Want to know how endless quantative easing turns out? You need look no farther than Japan. From Peter Schiff at europac.com:
Most economists and investors readily acknowledge that the current period of central bank activism, characterized by extended bouts of quantitative easing and zero percent interest rates, is a newly-blazed trail in economic history. And while these policies strike some as counterintuitive, open-ended, and unimaginably expensive, most express comfort that our extremely educated, data-dependent, central bankers have a pretty good idea as to where the trail is going and how to keep the wagons together during the journey.
But as it turns out, there really isn’t much need for guesswork. As the United States enters its eighth year of zero percent interest rates, we should all be looking at a conveniently available tour guide along the path of perpetual easing. Japan has been doing what we are doing now for at least 15 years longer. Unfortunately, no one seems to care, or be surprised, that they are just as incapable as we have been in finding a workable exit. When Virgil guided Dante through Hell, he at least knew how to get out. Japan doesn’t have a clue.
Despite its much longer experience with monetary stimulus, Japan’s economy remains listless and has continuously flirted with recession. In spite of this failure, Japanese leaders, especially Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (and his ally at the Bank of Japan (BoJ), Haruhiko Kuroda), have recently doubled down on all prior bets. This has meant that the Japanese stimulus is now taking on some ominous dimensions that have yet to be seen here in the U.S. In particular, the Bank of Japan is considering using its Quantitative Easing budget to buy large quantities of shares of publicly traded Japanese corporations.
So for those who remain in doubt, Japan is telling us where this giant monetary experiment leads to: Debt, stagnation and nationalization of industry. This is not a destination that any of us, with the possible exception of Bernie Sanders, should be happy about.
The gospel that unites central bankers around the world is that the cure for economic contraction is the creation of demand. Traditionally, they believed that this could be accomplished by simply lowering interest rates, which would then spur borrowing, spending and investment. But when that proved insufficient to pull Japan out of its recession in the early 1990s, the concept of Quantitative Easing (QE) was born. By actively entering the bond market through purchases of longer-dated securities, QE was able to lower interest rates across the entire duration spectrum, an outcome that conventional monetary policy could not do.
But since that time, the QE in Japan has been virtually permanent. Unfortunately, Japan’s economy has been unable to recover anything resembling its former economic health. The experiment has been going on so long that the BoJ already owns more than 30% of outstanding government debt securities. It has also increased its monthly QE expenditures to the point where it now exceeds the Japanese government’s new issuance of debt. (Like most artificial stimulants, QE programs need to get continually larger in order to produce any desirable effects). This has left the BoJ in dire need of something else to buy. Inevitably, it cast its eyes on the Japanese stock market.
To continue reading: QE’s Creeping Communism