June 23, 2011
Harold Camping has a pretty dismal track record. Thrice now, the 89-year old California evangelist has been very public about predicting the end of the world. Somehow he managed to convinced legions of followers that his complex calculations were accurate.
Camping was obviously very wrong all three times, in addition to other times he was wrong in making smaller predictions in his radio broadcasts. We can, however, forgive Mr. Camping’s ‘miscalculations’ for the precise date and time of the world coming to an end, writing them off as twaddling, harmless entertainment.
Why? Because Harold Camping doesn’t control the money supply for the largest economy on the planet.
You see, there’s another guy whose track record is about as impressive as Harold Camping’s. His name is Ben Bernanke. And every time he opens his mouth with a prediction about the economy, it’s wrong. Dismally, dreadfully wrong.
Like Camping, Mr. Bernanke and his cronies make complex calculations, culminating in impressive-sounding prophesies for future rates of inflation and GDP growth. He makes predictions about economic recovery in
2010… er, 2011… er, 2012, and declares emphatically that a housing slowdown will not affect the broader economy.
Camping is written off as a joke… a lunatic that makes good fodder for late night variety shows. Bernanke, though, is still taken seriously, despite having been completely wrong over and over and over again.
Yesterday he conducted his second public Q&A session with a completely underwhelming press corps. A five-year old could have hit a home run with these slow-pitch softball questions, they might as well have asked him about his favorite color.
At one point during his remarks, Bernanke admitted that he had no idea why the economy was still so soft, though he was quite certain that growth would return in 2012. The only thing that’s certain is that this man has no earthly idea what he’s talking about.
Consider this– arguably the best definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. My Oxford American Dictionary further defines insanity as extreme foolishness, i.e. lacking good sense or judgment.
Bernanke admits that the economy is soft and that inflation is concerning… this, after keeping interest rates at record lows and conjuring a most unfathomable amount of money out of thin air.
And yet his chief solution going forward is to keep interest rates at record lows and continue conjuring more money out of thin air… even though he admits to negative results. Same thing over and over? Check. Lack of good judgment? Check.
Perhaps Harold Camping should control the money supply– things would definitely be more entertaining… and based on his latest prediction for the end of the world, we would at least be able to surmise when the last round of quantitative easing would finally end.
I’ve written before that I believe future historians will look back on this period with utter incredulity. Modern society celebrates itself as the pinnacle of civilization, yet these free and democratic nations supposedly ruled by ‘the people’ give total control of their livelihoods to a small handful of crackpots.
Internationalization– looking overseas for greater protection and better opportunities– is the most reasonable way to declare your economic independence and take back control from this morally bankrupt cadre of plutocrats.
There are a lot of good news stories in the world right now– much more reasonable places to park your money… to invest… to start a business… to find a job… to secure your family… to hold gold… to retire in style… to build wealth… to seek medical care… etc.