Steve Forbes on Overseas Wars, the Coming Gold Standard and the Rise of 'Citizen Agitation'
The Daily Bell is pleased to present an exclusive interview with Steve Forbes.
Introduction: Steve Forbes is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Media. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Forbes magazine. The company's flagship publication, Forbes, is the nation's leading business magazine, with a circulation of more than 900,000. Steve Forbes writes editorials for each issue of Forbes under the heading of "Fact and Comment." A widely respected economic prognosticator, he is the only writer to have won the highly prestigious Crystal Owl Award four times. He was a Republican candidate in the U.S. presidential primaries in 1996 and 2000. The Internet site, Forbes.com, averages 18 million unique monthly visitors, and has become a leading destination site for senior business decision-makers and investors. Other Forbes Web sites are: Investopedia.com; RealClearPolitics.com; RealClearMarkets.com; RealClearSports.com; and the Forbes.com Business and Finance Blog Network. Together with Forbes.com, these sites reach nearly 40 million business decision-makers each month. Mr. Forbes serves on the boards of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, the Heritage Foundation and The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
Daily Bell: Please answer these questions as if readers were not aware of your famous magazine, your articles or frequently quoted opinions. Thanks.
Steve Forbes: OK. Go ahead.
Daily Bell: How has Forbes magazine been holding up in the Internet era? It was probably the most successful business magazine of the late 20th century in America, but what is your strategy going forward? Does it preserve the irreverent Forbes brand or will Forbes gradually turn into something else? ... Do you have any new initiatives planned?
Steve Forbes: I think that we recognized years ago, say the mid 90s, that the Internet was for real. We invested in the Web in a very big way making sure the website was not an appendage of the magazine. We put the website in a separate building, with separate staff and let the baby grow. It grew very nicely. Today the site has 18 million unique visitors a month with our affiliated sites another 10 million or so.
We see our mission as remaining unchanged which is to give our viewers, visitors and readers the kind of unique information and inside analysis that they need to start businesses, run businesses, to invest and also live outside the office. We believe in entrepreneurial capitalism. We are, you might say, similar to a drama critic, we love it when the show is done right, hate it when it's done wrong. Same thing holds true for companies and business people and entrepreneurs. When they get it right we are delighted; when they misuse capital, we are pretty hard on them. The mission has remained the same, but now going forward the staffs of the magazine and the website have been combined, both on editorial side and the marketing side, because we believe that while the platforms are different, the missions are similar. The website is doing well.
Daily Bell: What do you think of the Internet? We think it is changing the face of media. Were you surprised by its growth and impact? How can media generally accommodate its power and influence?
Steve Forbes: Everyone is trying to figure out how you move and prosper on the Web. There are no set answers yet, and I don't think there ever will be. But clearly the Internet has given us infinitely more sources of information, which make a respected brand a vital one that people trust as something more valuable than ever before. I think people want to go to sites where they know the product and trust the information they will get.
Daily Bell: Switching gears. Do you plan to run for president again?
Steve Forbes: No. I am an agitator now.
Daily Bell: What is your overwhelming political concern these days? Is it financial? Economic? Sociopolitical? What are you most worried about for America?
Steve Forbes: Right now my biggest concern is misbegotten ideology and economic thinking from Washington. What we are experiencing now is what you might call a form of soft-core socialism or quasi-Third World socialism where the government doesn't take over industries but, in effect, dominates industries so that you can't do anything without the permission of the federal government. You see it in health care, in finance and in the new so-called financial reform bill. I think the Obama Administration is going to make a move to get its hooks in a very big way into energy. Companies will remain ostensibly independent, but their activities what they can do and how much they are allowed to make will be determined by the White House or the bureaucracy.
Daily Bell: Are you worried about a growing authoritarianism in America?
Steve Forbes: Well, I am worried about this economic authoritarianism in which you have to have government approval to do anything. Yes.
Daily Bell: Is the war on terror exaggerated to further enhance the authority of the federal government?
Steve Forbes: In the US there has always been a tension between freedom and ensuring the ability to fight an external threat. So I think what we are seeing now with the Obama administration is government omnipotence at home and impotence oversees.
Daily Bell: What do you think of the neo-conservative movement? Do you consider yourself a conservative, a classic liberal or something in between?
