The $600 billion in QE 2 bought at best roughly three months’ worth of improved economic data. Granted, it was heavily massaged economic data (US economic data is now largely a work of fiction), but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll say that the Fed got roughly one month’s worth of improved economic data for every $200 billion it spent.
However, QE 2 ALSO blew up food and energy prices up: between 2010 and 2011 gas rose 33% while ground beef, cheese, and vegetables were all up in the double digits as well.
So the Fed needed things to cool down a bit. So they allowed QE 2 to end. Of course, Bernanke juiced the market one final time to the tune of $76 billion, probably hoping that the market would buy his bluff and believe that things might hold up without Fed juice.
But the market didn’t. Instead, the markets have begun to implode proving beyond any doubt that the Fed was the primary support behind the stock market rally.
So here we are today. The US economy has very clearly fallen off a cliff. The Fed already has a $2.8 trillion balance sheet (larger than the GDP of France, the UK or Brazil). Announcing QE 3 would mean creating an inflationary disaster. And NOT announcing QE 3 means a market collapse and very likely another 2008 scenario.
So it’s literally “pick your monetary poison.”
However, in the end, regardless of how we get there, QE 3 will come. The reason for this is that EVERY Fed move since the Financial Crisis began has been aimed at propping up the large Wall Street banks who continue to remain insolvent due to their TRILLIONS in derivative exposure.
When it comes between screwing the taxpayer vs. triggering a systemic implosion that will destroy the banking oligarchs, the Fed has taken option #1 EVERY TIME. They’ve already done it to the tune of $4 trillion (at the bare minimum). They’ll do it again.
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