Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

Wednesday Open Thread

by Nomad Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 12:39:14 PM EST

Go ahead


Display:
Jumpin' Jeebus:

NRCC:

The amount of platinum needed to mint a coin worth $1 trillion would sink the Titanic


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 12:45:22 PM EST
Can't they do a note ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 12:56:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope.  Notes are controlled by the Federal Reserve Bank.  US Mint is controlled by the Treasury Department, part of the Executive Branch of the Federal government.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 06:21:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Uh, "fiat currency."
by asdf on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 12:59:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is a commentary more to my liking. Why not think big and just pay off the national debt with less than twenty $1 Trillion coins deposited at the Fed? Then announce plans to mint them as required to support stimulus, social welfare, health care etc. They could still use taxes, especially on the rich and use that to pay for defense. After all we have to do something to maintain the value of the currency.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 01:32:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmm.

Seeing as it's fiat money anyway, you might as well paint '$1 trillion dollars' on the back of a Fiat Uno and park it in the main Fed hallway.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 01:05:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or two Fiat 500's?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 01:13:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Technically, it would take two billion Fiat 500s to get to 1 trillion.
by asdf on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 02:35:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i keep seeing someone in front of a keyboard, and every time he tries to type in another bushel of zeros, his nerve fails, fingers tremble, breath shortens, and nervous system meltdown occurs.

at which point the whole scene starts doing a Dali droop...

poor guy, he's still stuck in the old paradigm cognizant and he can't jab Enter! he feels the weight of strange concepts like 'worth' and 'value of money' and his inner Atlas can't shrug it off.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 05:46:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent - Owen Jones - The Welfare Bill: A government of millionaires just made the poor poorer - and laughed as they did it

They cheered, they guffawed, they mocked. Picture the scene, and don't forget it as the next two and a half years of Cameron's Britain drag on: a smug pack of over-paid Tory MPs - some worth millions - sniggering as they prepared to slash the incomes of Britain's already struggling poor. Labour's Lisa Nandy and Ian Mearns pleaded with them in the Chamber, vainly, to stop laughing. Not since 1931 has a Government attempted to deliberately, consciously reduce the incomes of the poor. Oh, the hilarity.

The cap on in-work and out-of-work benefits is the culmination of a systematic campaign by the Tories and their media allies to turn large sections of the population against each other. "Strivers" versus "skivers" and "shirkers"; sinister images of the workshy and feckless with their curtains drawn: this is a near-daily diet of poison in Cameron's Britain. The substance of their argument is this: you have been mugged and therefore your less deserving neighbour should be mugged too. They said it to private sector workers about their counterparts in the public sector, attempting to stir up envy at their supposedly over-generous "gold plated" pensions and pay settlements. Now the Tories attempt to exploit the resentment of public sector workers languishing under a de facto pay cut they have imposed themselves. Where is the justice if we do not pick-pocket your neighbour, too, with this benefits cap? There is a Yiddish expression - "chutzpah" - for such unapologetic shamelessness.

A government of millionaires makes the poor poorer while trying to turn them against each other. And so a new generation learns to appreciate the passion behind Labour pin-up Nye Bevan's famed declaration in 1948 that the Tories are "lower than vermin".

Jones is quite fair, he lambasts all three major parties in this piece, including a delicious paragraph devoted to Labour's Liam Byrne

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 01:07:02 PM EST
Liberal conspiracy - Sunny Hundal - This is why Liam Byrne cannot lead Labour on welfare

Yesterday, while Labour MP Liam Byrne was making speeches in Parliament rejecting the government's 1% cap bill, the media was highlighting his hypocrisy.

Kiran Stacey at the Financial Times collected his quotes (though the Daily Mail were doing this too).

It is certainly true that the terms ['strivers' and 'shirkers'] are not new: they have been used several times over the last two years by Liam Byrne - the same Liam Byrne who criticised the tone of the debate today.

He goes on to highlight extracts from Liam Byrne's speeches of the past.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 01:26:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 Good piece, and a rather horrifying peek at the gradual conversion of the welfare state into an 'illfare state...
by Nomad on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 03:45:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Huffington Post - Ramesh Patel - Finally! Exposed! The Deficit Myth! So, David Cameron When Are You Going to Apologise?

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on"
- Winston Churchill

As a Conservative I have no pleasure in exposing David Cameron's deficit claims. However, as long as the party continues to talk down the economy via the blame game, confidence will not be given an opportunity to return. For it is an undeniable and inescapable economic fact: without confidence and certainty there can be no real growth.

Below are the three deficit claims - the mess. The evidence comes from the IMF, OECD, OBR, HM Treasury, ONS and even George Osborne. The claims put into context are:



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 01:14:06 PM EST
Typical arguments by assertion, made more convincing by their acceptance by most of the media. Few grasp the consequences of the concentration of the media in a few very wealthy hands.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 02:38:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 03:02:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was only today that I learnt how to get a screen shot off an iPhone. Ms Ness S. Itty is the mother...

