Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Inflation in 2007 Shot up by the Largest Amount in 26 years

What decreases the value of our money? If you have been reading my posts you already know that it's an increase in the supply. (Or decrease in demand, unlikely the demand for money will decrease.)
  • Consumer Debt (Credit Cards and Mortgages)
  • Government Debt ("the national debt")
  • Recirculation of Previously Frozen Money (Like money China has been saving in vaults.)
  • Counterfeit Money (very small percent)
Counterfeit Money is stealing because it makes every one's dollars worth less. So what do you call it when the Government spends trillions of dollars that don't exist and make our dollars worth less? TAXATION!

So, what are you going to do about it? Find out what your presidential candidate is going to do about inflation. Let's give tax breaks to those who need them, but does it matter if all of our expenses go up by 7%?

We have to be smarter consumers and voters.

Read the Article: Wholesale Prices Soared Last Year

Monday, January 14, 2008

People do Strange Things with Money

Would you rather earn $50,000 a year while other people make 25,000, or would you rather earn $100,000 a year while other people get $250,000? Assume for the moment that prices of goods and services will stay the same.

According to Michael Shermer of the LA Times, "research shows that the majority of people select the first option; they would rather make twice as much as others even if that meant earning half as much as they could otherwise have. How irrational is that?"

Shermer spells out people's desire to avoid regret saying, "Regret falls under a psychological effect known as loss aversion. Research shows that before we risk an investment, we need to feel assured that the potential gain is twice what the possible loss might be because a loss feels twice as bad as a gain feels good. That's weird and irrational, but it's the way it is. "

It's soo true... we do avoid regret. There are no less than 5 current game shows that high-light this part of our brains. Reading this article I couldn't help but think about the famous TV game show "Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?". No one has reached and beat the million dollar question largely due to the way the win/loss is setup for each question.

Anyway, I won't try to put the whole article in quotes here... just go read it.

How does Counterfeit money play?

The reality is that counterfeit money doesn't play much of a part to you and I. If we come across a counterfeit $100 bill we would probably not know it... we would acquire it legally and spend it or deposit it legally. The reality is, for normal consumers that $100 bill unless obviously fraudulent would be worth $100.

But, what does a large number of fraudulent bills in our economy mean? Well, just like debt and just like government overspending counterfeit money pollutes our money and makes it less valuable.

Which leads me to this article I read today "Mysterious $100 ‘supernote’ counterfeit bills appear across world". I learned no less than 20 things I didn't know about money, investigations, and conspiracy theory. Now, I'm not a conspiracy type... but I do believe that if enough people are given the opportunity to make money they will go along with it.

Apparently there have been supernotes, perfect duplicates, showing up in the money system for a number of years. The article says "The paper appears to be made from the same cotton and linen mix that distinguishes U.S. currency from others. It includes the watermarks visible from the other side of the bill, colored microfibers woven into the substrate of the banknote and an embedded strip, barely visible, that reads USA 100 and glows red under ultraviolet light."

Klaus Bender, the author of Moneymakers: The Secret World of Banknote Printing, said the phony $100 bill is “not a fake anymore. It’s an illegal parallel print of a genuine note.” He claims that the supernotes are of such high quality and are updated so frequently that they could be produced only by a U.S. government agency such as the CIA.

As unsubstantiated as the allegation is, there is a precedent. An expert on the CIA, journalist Tim Weiner, has written how the agency tried to undermine the Soviet Union’s economy by counterfeiting its currency.

Anyway... I don't necessarily subscribe to the conspiracy theory but it does get you thinking. Personally, I think it is extremely likely that one of our enemies weather that be rogue Russia, North Korea, Iran, or China is probably behind the notes... but I am no expert and I have no evidence.

The article is a good read, enjoy. As a side note did you know that "The [Money's] ink maker, [is] a Swiss firm named Sicpa, [who] mixes the ink at a secure U.S. government facility. The highly specialized and regulated tint also is used on the space shuttle’s windows."

Kansas City Star

New Posts

You know, I read hundereds of articles a day. I haven't been inspired to write an article in 6 months... then today, I read two very interresting articles. So... without further delay...