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His first name is Google.
December 9, 2010 1:09 PM   Subscribe

Ron Paul, 11-term Republican Congressman for the 14th Congressional district of Texas, original Tea Partier (warning: YouTube), libertarian presidential candidate, and author of End the Fed (Bloomberg review) today announced that he is next in line to chair the United States House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology in charge of, among other things, oversight of the Federal Reserve.

It was long held that Republican Leadership, including incoming House Speaker John Boehner, would prevent Paul from becoming chairman at all costs despite his seniority.

Paul has indicated that his initial efforts will be merely auditing the Federal Reserve.
posted by 2bucksplus (187 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
gets the popcorn ready for this shitstorm….
posted by ShawnString at 1:12 PM on December 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Can you believe that after all that, I still had to Google him?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:13 PM on December 9, 2010 [49 favorites]


I literally did a spit take.
posted by The Whelk at 1:13 PM on December 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Ohhhhhhh fuck
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:13 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Remember to -racism when you do that.
posted by Artw at 1:13 PM on December 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


I have no time at all - and I mean at all - for evolution deniers. I honestly don't care what else they say or do. If they deny evolution, they are wholly worthless human beings, and they need to be discounted and reviled.
posted by Decani at 1:14 PM on December 9, 2010 [23 favorites]


Alternative title: That. Just. Happened.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:14 PM on December 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Remember to -racism when you do that.

Our new national motto.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:14 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sigh. Couldn't he be put in charge of something else? Say, foreign policy or the DEA?
posted by ripley_ at 1:14 PM on December 9, 2010 [17 favorites]


Frugal Ron Paul!
posted by mattdidthat at 1:15 PM on December 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


GOLD STANDARD FUCK YEAH

/looking forward to bread costing $.5 a loaf, and making $2 a day
posted by Avenger at 1:15 PM on December 9, 2010 [12 favorites]


I am not a big Ron Paul fan, but I am having a hard time seeing a downside to this.
posted by Xoebe at 1:16 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


GOLD STANDARD FUCK YEAH

Those Glenn Beck cash-for-coins ads aren't looking so crazy right now, are they?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:16 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why was I hoping he was dead when I started reading this?
posted by djduckie at 1:18 PM on December 9, 2010 [19 favorites]


If someone had written the events of the last week in a work of fiction I'd have hucked it across the room by now as OH COME ON. Instead, I live another day / turn another page and keep reading, slackjaw and gibbering.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:19 PM on December 9, 2010 [14 favorites]


Well, could it be much worse than the status quo?
posted by Burhanistan at 1:20 PM on December 9, 2010


WELP.
posted by boo_radley at 1:21 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Tell whoever is writing this story that this plot point is not credible.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:21 PM on December 9, 2010 [54 favorites]


His first official act will be to announce 2011 as The Year of the Tucks Medicated Pad.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:22 PM on December 9, 2010 [31 favorites]


I am not a big Ron Paul fan, but I am having a hard time seeing a downside to this.

It's true. How many black men can Ron Paul audit in two years? These things take time.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:22 PM on December 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Well, could it be much worse than the status quo?

The answer to this question is always "yes". Always.
posted by saturday_morning at 1:23 PM on December 9, 2010 [20 favorites]


The one guy who really moved to Canada after Bush's election in '04 is sitting there, reading this, sipping his Tim Hourtons, and giggling.

Laugh on, hypothetical man. Laugh right, in our unthinkable faces.
posted by hellojed at 1:25 PM on December 9, 2010 [25 favorites]


You know how any form of economic recovery within the next 2 years is really not in Republican interests?
posted by Artw at 1:26 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


When do I get to ride in a zeppelin?
posted by Meatbomb at 1:26 PM on December 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


How many black men can Ron Paul audit in two years? These things take time.

It's true. And think of how many lizardoids need to be audited as well.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:26 PM on December 9, 2010


Well, now we know what the Republicans are willing to do when you don't "compromise" with them.
posted by rollbiz at 1:26 PM on December 9, 2010


Honestly, my guess is that this will wind up breaking Ron Paul.
posted by COBRA! at 1:27 PM on December 9, 2010


This calls for a "What could possibly go wrong?"

But the other self-stated Tea Partiers in the GOP congregation probably won't back him after he became the only one of them to say something nice about WikiLeaks. It's the danger of being a True Maverick (as opposed to whatever McCain is); you're gonna have near ZERO allies.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:27 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ayn Rand's corpse for Secretary of the Interior!
posted by shakespeherian at 1:27 PM on December 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


Hey maybe there's an upside to this, like maybe I can join one of the nicer pirate hordes in exchange for drawing amusing cartoons on the sides of their machine-gun riddled school buses
posted by The Whelk at 1:27 PM on December 9, 2010 [11 favorites]


>>Well, could it be much worse than the status quo?
The answer to this question is always "yes". Always.


This is actually provable using what I call the "infinite weasel" theorem. Take any hypothetical bad situation you could be in, say, being subjected to an audit. Now imagine that same situation but with a live, angry weasel in your pants. In this way, the situation is made worse*. But that situation can also be made worse, by just adding another weasel. And that situation too, and that situation, and so on without end.

While there is a limit on our capacity to enjoy good things, there is no limit on how bad things can get.

*NOT, as a few of you might think, better. Trust me on this.
posted by JHarris at 1:28 PM on December 9, 2010 [116 favorites]


What the hell kind of crazy deal did he work to pull this off. Isn't this like Hitchens getting selected as pope?
posted by Ad hominem at 1:28 PM on December 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


As Bette Davis said: "Buckle your seat belts..."
posted by Cranberry at 1:30 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


And the GOP leadership doesn't want other investigatin' to distract from Darrell Issa's campaign to investigate Obama until he can come up with something to impeach him over (which will take 15 minutes if he uses source material from Glenn Beck). The next two years will be a spectacle, but that's not going to be part of it.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:30 PM on December 9, 2010


I'm crushing your head, I'm crushing your head!
posted by telstar at 1:32 PM on December 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Take any hypothetical bad situation you could be in, say, being subjected to an audit. Now imagine that same situation but with a live, angry weasel in your pants. In this way, the situation is made worse*. But that situation can also be made worse, by just adding another weasel. And that situation too, and that situation, and so on without end.

Also, let's not forget-- that keeping wildlife, an amphibious rodent, for uh, domestic, you know, within the city-- that ain't legal either.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:33 PM on December 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


In other right-wing nut news, Obama and the Republicans agree to borrow $900B to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, while denying ill 9/11 rescue workers a $7B medical coverage program.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:34 PM on December 9, 2010 [27 favorites]


> The one guy who really moved to Canada after Bush's election in '04 is sitting there, reading this, sipping his Tim Hourtons, and giggling. Laugh on, hypothetical man. Laugh right, in our unthinkable faces.

I know several people who permanently left the U.S. between '01 and '08 with American politics being among their stated reasons. (Stated conversationally between friends, anyway).

They were also all fully aware that regardless of where they claim citizenship, they are still subject to the massive economic and military sway the U.S. imposes, and that fecking off to foreign lands may end up being a pyrrhic action if some worst case scenario within the U.S. comes to pass and their new country's banking system goes the way of, say, Iceland's.
posted by ardgedee at 1:34 PM on December 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


I am not a big Ron Paul fan, but I am having a hard time seeing a downside to this.

Off of the top of my head, I'd argue that it's a pretty bad idea to put a guy who is opposed to the very idea of money in charge of our domestic monetary policy.
posted by schmod at 1:35 PM on December 9, 2010 [21 favorites]


Oh look cocktail hour. We meet again.
posted by The Whelk at 1:35 PM on December 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


So are we living in a Gibson novel or in an incoherent wish-fulfillment blog post from 2007? Because I need to know whether to stock up on skill chips or ammo
posted by theodolite at 1:36 PM on December 9, 2010 [9 favorites]


In other right-wing nut news, Obama and the Republicans...

I see what you did there.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:36 PM on December 9, 2010


So are we living in a Gibson novel or in an incoherent wish-fulfillment blog post from 2007?

No if we lived in a book the book would have to make sense.
posted by The Whelk at 1:37 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think it's cute that people think congress has any power over the federal reserve.
posted by empath at 1:38 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


oh god, unless it's a Robert Anton Wilson book oh god
posted by The Whelk at 1:38 PM on December 9, 2010 [14 favorites]


Gibson novel? We passed Gibson a long time ago, I think we're approaching Robert Anton Wilson at this point.
posted by Ndwright at 1:38 PM on December 9, 2010 [12 favorites]


Uh, wow. Fnord?
posted by Ndwright at 1:39 PM on December 9, 2010 [12 favorites]


This is great, seriously. Let the crazy run amok on stage, so everyone can see.
posted by nomadicink at 1:39 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


did everything just taste purple for a second?
posted by The Whelk at 1:39 PM on December 9, 2010 [19 favorites]


You gotta be shitting me.
posted by brundlefly at 1:40 PM on December 9, 2010


Paul has indicated that his initial efforts will be merely auditing the Federal Reserve.

I would also like to see an auditing of the Federal Reserve. Who would oppose this? I mean other than those who would like the workings of the Federal Reserve to remain secret.

Now who might that be?

What is excluded from GAO oversight?

The GAO can’t review most of the Fed’s monetary policy actions or decisions, including discount window lending (direct loans to financial institutions), open-market operations and any other transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee. It also can’t look into the Fed’s transactions with foreign governments, foreign central banks and other international financing organizations. (The GAO in 1993 produced this report on its limitations. The Federal Banking Agency Audit Act of 1978 put other parts of the central bank’s operations under GAO purview, as they had been for a decade until 1933.)

Aren't investment banks now borrowing at the discount window?

It seems to me that an audit of the Fed is a strike at the heart of the Wall Street establishment which Democrats should overwhelmingly encourage. If of course there were not also Wall Street Democrats.

I say go get them Mr. Dr. Senator Paul. Stay focused on this to the exclusion of all else until you get to the bottom of it.
posted by three blind mice at 1:41 PM on December 9, 2010 [17 favorites]


Now can we please get Sarah Palin elected President? Cuz that would be HILARIOUS!!
posted by LordSludge at 1:41 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


What's wrong with Ron Paul?
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 1:43 PM on December 9, 2010


Geithner and Bernanke deserve to have Ron Paul surgically attached between them.
posted by benzenedream at 1:44 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now imagine that same situation but with a live, angry weasel in your pants. In this way, the situation is made worse*. But that situation can also be made worse, by just adding another weasel. And that situation too, and that situation, and so on without end.

I think your pants are bigger than mine.
posted by nickmark at 1:45 PM on December 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


What's wrong with Ron Paul?

Listen, I don't have a lot of time. Maybe it would be faster if I enumerate what's right with him:

1. He sometimes wears interesting ties.
2. At the right angle, he can appear kindly.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:45 PM on December 9, 2010 [22 favorites]


Decani,

Ron Paul also said this in regards to WikiLeaks: "In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble." He has also faced off with Fox News anchors about the reality of our overseas military empire.

How about we let him shed light on the Fed, and accept that while he may be wrong on evolution, we're probably wrong on something too. I don't care who keeps the government (and shadow government) honest, even if they have a little (R) next to their name, or have fundamentalist religious viewpoints.
posted by notion at 1:46 PM on December 9, 2010 [15 favorites]


and their new country's banking system goes the way of, say, Iceland's.

My great plan in the eventuality of an executive branch featuring Palin was to play my Irish citizenship card. *sigh*
posted by Zed at 1:49 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ron Paul also said this in regards to WikiLeaks: "In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble."

The standard for thinking someone is terrible is not whether they have never said something good.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:51 PM on December 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


That's Dr. Google Ron Paul, good sir!
posted by filthy light thief at 1:52 PM on December 9, 2010


Gibson? RAW? Shit, no.

This is Sterling territory. "Bicycle Repairman" or Distractions, I would say.
posted by lodurr at 1:53 PM on December 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Now imagine that same situation but with a live, angry weasel in your pants. In this way, the situation is made worse*. But that situation can also be made worse, by just adding another weasel. And that situation too, and that situation, and so on without end.

I got two:

Imagine a live angry weasel in your pants - forever.

&

So it's weasels all the way down, then?
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:53 PM on December 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


My great plan in the eventuality of an executive branch featuring Palin was to play my Irish citizenship card. *sigh*

Ha; I'd been thinking Portugal. Now I'm thinking Uruguay, maybe.
posted by aramaic at 1:54 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


What the hell kind of crazy deal did he work to pull this off. Isn't this like Hitchens getting selected as pope?

Um, isn't this what the Republicans do? They guy who apologized to BP is going to be put in charge of energy policy. Their biggest climate change denier is going to be in charge of that committee. The guy who yelled "You Lie" will probably be their communications director. Michelle Bachmann will probably head up education or say, fact checking. The rotting corpse of Strom Thurmond will probably handle race relations. Hell, they'll probably put Charlie Rangel in charge of Ethics, who cares if he's a Dem. This all makes sense to them.
posted by fungible at 1:55 PM on December 9, 2010 [20 favorites]


(for the record, the "we're living in a Gibson book" reference was more in terms of the recent Stuxnet and Wikileaks news. Personally I'm holding out until we're inside a Murakami story)
posted by theodolite at 1:55 PM on December 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


This is Sterling territory.

Ridiculous villains with names that are allusions to well-known literary figures? Plot devices that come out of nowhere, with no set-up other than that we seem to be out of other characters? We're in late-period Stephen King.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:57 PM on December 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


And the GOP leadership doesn't want other investigatin' to distract from Darrell Issa's campaign to investigate Obama until he can come up with something to impeach him over (which will take 15 minutes if he uses source material from Glenn Beck). The next two years will be a spectacle, but that's not going to be part of it.

I'm really sorry about Issa. We didn't really know who we were putting into power, see? Knowing the area, we're probably never voting him out either (Republicans for life--at least until the other half of the map organizes politically). He's really good at creating chaos, too, seeing as he's the guy who managed to get the recall on Gray Davis going (the one that ended up electing Schwarzenegger to office, which trust me was not Issa's original plan).

As for Ron Paul's latest news, the only people I know will be happy about it also voted for Issa.
posted by librarylis at 1:58 PM on December 9, 2010


Now I'm thinking Uruguay.

Well, actually I'm straight, but with a few wine coolers I might be open to convincing.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:58 PM on December 9, 2010 [9 favorites]


"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." --Thomas Pynchon
posted by chavenet at 1:59 PM on December 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


What's wrong with Ron Paul?
A blow to the head as a child, perhaps?
posted by Abiezer at 2:03 PM on December 9, 2010 [10 favorites]


"In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble."

It's just a tad late to go acting all sensible. I agree with notion that even bad people can have good ideas. But don't ever forget he's a Libertarian - that's "social Darwinist" in real words.

Maybe he and the marching-steadily-right Republicans are seeing a little more eye-to-eye these days.

As an aside, Robert Reich has a good description of the problems we are facing, along with some sensible solutions, on HuffPost today.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:04 PM on December 9, 2010


fungible: "Um, isn't this what the Republicans do? They guy who apologized to BP is going to be put in charge of energy policy. Their biggest climate change denier is going to be in charge of that committee."

You missed a big one.
posted by brundlefly at 2:05 PM on December 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Ah yes, let's not forget that UN-loving internationalist John Bolton being appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:06 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Geithner and Bernanke deserve to have Ron Paul surgically attached between them.

Looks like I've found my "B".
posted by LordSludge at 2:06 PM on December 9, 2010


>The standard for thinking someone is terrible is not whether they have never said something good.

That's something I don't have to explain to non-terrible people.

In this context, can you think of any other Republican who has shown more willingness to hold anyone on Wall Street or at the Fed to account than Ron Paul has? No, no cutesy derails about Rand. I want names.

While I don't share his position against fiat currency, I don't mind that someone who doubts the legitimacy of an entire institution is one of the people involved in policing it. If he makes some good arguments, I'm ready to listen. If he puts corrupt people in jail, I'll be ready with my popcorn. It seems you are entirely ignorant of his position on the issue, so it's a little bizarre for you to be so critical of it, even if it's just a lame series of personal attacks.
posted by notion at 2:07 PM on December 9, 2010 [10 favorites]


Warning: this thread is clearly breaking down the barriers of its participants' consciousnesses. The hive-mind-ularity approaches!
posted by Zed at 2:08 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


shakespeherian> Those Glenn Beck cash-for-coins ads aren't looking so crazy right now, are they?

Investing in gold indirectly as opposed to owning the physical asset -- maybe not, but if things really go south with the economy, I'm betting that gold will suffer a massive retrenchment. We aren't in an inflationary period right now, and the immediate threat (which may not materialize) is deflationary. Speculation in gold and silver (beyond a prudent 10% of one's assets in precious metals as an insurance policy) is jumping the gun, or hoping to time the market right.

The actual companies that advertise on Glenn Beck's show? They don't look crazy at all to me; they look like scam artists. But if you are contemptible enough to believe anyone who would advertise on Glenn Beck's show, you deserve what you get.

shakespeherian> But that situation can also be made worse, by just adding another weasel. And that situation too, and that situation, and so on without end.

There's a flaw in that theorem: there is only a finite amount of space in one's pants.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 2:09 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


It seems you are entirely ignorant of his position on the issue, so it's a little bizarre for you to be so critical of it, even if it's just a lame series of personal attacks.

On exactly what basis do you judge my ignorance of Paul's positions? Because I am making hilarious jokes?
posted by shakespeherian at 2:10 PM on December 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is great, seriously. Let the crazy run amok on stage, so everyone can see.
And then what? You think the public will suddenly become enlightened and see the crazies for what they are and usher the bums out on a rail? Hardly. Here's how it will go...

• The crazies utterly fuck everything up
• Economy tanks hard. More unemployed. More foreclosures.
• Crazies blame Obama and the remaining libruls.
• Fox News agrees. 24/7 coverage of the liberal economic disaster ensues.
• Public nods in agreement. Buys more gold.
• Sarah Palin wins in crazy landslide.

I got a twenty that sez I'm right.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:10 PM on December 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


Yes, shakespherian.

MetaFilter: Hilarious Jokes
posted by notion at 2:11 PM on December 9, 2010


Thorzdad: "I got a twenty that sez I'm right."

I'd hold on to that twenty, if I were you.
posted by brundlefly at 2:12 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


They guy who apologized to BP is going to be put in charge of energy policy.

Small mercies...
posted by kmz at 2:13 PM on December 9, 2010


And this guy will be the chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee. And the cherry on top of this shit sundae:
But here at TPM we remember him for another proud moment: the day thirteen years ago when he slandered a teenaged sex slave into the House record on behalf of then-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. "[S]he wanted to do nude dancing," said Hall of the fifteen-year-old girl who was taken from her parents in the Phillippines and forced to perform sex acts on stage and before video cameras at a Northern Marianas sex club.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 2:17 PM on December 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


In other news, Katy Perry is up for a grammy for best record, the Pope is to head a UN commission on child abuse, and the US State Department sent out a press release celebrating Press Freedom Day after pressuring PayPal to to deny service to WikiLeaks.

And the crazy things only one of those is a lie.
posted by munchingzombie at 2:18 PM on December 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


Well by that time the whole Wikileaks thing would have died down and we'd a new plot-twist in The America Show.

Should keep us viewers tuned in until the President Palin story arc kicks in.


Great entertainment value.
posted by xqwzts at 2:19 PM on December 9, 2010


Because I am making hilarious jokes?

I'm certain that's not it.
posted by nickmark at 2:20 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Here's to living in a poorly written 1970s science fiction novel. I think that's going to be my cheers quote at New Years.
posted by codacorolla at 2:21 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Via the good doctor: Beck's Gold Advertiser put into receivership. So there's that.
posted by kipmanley at 2:22 PM on December 9, 2010


munchingzombie: And the crazy things only one of those is a lie.

Isn't the Pope already the head of child abuse?
posted by xqwzts at 2:22 PM on December 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


There's a flaw in that theorem: there is only a finite amount of space in one's pants.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 5:09 PM on December 9 [+] [!]


I'm going to guess that the Urine Soaked Rube speaks from experience.
posted by The Bellman at 2:22 PM on December 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


There's a flaw in that theorem: there is only a finite amount of space in one's pants.

Until they burst. Then you're naked and surrounded by pissed off weasels.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 2:25 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Here's to living in a poorly written 1970s science fiction novel. I think that's going to be my cheers quote at New Years.

Woah, woah, woah. Until the Sexulons come to take me away to pleasure the Gonzongal Queen of Sexulon 7, we're in an early 90s science fiction novel at best.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:25 PM on December 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Here's to living in a poorly written 1970s science fiction novel.

And it's not even a Heinlein novel. Or a PKD one. At least then I'd be getting laid.
posted by mek at 2:25 PM on December 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


It seems you are entirely ignorant of his position on the issue, so it's a little bizarre for you to be so critical of it, even if it's just a lame series of personal attacks.

When someone declares, openly, that the government has no business protecting my rights from racists, misogynists and homophobes, because the free market will magically fix it, in the face of plenty of history contrary within living memory, they're probably a poor fit for economic policy making.
posted by yeloson at 2:33 PM on December 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


MetaFilter: keep reading, slackjaw and gibbering.
posted by Splunge at 2:42 PM on December 9, 2010


posted by notion It seems you are entirely ignorant of his position on the issue, so it's a little bizarre for you to be so critical of it

It seems you are also entirely ignorant of Paul's positions, so it's a little bizarre for you to be so supportive of him.
posted by mattdidthat at 2:43 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think it's cute that people think congress has any power over the federal reserve.

The Federal Reserve was created by congressional legislation and could be abolished by congressional legislation. The recent Frank-Dodd bill, for example, mandated the release of the TARP beneficiaries that were publicized recently, something the Federal Reserve resisted but was overruled by Congress.
posted by JackFlash at 2:50 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have reached the point where I am suspiciously watching C-SPAN all day waiting for people to start randomly peeling off their human masks to reveal the sinister reptilian aliens beneath.
posted by elizardbits at 2:50 PM on December 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


I have reached the point where I am suspiciously watching C-SPAN all day waiting for people to start randomly peeling off their human masks to reveal the sinister reptilian aliens beneath.
posted by elizardbits


At least you're prepared.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:51 PM on December 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's FRAGGLE RONCK TIME!
posted by blue_beetle at 2:51 PM on December 9, 2010


UrineSoakedRube> There's a flaw in that theorem: there is only a finite amount of space in one's pants.

thsmchnekllsfascists> Until they burst. Then you're naked and surrounded by pissed off weasels.

Or as I like to call it, "Tuesday".
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 2:58 PM on December 9, 2010 [9 favorites]


I'm feeling a little faint. Maybe it's the rising tide of weasels around my ankles.
posted by stoneweaver at 2:58 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Already the #1 result for "infinite weasel theorem" on Google.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:59 PM on December 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


I have reached the point where I am suspiciously watching C-SPAN all day waiting for people to start randomly peeling off their human masks to reveal the sinister reptilian aliens beneath.
posted by elizardbits


I bet you are. I bet you are.
posted by lord_wolf at 3:01 PM on December 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Investing in gold indirectly as opposed to owning the physical asset -- maybe not, but if things really go south with the economy, I'm betting that gold will suffer a massive retrenchment. We aren't in an inflationary period right now, and the immediate threat (which may not materialize) is deflationary. Speculation in gold and silver (beyond a prudent 10% of one's assets in precious metals as an insurance policy) is jumping the gun, or hoping to time the market right.

I should clarify this: I expect that gold and silver will probably do okay in dollar-denominated terms, but that would be due to dollar depreciation (and in the case of silver, due to the economy picking up, albeit slowly). But in this scenario, there are better investments than gold. I would guess that a big part of gold's runup is due to unrealistic short-term inflation expectations.

(And shakespeherian, the "contemptible" bit was not directed towards you, just in case there was any misunderstanding.)
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 3:03 PM on December 9, 2010


Is this like reality's version of sweeps week?
posted by TwelveTwo at 3:04 PM on December 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: you're naked and surrounded by pissed off weasels.

(Come on, admit you've had this dream, against the blue background...)
posted by chavenet at 3:06 PM on December 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Analysis from The Atlantic:
What will he do with it? And what might this mean for the Fed? I talked to Paul about this last week, and he made two things abundantly clear. One, which was the subject of my column, was that he might use his chairmanship to advance the broader Republican effort to attack the Fed's latest round of quantitative easing--with bond yield soaring, that could further hamper recovery efforts.

But what Paul seemed even more eager to tackle was investigating the "business cycle" and questioning the fundamental need for the central bank (actually, it's not a question for Paul--he'd like to get rid of it). That is to say, he plans to use his subcommittee to bring an Austrian perspective to national affairs.
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:08 PM on December 9, 2010


Don't think he will get it.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:13 PM on December 9, 2010


Already the #1 result for "infinite weasel theorem" on Google

I shudder to think of the AdSense adverts that the keywords in this thread are triggering right now.
posted by generichuman at 3:16 PM on December 9, 2010


But what Paul seemed even more eager to tackle was investigating the "business cycle" and questioning the fundamental need for the central bank (actually, it's not a question for Paul--he'd like to get rid of it). That is to say, he plans to use his subcommittee to bring an Austrian perspective to national affairs.

