Guest Post: Central Banks Are Chomping At The Bit

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum of Acting Man blog,

Perpetual 'QE'

In recent days, numerous central bank bureaucrats have given us hints that another round of pump priming is more or less imminent. It started with John Williams, president of the San Francisco Fed who mused about 'QE without a limit'. The FT reported:


The US will make little progress tackling high unemployment before 2014 unless the Federal Reserve eases policy further, one of the central bank’s leading officials has warned in the run-up to a meeting next week where the option of “QE3” will be on the table.

The comments by John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, show how the weak economy is pushing the central bank towards action to support growth.




If the Fed launched another round of quantitative easing, Mr Williams suggested that buying mortgage-backed securities rather than Treasuries would have a stronger effect on financial conditions. "There’s a lot more you can buy without interfering with market function and you maybe get a little more bang for the buck," he said.


He added that there would also be benefits in having an open-ended programme of QE, where the ultimate amount of purchases was not fixed in advance like the $600bn “QE2” programme launched in November 2010 but rather adjusted according to economic conditions.


"The main benefit from my point of view is it will get the markets to stop focusing on the terminal date [when a programme of purchases ends] and also focusing on, ‘Oh, are they going to do QE3?’" he said. Instead, markets would adjust their expectation of Fed purchases as economic conditions changed.


(emphasis added)

Mr. Williams, so the FT, is thought to be 'close to the center of gravity' on the FOMC. We take this to mean that he has the helicopter pilot's ear.

So if indeed the Fed were to embark on 'open-ended QE' that is predicated on developments in the vaunted 'economic data', or putting it differently, is dependent on recent economic history (a method also known as 'driving forward with one's eyes firmly fixed on the rear-view mirror'), what happens if said data fail to improve?

Will the Fed then just keep printing forever and ever? As an aside, financial markets are already trained to adjust their expectations regarding central bank policy according to their perceptions about economic conditions. There is a feedback loop between central bank policy and market behavior.

This can easily be seen in the behavior of the US stock market: recent evidence of economic conditions worsening at a fairly fast pace has not led to a big decline in stock prices, as people already speculate on the next 'QE' type bailout. This strategy is of course self-defeating, as it is politically difficult for the Fed to justify more money printing while the stock market remains at a lofty level.

Of course the stock market's level is officially not part of the Fed's mandate, but the central bank clearly keeps a close eye on market conditions. Besides, the 'success' of 'QE2' according to Ben Bernanke was inter alia proved by a big rally in stocks. Such increases in stock prices are seen as a spur to spending, as the perceived wealth of stockholders increases. In the view of Bernanke and his colleagues, spending is what it's all about. The central bank chief holds that we can consume ourselves to prosperity. It follows from this that one should also be able to print and deficit spend oneself to prosperity, but oddly enough, it hasn't worked thus far. A reason to revisit long-cherished beliefs? Not at all! We must 'do more' of what hasn't worked thus far.



Following an unexpected earnings miss by market bellwether AAPL, the stock market had a perfect opportunity to sell off, but went sideways instead. Mr. Hilsenrath's piece I the WSJ (see further below) may well have provided the rationale - click for better resolution.



The remarks of Williams were then given another boost by Sarah Bloom Raskin, who announced the the upcoming FOMC meeting would be used to 'debate the benefits of a new bond buying plan'.

According to Bloomberg:


Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin said the Fed next week will debate whether to begin a program to speed economic growth and reduce unemployment through large-scale purchases of bonds.


Another round of Treasury purchases "is something that will be debated in the upcoming FOMC meeting," Raskin said yesterday in response to audience questions after a speech in Boulder, Colorado, referring to the Federal Open Market Committee. “It will be debated against the backdrop of the dual mandate” to ensure stable prices and maximum employment.

(emphasis added)

We once suggested that the writing of the bureaucratese FOMC statements could be delegated to something akin to the postmodernism generator. Just put a collection of stock phrases into a computer program that then prints them out at random in grammatically correct sentences. Mrs. Bloom-Raskin already sounds as if she were connected to one.

