Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve and the Road To Ruin
It is not the “Road To Morocco” ( for those who remember the classic film with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope) but he proverbial road to ruin that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is leading the U.S. economy towards, at flank speed. Under his leadership, the last meeting of the Federal Reserve’s FOMC of 2010 confirmed the zero interest rate policy being maintained, and the policy decision to purchase $600 billion in long-term U.S. Treasury debt. This, despite claims by many punch-drunk economists that the American economy is recovering, and at a heightened pace. Give Bernanke credit for one thing; he knows the supposed economic growth is not real, but rather marginal increments painfully extracted through massive public borrowing. But his solution, in effect creating even more public stimulus, this time through monetary policy, is totally antithetical.
Supposedly, Bernanke’s stratagem is to force down long-term interest rates through his $600 billion second round of quantitative easing. However, the bond market is reacting in a manner contrary to expectations. With Europe already mired in a deep sovereign debt crisis, the prospect of a surge in now record low interest rates on U.S. sovereign debt is becoming increasingly likely, due to the Fed’s policies. Should the U.S. encounter anything remotely like the spike on bond yields currently plaguing Europe, the game is up. Not even Bernanke could print enough money to cover the ruinous implosion an increasingly likely sovereign debt crisis will have on the already fragile American economy.