QE2: You Can Fool Some People Some of the Time

by: Ray

I believe what the Federal Reserve has begun was completely idiotic and unnecessary which will ultimately hurt the majority of the American people. However, many economists disagree with what I just said. I guess you can fool the people sometimes, but economists can be fooled all of the time. Part of economist’s problem, and why they are so horrible at predicting things, is because they live inside of models and rarely look up. They are also way overpaid for what they do which adds more of a problem with their theories since higher prices do not impact them as fast as it impacts 80% of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck.

Paul Krugman is one of those people who has been far more wrong than right, but for some reason people still listen to him, odd, really, really odd. Mr. Krugman has taken aim at Jim Rogers recently claiming that inflationist’s have gotten the last few cycles’ dead wrong. Really? So, oil going from $50 to $147 never happened. Gold rising to new highs isn’t happening. Food prices going ballistic did not happen then and is not happening now, sure, whatever. The fact is that prices, including food and energy, have moved higher this year and before the collapse of 2008, but Krugman says that did not matter… why do people read him?

It is my opinion that higher food and energy prices helped collapse the system in 2008. As prices rose people diverted more money to the things they needed the most, food and heat which took away from our consumption oriented GDP. After the collapse began we saw these prices ease, a lot, and GDP did pick up after the crossing point was reached. Of course, government intervention helped and many people simply stopped paying much of their debt which has helped GDP since now one cannot pay their bills, not lose their home and now needed a new Kindle or iPad. Now we have rising commodity prices again, but no one seems to think this is bad news. Well, it is.

While mainstream economists talk about “sticky” CPI, excluding food and energy while concentrating on wage inflation as the sole indicator of inflation proves that most economists have lost their minds. Wage inflation does not have to come before food and energy inflation, I am not sure why anyone thinks this is always the case, and if we look back at 2008 we see a similar situation, rising commodities and flat to lower wages. This is a major red flag, but most mainstream economists don’t care. These economists look at me or a Jim Rogers and assume we do not have a clue about what we are talking about. The do not seem to understand that an economy can go from deflation/disinflation to inflation overnight, it happened in Germany. Maybe they are right, but at the same time they are so devoid of reality it is not even funny.

To think food and energy prices do not matter to people is idiotic. It is the same as saying fish can live fine out of water as long as they can hold their breath long enough. With money being diverted to $4 gas or $5 loaves of bread it is clear that we will continue to have deflation in color TV’s which means economists will not see any inflation, anywhere. This is a common sense issue which might fool Wall Street people into believing everything is fine, but Main Street, well, Main Street is not quite that stupid. They know $4 a gallon gas and $5 loaves of bread is bad news. They know that those iPads will be out of reach when a greater portion of their incomes are moving towards those unimportant things… like eating. This is bad news for the economy.

I have no illusions, the market will go up and economists will demand more QE because it is “working”, but this policy is not benefiting Main Street, it is killing it. More and more investors are moving out of stocks which negates the “wealth effect” of magical 9% S&P gains which are based on pure liquidity and not fundamentals. While stocks will move higher I am betting silver and gold will continue to outperform, along with other commodities. This is a catch 22 to the Fed because higher commodity prices is bad for the people, but good for GDP growth, even though it is imaginary growth, but that doesn’t seem to matter as long as the politicians are happy. So much for an independent Fed.

I think the recent views and writings of major economists have proven that they are completely worthless. To think intentionally driving the prices up for the basic essentials in life with high unemployment and flat incomes is barbaric. The worst part is economists all say this is a good thing, what world do they live in? We might get wage inflation out of this at some point, but it will be after price inflation is in full swing and major damage is done to the consumer. I also have no idea how the Fed can reverse this latest policy decision without blowing itself up, I actually believe this is now a permanent policy the Fed is following, just like Zimbabwe.
The biggest question is will Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke be impeached for lying to Congress when they said they would not monetize the national debt? They should be, the last I checked lying to Congress was frowned upon, but we do now live in bizzaro world.

The Fed is doing everything I feared it would do and they are inflating the country out of its debt, they say they are not, but what credibility can they possibly carry with the people now? On top of that, their actions speak louder than words. When you are intentionally trying to create inflation and write an op-ed about it that makes it harder to say we are not trying to inflate our way out of our trillion’s in debt. Everyone can see what is happening and when Brazil is giving you a smack down, as well as Russia, man, you got problems.

As far as economists, perhaps they should be put on a salary that mirrors the national average in their respective areas so they can understand how higher commodity prices really impact the people. It is easy to say higher prices don’t natter when you make high 6 or 7 figure salaries for playing with computer models, but on a modest 5 figure salary I bet they will see things differently. I am not one of those ‘social justice’ people, but in this case I might make an exception since they are all being complacent in one of the greatest snow jobs ever given to the people. This will do nothing for the people other than create misery and it certainly will not improve the image of Wall Street. We are not a banana republic because we voted in Republican. We are a banana republic because we have idiots in charge of our monetary policy. Stay long commodities.