However, the final confirmation that something is in the works came yesterday when Jon Hilsenrath of the WSJ penned an article entitled 'Fed Moving Closer to Action'. Everybody knows by now that Hilsenrath is the media mouthpiece employed by the Fed. Kind of like the Oracle of Delphi, only with greater accuracy. In fact, Western media have become like the Pravda of the Soviet Union. They are no longer engaged in journalism, they simply relay vetted messages from government officials. The astonishing thing is that they no longer even try to deny it – see this recent article in the NYT, in which it is openly admitted that in order to 'retain access', every word emanating from the presidential campaigns or the White House has to be 'approved' by the apparatchiks before it sees print. Anything even remotely controversial is duly blotted out. These days, if you really want the truth ('pravda' ironically is the Russian word for 'truth'), you apparently actually have to watch Russian TV stations (such as RT) and read Russian newspapers.

Anyway, Hilsenrath writes:

Federal Reserve officials, impatient with the economy's sluggish growth and high unemployment, are moving closer to taking new steps to spur activity and hiring.

Since their June policy meeting, officials have made clear—in interviews, speeches and testimony to Congress—that they find the current state of the economy unacceptable. Many officials appear increasingly inclined to move unless they see evidence soon that activity is picking up on its own.


Amid the recent wave of disappointing economic news, conversation inside the Fed has turned more intensely toward the questions of how and when to move. Central bank officials could take new steps at their meeting next week, July 31 and Aug. 1, though they might wait until their September meeting to accumulate more information on the pace of growth and job gains before deciding whether to act.


Fed officials could take some actions in combination or one after another. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, in testimony to Congress last week, listed several options under consideration, including a new program of buying mortgage-backed or Treasury securities, new commitments to keep short-term interest rates near zero beyond 2014 or an effort to push already-low benchmark short-term interest rates even lower. 

(emphasis added)

It seems pretty clear from all this that mortgage backed bonds will be the vehicle of choice (see also comments by Alan Blinder in an op-ed at the WSJ, were he discusses the methods the Fed could use to get bank credit inflation going again). This is probably the preferred option because of the perceived shortage of highly rated collateral in the market. Moreover, it doesn't smack so much of the Fed financing the government, even though technically speaking it only ever buys already existing treasury debt from third parties – albeit sometimes within days of it coming into existence.

To the extent that the Fed buys securities from non-banks, deposit money in the system will increase directly. If it buys securities only from banks, it may well end up mainly increasing excess bank reserves deposited at the Fed. However, banks are avid buyers of treasuries themselves, so the funds do indirectly tend to support government spending (it is easy for fractionally reserved banks sitting on a mountain of excess reserves to create deposits in favor of the government).



Treasury securities held by commercial banks - click for better resolution.



Given that the only goal of more 'QE' can be to goose the money supply (failing that, it would have zero effect), the question should be: is there too little money in the economy? Judge for yourself:



The US broad true money supply TMS-2, via Michael Pollaro. It has increased from $5.3 trillion at the beginning of 2008 to $8.719 trillion as of the end of June 2012 - click for better resolution.



Of course the above is a bit of a trick question. The money supply can never be 'too small'. Any size of money supply will be as good as any other to render the services money is supposed to render. Numbers in accounts are really meaningless per se – it is not important how much money there is, but what it can buy. Today, a dollar buys 97% fewer goods and services (a rough estimate) than 100 years ago. Evidently if things that cost $100 today were to cost $3 as they did in the year of the Fed's founding, we could make do with a far smaller money supply.

Increasing the money supply however always has ill effects, even though a temporary 'sugar high' for the economy can often be bought that way. If increasing the money supply were a good thing, then everybody should be allowed to contribute to the exercise, since one can never have enough of a good thing. We should all have the right to run our private printing presses – after all, what difference can it possible make whether the Fed prints the money or the commercial banks create new deposits, or everybody gets in on the act? If additions to the money supply are desirable, why should Joe Six-Pack's privately printed notes not also be desirable?

It is by posing such simple questions that one can immediately unmask the absurdity of the Fed's activities.


