Anyone who thinks that “deficits don’t matter” needs to look at the absolute slaughter going on in Europe.
It is often said that Europe “isn’t like us” because they can’t print money. Oh, but they can – they just need to do it in a coordinated fashion, just like our 50 states do (through the Federal Government.)
The problem is that printing doesn’t work. It simply debases the currency. No nation has ever managed to print its way to prosperity – or even stabilization.
We tried it in 1933 and it didn’t work. It was 1941 before we found “stability”, and then only because we went to war and bombed to dust our global competitors’ ability to produce.
We’re trying it here too folks. The Fed’s “QE” games are simply monetization – that is, money-printing. $600 billion in deficits over approximately six months (or nearly $1,200 billion annualized) absorbed in government deficits. Some call this “successful” and I suppose it is, if you measure it in the price of gallon of gasoline – which skyrocketed.
And why wouldn’t it? If you increase the divisor of something (the number of dollars) the value of each of those things goes down. Duh.
Does the government care? Not really. They think “globalization” will save them. If so how come China is slowing down? Uh, perhaps because we exported a huge part of our inflation to them, and when you’re living at a subsistence level if that’s not stopped the people starve and thus riot? They thus can’t allow that to happen or their nation burns – literally.
Is there a resolution to this problem? Not a painless one. Oh sure, we tried. The government here literally printed up and sold Treasuries to falsely inflate final demand in our economy by 12% a year for three years, and when the market threatened to throw up on that The Fed came in and debased the currency. But the claim of “pump-priming” turned out to be false; there was no water under the wellhead, and so once the prime ran out, so did the engine’s ability to run.
I said back last August – one year ago – that what was being done (1) would not work, (2) was simply compounding the damage, and (3) six to nine months later would filter through into the economy and start to show up.
So far, right on all three. Three months ago we saw the first hints from consumer staples companies about cost-push problems. This earnings season while earnings were ok forward guidance was consistently weak. And now we’ve had a bad GDP report, a bad ISM report and this morning a bad consumer income and spending report.
The “talking heads” are saying that the weakness today is all about “uncertainty” over the debt deal. Nonsense. How about the flash-crash in the DAX futures yesterday after their cash close? Are you going to tell me that the German markets collapsed because of us? Baloney. That was “algos run wild”, just as we see here – right here, right now – and the German government is no more willing to address it and stick a sock in the big banks trading operations than we are.
Well, fine. Just be aware of one thing: The next big collapse in the markets leaves The Fed and government with no ammunition to counteract it – rates are at zero and QE didn’t work except to crank up the price of food and energy.
You think this won’t happen eh? Ok, go ahead and believe that. Go ahead and believe that “we’re special.” It worked out real well for you in 2008 and the value of your IRA or 401k, didn’t it?
I know, I know, there’s a bunch of people who say “it can’t happen again because the banking system is incredibly strong”, including Geithner. Really? Then why is Unicredit locking out down-limit day after day? Why are European indices collapsing as I write this, with the ATX down 2.5%, the Dax down 1.6%, the CAC down 1.7%, Stockholm down 2.6% and the Swiss, usually the bastion of stability, down 3.68% with a rampaging Swiss Franc?
Oh yeah, that’s stability all right – in a pig’s eye.
I said in my 2010 update that Europe will not get their debt situation under control. Well? How’s it going for the Europeans? You want to tell me that things are “under control”? How?
Remember that in 2009 we were told by everyone that the recession “ended.” Well how come Feldstein is on CNBC right now saying that we’re still in a recession?
Oh really? Still in one eh? I thought we were all done with recession in 2009? Paul Krugman where are you? Oh yeah, speaking of him, his solution is to print up yet more money and drive energy and food prices even higher, so we can be like the Chinese and starve 1/4 of the population, then try to figure out how to keep them from rioting! You want to know how it’s stopped? You stop the debasement – by force if necessary through Congress removing Bernanke via emergency legislation – and perhaps by removing The Fed itself. We will no more allow the dollar to be destroyed in that fashion than the Chinese will allow their people to starve as a result of our policies.
Four years ago this was solvable with a lot of pain but it would have been bearable and resolvable. Today it’s worse. If we don’t cut this crap out there will be no resolution at all and the ultimate result will be severe, widespread and potentially revolutionary civil unrest.
The madness must stop and those who advocated the positions and policies we adopted back in 2007 and 2008 must be held to account for their failed prognostications and the economic rape they have served upon the nation. Remember, they claimed that we could “prime the pump”, “get lending going again” and thus “get the consumer back on track”..
These claims were lies as the reason we got in trouble in the first place was that the consumer’s ability and willingness to take on new credit was exhausted!
How much more evidence do you need folks? Is not what we have on the table now enough? Is not the fact that consumer spending is rolling over and multiple nations in Europe are threatened with monetary collapse sufficient evidence that “spend more to avoid going broke”, as Vice-President Biden said, does not work?
For exactly how long will you, the American people, sit back and allow this clown-car brigade in Washington and in the ivory towers of America to run proved failed policies and claim “they’ll work, just give us more time”? Another year? Two? Five?
Will your tolerance level for this utter and complete crap run out before or after you’re starving and living under a freeway overpass?
We were promised results and “accelerating growth.” What we got was a collapse in alleged “growth” instead, and now income, spending and soon employment will follow, as the only “recovery” was due to fake demand created by massive and utterly-unsustainable deficit spending.
See, I told you so.