Busted: Bankers and The Global Economy

January 1, 2009

Fed Fearful of Deflation

creditcrunchBankers, especially central bankers strive to be boring while blending into the background. They simply don’t want the attention or someone looking over their shoulder. Unfortunately for them, their inability to follow reason or right and the resulting tough economic times has cast the spotlight unpleasantly on them.

Central bankers, steadily losing the illusion of control, have hit bottom, now using their “own resources”. For example, the Federal Reserve has been using it’s own balance sheet more and more to battle the economic onslaught since March of 2007. Otherwise, the bottom would have already dropped out of the bottom of the U.S. economy and we would be enjoying a profound depression today. Since the dollar is the stock and trade of global currency, central bankers have taken an active interest is propping the dollar up. What has scared many is the idea that the taxpayer of the United States is somehow responsible for all the debt and all the funny money created from thin air by the Federal Reserve, even though the national debt now outstrips the yearly gross national product of the nation.

Now, the Fed is loaning money at theoretical zero. “The Federal Reserve will employ all available tools to promote the resumption of sustainable economic growth and to preserve price stability.” The Fed has proven the point, manipulating and managing accounting parlor tricks to keep the U.S. economy at the preferred magical 3% inflation rate for more than thirty years.

To make matters worse, Fed economists are uncertain whether the balance-sheet politics will work, although they are hopeful that psychology will. Now the idea of dropping prices and falling employment rates has the Fed buggered once again. They fear that inflation could fall too low or to make matters more clear…deflation of the national currency.

Back in December of 2003, Ben Bernanke wrote about the “Downside Danger.”

The potential harm of very low inflation or deflation depends on the economic environment. Deflation can be particularly dangerous when a financial system is shaky, with household and corporate balance sheets in poor shape and banks undercapitalized and heavily burdened with bad loans. Under such conditions, deflation increases the real burden of debts—that is, it forces borrowers to repay in dollars that are more expensive than the dollars they borrowed—and may exacerbate the financial distress. (Unexpectedly low inflation has a similar effect.) This phenomenon, known as “debt deflation,” factored prominently in the global economic turmoil of the 1930s and may have played an important role in Japan’s recent troubles.

October 2, 2008

Bailout: And Now the Rest of the Story

And now the rest of the story. The U.S. Senate and House have approved and passed the latest U.S. bailout miracle. How will the nation benefit? The rest of the story is there will be very little difference except that the current power structure will remain in place. That, America is exactly what all the hubbub at the top of the U.S. government is all about. The long-term details are of little importance to politicians, bankers and especially not to the central bankers.

Within a month or two, Hank Paulson will buy $250 billion in junk assets using mainly guesswork since there is little transparency in evaluating the quality of what he is buying. Because of the false pride in U.S. government and under the pretense of fairness (can you believe that?), Paulson and his buddies will spend more than market value, even though the junk value is pretty much zero. If the nation is smart, they will elect a president that will promptly dump Henry Paulson onto the job market heap of life. He will spend up that precious $700 billion in credit before he leaves office. If by some miracle Paulson retains his job, he will come with his hand out to Congress for another hefty chunk with little to show for his efforts.

Confidence will improve modestly, mostly due to investment from global central banks as they need somewhere to invest all that devalued cash. Other foreign investors will watch cautiously, but begin to bet on safer risks for the short-haul. Banks will continue to stand on capital and credit markets will stay tight. The economy will continue to shrink and the market liquidity will continue to logjam.

Joe Citizen will continue to cut back because of inflationary pressures and shrinking income. Credit costs will rise and the cost of capital goods will stall. Pressures on foreign markets will continue to put the squeeze on the business world, especially big business and multinationals. Generally, the poor will get poorer and poverty will spike across the globe.

The global economy will continue to weaken focusing initially in Europe, followed by Asia and the emerging markets that business has come to rely on. This is in process now.

Hopes for a speedy recovery by politicians and lapdog economists will wane as the seeds of what Washington has sown come to full fruit. The unpleasant combination of high inflation and economic stagnation will come to bear on the land of the free, followed by the Europe and the rest of the world.
Continued meddling by the U.S. government, foreign governments and central bankers will continue to reinforce inflation. This meddling, like the bailout before it, will merely prolong the economic pain instead allowing the cycle to work naturally. Economic suffering will be great.

The U.S. government will vainly attempt a fiscal stimulus for taxpayers for give a shot in the arm to the economy. An expansion of the bailout will be too little, too late and with little understanding of the real issues because of a lack of understanding of the real issues. Economic recovery is a long-term prognosis.

The United States will be tempted to default on the national debt. Politicians won’t need to worry much. Central bankers have what they want: control of governments and populations, the economic gross national product to fund their quiet rush to superpower status and a new global currency built under the guise of peace and security. It is a dark scenario that must be walked through except for those central bankers that control the gold.~ E. Manning

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