Tag Archives: central bank policies

When a Train Wreck Is No Accident, by Jeff Thomas

What if the impending financial collapse is all part of some master plan? From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

trainwreck

“In spite of all the rhetoric, we will go deeper in debt, the Fed will print more money, and the value of the dollar will continue to plummet.” – Ron Paul

Never in history have the economic and political structures been so manipulated by those who are responsible for their safekeeping; never has so much been at stake, in so many countries, and facing collapse, all at the same time.

The great majority of people in the First World recognise that the world is passing through an economic crisis. However, most are under the impression that there are some pretty smart fellows running the show and all they need to do is tweak the system a bit more and we’ll return to happy days.

Not so. The “smart fellows” who are in charge of fixing the problem are in fact the very same people who created it.

Understandably, this a hard concept for most people to even consider, let alone accept, as the very idea that those in charge of the system might consciously collapse it seems preposterous. So, we might wish to back up a bit here and present a very brief history of the system itself, in order to understand that the eventual collapse of the economic system was baked in the cake from the very beginning.

Creating a Central Bank

From the very earliest days of the formation of the American republic, bankers (along with inside help from George Washington’s secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton) sought to create a banking monopoly that would create the country’s currency and become the central banking system.

The first attempt at a central bank was a failure, and strong opponents, including Thomas Jefferson, prevented a second central bank for a time. Later, further attempts were made by bankers and their political cronies, and each central bank was either short-lived or defeated in its planning stages.

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Distraction As Policy While Our Economic Rome Burns, by Matthew Piepenberg

The global economy is going down the tubes, but nobody is supposed to notice. From Matthew Piepenberg at goldswitzerland.com:

Desperation and distraction are masquerading as economic policy. Below we see how and why—and at what cost.

COVID: The Great Economic and Political Hall-Pass

If every time I stole a cookie from the jar in front of my mom (age 8), or drove dad’s car (sometimes into a tree) without permission (age 16), failed a dorm-room inspection (age 17), broke a lawnmower for driving over a fence post (each year) or forgot a key anniversary (eh-hmm), it would have been so convenient to have a universal “hall pass” to excuse what is/was otherwise just plain stupid behavior.

Luckily for the grown children running our global financial system into the ground, the COVID pandemic is becoming precisely that: “A global hall pass for excusing decades of stupid.”

As we’ve written many times, inexcusably high debt levels, tanking growth data, struggling work force figures, embarrassing wealth disparity and insider market rigging between Wall Street and DC was well in play long before COVID made the headlines.

But now, the architects of such “pre-COVID stupid” have the current COVID narrative to justify and excuse even, well… more stupid.

The Latest Jobs Report “Explained” …

Take, for example, the latest job reports data from those DC-based creative writers at that comic-book publication otherwise known as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Known for years on Wall Street as mathematical magicians capable of turning 12% inflation into a 2% CPI lie, that same BLS is operating yet again to fib away the latest (and otherwise telling) jobs data.

The September jobs report was the second consecutive and disappointing report from the BLS, which they were quick to blame on “pandemic-related staffing fluctuations.”

Hmmm. That’s a nice phrase, no? “Pandemic-related staffing fluctuations.”

But the real description boils down to something more PRAVDA-like under the new Biden Vaccine Mandate, namely: “Obey or we take your job away.”

Needless to say, not everyone is obeying.

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We’re Living in a Chaos Economy. Here’s How to End It. By Mark Thornton

The solution is simple—get the government and its central bank out of the economy—but alas, given present day politics implementation will be impossible. From Mark Thornton at mises.org:

The Federal Reserve has been increasing the money supply at an explosive rate. The federal budget, deficits, and the trade deficit are record levels. Governments, both foreign and domestic, have locked down people, restricting production and consumption. How should this be viewed by an economist?

