quarta-feira, 12 de agosto de 2009

Bubble Economics: The Illusion of Wealth, Douglas French

"Since 1998, the money supply (as measured by M2) has doubled. In fact, it has increased elevenfold since 1971, when we gave up the last ties of the gold standard. So we have an expansion in the money supply now that is similar to what we had during the Roaring Twenties. We also have a series of bubbles: a tech bubble, then a real-estate bubble — all part of what Bill Fleckenstein calls "Operation Enduring Bubble." Of course, inflation and the resulting bubbles have disastrous economic effects. But in Human Action, Mises wrote that

The boom produces impoverishment. But still more disastrous are its moral ravages. It makes people despondent and dispirited. The more optimistic they were under the illusory prosperity of the boom, the greater is their despair and their feeling of frustration. The individual is always ready to ascribe his good luck to his own efficiency and to take it as a well-deserved reward for his talent, application, and probity. But reverses of fortune he always charges to other people, and most of all to the absurdity of social and political institutions. He does not blame the authorities for having fostered the boom. He reviles them for the inevitable collapse.

That is exactly what most people are doing today. They're blaming Wall Street. Everyone congratulated themselves when their homes were doubling in value. Everybody thought they were smart to pick those stocks in their 401(k) plans. But now that the bubble has popped, it's all Wall Street's fault."

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