Everybody is Trying to Postpone the Inevitable-Axel Merk

by Greg Huntger, USA Watchdog Money manager Axel Merk says, “I am very concerned about Russia. I am very concerned about what is happening with Ukraine. The problems we have there and in Europe, and in Japan and in the U.S., are we cannot balance our budgets. Ukraine would not be in the situation it is in if it could, if it were able to balance its books. That’s just the symptom and it exhibits differently. We see how it plays out one way in Greece and in Ukraine another way. In Japan, we are trying Abe economics. In the U.S., we have a feel good growth strategy, but ultimately we have the same issue everywhere. Yes, I am very worried about it because the Great Depression ended in World War II. Extremism is on the rise when you have this dragged out– period. Everybody is trying to postpone the inevitable. People get fed up with austerity, and they start to blame everybody else but themselves.” So, is the world broke? Merk contends, “Much of it is, and the best short term policy would be a good long term policy. I happen to be of the view that you should not be policing that the banks don’t do stupid moves. What you should be policing is that the stupid move of a bank cannot wreck the financial system as a whole. It you wanted to do that, you’d have to do a few simple rules. You’d have to post collateral for levered transactions. You’d have to mark to market accounting and a few other little things, and you are pretty much done with it.” And if you believe in capitalism, then should you believe in bankruptcy? Merk says, “Of course, the problem is we designed a system where bankruptcy would cause a financial meltdown, and that is what we have to get away from. It’s not that bankruptcy is bad; it’s the contagion that is bad. The way you avoid it is by posting collateral in levered transactions. In all these derivatives, people would have to post collateral with mark to market accounting, and they would be discouraged from taking such extreme positions. That is the problem, and we get into this with super loose monetary policy. Continue Reading>>>

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