Federal Reserve

The best Ron Paul analysis you will ever read this campaign season…

December 31st, 2011 2:55 pm  |  by  |  Published in Civil Liberties, Commentary, Drugs, Election, Federal Reserve, Foreign Policy, Liberty, Politics, Ron Paul, Social Security, torture, War  |  33 Responses

…comes from Glenn Greenwald. I’ve always admired Greenwald; however, I found myself cheering in agreement as I read his latest article, “Progressives and the Ron Paul fallacies”. He suggests that voters will have to decide for themselves on the lesser of evils (as usual). In doing so Greenwald pushes to the surface the numerous actions Obama has taken that goes directly against what self-righteous progressives are all about. It’s long, but read it. It is truth. Yes, even the part about the newsletters. Here is an excerpt:

The thing I loathe most about election season is reflected in the central fallacy that drives progressive discussion the minute “Ron Paul” is mentioned. As soon as his candidacy is discussed, progressives will reflexively point to a slew of positions he holds that are anathema to liberalism and odious in their own right and then say: how can you support someone who holds this awful, destructive position? The premise here — the game that’s being played — is that if you can identify some heinous views that a certain candidate holds, then it means they are beyond the pale, that no Decent Person should even consider praising any part of their candidacy.

The fallacy in this reasoning is glaring. The candidate supported by progressives — President Obama — himself holds heinous views on a slew of critical issues and himself has done heinous things with the power he has been vested. He has slaughtered civilians — Muslim children by the dozens — not once or twice, but continuously in numerous nations withdronescluster bombs and other forms of attack. He has sought to overturn a global ban on cluster bombs. He has institutionalized the power of Presidents — in secret and with no checks — to target American citizens for assassination-by-CIA, far from any battlefield. He has wagedan unprecedented war against whistleblowers, the protection of which was once a liberal shibboleth. He rendered permanently irrelevant the War Powers Resolution, a crown jewel in the list of post-Vietnam liberal accomplishments, and thus enshrined the power of Presidents to wage war even in the face of a Congressional vote against it. His obsession with secrecy is so extreme that it has become darkly laughable in its manifestations, and he even worked to amend the Freedom of Information Act (another crown jewel of liberal legislative successes) when compliance became inconvenient.

He has entrenched for a generation the once-reviled, once-radical Bush/Cheney Terrorism powers of indefinite detention, military commissions, and the state secret privilege as a weapon to immunize political leaders from the rule of law. He has shielded Bush era criminals from every last form of accountability. He has vigorously prosecuted the cruel and supremely racist War on Drugs, including those parts he vowed during the campaign to relinquish — a war which devastates minority communities and encages and converts into felons huge numbers of minority youth for no good reason. He has empowered thieving bankers through the Wall Street bailout, Fed secrecy, efforts to shield mortgage defrauders from prosecution, and the appointment of an endless roster of former Goldman, Sachs executives and lobbyists. He’s brought the nation to a full-on Cold War and a covert hot war with Iran, on the brink of far greater hostilities. He has made the U.S. as subservient as ever to the destructive agenda of the right-wing Israeli government. His support for some of the Arab world’s most repressive regimes is as strong as ever.

Read it all at Salon.com.

Twist Paves the Way for QE III

September 24th, 2011 2:46 pm  |  by  |  Published in Economics, Federal Reserve, inflation, Money, Peter Schiff  |  1

by Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, and host of The Peter Schiff Show, broadcasting live from WSTC Norwalk CT from 10am to noon Eastern time every weekday, and streaming at www.schiffradio.com.

Earlier this week the Federal Reserve ignited a firestorm in the global markets by admitting that the U.S. economy is facing downside risks. Although it continues to sugar coat the unpleasant reality, never has such a stunningly obvious statement resulted is so much turmoil.

Once again we are seeing the knee-jerk market reaction to seek refuge in the perceived safety of the U.S. dollar and U.S. Treasuries. However I expect investors will soon discover that such assets are firmly in the eye of the storm.  As the tempest moves on, those enjoying the dollar’s current stability may soon find themselves battered by a category five monster.

Market disappointment was compounded when the Fed failed to follow up its dire outlook with a new round of quantitative easing (QE). Instead, through a policy entitled “Operation Twist” the Fed promised to sell $400 billion of short-term Treasuries and use the proceeds to buy an equivalent amount of long-term Treasuries. The markets evidently perceived this “balance sheet neutral” policy as too timid.

From my perspective, the Twist really amounts to another Fed “Hail Mary” pass that will fall short of the end zone. But, by putting the squeeze on banks and further restricting credit availability to small business the move will likely do more harm than good.

