It Ain’t Money If I Can’t Print It!
by Peter Schiff
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.
If anyone had lingering faith that Mr. Bernanke actually has a plan to end the US government’s addiction to cheap money, the Chairman’s semi-annual testimony to Congress should have washed it away. In addition to claiming that his money-printing has helped the US economy, Bernanke told Congress that gold is not money, people buying gold are not concerned about inflation, and the external value of the dollar has no influence on its domestic purchasing power. He even took a moment to stump for President Obama’s plan to raise the debt ceiling.