During the Great Depression of the 1930’s the banks, trust funds, and stock market lost 90 percent of their value. If you had a thousand dollars saved up or invested back then, you were left with one hundred dollars. If you lost your job there was no unemployment or Social Security. Deflation became a very serious issue; nobody had any money left to speak of. If you had been living paycheck to paycheck, all you could lose was your job (a rather anemic understatement).
March forward to today. No depositor has lost a dime in the banking system. All of the foreclosures will be bought by the government. Unemployment is collectible for two years. There has been no 90% loss of savings. The government has printed dollars to cover all bank failures.
Millions of people are collecting unemployment and not producing anything, but they are consuming product using their government check. At the same time, tax collection revenues have been decreasing at an alarming rate while government expenditures have been increasing geometrically.
Our government has no increased tax revenues coming in unless you count the new health care. They are printing money to pay the bills. At some point this leads to inflation. Deflation cannot happen, everyone has their dollars. The unemployed are consuming the products we savers chose forego, when we deposited our money in a retirement account. Our savings were a way to defer consumption into the future.
As long as retirement redemptions are minimal, inflation does not even enter the picture. The product produced matches the printed dollars spent. We will see inflation when the baby boomers decide to spend some of their deferred consumption.
The Economic rhetoric from Bernanke claiming his actions will save the country from a deflationary spiral, is pure nonsense. The Emperor is wearing no clothes, claiming otherwise changes nothing. Inflation is the name of the game, and hyper inflation is our destination. It cures all of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s problems. They don’t have to mark down to market; they get to mark up to market.
At one point the government had a choice of deflation or inflation to solve this bubble. If we had done nothing, we would have had the 90 percent haircut and deflation just like the 1930's did. We chose to solve the problem differently with a printing press.
What’s it mean? The government can’t stop the inevitable; they can only slow it down. Our dollar will be the new dime of the 21st century. We still get the 90 percent haircut. The money borrowed was squandered on consumption. It is gone, it can't be undone. This is not something that can be reversed with a printing press. The government is only increasing the number of dollars chasing a decreasing inventory of product.
Where to from here? 15 trillion in debt and we have a President who keeps on saying “We are not out of the woods yet.” If you owe 15 trillion dollars, why get out of the woods? Stay there and hide!