What Printing Money Does – The Credit Cycle versus Government Directed Inflation

Of course money is not 'neutral'. If the Fed were to increase everyone's money holdings pro rata by the exact same percentage on the same day, then it would be clear to all that it would make no difference – nobody would be any richer, and merchants would raise all prices by this exact percentage on that very day. We would expect them to, and they would be foolish not to do it.

However, money enters the economy at discrete points. This has redistributive effects, as the early receivers will profit at the expense of later receivers. It also means that a price revolution will inevitably occur: it is irrelevant whether 'CPI' rises or not. Prices will be altered relative to one another. Once the money has percolated through the economy, the price structure will be different from what it was before and from what it would have been absent the inflation.

If commercial banks create new deposits by granting credit, then to the extent that such credit creation is new money from thin air 'backed' by fractional reserves, we will experience the usual trade cycle: factors of production will be drawn to higher order goods production at the expense of the middle and later stages of the production structure and once the boom is underway, consumption will increase as illusory accounting profits are spent. Capital will be ultimately be consumed. The inter-temporal coordination between production and consumption will be disturbed, as the fiduciary media that come to the loan market lower interest rates and create the false impression that the pool of voluntary real savings is larger than it really is. More distant stages will tend to be added to production structure, i.e. very long term investment projects that suddenly appear to be profitable. However, the real resources to bring these projects to fruition do not really exist – eventually many of them will have to be abandoned (countless ghost towns in Spain are testament to this fact). It will also invariably turn out that businesses have invested in the wrong lines. Whether they disagree with actual consumer demand or must be abandoned for lack of complementary capital, countless malinvestments will inevitably be unmasked when the boom ends.

The case of a central bank and government directed inflation is slightly different. If banks lend to money from thin air to businesses and consumers, the market interest rate will tend to be depressed below the societal rate of time preference. The business cycle briefly outlined above will result. Since a feature of the business cycle is that a production structure is erected the length of which can not be supported by the economy's pool of real funding – a production structure that ties up more consumer goods than it releases – we speak of intertemporal discoordination. The discoordination is between consumption and production schedules: had consumers really saved more, then it would be clear that they are abstaining from consumption in the present with the aim of being able to consume more in the future. But the market interest rate is falsified. It only appears as though they were abstaining from present consumption, in reality their desire to save and thus their consumption schedule has not changed. However, the lower interest rate interferes with production – a lengthened production structure will require more time to produce consumer goods. If sufficient savings were indeed available, it would eventually produce more consumer goods than previously. In an artificial credit cycle, the expected future consumer demand will never materialize.

If banks lend directly to the government (a process which the buying of securities by the Fed aids and abets), then the government spends those funds directly. It does not offer them as loans to businesses, it spends them on government consumption. This will also distort the production structure, but the disturbance will be an intra-temporal discoordination. Certain business branches that are favored by government largesse will see rising prices and will be induced to expand. The result will once again be a production structure that fundamentally disagrees with the wishes of consumers. A good example of this are the failed investments in 'green energy' the government has undertaken in the course of its stimulus program. These projects certainly squander scarce resources that could be put to better use in satisfying actual consumer wants. Profit and loss accounting for such projects is a fiction. We have discussed examples of these failed projects in more detail here (scroll down to 'Stimulus Fail').

Ludwig von Mises explains the process as follows (in Human Action, p. 568):

“Legally the bank becomes the treasury's creditor. In fact the whole transaction amounts to fiat money inflation. The additional fiduciary media enter the market by way of the treasury as payment for various items of government expenditure. It is this additional government demand that incites business to expand its activities. The issuance of these newly created fiat money sums does not directly interfere with the gross market rate of interest, whatever the rate of interest may be which the government pays to the bank. They affect the loan market and the gross market rate of interest, apart from the emergence of a positive price premium, only if a part of them reaches the loan market at a time at which their effects upon commodity prices and wage rates have not yet been consummated.”

An explanatory note: the 'price premium' is the premium on interest rates that accounts for the expected future decline in money's purchasing power. At the moment this price premium is very low, as economic uncertainty has led to an increase in the demand for money (cash holdings). It is e.g. well known that corporations hold large amounts of cash. At the same time, the inflationary policy is still widely thought to be a temporary phenomenon. 'Inflation' in the sense of a rise in the 'general price level' as measured by CPI is held to be a phenomenon that the central bank has 'under control'. It remains to be seen whether this faith persists if 'QE' becomes open-ended.


