“Naïve inflationism demands an increase in the quantity of money without suspecting that this will diminish the purchasing power of the money.” ― Ludwig von mises, The Theory of Money and Credit
It is hardly surprising that with equity indices stalling, the financial community is increasingly worried that the long, steady bull market is coming to an end. Naturally, this makes investors look for reasons to worry, and it turns out that there are indeed many things to worry about.
In fact, there are always things to worry about. Ever since the Lehman crisis, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have been casting long shadows across the financial stage. But as financial assets have continued to rise in value over the last nine years, bearish fund managers, spooked by systemic risks of one sort or another and the perennial threat of a renewed slump, have been forced to discard their ursine views.
As often as not, it is not much more than a question of emphasis. There is always good news and bad news. As an investor, you semi-consciously choose what to believe.
There are causes for concern, of that there is no doubt. Mostly, they arise from the consequences of earlier state interventions on the money side. Governments are slowly strangling private sector production with increasingly rapacious demands on taxpayers and have been resorting to the printing press to finance the shortfalls. In reality, there is a finite limit to government spending, because it impoverishes the tax base. Yet governments, with very few exceptions, seek to conceal this truism by increasing spending and budget deficits even more. In this, President Trump is not alone.
Bankruptcy is the end result. And don’t believe the old saw about how governments can’t go bust. They can, and they do by destroying their currencies, as von Mises implied in the quote above.
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