Jerome Powell was on Capitol Hill this week (at least virtually) to talk to Congress. During his two days of testimony, the Fed chair insisted that there is no inflation. In fact, he claimed it will take years for the central bank to reach its 2% target. SchiffGold Friday Gold Wrap podcast host Mike Maharrey says Powell is lying. But if you listen closely and read between the lines, you can dig a bit of truth out from the lies.
Interest rates continue to rise. Gold continues to languish. The stock market bubble continues to inflate. In his podcast, Peter Schiff argues that investors are reading the tea leaves all wrong. They think rising rates are going to force the Fed to tighten monetary policy sooner than expected. But Peter says there is a reality out there that nobody wants to acknowledge.
After a dismal November, gold and silver are starting to show some signs of life. But what caused the big drop in the price of precious metals last month? Was it warranted? In this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap podcast, host Mike Maharrey looks at the economic and monetary fundamentals and tries to bring us back to reality. He argues that despite the optimism about a coronavirus vaccine, nothing will fundamentally change.
The US government is increasingly relying on the Federal Reserve to prop up the Treasury market and absorb the trillions of dollars in bonds it’s issuing in order to fund its massive budget deficits. The Fed now holds a record 16.5% of US debt. And it’s going to have to buy trillions of dollars of additional Treasuries in 2021 to keep pace with government borrowing.
In other words, there is no end in sight to quantitative easing. In fact, the central bank will have to double its scheduled monthly QE in 2021 to catch up to where it was in 2020.
The US government has borrowed $4.2 trillion in the last 12 months, pushing the total national debt to over $27 trillion. In order for Uncle Sam to borrow, somebody has to lend. So, who is buying all of these government bonds?
Foreign and domestic investors, commercial banks and US government entities all buy US debt, but increasingly, the Federal Reserve is backstopping the market and making this borrowing binge possible.
We have argued that the Federal Reserve has no exit strategy from this extraordinary monetary policy. In fact, it never could extricate itself from the extraordinary monetary policy it launched during the Great Recession. Today, we’re merely witnessing the same policy on hyperdrive. And there is still no way out.
When governments started locking down economies in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Reserve sprung into action. The central bank immediately cut interest rates to zero and launched what we’ve called “QE infinity.” Since then, the Fed has ballooned its balance sheet by nearly $3 trillion and increased the money supply at a record pace. Along the way, Powell and Company signaled they were surrendering to inflation, moving the inflation targeting goalposts to allow for the inevitable increases in consumer prices. Meanwhile, the federal government has run the national debt to over $27 trillion.
The question is how long can this go on?
Last week, President Trump tweeted the rug out from under stimulus when he announced that negotiations were going to be cut off until after the election. The markets immediately tanked. But Trump quickly reversed course. As Peter Schiff explained in his podcast, the president is now in the process of out-Democrating the Democrats on the stimulus issue. Peter said the Republicans lost the argument the moment they conceded stimulus is “good” for the economy.
To hear Federal Reserve officials, politicians and mainstream financial media pundits tell it – there is no inflation. In fact, the consumer price index remains “stubbornly low” according to those who view rising prices as an economic good. But inflation defined correctly is rampant. In fact, it is at all-time record levels.
Strictly speaking, inflation is an increasing money supply, and by that measure, it has set records for five straight months.
If you go to McDonald’s, you expect to get a hamburger. If you go to KFC, you expect to get chicken. And if you go to the Federal Reserve, you expect to get easy money.
The Fed delivered exactly what you would expect at this month’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting that wrapped up Wednesday.