The ECB's and BoE's Failure to Inflate The Money Supply

Contrary to the Fed, both the BoE an the ECB have been unable to spur money supply inflation since the crisis in the euro area began. Banks are under pressure and are calling in loans in an attempt to shrink their overleveraged balance sheets. Moreover, in the euro area, they find themselves constrained in making loans to governments that are themselves at risk of insolvency and can no longer print their own money. These governments in turn are forced to adopt austerity measures, so there is no way for additional money to enter the economy in the absence of private sector credit expansion and concurrent reductions in government spending.

Countries like Spain that have experienced massive credit booms and malinvestment orgies prior to the onset of the crisis are therefore feeling the full brunt of the contraction that follows on the heels of such a bubble. Unfortunately this has so far not meant that unsound credit was liquidated. The euro-system still allows for the surreptitious funding of de facto insolvent banks via ELA (emergency liquidity assistance) and moreover enables deposit flight and current account deficits that are financed with central bank money through TARGET-2. This blunts the severity of the economic downturn only marginally, but it clearly delays its resolution.

Although ECB board members including Mario Draghi himself often reiterate that they 'see no risk of deflation' for the euro area, the risk is far greater in the euro area than in the US. They refer to prices and not the money supply, but as we have often pointed out, money supply inflation has slowed to a crawl after the initial burst in growth following the 2007/8 GFC. In the UK, year-on-year money TMS growth has fallen to zero, while the broader measure M4 has declined by 3.5% over the past year. In the euro area, year-on-year growth of money TMS stands at 3.4% as of June which is an interim high actually, as even lower growth was observed throughout 2011.



UK money supply growth stalls out in spite of a massive increase in BoE credit via 'QE' - click for better resolution.



Euro area money supply growth and ECB credit – another example of a central bank 'pushing on a string' - click for better resolution.



Presumably at least some people at the central banks must be aware of this and are likely thinking about ways to counter it. After all, deflation is thought to be 'bad'. The BoE is introducing a scheme in concert with the treasury that is designed to spur lending to businesses by allowing the banks to discount corporate loans with the central bank.

The ECB is mulling various other methods of prodding banks into increasing their inflationary lending. Among the measures considered is the lowering of the deposit rate into negative territory, this is to say imposing a penalty rate for holding excess reserves with the central bank. The lowering of the deposit rate to zero at the last ECB meeting was apparently only the first step, but it has already shown why this method probably won't work.

The banks have simply transferred excess reserves to their current accounts in the euro system. This combines operational flexibility with the same degree of safety, while from an interest rate standpoint the situation is the same: they get zero. Investors are even prepared to endure penalty rates of varying sizes by lending short term funds to certain governments such as Germany's and Switzerland's at negative interest rates. They pay a small price for perceived 'safety', while at the same time placing a bet on eventual currency appreciation.

Note also that excess reserves are the equivalent of cash assets to the banks. If the central bank imposes a negative interest rate on such holdings, and e.g. imposes a limit on the amounts that can be held in the current account facility, the banks may simply begin to hoard vault cash. While this is inconvenient, there is no legal impediment to such an operation. We would certainly see an increase in the money supply then, as the currency component would climb, but if this money is simply put into vaults to gather dust, then it may as well sit on the ECB's deposit facility – this is to say it would have to be considered as remaining outside of the economy. This would change only if depositors became nervous about the euro's future purchasing power and began to withdraw money in order to spend it before it loses its value.

The latest proposal – which to be sure is not new, but was hitherto considered 'DOA' – was voiced by Austrian central bank governor and member of the ECB council Ewald Nowotny, who appears to be warming to the idea to give the planned ESM bailout facility a banking license. This would allow the bailout vehicle to function as the ECB's 'QE' arm, as it could for instance buy the bonds of Spain and Italy, and then rediscount them with the central bank and pyramid new loans atop the ones it can extend by using its own capital.

