Written by: Joshua Gayman
Last week the World seemed to take a break from worrying about Europe and focused their attention back to the United States and the meeting of the Federal Reserve AKA the Fed. The proof? The Euro rised big against the Dollar.
Ironically, the United States’ problems far surpass the debt problems of the European Union. The difference? We have a Central Bank that can print our currency out of nothing!
The Fed introduced an “Inflation Target,” which they set at 2%. This is something that has never been done before! Last year’s inflation numbers were closer to 3.5-4%, but given that the outlook for coming months is to drop significantly, expectations point to a drop under 2%, at which time would be a perfect scenario for the Fed to come out and unveil a 3rd round of quantitative easing AKA QE3.
The Fed also said they will keep short term rates(“over-night rates”) at all time lows through 2014. The Federal Reserve has never stated a policy that would last 3 years! What’s more crazy, is that debt is the only product the Central Bank sells. Can you imagine if a large company came out and said, “We are going to sell our one and only product at all time lows for the next 3 years.”? I am thinking we’d question whether they could survive another 3 years. The same should be true for the Fed, but I doubt it will. People are still so blinded by the illusion that they actually produce something..
The monetary policy by the Fed to keep rates low KILLS savers. This included anyone who has money in checking, savings, any type of deposit account, IRA, 401k, mutual funds, pensions, etc. If you have your money in one of these places, don’t expect a return for…YEARS.
So where do you see the economy going in the next few years? Well, if the statement by the Fed is any indication, I would say a strong recovery is not on the horizon.
I really don’t see these long term low rates benefiting the masses. I do see it benefiting small business owners who rely on short term loans. I also see it benefiting those who have Adjustable Rate Mortgages AKA “ARMS.” And the group I see being benefiting most by this are those savvy entrepreneurs who will use this cheap money to buy cash flow producing assets.
So what’s the bottom line?
The bottom line is that nothing is free. Money is no exception. There is a “cost for capital.” This means that there is a cost for borrowing money. DUH! The problem is that the cost of capital would be much higher if it weren’t for the Federal Reserve who can set the interest rate anywhere they want. By the Fed placing interest rates under the cost for capital, mal investment is brought into our economy by people who are getting loans for things they shouldn’t. It is because of this that I think the Fed needs to back off and let the market find it’s true equilibrium. This would allow for the smart money to come back into the marketplace. The smart money will stand on the sidelines as long as the Fed holds interest rates low. Investors can’t compete with the Fed when the Fed gets it’s capital by printing it out of thin air! Because the Fed simply “prints” their “capital,” they can hold interest rates at all time lows as long as they need to. Of course this is terrible for the economy as it means we are at their mercy.
If stimulating more debt would help us recover, I think it’s safe to say we’d have recovered by now. The reality is that pushing more debt into the system will not make our problems go away. It won’t slow the foreclosures, it won’t add jobs, and it won’t make life cost less money.
Like any private company, the Federal Reserve exists for one main purpose….PROFIT. The Federal Reserve can’t profit if it doesn’t exits. And it wouldn’t exist if people realized they don’t create anything of real value.
An indebted society is not a healthy one. Look at Greece.. If it weren’t for the US being able to print money, we’d be no better off than them.