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.
Peter Schiff has been saying that the economic problems we face weren’t caused by the coronavirus pandemic — at least not directly. We were already in deep trouble long before COVID-19 arrived on the scene. In this special episode of the Friday Gold Wrap podcast, host Mike Maharrey takes us on a journey back through time and lays out exactly how the Federal Reserve and government policies got us here and how the “cure” for the economic meltdown caused by government lockdowns is really just more of what made the economy sick in the first place.
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.
The Federal Reserve’s monetary Hail Mary is blowing up bubbles throughout the economy. Peter Schiff has been talking about this for months, but the phenomenon has been mostly ignored by the financial media. The Fed’s monetary stimulus is almost universally spun as prudent and necessary. But last week, the mainstream media suddenly spotted the bubbles. Reuters declared, “Federal Reserve’s $3 trillion virus rescue inflates market bubbles.”