Trade Deficit Steals Private Sector's Wallet

I was at the bar, having a social drink and explaining to the usual crowd of drunken morons how the Federal Reserve has destroyed the purchasing power of the dollar by their insane over-creation of money and credit and that is why things always cost more and more, when the room started spinning and my head suddenly fell forward in a drunken coma.

My forehead was somewhat cushioned from smacking onto the hard surface of the bar by an open copy of the Economist magazine, which saved me from being knocked unconscious and giving my “bar buddies” a chance to rob me blind and write insulting things on the back of my shirt where I can’t see it, and then the rest of the day people are laughing at me behind my back and I whirl around and snarl at them, “What are you laughing about?” and they say, “Nothing!” but you can tell that they are lying, which turns out to be true because someone had written, “I have pooped in my pants” on the back of my shirt, which is why I am Fully Mogambo Justified (FMJ) in hating their guts.

So there I was, drunk as a skunk but jolted and awake, my eyes an inch away from the latest trade figures, and I see that the trade balance of the United States is still a whopping negative $820.6 billion for the last 12 months! This means that we gluttonous Americans used the last year to spend $820.6 billion more for imported stuff than those sneaky foreigners bought from us.

I assume – because you are a Junior Mogambo Ranger (JMR) – that you are wondering, “Hmmm! That certainly is a lot of money! I wonder how much that is for each of the 133 million people in this country who have a non-farm job?”

Since this involves taking, roughly, 133 million jobs and dividing it into, roughly, a $820.6 billion a year trade deficit to derive something as novel-yet-useless as, “The Mogambo Trade Deficit Per Worker Ratio (TMTDPWR)” I am happy to be able to tell you, with the precision of “official government format” three-decimal place exactitude, that it comes to $6,169.925 per worker! Per year!

And, again because you are a Junior Mogambo Ranger (JMR), you are also wondering, “Hmm! Now I am wondering how come there is no Mogambo Trade Deficit Per Private-Sector Worker Ratio (MTDPPSWR), which is a lot more meaningful since government workers and people whose money comes from taxpayers cannot make a profit by their labors, and thus only truly private-sector workers can pay taxes out of profits and still have enough left over with which to buy foreign-made products.”

Once again, you are correct in your facts, but you have underestimated me and slightly overestimated my lazy worthlessness, and I prove it by deftly dividing, right in front of your eyes, roughly 100 million private-sector workers into a roughly $820.6 billion trade deficit, thus calculating (again with government-approved three-decimal place precision) the famous and indispensable Mogambo Trade Deficit Per Private-Sector Worker Ratio (MTDPPSWR) to be a staggering $8,206.000 per worker!

If that ain’t interesting enough for ya, another interesting little informational nugget is provided by Harper’s Index, which is “Number of times in 2008 that the S&P 500 closed up or down five percent in a single day: 17”, which they immediately followed up with “Number of times between 1956 and 2007 it did this: 17.” Wow! Turbulence is increasing!

While increasing turbulence is worrying, I am gratified to see that the Financial Times editorial writers are noticing that the Austrian school of economics was correct, and now “No one can read the chronicles of those earlier crises without sensing – with a chill – that history is reappearing itself. The story of the modern capitalist economy is a rhythmic repetition of cycles, syncopated by eerily similar crises. These crises, while their details differ, are but variations on the same theme. Easy money, geared up by leverage, floods the financial system through innovative products. This simultaneously pumps up asset prices and obscures their speculative nature, with euphoria usurping the place of analysis. Until, one day, something triggers a loss of confidence in the continued rise of prices, and the whole leveraged edifice crumbles.”

The part I liked best is when they said, with my clarifying comments added in between the parentheses, “Today’s disastrous outcome is testimony to (the stupidity and corruption of the morons in charge, like that monster Alan Greenspan and his satanic Federal Reserve who created all that money that chased all those assets and driving their prices disastrously up, or Bill Clinton acting despicably and repealing the Glass-Steagall Act so that the banks could gain greedy access to depositor’s money with which to gamble, or the corrupt bedwetting halfwits we call ‘Congresspersons’ who forced the banks to make huge mortgage loans to poor people who obviously could not pay back the loans, and in short, a collective totality of brain-damaged stupidity born of ridiculous Leftist/Democrat insanities that will forever be a monument to their everlasting shame, their incompetence, and their inexcusable and completely bewildering ignorance and stupidity, or what the Financial Times calls) intellectual failure.”

They did not say, however, that this means that you should be buying gold as protection against the economic horrors that awaits a country stupid enough to do what we are doing.

But consider it now said. Now you know why I say, “Whee! This investing stuff is easy!”

The Daily Reckoning