Jim Grant Accuses Fed Of "Lethal" Intervention And Manipulation Of US Economy

Tyler Durden's picture

Yesterday Jim Grant gave an interview to Bloomberg's Pimm Fox, which was as usual informative and entertaining, and thus must see. Yet the section which is most relevant for our post-capitalist society (one is unsure what defines it best: communism? socialism? fasism? farcism? idiocy?) is Grant's discussion of H. Parker Willis, one of the founders of the Federal Reserve in 1913, who in a book written two decades later laments the very existence of the Fed. As Grant says: "Willis was present at the creation of the Fed, he was one of the draftsmen of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. Willis was also the first secretary of the Federal Reserve Board - he knows this institution. He wrote a book in 1936, which was a lamentation about the low estate of Central Banking in America, the Fed had lost its way in 1936. It had opened its doors in 1914 and by 1936 it had eaten the forbidden fruit, it was in the business of guiding the economy, of managing the economy, of manipulating this aggregate and that, and Willis said: "For Pete's sake. You can't know that - the GDP data are not reliable enough for you to do what you think you are doing." It's a wonderful tract against the tendency of the Fed to do what it has so lethally done to this economy in my opinion, which is to steer us, in the interest of raising the GDP it presses interest rates to zero, pouring out immense volumes of econometric studies in support of this dubious enterprise. Hey Fed: just attend to the dollar, that's it, no inflation, just do one thing! You've heard of mission creep, these guys are the mission creeps par excellence."

When even cool, calm and collected pundits like Jim Grant fall into murderous paroxysm of blind rage when discussing the Fed, you know it is only a matter of time before the world's most destructive organization is eliminated. And yes, it won't go without lots of blood.

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Mercury's picture

Grant to Fed: You suck at central planning.

"The black art of central planning"


In bringing up the "socialization of risk" Grant touches onwhat I (and I'm sure many others) have identified as the elephant in the room the Obama Administration never explicitly addresses: Will credit continue to be considered essentially a civil right and if so who is expected to bear the reciprocal risk and under what conditions?

Mercury's picture

He probably means The Federal Reserve System, H. Parker Willis, Ronald Co., 1923  which may be a revised version of the 1915 book (listed on Wikip.) by the same/similar title.  Wikipedia may actually have incomplete info. but I'd guess that Gran't edition/printing is from 1936 and contains updated info/gripes/introduction etc. as non-fiction texts often do. A good example of the many nuggets of wisdom within long-forgotten and out-of-print books.

stickyfingers's picture

The theory and practice of central banking, with special reference to American experience, 1913-1935

I think that's the one Grant means

Steve Evets's picture

The Theory and Practice of Central Banking

heyligen's picture

The Theory and Practice of Central Banking (1936)

kengland's picture

This is it. Goes for around 150 used.

Voluntary Exchange's picture

And central planning sucks at improving human well-being.


Suck **2 !

JLee2027's picture

Man crush on Jim Grant!

tmosley's picture

Not only that, but he looks like Bill Nye, which makes him all the more awesome.

taraxias's picture

The veil is being pulled back, inch by inch..........

frankTHE COIN's picture

Whats your social security number? I just need it for back office stuff.

DoctoRx's picture

Frank:  I think Leo is Canadian.

the not so mighty maximiza's picture

Watch out for falling pallets of fiats dropping from the sky Leo.

SheepDog-One's picture

I pray for the day Leo gets stranded way long by a huge flash crash and we never hear from this complete idiot ever again.

BobPaulson's picture

The troll of the year award goes to...

akak's picture

Leo's comment reached 50 junks, at which point it was sent down the memory hole (just as I was about to reply to it, alas).  As it deserved.

Once again, Leo Kissmyasskiss, you prove your utter worthlessness in this forum.

tmosley's picture

I'm hoping that is sarcasm, though it's hard to tell with you, Leo.

faustian bargain's picture

If it's sarcasm, it's incompetent sarcasm. Ergo, junk away.

Shameful's picture

Guys don't you understand where Leo is coming from?  His livelihood depends on the Fed nuking the dollar, and generally a global meltdown in currencies.  As a pension guy he must generate returns to pay off pensioners.  Measured in fiat money of course.  So it matters not at all if the fiat will buy a can of cat food so long as he can hit his numbers and make sure everyone gets paid out.  Indeed he can even claim no fault "I performed above expectations, it's not my fault the money is worthless".  But should we actually experience deflation and the Fed and other debasing currencies he would have to explain why he lost money.  I'm not passing judgment, but everyone must remember that every man will bend his outlook to benefit his profession and station.

juangrande's picture

Leo, your comment on the "history of American business is based on legalized looting...." was removed! I was going to comment: Remove the word American and true dat. Speaks to the past essays of Cognitive Dissonance. Wake up indeed! When Money is your God, He will, inevitably, let you down.

Ms. Erable's picture

When the dust settles and the chickens have come home to roost, I hope Leo has $5 million in fiat when the price of a can of dog food is $900k.

Commander Cody's picture

This comment must be riddled with sarcasm.  If not, then I'm gonna do a Belushi on you.

downrodeo's picture



gerd's picture


Thomas Paine, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, urged Colonists not to trust the words of “interested men” tied by money and status to the British government and British royalty: “It is the good fortune of many to live distant from the scene of sorrow; the evil is not sufficiently brought to THEIR doors to make THEM feel the precariousness with which all American property is possessed.”

Leo is an interested man.

NOTW777's picture

and the real crooks - the american media, conceal and ignore the unfolding disaster.  meanwhile the obama business channel is covering fast food habits of the rich

Bam_Man's picture

What? No Lindsay Lohan updates today?


wiskeyrunner's picture

Everyone needs to cheer up, please listen to this music and it will make you feel better.




