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Author Topic: Money  (Read 8411 times)

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Re: Money
« Reply #375 on: June 18, 2018, 05:30:23 pm »
Agelbert NOTE: Here's a bit of background to explain our current trajectory.

June 14, 2018

Is the Fed Repeating the Mistake of 1936–37?

Jerome Powell has the situation in hand.

“The economy is doing very well,” the Federal Reserve chairman assured reporters after yesterday’s 0.25% rate hike.

There was more:

Most people who want to find jobs are finding them, and unemployment and inflation are low…

We think that gradually returning interest rates to a more normal level as the economy strengthens is the best way the Fed can help sustain an environment in which American households and businesses can thrive.

We could lift an objection or three to the chairman’s testimony… but refrain on advice of counsel.  ;D

For instance, that nearly 102 million working-age adults are out of the labor force — a number that hasn’t changed in four years.

Or that median wages have gone nowhere for decades.

Or that the current 108-month “expansion” is the second longest in history… and recession is long overdue.

The Fed nonetheless expects to impose two additional rate hikes this year… for a total of four.

Additional hikes are on tap next year.

And so we wonder… is the Fed repeating “the mistake of 1936–37?”

Six years into the Depression, the American economy was climbing from its sickbed.

Annual GDP growth — real GDP growth — was on the jump.

Unemployment was falling, from its 25% high… to 14%.

The Federal Reserve feared any additional loosening could start an inflationary fever.

And it believed the economic patient strong enough to go on his own steam.

It was time to return to “normal”… as Jerome Powell presently believes.

Christina Romer, former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, in The Economist:

In 1936 the Federal Reserve began to worry about its “exit strategy.” After several years of relatively loose monetary policy, American banks were holding large quantities of reserves in excess of their legislated requirements. Monetary policymakers feared these excess reserves would make it difficult to tighten if inflation developed or if “speculative excess” began again on Wall Street.

We cannot help but ponder… do not some of these conditions suggest something of today’s?

The Fed decided to tighten in 1936–37.

But the patient wasn’t as hale as the medical men assumed.

It was soon horizontal again … laid up with a wasting disease.

Real GDP dropped 10% between May 1937 and June 1938.

Unemployment spiked from 14% to 20%.

The “recession within a depression” was America’s third-largest downturn of the 20th century.

The Fed reopened its medical bag of easy money in 1938… and the recession ultimately ended.

But Romer warns that the 1936–37 example “provides a cautionary tale.”

The Fed wanted to return to “normal” — just as today’s Fed.

“The urge to declare victory and get back to normal policy after an economic crisis is strong,” affirms Romer.

The economy was too wobbly to stand on its own in 1936.

Is today’s economy too wobbly to stand additional rate hikes?

First-quarter GDP expanded a glass-half-empty 2.2%.

Annual GDP growth has eked out a mere 2.16% average since 2010.

But comes your objection…

Unlike 1936, the economy is not sunk in depression. The comparison is off.

But here we resort to John Maynard Keynes’ definition of depression:

A chronic condition of sub-normal activity for a considerable period without any marked tendency towards recovery or towards complete collapse.

The long-term U.S. growth rate is roughly 3%.

But it has not grown at 3% since the financial crisis.

Here you have your depression… as defined by Lord Keynes himself.

Regardless, at 2.2% growth, “overheating” would not seem to apply today.

But Jim Rickards argues the Fed isn’t raising rates to break a fever.

It’s restocking its medicine chest for the next recession.

History says rates must climb to 3% or more to tackle the next recession.

The Fed won’t reach its 3% destination until mid-2019 at the going rate — if it arrives at all.

Bank of America has canvassed the entire history of tightening cycles going back over 100 years.

Its conclusion:

Whenever the Fed tightens aggressively… America falls ill:

Sixteen of the past 19 rate hike cycles have ended in recession — 84% of the time.

Be it a financial “event” or general economic malaise, the evidence is overwhelming…

Aggressive rate hikes are followed by trouble.

Will the Fed cause another 1937-like recession… or some financial “event”?

Jim Rickards believes it could.

The Fed is “raising into weakness,” says Jim.

And that it will have to turn around later this year once the business becomes clear.

We hope Jim is wrong… but fear he is not.

We learn one lesson from history:

That we learn little from history.

It is a lesson we could potentially learn once again — the hard way.


Brian Maher
Managing editor, The Daily Reckoning


These ARE the same pundits who went apeshit when the FED lowered interest rates. Remember that?

We all know that BAU is unsustainable, and that de-growth is a positive for the planet. Yet because we are all tied to BAU in some fashion, when the inevitable contractions start to occur, we look around for someone to blame. I'm no exception.

I do agree with the general spin in the alterna-press that the FED will drive us into a recession, or worse. The thing is that de-growth is inevitable, and not in control of the FED or any other human construct. They are the humbug Wizards of Oz in the world. When verbal bullshit
and posturing stops moving markets, they're ****-out-of-luck.

It's amazing they have kept the house of cards from collapsing this long. It won't go on forever.

