Thursday, November 8, 2007

The "Con" Game!

US Congress to examine ‘speculative’ oil trades
Carl Levin, a senior US Senator, on Thursday moved to address increasing concern among some lawmakers over high energy prices by announcing he would chair a hearing to “examine the role of speculation in recent record crude oil prices”.

Here's a thought. Maybe it is our falling dollar, massive trade deficit, and loose monetary policy that's causing speculators to speculate? You think?

I'm confident that confused conundrums will be conveniently contained if Congress constructively concentrates on price controls while concurrently conserving conglomerate container shipments constituting our constrained consumer economy!

Woohoo! That's truly the stuff "con" games are made of! Prosperity here we come!! I think it is time we started rereading our 1970s playbook again.

"Price Fixing"
This happened in the 1970's, when inflation threatened to destroy consumers' confidence in the economy itself. The government fixed prices to stop inflation and restore confidence.

I should probably mention that it did not work I suppose.

President Nixon Imposes Wage and Price Controls
The wage and price controls were mostly dismantled by April, 1974. By that time, the U.S. inflation rate had reached double digits.

This post inspired by Kevin, who left me a link to the article in the comments.


Anonymous said...

The chairman of China Everbright Bank, Tang Shuangning, has proposed that China cut the share of dollar holdings in its foreign exchange reserves, the official Shanghai Securities News reported.

Tang is a former vice chairman of China Banking Regulatory Commission.

He said cutting dollar holdings is an option in resolving the problem of excess liquidity.

Other possible courses of action include increasing overseas investment, stimulating domestic consumption, reducing the trade surplus and controlling speculative inflows.

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson reiterated his support for a strong dollar Thursday and also called on China to speed up its economic reforms.

"A strong dollar is in our nation's interest and again the currency value should be determined competitively based upon our economic fundamentals," Paulson told Chinese and US business leaders gathered in New York.

Guess the fundamental must suck. Every time Paulson says this the currency traders pound the dollar.


Teri said...

I wish I'd keep my Whip Inflation Now buttons. I did manage to get some sort of make work job back then that paid for new tires for me. Maybe Hilary can arrange something when she becomes Commisar.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the oil price issue, check out the latest piece at Jeff Vail's blog "Energy Intelligence" entitled "On Odalisques and Obelisks. Alternate Title: It’s the Demand Inelasticity, Stupid." Makes me think Congress would be doing us better service considering our energy future and approaches to real energy policy rather than trying to fix a problem with the same old crap that, as you say, didn't work last time 'round.

Stagflationary Mark said...


At this point I think the U.S. dollar gets sold out of spite every time the "strong dollar" is mentioned.

Stagflationary Mark said...


Perhaps we can get some WIY buttons and pretend everything is okay.

Whipped Inflation Yesterday

Stagflationary Mark said...


It’s like the house near me that has a big “For Sale” sign with a banner saying “Priced Below Market!”

Hahaha! How true. Oh well.

It isn't like Congress isn't trying to figure out a way to "fix prices" in housing too.

The more Congress "fixes" the less prosperous we'll be, if history is any indicator.