QE3rd World

By: Robert Waxman | Sun, Apr 1, 2012
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When did "price stability" become 2% annual declines in the value of money? How do higher prices for consumables help anyone? Why can't we allow the free market to operate and set prices? Why have we given more responsibility to the Federal Reserve than the original act called for? When will we demand an "exit strategy" from Quantitative Easing? These are simple enough questions, and I, for one, want answers.

Stable prices imply a constant value of money as supply and demand work together to properly allocate resources. If the supply of gasoline were to fall dramatically then the price of gasoline should rise thus engendering the increased production of gasoline to meet demand which would, theoretically, stop prices from rising. It is doubtful that the world has experienced a 100% or greater demand for gasoline in the last 3.5 years yet the price has more than doubled in that time. The Federal Reserve has failed in its primary mandate. I want it to explain this.

Higher prices for food and fuel which are occurring cannot improve or hold constant the standard of living for most in the absence of commensurate wage/income increases which are not occurring. It seems logical that higher prices for the same goods and services in the absence of wage/income growth would cause a diminution of economic activity, but if more money is spent the formula says that we are experiencing "growth". That seems silly. Higher consumer prices do not help. Someone needs to tell Ben Bernanke that inflation isn't helping us.

The Federal Reserve has given itself credit for inflating stock prices and suppressing interest rates. Why must it act to thwart free markets in what was once known as the deepest and most liquid asset market environment in the world? Does the Federal Reserve realize that it is forcing retired people to spend principle simply to get by? Does it realize that eventually those people will run out of money and have nothing to pass on to those who would have been "heirs"? The "smart money" likes to buy when prices are low; if asset prices are subsidized how will the "smart money" know when to buy? I want this explained.

I've read that Martin Armstrong has said that the Federal Reserve has been given far more responsibility than it was originally designed for and that it cannot fulfill its load of mandates. Was something wrong with the original Federal Reserve Act or have we simply seen a "power grab" over the 99 years of its control over our "money"? It seems that the Federal Reserve is reaching for a solution to the problems that have arisen because of its existence. Studies have shown that crises have become larger and lasted longer since its inception, and few would argue that the concentration of wealth has become all the more acute under its rule. I would like the Federal Reserve to tell me how I am wrong.

If we allow the Federal Reserve to print more money and use it to buy assets then it seems to me that we are selling our future for our present, and that future will see the Federal reserve owning everything ever created. In addition we will likely see gas and food prices skyrocket which might be the catalyst for calls for an "exit strategy" from QE. Suppression of interest rates was designed to stop real estate prices from falling, but that strategy has been a total failure as we have seen the lowest readings ever for new home sales and mortgage purchase demand. I guess you can lead a horse to water...

All the machinations of the Federal Reserve have thrown a monkey wrench into the global economy, and proper resource allocation depends entirely on price signals that the free market is very good at providing. Manipulation of prices and interest rates has surely accelerated the inevitable adjustments that forty years of profligacy is certain to achieve. When money changers are the most rewarded people in society above and beyond producers and professionals you know that the end is near, and all we'll need, I fear, is one more round of QE to cement our status as a leading third world economy. Let the Constitution reign, and we have a chance to thrive; distort it further and welcome Marxism to our shores.

 


 

Author: Robert Waxman

Robert Waxman

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