Thursday, December 10, 2009

Antarctic ice has increased massively since 1980.

UPDATE: Don't bother clicking the link as the Antartic data has disappeared!
UPDATE2: Now working again.

One area of Antarctic ice is receding (which has been heavily covered by the MSM)...

It's the area with the live volcanoes (the MSM "forgot" to tell you that).

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Monday, December 07, 2009

Don't let ‘Climategate' melt down your portfolio

So how can you ensure you're not harmed in future by slick rhetoric? First, by forcing yourself to admit, when the first signs of fraud appear, that you have been duped. Don't let your pride stand in the way. Get out. This way, you avoid staying on to the grim end with future Nortels.

Second, whenever you see a talking head pushing a stock or a fashionable disaster on TV, ask yourself: “Who pays him?” Everyone in the market is talking up his book, yet once a mania starts, everyone has the same book, and so they all push the same thing higher until it all unravels.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Here's hoping

some "boisterous" youths in Birmingham are getting a right good kicking at the moment

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Order-Order QotD

"MPs judging MPs ... is like selecting jurors from prison." Guido Fawkes

Friday, September 04, 2009

An interesting study.

Want cooperation? Rewarding the helpful can be more effective than punishing wrongdoers, a new experiment in game theory suggests.

In the public goods game, players choose whether or not to contribute money to a common pot. The pot is multiplied and redistributed equally, regardless of who contributes and who doesn't. When people play a pure version of the game, the temptation to freeload – reap the rewards without contributing anything – often leads to rapidly disintegrating cooperation.

Previous research found that cooperation is promoted by allowing players to punish freeloaders: cooperative players would pay a small cost that enables them to inflict a loss on the offender. This approach was more effective than reward, at least in games where players switch partners every round.
More carrot, less stick

David Rand and his colleagues at Harvard University modified the public goods game to reflect what they argue is a more natural scenario: people play with the same group for many rounds, establishing reputations with each other.

Players could choose to reward or punish others at a small cost to themselves. Rand found that rewarding or punishing were equally likely to lead to cooperation and higher earnings, but when players had the option to either punish or reward, but chose to reward, they received higher absolute payoffs. "It becomes in one's self-interest to help the group," says Rand.

"It's sort of a 'you scratch the group's back and I'll scratch yours'," he says.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Would voting against rather than for people be more representative?

If you were able to vote against people who you didn't want to represent you(i.e. leaving the rest as people you are ok with), rather than for someone would it result in a better government?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

BBC lies

Flu infects 100,000 in past week
with Death Toll 26

Means that

Swine flu: how the numbers add up
0.1 - 0.35%

is a massive over-exaggeration.

100,000 infected in a week, yet 26 dead over two months means that one of the articles is spouting nonsense as the death rate has to be lower than 0.026%.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

US unveils banking (good and bad) reform plans

Some good and some bad...

The US government has announced a major reform of banking regulation to prevent future financial crises.

GOOD But will it vary with M4?:The overhaul of the banking system will require big banks to put more money aside against future losses and is meant to curb excessive risk taking.

Depends on the regulation:Consumers will get a special agency to protect their interests and regulate mortgages and credit cards.

What will they be monitoring???The US central bank, the Federal Reserve, will be given the authority to monitor major financial institutions.

President Obama was speaking on Wednesday regarding the reforms, which mark the biggest shake-up of the US system of financial regulation since the 1930s.

The aim is to deal with the weaknesses that the sub-prime crisis and the financial meltdown revealed in the fragmented US regulatory system.

Issues include dealing with systemic risks that could bring down the whole financial system, raising capital requirements for banksThis is good as excess credit caused by zero reserve requirements caused the problems, ensuring that the government can take over failing institutions, and protecting consumers and investorsInsolvent Banks need to be administrated out of existence not proped up.

A new Consumer Financial Protection Agency will be created and the Federal Trade Commission will gain new powers to protect consumers, as well as more powers for the Securities and Exchange Commission, for the benefit of investors.

There will be more regulation of hedge funds, securitised debts and over-the-counter derivatives, all of which have been WRONGLYblamed for exacerbating the financial crisis.

It will also aim to give shareholders more power to question executive bonuses.

The reforms will also fulfil the commitments made by the US at the G20 summit in London to join in the worldwide effort to toughen financial regulation.

Was Adam Smith a Georgist?

“As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce.”

