bond owner the $100 plus $5 interest, how is it possible to pay back $105 if only $100 exists?  Answer; that $5 has to be borrowed creating an esculating amount of debt that can never be paid back that eventially overweilms the system.
 

I have heard this before, and

I have heard this before, and its an incorrect argument. It would be correct if each piece of money created could only be used once to pay the debt, but in any economy the money circulates and each piece may be used several times to pay the interest.
Thats why many many times $100 spending would be possible anually with a monetary base of just $100.
 

nic, when banks recieve

nic, when banks recieve repayments of the principle of a loan this money is extinguished from the money supply, when banks recieve money as repayments of the interest portion of the loan and they spend it back out into the economy this is not a problem however that is not what they usually do they usually reloan it out to someone.  This is where the problem is, and where the ponzischeme comes in.
http://paulgrignon.netfirms.com/MoneyasDebt/twicelentanimated.html
 

I should point out, you just

I should point out, you just jumped components in the monetary system. When talking about bank credit loans, you need to look at the deposit balances. Especially as the bank credit loaned is a deposit balance, and is repaid out of deposit balances. So the question is, is there enough deposit balance to pay the interest on bank credit loans? The answer is yes, especially with the turn over typical in most deposit accounts anually. Note a simple highlight of this fact, your deposit balance is probably nowhere near you anual salary, is it. But this is not to say that you are not being paid in full anually.
The level of bank reserves has nothing to do with this. So I don't follow your reloaning argument. Various central banks have pointed out at various times that they will mostly set the level of reserves depending on the current level of deposits in their monetary system. Sometimes, they set the level of reserves depending on other factors however.
 

When talking about bank

When talking about bank credit loans, you need to look at the deposit balances. Especially as the bank credit loaned is a deposit balance, and is repaid out of deposit balances. So the question is, is there enough deposit balance to pay the interest on bank credit loans? The answer is yes, especially with the turn over typical in most deposit accounts anually.
 
How do you account for Moody's assertion that :
 
A chart in Moody's Asia Pacific Banking Outlook 2013 report shows the loan-to-deposit ratio for New Zealand above 140%, well ahead of second placed Australia's, which is just above 120%. Of the 14 countries surveyed Hong Kong comes lowest at about 70%.

What is there to account for?

What is there to account for? All I mean in the above is that the amount of interest owed on the loans can be paid out of the deposits without additional lending being required, easily.
If we assume less than 10% interest average on the loans then we need a turn over of about 14% of the deposit balances in order to pay the interest and maintain the debt.
loan-to-deposit ratios might be some kind of indicator of stability, but liquidity doesn't constrain total lending. It might constrain the growth rate a bit at best.
 

If you are having trouble

If you are having trouble following the above, I am describing the lending model in video 3 here, (with thanks to Scarfie)
www.positivemoney.org/how-banks-create-money/banking-101-video-course/
As is described there, bank reserves and cash, have very little to do with it.
Yes, the rate of re-lending can make it more or less difficult for people to repay loans in the economy, but there is no mathematical certainty about this.
 

Nic the NZer - no, you're

Nic the NZer - no, you're wrong.
 
As are most folk who got taught finance/economics.
 
Try looking at it this way: The island was a analogy for 'the planet', a finite system.
 
Within that, you can issue 'money', and charge interest, profit, extortion, or all three. You can compount that, transact several times a second, and do it for years.
 
But the bits of the island (read planet) available for sale, were unchanged. The moment you attempt to cash-in your squillions, they buy exactly what the original single dollar did. An island's worth.
 
That's what we physics/energy folk are on about. The game has changed - and we worked out what was going to be the game-changer. (It wsn't the 'sub-prime', that merely demonstrated the limitations of the island, reflecting the difference between real scarcity and exponentially-increasing expectation, in ramping prices for existing 'bits'.
 

No, I'm not wrong, I was not

No, I'm not wrong, I was not discussing how finance comes into contact with the real economy.

That makes sense to me,

That makes sense to me, p-down.

