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  • The Multiplication of Money

    The economy grew in the fourth quarter by 5.9%, the most in years. The adjusted monetary base is exploding. Bank reserves are literally through the roof. The Fed is flooding money into the system in an effort to get banks to lend. An historically normal response by banks (to increase lending) would have been massively inflationary, causing the Fed to stomp on the brakes. Despite raising the almost meaningless discount rate (as who uses it?), this week Ben Bernanke assured Congress of an easy monetary policy, with rates remaining low for a long time. Many ask, how can this not be inflationary?

    This week we look at some fundamentals of money supply and the economy. If you understand this, you won't get misled by people selling investments, telling you to buy this or that based on some chart that shows whatever they are selling to be what you absolutely have to have to protect your portfolio and/or make massive profits. And we touch on a few odds and ends. And yes, I can't resist, a few more thoughts on Greece. It will make for an interesting letter, as I'm writing on a plane to San Jose. And it will print a bit longer than usual, because there are a lot of charts.

  • Gold, Housing and the Yield Curve

    Introduction I have often written about the high probability of a recession following an inverted yield curve (where short-term rates are higher than long-term rates), based upon research which suggests the yield curve is our most reliable indicator of...
  • As Though It Were Real Money

    Introduction "Our analysis leads us to believe that recovery is only sound if it does come from itself. For any revival which is merely due to artificial stimulus leaves part of the work of depression undone and adds, to an undigested remnant of...