HEADING TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET

HEADING TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET Around 1980, the US was headed to hell in a handbasket. I have identified ten ways 1) Despite desperate rescue efforts, the dollar was crashing… Save-the-dollar Plans Started In Secret ‘Rescue Efforts Secret’ Victoria Advocate Google News Archive Nov 5, 1978 Carter and Dollar By WILLIAM GLASGALL NEW YORK (AP) – President Carter’s top economic advisors, convinced that voluntary wage and price restraints would tail, started SECRETLY PLANNING last week’s drastic action to rescue the dollar even before the voluntary plan was announced. … As both the dollar and the stock market dropped … the contingency planners, Blumenthal, Treasury Undersecretary Anthohy Solomon and Executive Assistant Richard W. Fisher, went to work in earnest and in secret. THE PLAN HAD TO BE GUARDED “FROM ANY LEAKS WHATSOEVER,” aid the source, apparently to prevent speculation and AVOID POLITICAL PROBLEMS. “We didn’t even let the deputy secretary Robert Carswell know what was going on. It was just us, the President and the vice president.” … With the dollar dropping by nearly 50 percent against the Swiss franc over 12 months, and the speed building daily, “everybody knew the foreign exchange markets had gone out of hand,” the source said. “We all cooperated. No one interfered. It all felled together.” … Grave Dollar Threats Preceded Monetary Grave Dollar Threats Preceded Monetary ‘Jolt’ Times-News – Google News Archive – Nov 15, 1978 By CLYDE H. FARNSWORTH WASHINGTON – … A sense of fear of the unknown was being transmitted to the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board in Washington by the normally cool operators on the foreign-exchange trading desk of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Not only was the dollar falling precipitously in relation to such stronger currencies as the West German mark, the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc but also it was reeling against such weaker currencies as the French franc, the Italian lira and the British pound. At one point the French franc was worth 34 cents. It had brought less than 25 cents a few days earlier. “There was a sense of panic,” said one key United States central banker. … 2) Chronic deficits were destroying the dollar… Mil Mirror . Big Budget Deficits: Primary Inflation Cause Big Budget Deficits Primary Inflation Cause Times-News – Google News Archive – Sep 21, 1978 By JOHN CUNNIFF AP Business Analyst NEW YORK (AP) – Intimations that President Carter’s anti-inflation program might include wage-price standards is eliciting from business spokesmen the frustrated comment that restraints begin at home. Home in this instance is the White House, where the administration has been running big budget deficits that are seen as the primary cause of inflation. In recent years deficits are generally tolerated as pump primers for a deflated economy, but spokesmen for the business community observe that the current economy has been expanding for 41 months. In such a situation, even relatively small government deficits may be inflationary, they say. But recent deficits have been mammoth – $51.1 billion in 1978 and perhaps close to $40 billion in 1979. The President nevertheless referred to the fiscal 1979 budget as tight last week and simultanously called on Americans to prepare themselves for sacrifices in order to restrain inflation. Such behavior, said Albert Cox, Jr., head of Merrill Lynch Economics, “Is the desperation of politicians to ‘do something’ about inflation in the absence of facing up to its fundamental causes- EXCESSIVE FEDERAL SPENDING AND MONEY CREATION.” Perusing recent speeches, economic letters and commentaries a reader is convinced that a very large part of the big business community is angered that WASHINGTON POSES AS AN INNOCENT WHILE BLAMING OTHERS. Speaking to businessmen last week, Ellrnore Patterson, Morgan Gauranty’s executive committee chairman, suggested that government cannot ask sacrifices of the public unless it sacrifices itself. “There would be a better chance to build belief that Inflation can be licked if there were stronger evidence that the instrumentalities of government were determined to be full partners,” he said. “Governments that seek to solve tough inflation problems by means other than resolute fiscal and monetary action usually encounter limited success,” he said. … 3) Stop-gap efforts to prop up the dollar were losing all credibility… Dollar Tumbles In Sharp Reaction To Carter Program Dollar Tumbles In Sharp Reaction To Carter Program Sarasota Herald-Tribune – Google News Archive – Oct 26, 1978 By JEFF BRADLEY LONDON (AP) – President Carter’s new anti-inflation program was dismissed on world money in markets Wednesday as too little, too late, and the dollar plunged to new lows in heavy selling. But some experts said the plan may do some good in the long run. Foreign exchange dealers said Carter’s plan to limit wages and prices voluntarily as woefully inadequate to stem the dollar’s 18-month decline. “We had not expected much,” commented one Swiss dealer, “BUT WE HAD NOT EXPECTED SO LITTLE.” … Inflation Plan No. 2. All Those Billions Won’t Restore Dollar INFLATION PLAN NO. 2 All Those Billions Won’t Restore Dollar Sarasota Herald-Tribune Google News Archive Nov 12, 1978 By NICHOLAS von HOFFMAN AFTER THE administration’s anti-inflation plan was greeted with THE SCOFFING, SKEPTICAL RIDICULE IT MERITS, something like panic must have hit the White House. Plan No. 2, the one which is to save the dollar from foreign ignominy, cannot have been cooked up by calm and intrepidly rational statesmen. The fact that the stock market heard the news of our latest save-the-dollar expedition and took a record-making bound upward is no reason for thinking the plan makes sense. Day-to-day market fluctuations are inscrutably unintelligible; any administration which uses an uptick in the market as a validation of its policies is going to be sorry it chose such a quixotic standard of approval. It’s A Judgment The way the news was presented MAKES MR. CARTER A HERO, as if supporting the dollar were an act of patriotism like supporting the flag. We should all support the flag, but the dollar is money – and that’s business, not red, white and blue rahrah. If the announcement of this mistaken rescue attempt is to be treated like a brave cavalry charge into the guns of international finance, let it also be recognized that it’s the charge of the light Brigade and we’re going to lose the $28 billion committed to it. In the past, a number of nations have sought to prop up the price of their currency AND IT HAS NEVER WORKED. In the long run, the price of the dollar as expressed in yen, deutsche marks or francs is a businessman’s best judgment of what each of those currencies will buy. In the short run a currency may be undervalued but the administration’s contention that the American dollar has been undervalued for months and months STRAINS REASONABLE BELIEF. If dollars were really worth more than people are willing to pay for them in other currencies, someone BESIDES Secretary of the Treasury Blumenthal would understand that this is an exemplary chance to buy dollars cheap, convert them into merchandise to sell abroad and make a killing. This isn’t the first time the administration has announced it