Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Play: Road To Hyperinflation Or Cure For Debt Deflation?

[I DO NOT agree with the Helicopter Money thesis. Governments’ expansions of their money supplies unrestrictedly were the cause of every Hyperinflation the world has known, as for example in Wiemar Germany and more recently in Zimbabwe. –Bob]

By Ellen Brown – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Fifteen years after embarking on its largely ineffective quantitative easing program, Japan appears poised to try the form recommended by Ben Bernanke in his notorious “helicopter money” speech in 2002. The Japanese test case could finally resolve a longstanding dispute between monetarists and money reformers over the economic effects of government-issued money.

When then-Fed Governor Ben Bernanke gave his famous helicopter money speech to the Japanese in 2002, he was talking about something quite different from the quantitative easing they actually got and other central banks later mimicked. Quoting Milton Friedman, he said the government could reverse a deflation simply by printing money and dropping it from helicopters. A gift of free money with no strings attached, it would find its way into the real economy and trigger the demand needed to power productivity and employment.

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The Winter of Discontent

By Peter Schiff – Re-Blogged From Euro Pacific Capital

The Winter of 2015-2016, which came to an end a few weeks ago, has been officially designated as the mildest in the U.S. in 121 years according to NOAA. While this fact will certainly add a major talking point in the global warming debate, it should also be front and center in the current economic discussion. The fact that it isn’t is testament to the blatantly self-serving manner in which economic cheerleaders blame the weather when it’s convenient, but ignore it when it’s not. If economists were consistent (and that’s a colossal “if”), the good weather would be taken as a reason to believe the economy is weaker than is being reported.
The two previous winters were much harsher. 2013-2014 brought the infamous “Polar Vortex,” an unusual descent of frigid polar air that brought temperatures down significantly throughout most of the United States. The next winter was almost as bad, with colder than usual temperatures combined with record snowfalls in much of the country. These conditions were cited again and again by many economists to explain why Q1 GDP growth was so disappointing both years. Annualized growth came in at just -.9% and .6% respectively (Bureau of Economic Analysis). As both 2014 and 2015 got underway, economic optimism had been riding high. When both started off with such resounding stumbles, excuses were needed to explain why the forecasters were so wrong. The snow and cold provided those fig leaves.

Fed’s Rocket Ship Turns Hoverboard

B Peter Schiff – Re-Blogged From Euro Pacific Capital

Over the past year, while the U.S. economy has continually missed expectations, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen has assured all who could stay awake during her press conferences that it was strong enough to withstand tighter monetary policy. In delivering months of mildly tough talk (with nothing in the way of action), Yellen began stressing that WHEN the Fed would finally raise rates (for the first time in almost a decade) was not nearly as important as how fast and how high  the increases would be once they started. Not only did this blunt the criticism of those who felt that the delays were unnecessary, and in fact dangerous, but it also began laying the groundwork for the Fed to do nothing over a much longer time period. To the delight of investors, the Fed has telegraphed that it will adopt a “low and slow” trajectory for the foreseeable future and move, in the words of Larry Kudlow, like “an injured snail.”

I would suggest that Kudlow is a bit aggressive. I believe that if the Fed raises rates by 25 basis points next week, as everyone expects it will, that the move will likely represent the END of the tightening cycle, not the beginning. (As I explained in my last commentary, the current tightening cycle actually started more than two years ago when the Fed began shortening its forward guidance on Quantitative Easing). The expected rate hike this month has long been referred to as “liftoff” for the Fed, an image that suggests the very beginning of a process that eventually puts a spacecraft into orbit. But, in this case, liftoff will be far less dramatic. I believe the Fed’s rocket to nowhere will hover above the launch pad for a considerable period of time before ultimately falling back down to Earth.

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The Punch Bowl Stays

By Peter Schiff – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

It is well known that I don’t think much of the ability of government officials to correctly forecast much of anything. Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke have made famously clueless predictions with respect to stock and housing bubbles, and rank and file Fed economists have consistently overestimated the strength of the economy ever since their forecasts became public in 2008 (see my previous article on the subject). But there is one former Fed and White House economist who has a slightly better track record…which is really not saying much. Over his public and private career, former Fed Governor and Bush-era White House Chief Economist Larry Lindsey actually got a few things right.

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