July 3, 2022

Federal Reserve Policies Have Put The Nation On The Road To Economic Chaos

By Axel Merk

The FOMC has crossed the Rubicon: our analysis suggests that the Federal Open Market Committee is deliberately ignoring data on both growth and inflation. At best, the FOMC’s intention might have been to not rock the markets two weeks before the election. At worst, the FOMC has given up on market transparency in an effort to actively manage the yield curve (short-term to long-term interest rates):

  • On growth, economic data, including the unemployment report, have clearly come in better than expected since the most recent FOMC meeting. FOMC practice dictates that progress in economic growth is acknowledged in the statement. Instead, the assessment of the economic environment is verbatim. Had the FOMC given credit to the improved reality, the market might have priced in earlier tightening. The FOMC chose to ignore reality, possibly afraid of an unwanted reaction in the bond market.
  • On inflation, the FOMC correctly points out that inflation has recently picked up “somewhat.” However, it may be misleading to blame the increase on higher energy prices, and then claim that “longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.” Not so, suggests an important inflation indicator monitored by the Fed and economists alike: 5-year forward, 5-year inflation expectations broke out when the Fed announced “QE3”, its third round of quantitative easing where the emphasis shifted from a focus on inflation to a focus on employment. This gauge of inflation measures the market’s expectation of annualized inflation over a five year period starting five years out, ignoring the near term as it may be influenced by short-term factors:
Inflation Expectations

The chart shows that we have broken out of a 2 standard deviation band and that the breakout occurred at the time of the QE3 announcement. In our assessment, the market disagrees with the FOMC’s assertion that longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable. At best, the FOMC ignores this development because they also look at different metrics (keep in mind that the Fed’s quantitative easing programs manipulate the very rates we are trying to gauge here) or has a different notion of what it considers longer-term stable inflation expectations. At worst, however, the FOMC is afraid of admitting to the market that QE3 is perceived as inflationary.

In our assessment, inflation expectations have clearly become elevated. Ignoring reality by ignoring growth and inflation may not be helpful to the long-term credibility of the Fed. Fed credibility is important, as monetary policy becomes much more expensive when words alone don’t move markets anymore.

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Axel Merk

Axel Merk is President and Chief Investment Officer, Merk Investments
Merk Investments, Manager of the Merk Funds

Comments

  1. The federal reserve, which isn’t federal and has no reserve isn’t flirting with inflation it is the creator and cause of inflation. The three previous central banks of the U.S. all collapsed as have all fiat banking systems and fractional banking in history. In the chaotic past, the industrialized nations of the world went through phases of disruptive inflation often exceeding 1000% per year. That served a purpose in helping to destroy public faith in their existing national governments. It softened them up and made them more willing to accept drastic changes in their life styles and their political institutions. It paved the way to The New World Order. But now we have arrived, and extreme inflation rates—at least in the absence of war—would cause public dissatisfaction and be counterproductive. Inflation, therefore, has now been institutionalized at about 5% per year. That has been determined to be the optimum level for generating the most revenue without causing public alarm. Five per cent, everyone agrees, is “moderate.” We can live with that, but we tend to forget it is 5% per year, forever.
    A 5% devaluation applies, not only to the money earned this year, but to all that is left over from previous years. At the end of the first year, the original dollar is worth 95 cents. At the end of the second year, it is reduced again by 5% leaving its worth at 90 cents, and so on. After 20 years, the government will have confiscated 64% of every dollar we saved at the beginning of our careers. After working 45 years, the hidden tax on those first-year dollars will be 90%. The government will take virtually all of them over our lifetime. Current income and earned interest will partially offset this effect but it will not alter the underlying reality of government confiscation.
    EFFECT OF “MODEST” 5% INFLATION
    For the past fifty years, all the published charts illustrating the decline of the dollar from such-and-such a date to the “present” show the following type of curve. Confiscates 64% each 20 years. Confiscates 90% during 45 working years. Total confiscation over lifetime. These, of course, are averages. A few people in the middle class of the bureaucracy will have managed to place some of their dollars into tangible assets or income-producing securities—what few remain—where they are somewhat protected from the effects of inflation. For the vast majority, however, inflation hedges constitute but a tiny fraction of all they have earned over a lifetime.
    And so we find that, in The New World Order, inflation has been institutionalized at a “modest” level of five per cent. Once in every five or six generations—as prices climb higher and higher—a new monetary unit can be issued to replace the old in order to eliminate some of the zeros. But no one will live long enough to experience more than one devaluation. Each generation is unconcerned about the loss of the previous one. Young people come into the process without realizing it is circular instead of linear. They cannot comprehend the total because they were not alive at the beginning and will not be alive at the end. In fact, there need not even be an end. The process can be continued forever.
    By this mechanism—and with the output of work battalions— government can operate entirely without taxes. The lifetime output of every human being is at its disposal. Workers are allowed a color TV, state-subsidized alcohol and recreational drugs, and violent sports to amuse them, but they have no other options. They cannot escape their class. Society is divided into the rulers and the ruled, with an administrative bureaucracy

    • Awesome summary of what our future looks like, and as you say, no one even seems to notice what’s going on or what’s causing it!

  2. When the government does not like the real unemployment they they change the definition of unemployed. The U.S. Housing Bust has saddled the country with an “extraordinary” level of abandoned properties, inflicting heavy costs on the wider community which may warrant to ease the problem, a top US central banker said on Friday.”In order to see the robust economic recovery we all want, we need to deal effectively with the large volume of vacant and distressed properties throughout the country,” said Federal Reserve Board Governor Elizabeth Duke. QE3 Now the banks OWN your house. When the dollar collapses the government will no longer have the collateral of these houses and the banks will have paid nothing for them. If you fail to pay your property taxes the homes will become the bank’s homes. Industry cannot sell what it is now producing so it will not borrow at any rate of interest because it does not need to increase production. It needs to decrease production, so it needs less not more employees. Printing fiat will not effect the economy whether the legal counterfeiting is in Billions or Trillions. Monetary manipulation can’t work.

  3. • It would appear the business community is less confused about falling wages than David Leonhardt of New York Times

    A recent JPMorgan Chase study, for example, found that the record profits enjoyed by American corporations in recent years, despite dismally low growth in the economy, represents nothing more than a transfer of wealth from workers — in the form of lower wages — to profits.
    This article ignores the critical role of Obama and his self-serving Fed in causing “income stagnation”. By transferring trillions of tax dollars to the banking industry, they have suppressed interest on savings, which in turn has inhibited spending, investment, and growth. This massive wealth transfer to the 1% targets particularly the middle classes and seniors, is responsible for the current recession and income stagnation, and is a major factor in the ticking time bomb of failing retirement plans.

    This article ignores the critical role of Obama and his self-serving Fed in causing “income stagnation”. By transferring trillions of tax dollars to the banking industry, they have suppressed interest on savings, which in turn has inhibited spending, investment, and growth. This massive wealth transfer to the 1% targets particularly the middle classes and seniors, is responsible for the current recession and income stagnation, and is a major factor in the ticking time bomb of failing retirement plans.

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