In 1987, as a freshman in college, I walked into the university library and took down a tome entitled the House of Rothschild. The book told a story of a humble Jewish family from Frankfurt that began as money lenders to the German aristocracy and expanded its wealth exponentially and geographically until its interests extended into the ruling houses of Austria, France, Italy, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The Austrian branch was endowed with titles and lands by the Hapsburg emperor and the British branch was similarly ennobled by Queen Victoria.
George Soros courageously walked into the Cato Institute on Thursday to debate some of the nation’s leading scholars of the Austrian School of economics.
Specifically, the billionaire backer of “regime change” sat down with Richard Epstein, Hayek expert Bruce Caldwell, and a moderator to discuss Friedrich A. Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty, a new edition of which was recently published by the University of Chicago Press.
Establishment economists and other economic cheerleaders were disappointed to learn that, despite the government’s best efforts to revive the economy through Keynesian interventions and stimuli, the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for the first quarter of 2011 was half the rate of growth in the last quarter of 2010.
The latest study by The Pew Center on the States shows not only that states have not funded the promises they made to their employees when they retire, but that the gap between those promises and the states' contributions to pay for those promises is widening.
Edwin Vieira, Jr. is an attorney who has won three cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. He earned four degrees from Harvard University, including his doctorate. A popular speaker, he is also the author of the monumental two-volume survey of monetary history in our nation entitled Pieces of Eight. He resides in Virginia. The following interview was conducted by John F. McManus, publisher of The New American.
Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke told reporters at the Fed's first ever press conference April 27 that the Fed's Open Market Committee will not change existing policies that are suppressing interest rates to nearly zero and will complete purchase of $600 billion in federal government debt securities. Bernanke also predicted inflation will stay under control and the economy will grow only slowly for three more years.
"I'm sure the rising cost of energy is bothering the market," said Fred Dickson, chief investment strategist at D. A. Davidson & Company last week. "I do think the uptick in gasoline prices will have an impact on consumer spending in the next few quarters."
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) now predicts that the size of China’s economy will surpass America’s by 2016, far earlier than most mainstream economists have been forecasting. Some analysts ridiculed the Fund’s prediction, but others warned that it could happen even sooner.
China's Central Bank Chairman Zhou Xiaochuan told a Chinese monetary conference last week that “Foreign-exchange reserves have exceeded the reasonable level that our country actually needs,” which is essentially code for China won't be buying U.S. government debt any more. China's foreign currency reserves exceeded $3 trillion at the end of March, more than $1 trillion of which is U.S. government debt.
The recent decision by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to begin holding press conferences may be one more indication of the increased influence of Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas). The Federal Reserve has long ignored the public and conducted its proceedings in cloister, but the Wall Street Journal reported April 21 that Bernanke will hold the Fed's first scheduled press conference ever after Wednesday April 27 Open Market Committee meeting.
The price of one ounce of gold exceeded $1,500 yesterday, and immediately the media was filled with explanations. Jan Harvey, writing for Reuters, said gold was benefiting from “the threat of a downgrade to the United States’ triple-A credit rating this week and fresh worries over euro zone debt [that] fueled fears over the outlook for both the dollar and the euro.”