Generally you are correct,

Generally you are correct, lots of ifs mind as the devil is in the detail. The timing and "knowing" whats going to happen or plain luck all effect whats the best thing to do.
Im struggling after 5 years thinking on it to even get all the variables together in my head...the general trend is a collapse into a Greater Depression....but how does everything fit in...whats the best asset? I know one thing, shares and property are just not it.  So maybe picking gold is not such a bad thing...Im picking something else....but go with what you are happy with.
As an aside,
There is the traditional reason for holding gold, it is a store of wealth through a financial event of significant magnitude. So going into the event it doesnt matter if gold is $500 or $2000 an ounce just as long as its roughly that when you sell it down afterwards.
What worries me is there are so many bubbles that how do you know the real worth of assets? and what it will be worth afterwards when the bubbles have all burst?
The funny thing is the gold bugs might yet turn out (partially) right but not for their reasons.  ie they believe that there will be no collapse but significant inflation which will drive up the price, thats simply wrong IMHO.
I'd reword 7 to, Ppl will try at some stage to exchange their illiquid asset for a liquid one, so the illiquid like shares and housing stand to make huge losses (say 75%).  Liquid assets are cash, short term govn bonds and yes precious metals, so going into a collapse we want something like these. Which of the three will do the best? well for me cash is the simplest and the most liquid, thats my choice in the beginning.
Whats best after the deflation is a different matter....cash then wants to be exited I suspect, so gold or some other asset of value. Being a landlord then having paid little for houses with an income stream might be the best thing.
If you think its going to be a rough depression and sort of world war 2 like in austerity and not a true collapse then that would suggest a different strategy to the "collapse". If you are talking utter collapse then rule of law has failed and society has disintegrated, is gold good for that?  I wonder other things like tools and skills maybe more so. 
regards
 

Yes, it is all very

Yes, it is all very interesting, if centeral banks do little then as you say a visious deflational cycle will likely happen, if they continue and accelerate the money creation, then inflation.
 
Either way it will be messy!  Cheers for your concidered response.
 

( if they continue and

( if they continue and accelerate the money creation) 
I think your right. 
Monetary expansion might work for a while, until it doesn't.  IMHO it's a lot like the Roman Empire reducing the amount of silver in its coins. Eventually somebody stops, thinks, and asks "what is this coin really worth?"  

There are a lot of

There are a lot of assumptions in there, but the end effect is the same.  For instance I think the Central banks are conditioned to fight inflation after 40 odd years with no real experience of fighting deflationary forces.  So I expect that yes they and even more importantly Govns are either doing too little or doing stupid things (austerity) to bring on deflation. Now at some point aka Bollard's 1%? OCR drop they will open up all the valves, but it will be to late and there will be no effect.
I think the key is to think of inflationary forces only being relevent when the $s are actually in spending ppls wallets.  All this "spending" over the last 4 years and this has not happened because ppl dont have the money.
If you take the classic Great Depression as an example we saw massive deflation and losses for about 3 or 4 years....Then things started to recover, then inflation is an issue. 
So for gold the Q is is this the right time to buy?  in the above scenario, probably not BUT human behaviour is one huge spanner in the works, no one knows just what will be the dominant factor.  eg in the Great Depression gold lost some value but did better than most other assets, will it be the same this time around? 
Now in my case Im paying down debt as that is a real liability, so Im not a creditor ie if I had say savings in the bank my actions would be different to owing the bank.
If I had cash/assets then the Q is whats best to do with it? 
each to his own.......
regards
 
 
 

#8 I'm going back to the

#8 I'm going back to the ninties and doing the robot!
Combine high level algorithms with the ability to learn and the two high flying astroroid mining start ups and maybe we'll actually get that leisure society people expected in the 1950's.

For sure Bollard/Wheeler can

For sure Bollard/Wheeler can be replaced with a robot. In fact a robot is probably capable of more thought.

Things could be made a lot

Things could be made a lot better by the three laws of robot central bankers, with applogies to Asimov.

  1. A robot CB may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. - Our current flesh and blood CB's fail this law.
  2. A robot CB must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. - And again.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws. - They are too good at this one. Just look at the fine time they are having at DEVOS on the public purse in a Swiss winter wonderland.

Prime Minister John Key is

Prime Minister John Key is right … Labour is dishonest about housing …
 
Labour accused over cheap house plan - Key - MSNZ
 
http://news.msn.co.nz/nationalnews/8600210/labour-accused-over-cheap-house-plan
 
Read the “Pavletich blast” at Cantabrians UNITE  Facebook

Update 9.30pm ...Note David Shearer does a big backdown,,,,NZ Herals article posted on CU facebook. He has much more backdowning to do...
 
Hugh Pavletich

Hugh, With respect, all

Hugh,
With respect, all politicians are liars. They have to be. Game theory and all that.
“I once saw a snake having sex with a vulture, and I thought, It’s just business as usual in Washington DC.
” - Jarod Kintz
 

Bruce H ...with respect, it

Bruce H ...with respect, it is not helpful to be completely distrustful and cynical about politicians and the political system and process.
 
In a representitive democracy such as ours, the politicians are a reflection of us.
 
As the co author of the Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey ( www.demographia.com ), be assurred, of the countries surveyed, New Zealand is currently making the most political progress on these issues.
 
It is to be hoped people ACTIVELY get in now and assist the Government in making these necessary changes a reality. And communicate with Hon Bill English as well at b.english@ministers.govt.nz .
 
The 3 December 2012 TV One Colmar Brunton Poll found 62% of all and 75% of young New Zealanders demand change to allow affordable housing to be provided (accessible via www.PerformanceUrbanPlanning.org ).
 
Hugh Pavletich
 

Thanks Hugh. I am broadly

Thanks Hugh.
I am broadly aware of your work. I think I've quoted it as a student.
I'm not sure I agree that ours is a representative democracy, who exactly does a list MP represent?
I am very pleased to hear a renound expert, yourself, saying that there is hope for affordablity in entry level home ownership due to political changes.
However I would imagine there will be a huge amount of vested interest, current home owners in an overpriced market, who will be out to serve their own best interest by derailing these changes.
Kind regards.

Brice H ... my view is that

Brice H ... my view is that there is sufficent pressure and monentum for change now.
 
The situation has become intolerable.
 
Hugh Pavletich

Renouned, eh?   That explains

Renouned, eh?
 
That explains a lot,
 
I suspect a few on the Titanic thought the situation was becoming intolerable too.
 
But repeated referring to the Plimsoll-line wasn't going to address their problem.
 
Gonna be funny to watch - all the frustrated Hugheys of the world, egged on by all the frustrated David Camerons of the world, backed by all the frustrated need-to-pay-the-mortgagers of the world, attempting to re-start the motorbike.
 
Starting at $114/barrel. Go figure.

Egypt

Another day, another football

Another day, another football match.

Nonsense. Gold is money. And

Nonsense. Gold is money. And you might ask yourself why central banks, after spending more than a decade selling down their gold reserves, have become nett buyers again. 

"....Australia has its head

"....Australia has its head stuck up its arse ....".
 http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/#Z1dh81rA0sDKCI8H.99

" By asking(

" By asking( Krugman) questions a child will understand, some non-brainwashed people will see Keynesian and Monetary stimulus for what they really are: economic stupidity."
 
 http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/01/how-to-debate-paul-krugman-ask.html#YFjywoouF7gXIom9.99

The pythons figured you

The pythons figured you non-brainwashed people out years ago.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQqq3e03EBQ
 

Which are you Nic?

Which are you Nic?

I'm the mysterious woman in

I'm the mysterious woman in Black.
 

Except such a question is

Except such a question is highly loaded and un-realistic, about par for Austrians, Indeed Ive noticed Mish appeared to deriail some years ago guess what he expected to happen didnt and has flipped as a result.  Interesting though how Austrians are claiming Keynesian policies have not worked, yet it has and the reverse (Austrian austerity) has shown to be even worse. Its like they are deeply afraid someone(s) will actually notice its working or can work and the Austrians will get put back in the closet (where such voodooists belong).
regards

Just heard a load of blather

Just heard a load of blather and BS from David Parker on Radio NZ....he was asked what would Labour do about the exchange rate...he would not answer!