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Thread: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

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    Default it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    (snip)"While most people know “The Wizard of Oz” as one of the most popular films ever made, what is little known is that the book was based on an economic and political commentary surrounding the debate over “sound money” that occurred in the late 1800s. Indeed, L. Frank Baum’s book was penned in 1900 following unrest in the agriculture arena due to the debate between gold, silver, and the dollar standard. The book, therefore, is supposedly an allegory of these historical events, making the events easier to understand. In said book, Dorothy represents traditional American values. The Scarecrow portrays the American farmer, while the Tin Man represents the workers, and the Cowardly Lion depicts William Jennings Bryan. Recall that at the time Mr. Bryan was the official standard bearer for the “silver movement,” as well as the unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate of 1896 who gave the “Crucified on the Cross of Gold” speech at that year’s Democratic National Convention. Interestingly, in the original story Dorothy’s slippers were made of silver, not ruby, implying that silver was the Populists’ solution to the nation’s economic woes. Meanwhile, the Yellow Brick Road was the gold standard, and Toto (Dorothy’s faithful dog) represented the Prohibitionists, who were an important part of the silverite coalition. The Wicked Witch of the West symbolizes President William McKinley; and the Wizard is Mark Hanna, who was the chairman of the Republican Party and made promises that he could not keep. Obviously, “Oz” is the abbreviation for “ounce.”

    Plainly, the turmoil following the “1873 Coinage Act,” the “Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890,” and the subsequent panic, and depression, of 1893 left the phrase “time for a change” swirling across the country as citizens struggled to correct the numerous wrong-footed plans/schemes that were so hastily conceived by the country’s then elected “nimnods.” If that sounds familiar, it should, because as repeatedly noted in these missives following the Bear Stearns bailout a similar series of hastily conceived reactive, rather than thoughtfully conceived proactive, “plans” have been enacted only to subsequently find that they should have been constructed better. That happened again last week as Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson abandoned the Treasury’s plan/scheme to buy toxic assets under the original TARP legislation in lieu of “capital injections.” Ladies and gentlemen, this is a stunning reversal by “stammerin’ Hank,” who made “toxic asset” purchases the centerpiece of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). His switch-and-bait tactics caused “howls” from Congress about how ANYONE can be rational when the “powers that be” change the rules of the game at whim?!

    Change the rules indeed, for eliminating the short-sale “uptick rule” was one of the dumbest decisions I have seen in 38 years in this business. Of course it would not have been so bad if “they” would have strictly enforced the no “naked shorts” provision; but alas, for while there was much lip-service paid to this dirty little secret of Wall Street, not much has been done to correct it. Adding insult to injury, overnight “they” eliminated the ability of participants to sell-short nearly 800 different companies’ shares, some of which were NOT even financials; and then there was the $140 billion tax break for financials that “they” snuck by under the TARP legislation. Adding to the manipulative environment was the billions of dollars worth of pork-barrel spending, as well as “earmarks,” which also missed the radar screen. Or how about this game changer – according to The Wall Street Journal, “The New York Stock Exchange has begun allowing floor traders known as specialists to place orders for 30 minutes after the market closes in an unprecedented effort to deal with the wild swings in stock prices that have been occurring in the last minutes of trading.” Blatantly, this “game changer” is designed to manipulate stocks to show higher closing prices. No wonder the volatility has increased as participants are uncertain what “rules of the game” will show up tomorrow.

    The ever changing rules have left retail investors disgusted, and liquidating positions, the hedge funds have been eviscerated, having lost half of their assets and likely to lose more, the mutual funds are getting net redemption, which leaves the buyers of last resort only those folks with “permanent capital,” namely pension funds and Warren Buffett. No wonder the volatility is legend; and, last week was no exception as we lost 660 points over the first three sessions of the week, rallied 552 points on Thursday in what looked like a one-day upside reversal, only to give much of Thursday’s triumph back in Friday’s last hour of trading where the senior index shed 449 points in just 45 minutes. While much of the final hour machinations were attributed to rumors that Congress was not going to bail out Detroit, the late-day dive was pretty disconcerting. Still, we are sticking with the view that October 10th represented the capitulation price lows when of the 3130 stocks that traded on the NYSE, an unbelievable 2901 of them made new yearly lows combined with 16-to-1 downside over upside volume. We also opined that the psychological lows were made on October 24th. That said, we have never given up on a full downside retest of the October 10th lows, which is why we have tended to use a hedging strategy for trading and investment positions. As often stated, in downside retests 60% of the time the previous lows hold; the 40% of the time they don’t stocks go lower, but not by much.

