Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.The Brexit War! EU Fearing Collapse Set to Stoke Scottish Independence Proxy War - Nadeem_Walayat
2.London Terror Attack Red Herring, Real Issue is Age of Reason vs Religion - Nadeem_Walayat
3.The BrExit War, Game Theory Strategy for What UK Should Do to Win - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Goldman Sachs Backing A Copper Boom In 2017 - OilPrice_Com
5.Trump to Fire 50 US Cruise Missiles To Erase Syrian Chemical Attack Air Base, China Next? - Nadeem_Walayat
6.US Stock Market Consolidation Time - Rambus_Chartology
7.Stock Market Investors Stupid is as Stupid Goes - James_Quinn
8.Gold in Fed Interest Rate Hike Cycles- Zeal_LLC
9.The BrExit War - Britain Intelligence Super Power Covert War With the EU - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Marc Faber: Euro to Strengthen, Dollar to Weaken, Gold and Emerging Markets to Outperform - MoneyMetals
Last 7 days
Bifurcated US Stock Market - 29th Apr 17
Damn the Deficits, Huge Trump Tax Cuts Ahead! - 29th Apr 17
Gold Hostage to Stocks - 29th Apr 17
Warren Buffett Hates Gold… But Here’s Five Reasons You Need To Own It - 29th Apr 17
Stock Market Sentiment, Re-Fueled Along the Way - 28th Apr 17
Calling out the Central Bankers - 28th Apr 17
Fed's Third Inetrest Rate Hike and Gold - 28th Apr 17
USD/CAD - Invalidation of Breakout or Further Rally? - 28th Apr 17
What Happened to the Stock Market Crash Experts Were Predicting - 28th Apr 17
Earth Overshoot Day - Human Population Growth - 28th Apr 17
Misunderstanding GDXJ: Why It’s Actually Great News For Junior Miners - 28th Apr 17
What Makes Bitcoin Casinos So Remarkable? - 28th Apr 17
Financial Markets Improvised Explosives - 27th Apr 17
More Stock Market Short-Term Uncertainty As Stocks Get Close To Record High - 27th Apr 17
Elliott Wave Theory: Is Elliott’s Theory Enough? - 27th Apr 17
Billionaire Investor Paul Tudor Jones Says Stock Market Valuation Is “Terrifying” And He Is Right - 26th Apr 17
The Great BrExit Divides - Britain, USA and France - 26th Apr 17
10 Facts That Show Our Taxes Are Worse Than You Thought - 26th Apr 17
What Trump’s Next 100 Days Will Look Like - 26th Apr 17
G20: SURPASSING THE 2nd GLOBAL STEEL CRISIS - 26th Apr 17
What A War With North Korea Would Look Like - 25th Apr 17
Pensions Are On The Way Out But Retirement Funds Are Not Working Either - 25th Apr 17
Frank Holmes : Gold Could Hit $1,500 in 2017 Amid Imbalances & Weak Supply - 25th Apr 17
3 Reasons Why “Spring Forward, Fall Back” Also Applies To Gold - 25th Apr 17
SPX may be Aiming at the Cycle Top Resistance - 25th Apr 17
Walmart Stock Extending Higher - Elliott Wave Trend Forecast - 25th Apr 17
Google Panics and KILLS YouTube to Appease Mainstream Media and Corporate Advertisers - 25th Apr 17
Gold Price Is 1% Shy of Ripping Higher - 25th Apr 17
Exchange-Traded Funds Make Decisions Easy - 25th Apr 17
Trump Is Among The Institutionally Weakest National Leaders In The World - 25th Apr 17
3 Maps That Explain the Geopolitics of Nuclear Weapons - 25th Apr 17
Risk on Stock Market French Election Euphoria - 24th Apr 17
Fear Campaign Against Americans Continues Nuclear Attack Drills in New York City - 24th Apr 17
Is the Stock Market Bounce Over? - 24th Apr 17
This Could Be One Of the Biggest Winners Of The Electric Car Boom - 24th Apr 17
Le Pen Shifts Political Landscape- The Rise of New French Gaullism  - 24th Apr 17
IMF Says Austerity Is Over - Surplus or Stimulus - 24th Apr 17
EURUSD at a Critical Point in Wave Structure - 23rd Apr 17
Stock Market Grand Super Cycle Overview While SPX Correction Continues - 23rd Apr 17
Robert Prechter Talks About Elliott Waves and His New Book - 23rd Apr 17
Le Pen, Melenchon French Election Stock, Bond and Euro Markets Crash - 22nd Apr 17
Why You Are Not An Investor - 22nd Apr 17
Gold Price Upleg Momentum Building - 22nd Apr 17
Why Now Gold and Silver Precious Metals? - 22nd Apr 17
4 Maps That Signal Central Asia Is at Risk of War - 22nd Apr 17
5 Key Steps For A Comfortable Retirement From Former Wall Street Trader - 22nd Apr 17

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Why 95% of Traders Fail

The Fed’s Funny Money

Interest-Rates / US Interest Rates Jul 28, 2011 - 08:22 AM GMT

By: Dr_Ron_Paul

Interest-Rates

Today's hearing is the second in a series examining the relationship between Federal Reserve policy and the performance of the United States economy. Today we are receiving testimony from the Federal Reserve banks. Of the half-dozen Reserve banks we contacted, only President Hoenig was willing to testify in front of this subcommittee, and we welcome him here today.


Like many critics of the Fed's monetary policy, I fear that quantitative easing will soon return. Despite what we hear from the cheerleaders in government and in the media, the economy remains in a complete shambles. Unemployment remains high and seven million jobs lost during the recession have yet to be regained. The Federal Reserve has kept interest rates at or near zero for over two and a half years and pumped trillions of dollars into the banking system in a vain attempt to revive the economy. Yet even now after the failure of the zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) and quantitative easing have become readily apparent, we still hear calls for more stimulus, more easing, more lose money. Like any other government program, the solution for failure is to throw more money at the problem, never mind the fact that throwing more bad money after good in such instances has never succeeded.

Reading the press releases from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) we see that the FOMC intends to keep interest rates at a low level for an extended period. Chairman Bernanke has hinted at a further round of quantitative easing, the effects of which will undoubtedly be calamitous. Moneyholders seek a return on their holdings, and in an era of near-zero interest courtesy of the Fed, saving makes no sense. Combined with the still-shaky condition of the banking and financial sector, it is not surprising that much of the recently-created easy money has flowed into tangibles such as agricultural commodities, metals, and land. Rather than allowing the housing bubble to burst, overall prices to return to normal and overleveraged banks to break up, the Fed has thrown more fuel onto the fire and created the conditions for an even larger bubble that will eventually burst.

The Fed's easy money policy has also enabled the federal government to increase its total debt by 56% since 2008, an increase of over $5 trillion. Thanks to the Fed driving down interest rates and purchasing debt as fast as the Treasury has issued it, the federal government faces a crunch not only in terms of running up against the debt ceiling, but also in the structure of the debt. Large amounts of short-term debt are coming due in a short period of time. ZIRP and quantitative easing cannot hold down interest rates forever, as at some point investors will rebel and insist on higher interest rates for US debt. At this point this maturing debt will either have to be paid off or rolled over at higher interest rates, both of which will be very costly for taxpayers.

While I disagree with Pres. Hoenig on many matters of monetary policy and especially on key policy issues such as the existence of the Federal Reserve System, we both have been critical of the Fed's policy of quantitative easing and its maintenance of zero interest rates. Pres. Hoenig has been the most outspoken member of the Federal Reserve System against Chairman Bernanke's policies, consistently voting against the Chairman during meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee last year. Due to Pres. Hoenig's impending retirement, the Fed will lose a much-needed counterbalance to the inflationists who dominate at the Fed.

Both Pres. Hoenig and I realize that printing money out of thin air as the Fed has done and threatens to continue to do is not a panacea. If zero interest rates and quantitative easing could really solve unemployment, there would be no reason not to maintain such policies in perpetuity. Such policies, however, lead to the formation of asset bubbles, as both Pres. Hoenig and I know. Chairman Bernanke’s predecessor Alan Greenspan fueled the dot-com bubble and attempted to stave off its collapse by resorting to one percent interest rates. That created the housing bubble whose collapse Chairman Bernanke is attempting to stymie through zero percent interest and massive quantitative easing. The next bubble is already forming, although which sector will be hit hardest remains to be seen. Pres. Hoenig has alluded to some possible bubble sectors in his district, so I look forward to his testimony and his answers to our questions.

Dr. Ron Paul
Project Freedom

Congressman Ron Paul of Texas enjoys a national reputation as the premier advocate for liberty in politics today. Dr. Paul is the leading spokesman in Washington for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies based on commodity-backed currency. He is known among both his colleagues in Congress and his constituents for his consistent voting record in the House of Representatives: Dr. Paul never votes for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution. In the words of former Treasury Secretary William Simon, Dr. Paul is the "one exception to the Gang of 535" on Capitol Hill.

Dr. Ron Paul Archive

© 2005-2016 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

Catching a Falling Financial Knife