Peter Coyne

[This article originally appeared in The Daily Reckoning on July 11, 2013]

“You guys seem to have forgotten how the economy nearly collapsed,” writes one indignant reader. “What kind of freedom do the tens of millions of Americans living in abject poverty have? When the government of the people tries to ameliorate the suffering and level the playing field, ‘they’ start whining about how the government is taking away their wealth.”

Ha. Ha. Ha!

After forecasting a demographic meltup, here, a housing collapse, here, a debt crisis, here, we clearly failed to notice that the economy nearly collapsed.

How did we miss it?

As to the rest… allow us to further confuse you with an allegory:

“Long ago, in early August of 2007, a trillion-pound Yeti named Sun Po Tai descended on Lower Manhattan. The monster, hungry, began eating all the pigeons between East 14th Street and Battery Park. Perhaps you’ve read the news accounts…

“Two investigators were summoned by Mayor Bloomberg to assess the crisis: one a Nobel laureate from Princeton, the other a lowly scribe for The Daily Reckoning.

“The professor arrived early and saw the pigeon population was dwindling… soon the Yeti would eat something a bit more… human. It would be devastating.

“So in an effort to ‘ameliorate the suffering,’ or at least the potential suffering, of the good people of Wall Street, the professor filed a recommendation with the mayor… and followed up with a barrage of newspaper columns suggesting that the government hold a $152 billion bond drive to purchase more pigeons for the Yeti to eat.

“‘Maybe he’ll leave once he’s had his fill,’ the professor reasoned, quite reasonably.

“The people rallied, the bonds were sold — some were bought by willing partners overseas — the pigeons were bought and the Yeti ate them one by one until they too were all gone.

“But Sun Po Tai didn’t leave…in fact, he now weighed 2 trillion pounds.

“The professor stuck to his guns. He filed a new recommendation and wrote more Op-Eds and encouraged the purchase of even more pigeons: ‘$85 billion worth per month… that ought to do it. The central bank could even buy them up. Whatever it takes to get this the monster to leave.’

“Some people thought, Hmmn… the Yeti doubled in weight pretty quickly… are we just feeding the beast? But the professor wrote for a prestigious column in the city’s paper… and he had a Nobel Prize pendant around his neck. ‘He must know what’s going on behind the scenes,’ they reasoned. So they shrugged and went along…

“Around that time, the lowly Daily Reckoning scribe finally showed up. He got a look at the pigeon carcasses in Battery Park. Saw the footprints Sun Po Tai had left in the playground near Ground Zero, where his kids used to play. Not knowing what else to do, he stepped into an Irish pub called Mick’s for a glass of pinot grigio.

“The only seat available happened to be next to a bespectacled fellow who resembled the old cartoon character Mr. Magoo. The strange man had his nose in a pint and was mumbling something about Kondratiev waves and the True Money Supply

“‘Drat!’ the scribe heard him say. ‘Savings represent the future!’

“‘What’s troubling you, mister?’ our friend the scribe asked, concerned about his fellow man, as always.

“‘It’s all a big mistake,’ Magoo grumbled back. ‘One we can’t escape.’

“‘What is… the Yeti?’ the scribe asked. Then he wondered aloud, ‘Has anyone found out where it came from in the first place?’

“‘Yeah,’ Magoo replied, brandishing a name badge from the Department of Health and Human Services. ‘An experiment gone awry… a government bionics program designed to manage the risk the pigeons posed to public health. Little buggers crap all over the place.’

“‘Hmnn…’ The scribe took a sip of his wine. ‘But aren’t we now printing money…to buy debt…to buy more pigeons?’

“‘Exactly,’ Magoo grumbled, taking a sip of his beer. ‘We would have been better off just leaving them alone…’ His voice trailed off.

“‘Hmmmn…’ The scribe left the city.”

We’ll give you a few moments to savor the irony.

Regards,

Peter Coyne
for The Daily Reckoning

P.S. The severity of our current financial crisis is only made more dangerous by the unfortunate leaders who are trying to fix it. But that’s why we write the Daily Reckoning. To help you make sense of it all, and hopefully offer you a solution or two. Readers of the Daily Reckoning email edition — where this piece originally appeared — have regular opportunities at real ways to protect and grow their wealth, every day. Sign up for the DR email for free, right here, and start receiving those offers for yourself.

You May Also Like:


Money: A Concept No One Understands

Don Paarlberg

The concept of "money" is a difficult one to grasp. And that's especially true in today's world of faith-based money and credit. But that hasn't always been the case. In fact, there was a time when "money" was sublimely easy to understand - when it was based on tangible goods of real use. Don Paarlberg explains...

Peter Coyne

Peter Coyne is the managing editor of The Daily Reckoning. He received his degree in economics and political science from Loyola University Maryland where he studied under the Austrian economist, Tom DiLorenzo. Before joining Agora Financial, Peter worked in Congress for Dr. Ron Paul until he retired in 2012.

  • Anon

    When
    they have no more money to feed the pigeons the Yeti will starve and then the
    few people who kept pigeons locked up in their apartments will let them out and
    the pigeons will again multiply.

Recent Articles

Big Opportunity in the “Baby Bakken” Oil Field

Matt Insley

As the U.S. "shale gale" nears its 10th birthday, it appears the America energy renaissance has outlived its critics. Still, it's natural to wonder whether all the big gains are behind us. Today, Matt Insley reveals the newest shale hotspot, and explains why there's still plenty of opportunity left in the U.S. energy boom. Read on...


Maestro
The Real Reason the US Media Hates Vladimir Putin

Marc Faber

The U.S., Russia, the EU and Ukraine all met in Geneva, where all sides agreed to halt all violence and provocations in Ukraine. But the news media are still taking an antagonistic stance toward Vladimir Putin and Russia. What gives? Today, Marc Faber explains the hypocrisy behind U.S. foreign policy... and the BS the news media are pushing about it...


Video
How a Toy Robot Upended the Aerospace Industry

Kate Incontrera

One of the world's foremost innovators - Wired Magazine's former editor-in-chief, Chris Anderson - talks about the future of innovation, his company 3D Robotics and how he built the world's first Lego-operated drone at his dining room table.


Laissez Faire
The Only Solution for the Obamacare Problem

Loren Heal

Politicians talk about the uninsured. Special interests argue on behalf of those with pre-existing conditions. But why is no one wondering how doctors are affected by Obamacare? They're the ones on the front lines dealing directly with new patients, as well as the red tape that makes bureaucracies go round. Loren Heal explores further...


Huge Gains From Smart Money With No Sex Appeal

Greg Guenthner

Since the beginning of March, hedge funds have been steadily moving out of growth stocks. So it's not coincidence this sector has fallen in tandem. But the question is, where is the "smart money" headed now? Greg Guenthner examines the current, decidedly "unsexy" trend in the market. Read on...