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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Why To Hate The Federal Reserve

by JASmius

Don't worry, I'm not about to go all Paulnutty on your candy asses.  The Fed as an institution is perfectly legitimate in and of itself (though, as I told the Proprietor last week, I'd have no objection to that Fed audit for which the Ronulans are so eager).  Not that it couldn't use some substantial refurbishment - a (yes, gradual) return to the gold standard would be nice and highly advisable - but as I always ask those of a Paulnut bent who argue for returning to congressional coinage and such per Article I, Section 8, Clause 5, how would you transition our economy back to (presumably gold) coinage and abolish, well, "Federal Reserve notes" - paper currency - without crashing what's left of said economy by such a draconian reduction in the money supply?  To say nothing of the inflation-stoking political pressures for "coining" like there's no tomorrow that would ensue?  There's a reason why the Fed is supposed to be independent, after all, just as they're only supposed to have a single mission: currency integrity.

The reason the Federal Reserve has become such a problem and threat during the Age Of The One is precisely because it has ceased to be independent and has grown, like the rest of the federal government, vastly beyond its core mission and constitutional authority.

Peter Morici summarizes the dismal litany:

Washington policymakers — and their colleagues abroad — have pursued reckless and irresponsible economic policies. The chickens are coming home to roost, and the Federal Reserve could easily push America into another recession.

That, of course, is an Obamunist feature, not a bug.  The bookend "exploitable crisis" for the next stage of "fundamental transformation".

Prior to the 2008 financial meltdown, governments in the United States, Europe and Japan piled up debt to finance social programs they could not afford, and encouraged private individuals to borrow too much against real estate. All this to maintain consumer spending and modest growth, when government regulators meddling in virtually every business and hiring decision curbed private investment.

Sicken the patient with one poison, then "treat" him with another.

[Red] China, instead of implementing needed market reforms, artificially suppressed the value of the yuan, subsidized domestic industries with easy credit and protected them from foreign competition. Those boosted exports and accelerated the decline of manufacturing in western economies.

i.e. Beijing declared economic war against the West.  How's that Trumpesque gambit worked out for them?  Not well, actually.

When the credit bubbles burst, western leaders uniformly scapegoated the banks.

Of course - because doesn't pretty much everybody approve Bernie Sanders' message anymore (except your humble pundit, of course)?

And they further expanded social spending, failed to reform oppressive business regulations and appeased [Red] China on currency manipulation and protectionism that together were holding up growth in the first place.

Because, to transreverse President Reagan in his first Inaugural Address, "Government can never be the problem, government can only be the solution to every problem."

Here comes the Fed-hating part:

With the banks now constrained by examiners peeking over their every shoulder and less inclined to lend, central banks recklessly printed money to pump liquidity directly into credit markets. For example, quantitative easing has boosted Bank of Japan holdings to a whopping 75% of GDP.

i.e. Debt monetization - currency debasement to grow the public debt bubble because it has gotten so gigantic that governments can't find any more suckers to keep buying it:

In Japan and Europe, monetary authorities have now pushed interest rates below zero — banks now charge large depositors for the privilege of stashing cash — and have joined [Red] China in pushing their currencies down against the dollar.

Cheap currencies boosted exports a bit but absent more fundamental reforms, those can’t resurrect growth.

Because, of course, the core problem is not currency values or imports or exports or "bankers' conspiracies" or Trilateralists or Bilderbergers or Councils on Foreign Relations or Syndicates or "Illuminati" or "the 1%" or the central banks; the problem is, as the Gipper once said, government itself, which is too damned big, horrifyingly and despotically and cancerously beyond, in our case, its constitutional boundaries, and has now, after over a century of "progressive" expansion, reached the point of triggering The Big Collapse that will enable the Left - in the person of Barack Hussein Obama - to do away with the final vestiges, trappings, illusions, and veneers of the constitutional republic even so many Tea Partiers still think we have and formalize the Soviet Socialist "people's republic" under which we've actually been living for the past seven years.

The Federal Reserve is the sniper in this equation.  In more ways than one:

The former U.S. Treasury official who led the 2008 bailout program for the nation’s biggest banks says in his new role at the Federal Reserve that Congress and regulators should consider breaking them up to protect the financial system from another crisis.

i.e. He's scapegoating the "big banks".

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari, speaking Tuesday in Washington, said his regional Fed bank will study ways to toughen U.S. banking laws to prevent another financial crisis.

Because the Consumer Financial Predation Board is just too gosh darned laissez faire.  When, of course, the cause of the last financial crisis was the federal government itself, through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Communistic bank-smashing would hasten another panic, not prevent it.

Regulators should consider options including breaking up the nation’s largest financial institutions, loading them up with “so much capital that they virtually can’t fail” and taxing leverage to make the system safer, he said. Tougher oversight will require new legislation, he added. “The biggest banks are still too big to fail and continue to pose a significant risk to our economy,” Kashkari, who managed the U.S. Treasury’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program for rescuing banks in the crisis, said in his remarks. It was his first public speech since joining the Fed on January 1st as its newest policy maker.

This is completely, 100% bass-ackwards the opposite of the constitutional, free-market policy direction in which "policymakers" need to go.  It is more of the same poison that has all but killed the "patient," and from which the "Lefteratti" will never deviate.

But that's the world in which we live anymore.  In 2016 even much of the Right in this country has sold their ideological souls for the magic "populist" beans of Trumpism, while the Left is in rapturous love with "an angry radical and agitator who never accomplished much of anything.”  And, you know, Bernie Sanders.  Do you think either of them are at all likely to begin an audit of the Federal Reserve?

Exit thought: Yes, that's the same Neil Kashkari that ran for governor of California in 2014 as a "Republican".  Which tells me that the Proprietor profoundly regrets posing for this photo.

And I don't just mean the "Cylon eyes".

Exit thought II: I didn't know Rajesh Koothrappali had a twin brother....

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