Steve Forbes: I think that depends on how you define neo-conservative. I am a conservative. I believe in traditional liberal principals of liberty. So anything that revives Conservatism is to be applauded. And I think the American people are now seeing first hand, the limitations of government powers in terms of being a benefit to society. Government has some unique and important functions; but as far as its running health care, energy, finance, insurance, autos and whatever else they are taking over, NO.
Daily Bell: What do you think of the American Libertarian party?
Steve Forbes: Well, I think the libertarian movement is a recognition that there needs to be bounds on government, that people need sensible rules of the road and the space to do what they wish to do. It's similar to an automobile; you are not supposed to drive when you are drinking, but that doesn't mean the government tells you what to drive, where to drive and when to drive.
Daily Bell: You have studied economics for most of your life, it appears. Do you consider yourself of the Austrian school? Are you surprised by the progress the Austrian School has made in the 21st century?
Steve Forbes: The basic tenets of the Austrian School have withstood the test of time, and while I may have some variation of views on how you'd implement say, the gold standard, I think the basic tenets are absolutely there. Hayek, Mises and – though he's not considered a fully part of it – Schumpeter had insights on entrepreneurship. Liberty is good, government domination is NOT!
Daily Bell: You mentioned a gold standard. Should the Western world return to some sort of gold standard? What would it be? Is it feasible?
Steve Forbes: We will return to a gold-based monetary system. I don't think we'll go back to a 1920s or 20th century-style gold standard. But I think monetary policy will be tied to the price of gold, which manifestly it is not today. So, yes, a gold-based system is coming back, and it will be good!
Daily Bell: Would you like to see drugs legalized?
Steve Forbes: It depends what drugs you are talking about? Lipitor, yes! I think there needs to be restrictions on hard drugs to which you can become easily addicted.
Daily Bell: Where do you stand on the immigration debate?
Steve Forbes: I am very much for legal immigration. We need to institute policies that will fulfill our own internal needs, whether it's for workers with high-tech skills, or for traditional starting service jobs. We ought to face up to the problem of illegals doing the work many of our citizens will not perform instead of averting our eyes. One of the things that has to be done is to reform our immigration service so that people who play by the rules don't get punished.
Daily Bell: Is President Obama doing a good job? Why or why not?
Steve Forbes: He is not doing a good job, particularly regarding the economy. Look at all of his binge spending; he ignores the issue of where the money is coming from. It's not from heaven or a ship from Mars; it is money taken from the people, either through borrowing, taxation or inflation. One way or another it comes out of our pockets. His raising tax is very destructive. His taking over health care is highly destructive to people's health. These massive bills, 2,300 pages at a pop, are written in vague language, which gives enormous discretionary powers to the bureaucracy. And that's deliberate! Obama realizes you don't have to nationalize industries to in-effect control them and make them vassals of the federal government.
Daily Bell: What do you think of the Tea Party?
Steve Forbes: I think the Tea Party movement is a positive thing. It is leaderless, which is good. It's citizens, families and individuals coming together who are worried about what Washington is doing. This is people on their own, not supported by taxpayers' dollars, and it has Washington frightened. Washington does not like spontaneous movements; it likes to control things.
Daily Bell: What do you think of Sarah Palin?
Steve Forbes: She's a formidable national figure. I don't think she'd be elected if she runs for President, but as we saw the other day in Alaska, when she anoints a candidate, lays her hands on a candidate, that candidate becomes viable. And even when a candidate does not win, that candidate becomes a much more serious candidate once Palin provides her endorsement. I have never seen anything like it, where an endorsement by an individual has such an enormous impact.
Daily Bell: What do you think of Ron Paul? Is he realistic or is he like Robert Graves' "Claudius" – harkening back to a Republic that can never come again?
Steve Forbes: Today the punditry would say, Ron Paul is unrealistic, but the nice thing about America is that what is today's unrealism becomes tomorrow's conventional wisdom. I think there will be a very real examination during the next five years of our monetary policy – including hitching the dollar to gold, which some of us have been advocating for a long time. There is no substitute for a reliable compass.
Daily Bell: Ron Paul has emphasized a less aggressive foreign policy. What do you think of the Afghanistan war? Do you think America ought to leave?
