Posts Tagged ‘Fed’

Instability, Food Riots And A Heaping Dose Of ‘I Told You So’

March 3, 2011

I saw this headline and the corresponding story on CNN and was thinking to myself, “Why does this sound so darn familiar?”

Riots, instability spread as food prices skyrocket
April 14, 2008

Riots from Haiti to Bangladesh to Egypt over the soaring costs of basic foods have brought the issue to a boiling point and catapulted it to the forefront of the world’s attention, the head of an agency focused on global development said Monday.

“This is the world’s big story,” said Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

“The finance ministers were in shock, almost in panic this weekend,” he said on CNN’s “American Morning,” in a reference to top economic officials who gathered in Washington. “There are riots all over the world in the poor countries … and, of course, our own poor are feeling it in the United States.”

And what would you know, I was out there predicting Obama would lead the world into collapse way, waaaaayyyy back in 2008 after the Disaster-in-Chief began his “God damn America” regime.  And a few months later I expanded on that dreadful Gerald Celente forecast of food riots by combining it with an economist’s take on Obama’s ruinous economic policies being analogous to a gambling addict “placing wild, desperate bets in the hope of getting rescued by good luck.”

Ah, memory lane…

There were two sides offering their views as to just what Obama’s “hopey changey” would look like.  Liberals said it would be a wonderous Utopia and conservatives said it would be an unmitigated disaster.  And, now, as food riots start erupting all over the planet, who turned out to be right???

But wait a minute, you the ever doctrinaire ideological liberal say.  You say, “It’s not Obama’s fault that global food prices are spiralling out of control.  It’s not Obama’s fault we didn’t get hopey changey.  It’s not Obama’s fault that the trillion dollar stimulus was a total failure even according to Obama’s own standards. 

What can I tell you but “Wrong, wrong and more wrong”???

From The Wall Street Journal:

FEBRUARY 23, 2011
The Federal Reserve Is Causing Turmoil Abroad
Few protesters in the Middle East connect rising food prices to U.S. monetary policy. But central bankers do.
By GEORGE MELLOAN

In accounts of the political unrest sweeping through the Middle East, one factor, inflation, deserves more attention. Nothing can be more demoralizing to people at the low end of the income scale—where great masses in that region reside—than increases in the cost of basic necessities like food and fuel. It brings them out into the streets to protest government policies, especially in places where mass protests are the only means available to shake the existing power structure.

The consumer-price index in Egypt rose to more than 18% annually in 2009 from 5% in 2006, a more normal year. In Iran, the rate went to 25% in 2009 from 13% in 2006. In both cases the rate subsided in 2010 but remained in double digits.

Egyptians were able to overthrow the dictatorial Hosni Mubarak. Their efforts to fashion a more responsive regime may or may not succeed. Iranians are taking far greater risks in tackling the vicious Revolutionary Guards to try to unseat the ruling ayatollahs.

Probably few of the protesters in the streets connect their economic travail to Washington. But central bankers do. They complain, most recently at last week’s G-20 meeting in Paris, that the U.S. is exporting inflation.

China and India blame the U.S. Federal Reserve for their difficulties in maintaining stable prices. The International Monetary Fund and the United Nations, always responsive to the complaints of developing nations, are suggesting alternatives to the dollar as the pre-eminent international currency. The IMF managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has proposed replacement of the dollar with IMF special drawing rights, or SDRs, a unit of account fashioned from a basket of currencies that is made available to the foreign currency reserves of central banks.

About the only one failing to acknowledge a problem seems to be the man most responsible, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. In a recent question-and-answer session at the National Press Club in Washington, the chairman said it was “unfair” to accuse the Fed of exporting inflation. Other nations, he said, have the same tools the Fed has for controlling inflation.

Well, not quite. Consider, for example, that much of world trade, particularly in basic commodities like food grains and oil, is denominated in U.S. dollars. When the Fed floods the world with dollars, the dollar price of commodities goes up, and this affects market prices generally, particularly in poor countries that are heavily import-dependent. Export-dependent nations like China try to maintain exchange-rate stability by inflating their own currencies to buy up dollars.