There is clearly chaos in the economy, and hardly a day goes by when I don’t find unusual if not unprecedented situations in day-to-day economic life. However, many people and economists are either oblivious to the problems or in denial. Things are normal for them. Politicians are mostly in this camp. For economists and investment promotors, inflation is “transitory.” They don’t know how the economy works and they expect near perfection from the economy and entrepreneurs. This view is wrong.

The chaos is all too real for most others. Homemakers who spend household income are seeing their purchasing power shrink, their choices disappearing, and more of their time consumed stretching the family budgets. Christmas shopping will be worse than normal.

Chaos deniers are further entrenched in their experience by the mainstream media (MSM). The problems are either not reported by the MSM or are masked by aggregate statistics like price inflation, i.e., the Consumer Price Index, low unemployment, wage increases, and extremely high stock markets and real estate, especially housing prices. These stats make people feel good, or at least less nervous.

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Are We Really Crazy Enough to Believe This Is Going to Work? By Charles Hugh Smith

Crazy is believing a house of cards built on a foundation of sand will stand. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

Unbeknownst to the giddy participants, they’re not just betting on the omnipotence of the Fed Politburo, they’re also making a max-leverage bet that “the madness of crowds” will never end.

Imagine an economy so dominated by its central bank that all markets hang on every word of its priesthood as life or death. You know, like the Federal Reserve and the American economy.

Now imagine this central bank issues enormous sums of new money which supercharges speculative activity such as hundreds of billions of dollars in stock buybacks, special purpose acquisition casinos, oops, I mean companies, and so on. You know, like the Federal Reserve’s trillions in nearly free money for financiers.

Next, imagine that the central bank makes barely concealed promises that should any big gambler lose money in the casino, the bank will flood the financial system with even more nearly free money for financiers and bail out the loser.

Since flooding the system with nearly free money for financiers keeps the speculative frenzy going, the bank has implicitly promised that assets driven higher by speculative frenzy will never be allowed to drop. This promise naturally incentivizes even more speculative borrowing, leverage and risk, generating a titanic Everything Bubble in which risky assets skyrocket from pennies into dollars and dollars into fortunes.

Now imagine that this speculative frenzy spreads into every nook and cranny of the economy such that everyone is drawn into one casino or another, and previously sober, cautious people are seized by a quasi-religious fervor in which they become convinced that their gambling chips on NFTs, SPACs, meme-stocks, obscure alt-coins, homes, collectables and pretty much anything within the manic swirl of speculative frenzy is now a can’t lose path to carefree permanent wealth because the central bank guarantees it and anyone who questions this is in league with the Devil (or worse).

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The Biggest Federal Reserve Scandal, by Ron Paul

A couple of Fed regional presidents resigning due to odiferous trading is small change compared to the scandal that is central banking and its fiat money. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

Following revelations that Federal Reserve officials made trades in financial assets while the Fed was taking extraordinary efforts to “stimulate” the economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell ordered a review of the Fed’s ethics rules. While these trades appear problematic, they pale in comparison to the biggest Fed scandal — the Fed’s impoverishment of ordinary Americans, enrichment of the elites, and facilitation of government debt and deficits.

The depression induced by coronavirus, though really caused by so-called public health actions government took in response, was the official reason for the Fed’s increased asset purchases last year. However, the Fed actually started ramping up its money creating activities in September of 2019, when it began pouring billions a day into the repo markets, which banks use to make short-term loans to each other, in order to keep repo market interest rates low.

Coronavirus was just a convenient excuse for the Fed to do more of what it was already doing. Now, the Fed is using the limited reopening as a scapegoat for rising prices. Of course, anyone who understands Austrian economics understands that rising prices are a symptom, not a cause, of inflation. Inflation is the very act of money creation by the Fed.

Rising prices that diminish the average American’s standard of living are not the only result of the Fed’s manipulation of the money supply. The manipulation distorts economic signals, producing results including booms, bubbles, and busts.

