Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Orange uk: Orange Mobile Partner software sucks for mac (for windows too)

Off topic: I just got an mobile broadband USB stick from Orange in the UK, and their mac (and windows) software is truly awful.

Now, at least on Windows, they software succeed to connect to the internet, but on Mac (especially OS X 10.5), it fails without any error after clicking on 'Connect'.

But do not despair, there's a way to connect to the internet on the mac:

After having installed the "Orange Mobile Partner" software that came on the USB stick, and restarted the computer, go in the System Preferences 'Network' panel.

The following two network interface should be added automatically:

Now, click on the first interface (HUAWEI Mobile), and enter the following information:

Click on the "Advanced..." button at the bottom of the panel, and enter the following settings:
Click "Ok", then "Apply" in the network panel.

You can now connect to the internet using the Orange mobile broadband with the standard Mac OS X software without having to open the awful "Orange Mobile Partner" software!

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Who is really against the Federal Reserve.

There is a growing community of people that adopt an anti-Federal Reserve position in the United States.

The first community (that I will refer as "the libertarian") object the institution of the Central bank from an economics analysis.

Austrian Economics teaches that an increase in the quantity of money does not confer any social benefit, that the central bank causes price inflation, redistributes wealth massively from the poor and middle class to the entrepreneurial and political class, is the cause of the business cycle that plagues western economies since the last 200 years(1), and is an indispensable instrument in financing the state wars and growth.

As such, it does not matter exactly who controls the central bank (being politicians, bureaucrats, or outsourced to private banks, or a mix of the 3), what are its institutional details, how it was created, or whether it is constitutional or not. A central bank that lowers artificially the interest rate by expanding bank credit will causes the negative consequences mentioned above.

The second community (that I will refer as "the primitivo-socialists") is a diverse crowd that oppose the Federal Reserve in the United States (you rarely hear them complaining about other countries' central banks) because it is allegedly part of a general secret conspiracy of elites, bankers, and/or Jews.

The main primitivo-socialists are the following:

  • The FED was established under false pretences - that's true, but who cares? If liberty was achieved under false pretenses, it would still be good.
  • It is Federal as much as Federal Express - as if being Federal as in USPS is better?
  • It is "owned" by private banks -how many "private" companies do you know that their chairman is appointed by the president?
  • They are charging interest on loan created out of thin air - true, but they give almost all of the interest back to the US Treasury each year - minus its lavish operating budget.

Basically, the FED is, according to the primitivo-socialists, a private owned institution controlled by a secret elite motivated by greed and profit, that only honorable, democratically elected, politicians can save us from. Sounds like a socialist rant against Wall-Mart, isn't it?

Because it is.

Primitivo-socialist often portrait themselves as being anti-socialists and as being in favor of freedom, but because of the fundamental lack of understanding of economics and political economy, they believe, in the end, in the same fundamental socialist ideology (but at a primitive level), that only the government can save us from those powerful individuals.

The primitivo-socialists have produced numerous material, such as the movie Wake Up Call - New World Order Documentary.

That movie blames every thing on elite, "secret" individuals, and avoids carefully to criticize politicians. Very little is said about the actual impact in the economy of the FED, but there is endless rants about its establishment, the bankers involved, their meeting, etc, etc, etc...

I would resume that movie with the following quote from it:

Globalism, essentially, is the desire for one world government, one world military, one world economy. Which, on a broad philosophical basis, may not be that bad. But, the problem is, is it, we are being pushed in globalism by secrecy and by deceit and nobody's got a chance to actually consider the ramifications or consider the methodology that is being used to push us into this globalism. - Jim Marrs
So democratic globalism is fine and dandy: Socialists to the core.

Other primitivo-socialist work include:

The primitivo-socialists are basically a giant straw-man that promotes ever bigger government to save us from the government we have now.

Libertarians have to distance themselves from the primitivo-socialist, since any pro-FED attack will unavoidably merge both anti-fed positions into one, and easily dismiss it by demolishing the primitivo-socialist arguments.

Now more than ever, we must oppose the FED for the right reasons, and educate the public about why they should too.

(1) Note that even without a central bank, fractional reserve banking is sufficient to cause a business cycle.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Dr Woods: Does the FED lowering the interest rate causes a decrease in lending standards?

The answer is, ceteris paribus, no.

The great historian, economist and best selling author Thomas E. Woods made a great apparence on the Howard Monroe radio show.

As always, Dr Woods was a great guest and a strong and articulate defender of liberty and truth against Leviathan.
One bit though I disagreed with.

He mentioned that he didn't think that programs such as the Community and Reinvestment Act did much to create the sub-prime crisis, and that the effect of the FED credit expansion has the effect of lowering banking lending standard by itself.

He gave the example of a sport manager that is suddenly forced to hire few more players, and will then pick lower caliber players that he has already, since, obviously, the best players were already chosen (I'm paraphrasing).

This analogy is missing an important part: The manager has now more money to hire players, and can then chose players that are as talented, but would not have been interested in joining the team at the wage that the manager was previously offering.

This is precisely the effect of the FED: interests rate are now lower, so demand for loans is increased, and the point is that new credit-worthy customers are now demanding those low interest loans too, not only sub-primers.

I do believe that the FED credit expansion would have caused a bubble and a crash no matter if the regulators didn't pushed the bank into lowering their lending standards, but it probably wouldn't have concentrated the bubble in the retail housing sector as much as we have seen.

It would have been a bit more spread in other sectors.