Mr. Bernanke has made it clear that his policy is to inflate the money supply. His second round of quantitative easing—the controversial QE2 policy to systematically purchase $600 billion in Treasury securities with newly created money—serves that aim. But even for the U.S. it is uncertain that Mr. Bernanke can hold to his 2% inflation target. Oil is going up. Foodstuffs are going up. And when the Fed sneezes money, the weak economies of the world, and the poor masses who are highly vulnerable to price rises in the necessities of life, catch pneumonia.

The turmoil in Iran is reminiscent of another period when the Fed was on an inflationary binge, the late 1970s. The Iranian oil boom had brought many thousands of peasants out of the villages into the cash economy in population centers like Tehran. On top of the disorientation resulting from that change itself, Iranians were then victims of an outbreak of inflation and a sharp decline in the purchasing power of the rials in their pay envelopes. Confused and angry, they supported the clerical revolution that unseated the shah and has been a thorn in America’s side ever since.

Today’s Iranian revolt has similar causes and, if successful, could be the flip side of 1979, a nation again friendlier toward the U.S. But there is no guarantee of that, or that states now friendly, like Bahrain, will remain so after an Egyptian-style upheaval.

Indeed, it is unlikely that Americans themselves will escape the inflationary consequences of current Fed policy. Aside from the rise in oil and foodstuffs, higher prices of manufactured goods are in the offing. China’s inflation rate is hovering at 5%. MKM Partners, a research and trading firm, last November reported that an internal study at Wal-Mart, a big importer from China, showed that the huge retail chain’s prices are edging up at an annual rate of 4% a year. That recent trend showed up in last week’s consumer-price index report.

The Fed is financing a vast and rising federal deficit, following a practice that has been a surefire prescription for domestic inflation from time immemorial. Meanwhile, its policies are stoking a rise in prices that is contributing to political unrest that in some cases might be beneficial but in others might turn out as badly as the overthrow of the shah in 1979. Does any of this suggest that there might be some urgency to bringing the Fed under closer scrutiny?

And while the above article points out the horrible effect Obama’s massive spending policies are having on the rest of the world, that cold is already catching here in America, too, given stories like this one:

Hope ‘n Change Coming To Fruition: Cost Of EVERYTHING About To Go Up

I told you so.  I TOLD you so.  I TOLD YOU SO.

It’s funny, actually.  As popular as Obama was with fools right here in America, he was even more popular with the fools in the rest of the planet.

And now those fools are beginning to starve because of their Fool-in-Chief.

Think of it: Obama is literally proving to be the fool who flung an entire planet into chaos and war.  After promising so many lies that he would do the exact opposite.

I still remember an arrogant, pathologically narcissistic and delusional Obama saying:

“I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.”

I’ve said stuff like this many times before, and I quote myself yet again:

Is Barack Obama the Antichrist?  There sure are a lot of signs that he is in the media!  But I believe that he is just one of the false messiahs (Matthew 24:24).  Rather than being THE Antichrist, I believe that Obama is just one of the false messiahs who will so completely screw up the United States and the world that Antichrist will be able to emerge to “save the day.”

You mark my words: the beast, the antichrist the Bible has warned us of two millenia in advance, is coming.  Barack Hussein Obama is a monumental fool who will plunge the entire world into collapse and anarchy.  And it will take a man who seems so great that he will literally be worshiped as GOD to appear to get us out of the destruction that Obama’s despicable and evil policies create.

The collapse may well not occur during Obama’s misbegotten regime.  But he will leave us in such a terrible position that the United States of America will necessarily inevitably collapse.  Once you fundamentally destroy something the way Obama is fundamentally destroying America, you can’t put it back together.  Even the wisest leadership won’t be able to save us.  Four years of Barack Obama was the curse of God damn America that will keep on cursing and cursing.

