Sunday, April 17, 2016

A proper rejoinder to an empty threat

From yesterday's Open Europe news summary:


French Economy Minister: UK “won’t be in a position to negotiate something better” after Brexit

French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron told an audience in London yesterday, “After a Brexit vote, you are not in a position to negotiate something better…Leave the club and you will be alone. What will be your position with the Chinese? I’m sorry to say, but exactly the same as Jersey and Guernsey with the EU.”

The proper response to M. Macron is "Why would the UK have to negotiate anything?" The UK--or any nation, for that matter--can freely open its borders to the imports of the entire world. It does not have to negotiate something that it can do unilaterally. Of course, the French Prime Minister is speaking about his own country's trade barriers to deny the importation of UK goods. No nation can control the self-defeating actions of others. If France wants to embargo goods from the UK, it certainly can do so and there is nothing that the UK can do about it. But so what? Who is harmed? The French! The French do not enjoy UK products that they would prefer over products from anywhere else, including France. Otherwise, what is the purpose of embargoing UK goods? When the French sell goods into the UK market, they take pounds in payment. What are the French to do with these pounds? Stack them in the vault of the Bank of France and never spend them? Fine. Now the French have given UK citizens free gifts of their goods.

One of the greatest and most persistent fallacies in economics is that a nation suffers when it lowers its barriers to imports and the exporting country does not reciprocate.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer re: Was the Libyan intervention legal?

Re: White House is seeking to share blame over Libya

Dear Sirs:
As described in the above report by Josh Lederman and Kathleen Hennessey, found on page A10 of yesterday's Inquirer, the White House is concerned primarily with seeking a better outcome from future military interventions based upon its past failures. The bigger and more important question for Americans is whether the Libyan intervention was legal. Muammar Gadhafi, whom NATO helped depose and who later was killed, asked the right question. Why was NATO attacking his country when his country had not attacked a NATO country? Is America is a nation of laws or of men? President Obama--and, I fear, most politicians-- believe the latter.

Patrick Barron

Friday, April 8, 2016

German and Dutch objections to ECB QE are ignored

From today's Open Europe news summary:

ECB Minutes show deep divisions over stimulus measures
Minutes of the March meeting of the ECB governing council, released on yesterday reveal deep divisions amongst its members over the latest round of ECB stimulus. The Dutch and German members were fiercely against, The Financial Times reports, with the minutes noting that some feared the measures could result in “market distortions,” and that “the costs and risks of engaging further in public sector asset purchases, particularly in the medium to long term, would outweigh their potential benefits.”
 
As usual, Germany's (now joined by the Dutch) objections to the ECB's quantitative easing program is ignored. It is a mystery why Germany continues to use the euro, since it is no one's interest, not even the rest of the Eurozone countries, that it do so. The euro is a mechanism for the rest of Europe to steal German capital in order to prop up unsustainable welfare programs. This process will not cease until Germany's economy is shattered. How can this be in the best interest of anyone, even the irresponsible countries of Europe? I believe the answer is that the rest of the Eurozone countries are led by opportunistic politicians who will line their pockets so that they themselves will not be affected by the coming collapse.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

My letter to the Philadephia Inquirer re: The consumer always pays

Dear Sirs:
I have been following your reporting of Mayor Kenney's proposed tax on sugary drinks. Please keep one thing in mind--consumers pay every tax; corporations merely collect it. Coca Cola and Pepsi must pass on the cost of any tax to the consumer or go out of business. Do not be confused with supposed "research" that shows that not all previous taxes were passed on to consumers. ALL business expenses are borne by the consumer of the final product.

Patrick Barron

Do what I say or I'll shoot myself!

From today's Open Europe news summary:

Spain warns of consequences for Gibraltar if Britain votes for Brexit

The Times reports that Spain may end its agreements with Gibraltar, and could even close the border if Britain votes to leave the EU. A Spanish official told the paper that “We do not see Britain leaving the European Union as an opportunity but you have to understand that if Brexit happened it would change our obligations to Gibraltar… No longer would we have to respect the free movement of capital and goods which Brussels demands. We could even close the border if wanted to.”


This "Spanish official" should ask all the Spaniards who work in Gibraltar if they would support closing the border. No wonder Catalonia wants its independence.

Pat Barron

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Part 2 of my interview re: The end of dollar hegemony

Part 2. Thirty minutes.

Pat Barron

Show notes page: http://www.wakeupcallpodcast.com/dollar-hegemony-2/

iTunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wake-up-call-podcast-foreign/id1089024518?mt=2&ls=1
Embed code (embed a player on your site):
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mw1dmiwdCMk
In case you missed it, here is Part 1, also thirty minutes.
 
Pat Barron
Show notes page: http://www.wakeupcallpodcast.com/dollar-hegemony/

iTunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wake-up-call-podcast-foreign/id1089024518?mt=2&ls=1
Embed code (embed a player on your site):
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9PkT2m_vd4

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The history, meaning, and probable end of "dollar hegemony"

This thirty minute interview is part one of a two part series. Part two will be released next week.

In this interview I explain how the dollar became the world's leading reserve currency, what it means to be a reserve currency, how the US has benefited financially from this arrangement, and how delinking the dollar to gold has allowed our military empire to expand in an irresponsible manner.

Pat Barron

http://www.wakeupcallpodcast.com/dollar-hegemony/