Steve Forbes: No, America is not going to be able to leave Afghanistan any time soon. I think what we should be doing now that we're there is following the precepts of counter insurgency: work with the local people and maintain sufficient forces to be able to do that and hope for some semblance of stability. To leave now would set in motion a Cambodia-like blood bath.
Daily Bell: Is there going to be war with Iran?
Steve Forbes: I think Israel at some point – and I have learned not to give a timetable on these things – will make a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.
Daily Bell: Does Israel have too much influence on the American political system and foreign affairs?
Steve Forbes: The answer is no. One of the proofs of this is that Israel tried to get a green-light to go after Iran from the Bush Administration two years ago. The Administration said "no," even though it was considered very friendly to Israel. Meanwhile, President Obama is more hostile toward Israel than any other U.S. administration in decades. So in terms of the big things, Israel might have influence but it's not omnipotent.
Daily Bell: More international questions: Will the euro survive? How about the EU? Will we see a two-tier EU?
Steve Forbes: I think the euro will survive, if only because the EU countries have invested so much political capital in it. One way or another they will make it survive. But what the bureaucrat should be focused on is creating a more perfect union, a more perfect free trade area in which barriers of goods and services are removed. That way there would be more economic opportunity and efficiency, freer flows of capital, more and more entrepreneurs would have the chance to rise up. The EU should be focusing on its onerous tax and regulatory barriers. It should adopt the Irish tax rate of 12%.
Daily Bell: Is China headed for world dominance or an inflationary depression or something in between?
Steve Forbes: I don't think we are going to see Chinese dominance in our lifetime. China has made enormous advances since the 1970s but it still is a long way from having an economy that is self-regenerating and that allows for genuine entrepreneurship and innovation. Government still has a very heavy hand. The US has been through numerous crises. We have always emerged from them when reforms have been made and people are liberated. The US also has a record of innovation that is second to none in the world.
Daily Bell: Do the Chinese expect the demise of the dollar as the world's reserve?
Steve Forbes: They feel that it might slowly happen, but they won't want that to happen because they own a lot of dollars in devalued assets and no one likes to lose money.
Daily Bell: Where is the US economy headed? Will there be a double-dip "recession?"
Steve Forbes: It won't be a double-dip recession, but we will lumber along. Large companies have fortified their balance sheet, but there's a deep reluctance to hire because people don't know what the rules of the game are. They are facing huge uncertainties from health care, huge uncertainties from this so called financial reform bill – who-knows-what policies Washington will espouse regarding energy. So if you can avoid hiring, most employers try to avoid it and use temporaries, institute extended hours and contract with workers as well as independent contractors. Washington has created massive amounts of uncertainty, which is deadly for vibrant job creation.
Daily Bell: We see this fiat money bear market lasting another five years at least. Agree? Disagree?
Steve Forbes: I think you will start to see life again in the markets if people sense that there's going to be some very positive change in November. If people like Rand Paul and Pat Toomey go to Washington then you will see the big push after the 2012 elections for a president who has at least some understanding of free markets.
Daily Bell: Should the Fed be audited? Should it be abolished?
Steve Forbes: Well the idea that there would even be a controversy over auditing an entity as powerful as the Fed just makes your eyes roll. They have less formal oversight than does the CIA. No one wants congress running the Fed, but Congress created the Federal Reserve and has no accountability; therefore there ought to be some system of accountability. This is absolutely lacking today. This is partly true because politicians find the subject boring, even though it's important. They find it scary and they are very uneasy around it.
Daily Bell: Will the IMF succeed in making the SDR the world's reserve currency?
Steve Forbes: No, because as much as they want to have conferences and wave wands you cannot dictate a global-reserve currency and have it become a reality. As you know, the SDRs were created back in the 1960s, and were called paper gold. They have been around for 40 years and are an artifact of central banking. But reserve currencies come out of the forces of the marketplace not communiques from bureaucrats.
Daily Bell: Have we seen the end of bailouts?
Steve Forbes: The Administration is continuing to push them. The next big push will be on bailing out union pension plans that have been run into the ground, not to mention state and municipal pension funds. I think an environment exists today, in which these bailouts can be defeated. But make no mistake, this President is going to make two big pushes regarding union and state and municipal pension plans.
Daily Bell: Where are gold and silver headed?
Steve Forbes: Ask Ben Bernanke (laughing). If he keeps printing money they will continue go up.
Daily Bell: Where are commodities generally headed?
