15 December, 2006

Important Thoughts, Financial and Economic Advice

Posted by alex in Financial Column, George Lenz at 6:03 pm | Permanent Link

By George Lenz

The virtues of the market system are innumerable: the market successfully solves many problems, including traffic jams. How? Very simple: removing regulation in the form of traffic signs lead to fewer incidents and absence of traffic jams.

European traffic planners dream of streets free of rules and directives, reports
Der Spiegel. They want drivers and pedestrians to interact in a free and humane way, as brethren – by means of friendly gestures, nods of the head and eye contact, without the harassment of prohibitions, restrictions and warning signs. A project implemented by the European Union is currently seeing seven cities and regions clear-cutting their forest of traffic signs. Ejby, in Denmark, is participating in the experiment, as are Ipswich in England and the Belgian town of Ostende.

The utopia has already become a reality in Makkinga, in the Dutch province of Western Frisia. A sign by the entrance to the small town (population 1,000) reads “Verkeersbordvrij” — “free of traffic signs.” Cars bumble unhurriedly over precision-trimmed granite cobblestones. Stop signs and direction signs are nowhere to be seen. There are neither parking meters nor stopping restrictions. There aren’t even any lines painted on the streets. “The many rules strip us of the most important thing: the ability to be considerate. We’re losing our capacity for socially responsible behavior,” says Dutch traffic guru Hans Monderman, one of the project’s co-founders. “The greater the number of prescriptions, the more people’s sense of personal responsibility dwindles.”

Monderman could be on to something. Germany has 648 valid traffic symbols. The inner cities are crowded with a colorful thicket of metal signs. Don’t park over here, watch out for passing deer over there, make sure you don’t skid. The forest of signs is growing ever denser. Some 20 million traffic signs have already been set up all over the country. Psychologists have long revealed the senselessness of such exaggerated regulation. About 70 percent of traffic signs are ignored by drivers. What’s more, the glut of prohibitions is tantamount to treating the driver like a child and it also foments resentment. He may stop in front of the crosswalk, but that only makes him feel justified in preventing pedestrians from crossing the street on every other occasion. Every traffic light baits him with the promise of making it over the crossing while the light is still yellow.

One German borough is already daring to take the step into free car traffic. The town of Bohmte in Lower Saxony has 13,500 inhabitants. It’s traversed by a country road and a main road. Cars approach speedily, delivery trucks stop to unload their cargo and pedestrians scurry by on elevated sidewalks. The road will be re-furbished in early 2007, using EU funds. “The sidewalks are going to go, and the asphalt too. Everything will be covered in cobblestones,” Klaus Goedejohann, the mayor, explains. “We’re getting rid of the division between cars and pedestrians.”

The plans derive inspiration and motivation from a large-scale experiment in the town of Drachten in the Netherlands, which has 45,000 inhabitants. There, cars have already been driving over red natural stone for years. Cyclists dutifully raise their arm when they want to make a turn, and drivers communicate by hand signs, nods and waving. “More than half of our signs have already been scrapped,” says traffic planner Koop Kerkstra. “Only two out of our original 18 traffic light crossings are left, and we’ve converted them to roundabouts.” Now traffic is regulated by only two rules in Drachten: “Yield to the right” and “Get in someone’s way and you’ll be towed.”Strange as it may seem, the number of accidents and traffic jams has declined dramatically. Experts from Argentina and the United States have visited Drachten. Even London has expressed an interest in this new example of automobile anarchy. And the model is being tested in the British capital’s Kensington neighborhood.

This example should be an inspiration for White Nationalists active in local matters to suggest similar policies in their local communities. While subjecting themselves to criticism, White Nationalists are likely to attract attention of the young White men and women, yearning for freedom from excessive driving rules and regulations, and project a positive image of themselves and Our Cause to this potential recruits.

I am often asked what is #1 U. S. economic problem at the moment, and many are surprised when I answer that it is the trade deficit. Yet it is indeed the most pressing economic problem for the U. S. economy, both in its sheer size (716,7 bln. USD) and relative importance (5.7% of the GDP). While small irregular trade deficits (up to 1% of GDP) are normal consequences of changing trade patterns, large budget deficits are examples of dangerous trade imbalances The implications of a large trade deficit are severe: every year debt of American government, corporations and individuals is increasing at an alarming rate, while foreigners increase their claims against U. S. assets by more than 700 bln U. S. dollars or by nearly two times GDP growth rate, thus increasing the share of the U. S. wealth that belong to them faster than the U. S. economy is creating new wealth, dispossessing Americans. The U. S. currency is sinking lower and lower, adding to the weight of high inflation, and destroying what is left of national savings. There are a number of ways to reduce the deficit, but two most effective are trade policy and currency policy. Today we will discuss both optimal trade policy and optimal currency policy required to reduce the trade deficit.

The welfare trade policy is a development on specific protectionism, aimed at capturing most gains available under free trade regime, while at the same time reducing costs of restructuring economic entities constantly face under free trade regime. It works as a reasonably low tariff (10% of internal market price of a good) for most imported goods, used for general budget revenues, unless the imported good capture more than optimal share of the internal market (usually 25%). Then a uniform protectionist tariff is applied, proceeds from which go to the local manufacturers and their workers. While protectionist tariff is high it is not so high to shield an industry unwilling to restructure from foreign competition and eventual extinction, thus allowing market mechanisms to work for the national interest of the country involved.