    Obviously, we thought that was the case last Thursday when the S&P 500 (SPX/873.29) breeched its October 10th intraday low of 839.80 and went lower, but not by much. Reinforcing that view was the fact that the DJIA (8497.31) did NOT breech its respective October 10th intraday low of 7882.51, setting-up the potential for a huge downside non-confirmation. Moreover, of the 3268 stocks that traded on the NYSE, only 776 of them made new yearly lows in Thursday’s session. Interestingly, the DJIA/SPX’s pricing action since October 10th has traced out a spread triple-bottom in the charts. Often a strong move “up” from a third downside test, like we saw last Thursday, tends to develop into a strong rally as participants are caught in a “bear trap.” Stockcharts.com defines “bear trap” as, “A situation that occurs when prices break below a significant level and generate a sell signal, but then reverse course and negate the sell signal, thus ‘trapping’ the bears that acted on the signal with losses. A bear trap in another form of whipsaw.” Hopefully, that is what we experienced last week. This week should resolve that question.

    The call for this week: The stage version of “The Wizard of Oz” begins at the Warner Theater in Washington D.C. on December 2nd. If past is prelude it will be a sellout. Why is Frank Baum’s play so popular in the nation’s capital? Our sense is that it’s because people inside the Beltway easily relate to fantasy! That’s why “they” continue to proffer reactively considered “schemes” rather than thoughtfully crafted proactive “plans.” Given the ever-changing “rules of the game,” no wonder the equity markets are having such a tough time gaining any upside traction, which is why we continue to employ a hedging strategy, as well as the strategy of being the “second mouse that gets the cheese.” Nevertheless, we are treating October 10th as the capitulation panic low (until proven wrong) and remain hopeful that last week represented a triple-bottom in the charts for the DJIA and SPX. Further, the Commodity Research Bureau Index (CRB) recently registered a similar “capitulation low” reading. According to the institutional service “Chartworks,” “There have only been five instances (of this) since 1956. In each occurrence, once prices reversed up by producing a week with a higher high the index took no more than six weeks to reach the 20-week moving average.” Obviously, if the CRB is ripe for a rally, it would benefit the high-yielding commodity-centric convertible securities we have been recommending, as well as the Canadian dollar."(snip)

    from

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    Senior Member The Snark's Avatar
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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    The notion that the Wizard of Oz is an allegory for the populist movement is in fact a myth--as Michael Patrick Hearn and others have shown.

    But then I suppose the sort of people who write this kind of crap generally don't allow their opinions to be tainted by things like "facts" and "reality".

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    Lots of interesting allegorical speculation but no definite proof of his intent. Here's another source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politic...l_Wizard_of_Oz


    Here's mine: We already know that Emperor Bush has no clothes.

    Here are the relevant mythical pieces of clothing:

    "mark to market"
    "short selling"
    "ultra-high leverage"
    "collateralized debt obligations"
    "credit default swaps"
    Last edited by threlayer; 11-22-2008 at 10:22 PM.
    I loved going to strip clubs; I actually made some friends there. Now things are different for the clubs and for me. As a result I am not as happy.

    Customers are not entitled to grope, disrespect, or rob strippers. This is their job, not their hobby, and they all need income. Clubs are not just some erotic show for guys to view while drinking.

    NOTE: anything I post here, outside of a direct quote, is my opinion only, which I am entitled to. Take it for what you estimate it is worth.

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    Quote Originally Posted by The Snark View Post
    The notion that the Wizard of Oz is an allegory for the populist movement is in fact a myth--as Michael Patrick Hearn and others have shown.

    But then I suppose the sort of people who write this kind of crap generally don't allow their opinions to be tainted by things like "facts" and "reality".
    Art has many interpretations. What you get out of it might be different from what others get out of it. Art is ethereal. It is there to make you think and feel.

    It is funny to hear "fact" and "reality" compared to gold roads and flying monkeys.

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    Quote Originally Posted by The Snark View Post
    But then I suppose the sort of people who write this kind of crap generally don't allow their opinions to be tainted by things like "facts" and "reality".
    lol I missed this the first time around. bwahahaha When I first gotz interwebs in mid 90's, I read some of what was on and easily searched at the time.....conspiracies. I had read a litle to pique my interest before, but when the web came out, the CT were so detailed. My advice, quit reading them. Just like when I gave up 24 hour news, I felt soooo much better.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Snark View Post
    The notion that the Wizard of Oz is an allegory for the populist movement is in fact a myth--as Michael Patrick Hearn and others have shown.
    That may be true, but we all know Superman is really Socialistman. The green makes him weak (the dollar, capitalism), Man of Steel (commie slogan, view), and such and so on. Don't try and deny it.

