Dumping on Greenspan: What Fun!

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The
well-known German economist-analyst Kurt Richebächer has lately
published on the Net a letter that markets his financial-intelligence
services with the admirable title "Greenspan is Robbing You
Blind!"

No
blinking doubt. The Great Magoo has the look of a grifter; any cutting-edge
phrenologist can see that. But what one can't see, at least I can't
— and I don't know anyone else who has claimed to — is just who
up there over the stage is working the Magoo's marionette strings
and doing the ventriloquist number to keep those great cloudy verbal
vaguenesses issuing from the Magoomouth, very like those of Withers
of N.I.C.E in C.S. Lewis's That
Hideous Strength
.

Which
leads me to the question, the one I find both endlessly fascinating
and endlessly puzzling because it is so unaddressed by our wonderful
Meedja, namely, "Whoinell is running this show?"

I
think you have to begin with the question that is (again I think)
usually credited to Lenin, late of the Great Red Experiment. Who
benefits?

Not
the great mass of people, surely. Not even the layabout welfare
types, including us seniors, who can be shoved off the dole anytime
government finds it convenient to "cut back." Not the
middle class, the bourgeoisie, whose family-based life prospers
only when things are relatively stable and who always take it on
the chin when there is inflation and/or war. That is, take it EXTRA
on the chin when there is inflation and war, since they take it
on the chin all the time because they are the prime target of all
governmental taxing agencies. And not the lumpeninvestoriat, who
have now convincingly demonstrated they don't know anything about
the market, which could have been assumed from the start of the
great stock price run-up that brought them in on the party, like
most unlucky schlemiels, just before the booze ran out.

No,
the only people who we can be sure must like the present bellicose,
inflated, arrogant, hubristic, idiotic, loony contretemps must be
the Great Rich, those whose bank-based fortunes swell in bad times
and good, and whose children, if they have any, are insulated from
thuggish crime and war. Why can we be sure they like the present
mess and that it must benefit them? Because we don't hear anything
from them knocking it. And they don't tell their boy, Alan the Magoo,
to do anything different than he is doing, which is just what the
Federal Reserve has been doing since it was concocted, namely inflating
and wrecking the currency of the United States, once the proudest
in the world, paced by one of the handsomest gold coins in the history
of money, the St. Gauden's design for the $20 dollar gold piece,
the famous "Double Eagle."

If
you google for "St. Gauden's gold piece," the first listing
reads: "Gold
coins, $20 Saint-Gauden's Double Eagle

. . . The
last gold piece struck by the US government for regular issue, it
will forever remain a symbol of the emerging greatness of the United
States in the 20th century. . . ."

That
was then, this is now. Now you are in a position to flaunt post-1913
Federal Reserve Notes and hope by the time you pass the $20 note
you got from the bank this morning it won't be worth substantially
less when you spend it at Wal-Mart this evening.

One
writer on money, Edwin Vieira, tried an experiment. He asked a hotel
clerk if he could pay for his stay in Federal Reserve Notes. The
clerk answered, No, but did he not have a credit card, a Visa or
MasterCard? One of the presidential Adamses said the greatest danger
to the republic was downright ignorance of money and credit. Did
he have a point?

Richebächer
is now advising there will be a big, long-term decline of the dishonestly
named dollar. It is still on the statutes of this fair land that
the dollar is a fixed amount of silver (371.25 grains of fine silver).
So those paper chits we hand around can't be real dollars, but they
substitute for them in the magic-bedazzled Minds of the Masses.
The substitutes, I'd guess, are headed down toward their intrinsic
value, which is the value of the paper they are printed on.

If
you buy a ream (500 sheets) of 24 lb. laser paper, you could print
maybe four-up $20 bills per sheet, which is 80 times 500 or $40,000.
(Right? Check my arithmetic.) Allow a few bucks for green and black
ink, and maybe you need to buy special paper, so the whole cost
might (especially if you could bootleg some of that special Crane
Co. greenback paper) run up a bit, toward a thousand or two. But
if you just use Hammermill or the Office Depot special, you might
be out $10 or $15 all told, which would mean your present $20 bill
is headed for $ .005 or $.0075. Or less. Exhilarating. Wheelbarrows
anyone?

Well,
nobody believes this kind of TEOTWAWKI talk anymore, now that Y2K
proved such a fizzle. And rightly so. Don't borrow trouble. Jeremiahs
are passé. Doomsday folk should get a life, myself included.
All's well. Magoo is just as great as advertised. The war in Iraq
will be a piece of cake. Condoleezza Rice will be our next vice
president, which Camille Paglia says would be nice because it would
so aggravate Hillary. George W. will grow up. Palestine and Israel
will stage a joint Olympics in Jerusalem, and Toyota will announce
a car that runs on air. It's a great wide wonderful world.

February
10, 2003

Tom
White [send him mail] writes
from Odessa, Texas.

Tom
White Archives


     

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