Posts tagged News
Posts tagged News
Drinking beer is good for you and your children, a study by Japan’s oldest brewery says.
Hops, one of the three basic ingredients of beer along with water and barley, contains a chemical compound called humulone, which can help the human body fight the virus that causes the common cold in adults, according to a report by the news agency Agence-France Presse. The same virus also can cause bronchitis and pneumonia in children. With vaccination for these illnesses has yet to be found, the study by Japanese beverage giant Sapporo says that beer could prove a unique way of curbing infection.
CAIRO (Reuters) - Israel and Palestinian militant groups have agreed a truce to end the Gaza conflict, an Egyptian official told Reuters on Wednesday.
Asked whether a ceasefire deal had been reached, the official said: “Yes, and Egypt will announce it.”
The official who declined to be named said the announcement would come shortly. Egyptian state TV had earlier said a news conference would be broadcast from the presidency shortly.
(Reporting by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Michael Roddy)
Federal Reserve official says if QE3 doesn’t stimulate the economy they’ll just buy more assets
Here is the quote from Market Watch:
“Unlike our past asset-purchase programs, this one doesn’t have a preset expiration date,” said San Francisco Fed President John Williams at a speech at the City Club on Monday. “Instead, it is explicitly linked to what happens with the economy.”
This really is the chicanery that the Federal Reserve and it’s supporters are famous for. Oh, QE1 wasn’t good enough? Ok. Let’s try QE2. Oh, that’s not working well? How about QE3? Ah screw it! There will be no QE4, let’s just make QE3 infinite!
I mean, just look at that quote above. He said, “[QE3 is] explicitly linked to what happens with the economy.”
In other words, there will be no objective marker for failure. If the economy is still doing bad, well that’s because the economy is bad, so we need to buy more assets, which could be expanded from the current $40 billion per month in mortgage-based securities. To proponents, you see, quantitative easing can never be a bad policy. It’s just that there was never enough of it.
There is an upside, too, for those that love quantitative easing. Once the economy finally begins to improve they can say, “See! Quantitative easing worked! We finally spent our way out of the hole!” There will be no need to prove causation, or even correlation. They’ll just say we needed to hit that magic amount.
But what happens if in one or two years from now the economy hasn’t improved much? The proponents of quantitative easing will just say that the economy is complex (which it undoubtedly is) and that other factors have kept it from improving.
This is the problem with trying to play God with the economy. We know it is complex and that no human brain - or panel of human brains - could possibly comprehend it’s infinite complexities. It is a glaring example of the Hayekian knowledge problem exemplified by Lawrence E. Reed’s classic “I, Pencil” (If you haven’t read it seriously go check it out right now). The basic gist of the essay is an explanation of how not one person on the planet has the skills necessary to create a pencil from scratch. Instead, it takes numerous individuals in the marketplace who voluntarily come together to make it happen, some even unaware that they are part of the process.
Ok, that was a bit of a tangent, but it’s important. The federal reserve is like the guy who would try to create a pencil from scratch. It is impossible. He would be unable to grow and harvest the rubber, cut and form the tree into the wood, harvest the graphite and fit it into the wood, mine and form the metal that holds the eraser to the wood, and manufacturer the yellow paint from scratch.
Similarly, it is impossible for the federal reserve to know which assets to buy. They can guess, or make an informed guess, but there is a reason why private actors in the market aren’t buying those assets, whether they be securities, or treasury bonds, or whatever. The point is that it is entirely impossible for the Federal Reserve to know what number of assets should be available in the marketplace and at what price. But, as the purchase more they are creating a false demand and thus manipulating price.
More importantly, perhaps, since the Federal Reserve Note is a pseudo-monopoly currency, the Federal Reserve’s policies affect everyone, whether through inflation, deflation, or manipulation of interest rates.
This wouldn’t be a problem if they were a completely private organization that had competition, or at least didn’t have government enforced laws that make the Federal Reserve Note a pseudo-monopoly. But, the Federal Reserve chairman is appointed by the president and those laws do exist so there is an incentive to manipulate the market in a way that makes the president look good, especially when his opponent threatened to fire you. But again, with how complex the economy is it’s hard to believe that a few people could be so effective at manipulating it.
It’s a compex issues, no doubt, but that’s all the more reason not to have central control. Liberals and conseratives seem to agree that monopolies are never good, but for some reason they don’t apply that logic to our currency?
Bullocks. Competition is always a good thing.
Craft brewers have won a couple of battles in state legislators recently that have brought more availability of their product to consumers. In Mississippi, for instance, Raise Your Pints, a craft beer advocacy group, was able to get the ABW limit of beer raised from 5% to 8%.
More recently in Arizona a law was passed that finally allows bars, restaurants, and stores to fill growlers. If you unfamiliar with the concept, a growler is a large glass jug that can be filled with beer!
It’s good for Arizona, but it baffles me that selling growlers full of beer was ever illegal in the first place. Was it the sheer volume of beer that frightened lawmakers? Couldn’t be that, since you can buy beer by the case. Was it the fact that it was a large volume in one container instead of 24 smaller containers? Where is the sense in that?
Then again, lawmakers aren’t usually known for their good sense.
Edit: To clarify, breweries could always sell growlers, but retailers (bars, restaurants, stores, etc.) couldn’t. Now it’s a free for all! Well, not free beer… you get the picture.
From The Hill:
A House panel voted Wednesday to place Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his failure to comply with a subpoena, defying an assertion of executive privilege from President Obama.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, led by Republican Chairman Darrell Issa (Calif.), approved a resolution along party lines to place Holder in contempt after battling him for months over access to internal agency documents about the gun-tracking operation Fast and Furious.
The vote came after Obama escalated the conflict by sending a letter to the committee claiming executive privilege over the documents that the panel had sought.
All 23 Republicans on the committee voted for the contempt resolution, while all 17 Democrats voted against it. Every member of the panel was present for the vote.
The new law permits Mississippians to sell and purchase beer up to 8% alcohol by weight, which translates to roughly 10% alcohol by volume, the more common measurement.
It’s certainly a step forward, but people in Mississippi still won’t be able to buy some of my favorite beers including Dogfish Head’ Palo Santo Marron, which weighs in at 12% ABV. And it will probably still scare breweries like Dogfish Head away from distributing to the state since a lot of their expensive specialty beers top the 10% ABV mark.
But enough with being a downer! Raising the legal percentage from 5 to 8 ABW is a huge step forward and allows breweries within the state to brew higher alcohol craft beers. it also greatly expands the number of beers that can be sold in the state.
Congrats to Raise Your Pints for fighting this fight for three years and finally being successful! It isn’t to often that you can get the Leviathan state to change direction and it certainly isn’t easy.
Hopefully this means we’ll be seeing more of their brews on the East Coast, specifically Pennsylvania. I love their beer (I had some in D.C.) but it’s impossible to get around here. I want to try their Biere de Mars so very badly.