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    ...testing......1.......2........3............
    Quote Originally Posted by The Snark View Post
    But then I suppose the sort of people who write this kind of crap generally don't allow their opinions to be tainted by things like "facts" and "reality".
    Distortion becomes somehow pure in its wildness
    The note that began all can also destroy

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    alternate reading ... 'Atlas Shrugged' by Ayn Rand. In light of the current economic situation, THIS novel has a LOT to say !

    I find it highly curious that Obama's successful candidacy ( with heavy support from Hollywood Heavy Hitters ) has roughly coincided with the shelving of an 'Atlas Shrugged' movie project ...



    just another one of those absolutely pure coincidences no doubt.

    However, the would-be producers haven't entirely given up yet ...

    (snip)"ATLAS SHRUGGED
    Written by: Jim V. Hart
    Based on the novel ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand

    ATTACHMENTS Lions Gate Films

    LOG LINE: Dagny Taggart, one of the great heroines of modern literature, struggles to fulfill her great-grandfather’s legacy as she steers her family’s railroad conglomerate through the triple threat of government corruption, international terrorism and a mysterious force that is silencing the great thinkers of the day.

    SYNOPSIS: Ayn Rand’s groundbreaking novel foresees an American future eerily similar to the future that America faces today. The politics of fear embodied by stringent government regulation and irresponsible foreign policy have driven American society to the brink of collapse. Against this backdrop, Dagny Taggart wrestles her corrupt and dissolute brother for control of their great-grandfather’s railroad conglomerate. Determined to live up to her ancestor’s name, Dagny steers the railroad through a minefield of government sabotage, domestic disintegration, and international terrorism. All the while the destruction of the American way is hastened by a mysterious force that is silencing the great thinkers of the day. Their disappearance inspires a universal sense of fatalistic dread that is summed up by the new popular catchphrase: “Who is John Galt?” "(snip)

    from

    ~
    Last edited by Melonie; 11-23-2008 at 12:03 PM.

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    Modern adaptation, shrug <--lol, read the book, and some of her others. Anthem is the best. But, you also need to read some of her nonfiction to see where she was coming from.

    http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=index



    As I've said before, you can link anything to everything. But you can also pick anything and make it seem to speak for today.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Snark View Post
    But then I suppose the sort of people who write this kind of crap generally don't allow their opinions to be tainted by things like "facts" and "reality".
    Distortion becomes somehow pure in its wildness
    The note that began all can also destroy

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    Anthem is certainly the most obvious, and certainly intended to be an allegory of the modern world ... as Ayn Rand herself stated

    (snip)"Q: How were the people in the Unmentionable Times destroyed?

    A: They were destroyed by the kind of philosophy they accepted. They rejected reason, egoism, individualism and freedom – and they accepted mysticism, altruism, collectivism and dictatorship. The society presented in Anthem is the ultimate logical consequence and perfect embodiment of that vicious philosophy. Observe that the slogans of that philosophy are preached all around us today. If you don’t like the kind of society you saw in Anthem, it is that philosophy that you have to reject and oppose."(snip)

    from


    My interest in a film adaptation of 'Atlas Shrugged' is the result of a modern fact ... that far too few Americans bother to read anything of substance.

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    My biggest fear is that they are going to modernize it with anti-capitalism/ individual crap, and promote socialism. lol Like in V for Vendetta, when at the end IIRC they had the Bush is evil and responsible for all of this. Geeez, I just wanted to be entertained for an hour or so, if I wanted propaganda indoctrination I would have gone to a meeting at the local Democrat Party office. sheez
    Quote Originally Posted by The Snark View Post
    But then I suppose the sort of people who write this kind of crap generally don't allow their opinions to be tainted by things like "facts" and "reality".
    Distortion becomes somehow pure in its wildness
    The note that began all can also destroy

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    It makes one wonder what "allegory" will be attributed to the Harry Potter series 100 years in the future.


    Promote yourself and earn more money! This is a business that is owned by strippers for strippers. Let's make that money!


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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    Quote Originally Posted by Paris View Post
    It makes one wonder what "allegory" will be attributed to the Harry Potter series 100 years in the future.
    The populace are as children who need to trust a wise leader opposed to that of an evil leader.

