November 26, 2022

Yellen’s Remarks to Senate Committee Constitute an All Out Buy Signal for Gold and Silver

money printingFed Chairman Yellen’s less than sparkling performance before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Thursday constitutes a complete affirmation for continued purchases of gold and silver.  The Chairman’s testimony was so disjointed that two major news organizations published completely contradictory headlines of her stuttering remarks.

Tapering – will she or won’t she was the question on everyone’s mind regarding future actions of the Fed and here’s the yes and no answer to the big question based on Yellen’s testimony.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Yellen Says Rethinking Bond Pullback is Possible.

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said she isn’t sure how much of the recent deterioration in U.S. economic growth is due to weather, adding the central bank might consider a pause in its reduction of bond buying if the weakness persists.

“Asset purchases are not on a preset course, so if there’s a significant change in the outlook certainly we would be open to reconsidering, but I wouldn’t want to jump to conclusions here,” Ms. Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee Thursday.

“A number of data releases have pointed to softer spending than analysts had expected,” Ms. Yellen said. “That may reflect in part adverse weather conditions, but at this point it is difficult to discern exactly how much.”

Since Feb. 13, U.S. economic data has shown signs of weakness. The softness has been broad-based, with retail sales falling 0.4% and industrial production sliding 0.3% in January. The recovery in housing, a crucial gauge for the success of Fed policies, has also shown signs of fraying. Some economists have blamed harsh winter weather for the slowdown.

Meanwhile, Yellen’s remarks were viewed in a different light by a Bloomberg headline stating that Yellen Repeats Fed Likely to Keep Trimming Asset Purchases.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank is likely to keep trimming asset purchases, even as policy makers monitor data to determine if recent weakness in the economy is temporary.
Yellen repeated the Fed’s statements that the central bank intends to reduce asset purchases at a measured pace, and she said in response to a separate question that the bond-buying program was likely to end in the fall.

Does Yellen have a dissociative identity disorder (DID), commonly referred to as a multiple personality disorder? According to Wikepedia, DID is characterized by two identities or dissociated personalities that alternately control a person’s behavior. The disorder is a controversial subject in the field of psychiatry and there is no consensus regarding either diagnosis or treatment so we can give Yellen a pass of this one.
Here’s the facts we do know about Yellen and Fed policies and they all represent some of the best reasons for increased ownership of both gold and silver.

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The Fed stands ready to increase its $4 trillion balance sheet at the slightest sign of weakness in the stock market or the economy despite the lack of conclusive evidence that their money printing spree has helped the real economy.

The money surging out of the Fed has created multiple asset bubbles which will eventually pop, prompting further asset purchases with printed money to contain the damage and the cycle stays on auto repeat until the entire empire of debt and printed money completely collapse.

The Fed is firmly committed to an annual inflation target of at least two per cent to combat the threat of deflation.   The Fed is terrified of deflation since it increases the value of money and decreases  the ability of borrowers to service their debt burdens relative to income.   Deflation would make it difficult and eventually impossible for governments to continue borrowing to stay current on their mountains of debt and entitlement obligations.

Inflating away the debt is the Fed’s solution for keeping U.S.A. Inc. in business.  The Fed’s inflation targeting will help the U.S. government from being overwhelmed by debt but long term it guarantees that the future purchasing power of the dollar will continue its relentless decline and the downward spiral in real inflation adjusted wages will continue.

There will be a “next recession” and when it comes the Fed’s only option is money printing since short term rates are already at zero.

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Yellen has acknowledged that she has a soft spot in her heart for the unemployed. The Fed’s conflicting mission of ensuring a stable value of the dollar and promoting employment has morphed into a full blown effort to create economic wealth and jobs through higher inflation and printed money.

Courtesy: zerohedge

The monetarist fools at the Fed, lead by Yellen, seem fully committed to solving every economic problem with more monetary printing. This policy may keep the wheels from falling off in the short term but guarantee disastrous long term results.  Bernanke had his critics but Yellen seems like a novice by comparison – maybe she should grow a beard.

Gold Soars As The Fed Explicitly Promises To Debase The U.S. Dollar

Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke hit the panic button today by announcing a specific inflation target, vowing to keep rates at zero until at least 2014 and pledging to offer additional monetary stimulus. The Fed also noted, as it has in the past, that the economy still faces “significant downside risks”.

These actions by the Fed come nearly four years after the financial crisis began in 2008.  During that time, the Fed has ballooned its balance sheet to almost $3 trillion, driven real interest rates to negative 1.2% and encouraged lending by flooding the banking system with reserves.  The Fed’s monetary easing was supplemented by trillions of dollars in U.S. deficit financed spending  aimed at restoring economic growth and gluing back together the shattered real estate bubble.

Despite these unprecedented and controversial actions, the economy refuses to rebound.  Collapsing home prices, declining real incomes and an “official” unemployment rate of 8.5% are deflationary and this is what has panicked Bernanke more than anything else.  Deflation is the mortal enemy of a credit fueled, debt burdened economy.  Today’s actions by the Fed show that Bernanke will do whatever is necessary to prevent a deflationary collapse.  Of course, the markets already knew this.

GOLD 01/25/2012 17:15 1710.80 1711.80 +44.40 +2.66% 1648.20 1714.00
SILVER 01/25/2012 17:15 33.27 33.37 +1.22 +3.81% 31.46 33.53

The real reason behind the explosive move up in gold and silver was the historic change in Fed policy with the announcement of an explicitly targeted inflation rate of 2%.   Although the Federal Reserve has been debasing the value of the currency ever since its creation, for the first time ever, currency debasement and financial repression has now become an officially stated policy goal.

