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Fed Chairman Bernanke Gloomy Over U.S. Economy

June 21st, 2012 Comments off

Perhaps the greatest money printer in monetary history, Ben Bernanke, the iconic chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, has publically stated his revised, gloomy economic forecast for the United States. According to Bernanke, the Fed now projects GDP growth in 2012 of 2.4 percent, down from nearly 3 percent earlier in the year. This is stall speed GDP growth, despite being goosed by more than a trillion dollars of deficit spending by the Federal government in the current fiscal year, and a bucket load of monetary stimulus measures by the Federal Reserve.

What is Bernanke’s response? An extension of a program for swapping short term bond purchases for longer-termed bonds, with the bizarre name of “operation twist.” The name alone tells us how ridiculous the Fed has become under the tutelage of Ben Bernanke. The reality, as plain as daylight, is that without a heap of borrowed money and monetary gimmicks, the American economy would implode. Unfortunately, the measures adopted by Bernanke and other policymakers, which only succeed in kicking the can down the road a bit more, assure us that when the bill needs to be paid, the cost will be even more dear for the U.S. and global economy.

                 

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The Ben Bernanke Federal Reserve Semi-Annual Follies

July 22nd, 2010 Comments off

Twice yearly the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, must testify before Congress on monetary policy and the Fed’s economic outlook. Bernanke has achieved during his time as a principal policymaker on the U.S. economy an enviable reputation for poor forecasting and a unique ability to put a happy, optimistic face on the global economic crisis. However, is his most recent testimony before Congress, Bernanke gave hints that he is losing his laudable ability at spinning bad economic realities into “green shoots” of an imminent recovery.

Amid all the worthless Bernanke verbosity that the world has become accustomed to (e.g. “although fiscal policy and inventory restocking will likely be providing less impetus to the recovery than they have in recent quarters, rising demand from households and businesses should help sustain growth” ), there was a single sentence that betrays how even Bernanke is running scared that his policies of unprecedented public debt and quantitative easing are leading to disaster. The once pompously arrogant but now uncertain Fed chairman told Congress, “even as the Federal Reserve continues prudent planning for the ultimate withdrawal of monetary policy accommodation, we also recognize that the economic outlook remains unusually uncertain.”

After adding trillions of dollars to the national debt, more than a trillion dollars in worthless assets to the Fed’s balance sheet and opening up its subsidized discount window to the likes of Goldman Sachs, the best Bernanke can mutter to the politicians in Washington is, “the economic outlook remains unusually uncertain.”

If Bernanke is publicly admitting that the economic outlook for the United States is unusually uncertain, I think we can cross off his previous forecast about green shoots.

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U.S. New Home Sales Collapse in May

June 24th, 2010 Comments off

The U.S. Census Bureau has released the new home sales figures for May, and to say they were dismal would be an extreme understatement. May is the first month reflecting new home sales since the expiration of the Obama administration’s tax credit for first time home buyers, so a decline was expected by economists. However, what was not expected was the collapse of the new home housing market in the United States, which is what the data just released indicated.

In May new home sales in the U.S.A. declined by 32.7 %, which reflects a seasonally adjusted rate of 300,000 home sale per year, a level not witnessed in America since the 1960s. Add in the also dismal used home sales in the U.S. and there you have Fed Chairman Bernanke’s  “green shoots” of economic recovery from the global economic and financial crisis.

Double dip recession, anybody?

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Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Named Time’s “Person of the Year”

December 17th, 2009 Comments off

The American weekly news magazine, Time, has an annual ritual of naming the man, woman, or people of the year. Its selection for 2009 is now official, and it is none other than  the Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke. Here is Time magazine’s rationale for picking Bernanke:

“The main reason Ben Shalom Bernanke is Time’s Person of the Year for 2009 is that he is the most important player guiding the world’s most important economy. His creative leadership helped ensure that 2009 was a period of weak recovery rather than catastrophic depression, and he still wields unrivalled power over our money, our jobs, our savings and our national future. The decisions he has made, and those he has yet to make, will shape the path of our prosperity, the direction of our politics and our relationship to the world.”