The important part of welfare trade policy in the case of the U. S. should be elimination of investment subsidies, U. S. corporations currently enjoy. Each year the U. S. government extends billions worth in free insurance for American investments in developing world, including China, shielding corporation from excessive political risks of investing there at the expense of the American taxpayer. This largess should have ended long ago, yet it still exists, propped up by lobbying of globalist elites.

The strong currency policy includes a number of components. The first is automatic monetary policy or extending the amount of U. S. currency in circulation by 3% annually. Thus for example, if in the beginning of 2005 there were 684.3 bln USD of American currency in circulation, by the year end it should have increased to 704.8 bln, the seignorage income the property of the federal government. Instead it grew to 722.3 bln USD or by 5.5%, allowing for nearly 200 bln more of credit inflationary fiat to pay for imports.

The second component is Tobin tax or tax on the value of foreign exchange transactions (1% from the transaction amount), which helps to discourage excessive currency speculations and provides an additional source of revenue for helping American industry to restructure.

The third component is capital controls – the effective yet undervalued way of regulating the incoming and outcoming capital flows. They work through requiring a resident willing to make an investment outside of the particular country, or non-resident willing to make an investment within a particular country a non-interest bearing deposit with the central bank, proportionate to the value of investment for the following term:

Prospective term of investment (years) Value of deposit (%)

1 100%
2 80%
3 60%
4 40%
5+ 20%

The deposits than can be used to finance budget expenses in lieu of the interest bearing treasury securities, thus improving the precarious state of public finances.

The American economy badly needs both welfare trade policy and strong currency policy to lessen the negative impacts of large budget deficits, before it is too late. Yet, the current democratic government is unlikely to do so, making the American people poorer and their currency worthless.

* * *

The end of the year 2006 is coming, and it is a good time to think about rebalancing your portfolio. Below are 5 stocks I am currently looking into:

DCX (current value 60.45 USD vs. intrinsic value of 70.17 USD) – my recommendation is 2-3 years strong buy;

TM (current value 125.78 vs, intrinsic value of 131.89) – my recommendation is 2-3 years strong buy;

HSBC (current value 91.43 vs, intrinsic value of 99.98) – my recommendation is 2-3 years strong buy;

USB (current value 35.67 vs. intrinsic value of 44.07) – my recommendation is 2-3 years buy

ABN (current value 31.7 vs. intrinsic value of 38.9) – my recommendation is 2-3 years buy

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  7. 3 Responses to “Important Thoughts, Financial and Economic Advice”

    1. Jim Says:

      “While subjecting themselves to criticism, White Nationalists are likely to attract attention of the young White men and women, yearning for freedom from excessive driving rules and regulations, and project a positive image of themselves and Our Cause to this potential recruits.”

      Are you insane? As long as one non-white resides on the continent and has a car, this won’t work. Or for that matter, what makes you think you could trust the dumbed down white kwans to extend you any courtesy on the road. As it is, Kwans of all shades don’t pay much attention to the traffic signs. The only reason they fear to go thru that light is the prospect of getting a ticket. I’m all for freedom, and this might be a great idea in some European backwater, but it won’t fly here and to suggest it will only make you look foolish.

    2. New America Says:

      Lenz, you have outdone yourself with this one.


      No one else realizes that the trade deficits – which lead to currency imbalances, today, and a dramatically reduced standard of living, all too soon – are derived from an “welfare trade policy,” but one which is the inversion of a true National Socialist “welfare trade policy.”

      Ours is based on the “general welfare” clause of the Constitution, for now; theirs is based on corporate welfare, and currently subsidizes international labor arbitrage as a substitute for true economic productivity.

      An “automatic monetary policy” increasing at 3% annually is what Friedman’s disciples have recommended as a goal, ostensibly because it fuels “liquidity”; in fact, it masks what all inflationary monetary systems are, a system of transferring wealth from the poor to the wealthy, by eroding the value of money as a unit of measure. Look to the examples of GPLA accounting used by multinationals to deal with Latin American valuation in the late 70’s, for example. The Euro, after all, was designed as a commonly accepted accounting tool among the EU member states, which has the added advantage of forcing fiscal discipline; the vagaries of reporting allowed Greece, for example, to underestimate the deficit by stunning percentages, given them an unorthodox advantage over their trading partners. Indeed, with such institutionalized abuse, in time, the Euro will return to its true purpose, one way or another.

      While I favor a Tobin tax, up to a point, I also favor a carbon tax, an internal sales tax APPLIED TO ALL CORPORATE PURCHASES (as a replacement for all corporate income taxes) but, above all, an end to artificial entities that allow “domestic” corporations to shelter their profits through transfer mechanisms to offshore shells, such as domestic international sales corporations.

      This would result in windfalls adequate for the necessary infrastructure development required for the electrification of much of the transportation system – an idea whose time is coming, one way, or another.

      Excellent piece.

      New America

      An Idea Whose Time Is HERE!

    3. pseudo-doc Says:

      In southern countries, American and European, traffic signs and rules are routinely ignored, and traffic incidents are no higher than in the northern hemisphere. The problem is that northerners are extremely uptight, law-greedy and law-abiding.