How “Excess Reserves” and the Money Multiplier Could Trigger Inflation

Excess Reserves

Banks have $2.5 trillion parked in "excess reserves". This is money on deposit with the FED. The FED pays a miniscule amount of interest on these reserves but the banks are willing to loan it to the FED because it is easy no risk income. But it is also the reason that the money multiplier is falling! And when the money multiplier is falling the FED has a very hard time increasing the money supply. So if the FED really wants to increase the money supply all it has to do is decrease the interest rate it pays on excess reserves and the banks will find some place else to deploy it. Which could trigger massive inflation. ~Tim McMahon,editor A Fed Policy Change That Will Increase the Gold … [Read more...]

Inflation Expectations and the FED

Low inflation expectations

As inflation expectations rise the FED has less and less "wiggle room" to stimulate the economy.  But how do you measure "inflation expectations"? In today's article, Chris Ciovacco will show us. ~Tim McMahon, editor Low Inflation Leaves Fed’s No Taper Door Open Fed Lost Control In 2008 In early December, we used Japan as an extreme example of why central banks are terrified of allowing their respective economies to slip into a deflationary spiral. Do the same concepts apply to the United States? They do. The federal government offers standard Treasury bonds (IEF) and Treasuries that provide some protection against inflation (TIP). The law of supply and demand tells us that when demand … [Read more...]

Deflationary Forces Overpower FED

Federal Reserve Assets

Despite Bernanke's famous helicopter speech the FED's powers really are not unlimited. There is only so much they can do to stimulate the economy. After all they can't force people who are concerned about their future to borrow money. Just like a turtle people naturally recoil and pull back when times are uncertain. And even if they wanted to borrow bankers are reluctant to lend in uncertain times. This results in a phenomenon called Pushing on a String  where no matter how hard the FED tries very little force is exerted on the economy. Robert Prechter believes that this is exactly what has been happening over the last few years where the FED has been trying to stimulate the economy but the … [Read more...]

Pushing on a String, Velocity of Money and Money Multiplier Conspire Against the FED

Federal Reserve Bank Chicago

Under certain circumstances such as high national indebtedness, fear of bad economic times or when interest rates approach zero, monetary policy becomes ineffective in enticing consumers into spending more money.  Economists refer to this as "Pushing on a String" because if the basic demand doesn't exist to induce people to spend money, it can't be forced through monetary policy. Prime examples of this are during the Great Depression in the United States and in Japan since the 1990s. And as Lacy Hunt explains we are once again facing this problem in the United States since 2008. ~Tim McMahon, editor Federal Reserve Policy Failures Are Mounting By Lacy H. Hunt, Ph.D., Economist The Fed's … [Read more...]

The Case of the Disappearing Gold

Gold and Silver

When I was in the 6th grade (many, many years ago) my class took a field trip to New York City and visited the NY FED. The highlight of the trip for me was a ride down the elevator (or more precisely what was at the bottom. The ride took forever with dozens of kids and one security guard in that tight stuffy space. Anticipation built as we went down what seemed like miles into the earth where the vaults rested on Manhattan bedrock. And what was in those vaults? Gold! Lots of gold! Each vault had a name on it but not people's names, countries names. After all in those days people weren't allowed to own gold. For years now there has been a controversy as to whether our (the U.S.) Gold … [Read more...]

What are “Foreign Exchange Reserves”?

Foreign Exchange Reserve

Will the U.S. Dollar Be Replaced as the World's Reserve Currency? Foreign Exchange Reserves are foreign money held by International banks for use in international trade and in an effort to diversify their holdings and hedge against the inflation of their own currency. The most common items bought and sold with their foreign exchange reserves are oil and gold. Up until 1944 the asset of choice was gold and it was used as the medium of exchange between countries to settle their debts. But in July 1944, delegates from the 44 Allied nations gathered in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire., and made the U.S. dollar  the reserve currency of the world. At that time, the dollar was pegged at $35 per ounce … [Read more...]

Gold and the Federal Reserve

New York Federal Reserve Gold

Gold-US Dollar Link by Chris Vermeulen The $1800 per ounce level continues to be a major technical resistance area for gold. After hovering near $1800 recently, gold moved sharply away from that level last week to close at $1735 an ounce. Despite that, more fund managers and analysts continue to point to a bright long-term future for gold prices. John Hathaway of the Tocqueville Gold Fund says gold will reach new highs within a year. He based his forecast, like many others, on the fact that negative real interest rates look likely to persist as Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve continue to print money. Believe it or not, some mainstream analysts are also touting gold’s … [Read more...]

What is the Real Purpose of the Federal Reserve?

The Federal Reserve- Is the Federal Reserve really doing such a bad job… or does it actually do exactly what it's supposed to do, but the average American is in the dark about what that is? The Federal Reserve is merely a "Cartel" of Bankers whose primary purpose is to promote their own interests and not the interests of the American public. "They create money out of nothing, move it around a bit and then collect interest on it." If your or I tried to do that we'd be arrested. “The Fed’s sole purpose: keeping the banks afloat” – G. Edward Griffin In this explosive video, Casey Summit speaker G. Edward Griffin, author of The Creature from Jekyll Island, talks about the Fed's real role … [Read more...]

What is the Fiscal Cliff and How is it Affecting the Economy

Fiscal Cliff

The fiscal cliff that is the current hot topic in the news is a combination of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes that are scheduled to go into effect at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013. The spending cuts were triggered when congress failed to reach a deficit reduction agreement during last years debt ceiling debate. The tax increases are also automatic because Congress failed to make the "Bush Tax Cuts" permanent opting instead for a more politically expedient temporary tax reduction. In other words, they "kicked the can down the road" and it landed at the end of 2012. Perhaps they were hoping the Mayans were right and the world would end before  they had to deal with the … [Read more...]

What is Quantitative Easing?

Milton Friedman

Is Quantitative Easing Money Printing? Quantitative Easing is often referred to as "money printing" or a way for the government to increase the money supply. According to Wikipedia, quantitative easing is different from the typical method whereby governments buy treasury debt to increase the money supply. In QE1  when the market was panicked, and banks didn't want to buy government bonds, the central bank implemented "quantitative easing" by purchasing relatively worthless financial assets (like mortgage backed securities) from banks and giving them new electronically created money.  So this is straight forward money printing compared to the more round about traditional method. Thus … [Read more...]