"I was on a panel with Alan Greenspan a week ago... I said, you mean to say that the Federal Reserve is not independent? He immediately said, Marc, I never said the Fed was independent. In other words, the Fed and the Treasury and the government is basically one and the same."
"Japan is engaged in a Ponzi scheme"
"The oil price decline is not necessarily very good for the US - if oil prices went lower, it may actually have an adverse impact on the US economy"
Money-printing turns out to be the grift that keeps on giving. The US stock markets retraced all their October jitter lines, and bonds plumped up nicely in anticipation of hot so-called “money” wending its digital way from other lands to American banks. Euroland, too, accepted some gift inflation as its currency weakened. The world seems to have forgotten for a long moment that all this was rather the opposite of what America’s central bank has been purported to seek lo these several years of QE heroics — namely, a little domestic inflation of its own to simulate if not stimulate the holy grail of economic growth. Of course all that has gotten is the Potemkin stock market, a fragile, one-dimensional edifice concealing the post-industrial slum that the on-the-ground economy has become behind it.
"Solutions to the world's problems are not produced in a meeting between Bill Gates and George Soros... Renewal has to come from below... Limiting the influence [of the richest] is of the utmost importance... so that today's upper-class, high-finance capitalism can once again revert to being a capitalism of the real economy and the societal center."
The question that remains to be answered is whether the economy and the financial markets are strong enough to stand on their own this time? The last two times that QE has ended the economy slid towards negative growth and the markets suffered rather severe correction...
Greenspan told the CFR that "gold is a good place to put money these days given it's value as a currency outside of the policies conducted by governments." "Gold has always been accepted without reference to any other guarantee." When asked where the price of gold was headed in the next five years he said “higher --- measurably" ...
And then there is BusinessWeek, which quite to the contrary, is urging its readers in its cover story, ignore common sense, and do more of the same that has led the world to dead economic end it finds itself in currently. In fact, it is, in the words of NYT's Binyamin Appelbaum, calling the world governments to become the slaves of a defunct economist. And spend, spend, spend, preferably on credit. Because, supposedly, this time the resulting crash from yet another debt-funded binge will be... different?
"Gold is a good place to put money these days given its value as a currency outside of the policies conducted by governments." ... "I don’t think it’s possible" for the Fed to end its easy-money policies in a trouble-free manner. ... "Effective demand is dead in the water" and the effort to boost it via bond buying "has not worked."
Congress gave the Fed a mandate to “promote maximum employment, production, and price stability”; it never explicitly authorized propping up stocks. Yet through a remarkable theoretical stretch called the “wealth effect,” that’s exactly what the Fed is doing.
The last time the stock market reached a fevered peak and began to wobble unexpectedly was August 2007. Markets were most definitely not in the classic “price discovery” business. Instead, the stock market had discovered the “goldilocks economy." But what is profoundly different this time is that the Fed is out of dry powder. Its can’t slash the discount rate as Bernanke did in August 2007 or continuously reduce it federal funds target on a trip from 6% all the way down to zero. Nor can it resort to massive balance sheet expansion. That card has been played and a replay would only spook the market even more. So this time is different. The gamblers are scampering around the casino fixing to buy the dip as soon as white smoke wafts from the Eccles Building. But none is coming. For the first time in 25- years, the Wall Street gamblers are home alone.
With this in mind we hope the Swiss people display their fierce independence and reject the advice of the "experts," many of whom got us into this mess, in favour of the policies that have kept them peaceful and prosperous for centuries ...
The old adage that if something is repeated often enough it is soon assumed to be true couldn’t be more apt with respect to the Fed’s 2% inflation target. That Keynesian central bankers peddle this nostrum with a straight face is amazing in itself, but it is at least understandable because it gives them a reason to keep the printing presses humming. That journalists repeat it with no questions asked is even more remarkable. It proves that the impending replacement of financial journalists with robo-writers may not be so bad after all. It won’t make any real difference.
Coincidence … Or Something More?
We have been discussing the widespread belief in "the narrative of central bank omnipotence" for a number of months (here and here most recently) as we noted "there are no more skeptics. To update Milton Friedman’s famous quote, we are all Bernankians now." So when Saxobank's CIO and Chief Economist Steen Jakobsen warns that "the mood has changed," and feedback from conference calls and speaking engagements tells him, there is a growing belief that the 'narrative of the central banks' is failing, we sit up and listen.
Copious amounts of monetary whiskey have been downed in the global economy and yet the recovery remains weak at best. The mother of all monetary hangovers awaits us all and will likely manifest in stagflation and sharply higher inflation.
For the US, it’s now shooting fish in a barrel – but just for now. The three-pronged plan the Fed has started to execute is plain for everyone to see... And it will have the rest of the world begging for mercy.