 

Gold Explodes - courtesy kitco.com

 

The concept of explicit inflation targeting is dangerous and reckless, which is why it has never been done before.  If the Fed decides that we need 2% inflation today, does the rate go higher later?  How will the Fed know exactly when and exactly how to stop creating inflation?  This is the same Fed run by the same Ben Bernanke who could not identify the biggest credit fueled real estate bubble in history.

Will debt-deleveraging overpower the Fed’s ability to create inflation?   Bloomberg’s Michael Kinsley persuasively tells us, Please Remain Worried About Rising Inflation.

About two years ago I wrote an article saying that despite the lack of evidence, and despite the near-universal belief among economists that it was not a problem, I was worried about inflation. My reason was that I couldn’t see how the government could pay off the massive debt it was running up except by inflating at least part of it away.

For this, I was widely ridiculed, and I’d like to take this opportunity to claim vindication. That is, I’d like to — but I can’t. Inflation (CPI) has been creeping up the past couple of years – – from less than 2 percent to more than 3 percent — but that’s still pretty low. Nevertheless, I double down: Barring a miracle, there will be a fierce storm of inflation sometime in the next few years and it will wipe out a big chunk of the national debt, along with the debts of individual citizens, and the savings of others.

One reason I say this is that the arguments on the other side have shifted. It used to be, “It’s not gonna happen — so don’t worry about it.” Now it’s, “You know, a moderate dose of inflation would be no bad thing. So don’t worry about it.” Kenneth Rogoff, an economics professor at Harvard University, is the leading spokesman for this view. He wrote in August that he would like “a sustained burst of moderate inflation, say, 4 percent to 6 percent for several years.” Five years of 5 percent inflation would reduce the value of debts by 27 percent —

It has been four years now, and things are starting to look up a bit. Time to raise taxes or cut spending? Time to stop borrowing? No, not yet (says Krugman). So, when? After eight years? Twelve? Soon you’ll be bumping into the next recession. Or do the annual deficit and the national debt simply not matter? If that’s the case, why do we pay taxes at all?

Although Kinsley cites the example of how “moderate”  inflation of 5% for 5 years would reduce the value of debt by 27%, the obvious corollary would be a decline in the value of the dollar by the same amount.  The U.S. dollar can no longer even pretend to be a store of value, given the new Fed policy of targeted inflation.

The old adage “don’t fight the Fed” is true – and the Fed has just given an all out buy signal on gold.

Inflation Is “Transitory” – More Nonsense From Bernanke And A Buy Signal For Gold

Federal Reserve

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, speaking at a conference of international bankers in Atlanta today, stated that “the recent increase in inflation will prove transitory.”   Citing the recent decline in commodity prices as an indication that future inflation will be subdued, Bernanke said the Fed will keep inflation under control “using whatever actions are necessary.”

It’s been awhile since a senior U.S. official had the audacity to assert official U.S. policy that is in direct contradiction to actual U.S. actions.   In June 2009, US Secretary Treasurer Tim Geithner told an audience of Chinese students in Beijing that the Obama administration would follow “very disciplined”  spending to reduce massive U.S. budget deficits.  In addition, Geithner stated that “We believe in a strong dollar.”

Finally, in response to concerns by Chinese economists who believed that holding U.S. debt was “risky, Geithner stated that “Chinese assets are very safe.” This final remark drew loud laughter from the audience of Chinese students.

The Chinese are not laughing today as the dollar has plunged in value and U.S. deficits have increased by trillions of dollars since 2009.

As the U.S. dollar continues its downward spiral, the Chinese have initiated actions to diversity out of U.S. dollars and into more stable stores of value by making large investments in natural resources and purchasing stakes in businesses worldwide.  The Chinese were not fooled in 2009 and Bernanke is not fooling anyone today by stating that inflation is transitory.

Bernanke was fortunate that his audience consisted of polite bankers who managed to subdue any overt laughter.  Inflation has been a continual event under our fiat monetary system.   Since officially coming off the gold standard in 1973, the dollar has seen a relentless loss of its value due to inflation and Bernanke knows it.

Bernanke also knows that his worse enemy is deflation which would make the repayment of debts impossible and propel the U.S. into a deep depression.  The U.S. cannot resolve its massive debt and unfunded spending commitments by either economic growth or increased taxation.  The only option left is inflation, which steals wealth by destroying purchasing power, but also allows debts to be repaid using debased dollars.   The Federal Reserve has consistently employed inflationary policies as shown by the BLS chart below.

Even as Bernanke was giving solemn assertions that the Fed would be vigilant in protecting the value of the dollar, the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Dennis Lockhart, said that the Fed should establish a goal of 2% inflation as an “explicit numerical objective.”  Sorry Dennis, we are already way past 2% inflation.  An inflation rate of 2% may not ring alarm bells to the American public, but a 2% inflation rate equates to a whopping 18% loss of purchasing power over 10 years.

Despite Bernanke’s duplicitous assertion that the Fed will contain inflation “using whatever actions are necessary”, his greatest fear remains deflation. At the Fed’s 2010 summer meeting at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Bernanke said the Fed would be “proactive” in preventing deflation and that  “The Federal Open Market Committee will strongly resist deviations from price stability in the downward direction.”

The relentless rise in the price of gold directly reflects the dollar debasement policies of the Federal Reserve.  Today’s statements by both Bernanke and Lockhart constitute a long term buy signal for gold investors.