Thursday, October 15, 2009

Everybody Is Cheering

After all the Dow topped $10,000 yesterday. But what does it mean? With Treasury printing presses running at top speed, it doesn’t carry the same financial euphoria it used to.

For example, ten years ago the Dow was $11,497 and it would have taken 40.6 ounces of gold to equal that value. But yesterday’s Dow would only require 9.44 ounces of gold to “buy” that amount.

Inflation has plagued the US all through the 20th Century and threatens to become worse in the 21st because our Federal government insists on spending more money than we can reasonably pay back. Like the Banana Republics we recently disdained, we keep printing more fiat money to avoid raising taxes and to hide the growing reluctance of other countries to buy our treasuries.

"By a continuous process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method, they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The process engages all of the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner that not one man in a million can diagnose."
- John Maynard Keynes, 1920

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