Bloomberg reports:


European Central Bank council member Ewald Nowotny said there are arguments in favor of giving Europe’s rescue fund a banking license, reviving the debate on bolstering its firepower as leaders face the prospect of a full- scale Spanish bailout.


I think there are pro arguments for this,” Nowotny, who heads Austria’s central bank, said in an interview in his office in Vienna yesterday. “There are also other arguments, but I would see this as an ongoing discussion,” he said, adding he’s “not aware of specific discussions within the ECB at this point.”


Granting a banking license to Europe’s permanent bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, would give it access to ECB lending, easing concerns that its 500 billion-euro ($602.5 billion) cash pot won’t be enough if Spain or Italy require aid. While ECB President Mario Draghi said on May 24 that such a move amounts to the central bank financing governments, which is prohibited by European Union law, publicly-owned credit institutions such as the European Investment Bank are exempt.


“It is not something that is only in the field of monetary policy, so this is part of a broad discussion,” Nowotny said. He declined to elaborate.”

(emphasis added)

In other words, even though Mario Draghi asserts that giving the ESM a banking license would contravene the prohibition of central bank funding of governments, there is already an example of a publicly-owned, EU-run institution that indeed has such a license. To be sure, the EIB does not buy government securities, but it lends not only to businesses in the EU, it also supports government sponsored investments.

We conclude from the above that the debate over the banking license for the ESM is not quite dead yet – it was merely in a state of temporary catatonia. The rather non-committal sounding mentioning of the possibility by Nowotny was enough to shave nearly 40 basis points off Spain's 10 year government bond yield within minutes. It is quite possible that this was a 'trial balloon' to see how the markets would react. One must not forget, the things that are fed to the mainstream media are rarely unplanned off-the-cuff remarks, there is quite often a definitive aim behind them.



Spain's 10 year government bond yield, a weekly candlestick chart. The long upper shadow was produced in intraday trading on Wednesday; yields had initially shot up to 7.73%, but then closed at 7.36% - click for better resolution.



Addendum: A Few Interesting Charts

Below are a few charts we have come across that we believe our readers may find interesting. UK GDP fell rather unexpectedly sharply, and the pound fell with it. Recent food price increases have yet to spark the interest of a wider swathe of the internet population. Germany's business confidence is in steep decline and lastly, gold looks like it may break higher in dollar terms soon.



The intraday move in the British pound after the release of GDP data showing a rather severe contraction on Wednesday - click for better resolution.



Agricultural prices versus Google searches for 'food inflation'. A curious gap has opened up.



Germany's IFO business climate indexes. All three indexes have declined to lower lows.



The gold price in US dollar terms – is a breakout coming soon? – click for better resolution.

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veyron's picture

when will we see QE4?

FieldingMellish's picture

I think the next QE will be a rolling one with no fixed termination date and no final value. No need to number them after that.

The Monkey's picture

A "self correcting" monetary policy where bad news means more open market purchases and higher asset prices. Double down on the dynamic already in place today - no matter the severe distortions.

What a fucking disaster. These guys need to be locked away in a rubber room.

NewThor's picture

Where is the proof that QE 1 or QE 2 had any positive effect on unemployment?

Drives me nuts that they can con people into believing that taking worthless MBS off banks hands will help humans.


boogerbently's picture

The proof is in the "pudding".

In the face of a continually downward spiralling economy, we are at DOW 13,000.

It's funny to watch the sheep, and how much wiser the wolf has become.

BenB used to say yes or no, and the market would react accordingly. Now, he has learned he can get positive results just by  hinting at QE. By saying it's possible.........maybe......LOL

He has learned from the EU, just SAYING you might do something is as effective (and less costly) as doing it.

Maybe we can just trot Ben out every 3 months or so to say he's "considering" QE.

flacon's picture

Best to leave the hard work to the Ph.Dees post-doctorate Nobel Prize winners - commoners and peasants have no business dabbling in the finer science of banking:

dy/dx = 8+32x+18y+72xy

dy/dx = 2 (4x + 1) (9y + 4)
dy / (9y + 4) = 2 S (4x + 1) dx
1/9 ln|9y + 4| = 2x (2x + 1) + C

Answer: 2x (2x + 1) - 1/9 ln|9y + 4| = C

Because the differential equation is separable, we can define the solution curve implicitly by a function in the form F(x,y) = G(x)+ H(y)= K


AUD's picture

No, you need to be locked in a rubber room for accepting the bad credit of the Federal Reserve Bank.

As long as they can pass bad cheques to chumps, nothing much changes. The Fed is already insolvent.

Bill D. Cat's picture

Open ended QE is where they're heading with this . Why print when you can hint at printing and get the same results ?

Element's picture


"when will we see QE4?"


My guess is in between global recession #2 and #3.

fonzannoon's picture

I can't wait for them to do qe3. Maybe they get a 1 day rally out of the announcement. Then when it starts to get ugly the stampede won't know which way to run. Out of stocks into bonds? Out of bonds into commodities? There will be trader carcasses everwhere.

The Monkey's picture

You may be surprised. A rally might go a lot further than you think.

boogerbently's picture

We all can profit from them. We just need advanced warning when it's the LAST QE, so we can get out.

Habyarimana's picture

Mario, he did it to-day, bla bla bla bla bla.....

and tomorrow they all will join the openingceremonies for the olympics and spend a nice sunny weekend in London,

and on next monday it will be business as usual bla bla bla bla....

Marcuz Aurelius's picture

Stockholm Syndrome much yes, it's like the Russian people longing back to IOSEF Stalin. In soviet EUSSR and USSA central bank money prints you !

Raymond Reason's picture

QEs are finished.  Printing debases the dollar which is their hold on power.  It is career suicide for them to print.  They will only print when they are forced to......which will be enough to kill them anyway. Bank failures and deficit funding shortfalls. 

kito's picture

+1 you get it raymond..few others do....

NewThor's picture

With every country doing a type of QE, it seems that they're all debasing their currency together, making the cancer kill the economy slower.

Hype Alert's picture

The only choice they have other than printing is to threaten to print and they've about used that up.  Printing is self defeating, but arrogance may push them into threatening to print a lot and only printing a little or none at all.  One of the main problems is that debt is a result of spending and printing will increase the cost of what they are spending on and therefore increase the debt in an endless cycle.  Zimbabwe and Weimer Republic went into that spiral.  We are on the edge and the market is demanding it.  It's a path we should have never gone down.

steveo77's picture

That dont matter, here we are.    

LMAOLORI's picture


It's a path we should have never gone down. It's a path we should have never gone down.It's a path we should have never gone down.It's a path we should have never gone down.It's a path we should have never gone down.

That can't be said enough! All the printing has done is enrich Wall Street at the expense of Main Street. Bernanke is using Marx's Reflexivity Theory but the masses don't feel richer and they aren't richer.  The Fed policies have allowed asset prices to increase but not wages (that is for those who still have jobs and many who are working are only working part time).


You mentioned Weimar. I can't tell if Ambrose Evan's-Pritchard is being sarcastic or if he really means this & if so I must be missing something because I don't see how he can come to the conclusion Weimar w/out Weimar hyperinflation maybe someone can explain it???...

Weimar solution beckons as manufacturing crashes in US Fifth District?

BeerBrewer09's picture

QEs are finished.  Printing debases the dollar which is their hold on power.  It is career suicide for them to print.  They will only print when they are forced to......which will be enough to kill them anyway. Bank failures and deficit funding shortfalls.

They will continue to print, digitize, expand monetary base. Whatever you want to call it, it prolongs their stranglehold over all of us. Printing is an easy way to steal wealth from everyone without them even knowing it. My friend, who holds a Master's Degree in International Relations and is quite a bright person, had no idea what I meant recently when I used the term "QE3". How do you think J6P is going to respond to QE3? They have no clue other than the fact that gas/food/electricity goes up in price, which our media blames on Iran/drought/China/Europe.

It would be catastrophic for TPTB to have a severe stock market crash/defaults/unfunded programs because *most* people would actually become aware of a problem. They are trying to time everything perfectly, which they seem to be doing. They will expand the monetary base until infinity because it is the most cowardly course of action to take. They will end up with all the chips, while all of us are sapped of resources.

