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Ben Bernanke Plots More Mayhem?
September 01, 2012
Editorial By Anthony Wile
Hasn't he done enough?
Apparently not. Meeting at an annual Jackson Hole central banking get-together, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke apparently announced his determination to continue to print money, thus further debasing the value of the dollar in his quixotic quest to save it.
Here's how AP reported on Bernanke's apparent intentions:
Chairman Ben Bernanke sent a clear message Friday that the Federal Reserve will do more to help the still-struggling U.S. economy ...
He stopped short of committing the Fed to any specific move. But in his speech to an annual Fed conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Bernanke said that even with interest rates already at super-lows, the Fed can do more ...
Some economists predict the Fed will unveil some bold new step as soon as its Sept. 12-13 meeting, possibly a third round of bond purchases meant to lower long-term interest rates and encourage more borrowing and spending. That policy is called "quantitative easing," or QE.
Lord, save us from more such solutions! The economy needs to unwind, not be further puffed up by unnecessary and ineffective money printing.
Bernanke has been at this five years. These policies don't work. Unemployment in the US is somewhere between 20 and 30 percent. Tens of millions have lost homes and jobs. The real rate of return adjusted for inflation is something like negative two percent.
Those who have savings have lost them. Those who held stocks in the 2000s have not benefitted. Those who expected an end to the recession have not experienced it.
The Fed, like other central banks, has been printing endless torrents of paper money. But much of that money has remained trapped in banks because the Fed has insisted on paying 0.2 percent interest approximately on the funds.
In an economy like this one where business is uncertain and regulation makes it difficult to create a genuinely successful startup, banks are apt to take the two percent rather than lend.
And so money doesn't circulate and the velocity doesn't pick up. Of course, there are plenty of private methodologies of business funding but these are not expanding, either, in the current environment.
Animal spirits are apparently at an all-time low, in the modern era anyway. And it is not just America. There is a great deal of trouble in Europe with joblessness. And the BRICs, the world's great hope for recovery, are struggling with various levels of price inflation. They, too, have printed too much.
A Keynesian analysis of what's gone wrong would not yield up much of an explanation because Keynes doesn't tend to deal with underlying problems, only with "solutions."
And Keynes's solution was to suggest central bank money printing followed by government pump priming. It didn't matter WHAT kind of job was created so long as a job was pro-offered via government programs.
In the 1930s millions were put to work building walls and painting bridges. But there was little "recovery" until AFTER World War II, when the US and to a lesser extent Britain found themselves presiding over the shards of a ruined world economy.
The two countries dominated this economy with a tough, skilled work force and joblessness began to climb down. But this didn't solve the biggest problem of all, which was that money was still being driven by monopoly, fiat central banking. Over time, money printing is a most corrosive enterprise.
In a normal economy where central bankers don't interfere with money stuff, currency competition and especially the circulation of gold and silver can provide a governor for economic activity. The volume of money is regulated, in other words, by how much the market will bear.
But in a fiat environment there is no limit to how much money can be printed. And people will always print too much. Human nature.
With so much money pouring into the marketplace, it is not long before the market grows distorted. Every corner has a fast-food restaurant; every alley provides a computer store; every highway off-ramp presents a sprawling car dealership.
Bigness reigns. Fiat money is the lifeblood of corporatism. Large corporations, in fact, are a lot like government. They don't work very well. But torrents of fiat money cover up a plethora of sins.
And when the trans-national business sector founders, central banks and government facilities ride to the rescue with yet more torrents of money. During 2009, the Fed printed US$16 trillion in quickie loans and spread them around the world.
The justification was that the Fed was "saving" the financial system. But whom does the system actually benefit? The modern world economy is entirely a false one. Just as no one knows what a certain kind of bodybuilder would look like without steroids, so we have no idea what a normal economy would look like without monopoly fiat money.
We can speculate, of course. The state itself would not be nearly so expansive. Nor would there be money to fund endless wars. Society would be more agrarian, less consumerist and its industrial endeavors would be more modest.
Knowledge would shine because it would not be stifled by state-run universities. Parents would live with children instead of in senior citizen mills. The legal industry would be less ubiquitous; the penal-industrial system would be found insupportable.
Contrast this with the bloated bigness we have today. Every part of Western society suffers from clumsy gigantism. Puffed up by fiat money, incompetence, conspiracy and brutality are increasingly the order of the day.
This is the system Bernanke and his fellow central bankers are dedicated to "saving." Once we would have thought it was normal. No more.
The information and insight provided by what we call the Internet Reformation inevitably informs us that modern monetary enterprise is NOT worth saving. They are doing it for themselves, not for us.
It is their system, not ours.
Even more malevolently, what the powers-that-be see as salvage is actually intended to further degrade the system. The power elite wants world government and the easiest way to get it is to continually ruin the economy while squeezing the middle class via inflation and joblessness until people are willing to accept ANY solution to remove the pain, even world government.
It really is a clever system, and one that allows central bankers to pretend to be saviors of the civilized world even as their incessant money printing continually ruins and centralizes what is left of the global economy.
AP writers, reporting on Bernanke's speech, explained that Bernanke assessed the economy's weaknesses, defended the extraordinary steps the Fed has taken to date and insisted it can do more.
Sounds something like a threat.