I think we have a few more years before TSHTF. But it could seize any time.

True, the Daily Reckoning crowd consists of market bears gold bugs with a decided Mises/Libertarian 😈 slant. They are bullish on Oil so I am not particularly fond of them.

That said, the chart they posted is evidence of some very real correlation from casuation.

Here's my analysis of this situation, Eddie. Our system used to work through positive motivation, which is psychology is the ideal way to train a dog (and people too). Negative motivations work, but not as well. You need a giant threat hanging over the trained to keep them doing what you want them to do.

The Fed is not just "the Fed".  They are the mouthpiece for the dollar hegemony, backed by a humongous military plus Wall Street, which herded us in to the Legal Tender Laws corral. It is an error to dismiss the power of the Fed tp ruin the economy.

All that said, since they couldn't positively convince people to invest in the Wall Street Casino as of 2008, they went the negative motivation route. That is, they coerced people seeking yield to go into stocks with crap dividends , simply because bond interest rates were even crappier.

As soon as they did that, almost every rise in the stock market was just herd following due to higher risk yield chasing, NOT fundamentals based.  More on this later. There is a thunderstorm 🌪 going on and I have to shut down.


Okay, I'm back and still in one piece.  ;D

What I'm saying is that coercion is the only tool the Fed has since 2008 to keep people buying stocks. Now, they want to use a gradual raising of interest rates based on a flawed view of the REAL economy out there, which is still in a Depression.

The reason the Fed is doing that is to defend the dollar hegemony, period. Every country the US has attacked in the last 30 years has been a country that wanted to stop using the dollar. Most people, for example, think that our beef with North Korea is all about "communism". BULLSHIT. North Korea is only exceeded in counterfeiting  US Dollars by the Fed, which does it "legally" 😈 . The Fed does not like competition. The North Koreans did not print fake, easy to identify, dollars in a back room. No sir, they got the highest quality printing machines and ink dies, equivalent to the ones we have in the USA. THAT was why US money had to be made harder to counterfeit (if you aren't the Fed, of course). I am certain they have kept up with the "metallic thread" innovations as well. Five will get you ten that part of the negotiations with Trumpy included an agreement to stop the dollar presses in North Korea. We are, oh so friendly with people that don't mess with the almighty "dollar".   

The reality is that the valuation of the US Stock Market is  happy talk Fantasy Island. The dollar hegemony is the only thing that keeps it from cratering, even with all the efforts of the Plung Protection Team to game it to the upside.

This is where I part ways with the pundits from the Daily Reckoning. It's NOT simply about interest rate manipulation; it's that, PLUS a consistent consciense free predatory defense of the dollar hegemony, no matter how many people are hurt economically by it.

China knows that. Do you think all this trade war business is just about tariffs? NO, NO, NO! China has the Fed by the short hairs because of all the US debt they hold. The US is trying desperately to coerce China to NOT dump that debt. The tariff game is the stick part of it, but the raising of interest rates is the carrot.

People here are always speculating about the date of a collapse. Well, the total cratering of the dollar will be a sign that a collapse is imminent (weeks or less away). WHY? Because the cratering of the dollar (forget that bullshit about how it would "help" our balance of trade deficit - Most of what we depend, that isn't food, including the metal raw materials feed stock for pickup trucks, ain't made here no more!) would instantly put the majority of Americans well below the poverty line in buying power.

Our police state certainly is NOT going to be nice and "help us out" when the inflation rate goes to the moon, as it will when the dollar craters while the Fed babbles happy talk BULLSHIT about how "inflation is controlled" (when food, housing, transportation, energy, plumbing, internet, health care and breathing are not part of index, of course!).

Our MIC is an oligarchic tool used for the express purpose of coercing everybody they can coerce to tow the dollar hegemony line, period. That MIC has a LOT of problems now keeping their act together. When the MIC can't coerce the rest of the world, it is game over for the almighty dollar.

And, if you think we-the-people will be unscathed within the USA, think again. You cannot, by law, tell those who rent from you to pay you in ollive oil or gold or corn whisky or whatever because the dollar is inflating faster than you are allowed to raise rent prices. You cannot ask your dental patients to pay you in hogs, chickens or MREs. They will say to you, "What part of 'good for all debts public and private' do you not understand about the Blessed Federal Reserve Note?".

Every mechanism that people in business rely on to stay in business in the USA counts on a LOW inflation rate. Up until now, you business folks have done okay while we folks on pensions have been royally forked. That was the Fed plan. They have to steal from somebody (See: legal counterfeiting) so the weakest were selected, of course.

How long the Fed can continue to selectively screw 90% of we-the-people on behalf of the upper class and the dollar hegemony all depends on how successful our MIC is at bullying, threatening, maiming, starving, killing, etc. the rest of the countries in the world in general.

I don't believe that is working too well. In fact, I think it is a BIG FAIL! 

One final thought for you to ponder: The reason the USA hasn't messed with Panama since our pet dictator started competing with the CIA for drug profits is that the official currency of Panama is the US Dollar.
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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