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It’s Easier to “Print” Money to Make Refrigerators, by Bill Bonner

Who needs refrigerator manufacturers and other real businesses when you’ve got a central bank? From Bill Bonner at rogueeconomics.com:

What we are wondering today is what’s ahead for the U.S. economy – inflation or deflation? Maybe the Evergrande story will give us a clue.

To fully understand the Evergrande story, you almost have to understand the whole story…

…of how, in 1971, the U.S. switched to a “flexible” dollar that it could print at will…

…and how the switch created a boom in China… and a bust in U.S. manufacturing (it’s easier to “print” money than to make refrigerators).

In an honest economy, pre-1971, the U.S. had to repatriate its dollars by offering equivalent quantities of goods and services to the Chinese…

…or risk having to settle up in gold.

Concrete River

But with the new system… it could just print up more dollars… which the Chinese, bless their hearts, used to buy U.S. bonds…

All this money created a boom in China… which quickly got out its cement trucks. The concrete flowed like the Yangtze.

We saw the construction boom on our trip to China in 2014 – a breathtaking display of human industry and material progress.

The highways were new. The buildings were new. The trains… docks… factories – all new. You could scarcely find a house more than 18 months old.

Never in the history of the world had so many people gone from being so poor to so rich in so short a time. Per capita income rose from $318 in 1990 to $10,500 in 2020.

And never in history had so much money been borrowed to make it happen. From $1.7 trillion of total debt in 2000, China now owes nearly $50 trillion. Its debt-to-GDP ratio now stands at 335%.

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The funny-money game, by Alasdair Macleod

Eventually fiat-debt-blown bubbles pop, and down go bond, stock, and most other financial asset prices. One non-financial asset that will keep you in good stead will be precious metals. From Alasdair Macleod at goldmoney.com:

The sense of general unease that I detect among those I meet and discuss economics and financial matters with is increasing —with good reason. Clearly, what everyone calls inflation, rising prices or more accurately currency debasement, will lead to higher interest rates, threatening markets which are unmistakably in bubble territory.

The consequences of rising prices and interest rates are still being badly underestimated.

In this article I get to the source of the inflation problem, which is the monetary debasement of the dollar and other major currencies. An important part of the problem is that mathematical economists have lost sight of what their beloved statistics represent —none more so than with GDP.

I explain why GDP is simply the total of accumulating currency and credit which is wrongly taken reflect economic progress – there being no such thing as economic growth. Once that point is grasped, the significance of this basic error becomes clear, and the fiat currency paradigm is revealed for what it is: a funny-money game that will go horribly wrong.

There is only one escape from it, and that is to own the one form of money that is no one’s counterparty risk; the one form of money that always comes to humanity’s rescue when fiat fails.

And that is gold. It is neglected by nearly everyone because it is the anti-bubble. The more that people believe in fiat-denominated assets, the less they believe in gold. That is until their funny-money games implode, inevitably triggered by sharply rising interest rates.

Introduction

Those of us with grey hairs gained in financial markets can, or should, recognise that after fifty years the funny-money game is ending. Accelerated money printing has led to what greenhorn commentators call inflation. It is not, as they claim, rising prices: they are the consequence of the monetary expansion which was the original and remains the correct definition of inflation.

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Central Bank Visions of Absolute Control, by MN Gordon

The “potent director” fallacy is ascribing powers to someone or to a group that they don’t really have. Perhaps the most widespread one is the idea that central banks control economies. They don’t. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

There’s not much you can do in the year 2021 that doesn’t leave a digital trail.  The collusion of big tech and big government has assured this.

Still, there does remain one simple way to elude the busybodies.  In fact, one of the last ways to preserve some level of economic privacy is to pay with cash.

Because when you pay with cash the authorities cannot monitor and track what you buy.  They don’t know if the cash you pulled from the ATM was stuffed in your mattress, or used to buy groceries or ammo or silver coins.  What’s more, the authorities don’t like this.

