Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. US Housing Market Real Estate Crash The Next Shoe To Drop – Part II - Chris_Vermeulen
2.The Coronavirus Greatest Economic Depression in History? - Nadeem_Walayat
3.US Real Estate Housing Market Crash Is The Next Shoe To Drop - Chris_Vermeulen
4.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications and AI Mega-trend Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
5. Are Coronavirus Death Statistics Exaggerated? Worse than Seasonal Flu or Not?- Nadeem_Walayat
6.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications, Global Recession and AI Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
7.US Fourth Turning Accelerating Towards Debt Climax - James_Quinn
8.Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis and Forecast - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Britain's FAKE Coronavirus Death Statistics Exposed - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Commodity Markets Crash Catastrophe Charts - Rambus_Chartology
Last 7 days
Silver Bull Market Update - 7th Aug 20
This Inflation-Adjusted Silver Chart Tells An Interesting Story - 7th Aug 20
The Great American Housing Boom Has Begun - 7th Aug 20
NATURAL GAS BEGINS UPSIDE BREAKOUT MOVE - 7th Aug 20
Know About Lotteries With The Best Odds Of Winning - 7th Aug 20
Could Gold Price Reach $7,000 by 2030? - 6th Aug 20
Bananas for All! Keep Dancing… FOMC - 6th Aug 20
How to Do Bets During This Time - 6th Aug 20
How to develop your stock trading strategy - 6th Aug 20
Stock Investors What to do if Trump Bans TikTok - 5th Aug 20
Gold Trifecta of Key Signals for Gold Mining Stocks - 5th Aug 20
ARE YOU LOVING YOUR SERVITUDE? - 5th Aug 20
Stock Market Uptrend Continues? - 4th Aug 20
The Dimensions of Covid-19: The Hong Kong Flu Redux - 4th Aug 20
High Yield Junk Bonds Are Hot Again -- Despite Warning Signs - 4th Aug 20
Gold Stocks Autumn Rally - 4th Aug 20
“Government Sachs” Is Worried About the Federal Reserve Note - 4th Aug 20
Gold Miners Still Pushing That Cart of Rocks Up Hill - 4th Aug 20
UK Government to Cancel Christmas - Crazy Covid Eid 2020! - 4th Aug 20
Covid-19 Exposes NHS Institutional Racism Against Black and Asian Staff and Patients - 4th Aug 20
How Sony Is Fueling the Computer Vision Boom - 3rd Aug 20
Computer Gaming System Rig Top Tips For 6 Years Future Proofing Build Spec - 3rd Aug 20
Cornwwall Bude Caravan Park Holidays 2020 - Look Inside Holiday Resort Caravan - 3rd Aug 20
UK Caravan Park Holidays 2020 Review - Hoseasons Cayton Bay North East England - 3rd Aug 20
Best Travel Bags for 2020 Summer Holidays , Back Sling packs, water proof, money belt and tactical - 3rd Aug 20
Precious Metals Warn Of Increased Volatility Ahead - 2nd Aug 20
The Key USDX Sign for Gold and Silver - 2nd Aug 20
Corona Crisis Will Have Lasting Impact on Gold Market - 2nd Aug 20
Gold & Silver: Two Pictures - 1st Aug 20
The Bullish Case for Stocks Isn't Over Yet - 1st Aug 20
Is Gold Price Action Warning Of Imminent Monetary Collapse - Part 2? - 1st Aug 20
Will America Accept the World's Worst Pandemic Response Government - 1st Aug 20
Stock Market Technical Patterns, Future Expectations and More – Part II - 1st Aug 20
Trump White House Accelerating Toward a US Dollar Crisis - 31st Jul 20
Why US Commercial Real Estate is Set to Get Slammed - 31st Jul 20
Gold Price Blows Through Upside Resistance - The Chase Is On - 31st Jul 20
Is Crude Oil Price Setting Up for a Waterfall Decline? - 31st Jul 20
Stock Market Technical Patterns, Future Expectations and More - 30th Jul 20
Why Big Money Is Already Pouring Into Edge Computing Tech Stocks - 30th Jul 20
Economic and Geopolitical Worries Fuel Gold’s Rally - 30th Jul 20
How to Finance an Investment Property - 30th Jul 20
I Hate Banks - Including Goldman Sachs - 29th Jul 20
NASDAQ Stock Market Double Top & Price Channels Suggest Pending Price Correction - 29th Jul 20
Silver Price Surge Leaves Naysayers in the Dust - 29th Jul 20
UK Supermarket Covid-19 Shop - Few Masks, Lack of Social Distancing (Tesco) - 29th Jul 20
Budgie Clipped Wings, How Long Before it Can Fly Again? - 29th Jul 20
How To Take Advantage Of Tesla's 400% Stock Surge - 29th Jul 20
Gold Makes Record High and Targets $6,000 in New Bull Cycle - 28th Jul 20
Gold Strong Signal For A Secular Bull Market - 28th Jul 20
Anatomy of a Gold and Silver Precious Metals Bull Market - 28th Jul 20
Shopify Is Seizing an $80 Billion Pot of Gold - 28th Jul 20
Stock Market Minor Correction Underway - 28th Jul 20
Why College Is Never Coming Back - 27th Jul 20
Stocks Disconnect from Economy, Gold Responds - 27th Jul 20
Silver Begins Big Upside Rally Attempt - 27th Jul 20
The Gold and Silver Markets Have Changed… What About You? - 27th Jul 20
Google, Apple And Amazon Are Leading A $30 Trillion Assault On Wall Street - 27th Jul 20
This Stock Market Indicator Reaches "Lowest Level in Nearly 20 Years" - 26th Jul 20
New Wave of Economic Stimulus Lifts Gold Price - 26th Jul 20
Stock Market Slow Grind Higher Above the Early June Stock Highs - 26th Jul 20
How High Will Silver Go? - 25th Jul 20
If You Own Gold, Look Out Below - 25th Jul 20
Crude Oil and Energy Sets Up Near Major Resistance – Breakdown Pending - 25th Jul 20
FREE Access to Premium Market Forecasts by Elliott Wave International - 25th Jul 20
The Promise of Silver as August Approaches: Accumulation and Conversation - 25th Jul 20
The Silver Bull Gateway is at Hand - 24th Jul 20
The Prospects of S&P 500 Above the Early June Highs - 24th Jul 20
How Silver Could Surpass Its All-Time High - 24th Jul 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Get Rich Investing in Stocks by Riding the Electron Wave