Give me one good reason why these sociopaths would allow themselves to default?

Bam_Man's picture

I beg to differ.

The stock market has most definitely become part of the Fed's "mandate" now that ZIRP has been extended indefintely. There is no other way for pension funds and insurance companies to stay "technically" solvent. With bond yields at these levels, there is no possibility of earning anywhere near the 8%+ "target return" that these institutional investors must achieve to be able to pay out benefits.

kito's picture

bam man, the stock market is the ONLY mandate left for the fed........he has lost the housing battle, he has lost the employment battle, the last bastion is the dow........the dow is the golden calf.......the entire population bows to it........everything is tied up in the dow....every pension fund, every 401k, every ira......if that goes, and ben finds it a losing battle to keep the dow afloat, he WILL NOT DESTROY THE DOLLAR IN AN ENDLESS PRINTFEST......he knows the country will go down in flames no matter what....his allegience isnt to this country......its to the chance he prints the dollar into would sooner call for a gold backed dollar before destroying it by printing it to confetti....

NewThor's picture

The collapse of the Federal Reserve system doesn't = America going down in flames.

In death of an old system and the total void of leadership, we may find true leaders rising with the blueprints for a real and prosperous resource based system.

....and the Heroes wait for their day.


DanDaley's picture

Love the optimism, but just wondering how many profound social uphevals in the last, say, 500 years have ended well? Best batten down the hatches to ride out a cat-5 hurricane.

J 457's picture

Kito, many Americans have little money in their 401k and no pension or IRA, so they could really care less if the DOW is at 4,000 or 14,000.  Yes, they understand it may impact them indirectly, but the few people among the masses paying attention are more worried about taxes and debt and useless govt spending.

BeerBrewer09's picture

He will print concurrently with other central banks, as they are currently doing. Besides, the US military backs the dollar. This all leads to war. Printing is easy because it gives money to those with money, increasing their power.

Lady Heather...UNCLE's picture

What we have here is like an Escher painting...or like some perpetual motion machine that defies physics. The central banks can print infinite fiat. Governments can thus issue infinite debt to provide voters with lollies like benefits etc. If interest rates look like rising, the central banks QE. They can credit their bank accounts with say 15trillion to buy ALL US public debt. Interests rate stay at 1%. Stocks stay steady. Perfect world...and it can go on for YEARS. Inflation you say? Not in a world with no jobs...margin compression will keep stocks from soaring but they wont go down much. This is the perfect controlled long as people continue to not understand what money is. The American populace (in general) is 20 years away from understanding this. This game will continue for a generation. The Feds have won and the monied elite will buy EVERY hard asset in the next 25 years...Truly they shall become as Gods.

El Oregonian's picture

Slight problem... Here on the west coast the coastal indians, as a form of trade, used unique and hard to gather shells as their form of currency because of the difficulty of collecting the best ones, the worth of those rose significantly.

Now, if they were, lets say, gathering sand as currency that would be crazy since the coastline extends thousands and thousands of miles making sand virtually worthless or worth very little as a commodity. Hence, with dollars printed in abundance such as sand would make it also virtually worthless.

Like the shifting of the tides the limits of the dollar will erode to be replaced with a new barrier against the ocean of destruction.

Gods? I think not, probable victims of shipwrecks would be more plausible.

rex-lacrymarum's picture

I would agree that it can go on a lot longer than many people expect. There will be a threshold somewhere, but it is impossible to know when it will be crossed. One reason for believing that it can go on for quite some time is that the amount of accumulated wealth that can be squandered is quite large. The Soviet Union survived with an economic system that could not even calculate for seven decades, and it had far less real wealth it could consume (although it got a bit of a shot in the arm through the post WW2 annexation of the former Eastern Bloc nations in Europe). 

JustObserving's picture

I am chomping at the bit too.  Get gold to $2000 an ounce and silver to $40 by printing trillions.  And the promise of eternal printing will give an eternal lift to gold and silver.

