The Eternal Mediocrity of Mexico

By Ricardo Valenzuela

At the beginning of the 80s, I was taking training with the Bank of America in its different offices in California, Chicago, New York. In one of my stays in Los Angeles, I was invited to a talk that would offer the Nobel laureate, Milton Friedman, one of the men I have admired the most and, above all, the guide which shaped my ideas of economic freedom. The event took place in one of the elegant lounges of the bank that was crowded with people from early on. A crowd that included the famous actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who years later would become governor of California. But my big surprise was the arrival of Ronald Reagan who a year later would be president of the United States.

The theme of the conference was the critical situation that world banking system was going through, listing motives from the misbehavior of the world economy, the novel currency flotation system, the absence of political leaders with real ideas of what economic development is, etc. At a certain point in his talk, this wise character made the venue vibrate when he said: “This situation is so serious that the main banks of the world have lent more of their capital and reserves to countries that can be considered bankrupt.” Before a gloomy murmur of the assistants, Milton Friedman makes a long pause that is taken advantage of by someone who, breaking the protocol, almost screaming question. “Countries in bankruptcy How, where?” The … Read the rest

Why does the economy seem so strong but feel so wrong?

Jim Rickards is the Financial Threat and Asymmetric Warfare Advisor for the DOD and Central Intelligence and he recently reviewed a report by senior intelligence officials that estimated the greatest threats to the United States.  At the top of the list was no Muslim terrorism (of any flavor), but instead, imminent economic collapse.

There are eight slides he used to drive this point home in a recent interview.

The first slide shows the declining impact of $1 of federal spending on the economy:

Rickards-Bang-for-Buck-Spending-1024x482

A lot could be said about that but the results are obvious. Fifty years ago the Feds could spend a dollar and it would generate $2.41 in economic value, while today, that $1 of spending results in only 3 cents of economic value.  This is because of fraud, waste, abuse and spending money on programs that ensure votes rather than generate growth.

The velocity of money-the rate at which money moves through the economy-is also falling sharply.

Rickards-Velocity-of-Money-1024x380

We’re nearing a point not seen since the 1920s!

And the so called misery index, which measures a combination of inflation and unemployment, is worse than it was in the stagflation days of Jimmy Carter.  Not if we rely on the manipulated government data, of course, but on the estimates by economists not on the government payroll.

Rickards-Misery-Index-1024x482

These numbers are also worse than the Great Depression!

Rickards-Misery-Now-Index-v-Great-Depression-1024x305

The Fed’s debt to capital ratio has gone up nearly 400%, from a pre-2008 high of 22 to 2 to a current ratio of … Read the rest

Jim Rickards is the Financial Threat and Asymmetric Warfare Advisor for the DOD and Central Intelligence and he recently reviewed a report by senior intelligence officials that estimated the greatest threats to the United States.  At the top of the list was no Muslim terrorism (of any flavor), but instead, imminent economic collapse.

There are eight slides he used to drive this point home in a recent interview.

The first slide shows the declining impact of $1 of federal spending on the economy:

Rickards-Bang-for-Buck-Spending-1024x482

A lot could be said about that but the results are obvious. Fifty years ago the Feds could spend a dollar and it would generate $2.41 in economic value, while today, that $1 of spending results in only 3 cents of economic value.  This is because of fraud, waste, abuse and spending money on programs that ensure votes rather than generate growth.

The velocity of money-the rate at which money moves through the economy-is also falling sharply.

Rickards-Velocity-of-Money-1024x380

We’re nearing a point not seen since the 1920s!

And the so called misery index, which measures a combination of inflation and unemployment, is worse than it was in the stagflation days of Jimmy Carter.  Not if we rely on the manipulated government data, of course, but on the estimates by economists not on the government payroll.

Rickards-Misery-Index-1024x482

These numbers are also worse than the Great Depression!

Rickards-Misery-Now-Index-v-Great-Depression-1024x305

The Fed’s debt to capital ratio has gone up nearly 400%, from a pre-2008 high of 22 to 2 to a current ratio of … Read the rest