Has The Fed Already Gone Too Far?

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From PentoPort

It is crucial for investors to understand that the Federal Reserve has not yet turned dovish and the Fed “Put” it not yet in place. Wall Street sometimes hears what it desperately needs, but that does not make it fact. While Jerome Powell has moved incrementally towards the dovish side of the ledger in the past few weeks, the Fed is still firmly in hawkish territory. If, however, Mr. Powell was actively reducing the Fed Funds Rate (FFR) and expanding the balance sheet, then we would have a dovish Fed. However, by just indicating that the FOMC might be close to finishing its rate hiking campaign, while still selling nearly $50 billion of bonds every month from its balance sheet, the Fed is still tightening monetary policy–and in a big way.

However, “The Fed is now dovish, so it’s a good time to buy stocks” mantra from Wall Street is a dangerous one indeed. This argument is false on two fronts. First, as already mentioned, Jerome Powell is still tightening monetary policy through its reverse QE process. Second, the fact that the Fed may be cutting rates soon doesn’t mean the stock market automatically goes up. The Fed began cutting rates in September of 2007 and reached 0% by December of 2008. Was it a good time to buy stocks during that time? No, it was a very dumb idea that cost you half of your investable assets. The market actually peaked around the same time the Fed began cutting rates and didn’t bottom until March 2009, three months after interest rates hit 0%.

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Living Dangerously

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Regular readers of Goldmoney’s Insights should be aware by now that the cycle of business activity is fuelled by monetary policy, and that the periodic booms and slumps experienced since monetary policy has been used in an attempt to manage economic outcomes are the result of monetary policy itself. The link between interest rate suppression in the early stages of the credit cycle, the creation of malinvestments and the subsequent debt dénouement was summed up in Hayek’s illustration of a triangle, which I covered in an earlier article.

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Why Economists Cannot Forecast Recessions

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

The purpose of this article is to draw the widest attention to the chronic inability of the economic establishment to forecast recessions. Next time you hear an economist make a prediction on mainstream media, your default assumption should be he or she is simply wrong.

Why do I allege this? An IMF economist, Prakash Loungani, did some interesting research in 2000 about the accuracy of economists’ forecasts. Using data taken from a publication called Consensus Forecasts (published by Consensus Economics), which is widely used as a source of independent estimates of economic growth by individual governments, Loungani found that of the 60 recessions recorded since 1989 in the 63 countries sampled, only two were forecast in April the year before and two-thirds remained undetected in the April of the year they occurred. Furthermore, analysts’ forecasts emanating from both private and public sector economists were little different, and had a strong bias towards optimism.

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Business Cycles Are Credit Cycles

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

This article gets to the heart of why central banks’ monetary policy will never succeed. The fundamental error is to regard economic cycles as originating in the private sector, when they are the consequence of fluctuations in credit. It draws on the author’s submission of evidence to the UK Parliament Treasury Committee’s enquiry into the failure of monetary policy in the wake of the 2008 crisis.

Summary

  • It is incorrectly assumed that business cycles arise out of free markets. Instead, they are the consequence of the expansion and contraction of unsound money and credit.
  • Monetary inflation transfers wealth from savers and those on fixed incomes to the banking sector’s favoured customers. It has become a major cause of increasing disparities between the wealthy and the poor.

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Exacerbating the Business Cycle

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

I recommend a recent article to you, “The Origin of Cycles,” by Alasdair Macleod. The author describes several characteristics of business cycles and some causes. It is well worth reading. I would like to add to his presentation.

Business Cycles have been identified for several hundred years. Adam Smith in his The Wealth of Nations (241 years go!) discussed the Pig Cycle. Farmers noticing that then current prices supported a nice profit over current costs, expanded their herds. But then the expanded supply some time later caused pig prices to fall, which encouraged some pig farmers to reduce their herds. Reduced future supply raised prices allowing the cycle to repeat every 3-5 years.

Image result for pigs

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Potato Sack Economics

By MN Gordon – Re-Blogged From David Stockman’s Contra Corner

Fiscal policy, as opposed to monetary policy, is more readily understood by the general populace. Income taxes, budget deficits, the national debt.  These are all tangible things the average working stiff can grasp a hold of, if they care to.

The consequences of ZIRP or QE, however, are less obvious to the casual observer.  They experience the wild booms and busts of central bank caused price distortions yet never connect the dots back to the Fed.  They may falsely condemn capitalism, and never scratch below the surface where the Fed’s money and credit games are lurking.

The industrious wage earner may also find that, despite working harder and harder, their lot in life never improves.  In fact, it may even regress.  Still, many won’t recognize heavy handed monetary policy as factors for their disappointment.

The recent college graduate, making a subsistence wage at a franchise coffee shop, buried under $50,000 in student loan debt, may be keenly aware that something is radically wrong.  How come the cost of school is at such disparity with the value it provides, they may ask?

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The Unseen Consequences of Zero-Interest-Rate Policy

By – Re-Blogged From http://www.mises.org

In a dynamic economy, an action not only triggers just one effect, but always an entire series of different consequences. While the cause of the first effect is easily recognizable, the other effects often occur only later and no such recognition occurs. Frédéric Bastiat described this phenomenon in 1850 in his ground-breaking essay “What Is Seen and What is Not Seen”:

In the economic sphere, an act, a habit, an institution, a law produces not only one effect, but a series of effects. Of these effects, the first alone is immediate; it appears simultaneously with its cause; it is seen. The other effects emerge only subsequently; they are not seen; we are fortunate if we foresee them …

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