Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Nixon got us off the gold standard...

and things have been down hill for US buying power as we took on debt and emptied middle class assets. Maybe the problem is Nixon only did half the who can as easily cut us loose from oil?

Really, it is not so much that oil is "vaulting through a longstanding psychological barrier" as it is that the dollar has been pushed through a hole in the floor. It is the military, political and especially the financial instability of America [the latter brought on by the former, I'd suggest] that has forced these adjustments in the oil economy. Lets just hope the dollar hasn't far to fall. Or lets just get off the oil economy while we are still a scientifically able player. It would be nice if the necons who gave the dollar that shove got politically castrated to requite their damaging stupidity. There is no hint in the history of the CPI to indicate than any candidate or program can pull it back up through that hole...that would be change I'd love to believe in but this is the real world, not a Disney movie or a Crawford TX home video we are watching.

The history of the CPI and many other things I can chart and correlate have been frequenting my desk top of late. I have been trying to understand the economy by reading the news for the last two months. I find that as long as I can mute the urge to blog all the sorry story that is unfolding in bits and pieces, I have time to read more. Well, I still don't understand economics but at least I spared you from a chapter-length ramble on the topic [so far]. Why even try to make sense of the world economy? Even with the heroic legerdemain of rate cuts by the Federal reserve and dispensing a $150 billion handout from our empty treasury, the news in the business world is unusually and steadily gloomy. Things you and I depend on for jobs are going to hell. Here is the unedited paste of the first page of Google business news from Monday morning Feb. 18:

Qatar Gives Credit Suisse A Lift
Forbes - 58 minutes ago
LONDON - Credit Suisse shares got a lift on Monday following reports that the Qatar Investment Authority, a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund, had begun its $15 billion spending spree in Europe and the US with a stake in the Swiss bank.
Qatar Buys Credit Suisse Shares, Prime Minister Says (Update5) Bloomberg
Qatar buys shares in Credit Suisse: report Reuters
AHN - Times Online - BloggingStocks - RTT News
all 36 news articles » CS - PINK:CSGKF

USDA declares major beef recall from California slaughterhouse ...
Lancaster Eagle Gazette - 18 hours ago
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The US Department of Agriculture on Sunday recalled 143 million pounds of frozen beef from a California slaughterhouse, the subject of an animal-abuse investigation, that provided meat to school lunch programs.
Video: Video Spawns Largest Beef Recall in US AssociatedPress
all 1,602 news articles »

Explosion at Texas Oil Refinery Hurts 1
The Associated Press - 53 minutes ago
BIG SPRING, Texas (AP) - An explosion rocked an oil refinery Monday in a violent blast that shook buildings miles away and injured at least one person, the company said.
Witnesses: Blast rocks Texas oil refinery CNN
At least one injured in explosion at West Texas refinery KMPH Fox 26
all 321 news articles »
Investors cheer as Toshiba nears HD DVD surrender
Montreal Gazette - 14 hours ago
TOKYO (Reuters) - Investors cheered an impending end to a format war for next-generation DVDs on Monday, pushing up shares of both Toshiba, on the verge of abandoning its HD DVD discs, and Sony, the leader of the rival Blu-ray camp.
Toshiba Says It May End HD DVD
all 1,246 news articles »

UK Government Starts Northern Rock Nationalization (Update5)
Bloomberg - 1 hour ago
By Gonzalo Vina and Ben Livesey Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Gordon Brown's government will introduce legislation today to nationalize Northern Rock Plc after the Treasury rejected a private rescue for the only UK bank to suffer a run on ...
UK'S Darling says Northern Rock bill to enter parliament tomorrow ... Forbes
Rock shareholders may end up with nothing MarketWatch
BBC News - Reuters - AFP - International Business Times
all 1,351 news articles » LON:NRK

ROUND-UP Asia's top steelmakers agree 65 pct rise in iron ore prices
Forbes - 28 minutes ago
LONDON (Thomson Financial) - Asias biggest steelmakers have agreed to a 65 pct increase in iron ore prices following negotiations with Brazils Vale, the world's biggest iron ore producer, in a move likely to set the global benchmark for the raw ...
Brazil Stocks Gain, Led by Vale After It Raises Iron Ore Prices Bloomberg
Brazilian miner Vale confirms iron-ore price deal MarketWatch - International Herald Tribune - Reuters - RTT News
all 163 news articles » ASX:IOH - RTP - PINK:NISTY

Times Colonist
Oil firms as fears supply could tighten outweigh easing demand outlook
Forbes - 3 hours ago
LONDON (Thomson Financial) - Oil was firmer midday as fund buying picked up, with the market weighing up the possibility fundamentals could tighten amid fears the standoff between ExxonMobil and Venezuelan state oil company could disrupt US supply.
Video: Chavez's battle with Exxon Mobil - 18 Feb 08 AlJazeeraEnglish
Chávez Backs Off Threats to Halt Oil Exports to US New York Times
The Associated Press - Financial Post - Bloomberg -
all 707 news articles » XOM

The Credit Suisse news was followed today with a write down of a billion or so in their real estate loan portfolio. Did Sheikdoms buying up our major financial institutions sound like good news to you? Wait for the other shoe to drop when you hear good news on the economic front. I hope by understanding the whole mess, I will know who best to vote for.


Anonymous said...

I see that you have lots o learn about the gold standard. Nixon's removal of the link between gold and US currency was not the end of the gold standard - that ended in 1933 when FDR abandoned the gold standard, which meant that it
rejected the notion that its currency had to be backed up by a certain amount of gold. The gold standard is a system that is inflexible and obsolete - its heyday was during the period 1880 to 1915 and it worked sort of OK for what it was set up to do : allow rational exchange rates to be established between different currencies. The notion that a country
would ever be so stupid as to require that their money supply be fixed by the amount of this yellow metal, rather than the value of the country's assets, is preposterously absrud. As a country grows, the currency supply MUST expand at the same rate, else their will be either inflation or deflation. Gold has nothing whatsoever to do with this requirement.

GreenSmile said...

I have a lot to learn about everything related to could read a lot of posts over at Blue Seeing Red that struggle to make sense of the mess we are now in. Given the performance of those in charge of our economic system who presumably know all there is to be known, I am not so sure I want any formal lessons or education in economics, gold standard or not.

I really did not mean to come off sounding like some expert on Nixon, or the banking system and exchange rate mechanism of his day. He was actually a very intelligent man...just seriously neurotic.
My point was that we DID cut our currency value loose from one particular mineral, Au, but if you look at how the dollar and our nation's economic strength are affected by the cost of a barrel of oil...I'd say we are tied to it rather firmly. Expensive oil and inflated dollars, cheap oil and a dollar at the brink of deflation.