Bond Market is Not a Funding Source
For the second time in two weeks Pragmatic Capitalist again makes some statements about the bind market that have me scratching my head. Inside a really funny and sharp piece bemoaning the fact that anyone would listen to Alan Greenspan anymore was this item once again:
First of all, as the issuer of bonds denominated in their own currency, the US government can offer interest bearing debt instruments at whatever maturity and interest rate it pleases. As I’ve explained before, the bond market serves no fiscal purpose – it funds nothing. It is purely a monetary tool for the Fed to drain reserves and maintain control of interest rates. This actually renders the issuance of long-term bonds fairly meaningless. The reserve drain could be done with a CD, however, the government chooses to issue longer dated notes as well as short duration notes. If the government wanted to stop issuing 10 year notes they easily could (they did so with the 30 year and nothing happened to the bond market). Mr. Greenspan clearly thinks the bond market funds our spending and that this raises a solvency issue in the USA. His model is “”flawed” (not my words!).
This turns into one of those discussions on what this is or that is or how you look at things. I would offer that I have no idea what PragCap means by this and would welcome any input. Who knew we had this kind of freedom? One might wonder how it is possible that the US could ever have a downturn if we can sell debt to no end and then use that money for whatever is needed, it is not funding anything anyway.
Saw this slide show making the rounds and it is pretty wild. A collection of color pictures taken in the US from 1939-1943. Well worth a look.
Captured: America in Color from 1939-1943
Martial Arts Monday
Some discussion over the past two days has turned my mind to martial arts movies. In keeping with my new policy of writing about a more varied set of topics, I am opening up a discussion here.
Of course the martial arts genre has numerous entries. Everyone has their favorite types of films. Here is but one example of a top ten list:
-Kill Bill vol. 1 (2003)
-Legend of Drunken Master (1994)
-Iron Monkey (1993)
-Fist of Legend (1994)
-Ong Bak (2003)
-The Seven Samurai (1954)
-5 Deadly Venoms (1978)
-Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000)
-Shaolin Temple (1982)
-Way of the Dragon (1979)
Now this is not MY list, every one's own picks will vary.
I wanted to talk about two of my favorite martial arts films.
The first is Berry Gordy's "The Last Dragon". This film is a really entertaining blend of music, martial arts, and comedy. I remember seeing it as a kid and I was hooked!
The lead character is named Bruce Leroy. I mean, what a start! It just grabs you right there. Here he is:
His nemesis is called Sho'nuff, The Shogun of Harlem:
The tale chronicles Leroy's quest to find the final level of mastery which will grant him the power called "The Glow". The film has all the necessary elements for this genre:
-initial inner doubt
-search for meaning
-conflict and failure
The fight scenes are pretty good and the film is really fun to watch. I have to say, "The Glow" is pretty stang cool:
One of my all time favorites.
In contrast with the above film (which goes out of it's way to not take itself too seriously) we have "Kill and Kill Again":
Now for some reason known only to my inner self, I LOVE this film. That said, this film is terrible. The acting is really bad. The plot is weak. You name it.
It was however the pioneer of the now ubiquitous film tool called bullet-time. Here is the scene:
Wow, that was so cool, yes?
Back to the film. The lead character is Steve Chase. He has a whole team around him as they try and stop the evil madman Marduk from creating an army of mindless slaves via some potion. I know, gripping stuff.
Mainly I think it is the aerial acrobatics and numerous fight scenes that make this film work. Of course the final fight is a bit puzzling; Marduk has created an ultimate warrior to defeat Steve Chase. The fighter is named, wait for it, The Optimus! That rocks and you know it. I want to change my name right now.
Anyways, the thing is The Optimus looks like he is 50 years old or more! I mean could they not find a better looking Optimus? Geez, this guy looks set for retirement after Steve Chase clobbers him:
Great yelling by the way and a perfect 10 from the East German judge on the gymnastic floor routine!
Still, I own the film and will watch it from time to time. You gotta love martial arts.
If people like this stuff, maybe I will cover "No Retreat, No Surrender" tomorrow!
Have a good night.