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.
New home sales blew away expectations in July, coming in at the highest level since 2006. A lot of people take this as a sign of a strengthening economy. Peter Schiff begs to differ. In his podcast, he argued that surging homes sales are actually a sign of a weak economy.
Single-family new home sales rose 14% between June and July to an annual rate of 901,000, according to Commerce Department data. Sales were up 36% on a yearly basis.
Gold is knocking on the door of its all-time record price. At this point, it’s not a matter of if gold will break its record but when. In this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap podcast, host Mike Maharrey talks about the dynamics that are driving both gold and silver higher and explains why he thinks gold has a long way to run even after it breaks the record. He also highlights some more economic data that undermines the “quick recovery” narrative.
Jim Grant has long been skeptical of the mechanization of the Federal Reserve. He was warning about the distortions created in the markets and broader economy caused by the central bank’s monetary policy long before the monetary Hail Mary it threw up in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last month, Grant wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal headlined, “Powell Has Become the Fed’s Dr. Feelgood,” and he recently appeared on Fox Business to talk more about how the Fed is further distorting an already distorted economy.
Don’t expect the Federal Reserve to pull back on its monetary Hail Mary anytime soon.
The central bank released the minutes from the June meeting yesterday. There were no big surprises, but they did reaffirm the Fed’s commitment to continuing its unprecedented monetary policy into the foreseeable future.
On Friday afternoon, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell did a Q&A session with Princeton economist Alan Blinder. Powell admitted that the central bank had “crossed a lot of red lines,” but insisted he was comfortable with the actions given “this is that situation in which you do that, and you figure it out afterward.”
In his podcast, Peter Schiff called it the Nancy Pelosi version of monetary policy. “We need to print the money to see where it goes.”
The solution to the coronavirus economic meltdown is to borrow our way out of it. The Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to zero and the stimulus bill makes all kinds of loan programs available to pretty much anybody and everybody. But American consumers were already up to their eyeballs in debt before the coronavirus lockdowns. In fact, consumer debt spiked again to yet another record in February, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve.
The Federal Reserve has launched QE infinity. As Peter Schiff put it, the Fed has gone all-in on quantitative easing.
So, what does this mean? What are the ramifications of all this debt monetization and money printing? In his podcast, Peter said this is where the problems really start.