would spend money to drive up the dollar’s price abroad. It did the same thing to no effect except to lose $5 billion some months ago. Now it proposes to spend $28 billion on the supposition that the first attempt to save the dollar failed because we didn’t lose enough billions. REASONING LIKE THIS TURNS THE MIND TO FUDGE. In order to support the dollar, our government is obliged to borrow that 28 billion from Japan and Germany in marks and yen with which to go into the money market to bid up the buck. Ultimately that money, with interest we can safely presume, will have to be repaid, at which time our balance of payments, already a subject of White House gloom, will look worse than ever. And irony of ironies, they tell us one of the reasons for propping up the dollar is to balance the money inflows with money outflow to foreign nations. Get Competition Going Just as baffling is the administration’s contention it must push up the dollar to make foreign imports cheaper in the United States. The government asserts that when the prices of foreign goods go up, American domestic manufacturers raise their prices accordingly. If that’s true, IT MEANS THE FREE MARKET COMPETITIVE SYSTEM HAS DEVELOPED SOME SERIOUS HITCHES AND HICCUPS. The answer to that, however, isn’t to waste our money speculating in the foreign currency market but in restoring effective price competition here at home. In a tangential act having little to do with anything, the government also announced it would be stepping up the volume of its gold sales. Very dramatic but of no great importance. It’s nice if the government wants to sell gold, aluminum or chicken guano and make some money but it isn’t going to have any solid effect on inflation and the weakness of the dollar. … What would really be reassuring would be an announcement by the muckity-mucks in the Treasury that they understand you can’t have a sound dollar abroad unless you have a sound dollar at home. No more tricks, no more dramatics, gentlemen, please. Dull, intelligent, stick-to-it-iveness will suffice. Treasury Efforts Are Irrational SUPPORTING THE DOLLAR Treasury Efforts Are irrational Sarasota Herald-Tribune – Google News Archive – Jan 17, 1978 … The dollar is worth less abroad for the same reasons that the dollar is worth less at home. Every effort by the American government to avoid that uncomfortable fact WILL FAIL AND FAIL AT GREAT COST. The notion that the government can push up the price of the dollar, by buying Deutsche marks so as to buy back dollars with the same Deutschemarks IS INHERENTLY IRRATIONAL. … Stop-gap Action To Save The Dollar Seems Doomed Stop-Gap Action To Save The Dollar Seems Doomed The Dispatch Google News Archive Aug 18, 1978 By R GREGORY NOKES Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON – For more than a year the value of the once-prized U.S. dollar has drifted steadily downward, and no one seems to know when it will stop. Lately the decline has been worse than ever. After months of following a hands-off approach recommended by his advisers President Carter now seems determined to try to put a floor under the falling greenback, but there is reason to fear that any emergency actions to protect the dollar will be doomed to failure. The fall in the been overdone dollar has at times, particularly when it lost 5 percent of its value in a single day against the Swiss franc this week, and 8 percent in a single week in July against the Japanese yen. But the downward plunge, from all available evidence, REFLECTS REAL TRENDS AND REAL UNDERLYING ECONOMIC CONDITIONS THAT WILL NOT BE CHANGED BY STOP-GAP MEASURES. An economist for a major Midwest bank summed up the view of several experts when he said that intervention by the government to buy up dollars with foreign currencies might prop up the value of the beleaguered greenback for a time, but only for a time. Intervention in this manner has been tried before and ills considered the most-likely option for the government to take again if it decides to act. “The moral of the past is that we could expect a temporary solution at best,” he said. “But it would just be a matter of time before reversed again,” he said. Clearly the dollar is in trouble, and the cost to Americans in inflation and lost confidence has been high. The dollar has lost over 30 percent of its value in the past year against the Japanese yen and 33 percent against the Swiss franc. Only the Canadian dollar has done worse than the U.S currency. … An economist for a Washington-based research group summed up the problem: “Put altogether inflation is rising, there is no Federal Reserve backbone, the administration’s inability to get its policy” enacted, there is massive uncertainty… People are saying let’s get out of the dollar, and IT’S NOT JUST OVERSEAS, most dolIar holders are in this country. 4) In mounting its reckless dollar defense, the ESF had gotten itself in a terrible mess… When the refusal of the administration of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson to pay for the Vietnam War and its Great Society programs through taxation resulted huge budgets deficits and rampant inflation, the treasury began intervening to support the dollar. Mounting a Defense of the Dollar: The 1960s The restoration of normalcy in international monetary affairs in the late 1950s coincided with a shift of the US balance of payments toward deficits, by the standard measure of the day, and a drain of gold from the United States under the rules of the regime. The US Treasury therefore adopted a more active strategy to defend the dollar and gold convertibility. That shift in strategy was marked by the first postwar intervention by the United States, in March 1961. US monetary authorities realized, however, that their financial resources for dollar defense could not support large operations. They therefore cobbled together several sources to finance the effort. First, the Treasury could always draw on its reserve and credit tranches at the IMF. Second, with other leading industrial countries, they created the General Arrangements to Borrow (GAB) in order to supplement IMF resources in the event of a large drawing by the United States and formed the Group of Ten (G-10). Third, and most important in practice, the Federal Reserve opened a series of swap agreements with foreign central banks. Fourth, later in the decade, Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) were created, supplementing international reserves of all IMF member states. The expansion of the ESF thus fit into this larger mosaic of official financial mechanisms and institutions for the defense of the dollar and the fixed-rate regime. The assets of the ESF, a paltry $330 million at the beginning of this period, were increased in three ways. First, beginning in 1962, the Treasury issued FOREIGN-CURRENCY-DENOMINATED BONDS TO FOREIGN MONETARY AUTHORITIES (these were called Roosa bonds after the Under Secretary for Monetary Affairs at the time, Robert V. Roosa). Second, in 1963 the practice of ”warehousing” was instituted, which allowed the Treasury to temporarily convert foreign-currency holdings into dollars at the Federal Reserve. Third, under the Special Drawing Rights Act of 1968, SDR allocations by the IMF were deposited on the books of the ESF. These mechanisms allowed the Treasury to increase ESF assets to $2.6 billion by 1968, $2.1 billion of which WAS MATCHED BY COUNTERVAILING LIABILITIES. … The size of intervention operations over the course of the decade mounted into the billions of dollars. The defense of the dollar included support for the pound sterling, which involved loans to the United Kingdom from the ESF in 1967 and 1968. Separately, the Treasury also extended 20 credit arrangements to Latin American countries and one to the Philippines during the 1960s (see table 1). Because downward pressure on the dollar recurred with some frequency through the beginning of the 1970s, the Treasury preferred to roll over its outstanding Roosa bonds, LEAVING THE ESF EXPOSED TO A DEVALUATION OF THE DOLLAR. … Even worse than the Roosa bonds, a major component of the dollar’s defense was the secret use of OTC derivatives (forward contracts). The Fed Debate in the 1960s over Sterilized Foreign Exchange Intervention reveals the extent of the Treasury’s forward operations. 