Adam Smith

Friday, June 12, 2009


"Bureaucrats write memoranda both because they appear to be busy when they are writing and because the memos, once written, immediately become proof that they were busy."
Charles Peters

Monday, May 25, 2009


I have a feeling that Mark Wadsworth owns all the blogs and that's why he's always first in the comments of all the blogs I read...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chocolate rations doubled last month!

Click the link.

Hedonic adjustment is a synonym for lie.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I guessed it was the utterly politicised journal called the Lancet!

Climate 'biggest health threat'

Climate change is "the biggest global health threat of the 21st Century", according to a leading medical journal.

The scare business is not giving up easily.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

HAHA! Gore Effect? Eco-sailors rescued by oil tanker

An expedition team which set sail from Plymouth on a 5,000-mile carbon emission-free trip to Greenland have been rescued by an oil tanker.

Raoul Surcouf, Richard Spink and skipper Ben Stoddart sent a mayday because they feared for their safety amid winds of 68mph (109km/h).

All three are reportedly exhausted but safe on board the Overseas Yellowstone.

Mr Surcouf, 40, from Jersey, Mr Spink, 31, and Mr Stoddart, 43, from Bristol, are due to arrive in the USA on 8 May.

'Heartfelt thanks'

The team, which left Mount Batten Marina in Plymouth on 19 April in a boat named the Fleur, aimed to rely on sail, solar and man power on a 580-mile (933km/h) journey to and from the highest point of the Greenland ice cap.

The expedition was followed by up to 40 schools across the UK to promote climate change awareness.

But atrocious weather dogged their journey after 27 April, culminating with the rescue on 1 May after the boat was temporarily capsized three times by the wind.

In one incident Mr Stoddart hit his head and the wind generator and solar panels were ripped from the yacht.

Gaia works in rather obvious ways.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Will Hutton "Documentary"

Anyone watch it tonight?

Was it as bad as I would expect?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

When you make a commons out of your currency there will be a tragedy

Basel 2 eliminated reserves.

The amount of credit in the system is limited by 1/Reserve so 1/0 = infinity. i.e. There's no limit on credit creation! Credit is now very fungible with money so there's effectively no limit to the money supply i.e. the state has abandoned it's role as regulator of the currecny.

No reserves means that the currency has no owner. The credit market becomes a commons and you'd best have as much as possible ASAP before someone else takes it.

This incentivised banks to lend the most rather than lend to the best.

and now the commons has inevitably "run out".

If governments are going to keep their currency monopoly then reserves are going to have to be based on the affordability of the assets purchased, especially mortgages. It's no point saying 3% of mortgages have to be held in reserve (30 times lending) to stop these problems happening in the future we need to demand that regulators specify that 3% mortgage reserves are ok when houses are 4 times earnings after tax.

BTW. Here's the tragedy of the commons game

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Thanks Gordon

We're writing to let you know about a pricing change to Google Apps Premier Edition.

Google reviews prices on a quarterly basis, and the price of Google Apps Premier ($50 and £25 for UK customers) has remained unchanged for the last two years. Effective immediately, the price will change from £25 per user, per year to £33 per user, per year for all customers transacting in GBP. At renewal, you will be charged the new price of £33 per user, per year. The price of Google Apps Premier for USD and EUR will remain at the same price of $50 and €40 respectively, the current increase for GBP reflects the recent unprecedented changes in the dollar versus pound exchange rate.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Banker Who Said No

Bernard Condon and Nathan Vardi, 04.03.09, 05:00 PM EDT
While the nation's lenders ran amok during the boom, Andy Beal hoarded his money. Now he's cleaning up--with scant help from Uncle Sam.

Read the whole thing!

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Quiet Coup

In its depth and suddenness, the U.S. economic and financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (and only in emerging markets): South Korea (1997), Malaysia (1998), Russia and Argentina (time and again). In each of those cases, global investors, afraid that the country or its financial sector wouldn’t be able to pay off mountainous debt, suddenly stopped lending. And in each case, that fear became self-fulfilling, as banks that couldn’t roll over their debt did, in fact, become unable to pay. This is precisely what drove Lehman Brothers into bankruptcy on September 15, causing all sources of funding to the U.S. financial sector to dry up overnight. Just as in emerging-market crises, the weakness in the banking system has quickly rippled out into the rest of the economy, causing a severe economic contraction and hardship for millions of people.

But there’s a deeper and more disturbing similarity: elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the U.S.—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.

New Poll

See left


Sunday, March 15, 2009

The wisdom of Crowds?

