The going joke is “If you ask 3 economists their opinion on the economy, you get 5 different answers.” The question arises today, if economists have inside knowledge to the economy, why didn’t they spot this mess coming years ago?
And then we have the question will it be inflation or deflation. Out come the experts with all sorts of graphs and charts pointing to deflation. Meanwhile I went over to Wendy’s for my 99¢ bacon cheeseburger today and the price is now $1.29. That’s a 30 percent increase. And if that wasn't bad enough, my Gin went up a dollar to $14 for 1.75 liters (I'm not sure that at that price it is considered Gin, rocket fuel might be a better description).
The real question is this, the government borrowed 10 trillion dollars from all of us and we feel comfortable loaning it to the government for only TWO PERCENT INTEREST. I’ve heard of The Dumb Friends League, but investors aren’t dumber than pets, are they? What gives?
Borrowed money is one thing, printed money is another. When Ben buys one of Geithner’s T-bills, that is printing money (the Treasury sells Bernake a T-bill and the Treasury gets a bank entry for cash in the government account). No real dollars are printed; from there, the government just prints a Social Security check or an unemployment check. Of course, the government can tax and the Treasury can redeem Tim's markers at any time. The real question comes up, how much in markers does the Federal Reserve hold? I’m guessing, anywhere from 2 trillion to 10 trillion dollars. Just the management of Freddie and Fannie implies about 3 trillion right there. What they bought from the banks could be a rather absurd amount, possibly mind boggling. No saver has lost a bank dollar, but our government had to pony up printed dollars for the losses on all the failed banks' ledger sheets.
Look at it a different way, say you have one million dollars in the bank. Gee, that means you get 20k a year in interest. Let’s not all queue up at once to take advantage of this wonderful offer. It sucks so bad, why even put your dollars in the bank? Why not just spend it?
The government has printed money, borrowed money and spent every bit of it. The only reason there is no apparent inflation with interest rates is because the government has taken risk out of the market, all bank loans are insured against loss. Without risk, there is no need for higher interest rates. Of course one issue pops up. Gold had one hang up, it paid no interest. Today looking at long term, GOLD is better than holding government paper.
Ask yourself one question, where will the money come from to pay for all of the health care and Social Security benefits in the future? The money isn’t there; it will have to be printed. We couldn’t pay for it as individuals. What makes it more affordable as a government plan? Do we charge everyone a fair share for all of these new benefits? That doesn’t seem very likely. The absurdity of zero percent interest rates and a national debt towering over 13 trillion dollars should set off an alarm bell somewhere. Credit cards are charging 14 percent. No discount for taxpayers???--kind of figures doesn't it.
The thing we need to interpret from this mess, is that the information we are getting from our government is incomplete. The pieces of this puzzle are all there and they do not fit together as expected. Zero interest rates are similar to a hooker offering free sex. How you ended up in a closet nude, with your hands tied behind your back, is another story.
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