I think the praise being heaped on Bernanke by Time is premature, to say the least. No doubt, the massive borrowing and money printing facilitated by the Fed did prevent a total financial collapse in 2008, after the collapse of Lehman Brothers-a disaster that Time conveniently forgets Bernanke’s monetary policies helped to facilitate. The consequences of Bernanke’s policies, all born of extreme desperation, are totally off the radar screen as far as Time Magazine is concerned. In my view, Bernanke has sown the seeds of a far worse economic catastrophe than that which he is praised for preventing. Bernanke has begun a process that will destroy the U.S. dollar, and bring about the sovereign fiscal collapse of the United States. In effect, Ben Bernanke has not saved the economy; he has postponed one disaster in order to enable a catastrophe that will be far worse.

 

For More Information on “Global Economic Forecast 2010-2015” please go to the homepage of our website, http://www.globaleconomiccrisis.com   
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Ben Bernanke and his Terrifying Toolkit

May 6th, 2009 Comments off
In his testimony before the congressional Joint Economic Committee, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke repeated an earlier prediction that the severe recession in the U.S. economy would end in the current year. Typically, Bernanke offered all kinds of qualifications, just so he would not be seen as too optimistic, thereby eroding all credibility. Nevertheless, the Fed Chairman is now firmly on record as forecasting that the worst impact of the Global Economic Crisis upon the American economy will recede in 2009. And as the foremost expert on monetary policy and economics in all the land, this self-proclaimed genius (as witnessed on the CBS 60 Minutes propaganda segment on Bernanke) is someone we should all pay attention to; that goes for every parsed word flowing from his lips.
Before becoming overly indulgent in the gospel of Ben Bernanke, let us take a brief trip down memory lane, to the year 2007. Then, too, the Fed Chairman testified before the Joint Economic Committee. And this is what he had to say, just as the first inklings of a subprime mortgage crisis were percolating. Bernanke, when asked about the ramifications of this threatening disaster to the overall health of the nation’s economy, replied that it was “likely to be contained.”

Likely to be contained? No economic forecast has ever been so catastrophically flawed as Ben Bernanke’s utterance before the Joint Economic Committee. And that was by no means the only wrong prediction uttered by Ben Bernanke, as the subprime crisis morphed into a full-blown financial meltdown, leading to the Global Economic Crisis. The track record established by Ben Bernanke in predicting the consequences of an unfolding economic crisis of unprecedented global ferocity has been downright calamitous. Yet this same deficient analyzer of economic phenomena remains as chairman of the Fed, with unchallenged powers to set monetary policy.

As the subprime crisis became something much worse, Bernanke adopted a slightly different tack in his public posture. Rather than rosy forecasts, he boasted about the lavish toolkit that the Fed possessed. “We have many tools in our toolkit,” boasted Bernanke on more than occasion, cheerfully promising to use all the tools he felt were necessary.

The vocabulary that the Fed Chairman has succumbed to I find absolutely fascinating. Massive monetary decisions that are risky in the extreme, and will likely have intergenerational consequences, become mere “tools.” The consequential becomes the ubiquitous.

Bernanke and the Federal Reserve have been in panic mode, as the financial system became unglued. Massive quantitative easing has flooded fiat liquidity into America’s battered economy, buying a short-term respite at best, and at the cost of hyperinflation down the road. Most troubling, and often in total secrecy, the Fed has been bailing out Wall Street, above and beyond the TARP program being managed by the Treasury Department. Since last September and the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the Fed’s balance sheet has doubled to more than $2 trillion. Most troubling is the quality of that balance sheet, which has historically been composed primarily of Treasuries. Now, however, at least 75% of the Federal Reserve’s balance is in the form of questionable assets, such as mortgage backed securities. In effect, Ben Bernanke has transformed the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet into the nation’s largest toxic dump. It may be only a matter of time before the Fed approaches Congress-and U.S. taxpayers- for a bailout of its own.

While Bernanke may still inspire confidence from President Obama, he frankly scares the hell out of me. Isn’t it time we took away the toolkit from this disaster-prone Fed Chairman, before it is too late?

For More Information on “Global Economic Forecast 2010-2015” please go to the homepage of our website, http://www.globaleconomiccrisis.com 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ben Bernanke Heavy On Quantitative Easing: Is The Federal Reserve Unleashing Hyperinflation?

