Information You Don't Need
December 2, 2005 2:40 PM   Subscribe

Gov't will no longer report on M3 money supply, nor count Columbia River salmon Without explanation, the the Federal Reserve Board will, in March 2006, be stopping publication of its "M3" money supply information. Funding for the lab responsible for counting salmon on the Columbia River has also been eliminated.
posted by hank (31 comments total)
Out of sight, out of mind....
posted by drstrangelove at 2:41 PM on December 2, 2005

That's because the government is planning stealing all the fish to extract uranium that they put into the environment in the 1950s, and sell said uranium to Iran to fund Contras in Venezuela.

They'll put all the money into M3 accounts, and are hiding those so people don't get suspicious.
posted by delmoi at 2:46 PM on December 2, 2005

Isn't it pointless to pay someone to count extinct fish? Here, I'll do this years Give me my money.
posted by Keith Talent at 2:48 PM on December 2, 2005

No official explanation for halting the report of the M3 money supply figure was provided. There is some speculation.

The reason for ending the salmon lab's 20 years of research work was explained, as quoted in the link in the first post:
The Fish Passage Center, with just 12 employees and a budget of $1.3 million, has been killed because ....

'Data cloaked in advocacy create confusion,'

Craig [Idaho] said on the Senate floor ... after successfully inserting language in an energy and water appropriations bill that bans all future funding for the Fish Passage Center.

'False science leads people to false choices.'

posted by hank at 2:48 PM on December 2, 2005

I've never seen two disjoint stories that belong together more. Those fish were contributing directly to the validity of M3. Once they're gone, the number is no longer meaningful, thus no longer necessary. Hoorah!
posted by Plutor at 2:50 PM on December 2, 2005

M3 data is no longer being collected (and hence, published) in March. Ben Bernanke gives a short, and I would say, unconvincing, explaination.
posted by diftb at 2:53 PM on December 2, 2005

Someone want to ‘splain this to me? What the result is?
posted by Smedleyman at 2:57 PM on December 2, 2005

$500 gold?
posted by muppetboy at 3:00 PM on December 2, 2005

Huh? Is "eliminated" a valid URL?
posted by If I Had An Anus at 3:03 PM on December 2, 2005

The money supply is the total number of dollars.
See the first posts for links to the definitions of M1, M2 and M3 -- narrow, medium and comprehensive sum totals of dollars in various places.

From this page


... "Looking back into history economic data was only kept a secret in failing economies, e.g. the Soviet Union."

This was exactly my first impression. "What they cannot see will not hurt them", or "worry them."

Overall, it is a very serious change in events. Next year, I will be living in a country that does not make public its money supply at the level that counts the most, electronic creation. And other key number reports are being removed as well.

The money supply has doubled in 9 years. If the rate increases even more, ( and I suspect it will), then 8, 7 or 6 years is not out of the question. The sad truth is that we will not be able to tell after 2006. We simply will not know what the rate of growth is, until it finally shows up in M2. If M2 takes off, then we can only guess at how bad M3 must be.

I consider this a final straw in my mind regarding the integrity of the Fed. It no longer has any integrity, so don't expect any.
2005 $10 Trillion
2012ish $20 Trillion
2020ish $40 Trillion
2029ish $80 Trillion
2038ish, $160 Trillion.

This is a very scary to me, because just this conservative estimation delivers back an inflation factor of 16, by the time I reach retirement. If my Cafe Mocha at Starbucks keeps up with inflation, (which I think it would), then a Grande Mocha will cost me $52 when I retire!

posted by hank at 3:04 PM on December 2, 2005

This bodes ill...

I asked the Federal Reserve Board why it will stop publishing M3.

"Our searching of the economic literature revealed that very few economists used that aggregate . . . Consequently, the costs of collecting the data and publishing M3 now appear to outweigh the benefits."

Some financial analysts disagree violently.

"They know what's coming -- massive amounts of dollar creation to fund the worsening trade and federal government budget deficits," says James Turk in the Free Market Gold & Money Report.

"There is only one reason for the Fed to conceal important monetary component information," The King Report says. It's "to cover up the truth about what the Fed, central banks, and the really big money are doing."

posted by insomnia_lj at 3:06 PM on December 2, 2005

In related news large trucks were seen leaving the Dallas Federal Reserve heading straight for Halliburton headquarters...
posted by clevershark at 3:08 PM on December 2, 2005

>eliminated (the salmon lab story)

Drat, my bad, tried to copy the link out of my notes page and blew it; I'll give the salmon lab story a fresh topic, this re the M3 money supply thread seems to be lively enough not to mix them.
posted by hank at 3:08 PM on December 2, 2005

> eliminated (the salmon lab story

Oops, MeFi limit of one new topic per 24 hours, so I can't give the salmon lab story its separate topic. If someone else wants to pursue that, I suggest a new thread.

