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Wednesday, August 8, 2007



Although I am a loyal subscriber to News Max and agree with much of what they publish, this morning John Browne, in a piece on Financial Intelligence entitled Fed Cowardice Invites Catastrophe, HAS IT ALL WRONG. He is saying that the Feds yesterday should have increased the interest rate to 5.5% rather than leaving it the same at 5.25%.

Browne acknowledges that Bernanke is beginning to admit and consider in his calculations the true inflation rate, rather than the so-called core rate which is the actual real rate minus food and energy. So using that argument, we have been living with a relatively high inflation rate for a long time. In my opinion the real threat to the US economy at the present time is not inflation but the unwinding of the real estate loan market. If we have two impending serious problems, why not attempt to resolve the worst of the two first and resolve the lesser later? The economy will be more affected by a collapse of the so-called sub-prime market than it would be to a little bit of inflation. Of course, those not educated in philosophy would not recognize such logic – pardon my sarcastic pun, but my readers already know I just cannot resist myself.

As I have said before, inflation is really due to the Fed itself and its policy to continue to print worthless paper money to provide liquidity to pay its debt. But, this practice is resulting in the tanking of the dollar which in turn results in our money buying less which is real inflation. Don’t these guys with the highfalutin economic degrees get it? What we need are economists who also know the real world. Quite frequently, getting a degree in a particular discipline only means that one has graduated with the beliefs and prejudices of one’s professors, and it will take an individual with extraordinary intelligence and guts to break out from the pack.

I am reminder, as I often am, of what I was taught at Harvard Medical School: that formula milk was far superior to breast milk for feeding babies. And we were given the evidence to support this point of view. The fact that the evidence was collected by the formula manufactures seemed to elude every one. One cannot believe that even the medical professors who are receiving grants from the formula manufacturers might be unbiased.

At the time, I argued how some artificial formula could be better than what nature has provided over the vast millennium of time? But, I was considered the fool not to believe The Evidence. When I started practicing Pediatrics in Frederick, Maryland, I decided to go opposite the mainstream and promote breast feeding. One day a young lady representing the La Leche League, a group who supported mothers in their attempts to breast feed, stopped by my office saying that they just kicked her out from the larger Pediatric practice office adjacent to me. In my usual sarcastic manner, I told the young lady to come in and, if they kicked her out next door, she was probably a good person!

This was my reasoning at the time. Breast feeding mothers presented more problems than mothers who bottle fed. Rather than having to wake up in the middle of the night with a mother having problems, why not refer them to the good ladies at La Leche. Not only did these ladies know what they were doing, but they were better than me in doing it. I found them to be competent, some what militant, but effective. Soon, the word got around and I was getting most of the mothers who wanted to breast feed. My practice grew in leaps and bounds. Can you imagine what soon happened? You guessed it. The Pediatric practice next door started to support breast feeding. Boy, is not this the power of the market place?

Recently on Fox News there was a piece on the movement to feed dogs their natural diet of raw meat. In their manner of being “fair and balanced” the piece gave comments from Veterinary school nutritionist who stated that this was not a good practice and that prepared bagged dog food was far superior. Here we are now 50 year after I was fed such intellectual garbage at Medical School. Has nothing changed in the institutes of higher learning. I am willing to bet my last dollar that that particular Veterinary school gets research grants from dog food manufacturers.

Why have I digressed, for I always have a reason? Economists and others of their ilk graduate from their respective schools with the same prejudices their professors have. Occasionally, but rarely, one breaks from the pack to make a great contribution in the field. We are waiting because there are none presently at the Federal Reserve.

And has it ever occurred why when the Fed votes, it is usually unanimous? This is what I call a true and devoted “pack.” Do not expect any different behavior because bureaucrats rarely deviate from the pack for it will eventually hurt them in their pocket books. Besides they are still victims of their schooling. Need I say more?

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.


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