Fed Chair Powell’s Inescapable Contradiction

“This feels very sustainable.” – Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, October 8, 2019

Under the Influence

Conflict and contradiction.  These were two of the main themes reverberating around the world of centralized monetary planning this week.

On Tuesday, for instance, a novel and contradictory central banker parlance – “reserve management purposes” – was birthed into existence by Fed Chair Jay Powell.  We’ll have more on this later on.  But first, to best appreciate the contradiction, we must present the conflict.

Free of government intervention, the economy and financial markets would get along within a low standard deviation.  Extremes would appear from time to time.  But they would be quickly reconciled and balance would be restored within the normal distribution of the mean.

Free of government intervention, an agreeable stability would be maintained. Continue reading

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Elizabeth Warren’s Plans to MAGA

There are places in Los Angeles where, although the sun always shines, they haven’t seen a ray of light in over 100-years.  There’s a half square mile of urban decay centered on the Union Rescue Mission at 545 South San Pedro Street, where depravity, chaos, addiction, insanity and archaic diseases multiply and ricochet about like metastatic cancer.

Here, at Skid Row, some 10,000 zombies live within massive homeless encampments amongst spoils of garbage, feces, rats, and rot.  With little reprieve, they roll around on a filthy ground cover composed of fragmented concrete, glass, stone, and gravel.  Diseases that flourished in the Middle Ages, like typhus and flesh eating bacteria, infect these street dwellers – and those who try and help them – with remarkable efficiency.

Take Reverend Andy Bales, CEO of the Union Rescue Mission.  He’s a man with a big heart and a personal commitment to action.  His late father and grandfather lived homeless in a tent for many years.

Awhile back, while passing out water bottles to those he serves, Rev. Bales contracted three different deadly bacteria – E. coli, strep, and staph. Continue reading

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Final Collapse is Inexorable

This week central planners pursued their primary mission with steadfast conviction.  They planned.  They prodded.  They prearranged tomorrow to save us from ourselves.  Some also grubbed a little graft for their trouble.

Other central planners took to debasing the dollar to price fix the federal funds rate within a narrow band of tolerance.  What in the world do they think they’re doing?

We know from our own everyday experience that people make choices.  What’s more, these choices do not occur in isolation.  There are a myriad of influences and constraints factoring into the countless choices people make as they go about their day.

One person drives their car to work.  Another takes the train.  While a third walks.  These choices may be individual preferences.  But they’re also subject to other factors – like proximity to work or the train station, the price of gas, the cost of parking, and much, much more.

Perhaps central planners can account for some of these influences and constraints.  But not all of them.  Not even half of them. Continue reading

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Fiat Money Cannibalization in America

The United States, with untroubled ease, continued its approach towards catastrophe this week.  The Federal Reserve cut the federal funds rate 25 basis points, thus furthering its program of mass money debasement.  Yet, on the surface, all still remained in the superlative.

Stocks smiled down on investors from their perch upon what Irving Fischer once called “a permanently high plateau.”  As of market close on Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average held above 27,000, the S&P 500 above 3,000, and the NASDAQ above 8,000.  What’s more, 401k accounts, to the delight of working stiffs of all ages, origins, and orientations, are swollen beyond expectations.

Below the surface, however, the overnight funding market was subject to much weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning the overnight repurchase agreement (repo) rate hit 10 percent.  Short-term liquidity markets essentially broke.

After several technical glitches, the Fed executed its first repo operation in a decade – $53 billion – to keep the interbank funding market flowing. Continue reading

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