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Peter Schiff: The Box That the Federal Reserve Is In

Peter Schiff: The Box That the Federal Reserve Is In

Jerome Powell and Janet Yellen testified jointly before the US Senate last week. Inflation was a big topic of conversation. The Fed chair continued to insist that the central can fight inflation if necessary, but that it really isn’t a problem we need to worry about right now. In his podcast, Peter Schiff said the truth is inflation is a problem. And when it comes to dealing with that problem, the Fed is in a box. It will never pick a fight that it can’t win.

The Federal Reserve balance sheet has swelled to a new record of over $7.72 trillion. It was up another $26.1 billion on the week last week. Peter said he expects this number to continue increasing at an even faster rate in the near future.

I would not be surprised to see the balance sheet hit $10 trillion by the end of 2021 because we have a lot of deficit spending in the pipeline and there is no way to pay for it other than the Federal Reserve.”

One of the questions directed toward Powell was about the Federal Reserve’s independence. Powell talked about how important it is. But Peter said the actions of the Fed chair show there’s really no independence at all.

There’s independence in form only, but not in substance. We pretend we have an independent Fed, but in reality, the Fed acts as if it’s just a branch of the US Treasury Department. The fact that both the secretary of the Treasury and the Fed chairman are testifying together shows a degree of cooperation. They’re working together and it seems that they are trying to coordinate their policies.”

The reason the Fed is keeping interest rates so low and expanding its balance sheet is to accommodate the US government as it spends more and more money.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

peter schiff, schiff gold, jerome powell, janet yellen, fed, us federal reserve, us treasury department, us senate, inflation, balance sheet

There’s a Serious Flaw to the Team Powell-Yellen Inflation Scheme

There’s a Serious Flaw to the Team Powell-Yellen Inflation Scheme

If you’re a wage earner, retiree, or a lowly saver, your wealth is in imminent danger.

A lifetime of schlepping and saving could be rapidly vaporized over the next several years.  In fact, the forces towards this end have already been set in motion.

Indeed, there are many forces at work.  But at the moment, the force above all forces is the extreme levels of money printing being jointly carried out by the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury.

Fed Chairman Jay Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have linked arms to crank up the printing presses in tandem.

This is what’s driving markets to price things – from copper to digital NFT art – in strange and shocking ways.  But what’s behind the money printing?

Surely it’s more than progressive politics – under the guise of virus recovery – run amok.

Where to begin?

The U.S. national debt is a good place to start.  And the U.S. national debt is now over $28 trillion.  Is that a big number?

As far as we can tell, $28 trillion is a really big number…even in the year 2021.  How do we know it’s a big number, aside from counting the twelve zeros that fall after the 28?

We know $28 trillion is a big number based on our everyday experience using dollars to buy goods and services.  You can still buy a lot of stuff with $28 trillion.  In truth, $28 trillion is so big it’s hard to comprehend.

Nonetheless, $28 trillion is not as big a number today as it was in 1950.  Back then, the relative bigness of $28 trillion was much larger.  It was unfathomable.

Crime of the Century

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

economic prism, mn gordon, janet yellen, inflation, jerome powell, fed, us federal reserve, central bank, stimulus, government stimulus, united states

Weekly Commentary: Powell on Inflation

Weekly Commentary: Powell on Inflation

The Treasury yield spike runs unabated. Ten-year Treasury yields rose another 10 bps this week to 1.72%, the high since January 23, 2020. The Treasury five-year “breakeven” inflation rate rose to 2.65% in Tuesday trading, the high since July 2008. The Philadelphia Fed’s Business Survey Prices Paid Index surged to a 41-year-high. In the New York Fed’s Manufacturing Index, indices of Prices Paid and Received both jumped to highs since 2011.
While crude oil’s notable 6.4% decline for the week spurred a moderate pullback in market inflation expectations (i.e. “breakeven rates”), this did not translate into any relief in the unfolding Treasury bear market.

Chairman Powell was widely lauded for his adept handling of Wednesday’s post-FOMC meeting press conference. He was well-prepared and could not have been more direct: The Federal Reserve will not anytime soon be contemplating a retreat from its ultra-dovish stance. It was music to the equities mania, as the Dow gained 190 points to trade above 33,000 for the first time. Treasury yields added a couple bps, but without any of the feared fireworks. Markets were breathing a sigh of relief.

Labored breathing returned Thursday. Ten-year Treasury yields spiked another 10 bps, trading above 1.75% for the first time since January 2020. And after trading as low as 0.76% during Powell’s press conference, five-year Treasury yields spiked to almost 0.90% in increasingly disorderly Thursday trading. The Nasdaq100 was slammed 3.1%, with the S&P500 sinking 1.5%.