It's simple. But from accomplishing it I get a weird recursive feeling - a sort of glitch in the déjà vu paradigm.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 04:14:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UKIP find themselves facing contradicting themselves on several issues simultaneously

Liberal Conspiracy - Sunny Hundal - UKIP in chaos and faces backlash for firing its youth chair over gay marriage

A couple of points which emerge;-
Apparently an anti-europe party accept they are only electorally relevant in Europe.

An avowedly libertarian party are fine with contentious views about rape, but will not tolerate acceptance of homosexuality, despite officially having no view on the subject.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 01:23:01 PM EST
Mediaite - Jon Stewart Destroys The Right On Gun Control: We Can't Do Anything Because You Fear `Imaginary Hitler'

The whole argument in two videos which should be viewable in most of europe

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 01:38:22 PM EST
Thanks Helen, watched them both. Stewart himself, and his writers, have truly nailed this issue. amurka is actually criminally insane, at least from a societal perspective.

Let me warn you however. No one, no two, no army, not even Hitler and Stalin and Mao's spawn, will ever take away my stash of assault muskets.

(They did a great job of showing the drop in drunk driving deaths resulting from the series of measures taken.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 02:15:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Told you as much back in 2008 with my original sig line:
If sanity be culturally normative then by the norms of this society I claim insanity.

That had been a motto of mine since the '70s.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 02:41:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn shame

BBCNews - Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson diagnosed with cancer

Wilko Johnson, former guitarist with 1970s British rock band Dr Feelgood, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the pancreas.

His manager wrote on the musician's Facebook page that the 65-year-old had chosen not to receive any chemotherapy, but was "in good spirits".

Despite the diagnosis, Johnson plans to finish a new CD and carry out a short tour of France.

There are also plans for a series of farewell gigs in the UK.



keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 02:05:36 PM EST
Poor old Wilko! I saw him play with Ian Dury and the Blockheads, in about 1980 in NZ. Was already a fan of Feelgood and the Solid Senders. Then lost sight of him until the other day, when he popped up

as the executioner in Game of Thrones :

Wilko's game of groans | Rock News Desk

"My character, Ilyn Payne, had his tongue cut out so I don't have to learn any lines. They basically told me to walk around and glare at people - I can do that. The director told me, `You don't have to act scary. You are scary.'"


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:20:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Krugman blog: Barbarous Relics (January 9, 2013)
For many people on the right, value is something handed down from on high It should be measured in terms of eternal standards, mainly gold; I have, for example, often seen people claiming that stocks are actually down, not up, over the past couple of generations because the Dow hasn't kept up with the gold price, never mind what it buys in terms of the goods and services people actually consume.

...

For people like me, on the other hand, the economy is a social system, created by and for people. Money is a social contrivance and convenience that makes this social system work better -- and should be adjusted, both in quantity and in characteristics, whenever there is compelling evidence that this would lead to better outcomes. It often makes sense to put constraints on our actions, e.g. by pegging to another currency or granting the central bank a high degree of independence, but these are things done for operational convenience or to improve policy credibility, not moral commitments -- and they are always up for reconsideration when circumstances change.

...

And I do find myself thinking a lot about Keynes's description of the gold standard as a "barbarous relic"; it applies perfectly to this discussion. The money morality people are basically adopting a pre-Enlightenment attitude toward monetary and fiscal policy -- and why not? After all, they hate the Enlightenment on all fronts.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 02:15:09 PM EST
Joe Weisenthal: Legendary Harvard Law Professor Gives The Ultimate Verdict On Whether The Trillion Dollar Platinum Coin Is Legal (Business Insider, January 9, 2013)
This gets to what we were saying yesterday. This debate is not the work of frivolous trolls. This gets to the core of what is money.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 02:20:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bravo for Tribe. He came down well on this one.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 02:44:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems Tribe passed over one nagging problem. At the current rate of circa  $1550 per troy ounce, the coin would require about 20,000 metric tons of pure metal. Of course it could be a mint quality alloy of, say, 95% but that isn't going to change things that much.

The usual provisions for the metal that goes into coinage requires that the Treasury acquire the bullion within one year of the mining of the ore from natural deposits within the USA and its posessions. US stockpile is next to nothing. On a good year Stillwater can almost make the four metric ton mark. One needs a lawyer on this to see if Treasury can get around this and see if there's enough Pt in the world to fill the bill. But seeing as annual world production is around 200 metric tons, they might contemplate flying to Pandora.

