Dust flux, Vostok ice core

Dust flux, Vostok ice core
Two dimensional phase space reconstruction of dust flux from the Vostok core over the period 186-4 ka using the time derivative method. Dust flux on the x-axis, rate of change is on the y-axis. From Gipp (2001).

Friday, January 21, 2011

Captain Bernanke and the Black Hole of Negative Real Interest Rates

I hear Disney is finally remaking "The Black Hole". If so I have a few suggestions for slight alterations to the cast and plot to bring the movie up to date.

In this version of the movie our heroes find a vast, derelict ship, the US Economy, locked in orbit around a massive black hole. Although the ship appears to be dead, it soon comes to some form of life thanks to Quantiative Easing.

 The US Economy drifting around the black hole of negative real interest rates.

Our heroes land aboard the US Economy and make their way to the bridge, which they find under the ship crewed by zombie banks under the command of Captain Bernanke.

 Captain Bernanke and one of his crewmembers.

Captain Bernanke's right hand man is a robot, the lethal Geithnertron.

"I've heard enough! Geithnertron! Bring me the heart of Ron Paul!"

Our heroes are astonished to hear that Captain Bernanke intends to pilot the US Economy right through the black hole. Their protests that the ship will be destroyed by the incredible deflationary pressures are dismissed by Captain Bernanke, who has been developing new economic theories over the past twenty years and is now determined to show the power of Keynesian economics.

"The deflationary pressures will destroy the US Economy before you cross the event horizon!"
"Our engines can generate enough QE to counteract any deflationary stresses."

Captain Bernanke believes that once the US Economy passes through the black hole, it will pass through into a new Universe of Limitless Possibilities.

"My theory produces a desirable result; therefore it must be true!"

Eventually our heroes uncover the uncomfortable truth about the zombie banks.

"Oh my God! There's nothing in here but non-performing mortgages!"

Captain Bernanke tries to make them into zombie banks as well!

Zombification via deadly TARP rays.

Our heroes must attempt to escape before the US Economy plummets into the black hole. The ship is pummeled relentlessly by meteorites, and segments of the ship give way.

"There goes the Unemployment data!" (graph from BLS data, explanation here).

With their own ship destroyed, and the US Economy collapsing around them, our heroes search for a lifeboat. Luckily, they have a little gold stored. They suffer intense criticism from financial commentators in the media for their faith, but fight their way through.

"We got our gold. Let's get out of here!"

Unfortunately they too close to escape and are forced to go through the black hole.

The US Economy begins to break up.

In the final (much-debated) metaphysical sequence, we see what happens to Captain Bernanke and Geithnertron after passing through the black hole. They are united into one being, left standing atop a mountain, surrounded by the zombie banks (one presumes for eternity).

Bernanke, Geithnertron, and the zombie banks, surrounded by the 
fires of Hell, fueled by the endless burning of paper.

Our heroes, however, protected from deflationary pressures by gold, enter the Universe of Limitless Possibilities.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Negative real interest rates refers to the difference between a popular interest rate (say the 3 month Treasury rate) and the inflation rate (normally CPI, but better to use some measure of real inflation).


  1. If it were just Keynesian economics, that would be one thing.............

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  3. Why are all the cast members jews?