Very funny to read this from Reuters where Iran claims that its enemies were deliberately causing the price of gold and foreign exchange to rise in a bid to undermine the Islamic Republic's economy. "The enemies and ill-wishers want to make a fuss and present wrong information to provoke and deviate the market," Ahmadinejad told a crowd in a town in the western province of Hamadan, where he was on one of his frequent provincial visits. "In order to disturb the market they buy a lot of gold coins with their huge amount of money ...
Seriously, this should be read in context of Vietnam's issues with its citizens buying gold as an inflation hedge/savings, which I've blogged about in the past. We are seeing how politicians respond to high inflation. In Vietnam's case, try to ban/restrict gold or in Iran's case, blame outsiders. In neither case take responsibility. Don't expect it to be any different in Western countries.
I also note DGC Magazine's pick up of expansion of reporting (in USA) of export/import of physical money to prepaid access/stored value card products. Of course all about preventing the "transfer of money obtained through illicit activity". I wonder how long before the movement of money between states within a country has to be reported. They may as well get it over and done with and tell us fuck your privacy and just ban all forms of physical money/value and tell us we have to have one government issued credit/debit card we have to use for any transaction.
Finally, I recommend reading Unqualified Reservations blog post on maturity transformation, on which he has written about before. His argument is that borrowing short and lending long is at the heart of our banking problems and cause of the business cycle. Quote:
The genius of Professor Krugman is that he goes so near the truth that he makes it obvious even to his commenters - who typically are both idiots and fools, but several of whom spontaneously exhibit the same insight themselves: Why can't we regulate or even ban the maturity mismatch? Savers would have to make the maturity choice themselves and it would be transparent. Currently, the savers don't understand the huge run risks that the banks have by funding with demand deposits and lending long. It's hiding the risk.