Politics and The Airstream Chronicles

Richard Charpentier Notes from Rich Leave a Comment

A few days ago a friend dropped a comment into the hopper here at the Airstream Chronicles.  The question was simple.  Do I ever address politics here?

No, I don’t.

I do talk about economics here and there.  And I’ll do that again today because of what keeps happening.  But first I’d like to address the politics.

See, we’ve all got some kind of political view point.  Left wing, right wing, apathetic, xenophobic, and more.  We seem to be a very fractionalized society lately, and I think our politicians love it.  Hot button topics that never get solved are always floated during election season, and then they fade to the background.

Personally I’ve put up with nearly 2 years of campaigning.  You’ve got to be kidding me.  After this upcoming Presidential election do you think the next round of candidates will start campaigning immediately?  I’m worried it’ll start even earlier.

For me politics is pretty simple.  Both parties no longer serve the interests of the people.  Special interests have the attention of each side.  “The People’s” interests are always sublimated to the larger cash interests of lobbying groups.  It would be nice to see the real segment of America represented once again, but I doubt we’ll see that happen any time soon.  And to be sure it doesn’t happen politicians will always argue “hot button topics” that aren’t solvable while they ignore the real issues that don’t show up on most radar screens.

What topics are ignored?  Hmmmm.  Simple one.  Run away inflation that’s papered over by strange modeling techniques used by our government.  Since the 1990’s the country’s money supply has grown at an alarming rate.  At every turn officials in our financial realm have taken the opportunity inflate the money supply, foster loose lending, and create bubble after bubble.

When Greenspan made the comment that you don’t know it’s a bubble until after it has occurred he was being very dishonest.  Greenspan’s background made him fully qualified to know it’s a bubble, and his prior studies also gave him the insights into how to create one.  The market run up in techs, and then the real estate bubble were both created by our monetary policy.  And the after effects are just beginning.

This weekend Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae collapsed.  The government has taken these two mortgage giants over.  Funny, they’ve always been Government Sponsored Entities, so how can the government take over what some already considered government entities.  They’ve been an integral part of the inflationary tactics that our financial leaders chose to follow for a while now.

As an aside, many banks have collapsed over the past few months.  The powers that be are really working hard to make sure you don’t know about it.  These things always take place over the weekend now.  And the news barely covers it, and certainly doesn’t explain the ramifications to you.

Second aside…..The Enron debacle cost much less than the failure of Freddie and Fannie.  These Government Sponsored Entities have made much larger “errors” in their earnings, and in their capital holdings.  If you’re pissed off about Enron you should be marching in the streets over this set of failures.  Think there will be any hearings about this?  I don’t.  I’m willing to bet this is too boring for most people to pay attention to.  We need to argue about the Presidential candidates homes and running mates instead of paying attention to the fact we’ve allowed the money in our pockets to be devalued more than any of us have ever experienced in our life times.

Maybe someday I’ll talk politics here.  That day will come when the debates are about real topics.  When the media chooses to really dig into things we’ll all have something real to talk about.

I’ll leave you with a final thought.  When the Enron deal hit the fan we found out that the company had mis-stated about .5 Billion initially.  Story after story popped up about the evil folks at Enron, and I’m frankly surprised we didn’t have public hangings.  At the time the GSE problems were being recognized we found out that about $11 Billion in “accounting errors” were disclosed.  Have you seen big stories on investors in Fannie and Freddie lossing everything?  No?  How strange…….  Fortunately for everyone, taxpayers are ready to take on the latest round of failures.  I’m sure happy about it!

As I’ve told readers before, I read PrudentBear.com every morning.  The stories taken alone only give you parts.  But if you put them all together you start putting the full story together.  Reading all that stuff takes time, but I find it worthwhile.  Plus you’ll never find these stories tied together in today’s media, and you’ll never hear it from the current pool of politicians.

Finally, one last thought on politics.  Greenspan served at the Fed during the Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II presidencies.  The financial woes we’re now facing can be tied back easily to his tenure.  Nobody picked at Greenspan during his time at the Fed (I did), and the Republicans and Democrats liked him and his works.  Yeah, pretty much all the same to me.

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