Quantitative Easing Aka Counterfeiting Money

Interest-Rates / Quantitative Easing May 11, 2009 - 04:38 AM GMT

By: LewRockwell

Interest-Rates

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleMichael S. Rozeff writes: I begin by describing quantitative easing in technical terms. I go on to describe what it means when a central bank and its government engage in quantitative easing. What is quantitative easing? It is a central bank’s "purchase" of government securities (bills, notes, bonds) directly from the government.


The term "purchase" does not capture the essence of the actual transaction. The government issues a Treasury bill, say. This is a liability of the government. The central bank takes this bill and holds it as its asset. It provides the government with its own official and legal State money or notes (or a checking account for such). The central bank accounts for this note issue as its liability. It is an IOU transferred to the government (or State). In the usual setup, these notes cannot be redeemed for anything. That is, if the government brought these notes to the central bank, it would get nothing in return for them. Hence, the money issue is not really a liability of the central bank. The government accounts for the receipt of these central bank notes as an asset.

The net result of the transaction is that the government succeeds in transforming a liability (its issue of Treasury bills) into a new asset (its holding of central bank notes). If a person issues a debt and receives an asset from someone else in return, there is no new asset involved. If a baker issues an IOU and gets an oven in return, the oven is not an increment to the stock of ovens in the world. But when the government issues its IOU (the Treasury bill), it gets an entirely new asset, the central bank money. In the U.S., the government pays interest to the FED that holds the bill, but the FED returns this interest to the Treasury. Hence, the Treasury bill held by the FED is really no liability to the government. The net result of the transaction is that the government has a new asset that it can spend, namely, the FED’s Federal Reserve notes.

There will be further effects on the banking system and the economy when the government circulates the notes. These occur through the fractional-reserve banking system, but it is not my aim here to discuss these as plenty of other sources have done this already.

The main technical point is that the government has a new asset that is made an asset by coercion, since the money has, by the power of law, been made legal tender. If we had t-accounts for the government and FED and the government issued $1,000 in t-bills, we’d see the following:

  • The government debits its asset: $1,000, Federal Reserve notes.
  • The government credits its liability: $1,000, Treasury bill outstanding.
  • The central bank debits its asset: $1,000, Treasury bill.
  • The central bank credits its liability: $1,000, Federal Reserve notes.

When we consolidate the accounts, we end up with the Treasury bill disappearing. The combined entity has Federal Reserve notes (money) as an asset and as a liability. Since it is a phantom liability that can be exchanged for nothing, the government has a new asset with no real liability connected to it. This completes the technical description of quantitative easing.

The term "quantitative easing" has propaganda value. The implied proposition is that "something" is being eased that is currently "tight" or "restricted." This makes it sound as if something positive and good is being accomplished. What is actually going on, however, is a form of seizure or taxation. It is also called inflation, when the focus is on the additional means of spending that has been created.

The Congress lifts the debt limit of the government. Suppose the government then gets money via quantitative easing. All currency in the U.S. and other states is typically forced currency that is made to pass as means of payment by law. Since this currency is imposed by force on the society, the government spending that uses these notes is tantamount to using force to extract goods and services from society. Hence, quantitative easing is seizure and taxation. It is not direct seizure from citizens using soldiers and weapons, nor is it direct taxation by means of tax rates and payments made by citizens. Instead the government takes what it wants by spending its new asset – the newly-manufactured money. This reduces what is available for everyone else to spend on. The reduction in available goods in the private sector is the tax. One result is that society finds that the prices it pays for everything else rise (albeit unevenly). The government’s absorption of goods and services measures the seizure.

Whoever participates in the consumption or receipt of those goods and services is the beneficiary of the seizure. If the government gives money to some farmers, they benefit. If it gives the money to Blackwater, it benefits. If it pays off Afghan warlords or Sunni soldiers, they benefit.

The government rationales for its seizure and taxation by quantitative easing are all false. They vary according to the situation and what appeal sounds most appealing to a population that does not understand what is actually going on. There are usually some simple slogans that have a marked appeal, because of their simplicity and superficiality. Disposing of them takes more argument than the public is ordinarily used to or wants to hear. For example, the rationale may be that government spending is needed to get the economy moving. This is a total deception, since all that is happening is that goods and services are being shifted from one set of hands to another. When there is excess capacity, such as in the automobile industry at present, the government can buy new autos and stimulate auto demand for a time. But since the private society has already shown that it does not want these autos, a collective purchase by the government adds less to social welfare than it subtracts by the seizure of the goods and services that is necessary to build the autos.

Discussing all this in depth is also beyond my limited purpose here. The main point to be made is that when a government resorts to quantitative easing, it shows that it has run out of other means to finance its endeavors. It has reached the end of the line. A government finances itself by taxes. Borrowing is a hidden form of taxation; it defers the taxes to the future. Taxes are more or less visible to the population. They are voted on by Congress or a similar body. They are coercive, but they have at least the partially redeeming feature of being somewhat in the open and somewhat controllable by the citizens who vote for their representatives. Inflationary seizure or coercion via quantitative easing means that the government wants to spend more than it can raise by taxation and borrowing. Its ambition exceeds its grasp. "Ordinary" coercive means of finance no longer suffice. The government resorts to the printing press.

Quantitative easing is a resort to the money printing press. It means seizure and coercion of goods and services from the inhabitants of a country. But it also means either a government that is spending beyond its means, or one whose economy is not strong enough to generate financing by the usual means, or both.

Suppose that a company could no longer issue debt to finance its purchases of assets. The capital market (investors) would be vetoing any further corporate expansion. This happens when a company is badly run or has problems that must be addressed or has run out of good investment projects. The governments that resort to quantitative easing are analogous to such companies, except that they can force the society to finance their spending.

The term "quantitative easing" is a relatively new term. It is one of those modern euphemisms that disguises the use of brute force. Even the term "inflation," which is what quantitative easing is, fails to capture the human impact of such government acts that invade life, liberty, and property.

All such money manipulations, which, of course, are accepted widely by economists as the norm, are the antithesis of a free market. The results cannot be good if society sets up a body with power to inject purchasing power if, when, and as it pleases and to whom it pleases. This is too much power without control over the consequences. This power simply augments government, giving it an uncontrollable option to seize the society’s goods and services. This cannot be a good idea. The supposed benefits of central banking are all illusory and impossible. Standing beside those imagined good effects are the inevitable bad consequences for many, many people, such as the now millions of unemployed whose trades and occupations are now found to be not in demand and who will now be years making the adjustments to find new work and incomes.

May 11, 2009

Michael S. Rozeff [send him mail] is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com

    © 2009 Copyright LewRockwell.com - All Rights Reserved
    Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules