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The Albatross Of Debt: The Stock Market's $67 Trillion Nightmare, Part 2

• By David Stockman

Needless to say, we have reached the mane. What drove the US economy for the past three decades was debt expansion----private and public--- at rates far faster than GDP growth. But that entailed a steady ratcheting up of the national leverage ratio until we hit what amounts to the top of the tiger's back---that is, Peak Debt at 3.5X national income.

As we also showed yesterday, the fulcrum event was Nixon's abandonment of the dollar's anchor to a fixed weight of gold at Camp David in August 1971. That unleashed the Fed to expand it balance sheet at will, thereby injecting fiat credit into the financial system at relentlessly accelerating rates; and it also paved the way for takeover of the FOMC by Keynesian academics and apparatchiks in lieu of the conservative bankers and money men who had run the Fed prior to 1970.

At length, the Fed's balance sheet grew by 82X over the 48 years since June 1970, erupting from $55 billion to $4.5 trillion at the recent QE3 peak. The effect was drastic and enduring financial repression that drove bond yields far below what would have prevailed on the free market based on the supply of domestic real money savings.

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