Steve Forbes: If Bernanke keeps printing money, they will go up in nominal value.
Daily Bell: What are the most important seminal articles that you would encourage everyone to read? Where can they be found?
Steve Forbes: On Forbes.com and Forbes Magazine! Seriously, here you can read pieces written by such people as Amity Shlaes, who wrote the book "The Forgotten Man" on the Great Depression and how Roosevelt messed that up. And David Malpass, who is running for the Senate in New York and has written some important pieces on the misbegotten policies of the Federal Reserve. Bill Isaac is another good one and Brian Westbury has a very good take on misbegotten policies like mark-to-market accounting rules and the way regulators applied it.
Daily Bell: What inspires you to write and to run a successful world-class publishing company instead of just retiring and enjoying your life and wealth?
Steve Forbes: Well, you get more out of life when you are living it with a purpose. You can have more than one purpose, but having a goal and having a sense of what you are trying to do is what gives life meaning. So sitting back and enjoying wealth, well what would I do? Just watch FOX and get depressed? No, I want to do something.
Daily Bell: In closing, what would you like to say to our readers about the coming times?
Steve Forbes: Expect turbulence but also know that thanks to citizen agitation we are laying the groundwork for fundamental change in this country. In this case it is REAL change, going back to basic principles, going forward with basic principles instead of the statist, Third-World, soft-core socialism that we are getting from the current Administration and Congress.
Daily Bell: Thank you for taking time to speak with us out of your busy schedule.
Steve Forbes: Well, thank you.
Daily Bell: Thank you for your time and efforts to support freedom. Good luck!
There is much in this interview that more fervent libertarians might find intriguing though not entirely satisfying. Yet it is hard to be a revolutionary when one is scion to a great publishing empire. Give Steve Forbes credit: He's an important media figure and heads a series of significant media properties. Yet he answered all our questions and in many cases provided significant information. In many of his sentiments he sounds more like Ron Paul than Barack Obama, and that's certainly a good thing from any sort of libertarian standpoint.
Once past the libertarian-conservative divide, in fact, we see much of interest. We've predicted ever since the inception of the Bell (and longer than that, actually), that sooner or later a major revaluation of US money is coming. Steve Forbes himself has long focused on a return of a gold standard of some sort. Of course we don't prefer a classical gold standard defined and controlled by the state (and thus the power elite that stands behind it). We would prefer a private, market-driven gold and silver standard such as has emerged from financial and societal upheavals in the past. For most people such a flexible standard would be preferable. The wealthy of course have more to lose.
Steve Forbes makes a number of other points of note. He has run for US president and has inherited a major business media franchise. It might be said that his views represent the authentic perspective of a certain kind of American power broker. The three most important points he makes in this interview are 1. Arrival of a gold standard (as mentioned above); 2. Potential war with Iran; 3. America remaining in Afghanistan.
The bad news? It is frankly discouraging to hear such an important and prescient individual predict that the US and NATO will not leave Afghanistan. It is even more discouraging that he sees Israel, sooner or later, bombing Iran. This presages some sort of world war in our opinion and is no small prediction. We cannot imagine the ramifications – especially when it comes to Russia and China.
Iran has never dropped nuclear devices on anyone and the threats that Iranian leaders have made (especially about "wiping Israel off the map) have been mistranslated apparently. Not only that, but Iran's leaders must know that bombing Israel with nuclear weapons would spell the end of the regime if not of their lives. Pakistan, a fervently Muslim country, already has nuclear weapons but they have never been used (not even on India) for the same reason that Iran's nuclear weapons would likely not be used.
Such armaments are defensive in nature, so far as we can tell, when applied to modern warfare. They also, in this day and age, discourage others from using "tactical" nuclear weapons. Iran claims NOT to be making nuclear weapons and seems to be willing to negotiate on a variety of fronts, though as with Iraq the US seems more enthusiastic about sanctions and threats than ongoing discussions.
We may be wrong of course; but it seems to us that bombing Iran will bring about incredibly negative consequences. Bomb Iran and the price of energy may be measured in the thousands rather than the hundreds of dollars per barrel. And if Iran cannot retaliate mightn't others in the Muslim world? The erosion of civil liberties in the US and EU is already alarming. Marry these authoritarian tendencies to a war with a historic Middle Eastern power like Iran and we have to think the West will end up in a kind of fascist lockdown. Of course, some would argue that's just the point.