There was an economist, Kurt Richebächer, who was considered one of the, if not the, brightest lights of the Austrian school. He had a newsletter which was touted by the Agora Financial guys, who called him the greatest living economist (when he was still alive, of course).

He wasn't a Keynesian, of course. But he strongly believed in the necessity of central banks, lauded Paul Volcker (another hero of the Agora Financial guys, at least before he endorsed Obama for President), and believed the gold standard was ridiculous.

Good thing for Ron Paul that he's dead, I guess. It would be humiliating if Richebächer were to appear before the committee and tell Ron that he's being an idiot.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 3:17 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can you believe that after all that, I still had to Google him?

Who is John Galt Ron Paul?
posted by fairmettle at 3:21 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


posted by The Whelk I literally did a spit take.

Right after you gargled Ron Paul?

(puts on sunglasses) YEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!
posted by mattdidthat at 3:36 PM on December 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


If you've already arranged an infinite weasel supply, infinite pants really shouldn't be a problem.

Why is it that so many people who loudly believe in weird things (i.e., psychic powers, repressed memory syndrome, alien abductions, that gold money is somehow more "defined" or "real" than any other kind) turn out to be MDs? Do they put something in the water in medical school? Does the profession just attract egomaniacs who can't admit they're wrong about anything?

Or am I the only one who feels this way?
posted by Western Infidels at 3:39 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


mattdidthat is a very bad person
posted by The Whelk at 3:41 PM on December 9, 2010


I didn't leave the States for political reasons. I had loans to pay off, and teaching overseas seemed like a good way to do it. That was in 1999. In the intervening 11 years, due to what's been going on back home, have given me less and less reason to return. Ron Paul? Treasury? Seriously?

I think, honestly, you guys have gone too far this time. I think I suddenly realize that this is all a joke, and things back home are paradise, streets paved with gold, etc., you just don't want anyone else to know, so you hired the Onion to write for AP.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:48 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


There was an economist, Kurt Richebächer, who was considered one of the, if not the, brightest lights of the Austrian school. He had a newsletter which was touted by the Agora Financial guys, who called him the greatest living economist...

Agora Financial in Baltimore? Jeebus. They also had an Investing for the Rapture newsletter (or something like that, it's been a while.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:49 PM on December 9, 2010


I'm feeling a little faint. Maybe it's the rising tide of weasels around my ankles.


A rising tide of weasels lifts all boats.
posted by lekvar at 3:51 PM on December 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


In other right-wing nut news, Obama and the Republicans...

President Obama is neither weak nor stupid... nor a progressive
posted by various at 3:58 PM on December 9, 2010


This is gonna be awesome.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:06 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Does the profession just attract egomaniacs who can't admit they're wrong about anything?

Yes.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 4:08 PM on December 9, 2010


"Does the profession just attract egomaniacs who can't admit they're wrong about anything? Or am I the only one who feels this way?"

You're not the only one who feels this way, Western Infidels. I believe that the reason is similar to the one you proposed that I quoted above, but not precisely the same. I've long considered it a variation of something I have privately termed "Engineers' Disease".

As far as I can tell, the line of thought goes something like this:

1) I have worked very hard and earned this extremely difficult degree.
2) Therefore, I am clearly a very intelligent person.
3) Since I am a very intelligent person, it stands to reason that I am not just an expert in the field where I got my difficult degree, but in ALL fields!
4) And this pamphlet/article/book/fringe website I read about field X makes eerie sense to me. And since I am, of course, an expert in that field, THAT MEANS IT IS TRUE!
5) But the solution is so simple and obvious ... why do the people in charge of field X not implement it? There is something wrong with them! I should be in charge!
6) ANYONE WHO DISAGREES WITH ME IS WRONG! I AM AN EXPERT! THEY MUST BE EITHER MORONS OR DUPES! EXPERT! I WILL HANG OUT WITH THESE PEOPLE WHO AGREE WITH ME AND WE WILL TELL EACH OTHER HOW RIGHT WE ARE! EXPERT!

Lather, rinse, repeat for any other value of "X".
posted by kyrademon at 4:09 PM on December 9, 2010 [55 favorites]


"Off of the top of my head, I'd argue that it's a pretty bad idea to put a guy who is opposed to the very idea of money in charge of our domestic monetary policy."

Can you think of someone better than Ron Paul to make Ben Bernanke and the gang of frat boys from Goldman Sachs completely miserable? And he won't "in charge" of policy, he's chairing the committee. Pretty much all he will be able to do is to stick an electric cattle prod up Bernanke's rectum all day long. Figuratively speaking.

It will be entertaining to say the least, and having someone who is openly hostile to the current system is precisely the guy you want watching for shenanigans.
posted by Xoebe at 4:10 PM on December 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Ron Paul's crazy antics will make good theatre, and will certainly help distract the public from the real crimes taking place elsewhere in government. As he will have no real powers, it should be a win-win for both aisles.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:14 PM on December 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Can someone explain to me in plain (non-economist/dumb guy) English what Ron Paul means when he says he wants to audit the Federal Reserve? What is Paul's goal with that? And why would it be a good or bad idea? (I try to understand what the Fed is, but it always seems to fade after a while.)
posted by zardoz at 4:14 PM on December 9, 2010


GOOGLE NELSON MUNTZ
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:17 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


ChurchHatesTucker> Agora Financial in Baltimore? Jeebus. They also had an Investing for the Rapture newsletter (or something like that, it's been a while.)

Yeah, I know. They wouldn't be worth mentioning, but that I.O.U.S.A. documentary had a reasonably high profile, and they are a big name in libertarian circles. And some of their newsletters have the occasional good investment idea. But after Kevin Kerr left Resource Trader Alert to start another investment service, they're just not as useful anymore, except as an initial partial filter for small and mid caps.

Oh, I became a "Lifetime Reserve" member a while back in order to avoid paying yearly subscription fees. Last Christmas, they had a deal where members could contact a gold coin seller for some free coins, worth about $600(!).

Free is free, so I jumped on it. Then I realized the logic behind the company giving away free gold: they gave me the pitch that the FDR-era law behind gold confiscation was never repealed, but "collectible" coins were immune. So why not buy their coins and have my gold be safe from the clutching paws of the Federal government?

We all have to make money, coin salesmen included, so I didn't laugh out loud. Instead I gave a non-committal no, saying I might reconsider. But if you're wondering why Beck's audience doesn't just invest in gold ETFs or buy the standard one-ounce gold eagles from reputable dealers like Kitco, it's probably because of paranoid and illogical (gold doesn't take that much space; why not just hide the damn stuff if the feds come?) arguments like those.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 4:18 PM on December 9, 2010


Or a PKD one. At least then I'd be getting laid.

