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Tag Archives: Featured

He Volunteered to Go to Auschwitz

Reprinted from the Freeman In this great mortuary of the half-living — where nearby someone was wheezing his final breath; someone else was dying; another was struggling out of bed only to fall over onto the floor; another was throwing off his blankets, or talking in a fever to his dear mother and shouting or cursing someone out; [while still others were] refusing to eat, or demanding water, in a fever and trying to jump out of the window, arguing with the doctor or asking for something — I...

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An Economic History of the American Health Care System – Part 2

Reprinted from Alert and Oriented Q: What alternative models of health care payment were sought during the Great Depression? A:  Taken aback by the sudden surplus of hospital beds, and realizing that patients and families were not willing or able to use hospital services at the prices demanded, leaders of hospital associations and of medical associations, such as the American College of Surgeons, began to look for models of collective health care payment. They remarked that European countries...

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England vs. the Price System

[This article was written from London and published in Newsweek, June 2, 1947. Reprinted from Mises.org] England’s major economic troubles today seem not so much the result of its war losses, appalling as these were, as of its postwar policies. Temporary impoverishment was inevitable, but the postwar series of special crises in coal, food, and dollars was not. The underlying assumption beneath the present strangling network of economic controls is that a free market and price system is...

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How Government Makes Natural Disasters Worse

Reprinted from the Freeman An earthquake or hurricane always generates an inspiring rush of private generosity. People are never more willing to help their neighbors than when they are casualties of nature. It’s also inspiring when, as after the Midwestern floods, the victims adapt to their terrible losses and begin to rebuild their homes and communities without a whine, even lending helping hands to others. What Leonard Read called “the miracle of the market” is also on display. Economic...

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Everything Is On Sale Compared to 1979

Reprinted from HumanProgress.org Wage appreciation, or lack thereof, does not tell us everything we need to know about our standard of living. Wages often fail to capture changes that come from competition and technological breakthroughs. One—much underutilized—way in which we can get a sense of the improvements in our standard of living is to look at the number of hours an average employee needs to work in order to buy commonly used items. When cost is measured in terms of hours worked,...

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The Yield Curve and GDP – a causal relationship?

One of the most reliable indicators of an imminent recession through recent history has been the yield curve. Whenever longer dated rates falls below shorter dated ones, a recession is not far off. Some would even say that yield curve inversion, or backwardation, help cause the economic contraction. To understand how this can be we first need to understand what GDP really is. Contrary to popular belief, GDP only has an indirect relation to material prosperity. Broken down to its core...

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The Great Unwind

Over the decade long commodity boom made in China we have all been accustomed to the large and growing current account surpluses being recycled back into western financial security markets. Case in point, from 2000 to its peak in the fall of 2013 the Chinese added more than 2,000 per cent to their TSY holdings. China (plus Belgium), the Middle Eastern oil exporters, Brazil, India, Mexico, Turkey and Russia now hold a combined $2 trillion worth of TSYs. This has been nothing short...

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US Dollar – the modern day Bancor

According to Belgian-American economist, Robert Triffin the country whose currency have become the global reserve currency must be willing to supply enough liquidity to satisfy global needs. This obviously raises an interesting question for the Federal Reserve with regard to their monetary policy execution. On one hand, they need to consider the best course of action for the domestic economy, while on the other also take into account effects on global financial markets and corresponding...

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US recession watch – updated

In The Coming US Recession Charted (June 20, 2015) we argued that the US economy is heading toward recession, not escape velocity as the sell-side and Fed officials have been telling us. Today we will revisit the possibility of the US entering a recession in 2016 and by extension substantiate our argument for NIRP, and not lift-off, as the most likely next move by FOMC. One of the most reliable predictors for the business cycle is the yield curve. Unfortunately, due to Federal Reserve...

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Another petro-state throws in the towel – the last nail in the petrodollar coffin

Source: Norwegian Ministry of Finance, Bawerk.net According to the proposed budget submitted by the current ‘blue-blue’ government the Norwegian deficit will reach another record high in 2016. Mainland taxes are expected to bring in 1,008 billion NOKs, while expenditures are estimated at 1,215 billion NOKs. In other words, 2016 will be another year of record mainland deficit which need to be covered by the offshore sector and its 6,900 bn NOK sovereign wealth fund (SWF). While record...

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