Friday, October 12, 2007

The Buddha as inflation fighter

Every once in a while an article comes along that is so wonderfully nutty that is just makes your day. The piece, by one Chan Akya in the always eccentric Asia Times ends with this gem of a conclusion:

Buddhism is forever associated with the principles of non-violence and kindness of human beings to each other, as well as to other animals. Whilst not prescribed as a basic principle of life in the holy texts, Buddhists generally abjure meat. Their pacifist principles are broadly applicable to solving the most intractable crises in the world, including those of the Middle East. The centuries of debate between Buddhists and other religions, including Hinduism, have produced more than adequate philosophical sophistication in dealing with intellectual challenges from the well-to-do. Then again, people don't have to convert to Buddhism to follow the principles laid out.

Accepting the religion or at least its principles therefore carries with it a steady decline in the demand for meat and related products, which will help the US Federal Reserve, the Peoples Bank of China and other central banks to cut inflation expectations at home. In turn, this helps to engender greater efficacy for monetary policy. Given that markets love to listen to the Fed chairman, perhaps it makes sense for him to be the first to recommend the Buddhist way of life, in some suitably informal chat - perhaps a quiet word to Maria Bartiromo (5) would do the trick.

Maybe this isn't too far fetched. After all, the spirit of the old Zen masters seemed seemed to live on in Alan Greenspan's cryptic comments, which could rival any koan in poetic amiguity.