Liberals always claim that they help the little people.  But their policies HURT the little people.  Inflation is a curse brought about by Obama’s and the Democrat Party’s fiscally reckless and morally insane spending.  Inflation doesn’t hurt the wealthy, because they have the means to buy financial devices and investments such as gold that protect them from the ravages of inflation.  No, it is the poor whom Obama’s evil policies are most hurting.  It is the poor across the world who are rioting now because of food shortages that were brought about by Obama’s reckless polices.  And it will be the poor in America who will soon shortly be rioting in the streets because an evil man brought “God damn America” to our nation.

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Fed Changes Mind After Changing Mind, Monetizing Debt Again As America Flushes Way To Ruination

August 12, 2010

First, the New York Times headline:

Fed to Buy U.S. Debt, Saying Recovery Has Slowed
August 10, 2010, 2:19 pm

The Federal Reserve acknowledged Tuesday that its confidence in the economic recovery had dimmed, and it announced that it would use the proceeds from its huge mortgage-bond portfolio to buy long-term Treasury securities, The New York Times’s Sewell Chan reports from Washington.

Bu bu but I thought Barry Messiah said this would be the summer of economic recovery.  I thought Barry Hussein had kissed the economy with his beatific wonderfulness and made it all better.

The fourth paragraph in the Slimes article underscores the fact that the Keystone cops of the Obama administration have absolutely no idea what they’re doing:

The Fed’s new stance marked the completion of a turnabout from a few months ago, when officials were discussing when and how to eventually raise interest rates and gradually shrink the $2.3 trillion balance sheet the Fed amassed through its response to the 2008 financial crisis.

Ben Bernanke came out back in February and had this finance fit:

Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned Congress that the Federal Reserve does not plan to “print money” to help Congress finance the exploding U.S. national debt.  In fact, Bernanke told Congress that the U.S. could soon face a debt crisis as bad as the one in Greece if the U.S. government does not get things in order financially.  This represents a fundamental change in policy for the Federal Reserve, because they have been enabling the massive borrowing by the U.S. government over the past couple of years by “buying” the majority of new U.S. government debt that has been issued.  But now the fat cats over at the Federal Reserve have apparently changed their minds.  Using uncharacteristic bluntness, Bernanke told Congress that the Federal Reserve is “not going to monetize the debt”.So why is the Federal Reserve changing course?

Well, have no fear: the Federal Reserve is Re-changing course.  Like a boomerang that comes back around to smack an ignorant fool right in the head.  Perhaps they have come to realize that the U.S. economy is about to flush down the drain and plunge into a deep, dark hole, and they figure the fall might be softer if we land on giant piles of worthless currency.

Yes we’ll monetize the debt.  Oh no we won’t.  Oh yes we will.  Stop arguing with me!  But I am you!

I thought the following was a good article due to its provision of a historic context for today’s Fed decision:

Fed begins monetizing the deficit

The Federal Reserve, in announcing the results of this week’s meeting of the Open Market Committee, surprised the market by revealing it will begin purchasing US Treasury notes and bonds with the principal income it receives from its vast holdings of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage securities. This practice – wherein the Fed buys up US government securities and injects cash into the public market as payment for these securities – is a form of monetizing the debt. The last time the Fed did this on a big scale was back in the 1960s when it attempted to mop up the excess Treasury securities that were flooding the market as a result of Lyndon Johnson’s efforts to finance the Vietnam War. That Fed program was viewed at the time as a failure, since the cash the Fed put back into the economy in exchange for the securities was a big reason – perhaps the major reason – why price inflation accelerated from the late 1960s until a decade later, when Paul Volcker managed to squelch inflation once and for all with forbiddingly high interest rates.

The market was expecting some sort of monetary stimulus, but not this. The expectation was that the Fed would renew its “quantitative easing” program involving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities – a program designed to push down long term mortgage rates. That program was successful inasmuch as mortgage rates are at record lows, but it left the Fed with well over a trillion dollars of these securities on its balance sheet. Fed officials have lately been pondering publicly how to get rid of these securities, and apparently have concluded they can’t under present market conditions without forcing mortgage rates back up again, which would only hurt the housing market. Instead, these officials have concluded that the Fed has no choice but to hold on to these securities until they mature, which is well over 10 years from now for the portfolio.