The salmon lab funding story is here.

(May need to register for Washington Post page)
posted by hank at 3:12 PM on December 2, 2005

More info on what M1, M2 and M3 are here, with links and discussion.

Here's a picture from that page, showing how M1 is less than M2 is less than M3 (as of 2001, so the dollar amounts here are way low).

Comments there also such as this:
When the Fed bails Fannie Mae out with a $1 trillion interest rate swap, that will show up in M3 but not M2, M1 or MZM.

All of the container loads of new $100 bills the U.S. is spending in Iraq will show up in M3 as soon as they are deposited in a foreign bank - but will not show up in MZM, M1, or M2 unless the money comes back to our domestic economy.

Perhaps you should wonder why even U.S. based contractors are being paid with suitcases of $100 bills, when they would prefer the payments be made by direct deposit to their U.S. account.
posted by hank at 3:29 PM on December 2, 2005

$1000 gold?
posted by ryoshu at 3:34 PM on December 2, 2005

I see Hank. Yeah. The last act of any criminal govt. is to loot the reserves. Indeed.

I’m not convinced - not because of any disbelief either way - simply because of lack of understanding.
But I do have a knee jerk problem with the govt. not being fully transparent. I am convinced enough to be concerned that this is information we might need.

So, what? We start buying gold? Any remedies for this? I mean the Fed is not an elected body, what can we do?

I have a gun. I know how to use it. I’m not really seeing how that might help in any way.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:38 PM on December 2, 2005

Dunno. Bill Cara points out the risks of buying much of anything (as of a couple of weeks ago) here.

In among much else he comments:

it looked to me like the meeting at the Fed office in mid-Sept was the precursor to Refco, and the reflation (which would head off a liquidity crisis).

Remember Y2K. Same b.s. And the Fed blew up the market then just like it looks like they'll do again.

And, if I’m right, here’s how they are doing it.

Fed open market operations increase the money supply by the Fed buying treasury paper back from the banks, which puts the cash back into the commercial bank reserves, which can then be used by the banks as they choose -- personal/corporate loans or prop trading.

If it’s the latter (prop trading) -- which is likely because the Fed didn't want more debt in the system, especially housing-related debt -- guess which stocks the banks are going to buy first? Their own.

And I think Sandy Weill visited the Saudi Kingdom this week to put the bug in the Prince’s ear. I didn’t have a fly on the wall, but I think I could hear the words, “It’s ok to buy more Citigroup today. The Fed and the President have approved the reflation plans. The President will be going to Beijing next week to tell PBC’s Mr Joe that all is well, and now China can start to revalue Renminbi.”

... We need transparency. Not the joke played on us by government regulators, but true transparency....

Being treated like mushrooms is a bloody disgrace.

The last time these jokers at the Fed pulled their reflation stunt was to put how many hundred billion dollars into the system to head off a problem that never happened. There was no problem, but the banks were flush, and the extra money in 2H99 went straight into Internet stocks ....

What followed was one of the worst bear markets in U.S. history. And the majority of those Internet stocks went right off the board, or down –95 pct ...
I’d sell now and put your money into T-Bills. That tells you where I think the mortgage market and the long-bond market is headed.

I am really disappointed tonight because until this point I have been arguing that Alan Greenspan has had a terrific career. Now I think politics has flushed it down the toilet. And brought in Bernanke to make it worse.

And, in today's news, still no good answer.
posted by hank at 4:06 PM on December 2, 2005

I am really disappointed tonight because until this point I have been arguing that Alan Greenspan has had a terrific career.

Drag racing is always fun as long as you don't go over a cliff.
posted by ryoshu at 4:20 PM on December 2, 2005

OG's tip: Buy stock in wheelbarrow companies.
posted by Opposite George at 5:04 PM on December 2, 2005

Buy stock in wheelbarrow companies.

Wheelbarrows? Try cat food companies. What do you think people who retire in 10 years will be reduced to feasting on?
posted by clevershark at 5:16 PM on December 2, 2005

You'll need something to carry the money for the cat food to the store.
posted by Opposite George at 5:26 PM on December 2, 2005

I was (hopefully jokingly) referring to this 20th century mess

No worries. There is no inflation. Just check the M3!
posted by ryoshu at 6:01 PM on December 2, 2005

Well, the "In God We Trust" on the US currency means more now than ever. We must pray that there's confidence in the almighty dollar to make it worth a damn. Faith based economics!

