Saving Equals Squandering

By: Chip Hanlon | Fri, Jan 30, 2009
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Do you put money away in the bank periodically? You're just wasting it, you know.

At least, that's the assertion of this mindless rant: Millionaire Slumdogs: the uber-rich need to put money back into the economy.

Kostigen might say that with this title I'm putting words in his mouth, that not all saving is bad (only that done by the wealthy), so here's a sample:

Corporations and wealthy individuals profited more than anybody else during the Bush years. They can afford to help the rest of us out now by spending and not squandering their capital.

I always get a little uncomfortable when someone attempts to define what level constitutes being rich, so I certainly go bananas when we start parsing the group into "uber" and otherwise.

Hey, Tom, we don't need you to tell us how awful saving is, the Fed's interest rate policy is screaming precisely that. Instead of financial journalism, maybe you should run for Congress; they keep telling us how they'll eventually figure out how to "force" the banks to lend, which has to be a policy course with which you agree.

Readers know where I'm going with this because it's so simple. We don't suffer a savings glut; we are living with the aftermath of a debt binger and a dearth of savings. Banks can't be forced to lend into a system still overloaded with debt at all levels-- borrowers don't want to borrow, anyway, as they're trying to de-leverage. The only one getting this wrong is government, which is not just growing, not just taking on more debt, but blowing on the straw harder than ever to get us all to take more of the bad medicine we're trying to get away from.

Our fearless leaders should be expected to get it wrong--that's just what they do. That someone like you would see savings as such an evil is truly sad, but it actually represents a lot of wrong-headed thinking today.

In reality, if we're going to "re-capitalize," say, the financial system, it's actually going to need some--get this-- capital! Why shouldn't some of it come from our own shores? Oh, that's right-- Washington can manufacture capital out of thin air.

The fact is, we suffer from a lack of savings, something the private sector is trying to fix right now despite the best efforts of those in D.C. To propose more debt and more spending as the cure is the height of insanity.

I know and like some folks at Marketwatch and it is clearly the world's leading investment site. Still, the editor who let that article see the light of day should have his head examined. If you haven't clicked the link above, you have to... it is truly one of the most inane articles you'll ever read.

**Get this: I interviewed Ann Coulter on my podcast this week. Yes, that Ann Coulter. Dial down your get-offended-o-meter and check it out!



Chip Hanlon

Author: Chip Hanlon

Chip Hanlon
Delta Global Advisors

Currently the President of Delta Global Advisors and the founder of Green Faucet, Chip Hanlon is regularly featured in the national media for his global economic viewpoints and is a contributing writer for Real Money, the subscription service from Previously, Hanlon has served as the C.O.O. at Euro Pacific Capital, as the President of Unfunds, Inc., and as Vice President of Investments and Syndicate Manager with Sutro & Co.

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