Posted by John McAlister on 10/21/10 09:45 AM
Enjoyed the interview but wonder what his answer would have been to the question "why did you sign on to the Project for the New American Century?"
Reply from The Daily Bell
You would have been satisfied with his answer?
Posted by Daryl Davis on 10/16/10 04:14 AM
Mr. Forbes repeats the War Party's latest canard, that US withdrawal from Vietnam brought about the murderous regime of Pol Pot. It's hard to see what one had to do with the other. Pol Pot's rise to power had more to do with the intrigues of Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk, especially after the National Assembly voted to remove Sihanouk from power in 1970. Sihanouk then made an alliance with the Khmer Rouge, who had dropped anti-Sihanouk rhetoric from their platform a year earlier. Sihanouk commanded the loyalty of many apolitical peasants who fought for the King, not for Communism. "Collateral damage" inflicted by Nixon's secret (unless you were Cambodian) bombing of Cambodia supplied a useful recruiting tool for the Khmer Rouge. The North Vietnamese were supplied by Russia, while the Khmer Rouge were supplied by Vietnam's ancient adversary, China. After the fall of Saigon in April, 1975, the Vietnamese did nothing to support the advance of the Khmer Rouge into Phnom Penh in September of that year. In 1978, after several years of cross-border raids by the Khmer Rouge, the Vietnamese invaded Cambodia and drove the Khmer Rouge from power.
Even if the US had remained mired in Vietnam, there is no evidence that our government would have lifted a finger to interfere with Pol Pot's program. The US would have had to make common cause with North Vietnam in order to do so, which would have been unthinkable. But the most damning evidence is this: after the fall of the Khmer Rouge in 1979, the US and other Western governments blocked the seating of the new, pro-Vietnamese government of Cambodia in the United Nations. To this day, the US government regards the butchers of the Khmer Rouge as the legitimate government of Cambodia.
Posted by True Patriot on 10/11/10 08:24 AM
We have no business being in Afghanistan. Our troops are sent into war by a Communist Muslim Illegal Usurpin Fraud with no experience to be POTUS.
The Russians could not win their war in Afghanistan, and we have no business over there.
We need to take care of our own for a change, and stop interfering with other countries period.
The intentional destruction of America by Obamamow Se Tung & his thugs is high crimes and treason.
The most dangerous terrorists in our country are the radical liberal left aka progressives aka Communists.
McCarthy was right!
Posted by Thomas Dowling on 09/11/10 03:35 AM
The End of the Fed is a Real Stimulus Plan that Keeps on Giving!
The Federal Reserve Act was passed in 1913, shortly after the 16th amendment was ratified. The 16th amendment allowed our country to collect the taxes required to pay the annual dividends to the Fed's shareholders, who bought their original 300 shares for only $100 per share. By law, the United States can easily abolish the Fed by buying back these shares at a cost of "only" $450 million and replace the current national debt with non-interest bearing currency as it becomes due.
The Interest "We the People" pay on our National Debt is now over 700 Billion Dollars a Year.
Over $700,000,000,000.00 a Year Interest on Our Money Created AS DEBT – Out Of Thin Air!
It's OUR money. Why are we paying this interest?
"Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder." ‒George Washington
"We the People" have paid Interest on Our Own Money for almost a hundred years to The Fed to create the wealth they have used to corrupt Our own government. Our government has now become a big fat Monster! This Monster has been stealing from U.S. for a hundred years now. It's time to drastically trim the fat.
"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government." —Thomas Jefferson
"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse." —James Madison
Both the Republican Party and the Democrat Party have lied to U.S. The truth about the Federal Reserve is easy to research and simple to understand. We must never again allow private banks to create or control Our money! Why should we pay interest on OUR money? "We the People" must not listen to their lying doublespeak anymore. The research is everywhere now and not hard to grasp.
"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and money system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning." --Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company.
Complete Accountability to "We the People" who hold the True Power prevents Fraud, Abuse and Corruption. Good government must ALWAYS be kept In Check.
"The Government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credits needed to satisfy the spending power of the Government and the buying power of consumers. By the adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity." ‒Abraham Lincoln
The Fed Is and has always been Our Country's worst nightmare and the "root" cause of Our massive government Corruption!
