Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Using simple reasoning to debunk economic lies

It is a primary purpose of this blog to debunk economic fallacies, and to expose lies wherever they may be. My friend JK fell for one, specifically the claim that on September 18, 2008, the Federal Reserve stepped in to save the collapse of the U.S. economy because they feared $5.5 trillion would eventually be pulled out of money markets.

My reply:
That's a load of horse manure. Don't believe it.

Think about it for a minute. Do you realize how much $5.5 trillion is, and how much $105 billion will not stem such a tide anyway?

Do you realize that money merely doesn't disappear when it's withdrawn? It was hardly evaporating into thin air. People had started dumping money markets on September 17, ever since the Reserve Primary Fund "broke the buck" the day before, and putting into safe paper: bank CDs if the amounts were low enough for FDIC insurance, and Treasury securities otherwise. The money was simply being transferred from one form of savings to another.

"By their estimation" is no more than doom-mongering. They were merely extrapolating what was happening throughout the entire day, when it probably wouldn't have happened at all. Worse, their extrapolation was an outright lie. By 11 a.m., they had "noticed" $550 billion. Even if it had happened in one hour, how could another $5 trillion have been withdrawn in only three more hours?

How could $5.5 trillion have disappeared when the Money Fund Report reported last August that money market assets exceeded $3.5 trillion for the first time? Do you really believe that money markets surged by $2 trillion in just the following month?

Look, my friend, don't take this the wrong way, but god damn, think about things before swallowing this kind of guff. Whatever any politician tells you, even Ron Paul, be skeptical: "believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and hence clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." - H.L. Mencken
When a non-professional economist like me can catch these lies with barely a thought, every economist who promotes these lies should burn in hellfire. And woe to those who believe the false prophets.

Let me add one last thing: motive. Why would politicians and central bankers lie about any of this? Why, indeed? The Great Depression was the first big opportunity for the dark powers to soften Americans up to the idea of government intervention to "save" the economy, notwithstanding the New Deal only made things worse. This manufactured crisis is being used to destroy all confidence in the free market, a return to which is the only thing that can save us, and to instill in people the belief that only government can save them, when in fact it only leads to economic damnation.

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