USA-Italy

It’s a penalty, but they count too. Landon Donovan converts and it’s 1-0 USA! Not for long though. Rossi drills a beautiful goal into the corner from distance. Bang… nothing the keeper could do about it. The amazing thing is how many Italian kids are capable of striking the ball like that. 1-1.

De Rossi’s goal was poor defending, the US player looked like a little kid trying to use his “good” foot instead of the one that was in the right position. 2-1 Italia. Pirlo makes a lovely move and a perfect soft cross to Rossi, who puts it away without hesitating. 3-1 Italia.

The USA actually didn’t play badly for a team down a man, but the defending was a little shaky and unlike the Italians, the attackers and midfielders were hesitant about taking shots. Luca Toni is overrated, as always; it was amusing to see Howard stone him so easily twice.

The Fed’s calculation problem

An insightful thought regarding the Federal Reserve:

There are better and worse ways to manage the Federal Reserve, but most are a matter of luck and hindsight. As economist Marc Faber has written, “When…the public…finally realizes that central bankers are no wiser than the central planners of former communist regimes, the tide will turn and monetary reform will come to the fore…. market forces [will] drive economic activity, and not some kind of central planner….”

I’ve always thought highly of Marc Faber, but this is brilliant. What he’s pointing out is that the Economic Calculation Problem developed by Mises and refined by Hayek applies to the central banks just as it applied to the socialist central planners of yore. This assertion, which rests on a widely accepted economic concept, can be readily supported by both logic and empirical evidence and amounts to a powerful refutation of the very concept of central banking.

The important thing isn’t the Fed’s ability or inability to completely enforce its target price of money, but that it can’t possibly know the intersection of the independent valuations of money set on a dynamic basis by the various buyers and sellers any more successfully than the Soviet planning boards could identify that intersection for the various consumer goods they managed. Therefore, its actions will inevitably be incorrect no matter what it does, notwithstanding the occasional blind luck.

Inflation and the NFL

Peter King fails to account for inflation:

1964: Namath $142,333 per year
2009: Sanchez $10 million per year

Of course, if you substitute real dollars for nominal ones, Namath was receiving the 2009 equivalent of a $979,067 annual salary. If one considers how much the NFL has grown in terms of audience and revenue production over the last 45 years, a 10x increase in player salaries really doesn’t sound all that outrageous. And, that’s using the official CPI statistics, which the BLS was kind enough to inform us is around half the actual rate of price inflation.

What is outrageous is the way in which veteran players are consistently shortchanged in favor of rookies who have never played a single down in the NFL and have a 50 percent chance of being worthless to their teams. But, I suppose we probably shouldn’t be surprised that an SI sportswriter doesn’t know the first thing about money. “How on God’s green earth can Washington cut Americorps? It’s one of the best federal motivators for kids out of college to give a year of their lives to volunteer with some of the neediest agencies and people in our country. Wake up, Washington.”

Have a look at that FY2010 Federal budget, Mr. King. There’s your answer. You know, in the big red lines that go WAAAAYYY south of the horizontal axis marked zero.

WND column

Will Obama cap Bernanke?

The economic history of the last 30 years is the triumph of monetarism over neo-Keynesian economics. When conventional Keynesian measures proved incapable of taming the inflation and high unemployment of the 1970s, new Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker made what his successor later described as one of the most important policy changes in the last 50 years. He raised interest rates to previously unthinkable levels in a successful attempt to reduce the money supply, which broke the inflationary cycle, and, after a brief recession, led to a great economic expansion that lasted for nearly 20 years.