March 17th, 2009 Comments off
A vast television audience undoubtedly tuned in to watch and listen to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s profile on the CBS Sunday news show 60 Minutes. And despite the reputation that 60 Minutes has garnered and claimed for itself as a vigilant investigative reporting arm of CBS News, the program actually broadcast comprised some of the most self-serving propaganda ever to appear on television. When the super-secret Federal Reserve “acquiesced” to having its Chairman interviewed, it should have been apparent what the agenda was; Bernanke wanted a highly visible platform to communicate a deliberative (and unchallenged) message. The management of CBS and producers of 60 Minutes were only too happy to oblige.
The message to the American people and indeed the whole world being impacted by the Global Economic Crisis was: A) Boy, is Ben Bernanke brilliant! And B) The Fed Chairman knows how worried the American people are about the prospects of unemployment and personal bankruptcy, in fact he is one of them! Bernanke is just one of the common people, not a lackey of Wall Street, so we must trust him when he tells us he has to bailout out the bankers and financiers to save the rest of the American economy. Otherwise, economics is too complex for mere mortals to comprehend, so we should just all have blind faith is his intuitive genius to “fix” the financial system. Besides, a lot of the bailout money is not coming from the American taxpayers but rather from the Federal Reserve. And yes, the Fed is generating the capital through its printing presses, but please don’t ask any more question about this, just trust us.
As ludicrous as this may sound, that was exactly the essence of the 60 Minutes portrayal of Ben Bernanke. It was classic public relations messaging, almost devoid of any real content. But not entirely.

The brief reassurance from Bernanke that the Fed’s printing presses were contributing most of the bailout money being injected into Wall Street as opposed to taxpayers was the single most important revelation from the otherwise monotonous propaganda broadcast on 60 Minutes. For those familiar with technical terminology as applied to monetary policy, Ben Bernanke was indirectly conceding that America’s semi-private central bank was engaging in quantitative easing, on a massive scale.

What is quantitative easing? In essence, it is printing money. In other words, the Federal Reserve, by virtue of the congressional legislation that led to its establishment in 1913, has the sole power and authority to print U.S. currency, at will. At any time. Without congressional or even presidential supervision or consultation. In unlimited quantities. There are some of us that believe that the power to engage in unregulated quantitative easing by the Fed amounts to nothing more than legal counterfeiting. Yet, that is exactly what is going on at the Federal Reserve, and Ben Bernanke confirmed it, though the meaning of his admission was probably rendered opaque to many viewers due to the saturation of praise heaped on the intellectual acumen of Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Largely unseen by the American public, their nation’s Federal Reserve is engaged in a massive expansion of the U.S. money supply. No one outside the Federal Reserve knows all the details, probably not even President Barack Obama. But it must be in the hundreds of billions of dollars, and perhaps in the trillions.

Not only is this manufactured money being used to recapitalize Wall Street firms and cover AIG payments to counter-parties; it may be the means by which the Fed and Treasury Department collaborate in covering the cost of America’s massive and never-ending budgetary deficits. As foreign sources of credit dry up in the midst of the Global Economic Crisis, the Treasury Department seems to be working with the Fed to monetize the debt. This is in essence a Bernie Madoff form of national finance. The U.S. Treasury Department sells its Treasury bonds to the Federal Reserve, and in return receives the output of the Fed’s printing presses.

What is so dangerous about the path that Bernanke seemed to hint at during the 60 Minutes profile of him is that the inevitable outcome is hyperinflation. In fact, behind the scenes, a growing number of expert economists are suggesting that the accumulating national debt of the United States will be so titanic in scope due to the multi-trillion dollar annual deficits the Obama administration is planning for years to come, the only means of rendering such a debt burden sustainable will be to use inflation as a tool to significantly erode its real value.

This approach, in a word, amounts to hyperinflation. It is a road to fiscal calamity, being cheerfully mapped out by Ben Bernanke and company. If anyone still thinks Bernanke’s path will lead to economic recovery, just look at the German Weimar Republic of the early 1920s or Mugabe’s Zimbabwe of today, to comprehend how bad an idea this really is.

Perhaps it would have been best not to have had Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve propagandized on 60 Minutes. Far from being reassured as to the competence and skill of the men of destiny leading the U.S. economy, I am even more convinced that the outcome that awaits the U.S. economy is not a happy one. Perhaps this is what Chinese Premier Wen meant when he suggested at his recent news conference that he was worried about the safety of China’s investment in U.S. Treasuries. If the Fed is planning to engineer hyperinflation through quantitative easing and debt monetization, China’s trillion-dollar investment in U.S. public debt could loose most of its value. However, China won’t be alone. As history has shown time and again, a nation’s middle class and many of its wealthy citizens stand to loose much of the real value of their assets denominated in currency undergoing quantitative easing.

Does anyone serving in the U.S. Congress actually understand what the Federal Reserve is planning for the U.S. economy?

 

 

 

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