Since 1913 these freeloaders of Society who have profited undeservingly from Our labors, have only repaid U.S. by corrupting Our government. They want complete Power and Control over U.S. and Our children.
"We the People" are the True Power and government is merely a tool to serve U.S.
"We the People" can no longer tolerate lies, deceit and corruption from any of our "public servant" employees.
They work for U.S. ‒ Period!
Corruption in all political parties has been the norm since 1913. Extreme and harsh penalties for the violations of the Trust of "We the People" must now become the norm along with complete accountability to U.S.
"We the People" were deceived and allowed the "few" without any oversight to control Our money and the quantity.
"Controlling of the quantity of national money is THE most important political question humans can ponder. Freedom cannot long survive when bankers are in control of the quantity of a nation's money. Their debt money system is THE cause of most of the bad things in this world; war, poverty, hunger, misery." --Bill Still
Obama and all the signers of the resent Financial-Overhaul bill only put more Power and Control into the Hands of the Federal Reserve and want U.S. to perceive it as good for U.S.
They are LIARS!
They sold U.S. out to their masters who really could care less what type of government is in place.
It's always about Power and Control!
Power and Control in America belongs 100% to "We the People." ‒ Period!
The End of the Fed is Our first step.
It was realized that the "BANKSTERS" would have to become PARTNERS with the POLITITIANS and that the STRUCTURE of the CARTEL would have to be a CENTRAL BANK
The Federal Reserve Bank is Set Up as a Privately Owned Banking Cartel Controlled by a Small Elitist Group of Powerful International Bankers.
This Same Cartel Owns Other Central Banking Systems Worldwide Including the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and World Bank.
Click to view link
Posted by Cj Coates on 09/07/10 11:46 AM
Iran requires more attention on what it is doing right.
The more you bring in outsiders, the more loyal your insiders will be.
What would happen if there was a earthquake in Israel, and all the land marks disintergrated to dust. To answer this, is pivotal to understanding the lack of true faith. The ones that wish to rebuild on site, or the ones that wish to move and rebuild their holy sites, in respect to the entire world?
In the Swiss City of Luzern the Catholics and protestants share the large church in the center. For 100years it is Catholic and then the next 100 it is Protestant. Right now it is Catholic, and so only Catholic holidays are recognized in the kanton. What if the differing sides in Israel, could agree to this, who would chose to let the other have their turn first?
I think the world is not asking the right questions, and hence we are not getting the correct results.
Posted by Stephen on 09/03/10 08:01 PM
For all the good in the article Forbes basically lies about the power of Israel, using an example that is almost comical in its' inadequacy: That because Israel didn't get permission to "go after" Iran it does not have too much influence.
All one has to do is consider the effect on the world oil markets and the idea of Israels' illegal and "preemtive" attack is shown to be horribly dangerous. It is not in any way indicative of any real attempt to calm the traumatized state of its' idea that it can save itself via the destruction of the rest of the mideast.
Posted by Jeanna on 09/02/10 03:08 PM
FASB rulings for Mark-to-Market should never have been initiated.
The banks preference for Mark-to-Model are more fantasy that should be disallowed. The historical cost principle was always followed by a demand to recognize the loss as soon as it became known.
By putting off the recognition of their losses the banks and mortgage companies are delaying the true accounting, hoping to continue their existence until the underlying security can become profitable again. They are hoping for a miracle which has little chance of happening.
Forbes knows that neither Mark-to-Market, nor Mark-to-Model is ideal, but is serving the interests of the financial institutions in the short term. For, when the financial institutions fall, so does the system. Which makes it all a systemic failure.
Posted by Lila Rajiva on 08/30/10 08:09 PM
Frankly, it looks like it's not SF's endorsement but SP's (Sarah Palin's) that's the decisive factor for a politician, these days.
My interest is just to keep the conversation honest. Others are better judges of the political process....
I wish Rand would just be like his father and not tailor his message to what will work, that's all I'll say. Maybe, he has to do it, though..practical politics sets limits on the possible..
I will vote for no one who supports spending on endless war, when we're bankrupt. National socialism is not an improvement on socialism.
Posted by Betty on 08/30/10 06:54 PM
Twice in this discussion Lila mentioned briefly that SF has endorsed Rand Paul. Considering the tone of many of the responses to the interview I am wondering how SF's endorsement will affect Rand Paul's voting should he become the next senator from Kentucky.
