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Elevator Music

Just as some thought-leaders are actually thought-heroes, like Jeremy Siegel, some are just thought-clowns, whose serious message is cleverly disguised behind a funny facade.

Marc Faber is a Swiss-born and Swiss-educated economist living in Thailand.  I had the pleasure of listening to him yesterday, as he predicted the future economy was so dismal that he wanted to drain his swimming pool and fill it up with beer.  And soon!!

He is also a perma-bear, who has a long history of negative expectations.  Indeed, he is editor of The Gloom, Boom, and Doom Report.  But recall the Austrian school of economics, where annual budgets should be balance, and debt should be promptly repaid.  Like all Austrian economists, Faber painted a picture of escalating debt worldwide, with dire consequences.  While I agreed with most everything he said, it was boring, like hearing elevator music.  How many times have you heard the United States and other nations have too much debt?

It reminds me of the TV commercial where a “bank-guard-looking” person tells the customers laying on the floor that he is really a bank-robbery-monitor, who merely reports the problem but does nothing to help.

There was nothing new in Faber’s talk.  At what point, can we actually discuss the implementation of entitlement cuts and new tax sources, such as wealth tax, a VAT, a consumption tax, or whatever.  At what point do we stop digging the hole deeper . . .