The Treasury market would really like to take comfort from the Fed’s steadfast dovishness. It’s just been fundamental to so much. It’s worked incredibly well for so long. Not now. This raises a critical issue: Paradigm shift? Regime change? What’s driving Treasury yields these days? What is the bond market fearing? If it’s inflation, is Fed dovishness friend or foe?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

credit bubble bulletin, doug noland, inflation, price inflation, fed, us federal reserve, jerome powell

Powell, Do You Even Know What The Economy Is?

Powell, Do You Even Know What The Economy Is?

To Clarify, Main Street Is Not Wall Street

After all the destructive policies we have seen coming out of the Eccles Building, it may be time to ask Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, “Do you even know what the economy is?” All the easing and stimulus has taken us to a place we could call Bubbleville. It has bolstered asset prices and speculation but done little to help Main Street or generate a strong economy. This destructive force was unleashed long before Covid-19 came into the picture and hanging our economic misfortunes on the pandemic may sound reasonable but is far from accurate.History shows that misguided financial policies often end in  a crisis, in this case, it is likely to play out in massive inflation. Milton Friedman knew a bit about this, he said; The government benefits the first from new money creationmassively increases its imbalances, and blames inflation on the last recipients of the new money created, savers and the private sector, so it “solves” the inflation created by the government by taxing citizens again. Inflation is taxation without legislation. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeIeFUJ9EY

A comical Progressive Insurance commercial has a smooth-faced fella going on about his beard and apologizing for how he looks. Finally, a coworker asks him, “Jamie, do you even know what a beard is?” Over the months we have watched Fed Chairman Jerome Powell time and time again cut rates and increase the Fed’s balance sheet. This has hurt savers, forced investors into risky investments in search of yield, damaged the dollar, encouraged politicians to spend like drunken sailors, and increased inequality.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

bruce wilds, advancing time blog, jerome powell, fed, us federal reserve, bubble, financial policies, fed balance sheet, inflation, taxation, inequality

Rabo: If Powell Does Nothing, We Will See Godzilla-Sized Shockwaves Across Markets Everywhere

Rabo: If Powell Does Nothing, We Will See Godzilla-Sized Shockwaves Across Markets Everywhere

“Quadzilla is approaching Tokyo!”

[Cue epic music] “Up from the depths; 30 trillion high; Breathing fire; Its name in the sky — Quadzilla! Quadzilla! Quadzilla!” [Sudden switch to comedy music] “…and Godz-EU-ki.”

They’ve already agreed to a joint Covid vaccine plan, where US vaccines will be produced in India, and Japan and Australia will help with the finances and logistics to distribute this throughout Asia. That’s powerful PR and diplomacy (even if India was already doing most of this alone, overlooked by Western media). Moreover, the Quad countries have pledged to ensure emissions reductions based on the Paris climate accord, as well as to cooperate on technology supply chains, 5G networks, and biotechnology. There are also defence agreements between most of them. It doesn’t take Austin going along for the ride to realize this is all about countering that other economic giant, China – which is as big and powerful as King Kong. So Quadzilla vs. Xi-ng Kong? That’s a movie already supposed to be released this year, coincidentally.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Jerome von Havenstein: Inflation Or Bust

Jerome von Havenstein: Inflation Or Bust

This week brought forth new evidence that – to be perfectly frank – we’re all screwed.

On Thursday, the yield on the 10 year Treasury note topped 1.55 percent.  Subsequently, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, after hitting an all-time high on Wednesday, dropped 559 points.  Wall Street must not be listening to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Earlier in the week, Powell, in testimony to the Senate Banking Committee, confirmed that the central bank would keep the federal funds rate near zero until maximum employment is achieved.  In addition, the Fed, in its recently released semiannual Monetary Policy Report, confirmed it would continue to create credit from thin air to buy $80 billion per month of Treasuries and $40 billion per month of mortgage backed securities (MBS).

What’s more, the Report specified the Fed’s purchases of Treasuries and MBS “…will continue at least at this pace until substantial further progress has been made toward its maximum employment and price stability goals.”  The operative words being, “at least.”

What to make of it…

Central banking is a form of central planning.  And central planning is a form of state control.  And state control, as practiced in the United States, pertains not so much to the economics of producing income; but, rather, the methods for redistributing it.

