Cry havoc, and let slip the printing presses of doom

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Fri, 2009-03-20 12:12

So, the US Federal Reserve Bank’s Ben Bernanke announces he’s going to print money
another $300 billion to add to the doubling of the money supply they’ve
effected over the last few months.  That’s another $300 billion to add
to that enormous, and historic, spike you see here:


Can anyone spell hyperinflation?

Meanwhile, straight after that news, gold prices take a jump. . .


You think by any chance these things might be connected?

You remember ‘Helicopter’
Bernanke saying back in 2002
“The US government has a technology, called a
printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce
as many U.S. dollars as it wishes...” ? 

He meant it.

UPDATE 1: Notice, by the way, that when central banks
hyperinflate their currency they like to do it in concert, as Bernard Hickey notes:

The US Federal Reserve has announced plans to buy back
US$300 billion worth of Treasury bonds and to lend an extra US$750 billion in
its Term Asset Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) to kick start car loans,
student loans and mortgage lending.

The Bank of Japan also announced plans overnight to buy
up to US$18.3 billion a month of Japanese government bonds. The Bank of England
has already started its gilt-buying programme.

This is money printing on a grand scale that threatens to
create a “very nasty” inflation problem in a year or two, according to Alan
Bollard last week in his parliamentary
appearance after he cut the Official Cash Rate
by a less-than-expected 50 bps to 3%.

UPDATE 2: Of course, the $300 billion of banknotes roaring
off the presses to buy bonds will be accompanied by another $700 billion of
electronic counterfeit
to buy mortgage securities, making a grand total (to use arithmetic
even Ben Bernanke could understand)  of over $1 trillion of pumped into the “financial system.”

Naturally, most commentators have noted only the “surprise and enthusiasm” of
the holders of bonds and mortgage securities, as if they’d be a reliable
standard by which to judge the wisdom of a move that basically sees them winning
the Government’s lottery, at the expense of savers and creditors and everyone
whose dollars in their pocket have just been diluted by nearly a third.

You’d think that this avalanche of  unbacked paper money and the smiles of
those in whose hands its being put would cause even the braindead commentators
who pass for economic experts today would notice that this might give them cause
to reconsider their notions about the
non-neutrality of money

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