    Either way - children don't have a say in their lives unless they are a part of a revolutionary guard and secret society.

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    Okay, maybe I skimmed through this post too fast... But, can anyone tell me who the Wizard represents. That will clear up alot of comments that I've heard during the last year on the trading floor... (Now laid off... But I needed a vacation after a year and a half of no vacations... so I was forced to take one... LOL) Thanks...

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    But, can anyone tell me who the Wizard represents
    Then and now, the Wizard reputedly represents extremely powerful politicians ... who have cultivated the respect of the populace by a combination of theatrics and fear, who claim to offer answers and solutions, but who don't actually have the ability to deliver on their promises.

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    Quote Originally Posted by Melonie View Post
    politicians ... who claim to offer answers and solutions, but who don't actually have the ability to deliver on their promises.

    Ability to deliver on promises. lol They only promise to get votes. They are for their own agenda, and they say anything to get elected. Yes people, they lie their asses off.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Snark View Post
    But then I suppose the sort of people who write this kind of crap generally don't allow their opinions to be tainted by things like "facts" and "reality".
    Distortion becomes somehow pure in its wildness
    The note that began all can also destroy

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    Then do you think L Frank Baum had any special insight into politics/economics?
    I loved going to strip clubs; I actually made some friends there. Now things are different for the clubs and for me. As a result I am not as happy.

    Customers are not entitled to grope, disrespect, or rob strippers. This is their job, not their hobby, and they all need income. Clubs are not just some erotic show for guys to view while drinking.

    NOTE: anything I post here, outside of a direct quote, is my opinion only, which I am entitled to. Take it for what you estimate it is worth.

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    he must have ... he left upstate New York very early in his 'working' life ! (inside joke)

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    well, i meant specifically in finance or economics to the degree that the silver-gold allegory would presume

    in those days NYS wasn't at all in the doldrums it is now; in fact it was booming, even in Canastota
    I loved going to strip clubs; I actually made some friends there. Now things are different for the clubs and for me. As a result I am not as happy.

    Customers are not entitled to grope, disrespect, or rob strippers. This is their job, not their hobby, and they all need income. Clubs are not just some erotic show for guys to view while drinking.

    NOTE: anything I post here, outside of a direct quote, is my opinion only, which I am entitled to. Take it for what you estimate it is worth.

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    Senior Member Lucy in the Sky's Avatar
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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    Quote Originally Posted by Deogol View Post
    Art has many interpretations. What you get out of it might be different from what others get out of it. Art is ethereal. It is there to make you think and feel.

    It is funny to hear "fact" and "reality" compared to gold roads and flying monkeys.


    I generally tend to think that trying to connect works of art to current or future situations of which they were NEVER intended to reflect or comment on is rather insane. I find it particularly absurd when it is done for purely partisan or biased reasons (such as is the case in this topic) but as matter of practice and because art like beauty is in the 'eye of the beholder' I have to very much agree with your comment.

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    ^^ This may well be true for current events, but it is an interesting allegory, considering the times back then.
    Last edited by threlayer; 11-27-2008 at 09:45 PM.
    I loved going to strip clubs; I actually made some friends there. Now things are different for the clubs and for me. As a result I am not as happy.

    Customers are not entitled to grope, disrespect, or rob strippers. This is their job, not their hobby, and they all need income. Clubs are not just some erotic show for guys to view while drinking.

    NOTE: anything I post here, outside of a direct quote, is my opinion only, which I am entitled to. Take it for what you estimate it is worth.

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    Quote Originally Posted by threlayer View Post
    ^^ This may well be true for current events, but it is an interesting allegory, considering the times back then.
    Agreed though it is my understanding that the author did in fact NOT have the intent for his work that some here would like to believe he did.

    The truth is that it was a much more simple concept and intended for children rather than adults. Remember in the end of the story they already had the very things they were seeking from the Wizard. They just didn't realize it due to fear and self doubt.


    Reading anything more into the story than that is nothing more than a pure reflection of the reader. Sort of like how some people hear the devil speaking in music played backwards. It's not really there but they hear it because they WANT to hear it.

    This shit about The Wizard of OZ is no different.

    It is just as easy to say that the Wizard represents God, religion or colleges or any other entity or institution as it is to say he represents government, a particular President.
    Last edited by Lucy in the Sky; 11-28-2008 at 10:32 AM.