The Fed receives billions of dollars of principal and interest payments every year on this portfolio, and what to do with this cash has always been open for discussion until now. But using principal proceeds from these securities to monetize the government debt is fraught with risk. For one, should the housing market start to weaken again and foreclosures rise from current levels, the Fed will be sitting on billions of dollars of credit losses on its portfolio. This could eat up most if not all of the profit it would otherwise earn on this portfolio. Second, older investors have memories of the nasty inflationary consequences the last time the Fed monetized the debt, and the market has become very skittish about the risk of inflation, and maybe even hyperinflation ala Weimar Germany, that could result from the enormous fiscal and monetary stimulus put into the economy since 2007.

In terms of these risks, the best thing the Fed has going for it at the moment is that the pricing problem facing the current economy is not inflation, but deflation. A growing number of economists, and even some Fed governors, are worrying outright about deflation, but at least in a deflationary environment the Fed is given a lot more leeway to monetize the debt and build up its balance sheet as a consequence. The Fed press release today did not mention deflation per se, but the FOMC no longer described the economy as “progressing”, as it did in June. Instead, the Fed sees an economy with substantial slack, a stagnant housing market, repressed earnings power for workers, and very low inflation.

The bond market was happy to buy Treasuries on this news, concentrating in the 2 to 10 year maturities, in anticipation of higher prices (and thus lower yields) once the Fed begins actively purchasing. So far, in other words, the bond market sees no risk of inflation, much less hyperinflation, and is content to see yields continue to head to record low levels. Such excessively low yields on government bonds have only been seen in deflationary economies like Japan has experienced for nearly two decades. This is in essence what the bond market is forecasting for the US economy.

The stock market, which has been on a tear since early July, took this news in stride, but time and past experience is weighing heavily on this stock rally. When bond yields fall to record lows, this has never boded well for equities. In a deflationary economy, stock prices are one of the main victims, and the US stock markets have so far shown no significant adjustment downwards to reflect deflation. Stocks may have some serious “catching up” to do.

At the least, we can say we are no longer in that environment in the spring when Fed governors were talking seriously about how they were going to remove all their monetary stimulus now that the economy has recovered. Instead, we are witnessing yet another round of monetary stimulus, a recognition by the Fed that their previous efforts have failed to ignite a sustainable recovery.

All this from the Federal Reserve, an entity that is neither “federal” nor a “reserve.”  It is a private bank that issues currency based on fiat of delegated institutional power.  And what it is doing now is akin to photocopying a dollar bill to pay a credit card bill.  Another analogy would be if you were facing bankruptcy, and decided to start buying your own furniture from yourself.

Mind you, this is only partly the Federal Reserve’s fault.  They are in an impossible position as the Failure-in-Chief continues a path of spending America into collapse, and they have to figure out how to finance Obama’s addiction.

The Obama administration alternately fearmongered and promised that if the stimulus was passed that unemployment would not rise above 8%.  They lied.  The rate has been dropping from an earlier high exceeding 10% only because discouraged workers who give up are paradoxically dropped off the roles and aren’t counted.  Then they spent months creating pure fictions such as “created or saved” as “evidence” that Obama’s failed policy had succeeded.

To quote:

“One can search economic textbooks forever without finding a concept called `jobs saved.’ It doesn’t exist for good reason…” – Allan Meltzer, professor of political economy

“There is no way to measure how many jobs are saved.” – Harvard economics Professor Gregory Mankiw

Then Obama spent months telling us that the economy was recovering when it really wasn’t, culminating in his bogus “summer of economic recovery.”

This is an administration that falsely takes credit for a false recovery even as they falsely blame Bush and refuse to accept responsibility for their own policies.  It’s “win, we win, lose, Bush loses.”

These people should have zero-point-zero-zero credibility.