Yes, but you'd also be having a very bad trip at the same time.
posted by lodurr at 4:19 PM on December 9, 2010


Oh, Arlo, what the fuck, man?
posted by klanawa at 4:42 PM on December 9, 2010


theodolite: "Personally I'm holding out until we're inside a Murakami story"

Sweet, more handjobs for me.
posted by Cogito at 4:59 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Can someone explain to me in plain (non-economist/dumb guy) English what Ron Paul means when he says he wants to audit the Federal Reserve? What is Paul's goal with that? And why would it be a good or bad idea? (I try to understand what the Fed is, but it always seems to fade after a while.)

Ron Paul wants to get a balance sheet from the Fed that he can use to tell people who don't understand fractional-reserve banking that the money in their respective bank accounts isn't real, causing a massive run on the entire banking system. When it collapses, he'll point the finger at the Fed and blame it for the charred ruins.
posted by TrialByMedia at 5:00 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


There's a flaw in that theorem: there is only a finite amount of space in one's pants.

Until they burst. Then you're naked and surrounded by pissed off weasels.


Well, yeah, but your body only has a finite amount of surface area for the weasels to rip, tear, and defecate upon. Once you've reached maximum weasel density, the weasels are just going to start piling up on each other. Eventually, they'll crush you to death and then it can't get any worse.

You're going to reach the point of diminishing weasel returns at some point, is all I'm sayin'.
posted by vibrotronica at 5:05 PM on December 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


having someone who is openly hostile to the current system is precisely the guy you want watching for shenanigans.
Will this be like the time that Phil Gramm chaired the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban affairs? Because he was very hostile to the system that was current back then, and is credited with major reforms.
posted by anigbrowl at 5:09 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I really thought someone could explain in a paragraph or two what's wrong with Ron Paul. He seems to be quite clear-thinking, even though he's come to very different conclusions than many progressives. I looked on wikipedia, and couldn't figure out why he's so unpopular here.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 5:10 PM on December 9, 2010


Eh, at least he calls out military spending on foreign engagements as a waste of money (i.e. Afganistan and Iraq). It's pretty much been just him and maybe one other guy in Congress on that boat for a while now.
posted by jabberjaw at 5:10 PM on December 9, 2010


it's simple: he's unpopular here because he's a leading libertarian. he's good at the peace and love talk, but he also supports a cruel and exploitative economic system.
posted by TrialByMedia at 5:15 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


...even though he's come to very different conclusions than many progressives. I looked on wikipedia, and couldn't figure out why he's so unpopular here.

To ask the question is to answer it.

Myself, I'm cool with him breathing down the neck of Goldman Sacks Fed these days.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:22 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I looked on wikipedia, and couldn't figure out why he's so unpopular here.

Economic policy (specifically a desire for redistribution and regulation) tends to trump all other issues here. For that reason, people here tend to prefer Democrats who are miles to the right of Paul on war and drug policy.
posted by ripley_ at 5:28 PM on December 9, 2010


Huh. So, it couldn't possibly be because Paul is an apparently fundamentalist christian follower of an atheist philosopher, with whom he shares a doctrinaire belief in a social philosophy that can be debunked with 15 minutes of observing life in the real world. Or that he argues that we should shift from basing the value of money on the value of goods and services actually produced to an arbitrary chemical element. Or that he thinks evolution and creation science are on equal scientific footing. None of those things.
posted by lodurr at 5:40 PM on December 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


The Fed doesn't really make any sense to me either. I spent some time trying to understand it a couple of years ago, and there are parts of it that almost make sense. But is has become like a fourth branch of government with very little oversight, and that's the part of the thing that has been shuffled under the rug.
posted by jefeweiss at 5:41 PM on December 9, 2010


Or that he argues that we should shift from basing the value of money on the value of goods and services actually produced to an arbitrary chemical element.

Yeah, it's that last one that's arbitrary.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:44 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Economic policy (specifically a desire for redistribution and regulation) tends to trump all other issues here

Yes. Crazy out-of-touch liberals, with your libraries and your roads and your desire to not have another gigantic oil spill on the Gulf...
posted by goethean at 5:44 PM on December 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


I looked on wikipedia, and couldn't figure out why he's so unpopular here.

Libertarianism is the belief that everyone should be free to do as one pleases.

Assuming, that is, they can afford to.

Everyone else gets to work 18 hour shifts in unstable asbestos mines without so much as the upturned collar of a turtleneck sweater between the carcinogenic particulate matter and their lungs, just to pay down the ever-accruing interest on a cadmium-painted lead cup in which they might collect acid rain to sip slowly on those hot and humid February evenings.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:58 PM on December 9, 2010 [42 favorites]


Ha; I'd been thinking Portugal. Now I'm thinking Uruguay, maybe.

New Zealand seems fairly sane. And nicely far away in case the nukes start flying.
posted by acb at 6:03 PM on December 9, 2010


Can someone explain to me why gold has worth and paper money doesn't?

I mean, other than "because people agree that it has value."

Gold, I mean. Not money.
posted by lodurr at 6:04 PM on December 9, 2010


Plus the whole racism thing, and the cowardice surrounding it.
posted by Artw at 6:07 PM on December 9, 2010


Can someone explain to me why gold has worth and paper money doesn't?

I have here a bit of paper and a disc of gold. Which one do you want?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:14 PM on December 9, 2010


Depends. How big is the disc, and is the paper a large-denomination bill? If the market value of the disk isn't substantially greater than the value of goods and services I can easily purchase with the paper, I'll take the paper.

Here's the point: Gold has no more inherent value than cash. It only has value because we agree that it does. What can you do with it? Coat electrodes, make pretty good dental alloys -- and trade it for money that you can actually use to do stuff with.

Precious metal standards are just as imaginary as standards based on GDP. The only difference is that with precious metals, you set a different scaling function for how much "money" you can have. With metals, it's how much you can dig out of the ground. With GDP, it's what value you can create in the world.

Metals are great if what you want to be able to do is concentrate wealth into the hands of a few. GDP standards are great if you want to be able to create more wealth than there is gold in the ground.
posted by lodurr at 6:19 PM on December 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


If the market value of the disk isn't substantially greater than the value of goods and services I can easily purchase with the paper, I'll take the paper.

AND if you assume that the regime that is supporting your paper isn't going to go tits up, or devalue the paper, or.. well you get the idea.

The nice thing about precious metals is that the demand is inherent.

Weird to be arguing from this perspective, but interesting.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:29 PM on December 9, 2010


The demand is only inherent because we have a cultural tradition that declares it to be true.

Much as we have such a cultural tradition with money.

As others before me have pointed out, if the system that supports the money goes tits up, you won't have any way to realize the 'value' of your gold, either. So as disaster protection, precious metal is pretty much useless.
posted by lodurr at 6:32 PM on December 9, 2010


That is to say, he plans to use his subcommittee to bring an Austrian perspective to national affairs.

You know who else brought an Austrian perspective to national affairs...
posted by threeants at 6:40 PM on December 9, 2010 [21 favorites]


Well, this thread has gone to shit in typical snarky Metafilter fashion. Bravo, Metafilter. Bravo.
posted by tgrundke at 6:43 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The demand is only inherent because we have a cultural tradition that declares it to be true.

Much as we have such a cultural tradition with money.


True, but gold was the original denominator of value, and if it all goes tits up I'll take my chances with the shiny metal than the paper. YMMV.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:43 PM on December 9, 2010


The ad-hominem-to-vaguely-substantive comments in this thread is quite telling.

Btw, if you can point me to an investment other than gold with double digit returns over each of the last 10 years, I would be very interested.
posted by simms2k at 6:48 PM on December 9, 2010


Does the profession just attract egomaniacs who can't admit they're wrong about anything? Or am I the only one who feels this way?

I think it's more a universal malady that smart people everywhere are prone to - even here on MetaFilter. Smart people are used to being right, because they usually are. When they are wrong, they sometimes don't realize it because the source of the error is inside them, and their experience shows that errors are nearly always made by other people. From their perspective, it makes much more sense to investigate errors by starting with the assumption that someone else is wrong - they waste less time that way. After all, it usually is the case that someone else is wrong. Smart people are often also good at making convincing arguments, which dissuade people from persisting with attempts to convince said smart person that their assumptions about the source of the error need to be re-examined.

So you wind up with a paradox: smart people are usually right, but when they're wrong, they usually continue being wrong unless something truly extraordinary happens to make them re-evaluate the whole thing.
posted by Ritchie at 6:53 PM on December 9, 2010 [10 favorites]


Are you kidding me!!?? This probably is the best bit of political news I have heard all year! First of all, The Fedeal Reserve is as federal as the Federal Express. They lend our government money at immediate intrerest. How do we pay that back you might ask? With more money from the Federal Reserve-- at interest. Check your history books, because there was a financial reason to the American Revolution. Second, Ron Paul has been chomping at the bit for this; and this is a very good thing, for years. The Federal Reserve, though enacted by Congress (barely), has no oversight. None. Bernanke is a face to help with the front pages and with speculation. Congress cannnot see the books. Our monetary system is owned and profited by PRIVATE BANKERS. Ron Paul wants to change that. I bet he and many others would love to get banking cartels out of our deficits and out of our politics.

Ron Paul has been re-elected so many time in his district for a reason. I am not a fan of all of policies, but then again, which politician faccilitates that for me?

And I voted for Kucinich.

Paul/Kucinich or Kucinich/Paul

That's the ticket(S).

Federal Reserve Act of 1913
posted by captainsohler at 7:12 PM on December 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


The nice thing about precious metals is that the demand is inherent.

Consider palladium. One day scientists discovered they didn't need so much of it for catalytic converters and the price dropped because industrial demand collapsed. Consider gold. In the 1500s Spain discovered vast quantities of it in the new world. The resulting hyperinflation caused massive disruptions. Furthermore the extraction of precious metals is an environmental nightmare. The ancient Romans had an asset bubble, since their currency was based on gold they decided the logical thing to do was to conquer a peaceful neighboring state and plunder it for the gold.

Money is an abstraction like all numbers. Fiat money and central banks are the only known means of making the system work. People who want a gold standard are like the ancient church arguing against the existence zero.

Wars, empires, bubbles and economic meltdowns all the problems we have today have occurred under gold standards, Breton Woods, Pax Britania, etc.
posted by humanfont at 7:29 PM on December 9, 2010 [9 favorites]


Well, this thread has gone to shit in typical snarky Metafilter fashion.

Dude, I haven't laughed as hard in a long time as I have reading this thread. And hardly any of the really good humor was at Ron Paul's expense. (Seriously, if you didn't laugh at the weasel theorem and its derivatives, then I'm afraid you should seek the help of a pathologist, because you are probably dead.)
posted by lodurr at 7:37 PM on December 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


So the infinite weasel theorem folks have heard of ferret legging, yes?

Also, having Ron Paul in charge of auditing the Fed is so much better than a lot of places he could be causing trouble. He's been in Congress for a long damned time and they have to put him in charge of something. I'd rather he was tying the banksters in knots than in charge of education or anything to do with reproductive rights.
posted by immlass at 8:01 PM on December 9, 2010


I've long considered it a variation of something I have privately termed "Engineers' Disease".

Jesus Christ. You've just perfectly described the way my father felt about EVERYTHING. (Engineer.)

Try telling a developmental psychologist that your father was an engineer sometime. I swear, it was a look of mingled pity and disdain.
posted by threeturtles at 8:02 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Or a PKD one. At least then I'd be getting laid.

Or at least you'd think you were.
posted by The Bellman at 8:02 PM on December 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


lodurr , I recommend Henry Miller's Money and How It Gets That Way.
posted by eegphalanges at 8:13 PM on December 9, 2010


god

damn

it
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:15 PM on December 9, 2010


You know who else brought an Austrian perspective to national affairs...

Rodgers and Hammerstein?
posted by Iridic at 8:24 PM on December 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


Try telling a developmental psychologist that your father was an engineer sometime.

My mom was a child psychologist and my dad was an engineer. I find this has been an excellent excuse for many aspects of my life so far.
posted by elizardbits at 8:36 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


You want the long-form on Ron Paul? here ya go
posted by warbaby at 8:58 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


What happened here?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:25 PM on December 9, 2010


What happened here?

An infinite weasel bomb reached critical mass and exploded.
posted by daniel_charms at 11:44 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why is it that so many people who loudly believe in weird things (i.e., psychic powers [...]) turn out to be MDs?

I've long considered it a variation of something I have privately termed "Engineers' Disease". As far as I can tell, the line of thought goes something like this [...]