2. THE EXCHANGE STABILIZATION FUND In 1961, the Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF) of the U.S. Treasury began to intervene in the foreign exchange markets. Its ability to intervene, however, was limited by its resources. … Because so much of its resources were tied up, the ESF intervened mainly in the forward markets [The forward contracts are a type of OVER-THE-COUNTER (OTC) DERIVATIVES]. … The dollar often traded at a large discount in the forward market. The Treasury entered into commitments to furnish foreign currencies in the future in order to reduce this discount. In doing so, it hoped to encourage individuals to hold dollar-denominated assets by reassuring them that the dollar would not depreciate in value. … In an attempt to encourage Italian commercial banks to hold dollars rather than turn them over to the central bank, the ESF entered into $200 million in forward contracts. The forward commitments of the ESF in lira and Swiss francs amounted to $346.6 million in early 1962. FORWARD COMMITMENTS, however, CARRIED THE RISK OF LOSS IF THE DOLLAR DID NOT APPRECIATE. … By 1977, Exchange Stabilization Fund, like the dollar, was nearing collapse. … when the Carter administration came to office, … THE [ESF] ACCOUNT WAS WEAK FINANCIALLY, … The foreign currency liabilities of the fixed-rate period-mainly rolled-over Roosa bonds-had created (realized and unrealized) losses for the ESF as the dollar depreciated.6 Owing to these losses, the ESF would soon technically register a NEGATIVE CAPITAL POSITION … 6. In early 1977 the Treasury had sustained losses on Swiss franc-denominated bonds of at least $278.6 million and expected TO LOSE AT LEAST SEVERAL HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS MORE. When these issues were retired in 1979, TOTAL LOSSES SINCE 1961 AMOUNTED TO $1,134.6 MILLION. … 5) World confidence in the dollar had collapsed… Status Of Dollar And Americans Abroad Tend To Tell Us Something Status of dollar and Americans abroad tend to tell us something Lawrence Journal-World – Google News Archive – Jun 13, 1980 By WILLIAM SAFIRE … THE DECLINE of the American dollar, and the subsequent impoverishment of the American tourist or worker abroad, is a symptom of America’s ebbing influence in Europe. We are no longer resented for being rich and powerful. We are treated with SORROWFUL CONDESCENTION for being unproductive and musclebound. For the first time, America is viewed as being wholly paralyzed during an election year. Although our election-year rhetoric always favors minorities and ethnic groups, our stated government policy on both economic and diplomatic affairs has rarely been dismissed so airily by our allies Europeans … are treating Carter’s reaction to the seizure of hostages and the invasion of Afghanistan as the bellowing of a weak president anxious to appear tough to his home constituency. …many European businessmen foresee Carter’s quick abandonment of the anti-inflation ramparts. With an unemployment surge that would topple many governments, and with a threat from the left of his own party, Carter is expected TO DECLARE INFLATION DEAD FOREVER AND TO REFLATE FRANTICALLY. This would mean EASY MONEY, TAX CUTS, A FLOOD OF DEFICIT SPENDING, and if inflation spurts again before Election Day wage and price controls that would welcome the liberal left back into the Carter campaign. Economic insanity? OF COURSE … Western Europe Abandons The Dollar Western Europe Abandons The Dollar Palm Beach Daily News Google News Archive Oct 15, 1979 By MONROE FRIEDLANDER … Before last November, the only real support for the dollar was the direct intervention in the foreign exchange market by foreign central banks. Technically, what they did was to buy overhanging dollars by issuing their own currency in exchange. The dollars thus acquired became the reserve against the newly minted D-marks, schillings etc. In the 12 months preceding November 1, these foreign central banks acquired roughly $40 billion in the manner described and issued an equivalent amount of their own local money. As a result of these transactions, money supplies, especially in West Germany, Belgium and Holland, balooned materially leading to price instability. Unlike Americans, THE POPULATIONS OF THESE COUNTRIES DO NOT SIT IDLY BY WHILE POLITICANS DESTROY PRIVATE WEALTH. When the political pressure became great enough before last November, our money managers were told that if they were interested in saving the integrity of the dollar, the initiative would be theirs as THE TAXPAYERS OF WESTERN EUROPE COULD NO LONGER AFFORD TO SUBSIDIZE THE AMERICAN CONSUMER. The policy change and subsequent shift of responsibility for the value of the dollar from Bonn to Washington after last November 1 is entirely responsible for the trends of rising interest rates, galloping inflation and threatened recession we have seen these past 11 months. The wild increases in money supply and bank credit also stems, through a complicated process, from the shift of U.S. Treasury securities ownership that occurred following the November 1 decision. These trends have been further intensified by the oil price increase and renewed efforts of Europeans to roll back the inflation spawned by the preNovember dollar purchases. Interest rates have more than doubled in West Germany since last November. This factor alone has placed great pressure on the U.S. dollar and is probably responsible for the last two increases in our discount rate. The point is, the European community appears determined to avoid further inflation. They do not CONFUSE PROSPERITY WITH FINANCIAL INSTABILITY. In his last speech, the West German president said, referring to Americans, “WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE ARE THEY TO ALLOW THEIR MONEY TO BECOME WORTHLESS?” Austria has revalued its currency upward at a time when its current account balance is turning negative. This is terribly punishing to business and wage earners, yet, it has done it and in order to hold the EMS together, West Germany also will soon be forced to revalue. If dollar weakness should develop again, and there is considerable cause for concern that it will, SUPPORT ORIGINATING FROM EUROPE CANNOT BE RELIED ON. The burden falls entirely on our own money manager WHOSE ONLY WEAPONS ARE LIMITED FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES (about $6 billion) and the power to manipulate interest rates. It is impossible to describe the vulnerability of the dollar