State control, through inflationism, takes money saved and earned by individuals and covertly redistributes it to the central authority – i.e., Washington.  There it is consumed by ever expanding government social programs and colossal pentagon budgets.  What remains is wasted away by the endless array of bureaucracies and agencies.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Yellen Challenges Powell’s Unlimited Control of the Markets

The Fed attempts to maintain control of various rates (including inflation, unemployment and long-term interest rates) through its monetary policy decisions. In the past, poor choices arguably led to both the dot-com bubble and the Great Recession. But that’s old news.

Today, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is trying to get the U.S. economy moving. A combination of near-zero interest rates and “quantitative easing,” which means buying bonds directly. Both these interventions increase the amount of money in circulation. Ultimately, this would lead to inflation, as you’d expect.

And of course, inflation is closely tied to market rates. In response to the pandemic, the Fed rate policy that Powell currently advocates is keeping money market rates close to zero for an extended period of time. The Fed also seem to intervene quite a bit, attempting to maintain tight control on those rates.

Powell has to balance economic recovery and employment against market bubbles and excessive inflation. That’s a lot of balls in the air… What if one drops?

Unleashing a “tsunami” of cash

Enter Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who just threw a big monkey wrench in Powell’s plans to maintain any semblance of tight control over rates. What did she say? As Newsmax reported:

Already low short-term interest rates are set to sink further, potentially below zero, after the Treasury announced plans earlier this month to reduce the stockpile of cash it amassed at the Fed over the last year to fight the pandemic and the deep recession it caused.

That sounds sensible, right? There’s just one problem: the Treasury is planning to “unleash what Credit Suisse Group AG analyst Zoltan Pozsar calls a ‘tsunami’ of reserves into the financial system and on to the Fed’s balance sheet.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

The Foundation for Potential Price Hyperinflation is Being Laid

The Federal Reserve sure seems to have a tough time finding and reporting signs of rising inflation — especially when it’s hidden in other sectors like a lack of demand for energy.

A recent example of the Fed’s “inflation blindness” comes from a speech Chairman Jerome Powell gave to the Economic Club of New York. According to a MarketWatch piece that reported on that speech:

Powell said he doesn’t expect “a large nor sustained” increase in inflation right now. Price rises from the “burst of spending” as the economy reopens are not likely to be sustained.

It’s odd that Powell would say he doesn’t expect a sustained increase in inflation, because food price inflation has consistently run 3.5 to 4.5 percent since April last year. That sure seems like a sustained increase in food prices.

What Powell seems to have “forgotten” is that some of the overall inflation includes negative energy price inflation (as low as negative 9 percent at one point). But now that the demand for fuel is returning, the official gasoline index rose 7.4 percent in January.

It will be much more challenging for Powell to keep downplaying the risk of hyperinflation once energy price inflation rises back to “pre-pandemic” levels.

In fact, Robert Wenzel thinks the main inflation event is “just about to hit.” If it does, and inflation does rise past Powell’s two percent target, it isn’t likely to stop there. Jim Rickards thinks that’s when hyperinflation can gain momentum:

If inflation does hit 3%, it is more likely to go to 6% or higher, rather than back down to 2%. The process will feed on itself and be difficult to stop. Sadly, there are no Volckers or Reagans on the horizon today. There are only weak political leaders and misguided central bankers.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Dear Governments, Spend as Much as You Can

Dear Governments, Spend as Much as You Can

This week we heard further details about more trillions in upcoming spending and even changing monetary issuance laws (for CBDCs) worldwide.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), what critics might call a supranational leveraged buyout bank, was out this week making calls for governments worldwide to spend as much as they can.

The IMF also noted that monetary issuance laws would need to be changed in 104 nations to directly issue fiat Central Bank Digital Currency or CBDC for fuller global fruition.

Sounder money advocates yet to banned off of Twitter are predicably pissed off.

Global Government Bonds

SDBullion Market Update

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell had the following statement this week worth highlighting in our market update video.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell had the following statement this week worth highlighting in our market update video.

There is nothing in any definition about how fiscal dominance, which considers our still having the dominant fiat currency of the world, utilizes yield curve control, with suppressed real interest rate yield, rigging inflation and unemployment data, while still dominating the world in most price discovery powers. 

Yet on the cusp of losing economic output dominance to over 2.5 billion Chinese and Indian residents, they tend to stack physical gold and silver as they get wealthier increasingly.

Another week of up then down spot price action for silver and gold. As we head into this Monday’s thinly traded Martin Luther King holiday, note that the spot gold price sits just below its 200-day moving average.

During gold bull markets outside of the global financial crisis, that is typically an excellent time to add to bullish and betting long positions.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Hazards of 4 More Years of Jerome Powell

Whether Trump or Biden is elected in November, they will have to decide whether or not to appoint Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to another term.

