Last month, the Federal Reserve moved its inflation goalposts. Is it setting us up for a return to the inflation of the 1970s?
During a speech at Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell announced new policy guidance for how it addresses price inflation. In the past, the central bank has targeted a 2% inflation rate as measured by CPI. Now it will shift to “average inflation targeting.” In practice, the Fed will allow the CPI to run “moderately” over 2% “for some time” to balance out periods where it runs under that level. In effect, the central bank now has an excuse to let inflation run hot.
Last month, the Federal Reserve moved the goalposts when it changed its inflation targeting policy. In the past, the central bank has targeted a 2% inflation rate as measured by CPI. Now it will shift to “average inflation targeting.” In effect, the Fed will allow the CPI to run “moderately” over 2% “for some time” to balance out periods where it runs under that level.
We have argued that this isn’t some kind of technical policy shift due to new economic insights. It’s a necessary move because the Fed can’t stop printing money and price inflation is an inevitable side-effect.
Last week, the Federal Reserve announced a change in the way it will target inflation going forward. In other words, the central bank moved the inflation goalposts. In effect, the new policy will allow the Fed to let inflation run hotter.
As Peter Schiff explained in his podcast, the move was expected and necessary.
We’ve written extensively about the “war on cash.” Government officials and academics offer all kinds of plausible rationals for moving toward a cashless society. Most of them involve consumer convenience and the ability to battle drug dealers and big-time criminal organizations. But make no mistake, governments love the idea of eliminating cash for more a more sinister reason — it would make it possible for them to track every single purchase you make. And it would also allow them to exercise a tremendous amount of control over individuals.
Last month, gold broke its all-time record price. As we have explained, to really understand what’s going on, you need to flip the equation. Dollars are at an all-time record low compared to gold. Simply put, the recent surge in gold prices is all about currency debasement.
We were on this path long before coronavirus reared its ugly head. After all, this gold bull market started back in 2015. But the government response to the pandemic put the process in hyperdrive. In March, the Federal Reserve embarked on a policy of money printing to infinity and beyond. And there is no end in sight. The Fed is apparently even willing to turn the other way the inevitable result of printing money – price inflation – begins to become apparent in the economy.
When gold moved above its all-time record price last month, we pointed out that it’s easier to understand gold’s record-breaking move up if you look at it from the other side of the equation. The dollar is now at its all-time low compared to gold.
In simple terms, the dollar is losing value and dollar debasement is driving up the price of gold.
The Federal Reserve responded to the economic havoc caused by government coronavirus shutdowns by launching QE infinity. It’s money printing to infinity and beyond. The mainstream almost universally believes that this is “necessary,” but we have argued that the “solution” is really the root of the problem.
Economist Bryce McBride provides a perfect analogy for what the Fed is doing and explained exactly why throwing printed money at the problem won’t make it go away.
Bailouts are the name of the game right now. It seems like everybody is in line for a bailout. Airlines. Movie theaters. Small businesses. Hospitals. Not to mention the fact that the Federal Reserve has resorted to directly buying corporate debt.
Conventional wisdom tells us this is necessary. After all, the government shutdown put tremendous stress on businesses. Doesn’t the government have a responsibility to help them out?
Last month we reported that the Chinese government has launched a pilot program for a digital version of the yuan. The virtual currency ups the ante in the war on cash and creates the potential for the government to track and even control consumer spending.
China isn’t alone in using COVID-19 as an excuse to push people away from physical cash. Other countries are pushing narratives to drive the movement toward a completely digital economy – one where governments can track and even control what we buy. The war on cash has been going on for years, but the pandemic has put efforts on hyperdrive.
Peter Schiff has called the Federal Reserve’s response to the economic meltdown “a monetary hail mary.” The central bank has printed trillions of dollars out of thin air through QE infinity, taking the Great Recession quantitative easing programs and putting them on steroids. And the Fed has gone beyond the “standard” extraordinary policy of the 2008 crisis, plunging its hands into the corporate bond market.
Peter has argued that none of this is actually helping the economy. In fact, it’s hurting, furthering distorting an already over-leveraged economy.