without perspiring a little. Most people would not understand anyway. … ——————————– 6) Federal Reserve and its “tight money” policy were a joke… Laughing at the Fed; Monetary ‘In-Group’ Examines Ironies Of Laughing at the Fed; Monetary ‘In-Group’ Examines Ironies Of Nation’s Central Bank Operations AN EXAMINATION: FED’S OPERATIONS By EDWIN L. DALE Jr. New York Times – February 3, 1969, Monday WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 — There are many “in-groups” in this world, each with its own set of private jokes. In the monetary in-group, which just might have the prosperity of us all at stake, the biggest “yok” in town is the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve System. Banks are laughing at it. Economists are laughing at it. Businessmen — getting loans like crazy – are probably laughing at it. Congressmen are not in the in-group. They are just frustrated and puzzled by it. THE EASIEST LAUGH around is to ask, at a party, “Say, have you heard? THE FED IS TIGHTENING MONEY.” … The Federal Reserve, it often seems, hurls thunderbolts and nothing happens. It raises the discount rate and it furiously buys and sells Treasury bills. It watches such arcane things as the Federal funds rate and net borrowed reserves and the bank credit proxy. It tells the world solemnly that, by golly, it means business in stopping inflation. IT DOESN’T KNOW HOW, TO BE SURE. As King Lear said, “I will have such revenges on you that all the world shall– I will do such things–what they are yet I know not; but they shall be the terrors of the earth.” The Fed tells one and all that it will be the terror of the earth. And what happens? Everybody keeps on borrowing just as before. Bank and other lenders keep on lending pretty much as before. The money – for those who care about it – KEEPS ON EXPANDING. … What Makes Money tight What makes money ‘tight’? Lodi News-Sentinel – Google News Archive – Oct 5, 1979 By Louis Rukeyser NEW YORK – Some AWFULLY SILLY REPORTING is coming out of Washington these days about the tremendous debate that is supposed to be raging there over how long to continue what is described as the government’s perilous “tight money” policy. Both the reporting and the alleged “debate” are remarkably confused, EVEN BY WHAT PASSES FOR INTELLECTUAL STANDARDS IN THE NATION’S CAPITAL. For the neglected truth is that all these instant economic experts are pursuing a total phantom. In reality, as it happens, U.S. monetary policy today is about as “tight” as asize-16 dress on a size-8 model. It is, indeed, SO LOOSE THAT IT HAS ALREADY ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEED (whatever the Washington geniuses may think) ANOTHER YEAR OF VIRULENT INFLATION IN 1980. Part of the reason for the confusion can be found in the facile talk about what is termed “the high-interest-rate, tight-money policy.” Sorry, fellows, but that makes about as much sense as talking about “the white-poodle policy.” Poodles are frequently white, to be sure – but not necessarily; one can be an equally authentic poodle of an entirely different color. And A HIGH-INTEREST-RATE POLICY IS NOT, repeat not, AUTOMATICALLY A TIGHT-MONEY POLICY. What makes money “tight” is its relative unavailability. In 1974, for example, we had a true “money crunch,” when the Federal Reserve Board hit the brakes with the same excessive vigor it had earlier applied to the accelerator. Nothing of the kind has happened in recent months. Quite the contrary: the three commonest gauges of money supply (Ml, M2 and the monetary base) have all recently continued to explode upward at rates ranging from more than 10 to more than 15 percent. IF THAT’S “TIGHT MONEY,” THEN AUSTRALIA IS LOCATED IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC. Moreover, the evidence is that very few people outside of Washington have been taken in by this lately-fashionable chitchat about monetary, tautness. It you want the rest of the world’s opinion, take a look at the international markets for gold and the dollar. The former has been soaring and the latter has been collapsing – both objective votes of “no confidence” in the U.S. government’s determination to restrain the monetary growth that validates inflation. In darkest Washington, to be sure, THE ILLUSION of an oppressively tight monetary policy continues to be conjured. It appears even at the Federal Reserve Board itself, where three members resisted chairman Paul Voicker’s latest effort to bring the federal discount rate into closer alignment with market realities. The irony is that Volcker, who inherited a monetary mess, is now likely to be vilified for doing the one thing he has, in fact, conspicuously tailed to do: making money truly tight. Indeed, a close examination of the interest-rate situation reveals that even it has been produced not by monetary stinginess but by constantly escalating private demand for funds. Fact: in the last quarter, business loans grew by a whopping $9.2 billion - as compared with barely more than half a billion a year earlier, and an actual decline in the similar period of 1977. That’s why the prime rate surged past 13 percent – not because the drunken sailors at the Federal Reserve Board suddenly turned into Ebenezer Scrooge. Nor is it difficult to figure out why the demand for credit continues to burgeon, even at interest rates that not long ago WOULD HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH TEETERING BANANA REPUBLICS. Why not borrow at 13′ percent, when the latest inflation rate is 13.2 percent? it’s free money, by historical standards, with virtually no premium over current inflation demanded by the lender. No wonder corporate treasurers continue to line up at the bank window. The misunderstood reality is that, with brief exception last winter, monetary policy has been OVERLY LOOSE AND OVERLY INFLATIONARY. That’s what truly keeps interest rates high – and the only authentic way to bring down interest rates is to bring down inflation. Washington ought to loosen up on the cliches and tighten up on its thinking. 7) Keynesian economics and its promises of PERPETUAL PROSPERITY were not working… COSTLESS PROSPERITY ON A PERMANENT BASIS Planned Treasury Deficits New Administration Economy Plan Planned Treasury Deficits New Administration Economy Plan Sumter Daily Item – Google News Archive – Jan 29, 1965 By SAM DAWSON NEW YORK (AP) – Managing the economy by a new set of rules in Washington may be up later this year for its first real test. The idea in favor now with President Johnson, his economic advisers, and -they hope – with the Congress, calls for PLANNED TREASURY DEFICITS because TODAY’S RECORD PROSPERITY STILL ISN’T AS PROSPEROUS AS IDEALLY, IT COULD BE. And the idea calls for reliance on tax cuts as a quicker stimulant than increased government spending if the economy falters. But to MAKE RECESSIONS OBSOLETE, the new economic managing policy also holds that if MORE SPENDING seems to be the cure it MUST BE APPLIED MUCH MORE RAPIDLY THAN IN THE PAST. In practice, this would give the President the authority to start spending programs as soon as unemployment lakes a turn for the worse. Midyear may see a test of this theory of fiscal management of the economy - of putting PROSPERITY ON A PERMANENT BASIS – of making it more nearly all inclusive tlrmi it is today. … [It didn't work] EXPECTING A MIRACLE William Satire . The Road To Deflation Is A Rocky