And if he is appointed again, the way he continues to handle the continuing ripple effects of the COVID-19 “shutdown” economy will be critical.

So let’s examine why the decision to reappoint him is important, then take a quick tour of some of Powell’s recent performance.

piece from Paul R. La Monica provides a take on the importance of Powell’s re-appointment, beginning with the response to the market’s plummet earlier this year:

The Fed quickly lowered rates to zero in March and has since launched trillions of dollars worth of lending programs… Powell’s swift actions have won him praise from many economists and investing experts on Wall Street.

“Powell should get a second term if he wants it. He deserves credit for the speed and magnitude of the Fed’s response to Covid-19,” said Larry Adam, chief investment officer of Raymond James.

Mr. Adam and the article are correct on one point. The Powell-authorized “moon shot” in response to a dramatic market drop was certainly a fast move.

George Calhoun, professor of quantitative finance at the Stevens Institute of Technology, agreed with Powell’s quick decision to print trillions:

When the crisis hit, Powell went all out and opened the spigots. I’m not sure what rationale would be to have someone totally different at the Fed. Monetary policy has been effective.

Any person in Powell’s position could have made the same call, of course. We just have to hope that the long-term ripple effects don’t eventually reveal that his reaction was too much, too fast, or perhaps unnecessary.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Fed Has Given Big Business A Huge Advantage

The Fed Has Given Big Business A Huge Advantage

And Its Gone!

The last few months have been painful for small businesses across America. These businesses often have a difficult time getting a bank loan. Bubbling up to the surface is the recognition the Fed has played a major role in pushing inequality higher. This was highlighted when Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell admitted it’s tough for the Fed to boost lending to smaller businesses. “Trying to underwrite the credit of hundreds of thousands of very small businesses would be very difficult,” Powell said. He acknowledged that many of these small loans are really nothing more than the personal promises of people struggling to keep the doors of their business open.As the financial pain from the pandemic and government restrictions placed on businesses continue, much of the money thrown out to ease our pain has rapidly flowed into the hands of Wall Street and big business. The reality that most small businesses close in failure underlines the risk involved in loaning money to such concerns. Still, it is difficult to deny the importance of small business in the overall economy. It plays a major role in communities by both creating jobs and allowing individuals to better their lot in life. 

During a recent exchange between House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Rep. Maxine Waters of California and Powell, it became evident that Powell was not rushing to implement changes in the way things are done in an effort to aid small businesses and level the playing field. Waters suggested the Fed and Treasury Department lower the minimum size of the loans under the Main Street Lending Program to $100,000 from the current $250,000 to help a larger number of small companies that have been hurt by the pandemic. Powell even went so far as to claim there was little demand for loans below $1 million.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Fed Accountability is a Farce

FED ACCOUNTABILITY IS A FARCE

The Fed claims they are “accountable to the public and the U.S. Congress.” But what good is accountability, if the public and Congress have little understanding of what the Fed does? Even worse, if no one has the power to stop the inflationary actions of the Fed, what good are the accountability measures in place?

This week, Chair Powell addressed Congress and provided the June Monetary Policy Report. The process of testifying before Congress is very much farcical because what the Fed says has no bearing on what the Fed does. We can assume few members of Congress actually understand monetary economics. But what if many of them did, as well as the general public, could the Fed really get away with all of this?

Reviewing the Chair’s testimony to Congress reveals how little the Fed and Congress know about economics and illustrates how ineffective testimony before Congress really is.

In his speech, Powell lists many of the lending programs (Paycheck Protection Program, Main Street Lending Program and Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Program) but when it comes to corporate bond buying program, all he offered was:

To support the employment and spending of investment-grade businesses, we established two corporate credit facilities.

Like a teenager trying to hide purchases made on a parent’s credit card, he did not explicitly list the Primary and Secondary corporate credit facilities by name. He only said the two “corporate credit facilities,” the only two the Fed has. How issuing debt to corporations or trading their bonds on the stock exchange supports employment or spending is anyone’s guess. What does it matter anyway? Even if he said $750 billion may go to buy corporate bonds, who would stop them?

He moved from vagueness to deception quickly with the statement:

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Goodbye, Free Market

Goodbye, Free Market

Fremdschämen.

Fremdschämen is a noun of the German language. It translates this way:

Embarrassment for those incapable of feeling embarrassment.

Today we suffer embarrassment for Mr. Jerome Powell and his fellows of the Federal Reserve…

For no action they take lowers their heads in shame… or blushes their cheeks with embarrassment.

Mr. Powell is simply in the hands of Wall Street… and on his knees to Wall Street.

Well does he know the taste of shoeblack.