So it gives you an idea how fucking mad world fiscalization has divorced us from good old material reality and good solid human labour.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 05:14:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
P.S. Can our engineers here give us a breakdown on the force needed to strike a coin of that size? it's going to require one hell of a press and I have serious misgivings any known die material could withstand the shook.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 05:34:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But in my 3D program I can make it any size I wish - just change the units.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 05:43:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nobody wants to make a coin that size.
by Katrin on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 05:45:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Size doesn't matter.  The coin is worth whatever value it has stamped on it.  That's the power of seigniorage.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 06:26:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It must be large enough to have room for all those "0". And the back side can show a teabag.
by Katrin on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 06:30:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A blow-up of the obverse should show a British East India Company Ship with tea boxes being thrown overboard by 'Indians', but on the side of the box is a replica of the face of the $1 Trillion coin, about an inch thick and filling the side or top of the box.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 12:38:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 02:10:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You wouldn't press it. You'd get the world's most self-important economists to breathe on it to sanctify it, then pay cheap Chinese labour to chisel the numbers into it by hand in a sweatshop somewhere on the Chinese mainland.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 06:35:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The law does not place a limit on the seigniorage which can be added to the price of the metal. The only requirement is that it must be made of platinum.

The US Treasury can mint a 10 tn dollar coin the size of a nickel.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 06:56:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For effect it could be made so as to weigh one pound. Then it would be a great paperweight. But that one probably should be an option for a $1 million dollar collectable platinum coin. Then $100 Thousand denominations could be struck in a size suitable for bracelets, earrings and necklaces. The wealthy could wear them to show ownership of the monetary system.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 12:43:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Free silver - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Populist Party had a strong free-silver element. Its subsequent combination with the Democratic Party moved the latter from the support of the gold standard which had been the hallmark of the Cleveland administration to the free-silver position epitomized by 1896 presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan in his Cross of Gold speech. Bryan's 1896 candidacy was supported by Populists and "silver Republicans" as well as by Democrats.

The issue was over what would back the US currency. The two options were: gold (wanted by the Goldbugs and William McKinley) and silver (wanted by the Silverites and Bryan). Unbacked paper (wanted by the Greenbacks) represented a third option.

The city voters-- especially German Americans --overwhelmingly rejected the free-silver cause out of conviction that it would lead to economic disaster, unemployment, and higher prices. The diversified farmers of the Midwest and East opposed it as well, but the cotton farmers in the South and the wheat farmers in the West were enthusiastic for free silver. Bryan tried again in 1900 to raise the issue but lost by larger margins, and when he dropped the issue it fell out of circulation.[5]

Symbolism of free silver

Free silver became increasingly associated with Populism, unions, and the fight of ordinary Americans against the bankers, railroad monopolists, and the robber barons of the laissez-faire capitalism era and was referred to as the "People's Money" (as opposed to the gold-based currency, which was portrayed by the Populists as the money of "exploitation" and "oppression").

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 02:50:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The city voters -- especially German Americans -- overwhelmingly rejected the free-silver cause out of conviction that it would lead to economic disaster, unemployment, and higher prices.

But... But... I thought it was the Weimar experience that made Germans think like that!?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 02:52:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it was Goethe's Faust II.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:35:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I.e. Weimar.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 06:06:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Goethe - The Weimar experience!

Is probably already the slogan of the local tourism promotion agency.

by IM on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 06:13:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Weimar Experience™
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 06:30:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Atrios ‏@Atrios

i taught econ for several years. and, yes, the concept of money creation makes peoples' brains freeze
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 03:10:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not an Atrios comment on Krugman, I hasten to add.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 03:11:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Video: Tattooed man gains ground in Czech presidential race - Telegraph
Despite being tattooed on over 90 per cent of his body, Vladimir Franz, is running a surprising third place in polls ahead of this week's Czech Republic presidential elections.

Video inside link.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 03:54:15 PM EST
It's taken me 10 hours to build a 3D model of an almost transparent sheet of plastic with simulated deep laser etching and to place it in an almost shadowless white environment - as per brief. 1 hr for the model, 4 hrs to find a way of visually simulating PC etching (texture) and the rest of the buggery time trying to do very tricky gossamer lighting - which meant back-adjusting everything else.

Now it's time to render unto Caesar in best quality raydiosity.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 04:06:04 PM EST
It's why ya get the big bucks

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 04:57:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I'm a financial idiot. This is a virtual freebie.

But it's my version of doing sudoku in a senior residential. It keeps me occupied and mentally active.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 05:10:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Better than soduku, ten hours of which would drive anyone demented.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 02:54:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The idea that I earn big bucks is misplaced.

I live an almost monastic existence, owning nothing. Now, as opposed to earlier. I have enough to live on, little more. I could earn more if I wanted, but I'd rather spend my time on projects that are fun and challenging.

I've also given up smoking and am drastically reducing meat intake. But I'm not giving up brain expansion for anybody.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 05:23:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, there was no literalizing implication in my comment. It's just a common phrase in England for why some people get the work and others don't

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 07:56:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Recent Diaries

Meddlesome Commissioner?

by afew - Aug 19
63 comments

Gaza

by Frank Schnittger - Jul 25
14 comments

Through MIT's Nuclear Goggles

by gmoke - Jul 21
6 comments

More Diaries...