Either they are interested in the fashion, or interested in wearing armour on a day to day basis to survive Gordon's Depression.

Click the title for the link.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Comitted means more than one thing...

Help them get committed

Don't let them starve our plants!

Local councils set to provide business loans

Local councils set to provide business loans

* Story by: Simon Read
* Magazine: FinancialAdviser
* Published Thursday , March 12, 2009

Local councils are planning to start offering loans to help boost local economies.

Essex Council has revealed details of a proposed Bank of Essex, which will make finance available to local small businesses struggling to get finance through commercial banks.

At the same time several local authorities are pressing for government support for a scheme which will allow them to help residents who are unable to get mortgage finance from banks. Essex Council said the proposed Bank of Essex would act as an intermediary to release European Investment Bank funds for local firms.

Lord Hanningfield, leader of Essex County Council, said: "I am passionate about supporting local businesses through the downturn, as they truly are the backbone of our local economy."

He revealed secured loans would be available on a short-term basis - between six and 18 months - and would be awarded in tens of thousands rather than hundreds of thousands of pounds.

At Birmingham City Council, plans are advanced to lend to businesses and homeowners and it is also considering the possibility of taking deposits.

Jack Glonek, a spokesman for the council, said: "It is a question of finding the right people and experts to partner with."

Meanwhile, a number of councils - led by Lambeth and Bolton - are exploring the feasibility of offering loans to residents, but could also need help from advisers.

Steve Reed, leader of Lambeth Council, said: "This is not something councils can do alone, they will have to work with financial experts and mortgage professionals."

Akhtar Zaman, executive member for housing strategy and regeneration for Bolton Council, said: "We are looking at the possibility of identifying sources of funding to help."

However, Sue Anderson, head of external relations at the CML, said: "We would be surprised if it became mainstream and widespread."


What's the difference between Bernard Madoff and Gordon Brown?

Gordon Brown and Bernard Madoff are separated by a single detail – Bernie's pleading guilty
Jeff Randall believes that the Prime Minister's mismanagement, which has brought us a dysfunctional state as well as financial disaster, will prove far more costly than any Ponzi scheme.

What's the difference between Bernard Madoff and Gordon Brown? Answer: one has drained fortunes from gullible victims, plundering their income and savings to create an illusion of prosperity. The other is going to jail.

Mr Madoff has thrown in the towel. His Ponzi scheme, whereby he needed to suck in ever greater quantities of other people's money in order to maintain a semblance of competence, collapsed under the weight of undeliverable expectations. Nobody knows for sure how much has gone missing, but Wall Street scribes are calling it a $65 billion fraud.

Not bad for peddling fresh air. It is, however, a nickel-and-dime swindle when set alongside the
12-year con trick perpetrated by Mr Brown on British taxpayers. That, too, has been a form of Ponzi, but with many more zeroes and little chance of the mastermind ending his days in what Americans call Crowbar Hotel.

The Prime Minister is nothing if not a man of vaulting ambition, with a desire for power which, like Macbeth's, "o'er leaps itself". While Big Bucks Bernie was snaffling billions, Mr Brown had his sights trained on trillions.

Five trillion, to be precise – that's £5,000,000,000,000 – which is how much Labour has taxed and spent since it came to power. In 1998-99 its Budget was £333 billion. By 2008-09, the Government's annual expenditure had grown to £618 billion. Every year, the sums required to shore up the house of cards became bigger and bigger. But while the good times rolled, too few cared to notice what was really going on.

We await with trepidation this year's stab in the dark. On the basis that bad numbers take longer to add up than good ones, it is ominous that the Chancellor has put back his annual showpiece to April 22, the latest it has been for many years. One fears that fiscal discipline has been thrown over the fence, replaced by a confection of guesstimates, wishful thinking and spin.

Though the scale of their operations was very different, the sales techniques of Mr Madoff and Mr Brown were remarkably similar. Mr Madoff persuaded clients that he owned the secret of everlasting growth, a way of defying financial gravity. His unique selling points were, yes, stability and prudence.

So, while the returns of rivals bounced about in line with economic conditions, Mr Madoff kept producing a steady, above-average performance. Or so it seemed. He never claimed to have abolished boom and bust, but invited punters to infer that, thanks to his genius, this was indeed the case.

Over the years, Mr Madoff stretched the credulity of his constituency well beyond what a rational man might have thought possible. Those who tipped cash into his coffers seemed anxious, in some cases perversely determined, not to ask difficult questions. The trompe l'oeil was too delicious to be questioned. For a while, fantasy economics passed for reality in New York and London.