Yesterday Mr. Powell got a fresh coat on his tongue. Details to follow.

But first, let us look in on his masters…

A Banner Day on Wall Street

Wall Street was in full roar today.

The Dow Jones jumped an additional 582 points. The S&P gained 58 points; the Nasdaq, 169 points of its own.

CNBC, by way of explanation:

Stocks rose on Tuesday as a record jump in retail sales — coupled with positive trial results from a potential coronavirus treatment and hopes of more stimulus — sent market sentiment soaring.

Government number-torturers reported this morning that May retail sales jumped a record 17.7%.

The chronically erring Dow Jones survey of economists had projected a 7.7% increase.

Yet we are not surprised by the surge. April’s numbers were true abominations. But certain economic restrictions were waived in May.

A trampolining back was therefore expected.

Meantime, a medicine named dexamethasone — a widely available medicine — is evidently effective in the treatment of deathly ill coronavirus patients.

It reportedly axed hospital deaths by perhaps one-third.

Thus the market had its spree today. But it merely added to yesterday afternoon’s joys…

Powell Licks Wall Street’s Shoes

The Dow Jones had been off 762 points in early trading yesterday, quaking with coronavirus-related fear.

But then Mr. Powell sank to his knees… and tongued Wall Street’s wingtips…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Fed Chair Just Made This Inadvertent Case for Gold

Fed Chair Just Made This Inadvertent Case for Gold

jerome powell gold
Photo by Flickr.com CC BY | Photoshopped

This week, Your News to Know rounds up the latest top stories involving gold and the overall economy. Stories include: Powell boosts gold in Fed speech, why gold is the best bet to make now, and gold remains undervalued as an asset.

Fed Chair Powell gives a nudge to gold during speech

A much-awaited speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell last week, held at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, dispelled any notion that the central bank is optimistic in regards to an economic recovery. In fact, Powell was very clear in his belief that many could be disappointed by the sluggishness of the recovery and the various uncertainties that might be scattered across its path.

Powell commented on the state of U.S. employment, noting that more than 20 million people have lost their jobs in just two months. The chair added that existing growth problems have been exacerbated and that any job gains posted over the previous decade have been erased.

Looking forward, Powell said that the Fed isn’t open to negative interest rates right now, but did not completely discount the possibility should the need arise. Although it remains historically low-performing, this now makes U.S. Treasuries one of the few sovereign bonds that haven’t dipped into negative territory.

Having just printed trillions of dollars in short order to stimulate the economy, Powell appeared to not be fully content with the extent of the stimulus that the state has issued. Although Congress has already spent $2.9 trillion on coronavirus mitigation, Powell’s words could be interpreted that a bigger debt bubble is on the way, keeping in mind that the federal budget alone went from being $160 billion in the green as of April 2019 to a deficit of $737.9 billion a year later.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Fed’s Visible Hand: Powell Buys $305 Million In ETFs In Two Days

The Fed’s Visible Hand: Powell Buys $305 Million In ETFs In Two Days

On Tuesday, the US officially crossed over into some bizarro version of a crony, centrally-planned mandated pricing model that is anything but a market when the Fed started buying corporate bond ETFs for the first time ever. Then, moments ago in its latest H.4.1 statement, the Fed – which disclosed that its balance sheet is now a record $6.934 trillion and well on its way to $12 or more than half of US GDP…

… also revealed that in the first two days the program was operational, the Fed purchased $305 million under the Corporate Credit Facility, i.e., the corporate bond ETF buying program, as of EOD May 13, or just two days after the Fed officially gave Blackrock the green light to start waving it in.

Of course, since the transactions were organized by the NY Fed which used Blackrock as agent for the buying, all of the ETFs were parked at the New York Fed.

Bloomberg’s ETF expert, Eric Blachunas, was sure he had observed the Fed in action two days ago when he noticed a jump in both LQD and HYG volumes around mid-day, which appears to be the time Blackrock will be active in the market for all those who feel like frontrunning the world’s largest asset manager, which in turn is frontrunning the world’s largest central bank.


Eric Balchunas@EricBalchunas

HISTORY MADE: Looks like Fed made good on word as $LQD & $HYG both saw volume jumps today (via some sizable trades mid-day). No way to know for sure it was them, but given what they said yest & non-corp bond ETFs like $AGG, $TLT didn’t see similar jump, there’s good chance IMO.

View image on Twitter

What is a bit concerning is that even after the Fed bought millions in LQD on the 12th, the ETF closed red. However, Blackrock redeemed itself on the next two days when LQD posted a solid rebound, rising above 128 for the first time since May 5.

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