Can Trump-economics prevent the asset price inflation now infecting the global economy - with its origins in the radical monetary experiment under the Obama Administration - from moving on to its late deadly phase?
Most of the 90 minutes last night was a waste - with both candidates lobbing well-worn clichés, slogans and sound bites at the audience and each other.But there was one brief moment that made it all worthwhile.
"A general acceptance of the principles of the flexible standard must therefore result in a race between the nations to outbid one another. At the end of this competition is the complete destruction of all nations’ monetary systems."
In today’s world of flexible just-in-time production, hours-based labor scheduling and gig-based employment patterns, there is really no such standardized labor unit as a “job”. In that context, a simple paint-by-the-numbers exercise demonstrates the foolishness of the Fed’s obsession with hitting a quantitative “full employment” target.
Greenspan’s phony disinflation success led to the Fed’s embrace of fully mobilized and massively intrusive monetary policy in the guise of the Great Moderation and the wealth effects theory of financial asset levitation. In due course, Greenspan’s self-aggrandizing but purely experimental forays of massive central bank intrusion in the financial markets were supplanted by the hard-core Keynesian model of Bernanke and Yellen. Alas, they operated under the grand illusion that a domestic wage and price spiral would tell them when the domestic GDP bathtub was filled to the full employment brim, and therefore when to lift their foot from the monetary accelerator. It never happened, and they never did. The era of Lite Touch monetary policy was by now ancient history.
The world of Bubble Finance economies created by the Fed and other central banks is fundamentally different than that prevailing under the “Lite Touch” monetary policies which preceded the Greenspan era. The problem today is that the PhDs running the Fed have an economic model which is a relic of the Lite Touch era. It is not only utterly irrelevant in today’s casino driven system, but is actually tantamount to a blindfold. It causes them to look at a dashboard full of lagging indicators like jobs and GDP components, while ignoring the explosive leading indicators starring them in the face on CNBC. The clueless inhabitants of the Eccles Building do not recognize that they have created a world in which Wall Street supersedes main street.
The failure of the Fed’s policies of massive money creation, corporate bailouts, and quantitative easing to produce economic growth is a sign that the fiat money system’s day of reckoning is near. The only way to prevent the monetary system’s inevitable crash from causing a major economic crisis is the restoration of a free-market monetary policy.
As we noted in Part 1, this central bank fueled boom will ultimately be paid for in the form of a prolonged deflationary contraction. On the morning after, of course, it will be asked why the central banks were permitted to engineer this fantastic financial and economic bubble. The short answer is that it was done so that monetary central planners could smooth and optimize the business cycle and save world capitalism from its purported tendency toward instability, underperformance and depressionary collapse. In Part 2, the whole case for this sweeping and unprecedented Keynesian demand management by the monetary authorities was a crock. Accordingly, the days of the Warren Buffet economy are indeed numbered.
In recent weeks, the Fed and its apologists in Congress and the media have launched numerous attacks on the 'Audit the Fed' legislation. These attacks amount to nothing more than distortions about the effects and intent of the audit bill. For over a century, the Fed has operated in secrecy, to the benefit of the elites and the detriment of the people. It is time to finally bring transparency to monetary policy by auditing the Federal Reserve.
What in god’s name does Janet Yellen think she is doing? Just a few weeks ago she established the ridiculous Fedspeak convention that “patient” means money market rates will not rise from the zero bound for at least two meetings. Now she has modified that message into “not exactly”.
The earnings season is all over except for the shouting, but the outcome doesn’t remotely validate Wall Street’s happy times narrative. Reported Q4 earnings for the S&P 500 companies (with about two-thirds reporting) stand at $25.02 per share compared to $26.48 in the year ago quarter. That’s right. So far Q4 profits are down 5% but shrinking corporate profits is something that you most definitely have not heard about on bubble vision. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We have had a tremendous inflation of PE multiples during the last three years in anticipation, apparently, of the US economy hitting escape velocity and the overall global economy continuing to power onwards and upwards. As is evident from the financial news and “incoming” data, however, that presumption is not remotely correct.
Since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, the dollar has lost over 97 percent of its purchasing power, the US economy has been subjected to a series of painful Federal Reserve-created recessions and depressions, and government has grown to dangerous levels thanks to the Fed’s policy of monetizing the debt. Yet the Federal Reserve still operates under a congressionally-created shroud of secrecy. No wonder almost 75 percent of the American public supports legislation to audit the Federal Reserve.
In the great fiscal scheme of things, October 22, 1981 seems like only yesterday. That’s the day the US public debt crossed the $1 trillion mark for the first time. It had taken the nation 74,984 days to get there (205 years). What prompts this reflection is that just a few days ago the national debt breached the $18 trillion mark; and the last trillion was added in hardly 365 days.