The Federal Reserve’s decision to beef up an existing monetary stimulus program may in reality be little more than a move to prevent stock prices from collapsing, said Robert Wiedemer, financial commentator and best-selling author of “Aftershock.”
And That’s Checkmate, Ben Bernanke
by Phoenix Capital Research
Today the US Federal Reserve announced that it would be implementing QE 4: a policy of spending $45 billion per month buying Treasuries on the long-end of the yield curve until employment falls to 6.5%.
So between this and QE 3 which was announced just two and a half months ago, the Fed will be printing $85 billion per month.
First and foremost there is no evidence that QE creates jobs. Consider the case of the UK.
Since the crisis began, the Bank of England (BoE) has announced QE efforts equal to $598 billion in the UK. The UK’s GDP is $2.43 trillion. So the BoE has engaged in QE equal to over 20% of the UK’s GDP.
Despite this massive amount of QE, 2.53 million people are out of work today in the UK, up from 2 million at the start of the Great Crisis in 2007. Similarly, the UK’s GDP remains well below its peak.
In simple terms, QE fails to generate economic growth or jobs. End of story. The BoE spent 20% of the UK’s GDP on QE (a truly staggering amount) and more people are unemployed now than when it started. And GDP has yet to get even close to its pre-Crisis highs.
The same can be said of Japan which has implemented QE over 20% of its GDP. There, as has been the case in the UK, there is no evidence that QE has created jobs or even economic growth.
So the Fed is flat out lying in its claim that QE will create jobs. There is no evidence that this QE does this. So the Fed is announcing this new program for a different reason.
Regardless of the reasons, Ben’s got a major problem on his hands. That problem is the fact that Treasuries are on the verge of breaking their upward sloping trendline. If Treasuries begin to collapse at a time when the Fed is buying up over 70% of debt issuance, then the Great Treasury Bubble is finally about the burst:
If we take out this line when the Fed is buying as much Treasuries as it is, then it’s game set and match for the Fed. Take out this line and you’re on your way to ending the 30+ year bull market in bonds.
1) Interest rates will be soaring
2) The $700 trillion derivatives market most of which is based on interest rates will suffer some systemic events
3) The Fed’s interventions are finished
We’ll have to wait to see how this plays out, but we’re getting dangerously close to a US debt crisis that will make 2008 look small in comparison.
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Unfortunately, the truth is that the U.S. economy is steadily getting worse, and 2013 is not looking very promising at all right now. Hopefully at some point the mainstream media will take a break from coverage of the royal pregnancy and the latest celebrity scandals to report on the real problems that we are facing right now.
The following are 15 signs that the economy is rapidly getting worse as we head into 2013…
#1 According to numbers that were just released, the number of Americans on food stamps has risen to a new all-time record of 47.71 million. That is a huge increase of more than 600,000 over the previous reading of 47.10 million. After about a year of slow growth, it looks like the number of Americans on food stamps is starting to skyrocket once again. Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps. Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps.
#2 Youth unemployment in the United States is now at the highest level that we have seen since World War II.
#3 According to Gallup, unemployment in the United States shot up very sharply during the month of November.
#4 It looks like the unemployment numbers are likely to get even worse. Since the election, dozens of large companies have announced major layoffs. Overall, large companies have announced the elimination of more than 100,000 jobs since November 6th.
#5 According to the Wall Street Journal, of the 40 biggest publicly traded corporate spenders, half of them plan to reduce capital expenditures over the coming months.
#6 Small business owners all over America are declaring that Obamacare is going to force them to start replacing full-time workers with part-time workers during 2013.
#7 One recent survey discovered that 40 percent of all Americans have $500 or less in savings.
#8 A different recent survey found that 28 percent of all Americans do not have a single penny saved for emergencies.
#9 62 percent of middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.
#10 Many Americans are trying to make ends meet for their families by going into more debt. Consumer borrowing hit another brand new record high in October. It looks like the American people have not learned from their past mistakes and have decided to roll up consumer debt at a faster pace than ever before.
#11 Median household income in America has fallen for four consecutive years. Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.
#12 Wall Street bankers are expecting “the worst bonus season” since 2008. Not a lot of people are going to shed tears over this one, but this is a sign that there is trouble in the financial world.
#13 Food banks all over America are reporting that more needy families than ever before are showing up to get food.
#14 As I wrote about yesterday, the federal government has run a deficit of $292 billion dollars during the first two months of fiscal 2013. That figure is $57 billion higher than it was during the same period last year. Government debt continues to soar wildly out of control and at some point all of that debt is absolutely going to crush us.
#15 I have written previously about how the once great city of Detroit has become a symbol of the downfall of the U.S. economy. Well, now the state of Michigan is laying the groundwork for a “managed bankruptcy” of Detroit. Sadly, many other large U.S. cities will likely follow suit over the next couple of years.
We should truly mourn for what is happening to Detroit. At one time, it was one of the most beautiful cities on earth. But now it is on the cutting edge of America’s economic decline. You can see some amazing before and after pictures of an abandoned Detroit school right here. Sadly, what is happening to Detroit will soon be happening to the rest of the country.
“I’m hoping that Congress will do the right thing on the fiscal cliff,” Bernanke said. “There is a problem with kicking the can down the road.”
Bernanke repeated his belief that if the scheduled tax hikes and spending cuts do take effect in January, they will have a significantly adverse effect on the economy, regardless of what the Fed might do.
“We cannot offset the full impact of the fiscal cliff. It’s just too big,” Bernanke said.
Finally, all of this was predicted here a month ago, right after the presidential election, and just when the fiscal cliff was starting to become the problem. From November 13:
“it is a certainty that in the 15 remaining days it is expected to be session it will get nothing done. Which means, that once again, it will be up to the market, just like last August, just like October of 2008, to implode and to shock Congress into awakening and coming up with a compromise of sorts. Only this time, now that Bernanke has shown he will “get to work” at a moment’s notice, the impetus to do anything as a result of even a market plunge will be far less. After all why lose face, and put your career in jeopardy when there is the Fed which, supposedly, can offset a market crash, courtesy of the shining example set by Chuck Schumer.”