Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Deep Discount DVD is having another one of its sales, and I had a whole slate of stuff lined up and shoppingcarted, when I had to shut down my machine & reboot. This gave me enough time and hassle-motivation to reconsider wasting over $150 (even at discount prices) on more goddamned DVDs. I'm never going to save a dime if I'm always wasting the ready on unnecessary crap.

I'm resolving to not buy another DVD until I finish watching that discounted set of Nadia that's languishing in my DVD machine. Which isn't going to happen anytime soon, because re-watching that series is reminding me just how extremely irritating Nadia was as a protagonist, and how minimally-written the series was for most of its run.

In other news, Guru-Guru Pon-Chan is about five times as much fun as it has any right to be, given that it's a shoujo comedy about a golden retriever who finds a way to become a were-human for tru luv. The second volume is actually an improvement on the first, with the addition of a straight-faced, deranged rival for Ponta's affections. I can't believe the same artist went on from Guru-Guru Pon-Chan to write the plodding, sickly-sad multiple-personality disorder comedy, Othello.

I've been slowly wading through Bernanke's Great Depression essays, mostly by carefully picking over the equation sections and not worrying my soft little liberal arts head too much over the math. Bernanke and his co-authors are generally kind enough to stick to the high points, anyways. Nothing about daring and innovative real estate debt instruments yet, Jessica. Bernanke seems to be of the opinion that Fed overresponses and mis-responses to speculative behaviour was more directly to blame for the start of the Depression than the speculative behavior itself, anyways.

There's a lot of talk about "gold-inflow sterilization". What that means, apparently, is that the interwar gold standard's central flaw was the wide-spread statutory imposition of counter-inflationary "ceilings", but a general absence of counter-deflationary "floors" except by standards of central bank behavior. When gold starts pouring out of a country, that country's central bank or central-bank-functional-equivalent was not only supposed to deflate its other reserves and currency monetarily, but were usually required to by statute - the various "fractional reserve" policies. However, when gold starts pouring *into* a country, by gold-standard logic, the central bank ought to set into place a policy of inflation to expand its own monetary supply to reflect a steady or representative picture of the gold reserves moving into that country's banking system. But there were generally no legislation compelling this sort of behavior, and it flew in the face of anti-speculative conservatism to do such a thing. Thus, France and the US at the beginning of the Depression absorbed a great deal of gold from the rest of Europe due to deliberate anti-speculative deflationary policies, but without inflating their currency to make this inflow proportionally less attractive, thus perpetuating the flow and causing an imbalance. The result was out-of-control deflation, leading to "debt deflation" and degradation of assets and all sorts of nasty stuff.

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