Hopefully, those in Frankfurt remember OG's wheelbarrow and don't pull this shit in with the €.
posted by birdherder at 6:21 PM on December 2, 2005

Just check the M3!

Good call. It turns out the convertible's MSRP's only up 1.4% since 2005 (and it'll haul a buttload of bank notes!)
posted by Opposite George at 7:33 PM on December 2, 2005

Thanks for this -- being poor and not mathematically inclined I don't pay as much attention to economics as I should and would have missed this news entirely. Fascinating stuff and I just spent a couple of hours reading more about money than I have in a decade.

I assume that they still collect the M3 data and considering the way these folks piss through money I can't see the savings in ink and paper being a concern. The only conclusion I can draw is they must have something to hide.

It's my understanding that the M3 data is the only measure of euro dollars -- and that there are more euro dollars than American dollars -- so doesn't that mean that less than half of the United States is visible? Doesn't this mean that a few hundred million paid overseas would vanish from public scrutiny? What about the massive bailout of a US corporation or quasi-governmental institution?

Seriously, is this an accurate assessment? If so, how can these people get away with printing cash as fast as the presses will run so they can ship it to Europe in friggin' cargo containers and pretend it doesn't exist at all. Because, if it's not in a bank and not in a report, it really doesn't exist.

Excuse my ignorance but I find it inconceivable that they would expect people to make informed decisions without knowing how much money there is in total.
posted by cedar at 9:55 PM on December 2, 2005

In 1923, at the most fevered moment of the German hyperinflation, the exchange rate between the dollar and the Mark was one trillion Marks to one dollar, and a wheelbarrow full of money would not even buy a newspaper.

Y'know, I've seen that statement again and again. It just occured to me - they were still producing things like newspapers? How was it they weren't all starving?
posted by Smedleyman at 11:25 PM on December 2, 2005

How was it they weren't all starving?

Actually, many were. This site has a pretty decent overview of the tragedy, complete with a timeline.

You'll see the really nasty spike in inflation - where the wholesale price index spiked from from 194,000.00 in July 1923 726,000,000,000.00 Nov 1923 - happened in a relatively short period of time. This data is basedlined from July, 1914, where the wholesale price index was 1.

I can't find an on-line reference but one of my professors at B-School said that it was common that summer for folks to negotiate daily wage increases.

Arrive at work, and the first thing you'd do was demand a raise. Then get paid and get the hell out to purchase something, anything because the prices were doubling or even tripling hourly at that point.

Then return to work and try to get someting done before repeating the farce the next day. Towards autumn folks would have to do this twice a day - yep, one wage for the mornng and another for the afternoon - inflation got so wildly out of control.

Those that were lucky enough to be working, of course. If you were retired and living off any type of fixed income stream, you were screwed big time as prices for everything skyrocketed. Nobody was selling inflation protected annuities back then.

Perhaps most gemane to the M3 discussion is this excerpt from the linked article: "The inflation was caused by the government issuing a flood of new money...".

I went heavily into gold summer of 2004 because wars are inherently inflationary, and those tax cuts don't help either. I see lots of parallels between now and the later 60's - LBJ's guns and butter, and Bush's guns and tax cuts. Sorta hits the balance sheet the same way (deficits).
posted by Mutant at 2:46 AM on December 3, 2005

Meanwhile, in another tricky way of hiding information from the public -- if you have interference with your ham radio, you can check the public database to find out if "Broadband Over Powerline" could be causing it.

But can check only a few times each month, unspecified.

You can't check more than one or two ZIP codes.

You will, if you want to know more, be required to provide your personal identification, even to ask whether there's anything installed that might be causing ham radio interference in your area.

And you can't check in advance.

Look at this shit -- go in and try your ZIP code and a few around it, and see if you are able to find anything at all out.

This is -- by law -- a publicly searchable database mandated by law. And gutted completely by the FCC and the industry.

What people don't know, they can't complain about.

There's a pattern here.

Federal Communications Commission regulations (47 C.F.R. §15.615),
If you have any difficulties with this BPL database, please contact the BPL Database Administrator at
posted by hank at 10:48 AM on December 3, 2005

"$1000 gold?"

yes, or $2000 or $5000

remember, when gold peaked in the 70's at $800, the dollar was worth about 3-4 times more than it is worth now.
posted by muppetboy at 4:51 PM on December 7, 2005

« Older Homecoming   |   A Ditty 4 You Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments