Jerome Powell lectured Congress about the national debt last week, calling it unsustainable. The Federal Reserve chairman is concerned. He admitted that with interest rates already close to zero, the central bank has very little room to cut rates in the event of an economic downturn. Peter Schiff appeared on the Claman Countdown, along with Milken Institute economist Bill Lee to talk about Powell’s comments.
Peter said that while Powell is lecturing Congress, it’s really the Fed’s fault.
Here’s a strange headline for you: “Gold prices near daily highs despite better-than-expected inflation in October.”
This headline is bizarre on a couple of levels. First, since when are rising consumer prices and good news? And second, why wouldn’t inflation be good for gold?
You really have to buy into the mainstream narratives to write that headline.
Fiscal 2020 started just like fiscal 2019 ended – with a massive federal budget deficit. And that has Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell worried. In an ironic bit of political theater, Powell lectured Congress about the spending he helps facilitate.
The budget shortfall last month was 34% higher than the October 2018 deficit, coming in at $134.5 billion, according to the latest Treasury Department report. That starts fiscal 2020 off on track to eclipse a $1 trillion deficit.
Uncle Sam is spending money far faster than he’s taking in. The US federal government ran the biggest budget deficit in seven years in fiscal 2019, according to the Treasury Department. And the spending is even worse than advertised.
The $984 billion deficit amounts to 4.7 percent of GDP. That’s the highest percentage since 2012. It was the fourth consecutive year in which the deficit increased as a percentage of GDP. The debt-to-GDP ratio is estimated to have increased a hefty 26 percent over last year.
The stock market keeps hitting new highs and employment reports continue to look good. President Trump and central bankers at the Fed like to point to this and tell us that the economy is doing good. But as Peter Schiff explained in his latest podcast, the markets aren’t making highs because the economy is good. It’s making highs because of the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policies.
Despite the fact that the economic data is deteriorating. Despite the fact that corporate earnings are falling, it is the Fed that is pushing this market to new highs by cutting interest rates, by indicating to the markets that they don’t have to worry about rate hikes no matter what happens with inflation. The Fed’s not going to raise interest rates. Oh, and by the way, they’re doing quantitative easing, and they’re going to print as much money as they have to keep the markets going up and to keep the economy propped up.”
In a recent article published at the Mises Wire, Ryan McMaken adds another layer of analysis. He says that despite the Fed’s positive rhetoric, it’s actually worried about liquidity and growth. In fact, McMaken believes it is operating from a position of fear.
The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 closed on record highs Friday after a stronger than expected jobs report. But in his podcast, Peter Schiff said that the stock markets aren’t surging because of a great economy. They’re surging because of bad monetary policy.
As expected, the Federal Reserve cut rates for the third time this year. We’re now down to 1.5%. The Fed hinted that cuts are likely on pause for now. But should we believe it? Was this the end of a mid-cycle adjustment? Or should we expect more moves by the central bank? In this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap podcast, host Mike Maharrey breaks down rate cut 3.0 and what it could mean for the precious metals markets.
As expected, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates another 25 basis points on Wednesday.
The mainstream read the post FOMC meeting comments to be relatively hawkish, saying Powell and Company seemed to indicate that future rate cutting is on pause.
Peter Schiff opened up his podcast reminding us that just one year ago, the Fed was raising rates and telling us it would continue to do so through 2019. It also claimed that quantitative tightening was on “autopilot.”
Last Tuesday, the S&P 500 made a record high as markets anticipated another Fed rate cut. Some analysts say the big risk is that we’re seeing a boost in asset prices but no real uptick in the actual economy. Peter Schiff appeared on RT Boom Bust to talk about it. He said investors buying onto all of this Wall Street hype are in for a painful awakening.
As I write this, the Federal Reserve is in the midst of its October FOMC meeting. The central bank is widely expected to cut interest rates another 25 basis points. If the Fed follows through, it will be the third cut in three meetings, totaling 75 basis points since July.
Although the Fed continues to call this a “mid-cycle adjustment,” Peter Schiff called the rate cut in July the first one on the road to zero. There’s nothing so far to cast any doubt on that view.
But the Fed is not alone. It joins the majority of the world’s central banks on a race to lower rates and inject more easy money into the world’s economy. As of this month, a total of 54 central banks in both developed and emerging markets have cut their policy/base interest rates.