One The Road to Deflation … Milwaukee Journal – Google News Archive – Sep 6, 1974 … one of our central problems is that we do expect a miracle; specifically, THE SLOWING OF INFLATION WITHOUT THE SLOWING PAINS OF UNEMPLOYMENT. … President Johnson’s “Great Society, based on the fallacy of Keynesian economics, had assured an entire generation that they could have their cake and eat it too. Throughout the 1960s, politicians promised that we could wage war on foreign soil, control pollution, rebuild our medical system, overhaul our transportation network, guarantee the good life to the poor and elderly, provide a college education for everyone, feed the world, improve our weapon systems, and continue to increase everybody’s disposable income – ALL AT THE SAME TIME. IT WAS A FOOLS PARADISE, and the Nixon administration was determined to do everything humanly possible to break the crazy cycle of boom and bust that had begun with the decade that encompassed the Great Society and led to STEADILY WORSENING INFLATION, RECESSION, ECONOMIC DISLOCATIONS, AND INSTABILITY. Chronic deficits, coupled with President Johnson’s irresponsible spending, had weakened the dollar terribly. … 8) The US was fighting a war on gold… and losing quite badly… Quiet Pooling Of Resources Stabilizes The Gold Market Quiet Pooling of Resources Stabilizes the Gold Market Fort Scott Tribune – Google News Archive – Feb 26, 1963 By SAM DAWSO?’ AP Businss News Analyst NEW YORK (AP) – United States money transactions with the rest of the world have taken a turn for the worse in recent months. But there’s been nothing that could be called a new raid on its gold reserves, Times have changed. … the stability of gold and the evident strength of the dollar in world financial markets is cause of considerable satisfaction. Much of the thanks goes to the group of central bankers, American and foreigners, who have rigged up a device to halt the raids that in the past unsettled one or another currency and for a brief period put the American dollar under strain to the surprise of most Americans who thought it as good as gold. The group acts quietly. In fact, American money managers have never officially said the United States was taking part. But the success of this quiet pooling of international financial resources to protect currencies against the stress of temporary ups and downs of trade and financial balances shows plainly in the stable gold market as reported daily from London. This week prices have been below $35.08 an ounce, making any buying of U.S. government gold unprofitable. This very real, if officially unannounced, international gold pool keeps the London free market stable simply by buying when the price is below the official U.S. Treasury figure. When the price goes above that figure the pool can step in and sell. This swells the amount of gold available and as the supply goes up the demand is met and the price returns to the desired level. The pool doesn’t pretend it can protect the dollar forever if the balance of payments deficit keeps mounting. That is why the United States has taken many measures to boost the total U.S. exports on one hand and to discourage the outflow of dollars on the other. The measures have fallen short of their goal. … Us Looked To For More Gold Action U.S. Looked To For More Gold Action Daytona Beach Morning Journal – Google News Archive – Dec 18, 1967 LONDON (AP) – Financial experts in London looked to the United States Sunday for measures to halt panic buying of gold, which is expected here to continue in the world’s bullion markets. … The London experts expressed doubt of U.S. ability to stem the flood of buying orders which have poured in on all bullion markets since Britain’s Nov. 18 devaluation of the pound. Authoritative estimates put the amount of the metal that has moved out since then through the international gold pool in London at more than 1,000 tons worth about $1.1 billion. Nearly 60 per cent of that gold came from the United States. The experts explained the gold rush as a coincidence of widespread loss of faith in paper money as a result of the pound’s devaluation, inflation in much of the world, and a broad belief held by international speculators that the price of gold must rise. Some British economists and politicians add to this their feeling that President charles do Gaulle of France may have had a hand in fomenting the gold rush. The French, however, strenuously deny this. France withdrew from active participation in the eight-nation international gold pool, which operates out of London, in June when Paris refused to supply more gold. The pool was set tip in 1961 to stabilize the gold market by buying or selling the metal as needed to satisfy demand. … The dollar came under pressure Friday in Europe’s money markets, except in London, after showing strength all week despite the gold rush. The sale of dollars by European holders showed the fear of many on this side of the Atlantic that the dollar was weak because of the continuing-and increasing-deficit in the American balance of foreign payments. … The TIME article below was written in March 1968, as the “London Gold Pool” collapsed under a speculative gold stampede . Speculative Stampede Friday, Mar. 22, 1968 Quietly and secretly, technicians at Fort Knox, Ky., loaded an estimated $450 million worth of gold ingots [about 410 tons of gold] onto a heavily armed convoy. The convoy proceeded to a nearby U.S. Air Force base, where the gold was loaded aboard a transport plane and flown to Britain. There, it was sent to the Bank of England, to be transported by Swissair and British European Airways flights to the coffers of Swiss banks. The influx of gold became so bulging, in fact, that one Swiss bank had to reinforce the walls of its vault to contain it. It was all part of the largest gold rush in history, a frenetic, speculative stampede that last week threatened the Western world with its greatest financial crisis since the Depression. Socks & Mattresses. Telephone and telex lines to London, the world’s largest gold market, were swamped as buyers throughout Europe demanded gold, gold and more gold. More than 200 tons, or $220 million worth, changed hands on the London gold market in one day to establish a new single-day trading record. Where gold could be bought directly, mob scenes erupted and the price soared. Ten times the usual number of buyers jammed the gold pit in the cellar of the Paris Bourse, and fist fights broke out as the price on one day rose to $44.36 an ounce v. the official price of $35. In Hong Kong, frantic trading drove the price up to $40.71, and around the world investors and banks bought gold certificates and gold stocks. Many refused to accept the U.S. dollar in payment. In dozens of nations, from Austria and Italy to Sweden and Ireland, ordinary citizens rushed out to buy gold coins to stuff socks and mattresses, cleaning out numismatic stocks virtually overnight. In London, a $20 U.S. gold piece sold for $56, a £ 1 British sovereign for $10.20. In Geneva, the Swiss lined up at tellers’ windows to convert their savings to gold bars. There was even a run in Hong Kong on gold jewelry. All told, between $1 billion [910 tons] and $2.5 billion [2270 tons] in gold may have changed hands within ten days in London-as much as 10% of the total gold in the seven-nation Gold Pool, whose bullion reserves are the cushion for the $35 international price of gold. No estimate was possible of all the other trading in gold around the world, except that it was colossal. Lost World? The rush was on because speculators-some avaricious, some panicky, some merely prudent-had become convinced that the U.S. and its partners could not much longer maintain the $35 price. With a balance of payments deficit of $3.6 billion last year and a war in Viet Nam that is costing some $30 billion annually, the U.S. has seen its gold reserves shrink by 50% from a postwar peak of $24.6 billion. Now, believed the speculators, the U.S. was nearing the end of its gold tether. If the U.S. could no longer sell gold to all takers at $35 an ounce and the price were allowed to rise to meet the demand, the speculators stood to make a handsome profit, just as they had in the devaluation of the pound sterling last November. Having tasted blood then, many scented another kill -and, in their wild buying, ripped and clawed at the remaining gold stocks in the Gold Pool. Who were the speculators? The identity of most was veiled in the secrecy of Swiss bankers’ files, but they were situated throughout the world. Perhaps as much as 40% of Swiss bank purchases were destined for safekeeping in the coffers of Middle Eastern sheiks and oil potentates. Latin American businessmen, affluent overseas Chinese, Asian generals-all claimed a piece of the action. The central banks of many smaller nations with precarious national reserve margins, including some Communist Eastern European countries, had undoubtedly joined in to protect themselves. More in sorrow than in greed, European corporations moved into the buying to hedge their foreign-currency holdings. So did some wealthy Americans with numbered Swiss accounts, although it is illegal for U.S. citizens to own gold bullion. For the men who understood the situation best, the spectacle was appalling. “The world is lost,” said London Economist John Vaizey. “A rise in the price of gold is inevitable now. It’s like a grand opera of which the overture is over, and we’re in the first act of a world depression.” A usually unemotional Swiss banker warned that “in participating in gold speculation, capitalists are doing their best to destroy the capitalist system. If they win the battle in London, the probability is that the whole present international monetary system will come crashing down.” French Economist Jacques Rueff, who has long predicted a crisis and argued for a rise in the price of gold, saw his worst jeremiads vindicated. “Whether one wants a gold price increase or not,” said Rueff, “it will soon be achieved.” Two-Tier Price. Finally, the pressure grew so great that the U.S. refused to continue to feed gold to satisfy speculators’ greed. In a telephoned message to British Chancellor of the Exchequer Roy Jenkins, the U.S. asked Britain to close the London gold market and shut off the flow from the Gold Pool. Prime Minister Harold Wilson hurried to Buckingham Palace for a midnight meeting with Queen Elizabeth, who declared a bank holiday in foreign-exchange trading. That shut off the Gold Pool’s dealing, and money markets from Singapore to Lusaka followed suit. The Paris market alone stayed open. The U.S. then invited representatives of the Gold Pool nations to Washington for a weekend conference. There was little doubt that the speculators had succeeded in wrecking at least part of the world’s monetary system, and that the U.S. and the other members of the Gold Pool would no longer sell gold to all takers at $35 an ounce. What would likely be decided in Washington was a “two-tier” pricing system for gold, by which the speculators would have to conduct their transactions in a free market. … Gold Pact Stopgap Solution Gold Pact Termed Stopgap Solution Spokane Daily Chronicle – Google News Archive – Apr 8, 1968 “World opinion seems to be that the recently created two-price gold system is but A STOPGAP IMPROVISATION to buy time in which to effectuate more stable arrangements” So wrote Henry L. Day, Wallace, president of Day Mines. Inc., in the firm’s annual report to stockholders. The world’s lost confidence in the dollar was not restored through the recent removal by Congress of the 25-per-cent gold cover against United States paper money, he said … Us To Guard Gold Slump pleases planners U.S. to guard gold Montreal Gazette – Google News Archive – Nov 12, 1969 WASHiNGTON – (DJ) – A SCHEME BEING SECRETIVELY SHAPED here to guard the Treasury’s gold stock helps warrant the plummeting of private-market gold prices in Europe, U.S. officials said yesterday. Already, the clearly pleased planners say, inklings that it is to be forthcoming are buttressing such other factors as shadowy but sizable new South African sales in driving down the London gold price. The afternoon gold fixing price in London yesterday was $37.75, down 32½ cents from the morning and down 60 cents from Tuesday afternoon. The plan, being negotiated with financial allies, is intended to insulate the U.S. gold stock of $11,160,000,000 from a potential drain of hundreds of millions of dollars worth posed by smaller nations’ needs to contribute extra amounts of the metal to the international Monetary Fund. It is understood the broad strategy includes shortchanging the 113-country IMF on the metal itself, in return for the prospect of the IMF obtaining off-setting amounts of hard currencies several years hence. More important from the standpoint of private speculators, sources indicate, is that the operation can be carried out without bringing any newly mined gold from South Africa into official channels – and thus without damaging the two-tier gold price system. A precedent for at least one aspect of the plan, analysts note, lies in an almost unnoticed tactic employed in the previous IMF quota or contribution increase initiated in 1965. Likely to be repeated with some variation as one part of a multifaceted effort in 1970, they say, are dealings along these lines: Denmark, for example, finds that it can’t comply with the rule requiring that 25 per cent of its quota increase must be in gold (75 per cent is regularly in a country’s own currency) unless it buys gold from someone else. Usually the U.S. Treasury would be the source since the U.S. underpins the value of the dollar by generally standing ready to pay out gold in return for dollars from other governments at the fixed price of $35 an ounce. If Denmark turned to South Africa, it would violate the March 1968 pact intended to freeze the total gold holdings of all governments and official institutions at their existing level, while leaving the private market to receive all the fresh supply at a freely-moving price. Instead of taking either of these system-weakening avenues, Denmark would turn to the IMF for a loan, receiving for instance German marks. Denmark would use the marks to buy gold at the official price from the German government and deposit the gold with the IMF, thereby meeting its obligation. But the IMF would sell the gold right back to Germany in return for marks, thus replenishing its holdings of that currency. Gold Soars Again, Dollar Still Slumping Gold soars again, U.S. dollar takes beating Pittsburgh Press – Google News Archive – May 15, 1973 LONDON – (AP-UPT) – Speculation that the Watergate scandals may force President Nixon to resign helped drive the U.S. dollar to record lows in Europe