I received two letters from SF soliciting aid for the RP canpaign.
I have previously contributed. I am concerned.Am I correct in perceiving that Lila is concerned also?
Posted by Lila Rajiva on 08/30/10 04:33 PM
Correction: bear market DESCENT, ascent
Posted by Lila Rajiva on 08/30/10 04:31 PM
For what it's worth, I actually agree with Forbes on mark-to-market accounting in that context.
There was a coordinated speculative attack of a kind going on at the time that forced many otherwise healthy institutions to substantially write-down their assets, thereby setting off a snowball of defaults..
Like the rules preventing naked short-selling, these aren't "substantive" rules, but rules of the road appropriate to the context. A bull market climb is not a bear market ascent, building a business is different from a stock market crash of its value.
Forbes wasn't protecting bad managers on that. He was preventing good managers from having their businesses burned down by arsonists collecting insurance.
Not all bankers are bad guys.
Click to view link
Posted by AmanfromMars on 08/30/10 03:32 PM
"The United States of America (USA) is in my view no longer a full democracy, but rather a hybrid regime in which a corrupt Federal Reserve serves as the front for a corporate state that has captured both Congress and the legislature. The USA is a two-party tyranny that no longer abides by the principles of the Constitution." .... The Ultimate Hack: Re-Inventing Intelligence to Re-Engineer Earth by Robert David Steele .....
Click to view link
..... which is an interesting and informative thoughtful read. It is said that Gandhi was once asked what he thought of Western civilization, and answered that he felt it might be a good idea and still we behave as savages and slaves to markets and, whereas in the past it may have been to bejewelled masters and their queens, now it is printed paper wealth for an artificial power.
"Well, as usual, we have no idea what you are talking about. But we did appreciate the courtesy that Steve Forbes extended to us in taking our questions seriously and responding to them in a thoughtful way." ...... Reply from the Daily Bell
One would expect nothing less of anyone interviewed, DB, and the honour is all his to give to you for the opportunity to present his musings and future views in a very disappointing See. And your own after thoughts would tend to confirm it a lightweight performance, and certainly hardly prime presidential, although goodness knows, that doesn't seem to be a requirement for anyone nowadays running for the Oval Office and White House, as is evidenced by past sub-prime contenders/media wannabes.
If Uncle Sam doesn't invent or entertain some outstanding stellar intelligence capability, it is going to collapse into a deep and destructive depression, and be forced by such circumstance, to follow an innovative foreign lead ...... and be pleased to do so.
And that was what I was saying earlier .... Posted by AmanfromMars on 8/30/2010 12:56:08 PM .... albeit not quite so clearly.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thank you for clarifying.
Posted by Gary on 08/30/10 01:52 PM
I like Steve, but he is a Pie in the Sky optimist.
There won't be a double dip recession because there has been no rise to dip from. We are headed into a depression the we may not come out of.
The political system is so broken it can not be reformed from within.
The Republic has ended.
What rises from the ashes is the question.
There is no longer any way to stop the coming collapse.
Posted by MetaCynic on 08/30/10 01:01 PM
In his comment above Clayton has observed how much Steve Forbes has grown in his understanding and appreciation of Austrian economic theory over a period of only one year: Von Mises is a giant, and money is what the marketplace and not the government says it is, etc.
Could we be seeing here the development of a phenomenon which Hans Hoppe detected in his critique of democracy? Along with Hayek, Hoppe believes that the nature of democracy ensures that the worst people will consistently rise to the top of the political food chain.
Although things could get pretty grim for subjects living under a hereditary monarchy, its nature, Hoppe believes, does not preclude the possibility that every once in a while a ruler will emerge to carry on the family "business" who is enlightened, tolerant and respectful of his subjects rights.
DB has developed the theme that the Power Elite is a cabal of families striving and scheming over many generations, perhaps even centuries, to bring the entire world under their control. That would suggest that the positions within the Power Elite families are hereditary, akin to those of royal families.