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    granted that there is limited documentation concerning Baum, and his response to questions in regard to the allegory of The Wizard of Oz ... although he was asked such a question on the record and didn't deny it !

    On the other hand, the works of Ayn Rand, and her responses to similar questions, are far better documented.

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    ^^ Yeah, because that was the operative belief.
    I loved going to strip clubs; I actually made some friends there. Now things are different for the clubs and for me. As a result I am not as happy.

    Customers are not entitled to grope, disrespect, or rob strippers. This is their job, not their hobby, and they all need income. Clubs are not just some erotic show for guys to view while drinking.

    NOTE: anything I post here, outside of a direct quote, is my opinion only, which I am entitled to. Take it for what you estimate it is worth.

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    Default Re: it may be time to re-read 'The Wizard of Oz' !

    (snip)The past 30 years of economic history may have produced a daunting sequel to the original Wizard of Oz, written by Frank Baum.

    By Hugh Hendry
    Last Updated: 10:59AM GMT 27 Nov 2008

    Follow the yellow brick road to get a picture of where we are

    People blame this crisis on cheap money and greedy bankers. They certainly cannot be exempted. But I take a more fatalist point of view. There has to be a reason for humans to die off in their 70s and 80s. I believe it is so that the memory of a generation’s mistakes is erased, allowing future ages to repeat the folly of greed and fear.

    Because of this, I spend a lot of time reflecting on social mood and behaviour. Popular fiction is a particular fascination; I believe it provides a mind map of the social conscience. The Wizard of Oz is a personal favourite. I would contend that bullish markets produce feel-good films, like Disney animation; that bear markets produce depictions of horror and foreboding (think Hammer House of Horror in the 1970s and SAW, its modern equivalent); and that social mood is linked to stock market patterns.

    The original Frank Baum story was written as a political allegory of America’s entry on to the gold standard in 1879. The strictures of sound money coincided with a vibrant post Civil War economy. The result was deflation: prices fell by 1.7pc pa between 1875 and 1896. The farmer, as depicted by the scarecrow, was held captive by falling agricultural prices and mortgages owed to the big banks, the wicked witch of the east. The spell of tight monetary policy cast a pall over the poor tin woodsman: every time he swung his axe, he chopped off part of his body. It was a depiction of the economy’s shuttered and rusting factories.

    The easy-money crowd, Bernanke and Greenspan’s great grandfathers perhaps, argued the responsibility for the economy’s woes lay with an insufficient monetary response. The gold market had a scarcity that choked the US economy into serfdom.

    Instead, the populists’ manifesto called for the readmission of more plentiful silver coinage into the system – a point captured by Dorothy’s silver slippers (Hollywood changed them to ruby) as she skipped along the yellow brick road (the gold standard). Print more money and remove us from penury. Consecutive presidential elections were contested on such a return to bimetallism in 1896 and 1900. Surprisingly, the easy-money crowd, proved unsuccessful; they were defeated by powerful bankers such as JP Morgan. However, the story ends with the good witch of the south (the populace) prophesying that Dorothy’s silver slippers (easy-money policy) are so powerful they can fulfil her every wish. This utopia was made possible just 13 years later with the formation of the Federal Reserve. The tin man and the scarecrow would have a more forgiving lender of last resort after all and 71 years later the wizard, called Nixon, went one step further and abolished the need for gold and silver ounces (Oz) when the US reneged on its Bretton Woods commitment to sound money.

    Of course, today we could be watching a comparable parable unfold. The past 30 years of economic history may have produced a daunting sequel. I would suggest tomorrow’s fiction will prove much darker, perhaps in the image of Goethe’s Faust.

    The story would feature an apprentice printer called Bernanke. Encouraged by a wicked wizard, Greenspan, he toils at his printing press night and day producing reams of paper money. At first his monetary accommodation seems to bring unbridled prosperity. Boom follows boom, as the business cycle is seemingly abolished, house prices grow to the sky and his political stock rises. In time, the scarecrow is bought-off by crop subsidy; the tin man vacations in Vegas, having refinanced his mortgage for the 13th time. And the sorcerer’s apprentice is promoted to top wizard.

    However, Greenspan, now in retirement, finally reveals his scheme has brought only “bogus riches”. The printing presses have created a “zero-sum game” where dollars lose their purchasing power against God’s brew of precious metals. The populace begins to save. Spending is reined in. Even the corporate sector suffers. With consumers no longer spending, there are no profits. Shares slump and the fiat kingdom collapses in anarchy.

    And that is pretty much where we are today. (snip)

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