yesterday and pushed gold prices to all-time highs. The dollar plunged to new lows in Paris, Frankfurt, Zurich and Oslo. It weakened in other European centres, but in late trading there was a slight improvement in dollar rates, cutting a small fraction off the day’s losses. Gold rocketed $7 an ounce in the first hour of trading, setting record prices of $113 an ounce in Zurich and $112.50 an ounce in London, the two biggest bullion markets in the world. The metal held nearly all the gain, closing at $112 an ounce in both centres. Dealers called the gold and money markets extremely nervous… CONFIDENCE LOW Dealers here and on the continent suggested that even without the speculation on Nixon’s future, confidence in the U.S. dollar was at a low ebb any way. “Name me a single reason why the dollar should be stronger,” a Zurich banker said. Market sources agreed confidence in the twice-devalued dollar has been sapped by fears of a new inflationary pressure in the United States, the continuing U.S. balance of payments deficit, and concern that Watergate has weakened Nixon’s ability to bring off trade and monetary reforms. Gold and dollar markets are related. Investors lacking confidence in the dollar have been getting out of the U.S. currency and buying gold. … http://www.reserveasset.gold.org/central_bank_agreements/ Central bank agreements on gold 2009 – European Central Banks renew CBGA 1978 – The IMF attempts to write gold out of the system The purpose of the Second Amendment of the IMF Articles was to delete gold from the international monetary system. It followed the failure of attempts to establish a new international monetary system, and in particular the failure of attempts by European countries to force the United States to settle its deficit in gold, or to devalue the dollar against gold. Far from agreeing to keep gold in the system, THE UNITED STATES THEN LED A CRUSADE AGAINST GOLD (while being careful to keep a very large strategic stock of gold in its own reserve, sealed off from the outside world). This amendment BARRED MEMBERS FROM FIXING THEIR EXCHANGE RATES TO GOLD and removed the obligation on members to conduct transactions in gold at the official gold price. To symbolize the plan to drive gold out of the system, the Fund was instructed to dispose of 50 million of its stock of 153 million ounces, partly by sales to the market and partly by giving some gold to members in relation to their quotas. Ironically, THIS EXERCISE HAD THE EFFECT OF SPREADING GOLD MUCH MORE WIDELY THROUGH THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY THAN EVER BEFORE, and GAVE MANY COUNTRIES A NEW INTEREST IN THE GOLD MARKET. Few countries showed any inclination to sell the gold handed to them and in the vast majority of cases it continues to sit on their books. Us Boosts Gold Sales To Strengthen Its Dollar . U.S. boosts gold sales to strengthen its dollar Montreal Gazette – Google News Archive – Aug 23, 1978 WASHINGTON (AP) – The government took its second major step in less than a week to support the U.S. dollar yesterday by announcing plans to sell three million more ounces of gold from its stockpile. The sale is intended to bring more money into the US, and reduce the country’s balance-of-payments deficit, which is a major cause of the dollar’s decline. It is also intended to reduce U.S. Imports of gold. … U.S. Gold Sales Tied to Dollar’s Health; U.S. Gold Auctions Tied U.S. Gold Sales Tied to Dollar’s Health; U.S. Gold Auctions Tied To Stability of the Dollar New York Times – September 22, 1979, Saturday By CLYDE H. FARNSWORTH WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 – A high Treasury official said today that, if the current gold-buying fever had an adverse speculative effect on the dollar, the United States would open the vaults at Fort Knox for EVEN LARGER AMOUNTS OF BULLION TO OFFER AT MONTHLY AUCTIONS. ‘Easy Money’ Can Explain Financial Woes ‘Easy Money’ Can Explain Financial Woes Palm Beach Daily News Google News Archive Oct 15, 1979 By MONROE FRIEDLANDER … The rising price of gold is recognition that DESPITE ALL THE TALK ABOUT FIGHTING INFLATION, THE TREND OF REAL MONEY GROWTH AND INTEREST RATES IS SUPPORTING AND ENCOURAGING HIGHER PRICES ALL THE TIME. … … the growth of money supply must be forced down below the inflation rate. When this happens as a fact, or evidence accumulates that it is going to happen, gold will stop rising, … 9) Faced with imminent doom… Something needed to be done… … By the end of the 1970′s, we had reached stage two [of currency collapse]. The Appendix to the Minority Report contains a number of charts and tables that graphically depict the gravity of the situation as seen by contemporary observers. We reproduce a few below for ease of reference. The Consumer Price Index had reached worrying levels. Source: Minority Report Appendix, Chart 3 … People were indeed becoming inflation-conscious. Contracts routinely contained inflation adjustment clauses, and housewives were beginning to buy that frying pan sooner rather than later. The bounty needed to induce people to hold dollar-denominated assets was skyrocketing, at both ends of the yield curve. Long term nominal interest rates were stratospheric, reflecting utter destruction in the bond market. Source: Minority Report Appendix, Chart 9 Short term rates were climbing too. Source: Minority Report Appendix, Chart 5 … Ominously, the fiat monetary system had already lost several pitched battles in its war with gold. Lacking today’s price management technology, the U.S. and European monetary authorities had been forced to attempt to quell the gold price by means of open sales of physical metal throughout the preceding 18 years. The London Gold Pool of the 1960′s had broken down in abject failure in March 1968, leading to the abrogation of the Bretton Woods gold exchange monetary system three years later. The U.S. Treasury gold sales of the 1970′s ended in 1979, and the last of the parallel sales by the International Monetary Fund occurred on May 7, 1980. Like interest rates, and despite the best efforts of the monetary authorities, the gold price was soaring, hitting $850 in the afternoon London fix on January 15, 1980. The false premise at the core of the fiat monetary system, the conceit that paper printed by a government bureau is money and that gold is not, was being exposed for all to see. Source: Minority Report Appendix, Chart 1 Public confidence, the essential support for fiat money, was at risk. The memory of gold as money had not yet been fully extinguished, … The very structure of the system was eroding. … new banks were being formed under state statutes, and existing members were quitting the Federal Reserve System altogether, switching their charters from federal to state … The power of the central bank, the linchpin of the fiat monetary system, was waning. SOMETHING HAD TO BE DONE. … Nation Needs To Listen To Martin Feldstein Nation needs to listen to Martin Feldstein Daily Reporter – Google News Archive – Dec 14, 1983 WASHINGTON – It is easier to understand the problems of Martin Feldstein than to understand the federal deficit, so the country is getting a little preview of why the American economy could be a disaster area after the 1984 elections. Feldstein is a 44-year-old economist who was almost fired as chairman of President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers – for a classic reason - speaking unpleasant truth. The deficit is becoming a $200 billion-a-year monster. That is four times more than what is was when Reagan took office promising to eliminate it. But who can understand numbers like that? It really is not going to cause you or me much trouble in the immediate future. The deficit may kill us in a couple of years, but that won’t be obvious by Election Day. Nov. 6. 1984. Until then. Republicans and their leader do not want Feldstein pointing out things such as the fact that the deficit is currently 10 times as high a percentage of the gross national product as it was from 1955 to 1961, or twice as high as it was during the “big spending” years of 1975 to 1981. Demonstrating that these deficits are unlike anything in American history was what got Feldstein in trouble at the White House. Until he begun shooting off his mouth, It didn’t seem likely that voters would get excited by economists’ arguments about spending and borrowing and interest rates. But almost anyone can relate to the drama of a guy getting kicked out for blowing the whistle. Maybe some of us will begin to realize that SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN WASHINGTON – VERY ROTTEN. Those sweet Republicans at the White House and those nice Democrats in Congress are all in on it. This is what is going on: The Reagan administration is spending more and more money and taking in relatively less and less because it has reduced the taxes paid by the wealthiest quarter of the population. That might work if spending were cut at the same time, but that is not being done. There have been cuts in some programs for the poor, but not in the great benefit programs of the middle class: Social Security and Medicare. So, under Reagan, we have: (1) big increases in military spending; (2) small cuts in other spending; and (3) relatively lower taxation. Reagan is doing something like what he said he was going to do back in 1980. But the difference is that he didn’t say he was going to borrow the money to make up the difference between what he wants and what he has the political guts to ask the American people to pay for. That borrowing, in lieu of sacrifice, is the growing deficit. Once again we have a president who talks about “sacrifice” but is afraid to ask anyone likely to vote actually to give something up. Most taxpayers are being tricked into giving their money to the military and their financial betters. But they are going to give twice – now and after 1985, when taxes, interest rates and inflation will start going up to pay the bills of 1981 to 1984. The worst will come in about two years when there will be either: - a depression or deep recession as corporations and individuals are unable to borrow because the federal government will be taking even more of the country’s available credit to pay off $300 billion deficits; - or money will be printed in quantities large enough to pay the government’s bills and start THE WORST INFLATIONARY CYCLE AMERICANS HAVE EVER SEEN. Reagan obviously doesn’t want to talk about that. Neither do most Democrats, … So Martin Feldstein stands there, rather heroically, like the boy on the burning deck. He will now be pushed into the ocean to drown, and the captain and crew will say there is no fire. … 10) The entire US financial system was nearing insolvency… Rough Going For Savings & Loans solvency Rough going for Savings & Loans solvency High interest rates threaten Thrifts’ Rock Hill Herald – Google News Archive – Jun 9, 1981 WASHINGTON (NEA) – The nation’s savings and loan associations are in bad financial shape. These so-called “thrift institutions” are being forced to pay high interest rates on the money they borrow from the government and from commercial banks while receiving their income from loans made at earlier, much lower rates. The result has been a continuous flow of red ink that is threatening the whole system of savings and loans. Dale Riordan, a spokesman for the National Savings and Loan League, says that U.S. thrift institutions lost $688 million in the first three months of 1981. He forecasts losses of about $1.5 billion for the first half of this year. Others are predicting losses closer to $2.5 billion for the first half and $6 billion for the year. More than 90 percent of the nation’s savings and loans are insured by the Federal Savings and Loan insurance Corp. That federal agency is the thrift institutions’ counterpart of the Federal Deposit insurance Corp., which insures most of the nation’s commercial banks. An average of fewer than one FSLIC-Insured savings and loan has failed in each of the past 35 years. When a small institution goes under the agency simply pays off its depositors and sells its loan portfolio to another savings and loan in the area. In other cases, the FSIIC arranges the merger of the failed savings and Loans with a stronger one in the area and compensates the acquiring thrift for any losses suffered in the transaction. This plan works fine when the failure rate is only one or two institutions a year. But now the FSLIC has 251 institutions on its “problem list” of those that must be watched closely because of their financial conditions. The list is said to be larger than ever before and to be growing by the month. An agency source says that if interest rates continue at or near current levels for the rest of this year – as many forecasters think they will – as many as 150 thrift institutions may lose their entire net worths and be at least technically insolvent by year’s end. Another 150 could become insolvent if high interest rates continue into 1982. The FSLIC is not equipped to handle a problem of such magnitude. Its reserves, which are used to bail out falling institutions and to assist in mergers, amount to about 46.5 billion. Last year alone it used up almost $1 billion to rescue three savings and loans. Worst still is the near impossibility of finding healthy savings and loans willing to merge with insolvent institutions despite the FSLIC’s ability to make up any losses incurred in the transaction. This problem was until recently compounded by legal restrictions that such mergers occur only between savings and loans in the same state. Although the FSLIC now can go out of state to arrange mergers, few thrift institutions are secure enough to be viable partners for failed institutions, especially those of any size. … If the small banks defeat the FSLIC plan, the only real hope left to the nation’s thrift institutions is that interest rates will somehow plummet over the next few months. But no one has much confidence that this will happen. 1978 to 1982 was a transition period Time Magazine reported that rarely, if ever, had the signs been so confusing . Monday, Sep. 06, 1982 Hope and Worry for Reaganomics By GEORGE J. CHURCH;Gisela Bolte;Frederick Ungeheue … Rarely has the search for omens been as anxious as now, when business is still mired in a slump that has driven unemployment to the highest point in 41 years and bankruptcies to the worst level in half a century. And rarely, if ever, have the signs been so confusing. The forecasters who try to figure out the prospects for jobs, prices, production and incomes are in the position of A MOTORIST APPROACHING A SCHIZOID TRAFFIC LIGHT THAT IS FLASHING GREEN, AMBER AND RED SIGNALS ALL AT ONCE. default iconwinmail.dat
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