When the elastic finally snapped, so did Mr Madoff's resolve. Rather than conjure yet more elaborate excuses to cover the hole where his clients' investments were supposed to be, the old rogue confessed. He could no longer bear the strain of living a lie. Coming clean, it seems, was a relief.

It's at this point that comparisons to Mr Brown come to an end. For not only is there no prospect of the Prime Minister pleading guilty, he refuses to acknowledge any aspect of his catastrophic mismanagement. It may seem impossible to believe, but Mr Brown, far from recognising that he has ruined Britain, still has plans to save the world.

The astonishing element of Mr Madoff's magic is that, by all accounts, he made the money disappear. Investigators do not expect to find it stuffed under a Manhattan mattress or locked away in a Panamanian bank. They say that it has literally vanished. One minute it was in a Florida savings account, the next it was being propelled through the ether and beyond. Whoosh! Mr Madoff's loyal followers have been left with a whole lotta nuthin'.

For the victims of Mr Brown, it's worse than that. Much worse. His legacy is not an empty box. If only it were that simple. What he will leave behind is a dysfunctional state, stripped of sovereignty, up to its eyeballs in so much debt that not even our children's children will be free from the burden.

The misguided promotion of multiculturalism and open borders that marked the first and second phases of Labour's administration will continue to undermine social cohesion. Children in comprehensives will be handed debased certificates of success, while falling further behind pupils in grammar and independent schools. An unfunded pension system that is, in effect, an inverted pyramid of unaffordability will buckle and crack.

The Prime Minister's shameless blaming of others for this mess has been rumbled. Even senior civil servants are spilling the beans. Hector Sants, chief executive of the Financial Services Authority, pointed to the Prime Minister's complicity in the economic crisis. He said there had been "a prevailing mindset of Government and society promoting the benefits of credit and asset inflation, notably in housing".

Everywhere, there has been scandalous waste. But, as the banking system soaks up unimaginable sums, voters are suffering from "billions fatigue". They find it hard to put into context ministers' depredations of the public purse. When, as happened this week, the Public Accounts Committee calls a £500 million information system for prison officers "a spectacular failure" and "a masterclass in sloppy project management", we are not shocked.

Attempts by critics to stem the flow of government profligacy are met with the predictable response from Downing Street that savings of any sort will mean job cuts, school closures and an abandonment of hospitals. This scare tactic may have worked in the last general election campaign, but looks risible now.

On Newsnight, the ridiculous Yvette Cooper, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, kept a straight face while insisting that the Tories' proposed tax cut on pensioners' investments would mean an end to Britain's apprenticeship schemes. I mean, really! Who is feeding her this claptrap?

The Prime Minister's nightmare is that his credibility is crumbling faster than the nation's finances. His timing is woeful. Between now and the next election just about every indicator of wellbeing will move in the wrong direction. Rising unemployment, bankruptcies and home repossessions will remind an ungrateful electorate how little it owes him.

Bernie Madoff got away with it for so long because his clients wanted to believe in reward without risk, something for nothing. He told a US district judge: "I'm deeply sorry and ashamed for my crimes. I am painfully aware that I have hurt many, many people."

Here, in the Court of Public Opinion, Mr Brown will show no such contrition.

Credit Bubbles enable Fraud.

Although the exact amount defrauded has not been revealed, a report by Ipswich Borough Council estimated banks and building societies were left out of pocket by at least £6million.

Up to 70 new-build flats were thought to be involved in the Ipswich fraud. It is believed con artists bulk-purchased Orwell Quay apartments at massive discounts and made huge sums by taking out fake mortgages at over-inflated prices, leaving them to pocket the difference.

Quote of the Day

“I was asked what I thought about the recession. I thought about it and
decided not to take part”
- Sam Walton, founder of Global Chain Wal-Mart

My plan too, but then my company also decided not to take part in the credit bubble.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I might have a wierd sense of humour but this made me laugh

Quote of the Day

'And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.' Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Thought for the Day

I wonder are those who want to raise income taxes like those Luddites who burnt the spinning jennys?

They both want to stop productivity increasing.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thought for the day.

I wonder how long until the phrase sea level rises become see level change. Like Global-Warming has become Climate change.

"Greed" is good.

"Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to become the means by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of other men. Blood, whips and guns or dollars. Take your choice - there is no other." Ayn Rand.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Time to Shrug?