Pater Tenebrarum is one of the more cerebral bloggers and good to see him make an appearance on Zero Hedge.  Hope this is the first of many more.

HungrySeagull's picture

Just 40?


*As Bob Barker -Higher!

Lady Heather...UNCLE's picture

...I think it's "champing" at the bit

Temporalist's picture

It's a common error but you're correct.

JustObserving's picture

Both are correct:


Alternative forms [edit]Etymology

Variant of champ at the bit, recasting it as chomp "to chew noisily" + bit "part of a horse's harness held in its mouth"; horses tend to chew on their bits when impatient at waiting.


kito's picture

Central Banks Are Chomping At The Bit......


no, the ones who have been making incessant calls about bernanke printing to the moon are the ones chomping at the bit.....common sense people, he isnt printing pre election......

sschu's picture

So many graphics, words and charts.  Who has time for it all?

The question is will some sort of monetization effectively improve the economy and reduce unemployment?  The answer to that question is of course a resounding no.  How many times do we need to try the same thing over again before we come to grips with the truth?

Therefore, if there is another QE, whatever form it takes, the real question is why they are doing such?  If QE proceeds, they then become either foolish or evil.  Not good choices, but you pick em.


deflator's picture

No, them thats closest to the great fountain of, "money" that central banks create out of thin air are chompin' at the bit for the next round of, "easing".

 You know, the same ones that have been talking the deflation book?



Seize Mars's picture

This is a great article. It would be difficult to overstate the magnitude of this SHITSHOW.

This is a great characterization of the epic malinvestment that continues to compound in the system. Will the world ever recover from the destruction of central planning? Who knows.


falak pema's picture

central planning imposed by US Oligarchy to save their own skins. Capitalism has morphed into statism; as Marx said it would. Sad, sad day; sitting on the dock of the Bay watching the...

RobotTrader's picture

If there is no QE and the market climbs a wall of worry anyway and makes new 4-year highs there are going to be a lot of "acclaimed experts" with egg on their face.

LooseLee's picture

Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin said the Fed next week will debate whether to begin a program to speed economic growth and reduce unemployment through large-scale purchases of bonds.

This is a false premise according to any logic I am aware of. How will a large scale purchase of bonds increase demand for anything in the real economy? They have done this again and again and it doesn't increase growth (maybe on paper) nor reduce unemployment. If this is what these central planners really believe, we are in for a more painful reality than I had previously thought...

LooseLee's picture

Again, most of the U.S. population has too much debt and stagnant wages. No amount of Fed money printing will enable these people to increase consumption unless they add zeroes to individual checking accounts. That ain't gonna happen. Very few Americans are in a position to increase consumption. Those that are won't be able to move the needle. We have reached the limits of the debt super-cycle. Moreover, more money printing is going to agitate many conservative Americans. I think Shalom holds pat for an emergency. His quiver is nearly empty and he must have some ammo when things start getting bad in 2013...They are doing what they can to keep markets levitated because they know they are at the edge of a precipice. However, the 2009 to current cycle is nearing its end and things are 'naturally' turning down.

thad78's picture

QE 3 will happen: that just how this Fed works.But why not tie it to the ZIRP date- something like' 750bn as nesseccary and unchanged ZIRP until 31 Dec 2015' & then that's the last Fed statement for the year.   At least then all the traders & talking heads will have to discuss something that actually has to do with the market.

Feel free to punch as many holes in this as possible-other than the obvious 'ain't gonna happen'...

GernB's picture

"They are no longer engaged in journalism, they simply relay vetted messages from government officials."

If by vetted you mean that they vet that the person quoted said the thing being reported, sometime within their lifetime, either in or out of context, then I agree. However if you mean vetted as in the media checks the accuracy of what government officials say, then I'd ask: what kind of crack are you on.

rex-lacrymarum's picture

It was meant in the sense that the government officials have to give their placet to what can be reported and are able to edit whatever they said before it sees print. 

lindaamick's picture

Interest rates at zero indefinitely and money printing which causes rises in prices of useful goods throws retirees under the bus.

There is no upside for this group but then again, some of this group has money to be stolen so they are fair game.