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May 24, 2022

DOOM: The American Economy Now Runs on Fake Money and Slowing the Fake Money Production Loop May Cause the Fake Economy To Crash

So warns Adam Mill of American Greatness.

He's not arguing in favor of continuing to print fake money. He's just arguing that the Expert Class -- the Smartest Guys in Any Room, the people you should always defer to because they are good at thinking and you are not -- have built an inescapable trap for us.

("Doom" headline a reference to Monty's old DOOM posts, of course.)

The Federal Reserve has created a doom loop between the housing market and inflation. For years it has printed tens of billions of dollars each month to buy sketchy securities meant to subsidize the housing market and favor bond traders. This continues even now, in spite of inflation and a red-hot housing market. But the housing market has become dependent on unearned, newly printed money, and stopping the flow might cause a catastrophic correction. If it doesn't stop, however, inflation will explode.

Let me walk you through some of the math.

I'll refer you to the article for the first round of math -- basically, we've flooded the country with more than double the amount of dollars as we had just a few years ago, and prices will have to more than double double before we achieve the same equilibrium in prices vs. dollars we had.

A less well-known problem is that the Fed's purchase of mortgage-backed securities, which was started after the 2008 housing market crash, actually just... continued, with the Fed continuing to buy up securities backed by mortgages, inflating and distorting the real estate market. And turning it into another bubble.

Although the Fed promised it would stop buying mortgage-backed securities by March of this year, the promise came with a giant asterisk. As old bonds mature and disappear from its balance sheet, "monthly purchase schedules will continue to be issued to reflect reinvestment of principal payments . . ." In other words, when the Fed receives a dollar from an MBS payout, it just uses it to buy another bond.

Thus, in the face of red-hot inflation, the Fed bought another $38 billion in mortgage-backed securities in March. In April, it bought another $40.1 billion. This month, the Fed is in the process of buying another $34.5 billion.

Until recently, the Fed has been on an unprecedented buying spree. It increased its total MBS holdings from $1.7 trillion in 2020 to $2.7 trillion today. Indeed, the Fed made roughly $400 billion of those purchases after its chairman's June 2021 testimony in which he famously labeled 5 percent inflation "temporary." It was obvious then that inflation was just getting started.

So all of this might seem like terrible news. But it's nothing compared to the doom loop that has begun to turn. The coming reckoning could be savage and apocalyptic. Let's walk through what might happen next.

So the usual way to fight inflation is jack up interest rates, and the usual prescription is that interest rates have to be 150% of the rate of inflation to bring inflation down. So we'd have to raise interest rates to... gulp... 12% or more.

But that will obviously crash the economy.

Worse, it will cause all kinds of defaults in mortgages.

Mortgages which the federal government holds billions and billions of dollars worth of as securities!!!

But in this environment, raising interest rates will cause a cascade of problems. The higher interest rates will slow the economy and cause unemployment. It will also swallow up tax revenue as the government has to pay interest on its massive debt. But more critically, it will increase the rate of default on home mortgages. Those defaults will make mortgage-backed securities less valuable and more unpredictable. That's how the 2008 housing market seized up.

Thus, the doom loop.

Ugh. Read the whole thing. If you dare.


Meanwhile:

Consumer confidence plummeted in May, in what Biden-aligned media figures will no doubt soon be calling the "Putin Plunge."

Economic confidence fell to 87.7 in this month's Rasmussen Reports Economic Index, more than 20 points lower than April.

May's decline reverses two consecutive months of gains. The index is now at its lowest point in eight years.

In case you missed it: Biden's attempting to cast the skyrocketing price of gas (a key component in the skyrocketing inflation rate) as a good thing, part of our "incredible transition" away from fossil fuels:


Which is their actual plan -- increase the cost of conventional fuels so much that their pie-in-the-sky, super-costly alternatives become economically viable, only due to the soaring costs of formerly cheap regular fuels.

I guess when it gets this bad, honesty becomes your best defense.

Because it's the 70s again:

suggested by Bulgaroctonus.

digg this
posted by Ace at 03:16 PM

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