Sunday, March 06, 2011

A "Brave New World"

Mostly absent from the recent reporting of widespread unrest in the Mideast is a curiosity concerning the underlying cause of such a seemingly tectonic shift in the political fortunes of so many "tyrannical" governments. The casual references to a sudden awakening of interest in "democratic" governance begs the question as to why after the better part of a century following the departure of the European colonial powers such events would emerge within the span of less than 100 days.

The common denominator throughout the region encompassing the upheaval is the relative poverty of the masses of the population even in regions blessed with substantial natural resources such as petroleum. Those populations are forced to expend larger percentages of their incomes on necessities especially food which has undergone exponential price increases over recent months.  This brings to mind the aphorism: "a hungry man is an angry man".

Those of us in "western" society appear to have difficulty grasping such a concept but the likelihood of our experiencing such a reality increases inexorably day by day. The main reason? Enter stage left Mr. Benjamin S. Bernanke and his fellow banksters:

Remarks by Governor Ben S. Bernanke
Before the National Economists Club, Washington, D.C.
November 21, 2002:
".... Like gold, U.S. dollars have value only to the extent that they are strictly limited in supply. But the U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost. By increasing the number of U.S. dollars in circulation, or even by credibly threatening to do so, the U.S. government can also reduce the value of a dollar in terms of goods and services, which is equivalent to raising the prices in dollars of those goods and services. We conclude that, under a paper-money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and hence positive inflation."

Until August of 1971, international financial accounts were settled with gold. Subsequently, the means for settlement  has been (printable) US dollars i.e. the world's "reserve currency". When US dollars are printed or created by electronic fiat irresponsibly the result as we know is inflation and it is exported globally to foreign central banks who are also engaged in currency inflation. 

Gold closed last Friday above $1432.00 per troy ounce.

Welcome to the brave new world of inflation.

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