The control freak central planners want to know what you are buying, and where and when you are buying.  They also want to know how much you spend down to the very last cent.  A digital dollar, coupled with the abolition of cash, would allow them to do this.  Moreover, it would provide them the ability to have full control over every transaction you make.

For example, if a purchase falls outside of the parameters established by the digital dollar’s monitoring algorithm, it could be cancelled on the spot.  Should an attempted purchase not align with the buyers social credit score it would not go through.  Are you overweight?  Then no glazed donuts for you.

To be clear, digital dollars would have nothing to do with cryptocurrencies or decentralized finance.  Rather, digital dollars would be issued by the Federal Reserve and would allow the Fed to monitor and control every transaction you make.

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Four Unreported Signs Paper Money is Dying, by Matthew Piepenburg

Any so-called asset whose value, based on historical precedent, is destined for zero is therefore destined to die. From Matthew Piepenburg at goldswitzerland.com:

Below, we look at four deliberately ignored reasons why extreme liquidity is drowning paper money.

Reason 1: The Taper Debate May Not be a Debate at All

Here, we look past the taper headlines and ask a simple question: Would a Fed “tapering” of QE really matter?

As we’ve written elsewhere, the Great Taper Debate is less of a debate than it is a pundit circus, forever fueling now classic yet complimentary debates on inflation vs. deflation, gold vs. the dollar and Fed-speak vs. honesty.

Of course, such topics, including the great “taper,” are all critical issues worthy of opposing views and somber discussions.

The world needs open, transparent and respectful (as opposed to tyrannical) debate, now more than ever.

If the Fed, for example, were to taper money printing, it’s logical to assume (and argue) that this would mean falling bonds, rising rates, deflationary forces, a stronger dollar and massive headwinds for risk assets like stocks and real estate.

But for many who are not otherwise deeply ensconced into the weeds of Wall Street (i.e., normal, smart and conscientious investors), what they may not know is this: The Fed has other tricks up its liquidity sleeve than just “QE.”

Stated otherwise, the taper fears as well as taper debate may not be as central to the central bank debate as one might think.

Why?

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Quantitative easing: how the world got hooked on magicked-up money, by Ann Pettifor

Central banking is a gateway drug to quantitative easing and then, perpetual debt monetization. From Ann Pettifor at prospectmagazine.co.uk:

Going cold turkey would finish off a dysfunctional global financial system that’s now hopelessly addicted to emergency infusions. The only solution is surgery on the system itself

The world economy is a mess. The system, notionally governed by the invisible hand of the market, is no longer governed in any meaningful way: private excess puffs up bubbles that government indulgence ensures can never burst. We seem condemned to volatile commodity prices, wild capital flows, worsening imbalances in trade, taxation and income, and—before long—the next sovereign debt crisis. And then there’s inequality. During lockdown, the total wealth of billionaires rose by $5 trillion to $13 trillion in 12 months, the most dramatic surge ever registered on the annual Forbes billionaire list.

Where do such riches come from? Compared to before the pandemic, there’s less real economic activity: we are collectively poorer. And yet within a year of the great panic of March 2020, many asset prices were surging. Wall Street and the City of London are again awash with liquidity—and in a speculative mood. One vogue is for something called SPACs, or “special purpose acquisition companies.” That sounds so vague as to bring to mind the South Sea Bubble companies of 1720, whose pitch is remembered as “carrying on an undertaking of great advantage but nobody to know what it is.”

How is this mismatch between financial markets and underlying reality possible? Because just like in the aftermath of the Great Recession, the civil servants in our central banks spotted the dreadful potential of unchecked panic, and rode to the rescue of private speculators by flushing the system with made-up money through a process we’ve come to know as quantitative easing.

Commentators on both the right and the left are increasingly fixated on the role of QE. In a way, that’s understandable. The policy—deployed on and off ever since the financial crash—has been pursued to an extraordinary degree in the face of Covid-19. By this June, the US Federal Reserve’s balance sheet had doubled in size since the pandemic began, and has now swelled by 800 per cent since 2007.

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