Henry Chinaski's picture

There is no question that the dollar is intentionally and systematically being destroyed.  The question is "Why?", to what purpose.


NOTW777's picture

failed attempt to evade massive debt; attempt to conceal massive sin;

JLee2027's picture

There is no question that the dollar is intentionally and systematically being destroyed.  The question is "Why?", to what purpose.

To make American products cheaper for foreign buyers, which in turn re-starts economic growth.  The Chinese, who live off a low currency in relation to a strong dollar, are furious because this will crush their economy like the paper tiger it is.

Waterfallsparkles's picture

Yet, the Chinese People are paulpers.  They work for $1.00 a day if even that.  Is that what we have to look forward to in America?

SheepDog-One's picture

'American products'? Go ahead name 3.

tmosley's picture

Dollars, Treasuries, and T-bills.

What, debt doesn't count?  Damn!

Shameful's picture

Read Snow Crash.  Like that novel American makes 3 products better then anyone else in the world.  1. Pizza 2. Movies 3. Micro-code

Sure won't carry an economy but at least we have those 3 :)

bronzie's picture

"Sure won't carry an economy but at least we have those 3"

you didn't mention the prison system - we can take turns locking each other up to keep the economy going - you lock me up and guard me for a year or two and then I lock you up and play guard for awhile

we'll be back to the good times before you know it!

Shameful's picture

Ok you got me there.  I just harp on those 3 because it's in the book, and it's a fun cyberpunk book.

The prison thing is absurd.  The Land of the Free has the highest prison pop in the world, even over China.  Funny we complain about their authoritarian state but we have more people locked up and their pop is 4x ours.  But it's a good way to dole out money to favored classes, take away rights and get Americans to work at slave wages.  Hell most people break the law every day, it's almost impossible not to.  No one even knows what all the laws are, there are so many of them it's impossible for a single human to know them all and stay current on them.  Just like older authoritarian regimes they have turned every citizen into a criminal.

trav7777's picture

you might want to examine our primary prison demographic.  China doesn't have them in China.

trav7777's picture

you might want to examine our primary prison demographic.  China doesn't have them in China.

vortex's picture

Courtesy of Guild Investment


The U.S. labels China a currency manipulator. Brazil announces that countries are trying to devalue their currencies competitively. Is a new trade war brewing?

We have long believed that the potential for trade wars increases as economic distress grows in Europe and the U.S. Clearly, Brazil is correct; politicians who do not understand the world trade system are currently trying to devalue their currencies. They are reacting to pressure from the exporting companies in their nation and they may believe that this action will increase exports and discourage their citizens from importing goods from abroad. These beliefs are based upon the naïve and unwise assumption that their domestic consumer will buy domestically manufactured goods.

Although this simplistic model might have been somewhat accurate 50 years ago, today it is sadly uninformed and unrealistic. A global trade machine currently exists which uses components from many countries to make products produced in other countries which are then shipped to other countries, still, to be finished. The products are then sold to a new group of countries for various purposes including re-export.

The antiquated and naïve view that a lower currency will improve employment in the home country is generally incorrect.

The lower currency will not necessarily create new jobs, and on the contrary, it may create destructive unintended consequences especially inflation as imported goods become more expensive. Currently, perhaps a dozen countries are trying to devalue their currencies simultaneously.

When a nation threatens that they will “put a tariff on products from country X”, or “force country Y to revalue their currency upward”, or that they will devalue their own currency, we wonder if they have considered all the ramifications of such actions?

Trade wars are always a mistake. Most observers understand the political posturing by the U.S. congress to their constituents. They also see that those constituents may not be at all well-informed about how international trade is positive for U.S. growth and useful for employment in the U.S. The politicians are making a political statement which is simplistic and which may create unintended consequences including:

1. lower economic growth world wide which feeds back to lower economic growth in the home country.

2. increased inflation as imported goods rise in price.

3. a move by citizens into other asset classes especially gold, other precious metals, commodities in general and common stocks and out of the home currency. The citizens will buy these types of assets in order to protect themselves from the decline of their currency. This forces up the price of commodities and further exacerbates inflation.

MountainMan's picture

Perhaps for its very survival. If industy and manufacturing is the key to real growth and employment, then a weak dollar is the answer. Any way you cut, the standard of living for a great majority of Americans is heading down.

BobPaulson's picture

If you're the guy who can always print more and give it to yourself, while the other 99% of the world has to work for money, why wouldn't you? I print a pile of money, and buy all your stuff. You acquire more stuff from hard work, I print more money and buy it from you. You're happy because you have lots of zeros on a computer screen or piece of paper.

Spot the sucker.

The Navigator's picture

"never let a serious crisis go to waste" Rahm Emanuel. Crash the dollar, introduce the "new international" dollar (Amero?), move our currency even further away from the Constitution and more under the control of the New World Order.

The details, I'm not privy to; just my paranoid perspective.

malek's picture

Hmm... is there a serious crisis in Chicago? I mean more serious than usual?

A Man without Qualities's picture

The thing is, people fail to understand the true purpose of the Fed.  It is and always has been to protect the member banks.  The Lehman collapse has confused people, but this was about stuffing a load of bad assets into an already broken firm, in order to protect the others and also there was a personal element in that Fuld was detested by Paulson, Dimon etc.  The Fed now needs to kill the Dollar, because the scale of bad assets and non-performing loans will kill the banks, unless they kill the Dollar.  Sure, this is going to cause huge damage to all those who put their faith in the Currency, but it will save the bankers and allow them to clean up at the right time, by pulling the liquidity lines at a pre-agreed point, and allowing them to come in and clean up. 

TheGreatPonzi's picture

The FED, eliminated? If this happens one day, I would be very surprised. The FED can do what she wants, including buying all the military arsenal in the world with phony dollars and make a coup in the USA.