Spending time in Italy provides me with an interesting perspective on the unfolding eurozone drama. Anecdotal discussions with Italians uncover a firm conviction that the Euro will survive, because it has to. Since the collapse of the Euro would be catastrophic, it won't be allowed to happen. Such thinking indicates a profound belief in the power of governments and central bankers to control policy and to overcome deteriorating fundamentals.
Central bankers are doing their utmost to justify and encourage that belief. Having shot all of their traditional policy arrows, they have resorted to non-traditional approaches and are relying heavily on a carefully timed and coordinated program of jawboning.
News releases and speculation on the part of such columnists and commentators as Jon Hilsenrath and Steve Leisman serve the purpose of supplying the public with desired information or innuendo between actual Federal Reserve announcements. European and Chinese leaders have also raised encouraging voices whenever economic fundamentals appear too dire or whenever stock markets appear ready to sag. Our Federal Reserve has boasted about its success in elevating the U.S. stock market. In fact, it has stated that rising stock prices is one of the primary objectives of its stimulus efforts.
At least since 2009, the Fed has been remarkably successful in elevating stock prices. Our domestic stock price increases are all the more striking when compared with China, whose economy has grown far more rapidly over the same time period. In a span of years in which U. S. stocks have doubled, China's have declined by 30%. Oh, by the way, U.S. government debt more than tripled over that span of years. The marvels of money printing!
Do we want a government-controlled market, as long as it goes up? Can the Fed work its magic indefinitely? Or are there consequences? If the Fed's approach is a good idea, why not do it all the time? Does the piper ever have to be paid?
It's absurd even to think that central banks could print new money with impunity and without consequence. Ultimately, buyers of newly created debt will cry: "No more." Perhaps we are seeing the beginning of that process with the upward explosion of interest rates over the past three weeks.
Do we want a country in which a few people make decisions that have a controlling impact on our economy? Such an "oligarchy" bears no resemblance to what we have always prided ourselves in: having a great free-market economy, rewarding those with the most productive ideas and productive effort. Currently, we have the Fed picking winners and losers, which is immoral and unconscionable.
I urge you to support Representative Ron Paul's push to audit the Fed. Bring their dealings out into the open. Stop rewarding giant banks at the expense of retirees and future generations.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.