Based on Clayton's observation of Forbes's dramatic transformation in only a year, perhaps Steve Forbes, a Power Elite scion, is like the royal heir, who once on the throne, is now having doubts about the role which he was brought up to play. One's personal evolution from a statist to an anarcho-libertarian is not necessarily a rapid or smooth one. Is it out of the question that Steve Forbes is a genuine Power Elite apostate turning his back on the world in which he was raised and now slowly cobbling together a new belief edifice based on the thinking of von Mises and Rothbard?
Reply from The Daily Bell
"Based on Clayton's observation of Forbes's dramatic transformation in only a year, perhaps Steve Forbes, a Power Elite scion, is like the royal heir, who once on the throne, is now having doubts about the role which he was brought up to play."
Yes, this obviously happens all the time. Some of the elite can stomach it, some cannot. We've consistently pointed out that the elite, under pressure, begins to take a step back. Leaving aside Steve Forbes, we think that process may be inevitable ...
Posted by AmanfromMars on 08/30/10 12:56 PM
"That television appearance confirmed to me that Steve Forbes is just another mouthpiece for the establishment who pretends to be something he isn't." .... Posted by Trevor on 8/30/2010 12:23:47 PM
And that Daily Bell interview just confirms his stature, Trevor ..... a giant minnow without an originating working mind? Certainly money doesn't guarantee brains, but it can lease and buy them in, though, which is always to be thoroughly recommended in such circles.
And although that may be considered a tad harsh or shrill, there is no denying that it is not deserved, surely?
Reply from The Daily Bell
Well, as usual, we have no idea what you are talking about. But we did appreciate the courtesy that Steve Forbes extended to us in taking our questions seriously and responding to them in a thoughtful way.
Posted by Trevor on 08/30/10 12:23 PM
A couple of years ago, after the stock market collapse, I heard Steve Forbes on one of the national morning television shows decry mark-to-market accounting rules (without referring to them by that name). He said (I'm paraphrasing) that such rules were wacky and insane.
He did not explain to the interviewer that the alternative, (mark-to-model) allowed financial institutions to assign fantasy values to the crap assets they held, or that they engendered fraudulent asset valuation. He simply stressed that the new accounting rules (mark-to-market) were a bad thing and strongly implied that they were responsible for the economic downturn.
That television appearance confirmed to me that Steve Forbes is just another mouthpiece for the establishment who pretends to be something he isn't.
Reply from The Daily Bell
We are not proponent of mark-to-market, if that's your point. It is just one more bad regulation in our view.
Posted by Lucy on 08/30/10 11:51 AM
btw, that Forbes pic, Stephen Colbert's older bro?
Posted by Lucy on 08/30/10 11:39 AM
Nice interview, DB. Great having access and to get the views of certain big hitters.
From comments section, it seems many readers are not quite "on" with the 'free market' of ideas & portend toward rough idealism. Even if Forbes "get's it wrong" or is an ultimate insider, or even a true free-mrkter with his own unique perspective grown from his expirience, there are strong currents or ideas btwn the lines which may prove invaluable to navigate the trend. The big one cropping up all over the place is 'no gold standard of old, but digital/transactional currency buoyed by a free mrkt price for gold'. The "best" system? Don't know, but it's the one emerging.
Poor Carlos, trying to find the thread & struggling with the "why don't they just get it & say it?" uuhh...they do. There's a bit more than just one side or the other. It is telling that he's adios-ed 3 times now. DB seems a unique gem on a sandy ocean floor.
Posted by James Jaeger on 08/30/10 01:17 AM
Wow, what hard-hitting, direct questions! I'm amazed at what he said about a partial gold standard coming back. He was very polished. Likable, but this is basically what I expected from Steve Forbes (other than the gold bit).
I wish Forbes was asked about his flat tax strategy (which I feel is unworkable for all the reasons Nelson Hultberg states in his must-read book, THE CONSERVATIVE REVOLUTION, at
Click to view link
Posted by John on 08/30/10 12:57 AM
Steve Forbes misses a key point as do libertarians in their argument for open borders and immigration. Real wages, adjusted for inflation, have declined every year since 1973. This is when Ted Kennedy's immigration reform, passed in the late 1960's began to take effect. There are no jobs Americans will not do, they just want a fair wage.
Another point about immigration that to me is equally important. The USA had its own vibrant, wonderful culture that is mostly gone now. One most certainly can lay the blame at the overwhelming number of immigrants allowed legally to enter this country over the last thirty years. Welcome to Yugoslavia!