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September 13th, 2011 8:22 pm  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Banking, congress, Debt, Economics, Federal Reserve, government spending, inflation, jobs, Money, national debt, Peter Schiff, Taxes  |  Comments Off

On Tuesday, September 13, Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capitalwww.europac.net will testify before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending. The hearing entitled, “Take Two: The President’s Proposal to Stimulate the Economy and Create Jobs” will examine federal job creation efforts. Mr. Schiff, author of many best-selling books including “How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes” is well known for his views on how federal regulatory activism and irresponsible monetary and fiscal policy is actively destroying jobs in America. The following statement from Mr. Schiff will be read into the Congressional Record this morning. Within a few days, video of the hearings will be available on the Committee’s website. Please feel free to excerpt or repost with the proper attribution and all links included.
 

How the Government Can Create Jobs

Testimony by Peter D. Schiff

Offered to the House Sub-Committee on Government Reform and Stimulus Oversight

September 13, 2011

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ranking member, and all distinguished members of this panel. Thank you for inviting me here today to offer my opinions as to how the government can help the American economy recover from the worst crisis in living memory.

Despite the understandable human tendency to help others, government spending cannot be a net creator of jobs. Indeed many efforts currently under consideration by the Administration and Congress will actively destroy jobs. These initiatives must stop. While it is easy to see how a deficit-financed government program can lead to the creation of a specific job, it is much harder to see how other jobs are destroyed by the diversion of capital and resources. It is also difficult to see how the bigger budget deficits sap the economy of vitality, destroying jobs in the process.

In a free market jobs are created by profit seeking businesses with access to capital. Unfortunately Government taxes and regulation diminish profits, and deficit spending and artificially low interest rates inhibit capital formation. As a result unemployment remains high, and will likely continue to rise until policies are reversed.

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The Last Haven Standing

September 4th, 2011 10:47 pm  |  by  |  Published in Debt, Federal Reserve, gold, inflation, Money, national debt  |  Comments Off

by Peter Schiff

The markets are going through another sell-off phase, yet the traditional notions of a ‘safe haven’ are changing. No longer is the US dollar the default shelter; instead, gold, the Swiss franc, and the Japanese yen are the preferred assets.

All three of these havens – gold, francs, and yen – have been surging upward this month. Two of them, however, are being actively devalued by central banks desperately (and foolishly) trying to curtail appreciation. The Swiss and Japanese are enlisting both policy measures and all the banker-speak they can muster to stem the tide of investment flows into their currencies.

The game is Last Haven Standing, and Spielberg has already acquired the movie rights.

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Paper Currencies Finally Redeemed for Gold

August 20th, 2011 10:50 pm  |  by  |  Published in Debt, Economics, Federal Reserve, gold, government spending, inflation, Money, national debt, Taxes  |  Comments Off

by John Browne, Senior Market Strategist at Euro Pacific Capital

The basic unwillingness of politicians to face economic and financial realities has caused the United States and European Union to face currency collapse. The politicians are content literally to paper over the problem with massive amounts of newly printed currency. This means that savvy investors, facing major real losses, are turning increasingly to gold. In essence, even though currencies are no longer on a gold standard, they are increasingly being “redeemed” for gold in the marketplace.

For decades, fiscally irresponsible US Administrations have gradually reduced the world’s richest nation, with a currency perceived as ‘good as gold,’ to the position of the largest global debtor, with a debased currency. Furthermore, US stock markets have offered little real return. Indeed, the Dow stands just below 11K, down over 3K points from its all-time high on October 9, 2009. Discounting for inflation shows a loss close to 4K points, or a fall of over 25 percent from its all-time high. Meanwhile, equities in emerging markets have often shown handsome returns.

The recent political wrangling in Washington has damaged the financial credibility of the United States, prompting a long overdue debt downgrade by ratings house Standard & Poor’s. This removes a fundamental pillar supporting the dollar as the global reserve asset of choice.

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Krugman’s War Cry Won’t Avert Depression

August 16th, 2011 11:05 pm  |  by  |  Published in Economics, Federal Reserve, government spending, inflation, Money, War  |  Comments Off

by Michael Pento, Senior Economist at Euro Pacific Capital (www.europac.net)

Paul Krugman sounded the war cry this Sunday on Fareed Zakaria’s program Global Public Square. After all, he asserted, only spending equivalent to another World War could lead us back to prosperity. That, and a healthy dose of inflation.

Krugman argued that inflation would address our debt problem by reducing our bill in current dollar terms and that the Second World War was a giant stimulus plan that actually worked. Thankfully, he added the refrain, “Hopefully we don’t need a world war to get there,” but I sensed a tinge of regret in his voice. After all, the Keynesian economist’s favorite pastime is seeing people waste their lives digging holes in the ground or sacrifice their lives in war. Both acts create economic growth according to the topsy-turvy logic of men like Krugman.

The truth is that wars are a miserable misallocation of capital and usually leave financial ruin in their wake. The US did not boom in the ’50s because we fought World War II, but because we resoundingly won. It was the byproduct of having an unscathed manufacturing base, solid infrastructure, an intact military, most of the world’s gold, and the only reserve currency.

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The Fix Is In

August 12th, 2011 10:35 pm  |  by  |  Published in Economics, Federal Reserve, Peter Schiff  |  Comments Off

by Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, and host of The Peter Schiff Show, broadcasting live from WSTC Norwalk CT from 10am to noon Eastern time every weekday, and streaming at www.schiffradio.com

This week’s wild actions on Wall Street should serve as a stark reminder that few investors have any clue as to what is really going on beneath the surface of America’s troubled economy. But this week did bring startling clarity on at least one front. In its August policy statement the Federal Reserve took the highly unusual step of putting a specific time frame for the continuation of its near zero interest rate policy.

Moving past the previously uncertain pronouncements that they would “keep interest rates low for an extended period,” the Fed now tells us that rates will not budge from rock bottom for at least two years. Although the markets rallied on the news (at least for a few minutes) in reality the policy will inflict untold harm on the U.S. economy. The move was so dangerous and misguided that three members of the Fed’s Open Market Committee actually voted against it. This level of dissent within the Fed hasn’t been seen for years.

Many economists have short-sightedly concluded that ultra low interest rates are a sure fire way to spur economic growth. The easier and cheaper it is to borrow, they argue, the more likely business and consumers are to spend. And because spending spurs growth, in their calculation, low rates are always good. But, as is typical, they have it backwards.

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Gold Faces Short-Term Price Trap

August 10th, 2011 10:33 pm  |  by  |  Published in Economics, Federal Reserve, gold, inflation, Money  |  Comments Off

by John Browne, Senior Market Strategist at Euro Pacific Capital

Last week Fed Chairman Bernanke raised eyebrows and denied history when he asserted in front of Congress that gold doesn’t qualify as money. Yesterday he took the unprecedented step of announcing that the Federal Reserve would keep interest rates near zero for at least the next two years. In very short order thereafter it required much more of the money that he believes in (U.S. dollars) to buy the money that he doesn’t believe in (gold).

In any event, it was beyond unusual for the Fed to make such an explicit time commitment on monetary policy. To underscore this fact, three voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee came out against the policy. Such dissent within the Fed’s ranks has not been seen in decades. But Bernanke’s shameless appeasement of market fears did interrupt, if only for a few hours, the free fall on Wall Street. Wiser investors, understanding how a more activist Federal Reserve will destroy the value of the dollar, moved to gold, pushing the metal up to north of $1,750 per ounce.

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Gold Faces Short-Term Price Trap

July 29th, 2011 10:42 pm  |  by  |  Published in Economics, Federal Reserve, gold, government spending, inflation, Money  |  Comments Off

by John Browne, Senior Market Strategist at Euro Pacific Capital

Although I believe gold still faces a very rosy future, an agreement in Washington that avoids default and growing concerns of a global economic slowdown could create significant near-term headwinds for gold investors.

While the dysfunction of the US government is on stark display over the debt ceiling negotiations, other areas of the world show similar policy confusion. In the European Union, great doubts exist as to how the leaders will be able to stem the tide of serious sovereign debt contagion without inviting recession and an uptick in inflation. In China, commentators seem to lack confidence that the economy can maintain its impressive growth rate if its major trading bloc partners fall back into recession. This uncertainty has created a level of financial fear that has contributed to gold’s run up to more than $1,600 per ounce. However, this also means that any weakening of these fears could lead to a pull back in gold. An agreement in Washington, however meaningless, may be such a trigger.

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It Ain’t Money If I Can’t Print It!

July 14th, 2011 10:42 pm  |  by  |  Published in Banking, Debt, Economics, Federal Reserve, inflation, jobs, Money, unemployment  |  2 Responses

by Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, and host of The Peter Schiff Show, broadcasting live from WSTC Norwalk CT from 10am to noon Eastern time every weekday, and streaming at www.schiffradio.com

I have been forecasting with near certainty that QE2 would not be the end of the Fed’s money-printing program. My suspicions were confirmed in both the Fed minutes on Tuesday and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s semi-annual testimony to Congress yesterday. The former laid out the conditions upon which a new round of inflation would be launched, and the latter re-emphasized – in case anyone still doubted – that Mr. Bernanke has no regard for the principles of a sound currency.

Tuesday’s release of the Fed minutes contained the first indication that a third round of quantitative easing (QE3) is being considered. The notes described unanimous agreement that QE2 should be completed, along with the following comment: “depending on how economic conditions evolve, the Committee might have to consider providing additional monetary policy stimulus, especially if economic growth remained too slow to meaningfully reduce the unemployment rate in the medium run.” Since the unemployment situation is deteriorating, and by all accounts will continue to do so, the Fed is essentially pledging to keep the spigot turned on. The committee also decided to look only at current “overall inflation” in making their judgments, as opposed to “inflation trends.” Since new dollars take awhile to circulate around the economy and raise prices, this means the Fed is sure to be too late in tightening once inflation starts to run away, causing more dislocations in the American economy.

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