"If they believe that the purpose of my life
is to serve them, let them try to enforce their creed.
If they believe that my mind is their property --
let them come and get it...
[W]hen robbery becomes the purpose of law,
and the policeman's duty becomes, not the protection,
but the plunder of property -- then it is an outlaw
who has to become a policeman."
-- Ragnar Danneskjöld

Thanks to Instapundit for reminding me

"Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”"

Robert Heinlein

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A way for an LVT funded government to raise money.

Sell bonds that purchase an LVT discount, rather than bonds sold on the future work of the population.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Townhall: Back on Uncle Sam's Plantation by Star Parker

Six years ago I wrote a book called "Uncle Sam's Plantation." I wrote the book to tell my own story of what I saw living inside the welfare state and my own transformation out of it.

I said in that book that indeed there are two Americas. A poor America on socialism and a wealthy America on capitalism.

I talked about government programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS), Emergency Assistance to Needy Families with Children (EANF), Section 8 Housing, and Food Stamps.

A vast sea of perhaps well intentioned government programs, all initially set into motion in the 1960's, that were going to lift the nation's poor out of poverty.

A benevolent Uncle Sam welcomed mostly poor black Americans onto the government plantation. Those who accepted the invitation switched mindsets from "How do I take care of myself?" to "What do I have to do to stay on the plantation?"

Instead of solving economic problems, government welfare socialism created monstrous moral and spiritual problems. The kind of problems that are inevitable when individuals turn responsibility for their lives over to others.

The legacy of American socialism is our blighted inner cities, dysfunctional inner city schools, and broken black families.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Telegraph: Bond market calls Fed's bluff as global economy falls apart

The "real" cost of capital is rising as the slump deepens. This is textbook debt deflation. It was not supposed to happen. The Bernanke doctrine assumes that the Fed can bring down the whole structure of interest costs, first by slashing the Fed Funds rate to zero, and then by making a "credible threat" to buy Treasuries outright with printed money.

Mr Bernanke has been repeating this threat since early December. But talk is cheap. As the Fed hesitates, real yields climb ever higher. Plainly, the markets do not regard Fed rhetoric as "credible" at all.

Who can blame bond vigilantes for going on strike? Nobody wants to be left holding the bag if and when the global monetary blitz succeeds in stoking inflation. Governments are borrowing frantically to fund their bail-outs and cover a collapse in tax revenue. The US Treasury alone needs to raise $2 trillion in 2009.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Al BBC: Alternative views of the economic crisis

4 people, None of them correct; All of them from a melon (green-veneer red-core) perspective.

I haven't seen a single article on the BBC website which correctly attributes the coming depression to a credit boom regulated into existence by Government action.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Madoff Outrage: Whistleblower Testimony Rips SEC

Markopolos said he began his investigation into Madoff in late 1999 when a marketing executive from Rampart Investment Management Company Inc. told him of Bernard Madoff’s fantastic returns. Markopolos said he determined in less than four hours that Madoff’s operation was a fraud.

Madoff "was a 'no-brainer' investment but only in the sense that you had to have no brains whatsoever to invest into such an unbelievable performance record that bears no resemblance to any other investment managers' track record throughout recorded human history,” said Markopolos’ testimony.

In May of 2000, Markopolos said he contacted the SEC’s Boston office with his findings. The next year, Madoff spoke with Ed Manion in that office.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Manifesto!

PVT (property value tax): 7% Land Value and Intellectual Property Value
Property value is self decided, however the property can be purchased (with a delay) at the decided price. Money raised by the PVT to pay for a citizens dividend (Deliberately NOT called a citizens income).

Abolish Time Taxes: All taxes on time (income tax, NI & corporation tax) or transfers (CGT stamp duty) abolished and apologies sent out.

Voting Reform: Democracy replaced with Revocracy: for X candidates you get X-1 votes, which you can use to select who you don't want to represent you. Would end the party system!

Debt Licensing: To be legally allowed to borrow you have to pass a test showing you can work out compound interest and the final amount. Make it very illegal to lend to those who cannot work out interest.

Gun Control: I don't like the government giving itself special privileges, so if you do the same training as the police, you can arm yourself to the same level.

Prison Reform: Split Prison into 3 sections.
Reform Prison for first time criminals, resources concentrated here to make sure they don't come back.
Second chance prison, much tougher.
Holding Pen: Anti Social Criminals who are just a burden on society will spend the rest of their days here. No expense spent. Prison expected to be self feeding.