Heh.
posted by kid ichorous at 1:21 AM on December 10, 2010


Personally I'm holding out until we're inside a Murakami story

Metafilter is the town. You handle is your shadow. Matt is the gatekeeper. Jessamyn is the librarian. pb runs the power plant. Cortex is the general. MetaTalk is the forest, but those that live in the forest are suspect. You are here, why do you worry so about your mind? Let go. Let the town take you. We have everything you need here. The town provides, at a small cost.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 5:39 AM on December 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


The Federal Reserve, though enacted by Congress (barely), has no oversight.

Central Bank Indepedence is a good thing:
A review of the impact of granting independence to the Central Bank of Mexico

Independent central banks result in lower inflation

A detailed look at outcomes vs. Central bank independence
posted by humanfont at 5:53 AM on December 10, 2010


There's a flaw in that theorem: there is only a finite amount of space in one's pants.

Well maybe in your pants...
posted by Theta States at 6:30 AM on December 10, 2010


... Henry Miller's Money and How It Gets That Way.

Thanks. Haven't done more than skim into it a bit, but my first thought is that Miller was nothing if not varied in his writing style and subject-interests. (Though he does of course bring it all around to sin & guilt pretty quickly.)
posted by lodurr at 7:09 AM on December 10, 2010


nomadicink: This is great, seriously. Let the crazy run amok on stage, so everyone can see.
Thorzdad: And then what? You think the public will suddenly become enlightened and see the crazies for what they are and usher the bums out on a rail?


Perhaps, but in the meantime, there's some excellent entertainment.
posted by nomadicink at 7:15 AM on December 10, 2010


End the Fed? Ron Paul is Wrong for all the Right Reasons

Bottom line: the moral is clear -
“Unless all nations agree to do so simultaneously, the dissolving of a central bank amounts to the economic equivalent of unilateral disarmament.”
posted by spock at 8:27 AM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know if you can really equate oversight of the Fed with control of monetary policy. There's a difference between the public knowing what the Fed is doing, and the public dictating what the Fed does with respect to monetary policy. I think that one of the issues, for me, is that the Fed is a very arcane organization. You can certainly make succinct statements about what the Fed is supposed to do, but they don't really cover the breadth of the actual operations of the Fed.

For example Wikipedia says "Its duties today, according to official Federal Reserve documentation, are to conduct the nation's monetary policy, supervise and regulate banking institutions, maintain the stability of the financial system and provide financial services to depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign official institutions", but that is just a general outline of what the Fed is supposed to do, and says nothing about how it actually goes about doing them. The regulation of the banking system is perhaps the clearest of the functions listed, and also probably the one the Fed has failed the most spectacularly at, but that is also difficult to judge because we don't really have a lot of detail about how the Fed has actually gone about serving it's purpose.
posted by jefeweiss at 8:28 AM on December 10, 2010


Metafilter:You're going to reach the point of diminishing weasel returns at some point, is all I'm sayin'.

amidoinitriteguise?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 8:47 AM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, could it be much worse than the status quo?

A genie appears in front of you and says "I will let you exchange lives with a random person from a random period in the past". Do you accept that offer? If things couldn't be much worse then it must be a pretty decent deal, right?
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 9:09 AM on December 10, 2010


humanfont> Consider palladium. . . . Consider gold.

Don't forget silver, with the Hunt brothers' attempt to corner the world silver market. Silver shot up from about $11 an ounce to about $50.

And then the market responded as it should: people took all the silver lying around their houses and sold it. The regulators changed the margin requirements. And silver plummeted back down.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 1:51 PM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


True, but gold was the original denominator of value, and if it all goes tits up I'll take my chances with the shiny metal than the paper. YMMV.

You know, it's for this reason that my wife and I plan to grow a good portion of our own food and raise chickens once we buy a house and settle down.

Here's the thing: what could you conceivably do with a lump of gold in a world in which the entire economic system has collapsed?

Well, you can cut off tiny bits of it to pay for food, I suppose, assuming that anyone else cares about those pieces of gold. I sure wouldn't. If you're a friend or family or I have a surplus I might give you some of my food, but I could care less about a shiny rock.
posted by Deathalicious at 4:25 PM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


But...but...but...it's so shiny!
posted by Sys Rq at 11:41 PM on December 10, 2010


Why select a value medium based entirely on your imagined value of it in a post-apocalyptic world?
A million dollars worth of gold is nice.
A million dollars worth of food and ammo is better.
A million dollars worth of fertile women is probably best of all.

This is the America we are building. One in which we imagine ourselves ruler of Bartertown.
posted by munchingzombie at 11:49 PM on December 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


well put, munchingzombie.

if we plan for bartertown, that's what we'll get. ("REMEMBER! Wherever you stand -- THAT'S WHERE YA ARE!")

If we want to live in a civil society, it behooves us to act as though we are going to get to live in one. That means more than just accepting the fact of human interdependence, but celebrating it.

Previous-metal standards don't celebrate interdependence; they encourage manipulation of interdependency for the extraction of profit.

Central banks exist as a mechanism for regulating the bad effects of international interdependence. Without them, we effectively have no means to do that which is beholden to the Nation and not to itself. (Remember: Major corporations are not tied to Nations anymore. They have very little stake in the Wealth, Work or Good of Nations.)
posted by lodurr at 4:50 AM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is actually provable using what I call the "infinite weasel" theorem. Take any hypothetical bad situation you could be in, say, being subjected to an audit. Now imagine that same situation but with a live, angry weasel in your pants.

I also don't think the Infinite Weasel Theorem holds up.

Imagine this scenario: Everyone on the planet is dead. It's at least non-obvious that adding angry weasels makes things any worse.

Now it might well be true that however bad things are, they could always be worse.

But I speculate that in a Godel's Theorem or Halting Problem like manner it will be logically impossible to construct an algorithm that for any given scenario will always successfully make that scenario worse.

Instead I propose the Weasel Conjecture:

However bad a situation is, it is not beyond the ingenuity of humans being to come up with a way to make it worse.
posted by philipy at 11:27 AM on December 16, 2010


Thanks for clearing that up, Professor NoFun!
posted by Theta States at 12:39 PM on December 16, 2010


You don't think the Weasel Conjecture is fun?

It's in the same Fun Equivalence Class as the Infinite Weasel Theorem.

But the proof of that is too small to fit in this comment box.
posted by philipy at 4:11 PM on December 16, 2010


Can the weasles drive a car made of skittles?
posted by The Whelk at 4:22 PM on December 16, 2010


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