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‘Apocalypse’ Krugman Ignores Keynes And Comrade Lenin’s Warnings


 -- Published: Wednesday, 23 July 2014 | Print  | Disqus 

Today’s AM fix was USD 1,307.50, EUR 971.04 and GBP 767.54 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,307.00, EUR 969.44 and GBP 765.76 per ounce.

Gold fell $6.40 or 0.49% on yesterday to $1,306.50/oz and silver remained unchanged at $20.94/oz.


Gold in U.S. Dollars - 50, 100, 200 SMAs (Thomson Reuters)

Gold remains in a very tight range in London this morning as did gold bullion in Singapore overnight. Futures trading volumes were low and 7% below the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, according to Bloomberg data.

Silver, platinum and palladium are slightly firmer this morning. Silver for immediate delivery added 0.2% to $21.00 an ounce in London. Platinum was little changed at $1,485.84/oz. Palladium rose 0.1% to $874.01/oz and remains near the 13-year high of $889.75 reached on July 17.

Geopolitical tension appears to be supporting gold at the $1,300/oz level and above support at the 100-day moving average at $1,302/oz. The 50 and 200 day moving averages are also key levels of support.

Gold is down 1.5% for the month after the another peculiar bout of concentrated selling last week. It is in lockdown in a very tight trading range. According to Reuters, the spread between its highs and lows for the month is the narrowest since August 2009 at $53.30/oz.

Worries over tougher sanctions on Russia and their potential impact on fragile Eurozone growth saw equities make very tentative gains while the euro fell. German bond yields dipped back towards record lows, with conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East supporting demand for government bonds.

The European Union yesterday threatened to restrict Russia’s access to capital markets and sensitive energy and defense technologies.

Brent crude oil futures eased 0.2%, despite geopolitical tensions threatening supplies from key oil producing regions.

‘Apocalypse’ Krugman Ignores Keynes And Comrade Lenin’s Warnings
Paul Krugman’s latest missive in The New York Times again attacks those who warn about the risks of a new debt crisis and the ramifications of radical, ultra loose monetary policies.

Krugman says that the recent concern about “debts and deficits” was a “false alarm.” He attempts to paint those who were concerned about the debt crisis as scare mongers. He sarcastically says that “the debt apocalypse has been called off.”

This is a meme that Krugman uses frequently as seen in headlines like ‘Addicted to the Apocalypse’,

and ‘Apocalypse Fairly Soon.’ He uses this meme to try to link those concerned about the debt crisis and the current monetary response to it as alarmist doom and gloom merchants and irrational people who believe the “end of the world” is nigh.

It is a way to attack the straw man rather than sticking to the facts and having a more reasoned debate.

It is ironic as Krugman himself became quite apocalyptic in his warnings during the Eurozone debt crisis. He warned that “things are falling apart in Europe,” of a “gigantic bank run” and of an “emergency bank closing.”

Not only did he warn of a massive bank run and emergency bank holidays but he warned of the euro breaking up and Italy returning to the Italian lira and even warned of France returning to the French franc.

Krugman was wrong then, as indeed were many of the people he criticises. However, the crisis is far from over and reared its head in Portugal in recent days and there is a long way to go before this crisis reaches its conclusion.

He has also been quite apocalyptic himself regarding global warming. He has warned that “utter catastrophe” looks “like a realistic possibility,” and that the “rise in global temperatures that will be little short of apocalyptic.”

When it comes to the apocalypse, Krugman likes to have his apocalyptic cake and eat it too.

Krugman continues to advocate printing currency as one panacea to our economic ills. There is much groupthink on this topic amongst western central banks and policy makers and many share Krugman’s views.

Krugman is right that so far the record debt levels in the U.S. and throughout much of the western world and the currency printing response have not led to inflation or stagflation.

However, it is very premature to completely discount the risk. History clearly shows printing money on the scale that we have witnessed in recent years ultimately leads to inflation, and sometimes hyperinflation.

Lenin rightly warned that the "best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debase the currency.” History confirms this.

Krugman has great respect for Keynes and yet Keynes shared Lenin's concerns. "Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency" warned Keynes.

In a time of cosy Keynesian consensus, plurality of opinion is important and it is worth remembering this important warning from the past.

Krugman, has been one of the most vocal gold bears in recent years and his opinion on gold has lacked nuance and ignored the academic and historical record.

As ever, a historical perspective and a long term perspective is important. Only time will tell who was right and who was wrong. Until then, it remains prudent to have an allocation to physical gold in a diversified portfolio.

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 -- Published: Wednesday, 23 July 2014 | E-Mail  | Print  | Source: GoldSeek.com

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