Drug Reform:
All drugs decriminalised. Being "high" treated as a form of voluntary and temporary mental illness (not sharing the same reality) requiring temporary separation from the rest of society until the effects wear off. Duty of care for the establishment providing drugs.

Monetary Policy:
BoE supervision to require banks to change reserves with changes in M4. Ban cash bonuses for Bank staff, must take bonus in Bonds sold by the bank.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Financial prowess in the fingers

The link could be down to testosterone exposure in the womb, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says.

This exposure may improve rapid decision-making skills and has been linked with aggression.

It's also been linked to the Austism spectrum "disorders" (so called highly male brain), which you should know make those affected increase the importance of Systematic Thinking and pattern spotting much more highly than chatting skills.

Why do Al Pravda think trading is more about aggression than skill?

Why not, you know, just keep them in jail?

click the link.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

There's No Pain-Free Cure for Recession

Belt-tightening is required by all, including government.


As recession fears cause the nation to embrace greater state control of the economy and unimaginable federal deficits, one searches in vain for debate worthy of the moment. Where there should be an historic clash of ideas, there is only blind resignation and an amorphous queasiness that we are simply sweeping the slouching beast under the rug.

With faith in the free markets now taking a back seat to fear and expediency, nearly the entire political spectrum agrees that the federal government must spend whatever amount is necessary to stabilize the housing market, bail out financial firms, liquefy the credit markets, create jobs and make the recession as shallow and brief as possible. The few who maintain free-market views have been largely marginalized.

Taking the theories of economist John Maynard Keynes as gospel, our most highly respected contemporary economists imagine a complex world in which economics at the personal, corporate and municipal levels are governed by laws far different from those in effect at the national level.

Individuals, companies or cities with heavy debt and shrinking revenues instinctively know that they must reduce spending, tighten their belts, pay down debt and live within their means. But it is axiomatic in Keynesianism that national governments can create and sustain economic activity by injecting printed money into the financial system. In their view, absent the stimuli of the New Deal and World War II, the Depression would never have ended.

On a gut level, we have a hard time with this concept. There is a vague sense of smoke and mirrors, of something being magically created out of nothing. But economics, we are told, is complicated.

It would be irresponsible in the extreme for an individual to forestall a personal recession by taking out newer, bigger loans when the old loans can't be repaid. However, this is precisely what we are planning on a national level.

I believe these ideas hold sway largely because they promise happy, pain-free solutions. They are the economic equivalent of miracle weight-loss programs that require no dieting or exercise. The theories permit economists to claim mystic wisdom, governments to pretend that they have the power to dispel hardship with the whir of a printing press, and voters to believe that they can have recovery without sacrifice.

As a follower of the Austrian School of economics I believe that market forces apply equally to people and nations. The problems we face collectively are no different from those we face individually. Belt tightening is required by all, including government.

Governments cannot create but merely redirect. When the government spends, the money has to come from somewhere. If the government doesn't have a surplus, then it must come from taxes. If taxes don't go up, then it must come from increased borrowing. If lenders won't lend, then it must come from the printing press, which is where all these bailouts are headed. But each additional dollar printed diminishes the value those already in circulation. Something cannot be effortlessly created from nothing.

Similarly, any jobs or other economic activity created by public-sector expansion merely comes at the expense of jobs lost in the private sector. And if the government chooses to save inefficient jobs in select private industries, more efficient jobs will be lost in others. As more factors of production come under government control, the more inefficient our entire economy becomes. Inefficiency lowers productivity, stifles competitiveness and lowers living standards.

If we look at government market interventions through this pragmatic lens, what can we expect from the coming avalanche of federal activism?

By borrowing more than it can ever pay back, the government will guarantee higher inflation for years to come, thereby diminishing the value of all that Americans have saved and acquired. For now the inflationary tide is being held back by the countervailing pressures of bursting asset bubbles in real estate and stocks, forced liquidations in commodities, and troubled retailers slashing prices to unload excess inventory. But when the dust settles, trillions of new dollars will remain, chasing a diminished supply of goods. We will be left with 1970s-style stagflation, only with a much sharper contraction and significantly higher inflation.

The good news is that economics is not all that complicated. The bad news is that our economy is broken and there is nothing the government can do to fix it. However, the free market does have a cure: it's called a recession, and it's not fun, easy or quick. But if we put our faith in the power of government to make the pain go away, we will live with the consequences for generations.

Mr. Schiff is president of Euro Pacific Capital and author of "The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets" (Wiley, 2008).